page 273
September 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. XXVIISEPTEMBER 1No. 17
A.D., 1906--A.M., 6034


CONTENTS.

Views from the Watch Tower275
Conscience a Barrier to Peace275
The Lack Felt--Crying Aloud275
Berean Bible Study on Love277
"Thy Faith Hath Saved Thee"277
Bartimeus' Experiences Illustrative278
"Salvation Come to Thy House"280
Coming in the Name of the Lord281
Cleansing the Temple282
The Temple a Den of Thieves283
Teaching With Authority284
An Entangling Question285
"Whose Wife Shall She Be?"286

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 274

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



[R3847 : page 274]

OUR SYMBOLIC PINS


For some time the friends have been inquiring for symbolic pins, and now we are able to supply them. One represents the scene of Isa. 11:6. Sister Darlington drew the design for us and it is very fine. The other is a representation of the cross, crown and wreath which appears on the upper left corner of the TOWER cover. These are without metal rims, celluloid finish--beautiful. The latter design is in three sizes, 5/8 in., 3/4 in. and 1-1/4 in.; the former is 1-1/4 in. in diameter.

Getting these made in large quantities permits us to supply them at 25 cents per dozen--postpaid. We will assort them three of each unless you specifically mention a different preference. They are ready now. You may order at once. From their appearance you would expect them to cost each, the price we charge by the dozen.

These pins sometimes serve as texts from which the Truth may be explained to inquirers. As you get to explaining their significance you will be preaching the good tidings of great joy almost unconsciously to others. There is nothing sectarian about the pins--nothing objectionable to any true Christian.



[R3846 : page 275]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER.

CONSCIENCE A BARRIER TO PEACE


ALTHOUGH the Presbyterians and the Cumberland Presbyterians have officially united, there is some dissension. At Warrensburg, Mo., each denomination had a church edifice, and both had influential members. The union program was that the Cumberland meeting house should be used, but a majority of the Cumberland congregation (128 out of 230) objected to the union and locked the building against the Unionists and notified them that it could not be so used.

The ground of objection is that although the Presbyterians have adopted a new statement of their faith, which is unobjectionable, they still hold on to the old "Westminster Confession of Faith," which these Cumberland Presbyterians cannot conscientiously endorse. Asked what particular portion of the Confession stung their consciences into disunion, one of their leaders, W. K. Morrow, produced the Presbyterian Higher Catechism and read the following:

"God's decrees are the wise, free and holy acts of the counsel of his will, whereby, from all eternity, he hath, for his own glory, unchangeably foreordained whatsoever comes to pass in time, especially concerning angels and men.

"God by an eternal and immutable decree out of his mere love for the praise of his glorious grace, to be manifested in due time, hath elected some angels to glory, and in Christ hath chosen some men to eternal life and the means thereof; and also, according to his sovereign power and the unsearchable counsel of his own will (whereby he extendeth or withholdeth favor as he pleaseth) hath passed by and foreordained the rest to dishonor and wrath, to be for their sin inflicted, to the praise of the glory of his justice."

Mr. Morrow closed the book with a slam, held it up and said:

"I, for one, can't swallow that doctrine, and I won't have it forced down my throat. God never gave such a doctrine. It is of the devil. It would drive men to the devil instead of bringing them to God."


***

The pity is that so many Christians are not so conscientious, but willing to stultify themselves for the sake of unity. The Bible rule is, "First pure, then peaceable"; and if it were strictly followed there would be a religious earthquake which would lead to true peace and unity.

THE LACK FELT--CRYING ALOUD


While some Christian people are so busied with forwarding Federative Christian Union and in performing "many wonderful works" (Matt. 7:22) that they do not feel the loss of spiritual power in Churchianity, others more alert to the true situation are crying aloud of their distress. Thus, for instance, The Christian Work and Evangelist (New York) says:

"The great need is to make the Church mean in present conditions what Christianity meant to the world ages ago. This is the real reform needed. But, strange to say, there is no effort made in this direction. Instead, schemes of expediency are resorted to. In their last analysis institutional church efforts, young people's movement, Church federation and the endowment of churches are such schemes primarily designed to gloss over glaring weaknesses, and to stimulate flagging interests. These efforts offer nothing for improving the ethical status of organized religion or for restoring the spirit of primitive Christianity. These efforts do not make the Church mean in the new condition what the early Christian Church meant ages ago."


***

The real trouble is recognized by but few: it is the loss of the "faith once delivered to the saints." Twenty-eight years ago faith in the teachings of the Bible began to suffer from the teachings of the Evolutionists and the Higher Critics. As a result faith in the divine revelation has waned, and Christian zeal and godly living in proportion. The Bible discredited, faith [R3846 : page 276] has no proper anchorage, and as our Lord said of the Samaritans, "Ye believe ye know not what!" Thus, many well-intentioned people are in a pitiable condition so far as religious conviction is concerned.

CONGREGATIONALISTS CONFESS THE CHANGE

The following extract from The Congregationalist, put in the mildest possible form, shows how important teachings have been abandoned. Some of these are improvements in that some errors are less tenaciously held; but with the rejected and incongruous errors went truths most vital--most essential to true Christian faith and necessary as a basis for Christian conduct and zeal for divine service. Note the difference between what "our fathers believed" and what "we believe." We quote:--

"As to our belief in Christ--our fathers looked up to him as the second person in the Trinity, seated at the right hand of the throne of God the Father, after having purchased the forgiveness of our sins and the remission of sentence of eternal death by his death on the cross and his resurrection from the tomb. We see in him who is the ideal man, the Father manifested to human apprehension, the unique revelation of God to men. Through him we know God and we worship the Father in him. We do not attempt to put into exact forms of statement the relations between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, whose manifestation as God we see in Jesus Christ. To quote Professor Walker here: "Whether by virgin birth, by preexistence as the eternal Logos, by enduement at baptism, by Davidic descent, by all these lines of argument combined, or by others like his sinlessness and moral oneness with the Father, that unity is to be explained or no, the great truth to which these interpretations bear witness is the fundamental fact of Christianity--that of the incarnation. Its explication is relatively a matter of speculation; its reality is of prime importance.'

"Our fathers regarded man as created perfect in one human pair, who by wilful disobedience to a divine command corrupted and brought sentence of eternal death on the whole human race descended from them. Our fathers believed that Jesus Christ coming as God in a human form begotten through the power of the holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, by his sufferings and physical death inflicted on him by men, endured the equivalent of the punishment of sinners sentenced to eternal death, and delivered from it certain members of the race foreordained to be saved. We believe that Jesus Christ the son of God living, suffering, and dying as a man among men revealed the self-sacrificing love of God for his children, who include all mankind, and that this manifestation continued through the Spirit of God in and among men, is teaching sinners the nature of sin and the character of God, and is drawing all men unto him....

"Our fathers believed that the New Testament revealed the divine plan and pattern of Christ's Church on earth, and that it was Congregational in its organization. We believe that the Congregational order is best suited to the Christian development of the individual, to 'intelligent discipleship, mutual responsibility, direct loyalty to Christ alone, full rounded Christian manhood.' We hold, however, that whenever and wherever modifications of this order are found to be best suited to advance the Kingdom of Christ they should be adopted, and that the disciples of Christ of all denominations should work together as far as is practicable to show their unity in spirit and to bring his Kingdom to perfection....

"Our fathers believed that men could be saved only by believing on Jesus before they died. The theological controversies of the last twenty-five years have resulted at least in toleration for Christians who express a reasonable hope that those who die without knowledge of Christ may not have closed their probation in this life. The tendency thus indicated has gone so far that some Congregationalists, who believe, as all Christians do, in the final triumph of righteousness over sin, hold also that it is not an unwarranted hope that this triumph may include the final redemption from sin of all the children of God."

MINISTERIAL DISHONESTY RESPONSIBLE

We charge that this spiritual decline and loss of faith in the Bible is the result of dishonesty amongst the professed ministers of Christ. Many of them have [R3847 : page 276] for years been practicing most ignoble dishonesty-- obtaining money and honor of men under false pretenses. Professing loyalty to the Bible and to the creeds they have betrayed both. Professing to build up believers in the most holy faith, as ministers of truth, servants of God, they have systematically put poison into the children's bread which has destroyed the faith of many, and by reason of them the way of Truth has been evilly spoken against--discredited in the name of God, and backed by the education of these professed servants of God and the Church and the special confidence reposed in them as men separated from the world.

This is not too strong a charge. It is confessed from day to day, if we but learn to read between the lines, and sometimes on the lines, as in the following extract from the Homiletic Review, a prominent Christian magazine. It is discussing the case of Rev. Crapsey, D.D., an Episcopalian minister recently expelled from the pulpit of that denomination because he utterly denied every item of Christian faith--including our Lord's prehuman existence, miraculous birth, etc. The Review says:

"What Dr. Crapsey does in an extreme degree without question nine out of every ten ministers in every Church requiring creed subscription also do in some degree. The principle on which Dr. Crapsey is to be unfrocked, impartially applied by those churches requiring creed subscription, would undo and unsettle their whole ministry. Nearly all of the creeds subscribed are of ancient date. They were framed as metaphysical and logical statements, frequently to meet the heresies of the age that produced them. It would be quite generally regarded as proof of intellectual disease if a man living today should affirm his belief verbatim et literatim in the ancient symbols. Yet they are 'subscribed' by a very great number of ministers. In view of this fact it is a matter of importance to ascertain in what sense and to what extent creed subscription is binding."


***

Here it is plainly stated: Dr. Crapsey's perfidy in [R3847 : page 277] professing to believe and teach what he does not believe and teach is excusable in the eyes of the "nine out of every ten ministers in every Church requiring creed subscription also do in some degree." It is because such falsification has become so common amongst professed servants of the Truth that some men of conscience feel justified in doing the same. Is there any other class of professional men or business men of whom it can be said (in their defense) that nine out of ten of them perpetually live a lie? We hope not.

Just as Christian Scientists permit their minds by continually misrepresenting facts until their sense of truth on every subject seems to be perverted, so that argument, facts and logic are alike wasted on them, so it is with the "nine out of ten" Christian ministers, who habitually prostitute the Truth for name and station and salary. Bible testimony, quotations of the apostles, no longer have the weight of Truth in their minds because of their long subordination to policy, their so-long continued sacrifice of Truth.

We believe that without a love for Truth none will be favored with the light of "Present Truth." More than this, we hold that if sincere love for Truth--honesty of thought and deed--be yielded, sacrificed to pride, ambition, vain-glory, or any other thing, the result will be the loss of Present Truth. Let us ever keep in memory our Lord's message through the Apostle, that now in the end of this age he will send strong delusion that all may believe a lie who have pleasure in untruth--who received not the Truth in the love of it. (2 Thess. 2:10-12.) Let us guard our consciences, realizing that their perversion would surely work our injury, our alienation from the Lord, and our rejection from his service now and hereafter.



[R3849 : page 277]

BEREAN BIBLE STUDY ON LOVE
--SEE COMMENTS IN OUR JULY 1 ISSUE--

SEPT. 2

26. What is the importance of loving zeal and how may we cultivate it? Z.'98-112 (1st col. par. 1); Z.'03-165 (2nd col. par. 1, 2); Z.'01-151 (2nd col. par. 1); Z.'01-318 (1st col. par. 1); Z.'96-163 (2nd col. par. 1, last half).

27. How may we cultivate loving submission? Z.'96-44 (2nd col. par. 2, 3); Z.'99-6 (1st col. par. 1 to 3); Z.'02-249 (2nd col. par. 1).

28. Must perfect love include sinners and also our enemies? and how may we determine that it is the sin we hate and not the sinner? Luke 6:27,28; Z.'99-5 (2nd col. par. 3, 4); Z.'01-331 (2nd col. par. 2, 3); Manna, March 21.

SEPT. 9

29. What is the relation between love and justice? Z.'02-265, 266; Z.'04-56 (2nd col. par. 2, 3). Z.'02-171 (2nd col. par. 2); Z.'05-287 (2nd col. par. 2, 3).

30. What is the relation between love and benevolence? Z.'01-247 (1st col. par. 2, last sentence); Z.'01-253(1st col. par. 2, 3). [R3850 : page 277]

31. What is the relation between love and fear? I Jno. 4:18; Z.'98-112 (1st col. par. 4 and 2nd col.)

32. What is the relation between love and knowledge? I Cor. 8:1; E.260 (top of page); Z.'00-184 (1st col. par. 2, 3); Z.'03-42 (1st col. par. 3).

SEPT. 16

33. What is the best evidence of our acceptableness with the Lord? Z.'98-201 (1st col. par. 1); Z.'03-56 (1st col. par. 2).

34. How may we become copies of God's dear Son? Z.'98-201 (2nd col. par. 2, 3); Z.'02-172 (1st col.).

35. How must we keep ourselves in the love of God? Jude 21; Z.'00-184 (2nd col. par. 1); Z.'02-173; Z.'05-139 (2nd col. par. 4); Z.'05-124 (2nd col. par. 4, 5).

36. How should we examine ourselves and overcome the unlovely spirit of criticism and harsh judgment? F.402 par. 2, to 409; Z.'00-73 (2nd col. par. 3); 74 (1st col. par. 1, 2 and 2nd col. par. 3); also 75 (1st col. par. 1); Z.'04-43 (2nd col. par. 5) to 43 (1st col. par. 2).

SEPT. 23

37. How must love deal with evil surmisings? Z.'05-213 (1st col. par. "III" to 2nd col. par. "IV").

38. How shall we fulfil the command, "Love one another"? Z.'99-88 (1st col. par. 3 to 2nd col. par. 2); Z.'03-121 (1st col. par. 2); Z.'98-201 (1st col. par. 2 and 2nd col. par. 1); Z.'05-125 (2nd col. par. 2); Z.'05-297 (1st col. par. 1, 2). And what proprieties should be observed by the New Creation in this respect? F.489 par. 2, to 490.

Study Continued



[R3847 : page 277]

"THY FAITH HATH SAVED THEE"
--LUKE 18:35-19:10.--SEPTEMBER 2.--

Golden Text:--"The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost."

OUR GOLDEN TEXT briefly and concisely sets forth our Lord's mission. To those who learn to read it aright it tells of a world of mankind, the entire race of Adam, lost in sin and its penalty, death--lost without hope of ability to recover itself, without hope that any member of the race could ever redeem it or give to God a ransom for his brother. (Psa. 49:7.) This text sets forth the remedy, the only remedy provided by the Son of man. "He who was rich for our sakes became poor, that we through his poverty might be rich"--he left the heavenly condition and humbled himself to human nature that "he by the grace of God should taste death for every man." (2 Cor. 8:9; Heb. 2:9.) To appreciate the meaning of the word "lost" in this connection helps us to appreciate the meaning of the word "saved." As man was lost in sin, lost in death, so he is to be recovered from sin, recovered from death.

Salvation then, in God's arrangement, means recovery from sin and its penalty death, and from all its concomitants of sorrow and pain, imperfection and dying. How reasonable, how sensible, is this Scriptural proposition! How well it is backed up by the Apostle's statement that the [R3847 : page 278] salvation to be brought to mankind at the second coming of Jesus will be a recovery or restitution of all that was lost, during the "times of restitution of all things spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began." (Acts 3:19-21.) While this salvation belongs specifically to the coming age, the Millennium, nevertheless to some the Lord is granting a beginning of salvation in the present time--to those whose eyes and ears of understanding and hearts of appreciation are open to the messages of divine grace, whispered at the present time under adverse conditions, but by and by to be so sounded abroad that every ear shall hear.

BLIND BARTIMEUS' FAITH

Jesus was en route for Jerusalem by way of Jericho. The Feast of Passover was approaching, and the roads leading to Jerusalem had many travellers, who usually went in companies or in groups. With our Lord and his apostles was a considerable number of friends, together with numerous Pharisees headed toward Jericho. By the wayside sat a blind man, Bartimeus, hoping to excite the sympathy of the passers-by, for he was a beggar. In those days there was no special provision for the blind, and there were many of them in those parts.

Although numerous groups had passed, something especially attracted the attention of Bartimeus to this group as an extraordinary one, and he inquired who or what so large a company might represent. He was told that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by, and that the commotion, the multitude, represented those who were in his company. Many evidently preceded Jesus, so that the blind man began to cry for mercy and help before the Lord got to him. Those in the forefront rebuked him and told him to stop his shouting, intimating that the great Teacher should not be interrupted by a wayside beggar. But the man had evidently heard of Jesus before--possibly had heard of other blind men healed by him. In any event he was seized with a conviction that this prophet of Nazareth was able to grant him relief, that he was probably the true Messiah, the Son of God. Hence he shouted the more vociferously, "Thou Son of David [Messiah], have mercy on me!"

The procession stopped, and Jesus commanded that the man be brought to him. He did not shout for him to come, but commanded, "Let him be brought." Mark (10:46) tells us that those who brought the blind man said to him, "Be of good cheer, rise; he calleth thee," and also tells us that [R3848 : page 278] he immediately cast away his cloak or mantle in his haste to respond. When led to Jesus the latter asked him, "What wilt thou that I should do for thee?" He responded, "Lord, that I may receive my sight." The Lord answered, "Receive thy sight; thy faith hath saved thee."

There were many blind men throughout Palestine, yet only comparatively few received such a blessing. Why? Undoubtedly because few had the requisite faith. Note in the case of Bartimeus, the evidence of his faith as soon as he heard, the persistency which belongs to true faith; and note also the evidence that he was of sincere heart, as demonstrated by the fact that after he had received his sight he followed the Lord, glorifying God. He might on the contrary have said to himself, "Yes, I have heard a good deal about modern salves and about a prophet who could speak the word and restore the sight, but in my opinion all these are deceptions. In any case they are not for me. I suppose if I were rich and influential this Prophet of Nazareth would be pleased to heal me if he thought I would give him a good fee, or if some of my relatives were able to pay him well. No, I have given up all hope. Israel has been looking for a long time for the Messiah, anyway. It is not at all probable that he will come in my day, that he will pass by just where I am sitting, and that it would be any use for me to cry out for mercy to him." Had the blind man thus reasoned, without faith, undoubtedly the procession would have passed him by and he would have remained blind.

EYES OF UNDERSTANDING BLINDED

That physical blindness is a terrible affliction none will question. But how much more serious is the mental and spiritual blindness which prevails. The Scriptures tell us that the whole world, except the few who are true believers in the Lord Jesus, are all blind--"The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not." (2 Cor. 4:4.) The blinded ones are cut off by false doctrines from ability to see the grandeur of the divine character and plan for human salvation. There are various degrees of this mental and spiritual blindness: some can see nothing, others can see a little, vaguely, dimly. Some can look at the sun, moon and stars and see nothing in them beyond what they call nature--a federation of matter without intelligent direction. The Prophet has declared that "Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard," by some; but, alas, how many there are who hear not, see not, these things, who realize not the divine supervision of all of life's affairs.

Lacking of faith in a gracious, just and loving God of wisdom and power, these blind and deaf ones are unprepared for the messages of his love and grace as they are given to us in his Word. To some of them it seems foolishness to think of a personal Creator at all: to others it seems foolish to think that one so great as to be able to create the worlds would pay particular attention to the interests of the individual members of our race. They are blind and cannot see afar off--they can merely see the affairs of the present life, with its eating and drinking, planting and building, laughing and crying, living and dying. They know not if there is anything else or what it is. Others with a little opening of the eyes of understanding can realize that there is a personal God and that he takes a personal interest; and these in turn are blinded by the Adversary's misrepresentations of the divine Word, which give false impressions respecting the divine character and plan. These are blinded by the traditions of the elders from the "dark ages" respecting the divine purpose--that it is merely to elect a few and to turn the great majority into a place of eternal torment. Alas for such blindness! How we long for the time promised by the Lord through the Prophet, when all shall know him, from the least to the greatest--when all the blind eyes shall be opened and all the deaf ears shall be unstopped.

BARTIMEUS' EXPERIENCES ILLUSTRATIVE

The incident before us in this lesson serves well to illustrate how some who at the present time belong to the blind class are brought to the Lord and graciously receive the opening of the eyes of their understanding. In the [R3848 : page 279] Lord's providence they hear that Jesus of Nazareth passes by; in the Lord's providence they have heard something respecting the great Teacher and the eternal life and the opening of blind eyes which he effects. They seize the opportunity, they lay hold upon the Lord by faith, they cry to him, --"Have mercy upon me, thou Son of David." The thought is suggested to them that there are many more worthy than themselves to have the Master's attention, that they are too insignificant, too sinful for him to recognize. But faith holds on. They have heard of his mercy toward others and they cry unto him so much the more, until finally he bids them come, and "whosoever cometh unto him he will in no wise cast out."--John 6:37.

All who now come unto the Lord by faith encounter some experiences of opposition which correspond in considerable degree to those of Bartimeus. Generally they are without encouragement until they realize their need and cry to the Lord. Even these now find assistance from those who delight to assist them, saying, "Be of good cheer, rise; he calleth thee."

Then comes the Master's question, "What wilt thou?" And well it is for those who, like Bartimeus, can say, "Lord, that I may receive my sight." Such do receive enlightenment from the Lord, an enlightenment by which they can see him who is the Way, the Truth and the Life, and through whom they may come to a knowledge of the Father, whom to know is life eternal.--John 17:3.

But, alas, many today when asked this question, "What wilt thou?" request riches or honors of men or temporal blessings of some sort, appreciating not their great need of spiritual necessities. Even those of us who have enjoyed considerable blessing in the way of the opening of our eyes to see the divine character and plan need to remember how the Apostle prayed for the Church, "that the eyes of your understanding being enlightened, that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power."--Eph. 1:18,19.

WHEN THE PEOPLE SAW IT

When the multitude saw that the blind man had received his sight and had become a follower of Jesus and was giving glory to God they also joined in praise--all who beheld. So it is today with us. As one after another come to a knowledge of the divine character and plan, all who are in accord with the Lord are not only ready to assist them to the Lord, but ready also to join in praise on their behalf, rejoicing in their blessing. The great mass of the world, however, who see not, who appreciate not, this miracle of change from blindness to spiritual sight and understanding, cannot now join in praise and thanks to God. We are glad, however, that the time is coming when the knowledge of the glory of God shall fill the whole earth, when every knee shall bow and every tongue confess, when every creature in heaven and in earth shall be heard saying "Praise and honor and dominion and glory and power be unto him that sitteth on the throne and to the Lamb."--Isa. 11:9; Phil. 2:11; Rev. 5:13.

Our lesson gives a second illustration of how the Son of man is able to save all that come unto him through faith. The Lord and his company had passed through Jericho on toward Jerusalem. The whole city evidently was stirred with the knowledge that the great Prophet of Nazareth was en route for Jerusalem. Zaccheus was apparently one of its prominent and wealthy citizens, a publican. The word "publican" today is in some places the name applied to bar-keepers, liquor-dealers, but in our Lord's time it indicated a collector of taxes for the Roman government. The Israelites demurred against being taxed by the Romans, claiming that they were the Kingdom of God, and that the Roman nation and all nations should rather pay taxes to them. The prejudice on the subject was so strong that the more reputable class of Jews would not accept the office. Besides this, the methods of collecting the taxes were frequently along the lines of extortion, as indeed is said to be still the method of collecting taxes in oriental lands.

Consequently to be a publican came to signify an irreligious, unpatriotic, unscrupulous character. The Pharisees disesteemed these as sinners, as no longer Jews nor heirs of the Covenant promises. The publicans recognized themselves as of the sinner caste, and sometimes in the Temple, if they went there to pray, heard the more religious give thanks to God that they were not publicans--that they had not lost all their manhood and religion and patriotism.

Zaccheus was one of the chief publicans, a prominent one amongst them, and rich. Yet apparently his heart was ill at ease. Although he had found his occupation a lucrative one he was not satisfied. Not that he would admit that his riches were all gained by dishonesty, but he realized that some of them were not honestly and honorably obtained. This would probably be true of the majority of rich people. As he heard of the Kingdom of God and the Prophet of Nazareth and his work of miracles, his heart was longing for relationship with God--he wanted to at least see this Prophet. Short of stature, the crowd being large, he had poor opportunity, but he ran ahead of the procession [R3849 : page 279] and climbed into a sycamore tree, and, seated on one of its branches over the road, he got a good view of Jesus as he passed by him.

Similarly today to some come longing desires for righteousness, harmony with God and fellowship with the Lord Jesus, and the prospect of eternal life in the Kingdom. How much depends upon the way they entertain this thought! They can turn it aside and say, "It is no use for me to think of reconciliation with the Father and a life of harmony with him; it is no use for me to try to turn over a new leaf. My business is built upon a disreputable foundation; I have already acquired a reputation for dishonesty, which I could never shake off. The new life which this great Teacher Jesus proclaims is no doubt grand for those who can accept it, but I am not one of them." Had Zaccheus followed such suggestions and inclinations he would perhaps have gone in another direction instead of wishing to see more of the Lord.

It is a hopeful sign when we find any desiring to have clearer views of the Lord or his Word or his plan. We would exhort all such to go ahead and climb a sycamore tree and get a good view of matters; peradventure to them, as to Zaccheus, the Lord might speak some word of comfort and encouragement. Let such remember that, if honest [R3849 : page 280] hearted and earnest of purpose, some of their natural disadvantages may under the Lord's providence work out for them a blessing, even as Zaccheus found that his smallness of stature brought him more particularly to the Lord's attention than otherwise. But his zeal was necessary, as well as his manifestation of interest and faith.

"SALVATION COME TO THY HOUSE"

We can imagine Zaccheus lying on a limb of a sycamore tree, looking down upon the Lord, studying the lines of his countenance, wondering whether or not this were the very Christ, and feeling despair in his own heart as he realized his own imperfection and impurity as contrasted with the Master's character, which shone forth in his countenance, speaking purity, gentleness, meekness, patience, love. How surprised he must have been when the Master stopped and looked directly into his eyes and, calling his name, said, "Zaccheus, come down, for I must dine today at thy house." We have here evidences of the Lord's knowledge of what is in man, that he reads the heart and makes no mistakes. Zaccheus was indeed glad to receive him and hasted to come down and to take him to his home. Doubtless there were others in that vicinity not only more highly esteemed amongst men but of still grander and nobler character than Zaccheus, but he had the longing heart, hungering and thirsting for righteousness. To him the blessing came; he should be filled.

What a wonderful opportunity it was to have the Master come to his home! What an honor, what an opportunity for hearing some precious words, instructions, guidance, encouragement! Not all the conversation of that dinner-table is recorded, but sufficient is told to teach the lesson. Whatever the Lord said to him, Zaccheus there made a full surrender of his heart--that henceforth he would not only forsake sin and evil customs and practices, but that so far as possible he would make restitution for wrong doing and injustice. This is of great importance in the Lord's sight. It is in vain that we attempt to make use of God's grace forgiving our sins while we would hold on to money or property obtained from our neighbors by some dishonest practices. Zaccheus gave evidence of a sound conversion when he declared, "If I have wrongly exacted aught from any man, I restore fourfold"--not" I have restored fourfold," but "I will restore fourfold." The intimation here given is that Zaccheus was more than ordinarily upright as a publican, otherwise to have restored fourfold would of itself have ruined a large fortune. On the contrary, Zaccheus consecrated one-half of all his possessions to the poor, and out of what remained he would make good fourfold, four times as much, for all that he had taken unjustly from others, and still he hoped a reasonable competence would be left.

We believe that many today make a great mistake in that they do not more fully follow the course of Zaccheus-- in that they continue to hold on to something which really, rightfully, belongs to another; and secondly, that they do not consecrate more of their wealth of money or property or time or talents to the Lord. Zaccheus was a Jew, and under the requirements of the Law one-tenth of his yearly increase would be his obligation to religious matters. But he far exceeded this, giving not merely a half of his annual income, but a half of all the principal, of all the money and property and goods which he possessed. Some have inquired of us, What is the reasonable obligation of a Christian? We answer that our reasonable service should surely be more than the one-tenth of the Jews. To our understanding Zaccheus did not even go the full length of a complete sacrifice. The hymn expresses our sentiments:--

"All my little life I give thee,
Use it, Lord, in ways of thine."

However, Zaccheus publicly, practically, did this very thing, the difference being that we who live this side of Pentecost, and who consecrate all to the Lord, are in turn by him made stewards to use that all according to our enlightenment day by day in his service.

This question should be settled promptly by all who would grow in grace, in knowledge, in love and character-likeness of our Lord--Have I forsaken sin, and the ways of sin and dishonesty? Have I made ample restitution so far as possible for every injury done to fellow creatures? What have I sacrificed, half of my goods or all of my goods to the Lord and his cause? If as a Christian I have sacrificed all, how am I keeping that engagement, that covenant, that sacrifice? Am I remembering that time and talent and influence as well as money belong to him and are my reasonable service? Am I spending and being spent day by day or not? How will it stand with me when the Master reckons with his people? Will I have joy in rendering my account, or will I with sorrow be obliged to admit that as a steward I have been unfaithful, and have buried my talents in earthly aims and objects and ambitions and services, or will I be able to present to the Lord fruits of my labor and sacrifice, and hear him say, "Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joys of thy Lord"?

"THEY SHALL BE MINE"

Let us remember the words of the Lord through the Prophet, "Gather together my saints unto me; those who have made a covenant with me by sacrifice" (Psa. 50:5), "They shall be mine, saith the Lord, in that day when I make up my jewels."--Mal. 3:17.

Some of those of the multitude who had rejoiced with the blind beggar were greatly disappointed when they found Jesus affiliating with an acknowledged publican. The difficulty was that they had misconceptions and had not yet come to see that the Lord looketh upon the heart, and that in the Lord's sight this humble and grateful publican was nearer to the Kingdom than themselves. Jesus' words to them were, "This day is salvation come to this house." Zaccheus also is a son of Abraham. "The Son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost." Salvation came to his house--not in the complete sense, for that, as the Apostle says, is to be brought unto us at the revelation, the second coming of our Lord and Savior. But salvation came to him in the sense that his heart was turned from sin and selfishness toward God and righteousness. Zaccheus that day, under the Lord's favor and blessing and instruction, and his own cooperation in the same, in the turning over of a new leaf and becoming a follower of the teachings of Jesus, was saved in a reckoned sense--in the sense that he no longer [R3849 : page 281] loved the ways of sin, but now loved the ways of righteousness --in the sense that he was no longer walking after the things of the flesh, but now was walking after the things of the Spirit, the things of God, the things of righteousness, the things of truth, the things most pleasing to the Master, in his footsteps.



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COMING IN THE NAME OF THE LORD
--MATT. 21:1-17.--SEPTEMBER 9.--

Golden Text:--"Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord."

IN our last lesson Jesus and his disciples, with others, were on the way to Jerusalem for the celebration of the Passover. They had already passed through Jericho. En route Jesus gave the parable of the talents; and Bethany, the home of Lazarus, Martha and Mary, was reached Friday night, just a week before his crucifixion. He rested with his friends on the Sabbath, partook of the feast prepared in his honor that evening, received the anointing of the costly spikenard from Mary, and next morning, the first day of the week, continued his journey to Jerusalem. Throughout the week, however, he made Bethany his home, going daily to the city, returning at night. Bethany was about two miles distant from the Temple. Here the present lesson begins.

With the Lord were a considerable number of people who had come up to Jerusalem in his company, and some who had come out from Jerusalem to Bethany to see him, because they had heard that the Prophet of Nazareth who had raised Lazarus from the dead was at the home of the latter. When this multitude reached Bethphage, a little village on the Mount of Olives, Jesus stopped and sent two of his disciples to another village close by to bring to him an ass and her foal. The owner of the animals may have been acquainted with Jesus, and if so would also have been acquainted with his disciples. At all events his request was honored, and Mark tells us, according to the revised version, that they promised that Jesus would send back the colt to the owner. Evidently it was unusual for our Lord to ride, and, although he came and went a longer distance every morning and evening throughout the week, this was the only occasion we have any knowledge of his riding. Evidently the reason for riding at this time was not weariness. He was about to present himself to the people after the manner of their kings of the past, who we are told rode in triumph on white asses.

THE OBJECT AND SIGNIFICANCE OF THE RIDE

A prominent writer on this lesson seems to present a very wrong view of our Lord's course and program, saying: "Jesus now for three days made his final attempts to persuade the Jewish nation to accept him as the Messiah and thus save themselves from destruction, and become a great power for bringing in the Kingdom of heaven among men. He uses every possible means, in a great variety of ways, for accomplishing his purpose. He presents himself to them as a king. He shows his royal authority by cleansing the temple, his Father's house. He performs royal deeds of power and of mercy in healing the sick. He argues, he discourses, he pleads, he teaches, he answers objections, he threatens, he warns."

To the very contrary of all this, we find that our Lord here studiously avoided arousing the people, lest they should "take him by force to make him a king." (John 6:15.) He taught the people in parables and dark sayings, which he did not explain except privately to his disciples, saying, "Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the Kingdom of God: but unto them that are without all these things are spoken in parables: that seeing they may see and not perceive; and hearing they may hear and not understand." (Mark 4:11,12.) Just a few days before this our Lord had expressly told his disciples that he would be set at naught by the rulers of the nation and would be crucified and rise again the third day. They had at least partially understood this matter, for they endeavored to dissuade him from such a view, and he had explained to them that his Kingdom was to be a heavenly one, "in the regeneration" times, when they should sit upon twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Our Lord knew that he would be rejected, and before he entered the city, viewing it, he wept over it and said, "Your house is left unto you desolate." He evidently had not the slightest intention of alluring the people to his support and for the establishment of an earthly Kingdom. We cannot doubt what a power he would have had if he had but spoken in defense of his own position. Even when he was accused before Pilate, the Roman governor marvelled that he offered no defense. All this was in harmony with the prophecy, which declared, "As a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth."

Jesus sought to influence only those Jews who were "Israelites indeed," in whom there was no guile; and he understood the Father's plan to be that his message, as directed under the leadings of providence, would attract this class --and he did not wish for others. It was not the Father's will, as he declared. The remainder of that nation, aside from the "Israelites indeed," the holy ones, according to the divine plan and arrangement, would reject our Lord, crucify him and be blinded for more than eighteen centuries until, at the time of his second advent, their eyes of understanding would be opened and they would "look upon him whom they have pierced and mourn for him as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him as one is in bitterness for his firstborn." (Zech. 12:10.) Meantime the Lord's favor during this Gospel age, as intended, would pass throughout the world, making disciples of the pure in heart, a zealous class of various nations, peoples, kindreds, tongues, for the purpose of selecting joint-heirs in the heavenly Kingdom, which was not intended to be established as an earthly Kingdom nor a heavenly one until God's due time--at the second coming of our Lord.

THE FULFILMENT OF PROPHECY

Two prophecies combine in the testimony here recorded: "Tell ye the daughter of Zion, Behold your King cometh unto thee, meek and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the [R3850 : page 282] foal of an ass." (Compare Isa. 62:11; Zech. 9:9.) It was in fulfilment of the prediction that Jesus rode upon the ass. The Jews were familiar with this prophecy, and for long centuries had been waiting for Messiah to fulfil it. It was necessary, according to the divine program, that our Lord should literally, actually, do what the prophets had foretold, that Israel might be without excuse in their rejection of him: so that in the future, when their blindness shall be turned away, when the eyes of their understanding shall be opened, when they shall look upon him whom they have pierced and mourn for their rejection of him, they will find themselves without excuse, they will realize that the Lord had performed unto them as his covenant people all his good promises, and that the fault of their rejection was entirely of themselves; that they were not in the condition of heart to receive their King; that whereas he was meek and lowly of heart they were proud and boastful; whereas he was pure and unselfish, they were impure and self-seeking and not fit for the Kingdom. In a word, God did for natural Israel everything that he had purposed and promised, and certified thereby that the fault was entirely theirs.

The multitudes accompanying the Lord seemed to catch the spirit of the occasion, and while they shouted "Hosanna to the son of David," the Messiah, they made him a royal pathway for his beast, some spreading their garments, others getting branches of trees. It had been a custom [R3851 : page 282] amongst various peoples for long centuries to thus treat their honored rulers. In countries where flowers abounded these were used, in others the branches of trees, and in some instances the garments of their admirers and loyal subjects were thus used. We cannot suppose that all of this multitude were saints, though doubtless many of them outside of the apostles were sympathizers with Jesus. That it was not the apostles themselves who instigated and carried on this proceeding is shown by the fact, narrated by another evangelist, that certain Scribes and Pharisees in the multitude came to the disciples and suggested that they call the attention of the Lord to the matter, pointing out to him the impropriety of such proceedings.

The modesty of our Lord in respect to his Messiahship is noteworthy. Not on a single occasion we know of did he announce himself as Messiah. His highest claim at any time was that he was the Son of God, a claim and title permissible to any of his true disciples throughout the Gospel age since Pentecost. In every instance his honor as Messiah was mentioned by others and simply not disputed by the Lord. For instance, on the first occasion when Jesus inquired of his disciples, "Whom say men that I am?" and later, "Whom say ye that I am?" when Peter, speaking for them, replied, "Thou art the Messiah, the Son of the living God," Jesus indicated his assent by the words, "Blessed art thou, Simon-Barjona, for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven." Now it was the multitude that heralded him the son of David, the Messiah, and he merely held his peace--only when others objected did he declare that the shouting was necessary to the fulfilment of the prophecy which declared that there should be a shout, saying, "Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation: lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass." The third place where his Messiahship was referred to was before Pilate, who asked him, "Art thou a king then?" He answered, "To this end was I born and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth."

"HOSANNA IN THE HIGHEST"

Had this procession and the shoutings of kingly honor to our Savior any meaning outside of being a testimony to the Jewish nation--a presentation to them of their King--to be accepted or rejected? They had no other meaning at the time, but indirectly they have a lesson for us spiritual Israelites at the end of this age; because we find that the divine arrangement is such that the history of natural Israel, from the death of Jacob down to this event, was typical of spiritual Israel's experiences from the death of Jesus down to his coming in glory, presenting himself to his people. The declaration of the prophets is that he must offer himself to "both the houses of Israel"--the fleshly house and the spiritual house. As in the fleshly house there were true and untrue Israelites, so also in the spiritual house of this Gospel age, "Christendom," there are both true and untrue Israelites, professedly waiting for Messiah and his Kingdom.

Natural Israel waited 1845 years for the Lord to come as their King, to establish righteousness in the earth, and to use them as his channel for blessing to all mankind according to the terms of the Abrahamic Covenant. When Messiah came they were unready to receive him and unfit to be his co-laborers--except the few Israelites indeed whom he gathered out of that nation and constituted the nucleus of the new nation. When the Jewish nation, natural Israel, were cast off, rejected, the Lord began the selection of spiritual Israel out of all the nations as he had foreseen and foretold. Nominal spiritual Israel waited a similar period of time, 1845 years, from the death of Jesus to the time when he was due to present himself as King.

A host of Scriptures unite in the testimony that our Redeemer presented himself to spiritual Israel at the date corresponding to this triumphal entry into Jerusalem and presentation to natural Israel, viz., in 1878 A.D. (for prophetic testimony on the subject see MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vols. II. and III.) At that date also we believe nominal spiritual Israel --Churchianity, "Babylon"--was rejected after the same manner that the Jewish nation was rejected. True, Christendom does not realize this rejection,--neither did natural Israel realize its rejection and that its house was left desolate, left to go to destruction. As the 37 years following our Lord's rejection of natural Israel brought them to the utter destruction of their city and polity, so we anticipate that 37 years from 1878 will bring "Christendom" to its destruction in the great time of trouble predicted in the prophecy.

CLEANSING THE TEMPLE

We are still in the time when spiritual Israelites are deciding for or against Messiah--accepting him as their present Lord and King, or rejecting him; shouting in their hearts "Hosanna to the son of David, who cometh in the name of the Lord," or, on the other hand, amongst those who become embittered as they hear the message. Those who receive him will surely have an antitype of the blessed experiences which came to the Lord's true people at Pentecost. The [R3851 : page 283] antitype will be immensely greater and grander than the type, nothing short of full change from the corruptible to incorruptible conditions in the First Resurrection. The others, unready of heart to receive the Lord and the blessings, will have their share in the great time of trouble with which this age will terminate and which will prepare mankind in general for the glorious Millennial reign of righteousness promptly to be ushered in.

As soon as Jesus had sentenced the Jewish nation to destruction saying, "Your house is left unto you desolate: ye shall see me no more until that day when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord," he ceased all efforts in connection with that nation--their trial was ended as a nation, but still he sought the individuals who were of the proper condition of heart. He proceeded to the Temple and cleansed it of its merchants and money changers, driving them out with a scourge of cords. He was backed by the authority which belonged to any Jew in any station of life, but was additionally backed by his own kingly presence and the multitude which thronged about him, which would have been ready to support him with physical force: all this of course aside from his heavenly power.

THE ANTITYPICAL TEMPLE CLEANSING

To our understanding the chief force of this feature was its typical one--illustrative of a great truth now applicable to spiritual Israel. The Temple built by Herod was only the type. The true Temple is the Church of the living God. This Church Temple may be considered from two standpoints: (1) The Church of glory in the future, of which the Lord's faithful ones of the present time are the living stones, now being chiseled, prepared. (2) The Church in its present condition of humiliation, imperfection, more properly the tabernacle in which the Lord dwells. As there were strict regulations governing the worship and worshipers in the types, so there are positive regulations in God's Word for those who constitute the priests and Levites doing the services of the tabernacle in the present time, preparatory to the establishment of the glorious Temple of the future.

The Scriptures clearly indicate that in the end of this Gospel age God purposes a cleansing of his sanctuary, his temple--Christendom. There will be nothing in or connected with the Temple in glory that will need to be cleansed, nothing impure, nothing that defileth will enter therein; but the Temple, the Church of the present time, stipulated to be composed merely, solely, of the consecrated believers, has become a mixed multitude, so that under the name of Christian and Church are many persons and parties thoroughly unchristian, connected with the things of this world on a purely selfish basis. The Lord proposes a cleansing of this sanctuary, as testified through the Prophet Daniel--unto 2300 days [years], then shall the sanctuary be cleansed. That was merely a typical cleansing which our Lord accomplished in the typical Temple; the antitypical cleansing is the one of real importance and we are living now in this time of cleansing. (See MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. III., Chap. IV.)

The type gives us a suggestion respecting the character of the cleansing, that it mainly affects those who make merchandise of holy things--those who are associated with the Lord's work for selfish reasons, because "their bread is buttered on that side," because they can have more honor of men, more of the advantages and comforts of life, and better business prospects by reason of their identification with Churchianity. All of this class must be driven out: the Lord himself will see to the work. The Lord's house is not to be a house of merchandise. The Lord seeketh such to worship him as worship him in spirit and in truth, and not those who seek the loaves and fishes or any earthly advantage. He will therefore present the truth in such a form that it will be a blessing to the proper class, and separate all of the improper class by a measure of odium in connection with the King and his faithful. At the present time the Lord, the Truth, with a whip of small cords, is injurious only to those who are in the Temple for purposes of merchandise, and not injurious to others. There are money changers today in the nominal Temple who are robbing the people by accepting salaries for that which is not food, who, while professing to teach the way of the Lord and receiving honor [R3852 : page 283] of men and other emoluments, are really misrepresenting the Lord and his Truth. All such will be separated from the true Temple class, all such will be angry with the Master and his followers, as were the merchants and money-changers in the typical Temple, and they will have their sympathizers also, as they did.

THE TEMPLE A DEN OF THIEVES

Thieving, robbery, is usually done secretly, deceptively. The thief usually represents himself as the very reverse. He poses as an honorable man; but slyly, under cover, he secures to himself that which is not properly his. Is not this the case with very many professedly Christian ministers and teachers and elders in various quarters of Churchianity? Are there not many who pose as ministers of the cross of Christ and of the Word of God who deny the Word of God and to whom the cross of Christ is foolishness? Of this class are those who tell us that they are Evolutionists; that instead of man falling from God's likeness and needing to be redeemed by the blood of the cross and needing the second coming of the Lord to restore him, the very reverse is their conception of truth, viz., that if man has fallen at all he has fallen upward, that he has no need to be redeemed, and that to look for the second coming of the Lord for the salvation of the world is foolishness. Are not these men receiving money under false pretenses? and is not such a system of thievery the very worst kind in the world? Is not this an open robbery? Do they not rob God in that they detract from his honor? and do they not rob the people in that they take from them money and honors, etc., while deceiving them, selling them that which is not bread, which satisfieth not?

The Father's house, his Church, should be composed solely of those who worship him in spirit and in truth. It is meet, it is proper, that all others should be cast out, and the Lord will see to this now because the due time for it has come. The sanctuary shall be cleansed; then in due time the glory of the Lord will fill it--the Royal Priesthood will be changed and become the Temple of glory, honor, dominion and power, from which will proceed the blessing of the world of mankind.

The people in general were thoroughly aroused by the triumphal entry and then the scourging of the money-changers. [R3852 : page 284] To the inquiry, Who is this? came the answer, "This is Jesus, the Prophet of Nazareth of Galilee." The news spread, and the poor and the lame of the city began to flock to the temple. Doubtless they had heard before about this great Prophet, and many of them found this their opportunity for receiving a blessing at his hands. So it will be in the future, when the spiritual Temple will have been fully cleansed, and the Lord of the Temple will be in it in power and great glory, the healing and blessing of all the families of the earth will be in order and will be accomplished--all who will may then be blessed.

The shoutings of the multitude on the way had doubtless ceased, yet the children in the Temple had apparently taken it up, and doubtless without any particular meaning were singing over and over, "Hosanna, hosanna, to the son of David." This illustrated how by and by the praises of the Lord shall fill his Temple, and the Pharisees who heard the children were annoyed by it. We may presume that they endeavored to stop them unsuccessfully, and then appealed to the Master, as the one whose authority would be recognized, to rebuke them; but he answered them this was fulfilling prophecy again, as it is written, "Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise." What the more highly favored and intelligent of natural Israel did not appreciate and failed to proffer the Lord caused to be accomplished even at the mouths of babes. Indeed, everywhere we find that earthly wisdom is apt to misinterpret divine purposes. Very frequently, therefore, the Lord makes use of the weak, the poor, the ignorant, instead. Let us, dear brethren, whatever our opportunities and talents, seek to be as little children, not guided by worldly wisdom merely but "taught of God," that we may now in the proper form herald our Master the Messiah, and in every sense of the word cooperate with him in his work and be accounted worthy as faithful ones to be associated also in the glory of the Kingdom.



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TEACHING WITH AUTHORITY
--MARK 12:13-27.--SEPTEMBER 16.--

Golden Text:--"Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's."

TODAY'S lesson considers the events of the last day of our Lord's public ministry. As already noted, he rested at Bethany over the Sabbath and participated in a feast to his honor that (Jewish) Sabbath eve. The next day, the first day of the week --Sunday--he rode on the ass, making a triumphal entry into the city of the great King. Mark informs us that he visited the Temple on that occasion, looking about on the condition of things, and that it was the next day, Monday, that he drove out the money-changers, etc. Now we come to the day following, Tuesday, the last day of his public teaching. Note the record thus: John 12:1 informs us that the Feast at Bethany was "six days before the Passover"--Sabbath; Mark 11:1 records the events of the next day, Sunday; Mark 11:2-19 relates the events of Monday; Mark 14:1 shows that Wednesday and Thursday intervened before the Passover Feast began.

PERPLEXITY OF THE JEWISH RULERS

The leading men of all the various sects and parties were in perplexity how to deal with Jesus. They believed him to be an impostor, because his claims seemed to them to be absurd, contrary to all worldly wisdom, the only kind which they possessed. True, they recognized that he was a brilliant man, that he had great force and power with the common people. But they said to themselves, "Although he does not publicly claim to be the Messiah he nevertheless gives that intimation--promising his disciples participation with him in the Kingdom when he shall be exalted to power --and is leading the people to believe that by and by the long-expected Kingdom of God will be established. He is making headway, his miracles being especially effective in supporting his claims; he is establishing thus a new sect, a new party, that will prove antagonistic to all present sects and parties, and diminish our influence with the people. Although we have differences of opinion on many subjects we are all striving together for the favor of the great Roman empire, under whose control we are now. We are seeking to have greater and greater liberties and privileges, and if this new party succeeds it will diminish our influence at Rome and appear to the emperor and senate like a rebellion. The Romans already have that opinion of us as a people, that we are rebellious, etc., and we have been endeavoring to allay that sentiment and establish confidence in the stability of our religious system and its power over our people. This new religious system, therefore, threatens not only the prosperity of our various denominations but also the prosperity of our nation. Jesus should be killed for the good of the cause: as patriots we owe it to ourselves and to the whole nation and its future welfare."

We are informed that they sought to kill him, and that privately they had determined this from the time of his calling Lazarus back from the tomb. His triumphal entry at the head of a multitude shouting, "Hosanna to the son of David," increased their concern and their determination against him. His driving out of the money-changers, etc., from the Temple was a further manifestation of his consciousness of his power with the common people. Apparently there was only one way to get to him: the people evidently would not stand by quietly and see him injured. Whatever was to be done must be accomplished in a quiet and stealthy manner and quickly. Moreover, the people had a reverence for the Roman soldiers, and it would be desirable therefore to have him executed under Pilate's decree. But how could they bring the matter before Pilate? What charges could they make? It was the people who had proclaimed him king and not himself. They must if possible get him to commit himself to some treasonable statement, on account of which they could bring him before Pilate as an enemy of the Roman [R3852 : page 285] empire, and thus have him legally executed in a manner which the public could not resist. The Romans permitted the Jews to govern themselves, merely stipulating for tribute and loyalty to Rome; and Pilate with his soldiers resided at Jerusalem, not to interfere with Jewish laws and customs, but merely to preserve the peace and the dignity of Rome.

AN ENTANGLING QUESTION

With a view to getting Jesus to commit himself as an opponent of the Roman Empire, two groups of Jews came to Jesus with a question. The Pharisees in a general way held that the Jews as the people of God were to be the rulers of all other peoples, and that they should never pay tribute, taxes, to other rulers. Their teachings on these lines, however, were privately given, for fear of being apprehended as traitors to [R3853 : page 285] Rome. The Herodians, on the contrary, were Jews who took sides with Herod, and stood firmly and boldly and publicly for the suzerainty of the Roman Empire, claiming that it was to the advantage of the people of Israel to be under the Roman power, and that the paying of tribute was right and proper. The common people were understood to specially favor the view held by the Pharisees and were opposed to the view of the Herodians. Representatives of these two classes, coming to Jesus in public where he was teaching and where the common people could hear the question and note the answer, hoped to get him to do one of two things: either declare with the Herodians that the tax was right and proper and thus break his influence with the common people, or publicly to side with the Pharisees and common people, denounce the tax tribute, declare it improper and contrary to the divine will, etc., and thus make declaration that under no conditions then prevailing could the instigation of insurrection amongst the Jews in opposition to the tribute tax be construed as traitorous.

Note the subtlety of the entire program: they addressed Jesus, saying, "Teacher, we know that thou art true and carest not for any one: for thou regardest not the person of man, but of a truth teachest the way of God." Here all the stress was laid upon his courage to utter truth, to be faithful to God at any cost, to be a teacher of the people on whom they could thoroughly rely, fearing nothing for himself. All this was so stated in order that the Master in the presence of the multitude might be compelled to give a straightforward answer to the question they were about to put, and that answer they fully believed would be one that would convict him of treason. Then came the question: "Is it lawful [according to the Law of Moses] to give tribute unto Caesar or not?" Shall we give or shall we not give?

A HEAVENLY-WISE REPLY

Our Lord understood the situation in an instant and said, "Why tempt ye me?"--Why do you try to entrap me? Look at the motives in your own hearts and judge of how much sincerity or falsity is there. Get a lesson out of this matter that will do you good; show me the tribute coin. They handed him a silver penny or denarius of Tiberius Caesar, stamped with the likeness of Caesar and an inscription concerning him, just as coins of today in Europe bear the image and superscription of the reigning sovereign. Jesus inquired of his tormentors, "Whose image and superscription is this [on this coin]?" They replied, "Caesar's." Then he gave them the answer to their question, saying, "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's."

Jesus did not go into the question of how much advantage the Jewish nation was reaping from the protection afforded the Jews against the assaults of other nations. He did not attempt to declare that justice was connected with every feature of the tribute tax, but he did sum up the matter in those few words, "If Caesar has some just claims against you, render to him accordingly--this will not interfere with God's just claims against you, which you should be equally ready to meet." This answer was not merely an evasion of the question: it was an answer in the full sense, probably far beyond what they could fully comprehend; but they did comprehend that they had failed to entrap him, that he had answered their question in a manner which would never have occurred to them, that he had a wisdom far beyond theirs and all natural earthly wisdom--he had the wisdom from above, first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easy of entreatment, full of mercy and good fruits.--Jas. 3:17.

ADMONITION APPROPRIATE TO US

The Scriptural assurance that all things work together for good to them that love God is illustrated in this matter. The Pharisees, the Herodians, intended evil to the Lord and his apostles, their teachings, etc. --they designed their overthrow. But in the Lord's providence the very reverse of this resulted. A lesson came to the common people who heard, a lesson which doubtless bore fruit in any who were in a right condition of heart; but the lesson was especially profitable, we are assured, to the apostles and to all of the Lord's followers since. Its lesson is that we are not called upon to war with carnal weapons against the powers that be--that all the followers of the Lord Jesus are to seek peace and pursue it, endeavoring to do good unto all men as they have opportunity, especially to the household of faith, and to speak evil of and to do evil to none.

To the disciples this would imply that the affairs of the world may be safely left with the world, under the Lord's supervision, for he is able to make even the wrath of men to praise him; the remainder he can restrain, and in due time all of his gracious purposes will be accomplished. (Psa. 76:10.) Until that due time shall come we are with patience to wait for it, knowing that in the end it will come and will not tarry. The Lord's due time for the changes in the world's affairs is what we are waiting on, and meantime we are occupying, using, our talents and opportunities, not in fighting worldly battles either by tongue or pen or with other earthly weapons, but fighting the good fight of faith, laying hold upon eternal life, whereunto we [R3853 : page 286] are called, that we may thus be prepared by the trials and difficulties and sacrifices of the present time for the glorious share in his Kingdom reign and blessing which the Lord has promised to us as his followers if we are faithful.

If Caesar commands taxes and they are general we are not to dispute them. When the Lord's time shall come, when Caesar no longer shall collect taxes from the heirs of the Kingdom, it will be manifest to us, for then Caesar will have no power or authority to collect these. If Caesar merely gives us liberty to vote it is not at all necessary that we should accept or use that liberty; should he by and by command us to vote, it would be proper for us to comply and use our best judgment. But in the absence of any command or compulsion it would seem that those consecrated to be followers of the Lamb, to walk in the footsteps of Jesus, would have plenty to do in following the Lamb whithersoever he goeth--in fulfilling the terms of their consecration as members of the body of Christ, in doing good unto all men as they have opportunity, especially to the household of faith.

WHAT WE RENDER TO GOD

What we shall render to God depends upon who we are and what we see and know respecting him and his will. The world in general realizes some responsibility to a Creator or First Cause, but their enlightenment being limited their responsibilities are correspondingly limited. Those who have seen and heard and tasted that God is gracious, that his favor has been manifested in the redemption price paid at Calvary, have greater privileges than their less enlightened neighbors and correspondingly greater responsibilities. To these it is but a reasonable service that they should present to the Lord the little all that they possess in this present life, and this becomes a still more reasonable matter when they learn that God has sent forth during this Gospel age a special message of invitation to joint-heirship with his Son in the Kingdom. Those who are thus enlightened and who possess any measure of wisdom should, it would seem, joyfully lay aside every weight and besetting sin and earthly ambition, and strive to attain to the gracious things of the divine promise to the seed of Abraham.--Gal. 3:29.

The Prophet, speaking for this class of holy favored ones of this Gospel age, the consecrated, inquires, What shall we render unto the Lord for all his benefits to us? What would be the proper course for such to pursue in their relationship to God? The Lord through the Prophet gives the correct answer, saying, "I will take the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord." (Psa. 116:12,13.) The cup of salvation, as our Master explains, has a two-fold significance: it implies that we all share with him in his cup of suffering, of self-denial, of self-abasement for the sake of the Lord's cause in this time when sin abounds, when the prince of this world rules in the hearts of the majority, when darkness covers the earth, society, and gross darkness the heathen. We have the promise that those who drink of the Lord's cup now will also drink of his cup of rejoicing and blessing and refreshment in the Kingdom.

In other words, in the divine order these two features are indissolubly joined, "If we suffer with him we shall also reign with him," if we partake of the trials and difficulties and oppositions incidental to faithfulness to the Lord, we shall have a share with him in the glory, honor and immortality by and by; but if we refuse the cup of trial and discipline and experience and suffering of this present time we are thus also incidentally refusing and passing by the cup of glory and blessing of the Millennial age and of eternity. Let us take the cup, let us appropriate it, let us render unto the Lord our God our reasonable service--a full consecration of heart and life. And this appreciation of a reasonable service will doubtless continue to increase before the mental vision: as we go onward we will perceive greater privileges and opportunities of sacrifice, and as we measure up to these will get clearer and better and grander views of the coming glories, and also our heavenly rewards.

"WHOSE WIFE SHALL SHE BE?"

When the Pharisees and Herodians withdrew, discomfited by our Lord's wise answer, representatives of another sect, the Sadducees, came with a question to entrap him. To appreciate their question we must understand [R3854 : page 286] that the Sadducees were a class of Jews well educated, intellectual, but utterly lacking in any faith respecting a future life. Whether or not they believed in a God, we are not informed, but that they did not believe in invisible angels or spirit beings of any kind, and that they denied that there would be a resurrection for mankind more than for the brute beast was clearly stated. These were worldly-wise men who believed that their countrymen were laboring under a foolish delusion in expecting any blessings in the future. They held that when a man dies that is the end of him. The Sadducees presented a question which they thought would show up the weakness of Jesus' position before the people, and incidentally also the weakness of the theories of other Jews.

Their question was probably a suppositious one, though stated as a fact. They cited the Jewish Law respecting Jewish marriage stated in Deuteronomy 25:5-10. The object of that law seemingly was to prevent the obliteration of any family. The suppositious case was that under this law one brother married and, dying without children, the second brother married his wife, and so on until the seven brethren had married the one woman, each in turn. Now the query was, Whose wife should she be in the resurrection, since she was the wife of the seven during her earthly life? The question was intended to show the absurdity of believing in a resurrection, that it would occasion all kinds of confusion, etc.

Our Lord's answer was, Is not your difficulty, your error, this--that ye understand not the Scriptures nor the power of God? If you sufficiently appreciated the power of God you would know that he who is able to raise the dead is able also to order and direct all the [R3854 : page 287] incidental affairs connected with the resurrection of mankind. If you had a proper appreciation of God's character you would have faith in him and would not stumble over such a trivial matter as this. Leave it with God. Let me explain, however, that when they shall rise from the dead they will neither marry nor be given in marriage, but will be like the angels in heaven, sexless. This was a new thought to them.

Our Lord did not attempt a particular answer to their question, knowing (1) that they were not sincere questioners, and that such an explanation would be like casting pearls before swine; (2) furthermore, it was not yet time to give an explanation of many of the details respecting the resurrection. Many of those details belong only to the spiritual, and could not be understood by any except those begotten of the Spirit, and the Spirit begetting could not come until Pentecost, and Pentecost could not come until after the Lord had paid our penalty with the sacrifice of himself and had ascended up on high and appeared in the presence of God on our behalf.

From our standpoint, however, we see that our Lord, without designating the resurrection of the Church or the resurrection of the world, stated the matter broadly in such a way as to apply to both. For instance, those who will constitute the Church, and who will be changed from earthly to heavenly nature in the First Resurrection--"changed in a moment" --will be Spirit beings like unto our Lord, and like unto the angels also in respect that they will be sexless. As for the world, which will not be changed from earthly to heavenly nature, and will not experience a resurrection change in a moment, but a gradual change or uplift, progressing step by step during the thousand years of the "times of restitution," it will also be true that when they shall have attained that world and shall have attained the resurrection from the dead they will neither marry nor be given in marriage, but be sexless. That is to say, the restored human family will, during the period of restitution, lose their sexual distinctions, and at the end of the thousand years be all of them in perfection, like Adam was before Eve was taken from his side.

"NOT THE GOD OF THE DEAD"

Having answered their question that the resurrection difficulties they anticipated arose from a failure to appreciate the divine power then in control, our Lord passed onward in the argument to show that they did not grasp the spirit of the Scriptural testimony. They had reasoned that the Old Testament said very little about resurrection anyway. Our Lord proceeded to show them that there were various features of the Scriptures which indirectly taught the resurrection without mentioning it in so many words. He pointed them to the time when the Lord appeared to Moses and spoke to him from the burning bush, saying, "I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob." Jesus' argument with the Sadducees was that since Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were at this time dead, for God to thus speak of them implied a resurrection of the dead, implied that he still recognized them in some sense or degree, that they were not extinct--that God, for instance, would not speak of being the God of a dead camel or a dead dog, because he had made no provision for a resurrection of camels, dogs, etc., but his provision for the resurrection of the human dead is a fact, and constitutes a full explanation of his statement here--that he is still the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

We live in a day when Satan's delusions through Platonic philosophy has gained a large control over the world. All the heathen today believe that death is not death, but an entrance into a fuller life, and Christian people in general so believe, some of them even using this passage of Scripture to demonstrate their belief, saying that if God be the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob they could not have been dead in any sense of the word, but must have been alive somewhere, they know not where. We answer that these also err in not giving proper attention to the Scriptures, which teach not that the dead are alive, but that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and of the unjust. This is what our Lord taught, and this is therefore what all of his followers should believe if they would have the full blessing intended for those who contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints. Note that our Lord so expresses it: his argument is based upon and introduced by the words, "As touching the dead that they arise, have ye not heard," etc.--he does not say "as touching the living that they shall arise," for how can the living arise? it is the dead who need a resurrection. The Scriptures never suggested the absurdity of the resurrection of the living, but continually assure us of the resurrection of the dead, both the just and the unjust.--Acts 24:15.

Every doctrine of the Bible is intimately associated with the statement that the wages of sin is literal, actual death--not merely the death of the body, but "the soul that sinneth it shall die." (Ezek. 18:4.) The death of the soul was the penalty upon Adam and upon all of his race; hence our Lord redeemed our souls from the tomb (Psalm 49:15), and the redemption price he gave was his own soul, his own being, when "he poured out his soul unto death," "he made his soul an offering for sin." (Isa. 53:10,12.) Since it is the souls of men that are redeemed the resurrection is to be a resurrection of the souls, and the resurrection of our Lord, we are told, was a resurrection of his soul, as foretold by the Prophet and confirmed by the Apostle, "Thou wilt not leave my soul in sheol," hades, in the tomb.--Psa. 16:10; Acts 2:31.

While it is unwise to push this feature of the Truth to the front because of the prejudice that exists in the minds of so many of the Lord's people, and because it is proper that we should be wise fishers of men, nevertheless it is absolutely indispensable to an appreciation of the divine plan that all should come ultimately to see that this is the fundamental teaching of God's Word, and to build the proper faith structure in harmony therewith. Adam died and we in him--Christ died as our Redeemer, and thereby made possible the resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust, as promised in God's Word. We who now are called have the special invitation to be of the just, the justified, the acceptable with God--to have part in the First Resurrection and be the kings and priests to reign with our Lord on the earth, to bless the world and to grant to mankind in general the gradual uplifting or raising up out of sin-and-death conditions to the full perfection of human nature lost in Adam and redeemed by the precious blood.



page 289
September 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. XXVIISEPTEMBER 15No. 18
A.D., 1906--A.M., 6034


CONTENTS.

Views from the Watch Tower291
The Jew! The Jew! The Jew!291
Zionists Taking New Courage292
"Gather My Saints Together Unto Me"292
Report of One-Day Conventions293
The 1906 Conventions (Poem)294
Wonderful Words of Life294
A Christian Soldier's Battle295
The Fight for Liberty296
The Fruit of the Spirit298
Not Far From the Kingdom299
How to Love God Perfectly300
Knowledge Necessary to Love301
His Pilgrim Labors Ended303

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

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

page 290

THIS JOURNAL AND ITS MISSION.

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

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

TO US THE SCRIPTURES CLEARLY TEACH

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




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ABOUT PILGRIM VISITS.


Many of the little groups of friends throughout the country have not sent in answers to queries in May 1 TOWER, because they thought their requests sent last January were sufficient for the year. We remind all that the publication of the queries is of itself a notification to them to send new requests, no matter when they asked for Pilgrim visits previously. Look up the issue referred to, and if you have not answered those questions please do so at once.

MISSIONARY ENVELOPES


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[R3854 : page 291]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER.

THE JEW! THE JEW! THE JEW!


SPIRITUAL Israelites, who recognize that according to the Word of God natural Israel is yet to play an important part in the world's affairs, naturally watch keenly everything transpiring throughout the world affecting the Jews. Noting that the favor to Spiritual Israel meant the disfavor of natural Israel, and that the completion of Spiritual Israel would mean the return of natural Israel to divine favor (Rom. 11:25-32), we more than others were [R3855 : page 291] prepared to look for and to apply the prophetic promises which belong to fleshly Israel. Thus it was that thirty years ago we were preaching the regathering of natural Israel to Palestine before A.D., 1914. Others mocked, and even orthodox Jews assured us that they did not expect such things for several centuries. Not for fifteen years after that did Dr. Herzl and Dr. Nordau and others dream of and organize the Zionist movement for the reoccupation of Palestine by the natural descendants of Abraham, who, the Apostle says, are still "beloved for the fathers' sakes."

Just as the persecuted Jews of Russia were beginning to look for a place of refuge, and were debating colonies in South America, United States and elsewhere, some going to Palestine--the door to the Promised Land was suddenly closed by the edict of the Sultan of Turkey in 1892. That very prohibition led the Jews to look to the land of their fathers with greater intensity than ever, and the Zionist movement took form and took hold of the hearts of the Jews all the world over. The closing of the "door" led to the greater desire to enter it, and a Zionist fund was started, ostensibly to purchase the land. But only the poor Jews have faith in the promises of the Law and the prophets--the wealthy ones, generally unbelievers, refused their millions to the poorer Zionists and loaned it instead to the persecutors of their race.

As years rolled on and the Zionists became more and more enthused, their plans were laid before the Sultan by Dr. Herzl, and it was said that all of their funds were proffered for concessions in Palestine looking toward the establishing there of a Jewish State, but to no avail--Palestine remained closed. Then the British Government offered specially favorable terms for a subordinate Jewish State south of Palestine, in Africa, and this drew off the interest of some, but only the more whetted the desire of the others for the Promised Land. Then came the death of Dr. Herzl, their great leader, and no one seemed to fill his place, and Zionism began to faint by the way. Now, suddenly, without the influence of a great leader, without the cooperation of the millionaire Jews, without the expenditure of one dollar, the Sultan has lifted the embargo on Jewish emigration to Palestine as suddenly as he placed it, and without ado or explanation. To us who are watching, this all reads, "Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit [power, influence] saith the Lord." God is behind the movement, and the Jews will yet realize this, and the meek among them will rejoice therein and learn to lean less upon the arm of flesh, and more upon the arm of the Lord.

Meantime the Jews are charged (no doubt justly) by the Russian autocracy with being largely responsible for much of the trouble of that revolution-shaken land. No doubt they will on this account be more and more made the scapegoat of the situation--the Government conniving at their persecution by the revolutionaries. If this persecution has gone on even when Jewish bankers loaned money to Russia, may it not be expected to be intensified when these shall refuse further loans, as is now generally anticipated? The intelligent opposition of the Jews to the present reign of legalized anarchy may lead to a forcible expulsion of the Jews as a popular remedy.

England, alarmed at the situation in Egypt, and by the efforts of the Sultan to encourage a "Holy War" by the Mohammedans, has viewed with alarm the building of a railway from the Sinaitic Peninsula into Palestine, lest it should give the Sultan a military advantage and endanger the interests and political value of the Suez canal. It is easy to believe that England therefore would be pleased to see the Jews, a friendly race, enter Palestine in considerable numbers. Some of the English people are manifesting a Jew-hatred, and saying that England has all the Jews she wants.

The Roman Catholic press, commenting on the [R3855 : page 292] verdict that Dreyfus was not guilty of treason, claims that he was acquitted because the Jews are in control of the French Government and responsible for the annulment of the Concordat, which for so long period has existed between France and the Roman Church. She too, therefore, would be glad to be rid of the Jews in France, and may some day connive at their persecution. The Scriptures declare that at this time God will not only drive Israelites out of all the nations whither they have been scattered; but also that hunting and fishing for them he will see that at the proper time they shall return to "their own land."--Jer. 16:15,16.

Germany is trembling with fear that what is now being enacted in Russia may ere long be her portion. The Socialists of Germany are expressing their sympathy with their brethren of Russia as loudly as prudence will permit. The German Emperor fears that the success of the Russian revolutionists in forming a Republic, or even the formation of a very liberal monarchy, would endanger his own autocratic powers, if not encourage the overthrow of the Empire. There is a serious Jew question in Germany, too; and possibly the Kaiser may make himself further illustrious by taking some public step favorable to the disposition of the Jewish question--in harmony with prophecy, though entirely ignorant thereof.

A little longer and the plan of God will be complete, and we shall know as we are known. But, meantime, the "watchers" will take comfort from the evidence we have, that all these and other matters of prophecy are reaching fulfilment, and that on time.

ZIONISTS TAKING NEW COURAGE


The death of Dr. Herzl, the acknowledged leader of the Zionist movement, was surely a great shock thereto. However, we should look for the Lord's providence in the matter, and now it appears. Dr. Herzl was bent on the formation of a Jewish State with chartered rights, which the Sultan of Turkey, the ruler of Palestine, was not willing to grant. Synchronously with the death of Dr. Herzl conditions in general changed: the Jews, under a new leader, Dr. Warburg, have abandoned present political aspirations almost at the same moment that the Sultan issued his edict permitting the settlement of Palestine by Jews. This is in full accord with the prophecy, which shows that a Jewish State cannot be restored until the gathering of Spiritual Israel beyond the vail--"until the fulness from among the Gentiles be brought in." --Rom. 11:25.

The following report of the American Zionist Convention in July, from the Jewish Exponent, will be read with interest:--

"There are three important subjects that will ever be linked with this convention--practical work in Palestine, financing the Federation and official antagonism toward Territorialism. The scholarly address of Professor O. Warburg and the report on Palestine came as an entire surprise. It was like a thunderbolt from a clear sky, or I should say a sunbeam from an otherwise cloudy and threatening heaven. Yesterday the Zionist forces were in utter despair; the idea of a Jewish State in Palestine seemed but a forlorn hope, which had died with its originator.

"Today a new leader has arisen. Dr. Warburg showed them this land, almost in their grasp. There was no need of a tramp in the wilderness, there was no need for a shower of miracles. They could go in and possess the land immediately. Yesterday they could only see their hopes realized through 'the Jewish State.' Chovevi Zionism, much as they favored it because it kept them occupied, was distasteful to them; it gave them but the faintest hope. Today they see their Zion through 'Practical Work in Palestine.' Dr. Warburg cast aside the Herzlian doctrine; he tells them, first develop the country, then you are worthy of the State. Nor is this plan one of mere lesser colonization, one that proposes merely to plant little agricultural communities until the land shall overflow with their members. It proposes a thorough commercial, industrial and cultural, as well as agricultural development of the country. Its scope is only limited by a lack of political acknowledgment, and this it considers of least importance, even though Herzl laid the greatest stress on it.

"Political recognition shall merely adorn this edifice, whereas Herzl demanded it as the pillar of his State. Though the declaration of the Federation orders the 'Actions Comite to watch and take advantage of political opportunities,' yet it cannot be denied that political Zionism has been subordinated to 'the principle of active and immediate work in Palestine,' whereas the direct opposite was true with Herzl at the helm. No matter what future events this change may bring, whether it be disastrous or beneficial, time alone will judge; but the immediate effect of the change is already apparent. It has blown new life into the movement.

"The new impetus it has given Zionists for renewed effort can hardly be overestimated. It will require some time for a general realization of the stupendous effect of this change. During the coming year our forum will be occupied with discussions on the Palestine Society, the Palestine Industrial Syndicate, the Bazalel and kindred movements. Our press will echo with questions of museums, art galleries, colleges, olive trees, Palestine railroads and mines and weaving industries. The keynote of this whole new phase of Zionism is, 'Go in and possess the land.'"



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GATHER MY SAINTS TOGETHER UNTO ME

AS THE TIME for the "general assembly of the Church of the Firstborn" draws nearer, the desire of the consecrated to meet together to "build one another up in the most holy faith" seems to increase. This applies to the little local gatherings in various parts, as well as to the "One Day Conventions" and to the "General Convention." We rejoice that this is so, and hail it as one of the proper signs of brotherly love and general growth in grace and knowledge. Once we inclined to begrudge the railway fares and other expenses, but now we are learning that there is a degree of economy in temporal matters, which fosters a money-loving disposition which is a foe to grace and tends to spiritual poverty. "The liberal soul shall be made fat." (Prov. 11:25.) It is a good sign to find God's people spending their earnings for the spiritual welfare of themselves and others.

The second of our General Conventions of the year [R3856 : page 293] (at St. Paul, Minn.) is in the past, and many of our readers have already had verbal reports from those privileged to attend it. Nevertheless it is appropriate that the TOWER also set forth a summary of its prominent features.

Opening August 13, and closing Sunday the 19th, the Convention week was one round of spiritual enjoyment, participated in by about one thousand WATCH TOWER readers--of whom probably 700 were privileged to be in attendance during the entire session, while the remainder came and went at times better suiting their convenience, but always we believe with regret that they could not be more with the friends and with the Lord, whose presence was preciously realized throughout.

We cannot report here the various heartfelt testimonies given by the dear friends who came together at their own expense from twenty-eight States, including Canada and Scotland, but you have our word for it that they were heart-cheering. Very quickly those who had never met or even heard of each other were "well acquainted" and friends, bound with a tie of the Spirit warmer and stronger than any tie of blood: others who had met previously had no less joy in renewing their fellowship and greetings. Perhaps a dozen of those who attended the Asbury Park Convention were so enthused thereby that they came also to St. Paul.

All of our sessions were in the Armory Auditorium, except the publicly advertised discourse of Sunday afternoon, which was held in the new "Peoples' Church" --the largest in St. Paul. Both auditoriums were secured to us free by the business men of St. Paul at a cost to themselves, we understand, of $350. A vote of thanks was unanimously accorded them at our last session. "The Peoples' Church," we might remark, is known as very "liberal" in its religious tenets--how liberal may be judged from the fact that its beautiful and expensive stained glass windows represented donations from people of various denominations: Roman Catholics presented one representing a Pope, while the Presbyterians were represented by John Knox's features, the Methodists by Wesley, the Lutheran's by Luther, and the Free Thinkers of all shades of thought were represented by Huxley, Spencer and Confucius. And were not we represented? Yes! by a splendid ideal likeness of our Savior and Lord, the founder of our Church. The public service held in the People's Church had of course the largest attendance, the audience being estimated at 1800.

The addresses of the Convention were delivered by Brothers A. E. Williamson, John Edgar, A. E. Burgess, H. Samson, J. D. Wright, O. L. Sullivan, G. Draper, W. M. Hersey, W. E. Page, E. O. Loe, H. E. Hollister, J. A. Bohnet, G. LeFerry and C. T. Russell. They all discussed the old, old story--some emphasizing one feature, some another, each in his own style. It was the one "Song of Moses and the Lamb," rendered in different parts, but all in the one key of "Love divine, all love excelling, joy of heaven to earth come down." There was not a discordant note, because all took their keynote and time from the great Master of all, of whom the Apostle declares, "This Salvation began to be spoken by our Lord and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him"--the apostles. Such oneness is quite unusual, and is generally secured in conventions held by others by having manuscripts of what the speakers will say examined by a committee beforehand. But we needed no such restriction, because more and more, as the Lord intimated it would be, we find, "Thy watchmen shall see eye to eye." (Isa. 52:8.) Nor should we fail to remember the word, "They shall be all taught of God." (John 6:45.) The fact that the Great Teacher is present superintending the "harvest" work is, we believe, a further assurance along this line. We comfort ourselves with the thought that his eye, his rod and his staff are guiding his sheep from grace to grace and from knowledge to knowledge. Hence it is not astonishing that we find, as was predicted, that "the path of the just is as a shining light--shining more and more unto the perfect day." Little details may, indeed should be, expected to grow clearer day by day, but all the fundamentals of our faith super-structure are unchangeable.

One of the interesting features of the Convention was the baptism service. The Baptists kindly granted us the use of their auditorium and pool, and 118 were immersed in symbolization of their full consecration of their all to the Lord--even unto death.

Two other items of general interest were: (1) The Chatauqua salute given Brother Russell on his arrival on Tuesday morning, followed by a hand-shaking reception in which about 600 participated; and (2) The Love Feast, which closed the Convention. In front of the platform, ranged in line, gathered all the speakers of the Convention, with them those who led Praise and Testimony services, and the Elders of the St. Paul and Minneapolis class. Past these, shaking their hands and bidding good bye, came (1) the Colporteurs and intending Colporteurs; (2) The regularly chosen Elders present from various congregations; (3) "Bible House" assistants and others from Allegheny; (4) Those present of the St. Paul and Minneapolis Church; (5) All the remainder of the audience. It was a grand climax to a grand Convention.

A little later, when the Editor of this journal and others arrived at the R.R. depot, they found a company of about 50 brethren and sisters awaiting their departure. We parted, singing, "Blest be the tie that binds," and "God be with you till we meet again."


REPORT OF ONE DAY CONVENTIONS

En route to the St. Paul Convention, Sunday, Aug. 12, was spent as appointed, with the dear friends at Chatham, Ont. We had a delightful season. The afternoon meeting for the public was held in the Opera House, and was well attended--the audience being [R3857 : page 293] estimated at about 600. Excellent attention was given. The evening service was an address to the interested. The discourse many of our readers already have seen in public prints.

At Cumberland, Md., we had a splendid season of mutual refreshment on August 26. First came the opening rally 10 to 12 a.m., a splendid "Testimony and Praise" refreshment, participated in by nearly all present. In the afternoon the public service was the largest we ever had there. The Academy of Music was well filled--the estimate of numbers being 1,400, who gave close attention. Next morning we learned that a well-known infidel of the city was going about proclaiming that he had finally heard a reasonable gospel [R3857 : page 294] preached. The night subject was printed in the daily journals, and you have it.

The Terre Haute, Ind., One-Day Convention proved itself a blessing. The opening rally from 9.30 to 11 a.m. was truly a season of refreshing. Besides the local class there were delegations from various places within the circuit of one hundred miles; and their united testimonies to the Lord's goodness as well as their prayers and praises were comforting and encouraging every way and to all. Brother Russell addressed the gathering from 11 to 12.15 noon when we adjourned for refreshments. The topic of the discourse was "The grace of God that bringeth salvation." (Titus 2:11.) It was duly reported in the usual newspapers, which many of you receive regularly. The afternoon subject for the public, "A Cure for Infidelity--To Hell and Back," was given a very attentive hearing by about 1500 very intelligent looking people.

McKeesport, Pa., only about 15 miles from Allegheny and Pittsburg, was given a One-Day Convention from a desire to preach the truth to more of its citizens. The afternoon session for the public was attended by about 1200. The evening discourse to the interested, which was reported in the secular journals, was from the text, "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God." (Rom. 3:23.) The earnest attention given by many leaves room for the hope that some of the Lord's jewels were brought in contact with Present Truth by these meetings.


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THE 1906 CONVENTIONS
Behold how they gather from East and from West,
From North and from South they come;
No visible emblems nor banners are theirs,
Nor loud rolling beat of the drum.
But with faces alight with the hope which is theirs,
With the love which sustains, and the promise which cheers,
They herald the kingdom to come.

Unknown to the world, as their "Head" was unknown,
And willingly sharing his cross;
Believing the kingdom long-promised is near,
Are parting from all earthly dross.
The "sun" fast arising now gladdens their eyes,
And just within reach seems the rich cherished prize,
For which they count all else but loss.

Yes, here they assemble, these uncrowned kings,
On the Master's business intent;
All humbly and meekly pursuing their way,
In his service willingly spent.
And the world knoweth not, as they knew not of Him,
What honors are theirs who are serving their King,
And full on his mission are bent.

And who shall say that they met there alone?
For were there not forms more fair,
Of those who have heard their Master's "Well done!"
Rejoicing with him "in the air"?
Invisible yet, our dim eyes can not see;
Still, hovering o'er us their presence may be,
And we shall soon be with them there.

Full soon shall that Greatest Convention be held,
The faithful ones all to be there;
Our Master presiding in glorious garb,
And we in his glory to share
There highly exalted to sit in his throne,
To lift up the billions down-trodden so long.
"Oh, what must it be to be there."
A. J. M.



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WONDERFUL WORDS OF LIFE
--SEPTEMBER 23.--REVIEW--

"And they were astonished at his doctrine, for his word was with power."--Luke 4:32.

THIS LESSON is set apart as a review for the past quarter. We leave it for each one to review as he may find opportunity, and here merely offer a few remarks respecting the Golden Text above. The text brings to our recollection the words of Oliver Wendell Holmes, illustrating the power of the Truth and its effect upon those who are not of the Truth--not of the light but of darkness. We quote:--

"THE TRUTH"

"Have you ever, when walking about out of doors, found some big flat stone that has lain no one knows how long, just where you found it, surrounded by grass that forms as it were a little fence around it--and have you not, obeying some sort of feeling, thought that it has been there long enough, put your stick or your finger or the foot under its edge and overturned it?

"What a scene, and what an unexpected and disagreeable surprise for a little colony, the very existence of which you did not imagine before you observed the sudden confusion and anguish of its inhabitants when overturning the stone! No sooner is the stone overturned, and the wholesome daylight entered to the compressed and light shy society of creeping things under it, than every one of them possessing legs--and many of them have a whole lot--run wildly about and push against each other and everything in their way, and it ends with a universal general rush for the subterranean hiding places from a circuit poisoned by the sunlight.

"Never imagine that you can overturn an old lie without causing a terrible confusion and alarm among the sickening little world living under it!

"Every real idea and every real subject bring one or another to gasp. And having regained the breath he will probably begin to misuse it for blasphemy. These are the best proofs you can get that you have expressed a truth for which the time was ripe."

LIGHT, TRUTH, MAKES MANIFEST

From time to time the Lord has allowed the world to follow its own wisdom into dense darkness, and then has suddenly turned on the light, producing very much the effect described in the foregoing illustration. It was thus in Elijah's day, and through many of the prophets God turned on the light and brought corresponding testings. But at our Lord's first advent, when the great light came into the world and was displayed in the midst of those who had claimed to be the people of God, the children of the light, it demonstrated that many of them were really children of darkness who loved not the light, loved not the truth. Similarly, in the days of the Reformation through Luther, Knox, Wesley and others, the light was turned on, and the accumulated errors and darkness were removed, to the advantage of those who loved the light, but to the disturbance of those who loved the darkness. And today conditions are very much the same: the light of Present Truth finds comparatively few even in enlightened Christendom to appreciate the riches of God's grace and take a fuller view of the love and mercy of God, manifested in the great redemptive work of Christ, to be accomplished in the "times of restitution [R3860 : page 295] of all things spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets."--Acts 3:19-21.

In every case it has been the Word of God that has caused the disturbance, the commotion. Whether sent through the prophets of old or through the apostles and reformers of this age it has been God speaking from heaven-- and his Word is quick and powerful searching beyond any human message. It will separate, it will distinguish; it will find the Truth hungry, it will separate the others; it is the light of which the Apostle declared. Whatsoever doth make manifest is light. The attitude assumed by the people toward the light, the Truth, demonstrates better than all their professions would do whether they are of the light or of the darkness. In our imperfection of judgment we might suppose that some were children of light who really are not [R3861 : page 295] of the light, and we might presume some to be children of darkness who are really different at heart. The Lord knows them that are his, he demonstrates who is on his side and who on the side of darkness; let us be content and let the sickle of truth do the separating in the harvest work; and let us not be self-willed and self-opinionated, but waiting on the Lord. Let us wait patiently on him to bring about the separation with divine wisdom and love--we know that his plan is the best in the end.

"ASTONISHED AT HIS DOCTRINES"

It is an old adage that truth is stranger than fiction. The fallen condition of the human mind and heart seems to lead us to accept as more reasonable its own imaginings of others rather than the direct clear statement of the divine Word. Hence, whenever the Truth has been published the effect has been, as here stated, that the people were astonished at the doctrine, had never heard of such doctrines before, never had matters so clear. All the theories of men are confusing, blurred, inconsistent when compared with the wonderful divine plan of salvation. We are not surprised, therefore, indeed it becomes the evidence of the truthfulness of our position, that we find similar conditions today. Many, as they hear of the glorious plan of the ages, make just such a remark as our text, that they are astonished at the teaching, its beauty, its power, its reasonableness, the way it glorifies God, the way in which it explains circumstances and conditions in the present time, birth, death, our hopes, our fears, the world's ignorance and the coming time of blessing and turning away of the curse and of darkness, and the shining in of the Sun of Righteousness with healing in its beams, bringing in "times of restitution." No less wonderful is the message respecting the high calling, the joint-heirship with Jesus in the heavenly things which eye hath not seen nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man. (1 Cor. 2:9.) More and more we are convinced that the eyes of our understanding must be anointed in order that we may appreciate the lengths and breadths and heights and depths of the love of God, which passeth all understanding.



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A CHRISTIAN SOLDIER'S BATTLE
--GAL. 5:15-26; 6:7,8.--SEPTEMBER 30.--

MANY sing, "Onward, Christian Soldier, battling for the right," who but imperfectly comprehend the meaning of their words, the signification of the Christian battle. But it is a battle of freedom in the highest and best sense of the expression. In ignorance the battle is often misrepresented before the public mind. To give an illustration, the newspapers recently told of how a colony of emigrants from Europe had killed one of their number for a violation of some of their social regulations, and how they were very much surprised when the officers of the law made investigation. They thought they were coming to a free country! They were surprised to learn that freedom here is understood only to mean literally to do right--liberty under the laws framed and approved by the majority. This illustrates in large measure the anarchist condition of the natural mind in its untutored condition.

Civilization, basing itself partly on an appreciation of the principles of justice and partly upon the lessons of history, attempts so to shape the laws of the land as to secure the rights of all. It is not surprising, however, that--with selfishness a ruling element in all hearts by nature--neither the laws nor the practices of the most civilized are perfect: that is to say, the largest amount of protection and the largest amount of individual liberty are not always secured. When we consider that the lawmakers and executives are all imperfect, biased, selfish, we are properly amazed at the amount of justice we find in the world and the amount of liberty. If all the lawmakers were saints, fully in harmony with the divine arrangements and merely limited by the imperfection of their mortal bodies, we could not expect much better laws than we find in the world; and were it not that the Scriptures clearly show us that the Church, as kings and priests of the future, will be absolutely perfect in every respect and backed by divine wisdom and power, we could not anticipate for the Millennium anything much better than we now possess in the way of governmental machinery.

As we compare the various degrees of civilization throughout the world, and note that the wisest and best laws and wisest and best execution of them and the greatest true liberty of the people within reasonable bounds are found in those nations which have most reverenced the divine message, the Bible, it is a strong argument that the Word of God has not only influenced the "little flock," who take it most seriously, and lay aside every weight and hindrance and worldly ambition to run with patience in the footsteps of Jesus, but it has influenced the minds of many who have never taken this step of full consecration. In a word, the liberty wherewith Christ makes free is not the liberty of license but the liberty of reason, of justice and of love; and in proportion as any one has received the spirit of the divine teaching, in that same proportion he is a free-man. We thank God, therefore, for the measure of national liberty which prevails throughout the world, even while we see clearly from the prophecies of the Scriptures, as well as written on the pages of the daily press, that a great misinterpretation of liberty is rapidly spreading throughout the world, which will eventually wreck the present civilization in anarchy.

THE HIGHEST CONCEPTION OF LIBERTY

The civilized world, like a school, divides itself into various classes, some more and some less advanced: the lowest class totally misapprehend liberty, thinking of it merely as license, self-will, and failing to recognize the fact that selfishness being in control and interests conflicting, its conception of liberty is unreasonable and injurious. The second class appreciates liberty, and more reasonably submits itself wherever necessity compels, and no more. With these it is a matter of policy and not of principle. One class approves liberty for the masses, because otherwise the masses [R3857 : page 296] would rebel. It lengthens its own rope of privilege to the extent that the majority permit. Selfishness controls in every granting of liberty, and in every attempt to secure more liberty and privilege for self these would be granted to others. Merely the conflict of interests at the present time preserves to the world the measure of liberty which it now enjoys.

The third class has a conception of liberty which neither of the other two classes can understand or appreciate --the liberty to serve and to do good to all men along the lines not of selfishness but of love for all. This Christian ideal is to the world in general foolishness. While they have grown to respect the great Teacher and his apostles who set forth this Christian view of liberty, they feel privileged to denounce as foolish the living representatives of this same doctrine--that the perfect law of liberty is love and service to God and our neighbor. Those who advocate and practice love from this Scriptural standpoint are by their fellows "counted fools all the day long," denounced as impractical, unsophistical, and sometimes reprobated as hypocrites.

THE FIGHT FOR LIBERTY

All the liberty there is in the world today has been paid for: none of it has been attained without sacrificers. Why? Because selfishness is so entrenched in the race that those who possess power, authority, privilege, opportunity, would hold these for themselves to the disadvantage of others, to the enslavement of others, were not the rights and liberties fought for. Looking back over the history of nations, without approving of wars, every reasoning mind can see, nevertheless, that only through wars have liberties come to the race. The mistake that is being made by many today is the supposition that humanity would ever be able to attain the condition of absolute equality and unselfishness through laws or wars or any other means within the power of Adam's race.

The Scriptures point out to us that there is a limit beyond which we must not expect selfish humanity to make progress--that any progress beyond that limit must come from on high, through the establishment of the Kingdom of God's dear Son; that while wealth and influence and talents will yield to the pressure of the masses for their own protection and aggrandizement, they will not yield everything, but would permit the entire social structure to dissolve rather than to submit to a general equalization, as is the aim of Socialism. Hence Socialism, while not intending anarchy, will produce anarchy; while striving for greater liberty and universality of blessings of earth it will effect a wreck of all these. Thanks be to God that his program is that on this wreck of present institutions he will establish the true reign of liberty on the plane of love, under the guidance of the Master and his joint-heirs.

THE CHRISTIAN'S FIGHT

If the world's liberty has required fighting for, much more may we expect to battle for those who take the still higher ground of the Bible, and who strive for the "liberty wherewith Christ makes free." (Gal. 5:1.) For although this very Scripture declares that Christ gives this freedom, the Word shows us that he gives it only to those who desire it and who will fight for it. Their battle is not to be with carnal weapons which the law of love forbids, yet their [R3858 : page 296] warfare is to be mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds of error. Against what, then, do they battle? We answer that their chief fight is against the fallen tendencies of their own beings. They find that, through the long centuries of the fall, sin has become inbred and entrenched in their flesh to such a degree that it necessitates a warfare in the new mind. They get the new mind or disposition through hearkening to the word of the Lord, which, while speaking peace and forgiveness of sins through faith in Christ, invites to a newness of nature and a joint-heirship with Christ through a full consecration of all to the divine service--to the service of righteousness and truth. The making of the consecration on the part of the believer was his entering upon the career of a good soldier of the Lord Jesus. It was his engagement to battle against sin and selfishness everywhere, according to the rules laid down by the chief Captain.

To the surprise of every soldier he finds that some of his greatest battles are within. True he finds the world an opponent to his full devotion of time and talent and influence to the service of the Truth. The world is not prepared for such an extreme, which more or less reproves it of sin and selfishness: the world, therefore, sneers and cries "hypocrite," "saint," etc., and seeks to turn aside the consecrated. To be a good soldier he must be prepared for this and have on the sandals of preparation afforded by the Gospel, else the difficulties strewn in his path by worldly opposition would soon make him so footsore that he would be disposed to turn back notwithstanding the term of his enlistment --"even unto death." The Adversary also is a foe who must be reckoned with, and whose subtle attacks may be encountered in various ways. The Christian soldier has the assurance of his Captain that all the arts of the Adversary are known to him, and that all his interests shall be guarded so long as he is loyal to his Captain and faithful to his consecration and enlistment.

But, as we have said, the chiefest of all the Christian soldier's opponents is the human foe--the weaknesses and cravings and demands and subtle persecutions, etc., of the fallen conditions of his own mind and body. To his surprise he finds himself a slave to his own weaknesses, and that he must battle daily, hourly almost, for victory, in order to attain fully the liberty wherewith Christ makes free indeed. From this standpoint all battles against our own fleshly weaknesses, our own selfish instincts and propensities, are battles for liberty, battles for right, battles on the Lord's side. Our great Captain is not so much wishing us to fight his battles as wishing us to fight the good fight of faith in ourselves, and in this matter he is ready to assist us, and without him we can do nothing. True, our battles extend beyond ourselves sometimes when, either amongst the Lord's brethren and the Church, we need to battle for the Truth, the right, or in our contact with the world we may sometimes find hostilities necessary.

"IF YE BITE AND DEVOUR"

Amongst the Lord's people, even in the apostles' day, there was a tendency at times to fight each other rather than to fight the devil and the spirit of the world and the weaknesses within. The organs of combativeness and destructiveness, which would serve a Christian soldier in good stead if directed against his own weaknesses and blemishes, are sadly out of place when, ignoring his own weaknesses, he merely becomes contentious with the brethren--often over nothing, or over questions whose importance he exaggerates, because of his contentious spirit. Such should remember the Scriptural statement that greater is he that ruleth his own spirit than he that taketh a city. (Prov. 16:32.) The Apostle refers to that misdirection of Christian energy which bites and devours one another, and tends to the destruction of all that is spiritual amongst the Lord's people. Not that the Apostle favored slackness as respects the important [R3858 : page 297] principles of the divine revelation, for he himself urged that we contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints. (Jude 3.) But this earnest contending is not to be done in a biting and devouring manner--it is to be with patience and long suffering, brotherly kindness, love.

The Lord's people have enlisted as New Creatures, Spirit begotten, to walk [to live] not after the flesh but after the Spirit, and must continually recognize this fact, and keep watch that they are walking in line with the spirit of truth, and must know that in so doing they will not be fulfilling the desires of their fallen flesh. The Apostle states this as a positive rule, without exception, that the flesh, the natural inclinations, tendencies, lusts or desires, are contrary to the Spirit, and likewise the Spirit desires are contrary to the flesh. These two desires being opposed one to the other we cannot gratify both, and whichever is gratified it will be so at the expense of the other. If we ever want to attain to the true liberty wherewith Christ makes free we should know that it can only be by a persistent warfare of the new mind against every sinful tendency and inclination of the old nature. It is not the new will warring against the old, for the old will we have reckoned dead. It is the new will warring against the flesh, which the old will used to control, and which flesh still has its evil tendencies.

The new will, therefore, needs all the sustaining strength and assistance which it can secure. Many of these are provided for it as food, nourishment, strength, through the Word of God, whose exceeding great and precious promises are given in order that the new will may be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might through faith, and conquer in all of its battles with the flesh.

The Apostle's declaration, "Ye cannot do the things which ye would," is in full accord with all our experiences. We can sometimes do as we would in some things, we can gain the victory over the flesh; but there are certain weaknesses, failings, blemishes in our flesh which are so powerful that the new mind never gets as complete a mastery over them as it desires. Nevertheless in all the battles being waged the new mind grows stronger and stronger while the flesh grows weaker and weaker. The Scriptural proposition, however, is that we must expect to have more or less of these battles until our dying moments. Thank God that will be the end of the strife, for in the resurrection we are promised new bodies, perfect, complete, in which the new mind will be able to exercise itself without conflict. That is the rest which remains for the people of God, and associated with it will be various other blessings, honors, dignities and responsibilities which the Lord has promised.

"YE ARE NOT UNDER THE LAW"

The Jewish Law was prominent before the minds of the early Church, because the majority had come to Christ through Judaism. The Law had its requirements and exactions and condemnations, and it was difficult for the early Church to comprehend the liberty which was properly theirs in Christ. Their minds would waver as between the gift of grace in Christ and the rewards of the Law, and hence they were continually in trouble because of a realization of the imperfection of their flesh. The Apostle urges the point that those who have accepted Christ are no longer under the Law Covenant, hoping for eternal life under its impossible conditions. The Law could only approve that which was perfect, and while believers realize that their hearts, their wills, their intentions, are perfect, they realize also the imperfection of their flesh.

The Apostle's argument therefore is, "If ye be led of the Spirit then are ye not under the Law." (Gal. 5:18.) That is to say, You who have accepted Christ, and who are now walking according to the new mind to the best of your ability, are following the lead of the Spirit, and you have nothing to do with the Law, and it cannot condemn you as imperfect because of your fleshly weaknesses, for you are protected under the robe of Christ's righteousness, and the divine arrangement is that so long as you are following the Spirit, following the new mind, seeking to walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit, that long you are justified, approved of the Lord, and the imperfections of your flesh that are contrary to your best endeavors are not charged to your account, but to the Lord Jesus' account. Those unwilling imperfections were all laid upon him who bore our sins in his own body on the tree, as his perfections have been applied to us through faith to cover those unwilling blemishes.

"AGAINST SUCH THERE IS NO LAW"

While the Law Covenant was nailed to Jesus' cross it does not mean that there is no law covering the Lord's people. The very essence of the divine law is love for God and for man, and the Apostle points out that our course as Christians walking after the Spirit of Christ would be condemned by no law of God; but on the contrary, if neglecting our consecration to the Lord we walk after the flesh, there would be condemnation against us because judged according to the Spirit, the intention of our hearts, we are either approved or disapproved by the divine law of love.

The works of the flesh the Apostle enumerates, and they are all violations of the law of love under which the New Creatures in Christ are being examined; they all come under the head of selfishness and imply injury to our fellow-creatures. He enumerates these: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, malice, wrath, strife, divisions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like. The Apostle points out that anyone begotten of the Spirit who walks, that is who lives, along the lines of these works of the flesh need have no hope of any share in the Kingdom of Heaven. He does not say that all such would share in the Second Death, [R3859 : page 297] but we know of a surety how such conduct persisted in would ultimately result in the Second Death. It is sufficient for our purpose, however, to leave the matter where the Apostle does, and to note that there is no prospect for a share in the Kingdom for any who do these works of the flesh and of the devil.

It is unfortunate for some that they seem unable to realize the scope of this testimony; they seem to think of adultery, drunkenness and murder as being the crimes that would debar from a share in the Kingdom. They overlook the fact that the Lord defined adultery to be a desire to do evil where only the opportunity is lacking; that he defined murder as represented in that condition of heart which hates a brother. They overlook the statement of the Apostle in this very list that the spirit of variance, the spirit of ambition and jealousy, the spirit of envy and division, are spirits of the flesh and in opposition to the New Creature led by the [R3859 : page 298] holy Spirit. O, if all of the Lord's people could have in mind these searching tests and apply them to their own lives, what a profit would result, what a blessing, what a fleeing from these weaknesses of the old nature, what a fighting against them for the liberty of the New Creature and its final attainment to glory, honor and immortality with their Lord in the Kingdom!

THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT

Having pointed out to us what would constitute walking after the flesh, the Apostle next indicates the conditions and experiences which should assure the Lord's people that they are not only soldiers of the cross and followers of the Lamb, but that they are fighting a good fight, gaining victories over the flesh. He suggests that if we are begotten of the Spirit and guided thereby there will be a fruitage in our life which will be manifest to ourselves and should to some extent also be apparent to others. This "fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, temperance."

There is no law of God against these things, these qualities, these characteristics of the new nature, and very rarely will any law amongst men be found in opposition to them, although indirectly those who practice these things will be unpopular with the world as well as with the adversary and have trying experiences as a result--experiences, however, which persevered in will work out a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. On the contrary, he who lacks such fruit in his heart, in his mind, in his experiences, lacks the evidence which he should have of his faithfulness as a good soldier in warring against the old nature. He lacks therefore the full assurance of faith, without which as a New Creature he could not have peace and joy. It will be observed that all these fruits of the Spirit are contrary to selfishness. If the Lord's people could but come to the place where daily, morning noon and night, they would have self-examinations to see to what extent they are growing these fruits of the Spirit and to what extent they are rooting out the works of the flesh, it would be to the comfort and joy of all who are in the right condition. Though it might be to the discouragement of others, it would be a discouragement which eventually would be to them advantageous and in the end would hinder them from making shipwreck.

"CRUCIFIED THE FLESH"

Pursuing his subject, showing why we should fight against our natural desires and inclinations toward things that are selfish and sinful, the Apostle declared that they that are Christ's [his consecrated ones, prospective members of his Bride] have crucified the flesh, with the passions and lusts thereof. What does he mean?--that those who have accepted Christ as their sin offering, believing that the crucified one paid their ransom price, have counted their flesh in as though crucified with Christ, saying, Since sin cost the crucifixion of our Redeemer we will be opposed to sin and dead to sin forever. The thought is that whoever has clearly and intelligently accepted Christ as his Savior from sin will be so opposed to sin that he will count his own flesh as condemned to death and be hoping for the new body, the spiritual, and be willing that his flesh should die a lingering death until the last gasp, so strong will be his opposition to sin and everything allied therewith, so strong will his sympathy be with God and the Redeemer, and the holiness which they represent.

"If we live in the Spirit let us also walk in the Spirit," the Apostle adds. That is to say, begotten of the Spirit we reckon ourselves New Creatures, spirit beings, not yet perfect. To us old things are passed away, the things of sin, and all things have become new in harmony with the exceeding great and precious hopes which have been begotten in us by the Lord's promises. If these be true, let us walk, let us live our daily life accordingly, in harmony with this thought--as New Creatures in Christ, not as men energized by their ambitions or projects, not as taking pleasure in the things contrary to the new nature.

"PROVOKING ONE ANOTHER"

As before suggested, while our difficulties arise from our own fallen flesh, they are apt to manifest themselves in the affairs of the Church. The old spirit of selfishness inclines to be ambitious for influence, power, authority, glory amongst the brethren, overlooking the fact that such vainglory and envyings are entirely contrary to the Spirit of the Lord, by which we have been begotten--entirely overlooking the fact that while this ambitious spirit dominates us in any measure we are unfit for the Kingdom and will have proportionately less and less of the Lord's favor and blessing and guidance in our hearts and heads. Hence the Apostle urges, "Let us not be vainglorious, provoking one another, envying one another." Whoever manifests a vainglorious spirit tempts another in the same direction through retaliation, and thus there is a provoking or inciting to an evil course; whereas the Apostle urges, on the contrary, that the New Creatures in Christ should provoke or incite one another to love and good works, that would be to their mutual advantage and development.

"GOD IS NOT MOCKED"

The compilers of this lesson here introduce Galatians 6:7,8 very appropriately. The theme is the same. We might succeed in deceiving ourselves, possibly succeed in deceiving others into thinking that we are spiritual, walking after the Spirit, while really heady, highminded, vainglorious and envious, but, says the Apostle, we could never deceive God. For such to claim that they were walking after the Spirit and not after the flesh would be mocking God, would imply that God could not read the heart and discern the motive. And the Apostle suggests that in God's arrangement we are sure to reap the very crop we sow. If, in our daily intercourse with the family, the brethren and the world, we allow the envious, selfish, vainglorious, ambitious spirit to control, with more or less of anger, hatred, strife, and dissension, we may surely expect the legitimate crop will not become the reverse of this; instead of finding ourselves in the resurrection copies of God's dear Son, we will find ourselves wholly unfit for the company of the elect.

But, on the other hand, if we sow to the Spirit-- that is, if in the daily affairs of life we seek to have our hearts and minds in full accord and sympathy with the Spirit or the Lord, as presented to us in his Word and exemplified in our Redeemer and the apostles--then we may have the assurance with God that he will not forget us however weak we may be, however insignificant according to the flesh, but we will be remembered of him in the resurrection and be granted a share with all the overcomers in his Kingdom; we will reap of the Spirit the spiritual body, as the Apostle intimates, "For he that soweth unto his flesh shall of the flesh reap [R3859 : page 299] corruption; death, but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." We are to remember, however, that this sowing and reaping is done by the New Creature, the new mind, the new will, and not by the flesh. However weak and imperfect the flesh may be, God judgeth us not thereby. On the contrary, he looketh upon the heart, upon the intention, upon the will, and his reward or condemnation will be according to what our hearts have desired and endeavored. He will count us as victors if loyally and firmly we endure hardness as good soldiers, faithful to the end.

OUR GOLDEN TEXT

Those who arranged the lesson series designed this for a lesson on temperance, and chose as the Golden Text, "Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging." (Prov. 20:1.) While we trust that few if any of the readers of this journal need special exhortation along this line, we do desire to express our full sympathy with the temperance cause. From our standpoint of observation, intoxicating liquors, while not the root of all evil, may well be said to be the root of much of the crime of our day. Surely no consecrated child of God could feel that he was in line with the divine will if, yielding to his appetites, he became intoxicated. If he did not feel ashamed of himself surely the hearts of all right-minded saints would burn in sympathy for him. The cost of alcoholic beverages consumed in so-called Christendom is enormous, and nothing could better demonstrate, we think, that the name "Christendom," signifying Christ's Kingdom, has been misapplied. When Christ's Kingdom shall rule the world, we believe that a great change will be effected along the lines of temperance. The cost of intemperance is not merely measured by the cost of the liquors consumed, but also by the crimes and the diseases attendant.

OUR NATIONAL DRINK BILL

The American Grocer prepares yearly an estimate of the drink bill of the people of the United States. These figures, while not official, are recognized as being the best data obtainable on the question. Of course, much of the work is estimated, as is shown by the statement that liquor is figured on the basis of sixty drinks [R3860 : page 299] to the gallon, the average price per drink being taken at seven and a half cents. The entire drink bill for stimulants is placed at the enormous total of almost one and one-half billion dollars, far more than the bonded indebtedness of the United States, and almost three times the ordinary yearly expenditures of the Government, exclusive of the postal item. On a per-capita basis this means more than eighteen dollars a year, the more harmless stimulants, such as tea, coffee, and cocoa, accounting for less than three dollars, while alcoholic beverages make up the remainder. Of course, no small part of this drink bill goes into public treasuries either as internal revenue, as custom duties, or to the various municipalities in license fees, etc.; but the drink bill is a great burden on the people, a burden that cannot be fairly measured by the cost alone of the liquors consumed. To the over indulgence in alcoholic stimulants must be attributed the greater part of the crime and poverty in the country. Were those all reckoned into the accounting, our national drink bill would be advanced from its present figures, large as they are, to a total that would be appalling.--Boston Herald, May, 1905.

"Rot of barley, rot of corn.
That's where Alcohol is born,
To his rotten nature true,
To rot is all that he can do.
Rotten men and rotten boys;
Rotten hopes and rotten joys;
Rotten slums of degradation;
Rotten politics in the nation.
Rotten ballots, rotten laws;
Parties with a rotten cause;
Nursed on nature's rotting juices,
Rot is all that it produces."

A story is current in the Orient of a wise old sheik, who gave to a young Arab prince, from whom he was about to part, a list of crimes, and bade him choose the one which seemed least harmful. The young prince turned in horror from murder, theft and loss of virtue, and told the patriarch he would choose intemperance. "You have chosen that," said the wise old man, "which will bring you all."



[R3861 : page 299]

NOT FAR FROM THE KINGDOM
--MARK 12:28-34,38-44--OCTOBER 7.--

"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart."

IN OUR study of September 15th we considered our Lord's answer to the Pharisees and Herodians and Sadducees on the Tuesday preceding his crucifixion. The present lesson closely connects with that one. A Scribe and Doctor of the Law, noting with apparent sincerity the wisdom of our Lord's replies to the Pharisees and Sadducees, broached the question respecting the Law--quite a common one among the Jews--namely, which commandment is the first or chief, the most important. It will be remembered that on another occasion a Scribe asked the Lord a similar question, and our Lord drew from him the answer by inquiring, "What sayest thou?" In the present instance, however, Jesus answered the question directly, quoting from the summary of the ten commandments. (Deut. 6:4,5.) "Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one, Jehovah, and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, with all thy mind and with all thy strength."

Our attention is called to a comment on this Scripture set forth in a Sunday School Teachers' Manual, as follows:

"This describes, designates, the God whom we are to love supremely. Jehovah, the God of Israel, is the one absolute, self-existent, eternal God, and he alone. He is the Creator, Ruler, Preserver, Guide, Savior, Father, Source of all good. One of the best services science has done for religion is the completeness of the proof that there is but one God, by proving the unity of material, of force, of government throughout the known universe. The unity of moral law is another unassailable proof."

"No Unitarian can insist upon the absolute unity of God with more earnestness and emphasis than do the Trinitarians. We believe in one God, and only one. It would be a terrible thing if there were conflicting deities, some having one dominion and others another. There would be no peace, no safety, no exaltation [R3861 : page 300] of soul, no assurance of hope, no eternal heaven."

NEITHER UNITARIAN NOR TRINITARIAN

Trinitarians and Unitarians seem to have divided the truth between them so that neither one possesses it in the Scriptural sense. Unitarians, so far as the name belongs to a denomination, and judged by their public declarations, reject Jesus as the special son of God, who was with the Father before the world was, and who left his heavenly state to become a man, to accomplish the redemption of Adam and his race, and who having died for our sins has been raised from the dead by the Father's power, far above angels, principalities and powers, and every name that is named, to participate in the divine nature and glory and honor. From the Unitarian standpoint, therefore, our Lord Jesus would appear to have been merely a good man and a noble example of good living. According to this view, our Lord is not divine, but human. We cannot accept this as the teaching of the Scripture.

We must hold to the contrary that he who was rich yet for our sakes became poor, not only experienced the humiliation but has since experienced still higher exaltation, so that as a result all men should honor the Son even as they honor the Father also. While we cannot admit with the Trinitarians that this last expression would mean that the Father and the Son would be one in person, we claim that they are, nevertheless, one in purpose, in plan, in co-operation, in heart harmony--one in the same sense that the Master desired that all of his disciples might be one with the Father and with himself, praying, "That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us." The Trinitarian view, while nearer the truth than the Unitarian, in some respects is, nevertheless, wide of the truth and very confusing both to head and to heart, and proportionately injurious to the cause of the Lord. As our Lord's quotation from the Law clearly states, "Jehovah God is one God" and not three Gods.

THE FATHER AND SON ONE IN SENTIMENT

The Son of God is not the Father but the Son, who "proceeded forth from the Father," who was the Beginning of the creation of God. (John 8:42; Rev. 3:14.) Nevertheless, even before he became man's ransom price his close association with the Father and his oneness of heart and purpose with him are clearly indicated in the Scriptures. We are assured that he was the "Word of God"--the logos, the expression, the channel of the Father's communication. We are assured that while the Father was the God above all others, the Son, the Logos, was a God above all others, next to the Father but subservient to the Father. We are assured that he was the Father's active agent in the entire work of creation, so that "by him were all things made that were made, and without him was not one thing made." (John 1:1-3.) His subserviency to the Father is testified to by himself, "The Father is greater than I," "The Father hath sent me," "As I hear I speak." (John 14:28; 20:21.) This subservience and dependence upon the Father not only was true of our Lord while he was in the flesh and before he was made flesh, but is distinctly asserted of him since his resurrection to glory, honor and immortality to divine nature.

The Apostle tells us that the Millennial Kingdom glory, honor and power are to be specially given to the Son by the Father, and that when the Son shall have finished that appointed work he will deliver up the Kingdom to God, even the Father, and the Father will be recognized as the "all in all" of the universe. (I Cor. 15:28.) Every utterance of the inspired Word of God is in full accord with those which we have quoted. For instance, we have already referred to the statement that he and the Father are one, and have shown that he meant not oneness in respect to authority or person but oneness in respect to their plans, purposes and work, he having set aside his own will to do the Father's will. In the same manner he desires that all who would be recognized as his disciples, and by and by constitute his Bride, should lay aside their own wills and be fully submissive to the Father's will, and thus be in the fullest harmony with the Father and the Son, "That they all may be one in us." In accord with this view we have also the statement of our Lord, "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father:" that is, humanity being of earthly nature could not see a spirit being, as it is written, "There shall no man see me and live." (Exod. 33:20.) A perfect human being would be the best illustration of the Heavenly Father that it would be possible for mankind to see with the natural eye, and this they did see in our Lord Jesus, the Father's image in the flesh. For a further and complete analysis of this subject the reader is referred to MILLENNIAL DAWN, VOL. V.

HOW TO LOVE GOD PERFECTLY

The definition here given of the love due to our Creator is all comprehensive: our hearts, our affections, must all reverence and love him; our souls, our being, our bodies, must all be controlled by love for God; our [R3862 : page 300] minds must similarly recognize, reverence, appreciate and love the Lord, and our strength of mind or body must recognize him as worthy of every loving service we can render. Not only so, but our hearts, minds, etc., must not be divided in their love--the Lord must be first with us in every sense of the word. This means the full consecration of time, talent, influence, everything that we possess--it means a condition of heart that is unknown to the vast majority even of those who are justified by faith in the precious blood, and who have a measure of peace with God through our Lord Jesus. This fulness of love for the Father represents not the beginning of the consecrated Christian's condition, but its fulness, its completeness. It represents not his attitude at the time he enters the school of Christ to learn of him, but the condition he must attain to before he can reach the mark or be ready for graduation to the heavenly condition.

FIRST REVERENCE--LATER LOVE

The reverence of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, but is not the end of it. We cannot love God until we have become acquainted with him and ascertained the lovable qualities represented in him. Hence the importance of the knowledge everywhere pointed out in the Word of God. "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou has sent." (John 17:3.) The fear or reverence of God is our first knowledge, and if we be rightly exercised thereby the Lord will reveal himself to us more and more as the one appointed to be the Way, the Truth, the Life--no man cometh unto the Father except by him. Many lessons are to be learned respecting the power and greatness and wisdom and justice of our God before we are able to [R3862 : page 301] understand and appreciate the "love of God which passeth all understanding."

If we were all perfect as Adam was perfect we would have little difficulty in appreciating the divine character, because the perfect man was created in the divine image and would therefore readily appreciate all the divine qualities and attributes; but born in sin, shapen in iniquity, we are all more or less fallen from that perfection and must learn to know our God. As already suggested, our fallen conditions permit us to learn of his wisdom, justice and power quicker than to learn of his love. Indeed God's love has not yet been manifested to the world in general. Only to a comparatively small number is God's love manifested at all, and it is seen by them only with the eye of faith. The Apostle declares, "Herein was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world that we might live through him."--John 4:9.

How few realize the need of this sacrifice! Such only can appreciate the love that was back of it and manifested through it. The great majority are blind to these things, and must wait for their appreciation of the love of God until the glorious time foretold in the prophecies, when the Sun of Righteousness shall arise and chase all the darkness and sin away, when there shall be no more curse resting upon the world of mankind, when Satan shall be bound and the knowledge of the Lord be caused to fill the whole earth--then, as one of the chief elements of the glory of God, will be clearly seen by all mankind the love of God which passeth all understanding. Thank God that we are so highly favored that the eyes of our understanding are opening to this great love of God in advance of the world's blessing and enlightenment! Nevertheless, to the most enlightened this appreciation of the divine character as the God of love came gradually, little by little, as we came to understand the lengths and breadths and heights and depths of the divine plan, and have come to appreciate the love that prompted that plan and is outworking it and guaranteeing its consummation to be glorious.

KNOWLEDGE NECESSARY TO LOVE

In proportion as we discern the perfection of the divine character, in the same proportion are we able to love the Lord with all our hearts, all our minds, all our beings, all our strength. The Christian who attains to this in his heart has surely reached the mark expressed by this command--the first command, the principal command. The Lord may permit him to be tried, tested and proved along the line of this love and to demonstrate a fixity of love, but all the time he was thus being tested he is at this standard of the divine law. There is a distinction, however, to be made between the heart standard by which the Lord is judging the Church and the fleshly standard by which the same persons might be judged of others. Because of the weakness of the flesh, the heart love for the Lord might at times not be fully and clearly expressed so that it would be apparent to all mankind. The world, which judges only by the flesh, knoweth us not. It is a consolation to our hearts that the Father realizes our love and devotion, and is judging us not according to the flesh, but according to the spirit, the heart, the intention, the new mind. And in proportion as we realize the imperfections of our flesh and our inability to show the loving devotion of our hearts and minds, being and strength, we should have compassion and sympathy with our fellow members who similarly more or less imperfectly manifest in their flesh the devotion of heart which they have professed. As the Lord waits patiently for us to develop the fruits of the Spirit, the graces of the Spirit, in our lives, so it behooves us to wait patiently upon the fellow-members of the body as they seek also to become renewed in thought and word and deed, sanctified wholly to the Master and his use.

"THY NEIGHBOR AS THYSELF"

Lest this Doctor of the Law should misapprehend, the Lord quoted from Leviticus 19:18 the statement, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself," and this he designated as also of primary importance and second only to the previous statement of love to God. As stated elsewhere, on these two commands hang all the Law and the prophets. In other words, the keeping of these two would touch upon, cover and include every item of the divine law. As spiritual Israelites, therefore, it is appropriate that we notice this as well as the other command. Indeed we hear the Apostle John as the mouthpiece of the Lord declaring, "If any man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?"-- I John 4:20.

It is well that we keep this test clearly before our hearts lest we deceive ourselves. Love, the greatest attribute in the world, stands related to all the other things in the universe. While God should be first in our hearts and affections, nevertheless our love for God is more difficult to measure than is our love for man. Love is opposed to selfishness and does not even "seek her own" rights, although it may be necessary that love be restrained and ruled at times by justice and wisdom. What a grand lesson on all that is implied in the word love is furnished us by the Lord through the Apostle in I Corinthians, 13th chapter. There we are not only shown what elements of conduct are loving, but what elements are contrary to love-- which elements of our characters should be cultivated and which should be restrained, subdued, mortified.

Our Lord's questioner was evidently sincere. He perceived not only the wisdom of the Lord's reply to those who were seeking to catch him, but now he had a grand illustration of that wisdom when applied conscientiously to the most important of all doctrines-- the most important features of the divine law. His reply was, "Of a truth, Master, thou hast well said, for there is but one God and there is none other but he: and to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbor as himself, is much more than whole burnt offering and sacrifices." Jesus, beholding his candor, gave him an encouraging word, which should have been of great assistance to him, saying, "Thou art not far from the Kingdom of God."

One sincerely recognizing the truths just enunciated must surely have been of honest heart, and hence of the kind whom the Lord would be pleased to have enter the Kingdom class by full acceptance of him as their Redeemer and by a full consecration of their [R3862 : page 302] every power and talent to his service. This would be the practical outworking of this great commandment, fulness of love for God that would lead to endeavors to serve and please him in every possible manner, and their love for fellow men that would have delight in telling the good tidings of great joy which shall be unto all people. We read that after that no man durst ask Jesus any question. This was possibly because his ministries and teachings as divinely intended had reached their fulfilment, accomplishment, or possibly it may signify that all classes of his religious opponents held the Master in such awe and respect that they feared to attempt further questioning, which could only result disastrously to themselves, showing their own deficiencies and making him the more prominent as the great Teacher.

"KEEP YOURSELF FROM IDOLS"

Quite a good many of the Lord's earnest followers realize the danger which besets us all of rendering too much love and homage to an earthly creature, and thus to some extent robbing God of what is his due. This seems to be the Apostle's thought in the above expression. He had no thought of Christian people becoming worshipers of sticks and stones, but he did appreciate the fact that the human heart may consecrate itself to serve wealth or fame; and some of the Lord's people, keeping themselves from such idols, are in danger of putting too large a proportion of their love upon wife or husband, parent or child, brother or sister, and thus idolizing them and bringing an earthborn [R3863 : page 302] cloud between their hearts and the Heavenly Father. It is well to be on guard and to remember that, however much we may love others, the Lord must have all our hearts in the sense that he would be first and chief, and that if it were necessary every earthly tie might be broken, however tender, rather than the tie that binds our hearts to the Lord.

When in such fear, when realizing ourselves in such danger, let us remember that there would be two ways of correcting the difficulty: the one would be by breaking off some of our love for earthly objects and conditions, the other by increasing our love for the heavenly. It surely would be in line with the divine arrangement that we should be discriminating as respects our loves for earthly things, to discern whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good repute, and discouraging all others as unworthy of us as New Creatures in Christ. This would not, of course, mean that we should hate anybody, though it might mean that we would properly be separated from some whose influence would be to the contrary of these divinely appointed guides and sentiments. With our earthly love all centered upon good and noble persons, and especially appreciating these because of their relationship to that which is perfect, to the Lord and his standards, we should then measure the love for these with the love for the Father, and determine that the love for God must be cultivated more and more, until it shall far outreach and outweigh any earthly love, however precious. From this standpoint we would love our dear ones of earth no less, but the heavenly Father proportionately so much more. This we may be sure would be the right attitude which the Lord would most approve.

KEPT FOR THE MASTER'S USE

This thought is presented in a poem quoted by Miss Havergill in her work entitled, "Kept for the Master's Use."

"I tremble when I think
How much I love him; but I turn away
From thinking of it, just to love him more;--
Indeed, I fear, too much."

"Dear Eleanor,
Do you love him as much as Christ loves us?
Let your lips answer me."

"Why ask me, dear?
Our hearts are finite, Christ is infinite."

"Then till you reach the standard of that love,
Let neither fears nor well-meant warning voice
Distress you with 'too much.' For he hath said
How much--and who shall dare to change his measure--
That ye should love as I have loved you.
O sweet command, that goes so far beyond
The mightiest impulse of the tenderest heart!
A bare permission had been much; but he
Who knows our yearnings and our fearfulness,
Chose graciously to bid us do the thing
That makes our earthly happiness,
A limit that we need not fear to pass,
Because we cannot. Oh, the breadth and length,
And depth and height of love that passeth knowledge!
Yet Jesus said, 'As I have loved you.'

"O, Beatrice, I long to feel the sunshine
That this should bring; but there are other words
Which fall in chill eclipse. 'Tis written 'Keep
Yourselves from idols.' How shall I obey?"

"Oh, not by loving less, but loving more.
It is not that we love our precious ones
Too much, but God too little. As the lamp
A miner bears upon his shadowed brow
Is only dazzling in the grimy dark,
And has no glare against the summer sky,
So, set the tiny torch of our best love
In the great sunshine of the love of God,
And, though full fed and fanned, it casts no shade
And dazzles not, o'erflowed with mightier light."

"BEWARE OF THE SCRIBES."

His opportunities for teaching his apostles were rapidly passing, and our Lord, sitting in or near the Temple, said to them, "Beware of the Scribes, which love to go in long robes and to receive salutations in the market places, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and the chief places at feasts: which devour widows' houses and for a pretense make long prayers: these shall receive the greater condemnation."

Our Lord did not say that all of the Scribes, all of the learned Doctors of the Law, had the disreputable qualities he reproved. More properly we might understand him to mean: You have been taught to honor and respect the learned Scribes or teachers of your nation, but take heed to those of them who have the characteristics I have just denounced. They are far from the Kingdom condition; their selfishness is manifest in the ways I have enumerated, and proportionately they are lacking in the traits which would have the Father's approval either under the letter or the spirit of the Law.

We might make two applications of this lesson to our own times: one would be that we are not necessarily to reverence and follow Doctors of Divinity, but are to be discriminating in regard to the respect we have for them and their teachings. We are not to think that those who manifest a self-seeking spirit, the highest place in the Conference, who boast of their learning, whose special adorning is not of the meek and quiet spirit, but of the long robes of profession, who love to receive recognition in public places and to be called Rabbi, Reverend, etc., and to be made very prominent before the people; these should not be regarded as [R3863 : page 303] proper exemplars or patterns. Rather we should look away from such, realizing that the Lord despises not only the proud but the selfish, and shows his favors to the humble and to the lowly. Another lesson for us would come still closer home to every reader of this journal.

In Spiritual Israel those who are instructed in the true knowledge of the Lord's Word should be overcomers of the spirit of the world, the spirit of selfishness. If any such find in themselves any of these enumerated characteristics which the Lord condemns, he should flee from the sin as he would from a contagious disease. For instance, if he finds himself greatly influenced by the opinion of others respecting his clothing, if he finds in himself a self-seeking spirit, a selfish disposition to grasp the best for himself on all occasions, and love of public praise and of recognition, titles, etc., let such beware. Whether he has a greater or less degree of earthly learning, or a greater or less degree of heavenly learning, he is in a dangerous condition if he has the selfish tendencies which the Lord here enumerates. Especially is he in need of divine grace to help him out of the horrible pit of selfishness if he finds himself so devoid of love as to be willing to take the goods of others without proper recompense, whether they be widows' houses or what not. The more one knows, the more of a Scribe he is, the greater will be his condemnation if the characteristics here set forth by our Lord are his.

GREAT AND SMALL GIFTS TO GOD

We have seen the kind of love for God and man which the divine Law stipulates; we have seen how some of the most prominent of those professing to be teachers of the divine Law come far short of the divine standard, as in the case of the Scribe in the illustration just given. Our Lord next presented his teachings from still another standpoint: he would show his disciples that they must not measure the divine approval along earthly lines, but must remember that the Lord looketh on the heart; that many who are esteemed amongst men are an abomination in his sight, and some not esteemed amongst men are his jewels. He pointed out the poor widow who had just cast two mites into the treasury of the Temple, and he declared that her gift, although insignificant from the human standpoint, was greater in God's sight than many of the larger gifts, because she had given of her penury. Others had given from their abundance what they would little miss: she out of her nothing had given that which would cause her considerable self-denial. Here, then, is the Lord's appreciation and estimate of our sacrifices in response to our love for him. Whoever loves another will seek to serve him and be willing to render service at an expense that would be proportionate to his love.

The wealthy can give liberally and be blest in giving, but the poor are to remember that the Lord highly esteems the spirit of their hearts when they desire to serve him and his cause. Their humble efforts are appreciated by the Lord even though man might despise them and consider them insignificant. Our Lord's judgment was that the poor widow had cast in more than they all from the standpoint of divine appreciation. What a thought is here for every one of us: however small our talents, however few, however limited are our opportunities for service, our offerings are not despised, but on the contrary are credited proportionately to the real spirit of sacrifice prompting them. What an encouragement is this to all who have the right spirit of love for the Lord and desire to be his self-sacrificing followers. The Scribe with much ado and outward show of reverence and love for God got the reward which he sought--the approval of his neighbors or those of them who were deceived by his various, pious mannerisms. This poor widow, however, unnoticed and disesteemed of the multitude, would be sure to have the Father's blessing and favor and love; and her procedure mentioned favorably constitutes encouragement to ourselves and to all who desire to follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth.



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HIS PILGRIM LABORS ENDED

ON September 13, our dear Bro. J. N. Patten, well known to many of our readers as one of the "Pilgrims," laid down his cross and we surely believe entered "beyond the vail," a spirit made perfect in the "First Resurrection." How blessed at such times to be able to realize that we are living in the "harvest" time, in which such a "change"--"in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye"--is the Lord's provision for the last "members of his body." We hearken to the message, "Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord from henceforth! Yea, saith the Spirit; they rest from their labors, but their works follow with them."

How blessed to think of "the rest that remaineth for the people of God," as well as to enjoy a goodly share of it even while yet in the enemy's country: yet how blessed, also, is the thought that our present opportunities for using our mortal bodies in the service of our Lord and his cause are but the prelude to the greater and more satisfactory works of grace we shall be privileged to engage in with our dear Redeemer throughout the glorious "times of restitution of all things spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began."--Acts 3:19-21.

Privileged to see our Brother shortly before his death we discerned that he was just at the border and spoke a few words of comfort and joined in prayer for God's will to be done and his gracious arrangements perfected, and requested that he bear our greetings to those "on the other shore;" expressing the hope that ere long we will all be gathered home. Thus we were enabled to rejoice together, even in the presence of the foe. Surely the Apostle said truly,--"We sorrow not as others who have no hope;"--nor do we sorrow as do those with vague and uncertain hope. Our faith sings while we weep,--

"How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in his excellent Word!
What more can he say than to you he hath said,
You who unto Jesus for refuge have fled?"

Dear Sister Patten was ceaselessly in attendance on her husband, and as he sank to rest with her hand upon his forehead and a sweet smile illumining his face, she sang to him in low tones those two precious hymns: "Sweet peace, the gift of God's love," and "I shall see him face to face."



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