page 161
June 15th
ZION'S
WATCH TOWER
and
Herald of Christ's Presence

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

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

SEMI-MONTHLY
VOL. XXV.JUNE 1, 1904.No. 11.


CONTENTS

Views from the Watch Tower163
Denominational Union is the Cry163
A Moderator Awakening Late164
The Jonah Story Corroborated164
"Preach the Word."165
The Trend of Socialism165
En Route to Los Angeles165
Enoch, Elijah and the Sentence166
Importance of Jesus' Resurrection167
"What of the Night?" (Poem)173
The Life of Christ in Review173
Cheering Words from Australia174

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

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

page 162

THIS JOURNAL AND ITS MISSION.

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

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

TO US THE SCRIPTURES CLEARLY TEACH

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




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[R3372 : page 163]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER.

DENOMINATIONAL UNION IS THE CRY.


THE following from the Toronto (Canada) News well illustrates the trend of public opinion throughout Protestant Christendom. The spirit of union, or confederacy, is in the very air, as foretold by the prophet, who says: "Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid."--Isa. 8:12.

Fear, a realization of weakness, is at the bottom of this desire for union at the expense of the Truth. A union would give prestige to doctrines which cannot be sustained either by reason or Scripture. A union would give greater political power, and lead ultimately to the suppression of the Truth as unsettling and antagonistic to the peace of error and errorists. But the Truth has naught to fear, and the Truth people see clearly that only the Truth can produce that real heart-union which the Lord referred to in his prayer for his people--"that they all may be one." Another part of our Lord's petition was, "Sanctify them through thy Truth." Wherever the sanctifying of the Truth goes, there true union goes, proportionately. Not worldly union, however; not denominational union, for the Truth separates from the world and from denominationalism and unites all developed children of the Truth to each other, by uniting each to the Head--our Lord. Such are taught of God; such hear their Head; such are thus made one in Him and in his Truth.

We quote the popular and erroneous view of the question, as follows:--

"One of the most encouraging features of the present religious condition of the world is the increasing prevalence of a desire for Christian union. The arguments in favor of union are numerous and weighty. But the most powerful of them all--the consideration that should be kept in the forefront of the whole discussion--is that the object aimed at is very dear to the heart of Christ himself.

"The union that most Christians desire is not a vague, unsubstantial thing, but a solid, practical reality --not a mere spiritual unity of aim and motive, but an external, visible union, which will remove the reproach of unseemly rivalry that Protestant Christianity has too long been compelled to bear. Such an organic union constitutes the only real answer to the great intercessory prayer of our blessed Lord--the solemnly suggestive petition offered up amid the deepening shadows of the last night of his earthly ministry: 'That they all may be one, as thou, Father, art in me and I in thee; that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.' How much conviction of the divine mission of Christ is likely to be aroused in the heart of the world by the sight of the scores of rival sects into which the Church of Christ has been split up?

"Of course, the situation is improving. In our own country, nearly thirty years ago, Presbyterians led the way in the matter of closing up their denominational ranks, and consolidating their forces for the performance of their common work; and the example thus set was followed a few years later by the Methodists. The last quarter of a century has witnessed, too, a most gratifying advance in inter-denominational fellowship. Ancient asperities are being softened; denominational bigotry is slowly disappearing; in Christian utterances the irenic is being substituted for the polemic; mutual misunderstandings and recriminations are giving place to mutual appreciations and commendations, and from almost every branch of the divided Church of Christ many a 'God speed you' is heard, addressed to Christian brethren of other communions. All this the world can see, and the force of all this the world can hardly fail to feel.

"But how immeasurably more impressive would be the spectacle of one magnificent united Church! How irresistible would be the appeal to the world's conscience, if all the scattered companies of the Lord's [R3372 : page 164] army were united in one grand battalion, 'endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace!'

"In so far as the Congregational, Methodist and Presbyterian Churches are concerned, this desirable consummation seems to be within measurable distance, the question of their corporate union having now come to be a question of practical church politics."


***

Sentiment in the United States is similar, as voiced by the New York Independent, as follows:

"Federation is one of the crying needs of our Protestant Churches. Some of our denominations in their national meetings have pronounced in favor of it. It would maintain the separate entity of denominations that are not ready to consolidate, and yet would be an evidence to the world of their essential and spiritual unity. We understand that it ought to [R3373 : page 164] be the business of such an organization as the National Federation of Churches to seek such a federation of denominations. It might be invidious for any one denomination to take the lead in inviting a conference for federation, for we have in this country no one confessedly preeminent denomination, as they have in England. But this Federation of Churches, which has hitherto labored to secure fellowship in labor in cities and towns, might well send a proposal to the national body of every Protestant denomination in the country, asking it to appoint representatives to meet in Washington in 1906--which will give time-- with a view to the establishment of a federate union of the entire body of churches. If this existing Federation of Churches does not thus present the matter generally, why should not the various national conferences, conventions, assemblies, synods and councils independently make the proposition and appoint committees? We commend this proposition to those of every denomination who are interested in the visible unity of the Christian Church."

A MODERATOR AWAKENING LATE.


"New York, May 4.--'Look at Andover! What honest man can look at that institution and not be ashamed?' said Rev. Dr. Robert Russell Booth, moderator of the Presbyterian General Assembly and pastor emeritus of Rutger's Presbyterian Church, speaking at the Bible League in the Marble Collegiate Course to-day. He was participating in a discussion 'On the Practical Consequences of the Attack on the Bible.'

"'What honest man can see endowments saved by the toil of the believing and the earnest used in the propaganda of those who say that what is recorded in the Bible is untrue?' continued Dr. Booth, and there were cries of 'amen' from the pews.

"'For nineteen centuries the Christian Church has been the Church persecuted and the Church militant,' declared the speaker. 'Now we must fight treason in our very midst. Men are using their positions in our pulpits and chairs of learning to disseminate treason. Church collections, salaries, endowments are being used to support those who talk Higher Criticism and to spread heresies.

"'A minister in this city, as prominent as there is in the land, reads the Apostles' creed: 'Jesus Christ, who, they say, was born of the Virgin Mary.

"'Jesus, who, they say, was raised after the third day.'

"'No wonder men find excuse for easy virtue when ministers, ordained of God, insert "they say" in the Apostles' creed. We are living in a time of financial immorality according to old fashioned men. There has come a change over our ministers which makes people suspicious of their honesty.

"'If this continues, if the Word of God as given to our fathers is whittled away by the ministers of our Protestant denominations, the time must come when to those always faithful to God there will be but one refuge and that will be the Roman Catholic Church, which, whatever it has added to the Word, has taken nothing from it.

"'We of this league expect that Archbishop Farley and Bishop Potter will join in this movement, if not by enrollment, in heart and spirit.

"'It is an imaginative and fictitious concensus of opinion, for which the journalists are to blame, that scholarship is all on the side of the critics. I say that the ablest scholars will line up on our side, five to one.'"


***

The Moderator of the Presbyterian General Assembly is just awakening to the fact that the Higher Critics have possession of the so-called religious colleges and seminaries. The gentleman will ere long discover that the "prominent" religious people have almost unanimously forsaken the Bible as an inspired work and now use it merely as a text-book, useful because of its influence with the "common people" --but not inspired. Now is the time for us to find those not yet contaminated and assist them to the Truth, which alone will show the Bible to be both inspired and reasonable.

THE JONAH STORY CORROBORATED.


The progress of the pulpit above that of the pew --away from the Bible and into infidelity--is well illustrated by articles recently published side by side in a secular journal. One of the articles quoted one of the most prominent and venerable ministers of our day-- Rev. Lyman Abbott, D.D.--as denying the Bible story of Jonah, quoted as fact by our Lord. (Luke 11:30.) Dr. Abbott said: "I do not believe that the great fish swallowed Jonah, because there is nothing to attest the story," etc.

The reverse side of the question is an account of a Bible class teacher's discussion of the same subject with his large class of adults. The teacher, a prominent business man of Pittsburgh, Mr. James I. Buchanan, averred his faith in the Jonah story. He said: "The Bible is sufficient evidence for me, but occasionally I get interested in comparing the miracles with modern phenomena which remain unexplained." [R3373 : page 165] Then he drew the attention of his class to the account of a seaman's similar experience during a whaling voyage, reported in the public press about eight years ago and referred to in these columns.

The published account told how the whale's nose broke the small boat to splinters, and how one of its occupants was swallowed. Subsequently the whale was killed and the man found unconscious in its stomach. Later he told that he could breathe there, but found it intolerably hot. His skin was very red, probably the result of the action of the acids of the whale's stomach. In other words he was in process of digestion.

The story is so similar to that of Jonah as to be well worth remembering, and we were specially interested in some verifications which Mr. Buchanan related to the reporter. He said:

"Not long after that George Jarvie, a cousin, and a Scotch sailing master, happened to be a visitor at my home. One day I mentioned the New Zealand whale story.

"He said he had read the story, had heard it among the seamen of the islands, and the story was generally believed and vouched for among the seafaring men. He explained to me how the sailors of that region considered the fish story. His version tallied with that of the newspaper clipping, which Mr. Jarvie had never read.

"The fish prepared for Jonah's residence was apparently not common in Jonah's time, because no name is given for the fish. Almost a thousand years later someone conceived it was a whale that had swallowed Jonah."

"Mr. Buchanan said that his sister, who had visited the New Zealand islands, had also been told the modern whale story, as she had heard it from people who claimed to know the sailor who had been swallowed by the whale and men who had served on the ship at that time."

"PREACH THE WORD."


"The true pastor, being a messenger of Jehovah of Hosts, and not a messenger of Byron, Milton or Shakespeare, is bound by the most solemn of all his obligations to preach 'Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.' The gospel preacher is a minister of the New Testament, which became of force on the death of the testator, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In this Testament is recorded the following statement of our Savior: 'The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.' This cannot be truthfully said of science, or of popular literature, or of the writings of the wisest men not inspired of God. In His command to His disciples to teach all nations, Christ's language is specific: 'Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.' No mention is made of human doctrines, and no authority given for teaching them. 'The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath My Word, let him speak My Word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the Lord. Is not My Word like as a fire? saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?' The Word of God is 'the sword of the Spirit.' One armed with this sword for destroying evil is required to use it. A sword needs no stronger proof of what it is than the effects of its use. No learned argument is necessary to prove that a hammer is a hammer. Use it, and it proves itself. Fire proves its own character when applied. God's Word is 'like as fire.' It cleanses away evil. 'Preach the Word.' A pastor who substitutes anything else for the faithful preaching of God's Word--and this is all he is authorized by Christ to preach--is trifling with the eternal destinies of men, and bringing guilt upon himself. The writer has in recent months heard much chaff in sermons, and noticed a conspicuous absence of the 'one thing needful.' It is the holy Spirit who commands, 'Preach the Word.'"--The Interior.


***

It is not often that such an item as the above can be clipped from the "Religious Press." We rejoice to find it and to commend it.

THE TREND OF SOCIALISM.


"We openly war against God, because he is the greatest evil in the world."--Schall, German Socialist leader.

"It is our duty as socialists to root out the faith in God with all our might, nor is anyone worthy of the name who does not consecrate himself to the spread of atheism."--Liebknecht, German Socialist leader.

"We have simply done with God."--Engels, German Socialist leader.

Bebel, another prominent socialist, perhaps the greatest living authority on the subject, leaves "heaven to the angels and the sparrows." The same authority confessed that "Christianity and socialism stand toward each other as fire and water."

"Modern socialism is without religion and its tendency is atheistic."--Henry George.--Houston Chronicle.



[R3374 : page 165]

EN ROUTE TO LOS ANGELES.

ABOUT twenty of the Bible House family accompanied us to the Pittsburgh depot on our departure on April 28 for the Los Angeles Convention. As announced, we left in time to make four stops with the friends in Texas. We reached Dallas, Texas, on Saturday evening, and had a pleasant social gathering with the friends and a good rest before the Sunday, May 1st, services.

The morning service was well attended--friends being present from many surrounding cities and villages. The first hour was devoted to praise and testimony and was very profitable, showing great progress since our last visit. One Brother testified that he was the only one at his place at the time of our last visit and that now thirteen were in attendance and rejoicing in the Truth. [R3374 : page 166]

The Testimony meeting was followed by a fine discourse on Baptism by Brother Barton, and later several symbolized their consecration by water immersion.

The principal session of the day was at 3 P.M., addressed by the Editor--the topic being, "To Hell and Back!--Who are There?--Hope for the Recovery of Many of Them," as published in the Gazette of May 2. The attendance was large. The house was crowded to the doors, about 700 being present, and about 500 were unable to gain admittance. There was close attention and a great demand for free literature at the close.

The evening service was held in a smaller hall and was not advertised, but kept for the interested friends. Brother Russell spoke at that session from the words, "The Lord your God doth prove you, whether ye do love the Lord your God or no."

Early on Monday, May 2d, we started for Austin, where we arrived at 6.30 P.M., and, after a good supper, met a very intelligent audience, one of whom reported that he had come 68 miles by wagon and then 100 more by rail to attend the meeting and grasp the hand of the author of MILLENNIAL DAWN. The audience gave excellent attention, and we trust that some have been stimulated to a more earnest endeavor to follow the Lord and to study the divine plan. The friends of the Truth remained for a later meeting and some accompanied us to the train.

Next morning found us at Houston, where we had a hearty welcome from the local Church and visiting friends from various quarters. The morning session was a Rally and Testimony meeting, while the afternoon service, addressed by the Editor, was composed chiefly of believers. The discourse was from the words, "Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward."

The evening session was for the public and was well attended--about 1200 being present. The subject, "The Oath-Bound Covenant," received the closest attention. The literature was in great demand and the friends hope that the Truth has received a fresh impetus. We left by night train for San Antonio.

Wednesday, May 4th, was devoted to a One-Day Convention at San Antonio. The morning session was addressed by Bro. Currie. The afternoon meeting, also for the Church, was addressed by Bro. Russell. We had some very enjoyable interchanges with the dear friends here also: our hearts flowed together as we communed one with another respecting our experiences and prospects.

The evening session, for the public, was held in Beethoven Music Hall. It numbered about 1200 very intelligent people, who gave great attention and in various ways manifested deep interest. Our hope is that the Colporteurs there may find many grains of ripe "wheat." It is our experience that careful study of the literature is necessary to development. Talking and preaching are good to awaken interest, but reading is essential to development.

We are writing while en route to Los Angeles, where we hope for a splendid season of fellowship with the household of faith.



[R3377 : page 166]

ENOCH, ELIJAH AND THE SENTENCE.

THE answer to the following query may interest others than the inquirer:--

"Since 'death passed upon all men,' because of Adam's sin; and since all had to be redeemed before they could escape from that death sentence, how came it that Enoch and Elijah escaped from it before the redemption-price was paid?

We answer, that they did not escape, but were still under the sentence of death until the ransom was paid. The execution of the sentence was deferred in their cases, and their lives prolonged; but they would eventually have died had they not been redeemed. After Father Adam was sentenced he lived nearly a thousand years, but under his particular sentence he could not have lived more than a thousand years; because the sentence read, "In the day that thou eatest thereof, dying thou shalt die." And since "a day with the Lord is as a thousand years" (2 Pet. 3:8), his death was fixed to take place within that "day." But God left the way open to make types of Enoch and [R3378 : page 166] Elijah, and hence, so far as they and the remainder of the human family were concerned, no limit of time for the execution of the sentence was fixed. If, therefore, it pleased God to have it so, they might have continued to live for thousands of years, under the death sentence, without dying. In Elijah's case, although he was translated, it is not said that he did not die afterward. His translation made a type, as we have seen (MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. II, Chapter viii.), and he may have died and been buried afterward, unknown to men, as was Moses.--Deut. 34:6.

But with Enoch the case was different, as we are expressly told that he did not die. In his case, therefore, it is evident that the execution of the sentence was deferred, but there is no evidence that it was annulled. He, therefore, remained under that sentence of death until he was ransomed by our Lord's death. As a member of the fallen race, he was an imperfect man, and although redeemed, and although a restitution to human perfection is provided for him in the divine plan, we are not certain that he is yet a perfect [R3378 : page 167] man. For the Apostle seems to teach that none of those whose faithfulness was attested before the Gospel call was made will be made perfect until after Christ and his bride are made perfect. He says (Heb. 11:39,40), after enumerating many of the ancient worthies, Enoch included, verse 5, "These all, having obtained witness through faith, received not the promise [everlasting life, etc.], God having provided some better thing [priority of time as well as of honor and position] for us [the Gospel Church], that they [the ancient worthies] without us [apart from us] should not be MADE PERFECT." And since the Church, the body of Christ, has not yet been perfected in glory, it is but a reasonable inference that wherever Enoch is and however happy and comfortable he may be, he is not yet made a perfect man, and will not be until all the members of the body of Christ have first been made perfect in the divine nature.

As to where God took Enoch, we may not know, since God has not revealed that. Should we speculate as to whether God took him to some other world, and for what purpose, it would be but an idle speculation. We may not be wise above what is written. We may be certain, however, that Enoch did not go to heaven --the spiritual state or condition--for such is the record: "No man hath ascended up to heaven but he that came down from heaven--even the Son of man." (John 3:13.) Elijah is said to have ascended to heaven; but, from our Lord's statement above quoted, that must be understood to refer to the air--as, when it is said that "the fowl fly in the midst of heaven" it certainly cannot refer to the heavenly condition, which flesh and blood cannot enter nor even see without a change of nature, which change has been promised only to the Gospel Church.

Understanding, as above shown, that Enoch was preserved from actual dissolution in death--although, already under that sentence, legally dead (Rom. 5:12; Matt. 8:22) until the ransom-price for all was paid by our Lord's death--we can see that there will now be no necessity for his dissolution, but that when the due time shall have come he may be fully and completely restored from even the measure of human imperfection he had inherited to full, perfect manhood.

So, too, it will be with those of the world who will be living when the "times of restitution" are fully ushered in: it will not be necessary for them to go into the tomb. For although they are already legally dead, in that condemnation (or sentence) to "death passed upon all men," yet their penalty has also been legally met by another, Christ. He now holds the judgment against all, but graciously offers to cancel it entirely for each one who will accept restitution to life and perfection on the conditions of the New Covenant.



[R3374 : page 167]

IMPORTANCE OF JESUS' RESURRECTION.
--MATT. 28:1-15.--JUNE 19.--

Golden Text: "Now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first-fruits of them that slept."--I Cor. 15:20.

FEW seem to realize the importance of our Lord's resurrection --its bearing upon the entire Gospel message. The Apostle indicates how much depended upon it when he wrote, "If Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.... They also who are fallen asleep in Christ are perished." (I Cor. 15:14,18.) The numbers of the Lord's professed followers, clergy and laity, who fail to appreciate the resurrection --who really do not believe in it--is very large. The number who really do believe in it is very small. The majority, under the teachings which have come down to us from the dark ages, fail entirely to realize that death means a cessation of life, and, as the Scriptures declare, "In that very day their thoughts perish." On the contrary, the masses of Christendom have come to believe that there is no death, that the dead are more alive than they ever were before they died. Applying this thought to our Lord, as well as to others, they do not appreciate the Scriptural declaration that "Christ died for our sins and rose again on the third day." They think of him as being alive during that time, and that it was merely his fleshly body that was inanimate in the tomb, and that the resurrection which occurred on the third day was not his resurrection to life, but merely the reanimation of his dead body.

ERROR LEADS TO CONFUSION.

Confused thus by the errors of medieval times, which were adopted by the reformers and are engrafted upon the minds of the civilized world today, the majority of Christian people cannot appreciate the Scriptural declarations respecting the importance of the resurrection of our Lord. Instead of believing the Apostle we have just quoted, to the effect that our faith is vain, our preaching vain, if Jesus did not rise from the dead, the majority of Christendom would be inclined to say just the reverse of this: "What difference would it make to our dead loved ones, what difference would it make to our preaching, what difference would it make to our faith, if Jesus' body had been left in the tomb?" Hence, only those who realize that the dead are dead--that they can have no conscious existence until awakened from the sleep of death-- can really appreciate the importance of the resurrection.

If Jesus had not been raised up from the dead, we have no basis for the preaching of the Gospel--for the Gospel message is that, by the grace of God, Jesus' death [R3374 : page 168] was the ransom price for father Adam and his posterity, and that because Jesus has thus paid the penalty for the whole race and redeemed all from the sentence of death by his own death, therefore, in due time, in God's appointed time, Adam and all of his posterity are to be released from the death sentence, and Christ as the great King is to establish his Kingdom in the world, and through it lift from mankind the burden, the penalty of death, and that then all who are in their graves shall hear the voice of the Son of man and come forth to the glorious opportunities of the Millennial Kingdom--opportunities for reconciliation with God, and release from all the imperfections of the fall. To preach such a Gospel, with the fact before us that Jesus had died and without any proof of his resurrection, would be vain preaching, foolish preaching, deceiving the people. To believe such a Gospel, under such circumstances, would be to brand ourselves as foolish simpletons; and to have any hope that our dead friends could ever be benefited by a dead Christ would be absurd.

Seeing, then, the importance of the Lord's resurrection, and how every feature of the Gospel is dependent upon this great fact, we understand why it was that the apostles, preaching forgiveness of sins and a future blessing, based everything upon the fact that Jesus not only died for our sins as our ransom price, but that he rose again for our justification, for our deliverance from the sentence, the guilt, the penalty, that is upon us as a human family--the death penalty. No wonder, then, that our heavenly Father arranged that we should have so explicit an account, so detailed a statement of everything pertaining to our Lord's resurrection; no wonder that the evangelists recorded matters with such minuteness, no wonder that in all the preaching of the apostles this great fundamental truth, which was the basis of their own faith toward God, was set before the Church as being all important. From this standpoint the present lesson must be of deep interest to all of the Lord's people for all time--until the outward manifestations of the Kingdom shall attest the things which the household of faith must now accept by faith built upon this testimony.

HE AROSE ON THE THIRD DAY.

We concur with the generally accepted--and, we believe, well-attested--view, that our Lord's crucifixion on the 14th of Nisan, Jewish time, corresponded to the sixth day of the week, which we now call Friday. According to the records, our Lord died at three o'clock in the afternoon. Calvary was but a short distance from the gate of Jerusalem, the Temple and Pilate's residence. Hence, Nicodemus and Joseph, members of the Sanhedrin, evidently friendly to Jesus, but not sufficiently convinced of the truthfulness of his claims, or else not sufficiently courageous to lay down their lives with him, had not far to go after noting his death to secure consent for his burial; and the tomb in which it is supposed he was buried is within a stone's throw of the supposed location of the cross. It has been presumed, therefore, that our Lord was buried about four o'clock on the afternoon of that day, corresponding to our Friday. The next day, which we call Saturday, and which the Jews called the seventh day or Sabbath, began--Jewish time--Friday evening at sundown and ended on what we call Saturday at sundown, and our [R3375 : page 168] Lord's resurrection took place early in the morning of the first day of the week, which we now designate Sunday.

Thus our Lord arose from the dead on the "third day." He was in death from three o'clock until six on Friday, all of the night following, all of the next day, Saturday, all of the next night, which, according to Jewish reckoning, was the forepart of the first day of the week. This would not make three days and three nights full, complete--seventy-two hours--but we believe it did constitute what the Lord meant when he declared that he would rise from the dead on the third day. Some, desirous of counting full three days and three nights, have been led to claim that our Lord was crucified on Thursday; but neither would this make three days and three nights--seventy-two hours. In order to have three full days and three full nights we would be obliged to suppose that the Lord was crucified on Wednesday. But all the testimony is against such a supposition and the weight of it decidedly in favor of Friday, and the counting of a part each of three days and nights as being what our Lord referred to. But if any one have a different view from ours on this subject, we will not contend with him: it is a trifling matter, of no importance whatever. Nothing was dependent upon the length of time our Lord would be dead. The important items were that he should actually die, that he should be dead long enough for it to be positively known that he was dead, and that he should rise from the dead.

DESTROYING THE TEMPLE AND RAISING IT UP.

When our Lord spoke in advance, saying, "Destroy this Temple and in three days I will raise it up"--"he spake of the Temple of his body." (John 2:21.) But of which body did he speak--of the flesh?--of the body which he took in order that he might be the sacrifice for sin, of the body which he consecrated to death? Was it that body that he meant would be raised on the third day? We answer that that body was not his temple, but merely his tabernacle. Our Lord's resurrection body was not the one which the Jews destroyed, but a spiritual body which they had never seen, but which was revealed to the Apostle Paul as "one born out of due time" when, on his way to Damascus, Jesus appeared unto him "shining above the brightness of the sun at noonday."

It is much more reasonable to suppose that our Lord spoke of his body which is the Church and of which he was and is the Head. The Jews destroyed the Head, and all down through the Gospel age the various members of the body of Christ have been called upon "to suffer with him," "to be dead with him," "to lay down their lives for the brethren." The body has been in process of destruction [R3375 : page 169] from Jesus' day until now, and very soon, we believe, the last member will have proven himself "faithful unto death." Now, let us see how the Lord will raise up this Temple of which he was the great foundation stone, and of which the Apostle Peter declares, each of his faithful disciples is a living stone. (I Pet. 2:4) Considering the time from the Lord's standpoint--"A day with the Lord is as a thousand years"--our Lord died in the year of the world 4161--after four days had passed and the fifth day had begun.

The destruction of the Temple of God, which is the Church, began there in the destruction of the chief corner stone and has progressed since--during the remainder of the fifth day, all of the sixth day, and we are now in the beginning of the seventh day--"very early in the morning." And the promise of the Lord is that the Lord's resurrection shall be completed about this time--"The Lord shall help her early in the morning." (Psa. 46:5.) Thus we view the matter, that the Lord was a part of the three days dead and rose on the third day, early in the morning, and that likewise the First Resurrection will be completed-- the entire body of Christ will be raised on the third day, early in the morning.

Evidently the matter of the resurrection was beyond the mental grasp of the apostles themselves at the time it occurred. Jesus had foretold that he would rise again on the third day, but they had not comprehended the meaning of his words: None of them for a moment thought of his resurrection, but merely of what they could do in the way of embalming his body, and showing to it, as his remains, the same sympathy and love which they would have shown to the remains of any dear friend or brother or sister. Thus it was that being hindered from coming to the sepulcher on the Sabbath day by the Jewish Law, which forbade labor of any kind on that day, the Lord's friends began to gather at the sepulcher, probably by previous appointment, about daybreak, after the Sabbath, --on the first day of the week. There were a number from Galilee, and probably they were lodged with other friends in different parts of the city, and possibly with some at Bethany; hence they went by different routes. The accounts vary, and are yet in perfect accord and all true. They are told from the different standpoints of each writer, and are all the more conclusive to us as evidences in that they show that there was no collusion between the writers of the Gospels--no endeavor to state the matters in exactly the same terms, as there surely would have been had the account been a manufactured one, a concocted story.

ARGUMENTS AGAINST THE TRUTH ARE WEAK.

Before the arrival of any of the disciples, while the Roman guard was still on duty at the tomb, an angel of the Lord appeared on the scene and a shock like that of an earthquake was experienced, and the guard, or "watch," became as dead men--almost swooned or fainted--but, recovering, hastened from the spot to make their report to the chief priests, at whose instance they had been appointed to this service. The chief priests induced them to circulate the report that the body had been stolen by his disciples while they slept, and this report was evidently current for quite a time subsequently, as we read, "the saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day"--up to the date of writing Matthew's Gospel, which is supposed to have been written some nine years after the event. Like all arguments against the truth, it was a weak one, but the best they could do. How foolish would be the testimony of men who would say what took place while they were asleep! A bribe was given to the guard as the price of this false statement, and they had the assurance of protection, security against the ordinary penalty for a Roman soldier sleeping while on duty; but then they were not on duty for the Roman government; they were merely a complimentary guard furnished in the interests of the priests and at their solicitation.

Meantime, while the guard was on its way to the priests to report matters, the Lord's friends began to gather, with their love and spices, etc. The women of the company arrived first, and in so doing attested for all time the love and sympathy of their hearts, and honored, yea glorified, their sex in so doing. The three mentioned in our lesson have since had noble mention by the poets of all nations. One has written:--

"Three women crept at break of day,
Agrope along the shadowy way,
Where Joseph's tomb and garden lay.

"Each in her throbbing bosom bore
A burden of such fragrant store
As never there had lain before.

"Myrrh-bearers still, at home, abroad--
What paths have holy women trod,
Burdened with votive gifts to God!

"Rare gifts whose chiefest worth was priced
By this one thought, that all sufficed:
Their spices had been bruised for Christ."

During the forty days which began that morning, and which ended with our Lord's ascension, he appeared at most eleven times, sometimes to one and sometimes to another, and on one occasion to above five hundred brethren at once. It is quite probable that instead of eleven times there were only seven, and that the other four records were merely differences of description of four of the seven manifestations.

"HE SHOWED HIMSELF BY INFALLIBLE PROOFS."

Our Lord's first appearance was to Mary Magdalene, she out of whom he had cast seven demons and who, from thenceforth, became one of our Lord's most earnest followers. She had much forgiven her; she loved much, and her love had brought her early to the sepulcher. Apparently, Mary Magdalene was the first of the women to arrive at the sepulcher, and immediately on finding that Jesus was not in the tomb, she hastened to announce the fact to John and Peter. Returning to the sepulcher, later [R3375 : page 170] she apparently reached it after the other women had been there and had gone their way, and it was while she was still near the tomb that Jesus appeared to her first of all, as described by John--20:11-18.

Subsequently the Lord met the other women as they were en route to make known the news to the household of faith. He addressed them, "All hail!" which in the Greek was the usual salutation, practically signifying, Rejoice! They fell before him, worshipping him and grasping him by the feet, and appeared afraid that anything henceforth should separate them from him. Our Lord, however, reminded them of their duty toward the brethren --that they should spread the good tidings of his resurrection. The same lesson comes to us, that after we have found the Lord, have come to realize the Truth, we have a great privilege in being permitted to serve it, and a great duty toward the brethren who as yet know not what has caused our hearts to rejoice. We are not to assume that we are to merely hug the Truth to our own hearts, but are to remember that it is also for others, and to take pleasure in dispensing it to them. He who thus serves the Lord and the household of faith is sure to have the greater blessing in the end.

Our Lord's message was to tell the disciples that he would meet them again in Galilee. Thus it was that, after [R3376 : page 170] five or six appearances in the vicinity of Jerusalem, our Lord abstained from further appearing to his followers, and they returned to their home country, Galilee, where he met them, as he had engaged to do. We must remember that the most of our Lord's ministry was spent in Galilee and that the majority of the believers were Galileans. It was to be expected that all of the household of faith should have some opportunity for witnessing to our Lord's resurrection, and so the Apostle Paul tells us that in one of these later manifestations in Galilee, "Our Lord was seen by above five hundred brethren at one time; of whom the greater part remain unto this present [the time the Apostle was writing], though some are fallen asleep."--I Cor. 15:6.

It is necessary that we should note carefully the two objects our Lord had in view in the various manifestations he gave his followers of the fact that he had risen from the dead. The first of these was a demonstration that he was no longer confined to earthly conditions, as they had known him to be during the previous years of acquaintance, but was now, like all spirit beings, able to go and come like the wind--invisibly, secretly. Like all spirit beings he was now glorious. The Apostle explains the resurrection of the overcomers of the Church in I Cor. 15:51,52, and the Scriptural assurance is that in our resurrection we shall be like the Lord, see him as he is and share his glory. The Scriptures also assure us that our resurrection is really a part of his resurrection, a part of the First Resurrection,--that Jesus the Head of the glorious Christ was raised from the power of death, was glorified on the third day after his death, and that early in the morning of the new dispensation the Church will come forth from death in his likeness, sharers in his resurrection. --Phil. 3:10.

OUR LORD'S RESURRECTION CHANGE.

This being true, we know that the time when our Lord received his spirit body was at his resurrection and not subsequently; as the Apostle declares, "He was put to death in the flesh, but quickened [made alive] in spirit." Speaking of our Lord's humiliation and his subsequent exaltation at his resurrection, the Apostle assures us that our Lord left the glory which he had with the Father and humbled himself to become a man, and that in due time he humbled himself unto death, even the death of the cross--"wherefore God hath highly exalted him and given him a name that is above every name." The exaltation came to him in his resurrection change. It was true of him then, as it will be true of all the members of his body in due time, that he was sown in weakness, raised in power, sown a natural [animal, human] body, raised a spiritual body.

This spiritual body of our Lord was just as glorious in the moment of his resurrection as it was at any time afterward or is now. It had all the powers properly granted to spirit beings in harmony with the Lord. He was not, as previously, merely the man Christ Jesus, but was now the Lord of glory. As such he was able to associate himself with his disciples, either visibly or invisibly, or to appear as a flame of fire in the burning bush, or as a wayfaring man, as he appeared with others to Abraham, or in any manner he might see fit. He was the same glorious being who subsequently appeared to Saul of Tarsus, shining as the lightning, much as the angel appeared when the Roman guard was overcome and fled.

Some, then, may inquire, Why did he not appear to the women and apostles in the same glorious manner, with shining features? We answer that to have so done would have been to hinder the very object he had in view. How could his followers, who were not then begotten of the holy Spirit and consequently were unable to understand spiritual things (I Cor. 2:14)--how could they have understood that a being shining like an angel was the Lord Jesus they had seen crucified three days before? And even if they could have associated the two in some manner, what evidence would there have been for others since? The removal of the remains of our Lord Jesus from the tomb was an essential to the faith of the disciples of that day, and of all who would believe on him since through their word, and manifestations of his being alive from the dead were necessary also to all these. The instructions which our Lord gave, and his expositions of the prophecies, and his application of these to himself, given at that particular time, were necessary as a firm foundation for faith. None of these objects could have been so well served in any other manner as the manner in which they were performed. Our Lord's first appearance to Mary was as a gardener. She recognized him not; neither his clothing nor his features were the same as those she had [R3376 : page 171] previously seen, as those she had previously recognized. His clothing was divided amongst the Roman soldiers, his grave clothes were still in the tomb, the body which she saw was a special body and the clothing which he wore was special clothing prepared and used for this special occasion. She knew not her Lord until he adopted a tone of voice which she recognized.

It was the same with the two on the way to Emmaus, later on the same day. Jesus walked with them, but they knew him not; his clothing was different, his features were different, they saw no prints of nails in his hands or in his feet. They asked him, "Art thou a stranger in these parts?" He improved the opportunity for discussing with them calmly, deliberately, carefully, the prophecies relating to himself, expounding these to them so forcefully, so clearly, that their hearts burned within them as they thought of the possibility that the story which they had heard from the women might have been really true--that Jesus was to rise from the dead. Our Lord did not reveal his identity until he was ready to vanish from their sight. When he vanished, his flesh and his clothing vanished, too. The same evening he appeared to the company in the upper room at Jerusalem, the doors being shut. They were doubtless talking about the events of the day and of the preceding day, when, suddenly, Jesus appeared in their midst. He materialized--that is to say, he, a spirit being, came into their midst and there assumed flesh, bone, a complete body clothed. Does some one ask, How could he do this? We cannot answer, but whoever can understand the miracle of the change of the water into wine can as easily understand our Lord's appearance in the upper room, the doors being shut; and how, after the interview, he just as mysteriously vanished from their sight, flesh, bone, clothing, all--the doors still being shut and doubtless carefully barred for fear of the Jews, in anticipation that the hatred which had pursued the Lord to death would fasten itself upon his followers.

BE NOT FAITHLESS, BUT BELIEVING.

A later appearance was in the same upper room probably a week later--again on the first day of the week. Thomas was present: he had been absent on the previous occasion and he could not believe the testimony of the others. Thomas had expressed his doubts most forcefully and had insisted that the others were too easily convinced, but he was satisfied finally when Jesus, appearing to him with the others, requested him to put his finger in the prints of the nails. Did Thomas really see and put his finger into the nail prints of that body of our Lord which three days before had hung upon the cross. We answer No; that body of flesh and bones could not have come through the door while it was shut. The body which appeared in the upper room was a materialization--actual flesh and actual bones as our Lord said to them, "Handle me: a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have." What they saw was not the spirit body, what they saw was the actual flesh and bones. He, the spirit being, was hidden from their sight; he assumed this body of flesh and bones in their midst--created it there and created the clothing also.

Whoever disputes the power of the Lord to create flesh and bones has an equal difficulty in accounting for the clothing; for who will say that it would be more difficult to create the body than to create the clothing inside that room, the doors being shut? Who will say that it would be easier to make clothing vanish into thin air than to make flesh and bones vanish into thin air? The power to do these things is not natural to us, nor can we fully comprehend the matter. Now we see through a glass obscurely, by and by we shall understand how our Lord can do the wonderful things that he is continually doing. For do we not see miracles all about us in nature, in the transpirings of every day? The kernel of wheat--how is it possible that out of that little grain should come a stem, a sprout, a stock and a head full of grain? It is a miracle --something wholly beyond our power to accomplish and beyond our power to even understand. We could make a grain of wheat, we could combine the various elements necessary to it, and could shape them as a grain of wheat is shaped; but our grain, while analyzing the same as that which nature would put forth, would not send out shoots, would have no stock, would bear no grain.

"HIS FLESH SAW NOT CORRUPTION."

It is not for us to say what became of the natural body of Jesus--the one that was pierced. God has not revealed particulars respecting it, except that it did not corrupt. Where then is it? We know not; but he who hid the body of Moses so that none could find it, was likewise able to hide the body of Jesus. (Deut. 34:5,6.) Who can tell but that the uncorrupted body of Jesus is yet to be produced by the Lord as an evidence or testimony of the truth of this whole transaction for the world in all future time. We do remember that the manna with which Israel was fed was wont to corrupt on the second day, except on the Sabbath; but we remember also that a golden pot of this manna was preserved in the Ark incorruptible, as a witness or memorial of the great miracle of the desert. What shall we say, then, respecting this bread which came down from heaven, which is also likened to manna? Is not the Lord equally able to preserve the body of Jesus as a witness, and, although other bodies of flesh are wont to corrupt, may not this one be preserved incorruptible? There is a certain statement in the Scriptures which seems to imply that this same body, spear-marked and nail-marked, is somewhere kept for future exhibit--as it is written, "They shall look upon him whom they have pierced."--Zech. 12:10.

The first five of the Lord's appearances apparently took place during the first eight of the forty days' presence. Thus there was a long wait in which there was no manifestation, and the apostles had abundance of time to think over and discuss the situation. As the majority of them were from Galilee, they probably did not remain in [R3377 : page 172] vicinity of Jerusalem more than two weeks after our Lord's last appearance on the eighth day, but betook themselves to their homes, wondering whether or not they would ever see the Master again, whether or not he might appear to them again on their homeward journey or in some other upper room when assembling in Galilee. Perhaps, too, they remembered the message sent to them by the women, that he would go before them into Galilee and meet them there.

A little longer waiting in the vicinity of the old haunts, visited frequently by our Lord and themselves, and the practical affairs of life began to press upon them. Simon Peter was the first to declare his intention of re-entering the fishing business, and others of the apostles, accustomed to the same craft formerly, joined him, and practically the old partnership arrangement was revived as it existed two years or so before, when Jesus called them to apostleship. This was the very condition of things which our Lord foresaw, and we believe that his tarrying forty days after his resurrection before he ascended was in great measure for the purpose of giving the very lessons which now were called forth. He knew just how discouraged they would feel; that all the hopes and prospects of the Kingdom, as they had previously viewed it, would seem vague and indistinct under the new conditions, and how his followers would not be prepared to go out in the work he intended without further instruction. He was present with them, but invisible, a spirit being, during all these weeks; he heard and noted their queries and explanations, suggestions and conclusions, and was ready to apply the proper lessons at the proper moment.

"LOVEST THOU ME MORE THAN THESE?"

The Lord permitted the partnership in the fishing business to progress and a fresh start to be made. They toiled all that night and caught nothing, and doubtless were still further discouraged, concluding that failure was attending them in temporal matters as well as in spiritual. The opportune moment had come, and Jesus--standing on the shore in another form, in a body of flesh and with clothing, though not his own flesh and not his usual clothing, but specially prepared flesh and clothing--called to the apostles inquiring if they had fish; they shouted back that they had been toiling all night and had found nothing. He suggested the casting of the net on the other side of the boat, although it must have seemed to them foolish, because it would be but a few feet away from where it had already been, and indeed the boat itself was continually turning. Nevertheless something about the stranger on the shore impressed them and they did cast their net on the other side, and immediately the net was filled with great fish. So far as Peter was concerned the lesson was learned already. He remembered a very similar experience they had had at the time the Lord called them to apostleship, and quickly he perceived that the one on shore was the Lord--in another manifestation. Without waiting for the boats, the net or the fish, Peter sprang into the water and swam ashore in his anxiety to be soon with the Lord, and in his realization that this manifestation like the others might terminate suddenly. Besides, Peter was anxious to manifest his love and faithfulness, remembering how not a great while before he had denied his Lord.

It was in connection with this manifestation that Jesus specially directed his words to Peter: "Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these?"--these boats, nets, etc. The question addressed to Peter was applicable to all, but of special weight and force to Peter as the elder and leader of all, and the one who had particularly said but a short time previously, "Though all forsake thee, yet will not I." Peter declared his love for the Lord, and was told to feed the sheep and to feed the lambs. The lesson was a timely one and never needed to be repeated. Peter and the other apostles, so far as we know, never subsequently doubted the importance of their mission as apostles, but gave their entire time and energy to the feeding of the sheep and lambs. The miracle witnessed convinced them of the Lord's power either to bless or hinder them in temporal matters, and that equally he will provide for their every interest as his apostles and representatives. The lesson was given at exactly the right moment. Had it been given earlier in their experience it doubtless would have had much less weight: it was the part of wisdom to permit them to become perplexed and to decide on the fishing business, and then on the very first day of their experience to give them this forceful lesson. It was a lesson respecting the resurrection of our Lord and also demonstrated the fact of his change, that he was no longer the man Christ Jesus, no longer subject to human conditions. Again he vanished out of their sight, but made an appointment for the meeting of all at a certain place.

This meeting by appointment was doubtless the one mentioned by the Apostle Paul--the one in which about five hundred brethren witnessed a materialization and manifestation of the Lord. We know not the full tenor of the various lessons taught, but incline to think that the lessons were more of the practical kind than in words--that these manifestations were for the purpose of convincing them of the Lord's resurrection and of his change from earthly to spiritual conditions.

HE THAT DESCENDED IS THE SAME THAT ASCENDED.

The next appearance probably was the one on the Mount of Olives at the time of our Lord's ascension. Apparently all of the apostles and perhaps others returned to Jerusalem and to the Mount of Olives, their instruction being to tarry at Jerusalem until they should be endued with power from on high. It was while they were present with him receiving final instructions that he was parted from them; the form that they beheld gradually receding into the clouds was received out of their sight. In this arrangement the Lord did the best thing possible to be done for those who had not yet been begotten of the [R3377 : page 173] Spirit and who, therefore, could not understand spiritual things. He represented in the flesh the things which really transpired in the spirit. Then the apostles could understand after they had been begotten of the Spirit, and it is from the standpoint of the begetting and not from the standpoint of the natural man that their records come down to us.

The essence of this lesson is as expressed in our Golden Text, "Now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept." Others have been awakened from the sleep of death temporarily merely to relapse into it again subsequently, but our Lord Jesus was the first "born from the dead," the "first-fruits of them that slept"--as the Apostle declares, "He was the first that should rise from the dead." His resurrection was the life resurrection--to perfection on the spirit plane. In that he was the first-fruits of them that slept, the implication is that the others slept similarly and are to come forth in the resurrection as spirit beings after the same manner. To be the first-fruits implies that the others will be of the same kind, for although our Lord was the first-fruits of all that slept in the sense that his resurrection preceded all other resurrections, in another sense he is the first-fruits of the Church, which is his body. It is in a still larger sense that the Christ, Head and body, is the first-fruits brought up to life of the whole world; as the Apostle James expresses the matter, "Of his own will begat he us with the Word of Truth, that we should be a kind of first-fruits of his creatures."--Jas. 1:18.

Thus we see a first-fruits in two senses of the word: as, for instance, we see that strawberries are the first-fruits in the largest sense of the word in that they come before other fruits in the spring--so the expression that the Church is the first-fruits unto God of his creatures does not imply that all will have the same nature. Then again we may speak of the first ripe strawberries as the first-fruits of the strawberries. It was in this latter sense that our Lord Jesus was the first-fruits of the Church; and since the Church is the first-fruits of the whole creation, it follows that Christ keeps this place of primacy, not only in the Church, but in respect to all who will ever be raised up fully out of death into the fulness and perfection of life.



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"WHAT OF THE NIGHT?"
"Watchman! watchman! what of the night?"
"Shadows and darkness encircle me quite;
Earth is enshrouded in midnight gloom,
Black as the pall that envelopes the tomb;
Watchers are few, and mockers are bold--
The heavens are starless--the night-air is cold.
I am weary; O would that this night were gone."
I will watch for the day till the morning dawn."

"Watchman! watchman! what of the night?"
"In the east appeareth a glimmering light;
Faint it gleams--but 'tis rising now,
And streaming afar--'tis the morning's brow.
Shadows are passing--the Day Star is out,
The glory is flashing and leaping about,
And the golden tints that are poured o'er the earth
Foretell of the bursting morning's birth."

"Watchman! watchman! what of the night?"
"Day rushes onward all cloudless and bright.
And warmth, and light, and beauty are driven
To the farthest bond of the far-off heaven.
Flashing flames from the throne of God
Are bathing the world in a golden flood.
Seraph and cherub are crowding it on,
And the pure in their rapture are skyward gone."

"Watchman! watchman! what of the night?"
"Bursts on my vision a ravishing sight:
The Lord is in sight with his shining ones,
And the splendors of twice ten thousand suns.
He has come! Lo, the night-watch of sorrow is o'er,
And the mantle of midnight shall shroud me no more.
Pilgrim and stranger, haste to thy home,
For the morning, the beautiful morning, has come!"
--D. T. Taylor.



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THE LIFE OF CHRIST IN REVIEW.
--JUNE 29.--

Golden Text: "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name."--Phil. 2:9.

THIS lesson is appointed, in the International Series, as a review of the Bible studies for the preceding six months--all of which have related to our Lord Jesus' birth, life and experiences from boyhood to his resurrection. We trust that our readers have followed the studies connectedly, and we can only wish that they have received as much benefit as we from this course of studies. We will not again go into details, but will suggest that it may be profitable for each reader to review this series of lessons, and to seek to have and to hold well in mind the main thoughts therein developed.

Our Golden Text is a very precious one. It assures us that our dear Redeemer, whose faithfulness to the Father's will and whose sympathy for the dying race, led him to endure the cross, despising the shame, was not permitted of the Lord to suffer a permanent loss through his generosity and obedience. If there were no other text of Scripture pertinent to the subject in the Bible, this one alone would be convincing to us that our Lord Jesus is no longer a man. Man, we are to remember, was created very good, an image of God--but an image on a lower plane than angels, and on a very much lower plane, therefore, than our dear Redeemer before he humbled himself to take the human nature. "What is man that thou art mindful of him?...Thou madest him a little lower than the angels, thou crownedst him with glory and [R3378 : page 174] honor"--in his Edenic perfection. Our Lord as a perfect man would be grand and far above men, but as a perfect angel he would be a still grander being, still farther above man. Hence, if our Lord were a mighty angel now, it would still mean that he had suffered a great loss as a result of his atonement work for man; and if he were a perfect man, it would mean still greater loss on our behalf. But this was not necessary, not purposed, and is not the fact. He left the glory, humbled himself, came down and accomplished the work necessary, paid the price--a man's life for a man's life--and our Golden Text gives the result: "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name."

Another Scripture, speaking of our Lord's present exaltation, declares that he is exalted "far above angels, principalities and powers, and every name that is named." (Eph. 1:21.) We believe these Scriptures, and in harmony with them we believe that God's character for justice and benevolence is demonstrated by this high exaltation of him who was faithful unto death as the man Christ Jesus. He is now a partaker of the divine nature, a spirit being of the very highest order--of the same order with the Father himself. This thought of our dear Redeemer not losing eventually by the great sacrifices he endured for us must be gratifying to all who are truly his and who love him. But, additionally, we have another source of satisfaction in thinking of our Master's glorification, and that is that the promise is to us who are faithful to him, that we may yet share his nature, share his glory, share his name, share his exaltation, share his divine nature. O, wonderful wisdom and grace and goodness of our God! We call upon our souls with every power within us to praise and laud and magnify his great and holy name, honored before his people through his great and wonderful plan, revealed to his people through his wonderful Word!



[R3379 : page 174]

CHEERING WORDS FROM AUSTRALIA.

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--

You will be pleased to know that the work of this Branch is opening up; not rapidly, as yet, but we are hoping the velocity will soon be considerably increased. Some of the dear friends here are exercised concerning their opportunities in the Colporteur service, and are going ahead to make the effort. May the Lord's grace be with them! But the field here is very great, and there is plenty of room for many more laborers in it; besides, the time is short. We shall be most happy, therefore, if those in America who contemplate coming out will do so without delay.

Herewith are extracts from interesting letters lately received at this office, also further TOWER subscriptions, among which are some new names.

With much Christian love to you and the Allegheny co-workers, and asking an interest in your prayers on behalf of this corner of the field, I am,

Yours faithfully in Christ,
E. C. HENNINGES,
Manager Australian Branch.


DEAR BROTHER:--

Your letter duly to hand. We were very pleased to hear from you, and can imagine how thankful you are to be comfortably settled. I wish I could run down to see you and help in the grand but difficult task you have undertaken. We have just returned from a holiday in the country. Spent a good time with Brother L., a TOWER subscriber, who, I am sorry to say, is having a hard time of it. He has been a great worker in the Methodist Church (local preacher, etc., etc.), and, of course, a "good fellow," as we say; but having given this all up, it is different now. Still, we expect this, and rejoice with all those who walk the narrow way.

I shall soon be wanting a fresh supply of DAWNS, so let me know when you receive your big consignment. This looks like business, and no doubt it is the right thing to do; there is nothing like having plenty of faith. It is wonderful the amount of matter Bro. Russell and his staff are sending out; God bless them! We are anxious to get No. 6 DAWN, feeling sure there is a treat for us, though I still read the others with the same interest.

Hoping you will soon get a company of sincere lovers of the Truth around you, and that the work of the WATCH TOWER office will make great progress in all the colonies, and that God will bless you with his presence and guidance, I remain,

Yours in Christian love, in which my wife joins,
__________., New South Wales.


DEAR BROTHER:--

Many thanks for your kind letters and enclosures. My husband and I will make an attempt, with the help of the Lord, for a few weeks, to secure orders for MILLENNIAL DAWN. We pray we may succeed. Hitherto we have given away, instead of selling, but we shall try your plan, and hope to send you cheerful news. Enclosed is P.O.O. for three subscriptions and an order for cloth-bound DAWNS. We trust, dear Brother, we may be able still further to help on so good a work and so glorious a gospel. We are grateful to be vessels for use in His service.

Yours faithfully in Christ.
__________., New South Wales.


DEAR SIRS:--

I received the parcels of DAWNS, Bible, etc., and thank you very much for them. I have been reading them, and there is not the least doubt about their being correct. I have not the time for continual study, but intend acquiring all the Bible knowledge I can; it is better to get it late than never. I am only sorry I did not get these works before; they are clearing up all my doubts on Christianity as clergymen could never do.

I have handed some of the tracts to friends, and two or three of them are very much interested. I think it will not be long before they withdraw from Babylon. One of them wants the DAWNS in cloth, and a Bible the same as you sent me, and I wish to ask whether you will send him the same for the same money, or whether mine was sent for the same price because it was all I remitted? You see, the Bible is such a splendid one that I am almost afraid to tell him the amount it cost, [R3379 : page 175] for fear when he sends he will have to pay more. [The brother's fears are not surprising, for Bibles are very expensive everywhere in Australia, except at our Depot. For example, we have the Holman No. 8836 with patent thumb index, for 10s.10d.; in the Sunday School Union Depot in Melbourne the same Bible is priced 21s.6d.--E.C.H.]

I intend doing my best to spread the Truth around here, though do not expect to make much headway, as most people are bound to their various creeds, and are "full." However, what time I have to spare I intend to use studying the glorious Truths, and helping others to the same knowledge. I remain,

A co-worker for Christ,
__________., New South Wales.


DEAR FRIEND:--

Yours of 10th inst. duly to hand. My time has been so much taken up since receiving your first communication, about a month ago, that I have not had sufficient at my disposal to give your letter that consideration it deserves, and to answer it as promptly as I otherwise would.

Business pressure upon me is very great, and absorbs most of my time, but you can rely upon me to do all I can for the sale of MILLENNIAL DAWN as time will allow. Have received orders today for six volumes, which please send. Enclosed is remittance.

Yours faithfully,
__________., South Australia.


DEAR BROTHER:--

I received your kind letter of the 10th, intimating that a Branch of the Society had been opened in Melbourne. Was glad to hear of it, and trust it will prove of great service to the dear brethren throughout Australia. I, for one, have felt considerable drawbacks at having to wait three months for an answer from America.

For several years I have been trying to help Christian brethren by lending them volumes of MILLENNIAL DAWN, but have as yet met with no hearty response from any one (one dear brother excepted), the majority of those I have tried to reach being very indifferent, and a few quite hostile. Years before hearing of Mr. Russell's books I was deeply interested in the themes of which he so ably treats, and since reading them have continued to be so, praying and wishing from my heart that others might be led to receive their heavenly teachings, but, sad to say, without success, so far as I know, with the above exception. Still, I do not despair, nor wish to allow myself to get discouraged, remembering whose work it is, and the many precious promises he has given us in his holy Word.

I shall be glad to receive some tracts for distribution, also full information regarding the Colporteur service. I may be able to devote one or two hours daily to this kind of work, later on.

Sincerely yours in Christ Jesus,
__________., Tasmania.


DEAR BROTHER IN CHRIST:--

Tracts to hand; many thanks. I have given quite a number to those who I think will be interested, and have already received some interesting accounts from those who have gotten them. But I think it will take some time before they enter fully into the depths of the truths therein contained. My wife has become interested in reading "The Plan of the Ages." Please forward the six volumes in cloth, which I will lend to friends.

Yours in the Lord,
__________., Victoria.


DEAR BROTHER:--

I was very pleased to receive your letter, and to know that you are established. I trust that God's richest blessings may rest with you in your labors, so that it will be a permanent Branch, and that you may long be spared to labor in the Harvest work.

I have been in this colony only three years this month. I nearly entered into Present Truth prior to leaving England, while you were in charge of the British Branch, through some one giving me a WATCH TOWER in Canning Town one Sunday morning. As it was, it was left over until I arrived in W.A., and at that time there were only two or three here who knew anything about it. About a fortnight after my arrival, I happened to go to Fremantle on a Saturday night and heard some one speaking in the open air. I went up to listen, but, being hard of hearing, I hardly caught anything, though I managed to hear something about 1914. I stopped till the brother finished, and then went up to ask him where he got his 1914, and that is how I was led into Present Truth. Shortly after, I was shown a WATCH TOWER. Well, I said, I had one similar to that given me in England!...

With kindest wishes, believe me to be,
Yours in the Lord's service,
__________., Western Australia.


DEAR BROTHER:--

Yours of the 10th to hand. We were very pleased to hear from you and to know that you were getting settled in your new home. The Lord sustain you by bringing you in contact with true brethren and congenial friends!

There is little to tell you of our affairs. We have meetings twice a week for Bible study and prayer in which we always remember you. We could wish the Lord had left you with us, but we humbly submit to his will in this as in all other matters. I should be glad [R3380 : page 175] of any word of instruction or exhortation from you.

Please deliver one set of DAWNS in cloth to the address of the enclosed note, which will recommend you to my friends in Melbourne, where I hope you will find many who love the Lord and are hungering for the Truth. Give my love to all of like mind in the Lord, and let us "work, for the night is coming."

Your brother in Christ,
__________., Western Australia.


DEAR BROTHER:--

Yours came to hand in due time, and I was glad to receive news of you and your welfare. I am pleased with the choice of position for headquarters, so far as the Australian States are concerned. I should have written you sooner, but have been very much engaged of late; you both and the work under your care are not forgotten, the same being remembered by me in prayer.

Our meeting at Fremantle was very profitable to me; I was glad to be there. Though I had to make a sacrifice to do it, I was indeed glad to meet you, and sorry to leave you, but the Lord's will had to be done. I shall be pleased to hear of the progress of the work with you later. The Lord bless and prosper you as it pleaseth him, and in due time he will exalt you.

Yours in His service,
__________., Western Australia.



page 177
June 1st

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

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

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

SEMI-MONTHLY
VOL. XXV.JUNE 15, 1904.No. 12.


CONTENTS

Views from the Watch Tower179
The Outcome of the War179
Zionists Encouraged179
Church Must Do Some Fighting180
Rev. Dr. Burt on Romanism180
Denominational Union181
Immortality in the Early Church182
Some Modern Views183
The Los Angeles Convention184
Studies in the Old Testament186
Selfish Expediency Misled Them188
Interesting Questions Answered190

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

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

page 178

THIS JOURNAL AND ITS MISSION.

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

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

TO US THE SCRIPTURES CLEARLY TEACH

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




LETTERS FOR THE EDITOR SHOULD BE SENT TO ALLEGHENY, PA., U.S.A.
BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS AND REMITTANCES
--ADDRESS TO--
WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY
"BIBLE HOUSE," 610, 612, 614 ARCH ST., ALLEGHENY, PA., U.S.A.
--OR TO--
BRITISH BRANCH--24 EVERSHOLT ST., LONDON, N.W.
GERMAN BRANCH--MIRKER STR., 45, ELBERFELD.
AUSTRALIAN BRANCH--32 JOHNSTON ST., FITZROY, MELBOURNE.

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

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


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

THIS JOURNAL IS PUBLISHED IN THE
FRENCH, GERMAN, SWEDISH, DANISH AND ITALIAN LANGUAGES.
SAMPLE COPIES AND TERMS FREE.



MISSIONARY LETTER PAPER we no longer furnish. The Missionary Envelopes (25c per hundred) seem to us quite sufficient. [R3382 : page 178]

A SPECIAL WORD TO AUSTRALIAN FRIENDS


We trust that the opening of our Australian Branch office noted above will prove a great convenience to the friends of Present Truth there. We have stocked it well with DAWNS, Booklets, Tracts, Bibles, etc., for their accommodation and for cooperation with them and for the further spread of the "good tidings of great joy." Avail yourselves of these advantages: join with us in seeing to what extent ripe "wheat" may be expected in that quarter of the field. page 178

INSTEAD OF FOREIGN TRACTS, hereafter use Foreign TOWERS. Orders all the sample copies you can use judiciously, FREE.

The Pittsburg Gazette publishes one of Pastor C. T. Russell's sermons each week. See terms in our last issue.



[R3380 : page 179]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER.

THE OUTCOME OF THE WAR.


VARIOUS are the speculations on the outcome of the present war in the far East. Russia's prime minister has surprised Europe by declaring that Russia will neither accept any mediations for peace, nor be willing at the close of the war, should it end in her favor, to allow other nations to have any say in regard to the terms of peace. The journals of the world generally agree that this is an early boast, and that when the end of the war comes, even if Russia win, she will be so weakened by the struggle as to be in poor condition to resist the will of the Great Powers, all of whom are deeply concerned in the future of China and Japan.

The Japanese, pardonably intoxicated by their success over one of the greatest nations of Europe, are speculating on what they will do when the war ends favorably to them, as they expect it will. Some of their leading papers counsel moderation, but others picture Japan as the head and leader of all Mongolia --of China, Korea, etc., some even thinking of Siberia as ultimately a part of Greater Japan.

Russia includes numerous subjected peoples-- Finns, Poles, etc., all of whom have been treated with great harshness, which they have been powerless to resist. The failure of Russian ships and armies in the present war emboldens these peoples to hope that some kind of relief for them may be part of the outcome of the war,--either through open rebellion or through the change of the general government of Russia from a despotism to a more liberal government in which they would have some share. We quote from one of their journals, as follows:--

"The roar of the bombs shattering the Russian vessels at Port Arthur must resound with a double echo in the heart of every Pole. It proclaims to us not only the defeat of our foe, the executioner of our fatherland, who for a century and a quarter has been torturing so many millions of our countrymen, but it announces something else. Out there in the Far East wedges are being driven into the granite, into the apparently indestructible might of Russia. There, amid the whizz of the balls and the groans of the dying, conditions are forming by means of which all upon whom Russia has laid her heavy hand may derive advantage. The name of these sufferers is legion. There is perhaps no corner of the Russian empire in which feelings of hatred have not thus accumulated, in which there does not seethe in the hearts of the people the desire for liberation, for the final removal of the cause of so much misery and of so many wrongs....Rendered especially audacious in recent times by her diplomatic successes, convinced that her external foes would not dare attack her and that her internal foes would be subdued the more easily the more severity she displayed in oppressing them, Russia discarded all restraints. She created one enemy after another. After the workingmen and the students came the turn of the peasants. Next the Jews learned the meaning of Russian rule. After the Jews, Russia laid her iron hand upon the proverbially loyal Finns. Finally came the turn of Armenia, which only recently was turning a yearning eye to Russia, the deliverer from Turkish chains. Of the Poles there is no need to speak. With the exception of the conciliationists, there is no one who does not long to cast off the hated yoke. Any action having that object in view would certainly meet with the approval of the Poles."

In any event the war means a wakening of the nations--a preparation for the general and awful anarchy which the Scriptures forewarn us will wind up the present Gospel age and be the forerunner of the Millennial age. During the next ten years many of the great nations will become similarly weakened.

ZIONISTS ENCOURAGED.


Whatever price for Jewish liberty in Palestine might be acceptable to the Sultan of Turkey, its actual [R3380 : page 180] ruler, the matter would require the acquiescence of Great Britain and Russia, and Germany might like to be consulted. Negotiations between Dr. Herzl of the Zionists and the Sultan of Turkey were reported satisfactory some time ago, but nothing could be done without Russia's consent--Great Britain and Germany being understood to have been favorable all along.

Now, under date of May 26, press dispatches report that just as the Zionist Congress at Hamburg, Germany, was closing, the announcement was made by Dr. Klee that the Russian government had replied favorably to the request of the Zionists that it would use its influence with the Sultan of Turkey in favor of Jewish colonization of Palestine.

CHURCH MUST DO SOME FIGHTING.


At the City Ministers' Union meeting yesterday, Dr. Charles A. Eaton spoke on "The Relation between Churches and Men." He said in part:--

"Seven million young men in this country are alienated from the Christian churches, according to Dr. Cressey. To this number a vast army of older men must be added. I do not attribute this condition to the preacher; nor do I attribute it to the innate depravity of these 7,000,000 and more men.

"We can refer this alienation to a deeper cause. Biological science, for one thing, is at the root of the evil. We eliminate the supernatural revelation. We burrow ourselves in nature. Each man becomes his own god. The idealistic philosophy, as taught today, is that God and man are one. That's the plain English of Monism."

Following another detail of this line of thought, Dr. Eaton said: "I don't believe the world today could produce Jesus; I don't believe the United States could produce Jesus; I don't believe the city of Cleveland could produce Jesus; not even the Church--could it, Dr. Jackson?"

"We'd crucify him, probably, if he came among us," shouted Dr. Jackson.

"Yes," Dr. Eaton went on; "we'd find him the most inconvenient member of our Church, and the hardest to get along with. His doctrines would stagger us.

"We have failed to use our scientific heritage, but we are better off than we were ten years ago. We have had our scientific deluge. We have discovered that a man can have a thorough knowledge of science, and yet die of a broken heart. We have discovered that science is not infallible.

"We're beginning now to feel hungry for some meat and some milk, something that will sit well on the stomach. We have tried all the isms, all the new things, and now we are about ready to turn to the truth."--Cleveland Plain Dealer.


***

How strange such confessions sound to the well-nurtured children of God. While realizing that science, falsely so called, has done great harm--has destroyed the faith of many--Dr. Eaton is seemingly oblivious to the fact that his own faith is undermined. Otherwise how could he talk about our day being unable to produce a man the equal of Jesus. Evidently Dr. Eaton believes that our Lord Jesus was a mere man, a sinner, "born in sin and shapen in iniquity," even as others. Evidently he rejects the Biblical teaching that our Lord had a preexistence, and that his life was transferred, and so peculiarly born that he was "holy, harmless, separate from sinners." And yet this gentleman has accepted and avowed a creed which declares that Jesus was Jehovah. Alas, such inconsistency! Is it any wonder that the "world" is gradually seeing through such theological deceptions and double dealings? How hard theologians sometimes seem to struggle in their endeavor to be honest with themselves and their hearers. Years of systematic [R3381 : page 180] dishonesty with their own consciences has put them now at great disadvantage in any attempt they may make to grasp or to tell the Truth.

REV. DR. BURT ON ROMANISM.


A DESCRIPTIVE VIEW OF CONDITIONS IN ITALY.

The following is from the Geneva Daily Times:--

"Rev. Dr. William Burt of Rome, Italy, spoke to a large audience in the First Methodist Church last evening. So closely did he hold the attention of the people that when the fire alarm sounded only the firemen present withdrew.

"Dr. Burt gave a concise review of the history of Italy, leading up to the events of 1870, when the Romish Church lost its temporal power. He showed that the growth of education and of liberal thought, as represented by Protestantism, had resulted in the fall of the temporal power of Papacy. He gave an eloquent portrayal of the work of Garibaldi in establishing freedom and uniting the petty states of Italy into one strong kingdom.

"Mr. Burt contended that the Papacy of Italy is essentially pagan; that its influence upon personal character is pagan; that it places responsibility not upon the individual but upon the Church; that it teaches that salvation depends not upon faith in Jesus Christ but upon some external ceremony. He declared that the rank and file of the Italian priests are ignorant and helpless, so far as practical notions of life are concerned; that many of them are anxious to escape from their positions as they come into contact with the liberal ideas of Protestantism.

"There are two great classes in Italy--the poor, ignorant people, who are idolatrous and superstitious followers of the Papal Church, and the educated class, who are agnostics and infidels. The young men of Italy, he said, are bitter and intense in their hatred of the Romish system. The popular estimate of the Papal hierarchy is that the names of cardinal, bishop, priest, are synonyms for deceit, hypocrisy, lust, avarice and intolerance. The press of Italy deals constantly in charges of corruption and lust against the clergy, such as would be considered too indecent for public utterance in America.

"Dr. Burt declared that the present pope is considered [R3381 : page 181] only a figurehead by the authorities at Rome; that within the Vatican there is a representative of the Associated Press, whose business it is to see to it that the world gets a favorable impression of the pope, while the Jesuitical powers that elected him are really guiding the policy of the Church. The pope turns one face to France, another to Austria, another to Italy and another to America.

"Mr. Burt closed with an earnest appeal to Americans to be more on the alert against the encroachments of Romanism in politics and their interference in our schools. He said, 'If you want to know what Romanism really is, look at Mexico, look at Spain, look at South America, look at Porto Rico! Look at them!'

"One of the most surprising statements of the speaker was, that much of the detailed description of the imposing scenes connected with the burial of Pope Leo XIII, was prepared and sent out from Rome two weeks before the pope died."

BIBLE STUDY.


Chancellor MacCracken, of the New York University, at the recent opening of that institution, complained of the gross ignorance of the Bible on the part of students. He spoke as an educationist, looking to the production of noble and effective manhood and womanhood. Ignorance of the Bible is to all a great loss; in Jews it is a disgrace. If the clubs and classes formed for the study of Browning and Shakespeare are evidences of culture, what shall be said of those who neglect the study of the Bible?

It is not inopportune to present some reasons for the study of the Bible:

  1. It is the charter of our religion.
  2. It is the storehouse of its principles.
  3. It has essentially moulded our civilization.
  4. It is an ancient classic.
  5. It is the inspired Word of God.
  6. It is the history of our people.
  7. Its language is worthy of study.
  8. Its characters are striking and original.
  9. Its principles are exemplary and most powerful.
  10. It is an ethical force.
  11. It unveils an ancient civilization to the world.
  12. Its fundamental ideals are yet far from realized and its declarations unexhausted mines, yielding ever fresh treasures.
  13. Its facts and principles and characters pervade all literature, which is unintelligible to those ignorant of its contents. ("The Bible in Shakespeare," "The Bible in Browning," are two recent books.)
  14. It is the battle-ground of a great science.
  15. It is the basis of three great religions.
  16. It is culture-building.
  17. Ignorance of it is gross stupidity.
  18. Knowledge of it is presupposed in every educated man and woman.
  19. It enables men to reach and move the heart of all.
  20. It is faith-giving.
  21. A great comfort in time of sorrow.
  22. An ever-present help in temptation.
  23. A great stimulus to noble living.
  24. Its view encompasses heaven and earth, opens a path in this life to walk in, and a hope for the future.
--Jewish Exponent.

REFORMED PRESBYTERIANS DECRY THE SPECTACULAR.


Holding fast to the "faith of the fathers," a movement has been inaugurated by the Philadelphia Presbytery of the Reformed Presbyterian Church for concerted interdenominational action to "correct abuses in the forms of worship" among Protestant churches. The first steps in the movement were taken this week at a meeting of the Presbytery, and arrangements are under way for a joint meeting of representatives of several denominations in the near future.

The resolutions, among other declarations, state as follows:--

"Churches in general, in the present day, have departed far from the apostolic system and method of divine worship.

"The existing tendency is to lower and degrade the holy and solemn service of God's house to a sensuous and spectacular entertainment.

"The preaching of the Word of God has been quite generally reduced to soul-starving brevity.

"The churches, by will-worship, are endangering their religious inheritance won in the great Reformation at the cost of much precious blood.

"Let all bear testimony against the presumption of men who attempt to improve upon God's own plan and system of divine service. The law of God relating to the matter and manner of worship, as revealed in his Word is, in our judgment, a foundation stone of primal importance in a basis of union for all the churches of Christian faith."

WANT TO CLASP HANDS.


At the closing session of the recent Baltimore (Md.) conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church the following resolutions pertaining to the unification of the Methodist Episcopal and Methodist Protestant churches of the country were adopted:--

"Whereas, Providence evidently plans the union of Methodism, and negotiations are now progressing between the Methodist Protestant and other communions; therefore be it

"Resolved, That the Baltimore annual conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church invite the Maryland annual conference of the Methodist Protestant Church to join with us in requesting their delegations to their respective general conferences to memorialize to appoint commissioners to confer upon the terms of union."

PRESBYTERIANS FAVOR UNION.


Buffalo, N.Y., May 27.--The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States, by an overwhelming vote, today adopted the report of the committee on union with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. The resolutions adopted included not only favorable action on the report but recommends certain other steps to be taken to secure the union of the churches and to make plain the position of the Church.

The question of proposed basis of union will now [R3381 : page 182] go to the presbyteries of the General Assembly. If it be approved by two-thirds of them, the necessary steps will be taken at the next General Assembly to effect the union. The announcement of the result was received with great cheering.

METHODISTS FAVOR UNION.


Washington, May 27.--The Methodist Protestant Conference today completely cleared the way for union between itself and every one of the four denominations with which negotiations are pending, by the adoption of a supplemental report from its committee on union.

The report provides: First, that the annual conferences of the denomination should vote on the proposition of union with the Primitive Methodist denomination. Should a two-thirds vote for union be recorded--the same action being taken by the Primitive Methodists--the union will have been consummated. Second, the memorial from the Baltimore Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church was received "in a most heartily reciprocating spirit."



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IMMORTALITY IN THE EARLY CHURCH.

IT is not our practice to quote the "early fathers" on any subject, but all the more some of our readers may be interested in what Rev. J. Agar Beet, D.D., Professor in a Methodist college in England, has found on Immortality. We quote liberally, as follows:--

"In chapter 1 we saw that Plato taught that the soul of man is immortal, i.e., that for good or ill, immortality is its inalienable attribute; in contrast, as we saw in chapter 2, to Christ and his apostles, who taught that incorruptibility--i.e., a state without decay --and eternal life are the reward awaiting the righteous, whereas destruction awaits the wicked. We shall now consider what the early Christian writers, living in an intellectual environment greatly influenced by the teaching of Plato, said about the immortality of the soul and about the eternal life promised by Christ to the righteous.

"The earliest Christian writers reproduce the thought, and in large measure the language, of the New Testament, and say nothing about, or reject, the immortality of the soul. Clement of Rome, in his epistle to the Corinthians, chapter 35, speaks of 'life in immortality' as a gift of God to the righteous. So Ignatius to Polycarp, chapter 2: 'Be sober, as God's athlete; the prize is incorruptibility and life eternal.' He writes to the Magnesians, chapter 20, about 'the medicine of immortality, an antidote so as not to die, but to live eternally in Jesus Christ always.'...

"Theophilus to Autolycus, book ii. 27, writes: 'But some will say to us, Was man by nature mortal? Certainly not. Was he then immortal? Neither do we affirm this. But one will say, Was he then nothing? Not even this hits the mark. He was by nature neither mortal nor immortal. For, if he had made him immortal from the beginning, he would have made him God. Again, if he had made him mortal, God would seem to be the cause of his death. Neither then immortal nor yet mortal did he make him, but, as we have said above, capable of both; so that if he should incline to the things of immortality, keeping the commandment of God, he should receive as reward from him immortality, and should become God; but if, on the other hand, he should turn to the things of death, disobeying God, he should himself be the cause of death to himself. For God made man free, with power over himself. That, then, which man brought upon himself through carelessness and disobedience, this now God bestows upon him as a gift, through his own kindness and pity when men obey him. For as man, disobeying, drew death upon himself, so, obeying the will of God, he who desires is able to gain for himself life eternal. For God has given us a law and holy commandments; and every one who keeps these can be saved, and, obtaining the resurrection, can inherit incorruptibility.'

"Somewhat later Irenaeus writes, in book ii, 34, 3, that 'the Father of all imparts continuance forever and ever on those who are saved. For life does not arise from us nor from our own nature, but is bestowed according to the grace of God. And therefore he who shall preserve the life bestowed upon him and give thanks to him that imparted it, shall receive also length of days forever and ever. But he who shall reject it and prove himself ungrateful to his Maker, inasmuch as he has been created and has not recognized him who bestowed the gift upon him, deprives himself of the privilege of continuance forever and ever. And for this reason the Lord declared to those who showed themselves ungrateful to him, If ye have not been faithful in that which is little, who shall give you that which is great? indicating that those who, in this brief temporal life, have shown themselves ungrateful to him who bestowed it, shall justly not receive from him length of days forever and ever.'

"On the other hand, in book v.4.I (cf. ch.7.I), Irenaeus speaks of the soul as one of the things 'which are by nature immortal, and to which it belongs by their own nature to live.' This apparent contradiction reveals the influence of two contradictory lines of thought.

"At the close of the second century Clement of Alexandria writes: 'Let us observe God's commandments and follow his counsels: they are the short and direct way that leads to eternity,' i.e., to eternal existence; and again, 'When baptized, we become enlightened; enlightened, we become sons; as sons we become perfect and immortal.' See Paed. I.3,6.

"Up to this time, so far as I know, except the passing references in Irenaeus just quoted, and two writers now to be mentioned, no Christian writer speaks of the soul of man as immortal, or as continuing in endless existence, or of immortality as other than a reward of righteousness.

"In the middle of the second century Tatian writes, in his 'Address to the Greeks,' ch. 13: 'The soul is not in itself immortal, O Greeks, but mortal. Yet it is possible for it not to die. If indeed it knows not [R3382 : page 183] the truth, it dies and is dissolved with the body, but rises again at last at the end of the world with the body, receiving death by punishment in immortality.' About the demons he says in chapter 14: 'That which is now their chief distinction, that they do not die like men, they will retain when about to suffer punishment: they will not partake of everlasting life so as to receive this, instead of death, in a blessed immortality. And as we, to whom it now easily happens to die, afterwards receive the immortal with enjoyment, or the painful with immortality, so the demons who abuse the present life to purposes of wrong doing, dying continually even while they live, will have hereafter the same immortality, like that which they had during the life they lived, but in its nature like that of men, who actually performed what the demons ascribed to them during their lifetime.' The phrases 'punishment with immortality' and the 'painful with immortality' deviate from the phraseology of the New Testament. For there the terms immortality and its equivalents, incorruptibility and eternal life, are used only to describe a state of blessing. Thus Tatian approaches the language of Plato, with whose writings he was familiar...."

After referring to Athenagoras, a philosopher of Athens who accepted Christianity, to Tertullian and to Origen as advocates of the Platonic teaching concerning the immortality of the soul, Dr. Beet says:--

"To sum up: The phrase, the soul immortal, so frequent and conspicuous in the writings of Plato, we have not found in pre-Christian literature outside the influence of Greek philosophy; nor have we found it in Christian literature until the latter part of the second century. We have noticed that all the earliest Christian writers who use this phrase were familiar with the teaching of Plato; that one of these, Tertullian, expressly refers both phrase and doctrine to him; and that the early Christian writers never support this doctrine by appeals to the Bible, but only by arguments similar to those of Plato. We have learnt that by this phrase Plato and the earliest Christian writers who use it asserted the endless and essential permanence of all human souls, and appealed to this doctrine in proof of retribution beyond the grave. But we have failed to find any trace of this doctrine in the Bible. On the other hand, Christ and his apostles teach clearly and frequently retribution beyond death, and eternal life with God for all who put faith in Christ. The hope of immortality, however, rests in the New Testament, not on the nature of the soul, but on the 'promise of life in Christ Jesus.'

"The doctrine of the immortality of the soul differs further from the immortality promised in the New Testament in that this last is not for the body only, as Plato taught, but for the whole man, body and soul.

"Doubtless the doctrine before us was welcome in the early Church, as in a still earlier day to some devout Jews, because of the support it renders to the all-important doctrine of retribution beyond the grave. But, as we have seen, it is altogether alien, both in phrase and thought, to the teaching of Christ and his apostles."

EPISCOPALIAN TESTIMONY.


It is sometimes argued that the immortality of the soul is a truth so generally accepted that any direct statement of it in Holy Scripture was unnecessary; and a parallel to this silence is thought to have been found in the fact that none of the sacred writers have felt obliged explicitly to state the proposition. There is a God.

But notice the wide difference between these two cases. The existence of a God, even if it be not distinctly asserted, is yet on almost every page of Scripture as plainly implied as it possibly can be. Everywhere the Almighty confronts us. Take his name and presence out of the Bible and the book shrivels into nothingness in a moment. Can any such thing be said of the doctrine of the natural immortality of the soul? Where is it taken for granted? In what single sentence is it necessarily implied?--W. R. Huntington, D.D. Sermon, "The Hypothesis of Conditional Immortality."

[R3383 : page 183]

NEW VIEWS OF THE AUTHOR OF "IN HIS STEPS."


I have come to believe myself in the probable annihilation of those who never respond to God's offer of forgiveness, those who never believe in Christ and take him as their Savior. It seems probable that the Bible teaches that the word "death," as applied to the soul that always refuses to repent, is a death that means total extinction. I cannot interpret the use of such a text as we have today, to mean anything less than that "the wages of sin is death." What do these words mean, if not plainly what they say?--the extinction of life, the utter going out of the flame that was meant to ascend higher and brighter and purer on the alter of man's worship of his Creator and Redeemer.--Chas. M. Sheldon, in Sermon reported in "The Christian Herald."

HENRY WARD BEECHER'S VIEWS.


He that lives to the flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption--shall. It is sure to come. What shall it be? Future torment? No, I do not mean that; I mean that he that cultivates his lower nature, mere animal nature, with the animal perishes....It is to my mind a relief that if a man never rises any higher than the animal life, the universe will never see a God enthroned that looks down upon the infinite and prolonged torments of an unconceived number of men shut up simply for the purpose of suffering. If there be anything more infidel than that I do not know what it is, or anything which more effectually blots out the possibility of respecting and loving any God than this--continuing to create men with some foresight of their perpetual suffering.--From Sermon on Gal. 6:7-9.

FROM DR. LEONARD BACON.


"Let it be fairly understood, on all hands, that the doctrine of future existence as conditional upon the act of God, is not incompatible with any of the theories of the future life current in modern Christendom --with Universalism, Restorationism, with the opinions called orthodox, or even with the wretched [R3383 : page 184] despair of those who know no life to come at all. The one thesis to which, if I were a disputant on the subject, I should try to stick and to compel all my diverse antagonists to stick, until it was decided one way or the other, is this: That whatever future existence men shall have after death, be it blissful or miserable, be it unending or transient, be it the lot of all souls or only of a part, they will have it as being conferred by the act of God who raises from the dead, and not by the soul's intrinsic tenacity of life."



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THE LOS ANGELES CONVENTION.

OUR greeting on arrival at Los Angeles depot was most cordial. Probably thirty of the dear friends awaited us, though the train was many hours late and it was Saturday night--May 7th. Words are not adequate to describe our mutual joys as we realized that our long-looked-for pleasure of meeting was at last fulfilled. It made us think of the waited-for "General Assembly of the Church of the First-born" in the Kingdom glory. Indeed it was in many respects a foretaste of it. We were made glad when we learned that the opening sessions of the Convention had been joyous and profitable, and by midnight we were safely abed at the home of our dear Brother and Sister Sherman, with a "Rest" motto at the head of the bed and others on the walls, and all wrapped in the perfume of roses. We gave hearty thanks to the Lord for his care and bounty and slept refreshingly after our tedious two-days' journey through the desert.

Sunday was the principal day of the Convention. Its morning hours were for all--a Testimony and Praise Meeting. It was good to be there. Many of the testimonies were remarkable as tributes of praise and thanksgiving to the Heavenly Father for the "meat in due season" received in various ways, often peculiar and unexpected. After this session we were privileged to shake the hands of the dear friends of the Los Angeles Church and about as many more-- visitors from abroad, far and near--the total being about 250. The writer greatly enjoyed this, and the words and tones and looks and hearty hand-grasps assured us that many had their cups of joy full to the brim.

The afternoon discourse was specially for the public, from a platform covered with flowers--surely a thousand of them--on the topic, "Salvation--from what are we saved and to what are we saved?" We had a house full, estimated 750, who gave very careful attention. A full report of the discourse appeared in the Gazette, which so many of our readers now receive regularly.

The Sunday evening meeting was designed to have been a Question Meeting, but as we decided to remain over an extra day we spoke on "Cast not away therefore your confidence."

The sessions of Monday forenoon from 10 to 12 o'clock were occupied by Pilgrims Draper and Van Amburgh, who spoke ably to attentive listeners. Monday afternoon the discourse was on "Baptism and its import." This was followed by the symbolic burial in water of twenty-two, who witnessed a good confession of their faith, devotion and obedience.

The evening service was, as per our program, a "Love Feast." After a few remarks explanatory-- showing that there is no relationship between such "breaking of bread" and the Memorial Supper--we made brief reference to the blessings which by the Lord's providence the Convention had brought to us all, and exhortations that we each strive diligently to make our calling and election sure so as to be participants in the joys of the great Convention in glory-- "the General Assembly of the Church of the Firstborn, whose names are written in heaven." Then with the Elder of the local Church, Brother Sherman, and Pilgrim Draper at one end and Pilgrim Van Amburgh and the writer at the other end, and intermediately elders of other churches and colporteurs (about 25 in all), we bade good-bye to the dear brethren and sisters, greeting each with a hearty hand-shake. The first-named four each had on a plate a loaf of bread cut into strips, that the passing friends might break bread with each as representatives of all present, and indirectly, in the writer's loaf, with all absent members of the Society--who also were remembered in our prayers. Thus the Convention proper closed.

However, further pleasures and privileges were open to those who could and did remain over. Tuesday morning we had a most interesting gathering of colporteurs and those meditating engaging in that fruitful and blessed service. In the afternoon we addressed many of the Convention friends and others in a suburban village in a Presbyterian Church on the occasion of the funeral of a dear sister who for weeks had been hoping to see us in the flesh, and whose death occurred just in season to gratify another wish of her heart,--that her neighbors should hear from our lips respecting the hopes built upon God's Word, common to us both.

In the evening we met in the W.C.T.U. rooms and had the postponed Question Meeting, about 150 being present. Some very interesting queries were propounded and answered. Then final greetings and partings and hopes for the future, when we shall be forever with the Lord and all who are his. A goodly [R3383 : page 185] company, however, was on hand at the depot as we left next day for San Francisco.

SAN FRANCISCO, PORTLAND, SEATTLE, ST. PAUL
AND MILWAUKEE ONE-DAY
CONVENTIONS.


Each of these precious gatherings had its own special and peculiar features of interest; but we must not detail them all lest we weary you, for however distinctive they each were to us and to those met at the different points, the accounts must needs be in similar language.

At San Francisco dear brethren awaited us at the depot and saw to our comfort and refreshment. Two meetings were held, dear friends being present from various quarters and introducing themselves--Brother A-----from B-----ville, Sister C-----from D-----ville, etc. Some said they had come 60 miles, some 100, some more and some less. And their radiant faces and hearty grasp told the same story as their lips: that the occasion was one of the grandest experiences of their lives--long to be remembered as an encouragement in the "narrow way." May it be so: we all need each other's help, sympathy and prayers. Attendance about 150.

Saturday night (May 14) we reached Portland, Oregon, and were greeted at the depot by about twenty of the dear friends most enthusiastically, and you may be sure we reciprocated the joy. We were most comfortably entertained at the home of "Grandmother" Baker and the Sunday convention began and ended most enjoyably.

The morning session was devoted to general testimony, interspersed with praise and prayer. It was good to be there--to hear the thanksgiving of many overflowing hearts acknowledging God's goodness in "so great salvation," and for the knowledge of his grace coming to us now as "Present Truth." About 125 were present.

The afternoon session for the public was on "The Oath-bound Covenant." About 300 attended, some of whom were obliged to stand throughout. Our hope is that some good was done--some glory brought to our God and Savior, and some blessing and refreshment to his hungry flock. The evening discourse on "A night of weeping and a morning of joy" appeared in the Pittsburgh Gazette of the following day and thus [R3384 : page 185] many of you already have it in full. After this service we took the train for our next appointment at

Seattle, Washington, which we reached next morning, Monday, May 16. A group of seven brethren awaited our arrival at the depot, giving us a most cordial welcome and greeting. An afternoon and an evening session were held, and from the latter quite a group accompanied us to the 10.30 East-bound Express, on the N. Pac. R.R. Their earnest expressions of good wishes, requests for our prayers and hopes for our return will long be remembered.

Spokane, Wash., we reached on Tuesday (May 17). We deeply regret our inability to spend a few hours with the loyal little band of "fellow-soldiers of the cross" at this place. But as the train stopped here for five minutes we had opportunity for greetings and found seventeen of the dear friends awaiting our arrival at the depot. The love and enthusiasm and zeal manifested everywhere by those who know and love Present Truth is very encouraging indeed. With the Apostle we thanked God and took courage, accepting a bouquet of flowers as a love token. Most of the dear friends here were no longer young, but all had the bright, joyous look so general among the "Truth people."

Constant riding day and night brought us on Thursday to the dear ones at St. Paul and Minneapolis, whom we had met before, but who were none the less beloved on that account. True love, begotten of the Spirit through the word of grace never grows cold but goes on increasing.

We were met at the train by Brothers Thori and Dickinson, who conducted us to the meeting place, where the friends were already assembled. We had time for personal greetings before the advertised meeting hour and enjoyed the privilege greatly. Some of the dear friends had come considerable distances, and fully one-half we had never met before. They had the family likeness, namely earnestness and fulness of the Truth, and beaming faces. The afternoon discourse was chiefly for the interested, and in the evening, to which the public was invited, the topic was "The Oath-bound Covenant." At the close of the meeting we bade all adieu, being accompanied to our train by nine of the friends.

Milwaukee, Wis., was reached the next forenoon, and there we were cordially welcomed and entertained by Bro. Page and his family. Our time permitted of but one meeting here; it was not publicly advertised, but afforded a most enjoyable opportunity for meeting eighty dear friends of the Truth--about half of whom had come from other points in Wisconsin and thirteen from Chicago. Our text was, "Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward." --Heb. 10:35.

We reached Chicago the same evening and had an hour and a half before train-time to spend with a surprise party of seventeen of the Chicago Church who met us in the depot and with whom we had supper near by. The love for the Truth, manifested here as everywhere, was most refreshing. How often the Lord has thus comforted us, and how such comfort [R3384 : page 186] offsets the adverse conditions incident to the present pilgrim-way! As the Apostle expresses it:--

"Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort by which we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation [comfort] also aboundeth by Christ. And whether we be afflicted it is for your consolation [comfort] and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation [comfort] and salvation."--2 Cor. 1:3-6.

We reached Allegheny safely the next morning, where two of the Bible House family met us at the depot and escorted us to the sitting room, in which were gathered the office helpers--about 30. We united our hearts and voices in praise and then in prayer, when on behalf of the whole a few words of greeting and welcome-home were expressed by one of the brethren. We responded that though greatly pleased and refreshed by recent meetings with the dear friends in various places, nevertheless none could have a warmer or a closer place in our heart than the dear fellow-laborers of the WATCH TOWER office.



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STUDIES IN THE OLD TESTAMENT.
--I KINGS 12:20--JULY 3.--

Golden Text:--"Pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall."--Prov. 16:18.

THE International Sunday School lesson course changes again to the Old Testament. Six months ago we concluded a study of Israel's experiences down to Solomon's time: today we consider the conditions which followed the death of the wise king. And, by the way, while crediting King Solomon with great wisdom, we should not ignore the fact that his life in many respects was a contradiction of his wise utterances. Under the Lord's blessing his rule brought great prosperity to the nation of Israel. Peace ruled within its borders during his lifetime, and those borders were extended so that they included adjoining nations.

The fact that discontent was rife throughout a considerable portion of Solomon's kingdom, so that it was all ready to break out in open rebellion at his death, does not necessarily prove that his subjects were badly governed --oppressed. We find today that many of the best governed and most prosperous peoples are discontented, while many of the badly governed and less prosperous are contented. Thus in our own nation the blessings and privileges of liberty are not appreciated by all. There is perhaps more complaining under the wisest and best governments in the world today than under the more despotic ones. It may have been the same in respect to Israel. Indeed it would appear to have been the same in some degree, because we find that Israel never prospered to the same extent subsequently. After their rebellion against what they considered tyranny and oppression, they seemed to be less prosperous than under that which they considered to be oppression.

Solomon's son who succeeded him in the kingdom was Rehoboam. The twelve tribes, while uniting under David and subsequently supporting Solomon, nevertheless preserved tribal liberties and called a council of all the tribes except the one to which the royal family belonged (Judah--Benjamin being a small tribe attached to Judah). This gathering of the ten tribes was in the capital city of the principal one, Ephraim, in the city of Shechem. The representatives of the ten tribes made no secret of the fact that they wished assurances from the new king that there would be an abatement of the royal demands in the nature of levies of men for public labor, of taxes, liberties, etc., and that their loyalty to him as their king was more or less in the balance. The king was invited to attend this meeting.

WHAT BETTER COULD BE EXPECTED?

The king was really a better man in some respects than might have been expected when we call to mind that his mother was a heathen woman, and that to please her Solomon had erected a sanctuary to Moloch on Mount Olivet. With such a mother and a royal father whose time was necessarily largely occupied in other ways, it would have been a wonder if Rehoboam had been more godly than he was. The older councillors advised that he yield to the demands of the tribes as gracefully as possible, but the young men expressed the thought that to yield a little would mean a pressure to yield more and would show weakness. They advised that he speak out boldly and bully his subjects into loyalty. He followed their advice and sent as his reply, "My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to it: my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions (whips with metal lumps on the strands)." The answer was a foolish one and precipitated the separation of the ten tribes from the two. That separation lasted for centuries: the only healing of it that ever took place was that, after the captivity in Babylon, so many as desired of all the tribes gathered back again into Canaan and were henceforth one little nation.

We are to view the affairs of nations and the affairs of individuals as separate and distinct, though the individuals make up the nations. Things may be working advantageously to the individuals, but disadvantageously as respects the nations, or vice versa. The Lord's people are to learn to trust him in the guidance of the great affairs of [R3384 : page 187] life--that he is overruling in the affairs of nations in the interests of his loyal servants. This was so in respect to Israel's affairs. The split in that nation must have seemed to many of the people a woful disaster, reducing them as a nation from a high place as one of the principal nations of earth to a much lower level. To some it may seem even to intimate a failure of the divine purposes--that God never wished the nation to be divided, but wished the Jewish people to become great, mighty, powerful, so that he might accomplish through them the promise that in the seed of Abraham all the families of the earth should be blessed. But those who took such a view erred. God wished the nation to be divided--he wished to humble them, to weaken them. This is distinctly stated in the lesson, as we read the cause was from the Lord, that he might establish his word [R3385 : page 187] through the prophet Ahijah. Some time before the Lord had sent a message through this prophet to Jereboam to the effect that the latter should become king of the ten tribes, and now the answer of Rehoboam paved the way to the accomplishment of that prophecy.

PROPER VIEWS OF ISRAEL'S EXPERIENCES.

As in the lessons of the next six months we shall study the history of Israel, let us view it from this standpoint. Let us not think of the matter as being wholly the result of unwisdom on the part of kings and rulers, but as being a matter entirely overruled by the Lord with a special object in view.

The object in view--indeed the entire object of the Jewish dispensation--was the purifying of Abraham's descendants, so that the Lord might find in that people the most holy, the most devoted, the most obedient, to the intent that when the time should come for the presentation of Messiah, the nation should be represented by its very best people under the most favorable conditions. This was attained. In the time of our Lord, notwithstanding the fact that many of that nation who heard him were called hypocrites and many others were professedly publicans and sinners, nevertheless the moral and religious conditions of the nation were never better. This is evidenced, we think, by the fact that, in addition to the disciples and the five hundred brethren who received our Lord during his ministry, there were several thousand ready to receive him on the day of Pentecost, and more thousands subsequently. It is doubtful if as many thousands of "Israelites indeed, in whom there was no guile," could have been found in any other period of Israel's history. The finding of them at that time was by no means accidental, but was the result of divine providences in their national experience.

The Lord sifted the nation time after time to take out of it the classes possessing less faith and to bring more closely together those possessing more faith, until the best results were eventually found, as we have shown. The experiences narrated in our lesson were the beginnings of a sifting process. The nation of Israel was more or less honeycombed with idolatry, though still the religion of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was their national faith. The Temple at Jerusalem was the center of this faith, and the tribe of Judah--through which the Lord had foretold Messiah should come, and in which, therefore, the kingly authority was vested--became on this account the most religious of all the tribes, because thus closely identified with this hope and its fulfilment, and because in their king Messiah's kingdom was typified, as in their sacrifices his sufferings were typified. Both the sufferings and the royal glories, therefore, were more vividly and specially impressed upon the people of Judah than upon those of the ten tribes, whose territory was more or less remote from the capital city, the Temple, etc.--especially in a time when there was no rapid means of communication.

During the period of the union of the tribes under David and Solomon, some of the most devoted people of all the tribes had removed to Jerusalem, partly through their religious convictions and for the privilege of prayer in the Temple, and for more frequent association in the religious festivities. With the political rupture came the tendency to cast off all faith in the promises made to the fathers to the effect that a deliverer should rise out of Zion and that this great king should be of the tribe of Judah. Patriotism on the part of the ten tribes would naturally tend to alienate them from these religious promises. They must have remembered that the Lord had said that his law-giver would not depart from Judah until Shiloh should come --until the Messiah. In harmony with this we shall find, as we progress during this series of lessons, that idolatry began to come into the ten tribes more and more after their separation from Judah, and that likewise those who respected the Lord and his promises and were dissatisfied with idolatry, were disposed to leave their own tribes and to emigrate to the land of Judah. This division of the tribes, therefore, tended to sift the Israelites indeed out of all the tribes into the land of Judah.

SIFTINGS OF SPIRITUAL ISRAEL.

Spiritual Israelites studying this lesson should take special note of this feature--should notice that the Lord overruled in all the affairs of the typical people for the welfare of the true-hearted. Applying this lesson to spiritual Israel, we learn not to feel disappointed at what to others might appear to be unfavorable turns in national or temporal affairs, realizing that the Lord is wisely directing, not according to man's wisdom but according to his own plan and in the interest of his own cause, which means also in the interests of his own people. From this standpoint the Lord's consecrated people may seem less patriotic than others, but they may continually have joy and peace in all the vicissitudes of life, knowing that all things are cooperating for good to them that love the Lord.

Verse 16 briefly tells that the ten tribes revolted from Rehoboam in a quiet and peaceful manner, advising the king that he must look to his own tribe for support. Verse 17 refers to the Israelites from all these tribes which dwelt in the cities of Judah, and who from religious or [R3385 : page 188] other considerations were not moved to join with their tribes in rebellion, but preferred affiliation with the tribe of Judah, in which God through the prophet had declared that his blessing should come, and the worship divinely instituted at the Temple, built under divine direction.

The king, uncertain to what extent the dissatisfied ones would carry their threat, sent to them Adoram, the Secretary of the Treasury, the one having charge over the assessments, etc., the same mentioned in I Kings 4:6, called Adoniram, who presided over the forced labor. He was probably commissioned to do as previously, call for levies of laborers to serve the king as troops and for general national services. The people promptly resented it, and after the manner of their time the king's messenger was stoned. At this, the king realized that the people were not only sullen but angry and determined, that a rebellion was not only threatened but accomplished, and that his own life would probably be in danger unless he got back into the boundaries of Judah. The ten tribes chose Jereboam for their king and supported a separate government. King Rehoboam, loath to lose so large a part of his empire, at first thought to compel the union by putting down the rebellion, but the Lord warned him to the contrary--this also being in accordance with what we have heretofore seen, that it was part of the divine plan that the nations should be divided, and that, as we have seen, for the greater blessing of the Israelites indeed.

THE LORD ABHORRETH THE PROUD.

Our Golden Text fits well to the king. He had evidently overlooked, as many others have done, his father's words of wisdom, "Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall." We will not claim that if the king had taken a less haughty course he would not ultimately have lost the ten tribes from his kingdom; on the contrary, we believe that would have been the result anyway. Nevertheless, the Lord has a peculiar way of causing fore-intended events to come to pass in accordance with natural laws, etc.

The force of the proverb is still greater to us who are spiritual Israelites than to any others in the world at any time, for by the grace of God we who have received the high calling have reached a position, a standing, never previously granted to any, and the higher the standing the more serious would be the fall, and the greater the blessing the more serious would be the loss by destruction. Let us, dear brethren, as those who have tasted of divine favor, as those who have been made recipients of so great blessings, let us walk humbly with the Lord; let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. Let us remember that pride leads to destruction; that a haughty spirit, a domineering, self-satisfied disposition, tends to undermine the character, and ultimately to precipitate the haughty one from his vantage position into degradation-- in some cases into death, the Second Death.



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SELFISH EXPEDIENCY MISLED THEM
--I KINGS 12:25-33.--JULY 10.--

Golden Text:--"Keep yourselves from idols."--I John 5:21.

JEROBOAM, by divine arrangement the king of the ten-tribe kingdom of Israel, trusted not in the Lord. To some extent he must have recognized that God had given him the kingdom; nevertheless he proceeded to establish himself in it, leaving the will and power of God out of his consideration. He was a worldly-wise man: expediency was the law which governed his course. He concluded that to make the separation between the ten tribes and the two tribes lasting, and thus to insure his own throne, the religious arrangements of the people must be changed. By divine order Jerusalem was the center of religious service, and all the people, individually or representatively, were expected to be at Jerusalem three [R3386 : page 188] times a year--at the feast of Passover in April, feast of Pentecost in June, and the feast of Tabernacles in October. Jeroboam feared that this recognition of Jerusalem as the center of the religious interests might ultimately lead the ten tribes to long for union with Judah; hence one of his first arrangements was to break the religious tie.

This was done by the establishment of two religious centers favorably located in the ten-tribe kingdom--one at Dan, in the most northern part, where an altar had long been maintained contrary to divine arrangement, where certain descendants of Moses had long officiated and continued to officiate under Jeroboam's arrangement. The other sacred place established was Bethel, the place where Jacob had his dream and saw the ladder with angels ascending and descending. This place on this account had always been somewhat sacred in the minds of the children of Israel. Jeroboam thus showed worldly wisdom in selecting places for the new religious movement that were already sacred to his people.

EVIL GARBS ITSELF AS ANGEL OF LIGHT.

Thus error and everything pertaining to it is always crafty, insidious. Temptations to wrong doing are rarely presented in an open, blunt manner--usually they come clothed in the garments of light and associating themselves with something sacred, claiming to be for spiritual advancement. So Jeroboam claimed that the ten tribes had long enough gone to the farther part of the country, to Jerusalem, to worship; that it was time that Israelites should recognize that their God was accessible from other quarters as well. It was time that they should feel a kind of national pride and patriotism in connection with their religion. Craftily he did not tell them his real reason, that he feared ultimately his own rejection and was merely strengthening his power over them and feathering his own nest. [R3386 : page 189]

The two bulls or calves of gold were probably made of wood overlaid with gold; as we would say, they were golden calves. One was located at each of the sacred cities appointed, and at each a house was built dedicated to the worship of God, and the golden bull installed as God's representative--as representative of him who brought Israel out of Egypt. We are not to think that Jeroboam and the people turned quickly to worship the bull as a god: they surely would have indignantly denied anything of the sort, just as today the Roman Catholics and Greek Catholics deny that they worship images, pictures, crucifixes, etc., and for the same reason. The claim is that these things represent spiritual truths and help the mind. We find to the contrary, however, that the scriptural declaration alone should be followed, and that any other course is sure to lead to idolatry; and so in this lesson it is stated that, "This thing became a sin" unto the people. It was not only a sin in that it was contrary to the divine arrangement to have any other place for a general convocation for worship except at Jerusalem, but it became a sin in that it led them gradually into idolatry. God was forgotten, and the worship attached more and more to the image.

TO RESIST EVIL IS PROFITABLE.

Not content with changing the arrangement, the king changed the priesthood also. The priests and Levites lived in various countries of Palestine, yet had certain seasons of the year at which they went to Jerusalem to take part in the services there, thus unifying the people and the religious sentiment and continually keeping it fresh. It is probable, though not so stated, that the Levites refused to join with the king, refused to cooperate in the establishment of these unauthorized religious services mixed with idolatry. If so, it was to their credit. But the king would have no difficulty in finding others willing to take the services, and quite probably to these would go the tithes of the people. This in turn would mean temporal deprivation to the Levites as a reward for their fidelity to the Lord and the Truth. As a consequence many of them removed to the kingdom of Judah. Thus, as we suggested in our last lesson, the sifting of the noblest, truest and best people from the ten tribes was gathered into the nation of Judah, and was evidently a part of the divine program for preparing that people for the reception of Messiah in due time.

Jeroboam's scheme was far-reaching. In addition to changing the place of gathering and the priesthood, he changed also the date for one of the gatherings, which, instead of being held on the seventh month, he appointed for the eighth. However, craftily he perceived that by taking the high priest's position to himself and being both priest and king he would attach to his own person more of the reverence of the people. This was the very matter which God had stipulated for the Israelites as being more favorable to their liberties, as putting less power into the hands of their rulers, as keeping their religion on a separate basis from their politics. But Jeroboam's plan evidently was to take the very step that would forward his personal ambitions. Similarly the emperors of Rome took to themselves the priestly office, in order that they might the more effectually bind the people to them and appear to be not only great military heroes, but the representatives of the gods.

LESSONS WE MAY DRAW FROM THIS.

Let us apply to our own hearts the lessons that evil is insidious, and that every parting of the ways, every leaving of the divine path, signifies a separation from righteousness to a degree we are unable to estimate at the beginning. Let us learn that the only safe course to pursue is to trust in the Lord and to be glad to have whatever his providences may mark out for us, and to refuse to have anything contrary to his will, however desirable it might be, however gratifying to human ambition. Let us learn the lesson that ambition is a dangerous thing--especially in our present imperfect condition, where our judgments are more or less warped from the fall, where our knowledge is imperfect and where Satan is sure to put light for darkness and darkness for light. Our ambitions must be curbed, yea, every thought must be brought into subjection to the will of God in Christ, if we would be on safe ground as New Creatures in Christ Jesus.

MAMMON WORSHIP IS IDOLATRY.

Let us not too quickly suppose that we are not in danger along the lines of Jeroboam's fall. Let us note carefully the Golden Text applied by the Apostle, under divine guidance, to the New Creatures of this Gospel dispensation, "Keep yourselves from idols." On every hand policy suggests the setting up of idols--that we love or respect or serve some one or some thing or some system in an improper spirit or degree, and allowing such to take the place in our hearts which properly belongs to the Lord only. Some have their chief temptation from one quarter and others from another quarter. Some are disposed to idolize husband or wife or child, and really, in their affection and interest and devotion, give these a place superior to that accorded to the Lord. Others are inclined to idolize wealth and to devote themselves to it, continually serving it, seeking it as though it were the most important thing in the world. Others are disposed to worship fame, desiring to be thought some great one either in the Church or in the world, to attain a position, a pre-eminence; they hunger and thirst more after the pre-eminence than after righteousness--they worship it, it becomes their idol; in their hearts and time and affections it takes to a considerable extent the place belonging to God, whose will and service is correspondingly neglected. Others set up selfishness pure and simple as their idol; they serve self, minister to self, comfort self, please self, etc., instead of God. In many respects this idol of self is the most horrible one of all--the meanest looking. Others, disdaining personal ambition and selfish consolations, take on in some respects a nobler thought, yet are deceived by [R3386 : page 190] the Adversary in worshiping a sect, a party, a faction. To it they will sacrifice, to it they will yield their lives, for it they would yield their reputations, and the while--like the Apostle, before his name was changed from Saul to Paul --they would verily think that they did God service. Let us, dear brethren and sisters, keep ourselves from all idols, and, as the Apostle exhorts, sanctify the Lord God in our hearts. "The Lord your God will prove you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.--Deut. 13:3."



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INTERESTING QUESTIONS ANSWERED

IN THE SAME BODY.


Question.--When our Lord appeared to the eleven apostles in the upper room and invited Thomas to thrust his hand into his side and put his finger into the nail prints, was it the same body that was buried in Joseph's tomb a few days before? If not, was it a deception practised upon Thomas?

Answer.--No: it was neither the same body nor was there a deception. Our Lord's body, buried in Joseph's tomb, was composed of flesh and bones, and could not have passed through the door into the room in which the disciples were met--"the doors being shut." To have dissolved it into gases, and to have thus brought it into the room and reorganized it there, would have been to destroy one body and to make another. Nothing of this kind was necessary, and we have some reason for supposing that the body which lay in the tomb is hidden away by the Lord as [R3387 : page 190] was the body of Moses, though for a different purpose. Possibly it is preserved incorruptible as a great object lesson for the future, that men may actually look upon him whom they have pierced, actually see the remains of him who died for them. The man Christ Jesus gave himself a sacrifice for our sins completely and forever; and that sacrifice was never taken back. To have taken it back would have meant the cancellation of our redemption. Instead, the heavenly Father gave to our Lord Jesus a spiritual body, glorious, honorable and immortal. Thus, as the Apostle declares, the Father exalted him far above angels, principalities and powers, and every name that is named. As we have already shown (MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. II., p. 123), there was a special reason why our Lord appeared at all to his disciples after his resurrection.

As a spirit being he would, of course, be invisible to them, and a miracle was performed every time they saw him;--he appeared to them at different times, in different places and in different bodies, forms and appearances. As the writers declare, he "showed" himself. At any other time than when he thus showed himself he was hidden from human sight, as are other spirit beings. One of these manifestations was to the disciples in the upper room. Thomas, not being present, was informed, and inquired of the others whether or not they had noticed the nail prints or seen the wounded side. Apparently they had not, and Thomas declared his incredulity, saying that they might believe if they chose that Jesus was risen from the dead, but he would not believe unless he saw the nail-prints and the spear-mark.

When our Lord appeared in the upper room, the doors being shut, and Thomas present, the body in which he appeared must have been created or materialized inside the room; and when he subsequently vanished out of their sight it was merely a dissolution of the body. Not only so, but the clothing must also have been created or materialized in that room. Our contention with spiritualists is not that there is absolutely no foundation to their claim of materialization, for we believe that their seances are not all fraudulent; but our contention is that the materializations which they show are deceptions, in that they appear like deceased friends while in reality they are the fallen angels, the "demons" of the Scriptures. The Scriptures show clearly that the dead could not thus materialize, for they know not anything and will not know anything until the awakening on the resurrection morn.--Eccles. 9:5.

In our Lord's case the matter was different. "He was put to death in the flesh, but revived a quickening spirit," and it was quite within his ability as well as his rights to appear in any manner he might choose for the purpose of instructing his disciples,--teaching them that he was no longer deceased, but alive; and no longer man, but a spirit being--"Now the Lord is that spirit." Before he became a man he appeared to Moses in a flame of fire, in what appeared to be a burning bush, yet there was no deception in it; and he appeared unto Abraham as a man on the way to Sodom. So after he had again became a spirit being by resurrection he appeared to Mary as the gardener, and to the two on the way to Emmaus as a traveler, and in the upper room to Thomas and others in a body similar to the one in which he had been buried.

LIFE AND EVERLASTING LIFE.


Question.--Is there any difference between life in its perfection, as Adam enjoyed it before he sinned, and everlasting life, which the Lord purposes to give eventually to the worthy of mankind, and as expressed to the sheep in Matt. 25:46, "These shall go away into everlasting life"?

Answer.--Death is the opposite, or antithesis of life. Man was created a living soul, a living creature, [R3387 : page 191] and death had no power upon him until after he sinned: then he came under its power, as the divine sentence expressed it, Dying thou shalt die. Where the dying began life in its perfection ceased. From this standpoint not a soul of humanity has life--neither perfect life nor a right to perfect life. All rights have been forfeited and death is reigning over all.

Adam before he sinned possessed everlasting life, a life which would have lasted forever had he remained obedient to God. As is well known to our readers, the word "everlasting" in our English language has a stronger meaning than any word either in the Hebrew or the Greek language: the strongest Greek or Hebrew word would properly be translated lasting. Adam had the lasting life and lost it; Jesus has redeemed for mankind that which was lost by Adam, and the Millennial age is to be the time of restoration --restitution. What men will get eventually through Christ's redemptive work and their acceptance of it and obedience to its terms will be the same lasting life which father Adam lost--human life, unimpaired either by sentence or by disease.

This Gospel age is the anti-typical Day of Atonement, in which the Church, typified by the goat, fills up or participates in the work of sacrifice with her Lord Jesus, who in the type was represented by the bullock. The entire Gospel age is devoted to the sacrificing of these--Christ Jesus, the Head, and the Church, the members of his body, who "fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ." With the close of this Gospel age the Atonement Day will be ended, and, as expressed in the type, an atonement will have been accomplished for the sins of the whole world, and forthwith the forgiveness of all sins under the original curse will be decreed for men. As the Apostle expresses the matter,--As by the offence of one [Adam], judgment [sentence] came upon all men to condemnation, even so by the righteousness of one the free gift will come upon all men to justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, "even so through the obedience of one shall the many be made righteous"--that as sin has reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

With the completion of the "better sacrifices" (Heb. 9:23) the Atonement will be complete and the sentence will be removed from mankind. Thenceforth no man will be under sentence of death for Adam's transgression, but whosoever then shall die will die for his own sins. The Life-giver, the merit of whose sacrifice accomplished all this, will be present with his associated Church, his Bride, as the great Physician, to heal and to bless and to uplift all who will to be blest.

From the moment the sentence of death shall be lifted the dying processes will cease to reign, and the living processes will begin to reign in mankind. More and more throughout the thousand years life will reign, will become ascendant in mankind, and more and more the weaknesses and imperfections resulting from the death sentence will abate, until at the close of the Millennial age life in its perfection will be attained by mankind--any unwilling to progress, by obedience to the great Prophet, having been cut off from amongst the people from time to time. (Acts 3:23.) Thus righteousness will be reigning--unto life--during the Millennial age, as sin has reigned--unto death--during the past 6,000 years, under the curse.

Thus seen, life will begin in mankind in a small way, but will be in the ascendancy: all will live, except as they shall wilfully reject the provisions of life. Thus every man will get lasting life at the hands of his Redeemer at his awakening, and the measure will increase according to his obedience until he shall have attained it in its fullest measure at the close of the Millennium, and then standing trial to see whether or not his heart is fully loyal to the Lord. If determined that he is in full loyalty his testings will be at an end, and the same life will be his in perpetuity--so long as he remains in accord with the spirit and laws of his Creator.

Thus seen, our confidence that the future life will be an everlasting one, is not based upon any immortal quality which mankind possesses, or will ever possess, but based upon the principles of the divine arrangement revealed to us in the Word, namely, that God was pleased to create and is pleased to continue everlastingly those of his creatures in harmony with himself--that there is no penalty nor suggestion of death to any intelligent creature of God, except upon condition of sin--the soul that sinneth, it shall die.

IT WAS "FINISHED" AT CALVARY.


Question.--One of the preaching brethren suggested in my hearing that our Lord's sacrifice was not finished until he ascended up on high and appeared in the presence of the Father, and that the evidence of its being finished was the sending of the holy Spirit at Pentecost. Is this the correct thought?

Answer.--No. The correct thought is that the Lord's sacrifice was completed at Calvary, where he cried, "It is finished!" Possibly you misunderstood the conversation referred to, and the speaker may have said, or probably intended to say, that satisfaction for our sins was not accomplished at the cross, but when our Lord Jesus appeared in the Father's presence and offered the merit of his sacrifice on our behalf--appropriating to believers their share in his Atonement work. That the Atonement work at Calvary was satisfactory to the Father was demonstrated by our Lord's resurrection from the dead. That he had offered the merit of the sacrifice as a covering for the sins of believers, and that it was so accepted of the Father, was witnessed by the holy Spirit at Pentecost.



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