page 97
April 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. XXVIIIAPRIL 1No. 7
A.D. 1907--A.M. 6035


CONTENTS

Views from the Watch Tower99
Will Baptists and Christians Unite?99
Social System Doomed Unless it is Reformed99
American Farmers Forming a Union100
Berean Bible Studies on the Tabernacle101
A Renovated Earth101
A New Name--God-Given103
Confirmed by Better Promises104
The Church's New Name105
Hated of His Brethren106
God's Word Superior to Dreams107
Patient Endurance in Adversity108
"Abandon Us Not in Temptation"109
Encouraging Words from Faithful Workers111

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 98

THIS JOURNAL AND ITS SACRED MISSION

THIS Journal is one of the prime factors or instruments in the system of Bible Instruction, or "Seminary Extension," now being presented in all parts of the civilized world by the WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY, chartered A.D. 1881, "For the Promotion of Christian Knowledge." It not only serves as a class room where Bible Students may meet in the study of the divine Word, but also as a channel of communication through which they may be reached with announcements of the Society's Conventions and of the coming of its traveling representatives styled "Pilgrims," and refreshed with reports of its Conventions.

Our "Berean Lessons" are topical rehearsals or reviews of our Society's published "Studies," most entertainingly arranged, and very helpful to all who would merit the only honorary degree which the Society accords, viz., Verbi Dei Minister (V.D.M.), which translated into English is, Minister of the Divine Word. Our treatment of the International S.S. Lessons is specially for the older Bible Students and Teachers. By some this feature is considered indispensable.

This Journal stands firmly 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." (I Pet. 1:19; I Tim. 2:6.) Building up on this sure foundation the gold, silver and precious stones (I Cor. 3:11-15; 2 Pet. 1:5-11) of the Word of God, its further mission is to--"Make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery which...has been hid in God,...to the intent that now might be made known by the Church the manifold wisdom of God"--"which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men as it is now revealed."--Eph. 3:5-9,10.

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

TO US THE SCRIPTURES CLEARLY TEACH

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




LETTERS FOR THE EDITOR SHOULD BE SENT TO ALLEGHENY, PA., U.S.A.
BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS AND REMITTANCES
--ADDRESS TO--
WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY,
"BIBLE HOUSE," 610, 612, 614 ARCH ST., ALLEGHENY, PA., U.S.A.
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PRICE, $1.00 (4S.) A YEAR IN ADVANCE. MONEY MAY BE SENT BY EXPRESS, BANK DRAFT, POSTAL ORDER, OR REGISTERED. FROM FOREIGN COUNTRIES BY FOREIGN MONEY ORDERS, ONLY. TERMS TO THE LORD'S POOR AS FOLLOWS:--

All Bible Students who, by reason of old age, or other infirmity or adversity, are unable to pay for this Journal, will be supplied FREE if they send a Postal Card each June stating their case and requesting its continuance. We are not only willing, but anxious, that all such be on our list continually and in touch with the Studies, etc.


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

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



PILGRIM MEETING EXPENSES


We have decided that it will be proper and advisable to credit each little congregation, on the Tract Fund, the amount expended on Pilgrim meetings. Please have your scribe report to us. As our financial year began December 1st, 1906, we will be glad to have reports that far back.

TABERNACLE ILLUSTRATIONS DELAYED


The pictures of the Tabernacle are all ready, but the illustrations of the Priests required some alterations, which have caused delay. We hope to begin sending these out before May 1. We find that we can make a still closer price, viz., 30c for one of each and $1.00 for four of each. Hence those who have already sent $1.00 for three will receive four, and those who have sent 35c for one set will receive in addition one copy of the Tabernacle pamphlet. [R3967 : page 98]

DAILY HEAVENLY MANNA


Our new edition of the "Manna" will contain the same texts and comments as the former one; but it will have twice as many pages. Every alternate leaf will be blank ruled, for use as an Autograph and Birthday Record. It will be printed on fine bond paper and bound in handsome dark blue cloth. It would be well worth $1 or more in any bookstore.

NEW PRICES, WHOLESALE AND RETAIL

The new "Manna" will be sold by Manna Colporteurs and others at 50 cents each (60c when gotten by mail or prepaid express). The wholesale rates, open to any TOWER reader, are as follows--cash with order:

1 copy, postpaid, each........................35 cents
10 copies or more, by express, prepaid........30   "
10   "       "        "       at your charges.20   "
30   "       "     by freight.................20   "

We of course prefer the DAWNS or STUDIES to be colporteured; but a good follow-up work can be done with "Manna" by those who cannot do the regular work with DAWN-STUDIES. [R3968 : page 98]

"METHOD" OF SELLING DAILY HEAVENLY MANNA


"Good morning! If you are at all interested in religious matters, I would like to show you what some have styled "Heavenly Breakfast Food." It will cost you nothing to see it, and only take a few moments of your time, for I am in haste myself. (If now asked into the house, take from your pocket your sample MANNA and continue.) This volume contains a Scripture text on a practical topic for every day in the year, with a very brief remark on its salient features --entirely unsectarian. To start each day in the year under such helpful influences results in untellable blessings. It is good for ten years, and all that blessing you may enjoy for 50c, or only 5c per year. The Bible and Tract Society believes that in circulating this "Heavenly Manna" it is helping people to both physical and spiritual health: food digests better under good influences.

"Another feature is this (pointing to lined pages): An Autograph and Birthday Record of your friends, which by the end of ten years would make it priceless to you. May I take your order? I will deliver next __________day: you pay then. Perhaps you would want more than one copy--for friends near or afar. You could scarcely present a more suitable gift, nor one which they would more appreciate."



[R3966 : page 99]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER.

WILL BAPTISTS AND CHRISTIANS UNITE?


WITH a proposition before it looking towards the merger of two great religious denominations, the ninth annual congress of the Disciples of Christ, which will meet at the Central Christian Church in Cincinnati the first week of April, will be of national importance and of great significance in the religious world. At the 1906 congress, held in Indianapolis, a committee of ten was appointed to make overtures and formulate a plan for "closer relations between the Baptists and the Disciples of Christ." This committee will report at the conclusion of the three-days' session of the congress in Cincinnati. Its report will advocate the merger of the two churches, and it is probable that an agreement will follow, which, within the next few years, will bring about consolidation.--Cincinnati Times-Star.

***

These two great denominations claim to have "no creed but the Bible." They, however, advocate very different views of baptism, which is one of the cardinal doctrinal tests of both. Nevertheless, if the preachers can unite, undoubtedly their flocks will follow them, for they generally do not comprehend the doctrinal difference. The people of both would be quite ready for the clearer Bible teachings presented in ZION'S WATCH TOWER were it not for the power of their preachers, exercised to suppress thought and Bible study and liberty.

SOCIAL SYSTEM DOOMED UNLESS IT IS REFORMED


Dr. Jacob Gould Schurman, president of Cornell University, in an address delivered recently in Old Trinity Church, New York, attacked the present industrial system and declared that, unless something was done for the wage-earner by the big capitalists, the end would be social revolution. Dr. Schurman's remarks created a sensation. He said in part:

"Steam, electricity and consolidated capital are in our own days eliminating the small producer and the small trader. The chance of young men becoming independent producers and traders, when business is conducted on the scale of millions, instead of thousands or hundreds of dollars, is vastly less than it was in the time of our fathers.

"The wage-earner, feeling himself and his children doomed to poverty, rises in rebellion against the economic system which makes such things possible. He protests that capital gets too large a share of the product which laboring men create. His remedy, when he has a remedy, is confiscation of private capital in the public interests and the establishment of a socialistic State, in which all such workers shall receive compensation in proportion to their deserts.

"Somehow--I know not how, but somehow--the organizers and financiers and managers of our modern establishments of production and transportation must devise a method whereby the men whose labor builds them up shall become shareholders in the enterprises. The present discontent and rankling sense of injustice must be got rid of, if our economic and industrial system is to survive."


***

Thus we note from time to time that some see what is coming, even though they follow not with us and are ignorant of the Bible's teaching on this subject. They "fear for looking after those things coming upon the earth." Our Lord says that his followers, better instructed, may lift up their heads and rejoice, knowing that their redemption draweth nigh.

INSANITY IN CHICAGO


A newspaper dispatch from Chicago says:--"The State Board of Charities, in an official report to the Governor, declares one in every ninety Chicagoans is insane and needs watching, and that 58,000 persons in the State are unfit to be at large."


***

Insanity is greatly on the increase, proving that this is not the "brain age," in a good sense of the term. New York State statistics show 25,000 insane, or one out of every 300 population. Worse still, if applied to adults, these figures show one out of every 150 of the population so badly gone as to be in an asylum. The "fall" has wounded some worst physically, others [R3967 : page 100] worst morally and others worst mentally. Oh, how the poor world deserves the Apostle's term, "the groaning creation." Oh, how much it needs the great Restorer and his work during the "times of restitution."-- Acts 3:19-21.

AVERAGE HUMAN BRAIN SHOWS NO IMPROVEMENT


The average human brain is not only no better than it was thousands of years ago, but it is really deteriorating, according to Professor William I. Thomas of the University of Chicago, in an article in the January number of the Journal of Sociology, issued by the University.

"Nature is not producing a better average brain than in the time of Aristotle and the Greeks," says the professor. "The brain is less likely to improve now than in earlier time, because the struggle for existence has been mitigated so that the unfit survive along with the fit. Indeed, the rapid increase in idiocy and insanity shown by statistics indicates that the brain is deteriorating slightly on the average as compared with earlier times."

A KANSAS BOAST


"The Kansas press is just now boasting of the superior moral conditions of their State, and they have good reason for the boast, for 85 out of its 105 counties have not a single officially reported pauper, and 25 of these counties have no almshouses and 35 are without a criminal case on the docket. Something more than twenty years have passed since Kansas adopted prohibition. The present condition of the State is a splendid object-lesson to the rest of the country; and yet we still hear the cry 'prohibition takes away the people's liberty' and 'you can't make people moral by law.'"-- Homiletic Review.

AMERICAN FARMERS FORMING A UNION


DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--

I enclose a farm paper which I am sure will interest you. The farmers are joining forces with the labor unions. This paper is the official organ of the "American Society of Equity," published weekly.

I am a reader of MILLENNIAL DAWN; was formerly a member of "Dr. Dowie's Church"; excommunicated because of the enclosed letter.

May God our Father continue to bless your work.

Yours in the Christ,
CHARLES C. STEWART.

Following is the letter above referred to:--

Overseer W. G. Voliva, Zion City, Ill:

Dear Brother,--I want to make a gentlemanly, Christian protest. I love the work of the Kingdom--I want to see its servants honored. I desire what Solomon did--wisdom--the kind that cometh down from above. I invoke the Father for his guidance in writing this letter.

In looking over the Leaves (Oct. 30, 1906) I find a reference to MILLENNIAL DAWN, in which you say that certain, or rather many, of its statements are "gross misinterpretations of the plain Word of God," that it is largely "Seventh Day Adventism spiritualized," etc.

I know not how far you have read into Mr. Russell's works (now in six volumes), but you could not have followed his plain directions: "to prove by Scripture each statement he makes." If you had you would never say that he "grossly misinterpreted" God's Word. There is not a man in the Christian Catholic Apostolic Church (that I have heard) who knows one-twentieth of God's plan as Mr. Russell. Our Church is almost as barren of true exposition as the apostatized denominations. My soul longs for some true bread. Elder Cossum is the only man who really does expound--a grand, good, noble Christian gentleman.

I have studied the Scriptures with MILLENNIAL DAWN and the tracts since 1899--seven years. I read the WATCH TOWER--glad, happy, to see it come into the house. The WATCH TOWER reflects a kindly, Christlike power that edifies and draws one toward the great Father. I understand Greek and Latin and can translate. I have compared many of Mr. Russell's claims with the original. He is right. He has a sound mind, given by the Spirit of Jehovah. He is Scriptural, reasonable, consistent. He has no vituperative, striving spirit in any of his writings nor in his addresses.

Here are some of the points that I have studied and am convinced that the Scriptures endorse them as Mr. Russell expounds:--

The pre-existence, birth and resurrection of Jesus.

The impersonality of Jehovah's Spirit.

The difference between the Christ's trial, the Church's trial, the world's trial.

The doctrine of Sheol (and Hades), Gehenna and Tartarus, in that the dead are waiting for the call of Jesus, that they are not in heaven or hell (so-called place of torture).

The difference between mortality and immortality.

These are only a few of those I might mention.

As you will see by this enclosed postal I have interest in this work (the Lord's). I inquired for these tracts to give to Overseer Piper and Elder Hammond that they might get right on the subject of the "Holy Spirit."

I am not a Russellite, Dowieite, Volivaite. I am truly striving to grasp the knowledge of the Plan of God and run for the prize--patiently, intelligently, diligently.

This study has helped me greatly in my junior work. I have charts that I have used and will soon plan another to explain to the children what God expects to do with them. I study the Scriptures and then teach what I find.

The people don't need scolding--they need systematic teaching. They need to get the "mark in their foreheads."

I have a full new set of "Millennial Dawns" at home waiting for some consecrated follower of the Lord Jesus. I should be glad to send them (or lend them) free if you would like to read them. I am sure your opinion would change. May I send them?

Your brother in the Kingdom,
CHARLES C. STEWART.


***

We are glad to know of Brother Stewart's progress in the knowledge of the Truth and thank him for the paper referred to in his letter. On its margin he wrote, "James 5 in process of fulfilment." From the paper we clip the below items:--

"Better farming has had the attention of colleges, institutes and the press, increased production has been the slogan, and several increased crops, with diminished value, proved that doctrine's fallacy, when taught alone, until the bumper crops of some of our most important products compelled the Secretary of Agriculture to figure on them a money loss to the farmers of $120,000,000.

"Up-to-Date Farming says again, as it has so many times said before, raise big crops, they are all right, we are glad to hear of them, but learn to so market the crops, big or little, that they will yield commensurate reward to those who produce them. [R3967 : page 101]

"Farmers cannot get anything from Congress until they are organized. Other farm papers have been doing these things for years, and their readers applauded, but what did Congress do for the farmers? Very little. We do not believe in such a foolish waste of good time and energy. We want to see farmers organized and then they won't need to petition--beg--for what is their right, but they will demand and get what they want or in equity should have."


***

We quite agree that the cry of the reapers will ere long be heard. We have just had seven years of wonderful crops and great prosperity: will we perhaps now have seven lean years? And will trade arrangements make this an extra burden to all workers? We shall see! [R3968 : page 101]

THE PASSOVER DATE THIS YEAR


When the new moon comes a little before the Spring Equinox it starts the Jewish ecclesiastical year;--provided the full moon be not before the Equinox. It was so this year: our reckoning March 28, evening, as the beginning of the 14th of Nisan was in accord with Jewish observances.



page 101

BEREAN BIBLE STUDIES ON THE TABERNACLE
THE SECOND ATONEMENT-DAY SACRIFICE
(Continued)


APRIL 14

62. Would it be proper for those in the "Holy" to revile or ill-treat those who have left the "Holy" or even left the "Court"? T.62, par. 3; Jude 9.

63. What was the significance of the "Mercy Seat" or "Propitiatory"? T.61, par. 2; Lev. 16:14,15; Rom. 3:25, Diaglott.

64. Why did Aaron sprinkle the "Mercy Seat" with the blood of the bullock seven times? T.61, par. 2.

65. What did the impartation of the holy Spirit at Pentecost signify to the Lord's consecrated ones? T.64, par. 1.

66. Why could not the Spirit have been imparted to the disciples before the day of Pentecost? T.64, par. 1.

67. How was the baptism of the holy Spirit at Pentecost foreshadowed in the type? T.64, par. 2; Lev. 16:15.

APRIL 21

68. By what means was our Lord enabled to faithfully carry out his covenant of sacrifice even unto death? and by what power will each member of his body be so enabled? T.64, par. 2.

69. In what way could the words of the Apostle Paul be true, "I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me"? T.65, par. 1; Gal. 2:20; Phil. 3:8-10.

70. By what means are the Lord's consecrated followers in the "Holy" condition enlightened and nourished? T.65, par. 2.

71. Is there any intrinsic merit in our sacrifices as members of Christ's body? T.66, par. 1,2; Col. 1:24; Gal. 5:17; Psa. 49:7.

APRIL 28

72. Will the day come when all sacrificing will end? T.66, par. 2.

73. Is that day near at hand? T.66, par. 2.

74. What glorious reward is promised at the end of the way? T.66, par. 2; 2 Pet. 1:4.

75. What will passing beyond the "second vail" mean to the Lord's true saints? T.66, par. 3; Heb. 6:19,20.

76. What stupendous event will speedily follow the presentation of the blood (the sacrificed life) of the "Lord's goat" class to the Father after the last member has "passed behind the vail"? T.67, par. 2,3; Lev. 9:22,23.

77. Why were all things in the type sprinkled with the blood? T.67, last par.

MAY 5

78. What was done with the live goat, after lots had been cast, in the type? T.68, par. 1; Lev. 16:20-22.

79. What class is represented in the live goat, or "scape goat"? T.68, par. 2; Rev. 7:13-15.

80. Does this goat typify wilful sinners also? T.68, par. 2.

81. How long has the "scape goat" class existed? T.68, par. 3.

82. Will this class be perfected, as a class, while any member of the "Lord's goat" company is still in the flesh? T.69, par. 1.

83. Are the members of the "scape goat" class loved by the Lord? and how will they be dealt with for their purification? T.69, par. 2.

MAY 12

84. What will be the reward and station of this class? T.70, par. 1,2; Rev. 7:15.

85. What is signified by the "scape goat" being sent into the wilderness? T.70, par. 3.

86. Are all the "scape goat" class or great company to be developed in the great tribulation with which this Gospel age will end? T.70, par. 3; 71, par. 1.

87. How will these "bound ones" be set free after the glorification of the "very elect"? T.71, par. 2; 72, par. 1.

88. Do the faithful ones of the "more than conquerors" also suffer great tribulation? and in what respect does their suffering differ from that of the great company"? T.72, par. 2; Acts 14:22; Jno. 16:33.



[R3968 : page 101]

DISCUSSING A RENOVATED EARTH

REV. J. A. SEISS, D.D., LUTHERAN (DECEASED) WROTE:--
THESE words occur in connection with the Apostle's endeavor to impress his Jewish brethren with a sense of the greatness and glory of the Lord Jesus and of the salvation which is preached in His name. He begins the epistle by announcing the Savior to them as the Son of God--the appointed Heir of all things--the Maker and Upholder of the worlds --the brightness of the Father's glory and the express image of his person, who has been exalted to the right hand of the Majesty on high. These were sublime [R3968 : page 102] statements, and needing to be well substantiated to be made acceptable. He therefore instituted various lines of argument, adapted to the Jewish mind and founded upon the Scriptures, which all held to be divinely inspired. And as the Jews regarded angels as the highest created orders, and as standing next in the scale to the eternal Father himself, Paul's first effort was to prove from prophecy that

CHRIST IS SUPERIOR TO THE ANGELS

He introduces three points in which the super-angelic dignity is shown. The first is that Christ is assigned a higher name than the angels. The second is that he is clothed with a sublimer honor than the angels, and the third is that Christ is invested with a sublimer office than the angels, they being only ministering spirits, while he is spoken of as a divine King, whose throne is forever and ever, and the sceptre of whose Kingdom is a sceptre of righteousness. The princely investiture and reign of the Messiah is thus distinctly deduced from the Old Testament, and used by the Apostle as the sublimest demonstration of the Savior's personal dignity. And this Messianic dominion he applies particularly to what is hereafter to grow out of the gospel economy. He tells us that it is peculiarly "the world to come" over which the Messiah's reign is to be exercised. "For unto the angels hath he not put into subjection the world to come, whereof we speak," thus proceeding upon the implied assumption that it has been by promise put into

SUBJECTION TO CHRIST,

and that all those allusions to the Savior as a King have their chief application and ultimate fulfilment in that "world to come." The Messiah's reign and this world to come accordingly belong together and coexist in the same period and locality. By determining, then, what is meant by this "world to come," we may form an idea of what is included in the Messianic Kingdom; or, if we already know what the consummated Messianic reign is, and where it is to be, we have it already decided what we are to understand by this "world to come."

If any stress is, therefore, to be laid upon the conclusion evolved in the preceding discourses, there is no alternative left but to understand this "world to come" as the Millennial World, or the world as it shall be when Christ shall have restored the throne of David and entered upon his glorious dominion as the Sovereign of the nations and Lord of the whole earth. And to this agrees exactly the original word, oikoumene, which means the habitable earth--the domiciliated globe on which we dwell--and not some remote supernal region, as we sometimes imagine. The world to come, then, is nothing more nor less than this self-same world of ours in its final or Millennial condition. The earth is not to be annihilated.

GOD NEVER OBLITERATES

His own creations. The dissolving fires of which Peter speaks are for "the perdition of ungodly men," and not for the utter depopulation and destruction of the whole world. They may consume cities, destroy armies and effect some important meteorological and geological changes; but men and nations will survive them and still continue to live in the flesh. The earth is to be renovated and restored from its present depression and dilapidation, and thus become "the new earth" of which the Bible speaks. It is to pass through a "regeneration" analogous to that through which a man must pass to see the Kingdom of God; but there will be a continuity of its elements and existence, just as a regenerated man is constitutionally the same being that he was before his renewal. It will not be another earth, but the same earth under another condition of things. It is now laboring under the curse; but then the curse will have been lifted off and all its wounds healed. At present, it is hardly habitable--no one being able to live in it longer than a few brief years; but then men shall dwell in it forever without knowing what death is. It is now the home of rebellion, injustice and guilt; it will then be

THE HOME OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

It is now under the domination of Satan; it will then come under the blessed rule of the Prince of Peace. Such, at any rate, is the hope set before us in the Word of God, and this I hold to be "the world to come," of which the text speaks. It cannot be anything else. It cannot be what is commonly called heaven, for the word oikoumene cannot apply to heaven. It is everywhere else used exclusively with reference to our world. Neither can it be the present gospel dispensation, as some have thought, for that began long before this epistle was written and could not, therefore, have been spoken of by Paul as yet "to come." We are consequently compelled to understand it to mean our own habitable world in its Millennial glory. And as the prophecies concerning the Messiah's eternal kingship are here referred to as having their fulfilment in the subjection of the Millennial world to his dominion, we are furnished with another powerful argument of Scripture in favor of the doctrine of Christ's personal reign as a great Prince in this world. Indeed, the Bible is so full of this subject, and its inspired writers are so constantly and enthusiastically alluding to it that I am amazed to find so many pious and Bible-loving people entirely losing sight of it. Ever and anon the Scriptures return to it as

THE GREAT AND ANIMATING HOPE

of the Church in all her adversities and depressions, and it does seem to me that we are depriving ourselves of much true Christian comfort by the manner in which we have been neglecting and thrusting aside that glorious doctrine. My present object is to show, from the Scriptures, and by just inferences from them, what sort of a world this "world to come" is, and to describe, as far as I can, what we are to look for when once this earth has been fully subjected to that divine King whose throne is forever and ever, and the sceptre of whose Kingdom is a sceptre of righteousness.

That "the world to come" is a highly blessed world, [R3969 : page 103] and a vast improvement upon the present scene of things, will be inferred on all hands without argument. It could not be a subject of hope if it were not. The Savior himself exhibited a model of it when in the Mount of Transfiguration,--from which, perhaps, we may obtain as deep an insight of its glories as from any other portion of Scripture. That he designed

THAT SCENE AS A MINIATURE MODEL

of what his future coming and Kingdom is to be, is obvious. A week before it occurred he told his disciples that "the Son of man shall come in the glory of the Father, with his angels or messengers with him"; and that there were some standing there when he made the declaration who should not taste of death till they saw the Son of man coming in his Kingdom." This coming in his Kingdom, which some of the disciples were to live to see, is not the final advent, for the disciples are all dead, and the final advent is still future. Neither is it the destruction of Jerusalem, for but one of the apostles lived to see that catastrophe, and the Son of man did not then come in his Kingdom. And yet some of the apostles were to have ocular demonstration of the Son of man's coming in his Kingdom before tasting of death. Search through apostolic history as we will we shall find nothing but the transfiguration to which the Savior's words will apply. That, then, was in some sense the coming of the Son of man in his Kingdom. It was

NOT, INDEED, THE COMING ITSELF

but it was an earnest and picture of it. It was the coming of the Son of man in his Kingdom, as the bread and wine in the eucharist are Christ's body and blood. Peter says: "The power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" are not "cunningly devised fables." He declares that he was certified of their reality by the testimony of his own senses. We were "eye-witnesses," says he, "when we were with him in the holy mount." We thus have clear, inspired testimony that the scene of the transfiguration was a demonstrative exhibition of the coming of Jesus in his Kingdom. Hence, whatever we find in the descriptions of that scene, we may confidently expect to be realized in that "world to come whereof we speak." As Christ appeared in that glorious scene, so he will appear when he returns to this world. As he was then personally present as the Son of man, so he will be personally present in the Millennial Kingdom. And as he was there attended by different classes of persons, so will his glorious Kingdom consist of similar classes.

Let us, then, endeavor to draw out before us some of the more striking features of "the world to come," and, by the contemplation of its attractiveness, endeavor to school our hearts into more ardent thirst to participate in its blissful scenes.

I do not wish to depreciate in the least those gracious arrangements of heaven under which we now live. It is a blessed thing to have the Bible and to attend properly on the means of grace and to enjoy the renewing and comforting influences of the holy Spirit. In giving to us these things God has endowed us with mercies for which we never can be sufficiently thankful. But he authorizes us to look for greater things than these. The present economy is only preparatory to something higher and more blessed.



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A NEW NAME--GOD-GIVEN
--GENESIS 32:9-12,22-30.--APRIL 14.--

Golden Text:--"Rejoice, because your names are written in heaven."--Luke 10:20.

OUR last lesson saw Jacob en route for his Uncle Laban's home, a journey of about 500 miles. His subsequent experiences in the service of his uncle, and how he became a wealthy owner of flocks and herds, and the father of a large family, belong to the interim. The present lesson finds him nearing his old home. Remembering the anger of his brother Esau when they parted 20 years before, he sent at the hands of servants several valuable presents of cattle, sheep, etc., with the message that he was coming on in peace. In reply he learned that Esau with 400 mounted men was coming forth to meet him, and he feared that this meant an unkind reception. Our present lesson opens with Jacob's prayer to the Lord at this time when he was in fear of his brother. It is

THE FIRST RECORDED PRAYER OF THE BIBLE

Scholars have pronounced this a perfect prayer as measured by the standard of the Lord's prayer; for it seems to follow the same general lines: (1) Adoration to the Almighty; (2) humiliation and self-effacement in the presence of the Lord; (3) petition for divine care and protection; (4) repetition of the divine promises as the ground for faith and hope. The various parts of the prayer thus indicated are: (1) "O God of my Father Abraham, and God of my Father Isaac, the Lord which saidst unto me, Return unto thy country and to thy kindred, and I will do thee good: (2) I am unworthy of the least of all the mercies and all the truth which thou hast showed unto thy servant; for with my staff [without other possessions] I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two companies [referring to his large possessions of flocks and herds and herdsmen, etc., which he had divided into two bands or companies]: (3) Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother; from the hand of Esau; for I fear him lest he come and smite me and the mother with the children [i.e. root and branch]: (4) And thou saidst I will surely be with thee, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude."

It cannot be claimed for Jacob nor for any of the ancient worthies (nor for anyone else for that matter) that they were perfect and that therefore the Lord favored them. The one thing that stands out sharply, distinctly, above any other thing in the character of Jacob, as in that of Abraham [R3969 : page 104] and of Isaac, is his faith. Let us remember that he did not live under the favored conditions which we enjoy of fellowship with the Lord through the Scriptures, through the holy Spirit and through communion with the brethren--that on the contrary he was alone in his faith. Nor had anything in particular been explained to him respecting the grand ultimate consummation of the divine plan as it is our privilege now to see this through the telescope of the divine Word and the illumination of the Spirit of Truth. He merely knew that a promise had been made to Abraham that seemed to imply the ultimate blessing of the world through his posterity, and his faith had grasped this promise, so that to him it had become a reality, the predominant power and influence in his life. For that promise he had endured and was still enduring, and confident even in the face of hostility, even though he trembled in fear of his greater antagonist-- for by this time Esau, the possessor of Isaac's wealth and the lord over his servants, was known as the "prince of Edom."

CONFIRMED BY BETTER PROMISES

The lesson to us is that a still greater promise being left to us--that is to say, the same promise having further developed and divided into two parts, and the higher or spiritual feature having been bestowed upon the Church of Christ--we who realize ourselves to be heirs of this same promise, and who now see its spiritual force and signification, have still more reason than had Jacob to humble ourselves before the Lord, to acknowledge our dependence upon him, to ask him for deliverance from the great enemy and from every foe to our best interests, and to plead his gracious promise, confirmed unto us in the death of Jesus our Lord. Ah, yes! the Apostle clearly indicates this when he says to us, "If ye be Christ's then are ye Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise."--Gal. 3:29.

Jacob indeed will come in as one of the heirs of the earthly phase of the blessing, but the distinguished honor of sitting in the throne has passed to the Spiritual Israel, and we who are now called according to the divine purpose should be very alert to make our calling and election sure; and still more intelligently and more fervently should we, who have now been brought nigh by the blood of Christ, glorify our Father in heaven in respect to the riches of his grace, to which he assures us we are welcome upon a manifestation of the necessary faith and obedience. Shall we not cry day and night unto the Lord respecting the exceeding great and precious promises given unto us, and our expectation of realizing them--that we may have grace and strength to overcome, to come off conquerors through him who loved us and bought us with his precious blood?

WRESTLING IN PRAYER

Jacob was not content merely to pray; he labored also, and set his affairs in the best possible order for the ordeal of the morrow and in arranging his company into two great bands. Then the prayer probably was continued, only a synoptical statement being given us. The particulars are not recorded, but apparently an angel of the Lord appeared to him in human form with some communication respecting his prayers and his fears. In his earnestness to have the [R3970 : page 104] divine blessing Jacob laid personal hold upon the angel, urging a blessing--feeling that it was a matter of imperative need, that he could not be fit for the events of the morrow unless he had this blessing.

Jacob's experience here reminds us of our dear Redeemer's experiences in the Garden of Gethsemane, when he wrestled with strong cryings and tears, pleading with him who was able to save him out of death, out of the hands of the great enemy. Our Lord agonized for long hours and finally got the blessing. And so it was also previously in Jacob's case here narrated: he urged, he pleaded, he wrestled with the Lord for the thing which he knew the Lord had promised him--the divine blessing upon his home-coming and in respect to his future as a servant of God and an heir of the oath-bound promise. The entire procedure of the night is briefly summed up in a few words in our lesson, "They wrestled until the breaking of the day"--the angel apparently endeavoring to avoid giving him the blessing, and Jacob determined so much the more that the blessing was necessary and that he must have it. It was then that the angel touched Jacob's thigh, wrested the sinew. But in spite of all Jacob held on and got the blessing with the break of day.

We are not to suppose that God was averse to the giving of this blessing and that Jacob prevailed to secure it in opposition to the divine will. On the contrary, we are to understand that it was God's good pleasure to give the blessing. He had already intimated this; but that the blessing might be valuable to Jacob it was withheld for a time until he would more and more feel his need of it and cry out and struggle to obtain it, that when obtained it might be the more highly esteemed, and effect thereby the greater influence upon his heart and faith and future course. And it is so with our prayers. "The Father himself loveth you," is the Master's word; nevertheless, Jesus said we should pray and not faint, not grow weary, not lose our interest in the things desired if they are the things that God has indicated to be in harmony with his will. If, for instance, we read in the Scriptures that the Lord is more pleased to give his holy Spirit to them that ask him than earthly parents are to give good gifts to their children, then it cannot be amiss for us to watch and pray with patience and continuance for this holy Spirit--that we might obtain this great blessing, the character-likeness of our Lord.

"THE TRIAL OF YOUR FAITH"

We have found that it was often by bringing us into severe trials, ordeals, putting us under crucial tests, that the Lord develops more and more our faith, our love, our trust, our hope in him. He would have us learn well our lesson, that without him we can do nothing, but that with his blessing and favor all things are ours, because we are Christ's and Christ is God's. Let us, then, in all the important junctures of life, be sure that we are seeking chiefly the divine will, as expressed in the divine promise, the Oath-Bound Covenant: let us seek it patiently, earnestly, persistently --let us wrestle with the Lord that thereby we may be made the stronger, that when the proper and advantageous experiences have been enjoyed the blessing will come--at [R3970 : page 105] the proper moment to do us the most good and in the manner that would be most helpful.

In some respects this return of Jacob to the promised land shadowed the coming return of his posterity, which is even now at hand. As a nation they are even now trembling for fear of extermination in all parts of the world; they know not when the blow will fall nor in what manner their interests will be injured, but those of them who are in the right attitude of heart toward God will, we believe, very soon come to this praying point. The Lord intimates this, saying respecting the day just before us, "I will pour upon them the spirit of prayer and of supplication, and they shall look upon me whom they pierced." (Zech. 12:10.) The result of this praying, supplicating, will be the blessing of the New Covenant under which, with the Lord's favor, they will go on to the grand fulfilment of the gracious things already declared more than 3,000 years ago.

THE NEW NAME--A PRINCE WITH GOD

As a part of the blessing granted by the angel in the name of the Lord, Jacob's name was changed to Israel, explained to signify that he was a prince with God, or had great power with God, as exemplified by the fact that he had secured this blessing by the demonstration of great faith and loyalty and zeal. This name, Israel, is the one by which all his followers prefer to be known--they are Israelites. As the Gospel Church is termed in the Scriptures Spiritual Israel, and as the head of the Church is Christ, we see another parallel or foreshadowing by Jacob of Jesus--of Jesus' struggle and our Lord's ignominy in the garden. It was because our Lord overcame, because he exercised faith and obedience, that he indeed is the great Prince of the Lord, appointed the great Prince and Savior for the people.

Already Christ is the Prince of the Church, which in obedience to his call is seeking to walk in his steps, that they may be joint-heirs with him in the glorious Oath-Bound Covenant which he has inherited, just as the Israelites sought to follow Jacob and become heirs of the same promise. But as there were tests upon Jacob, so also there needed to be tests upon his people: and likewise as there were tests upon our Redeemer, so there must be tests upon all of his people, his followers, his Gospel Church. Many of the people of Natural Israel stumbled because of lack of faith--not holding on to the divine promise they were overcome by the spirit of the world, the spirit of selfishness, etc. Similarly today, in this harvest time of the Gospel age, we find the indications to be that many more have been called than will be chosen--than will be worthy of acceptance as footstep-followers of the Redeemer, the true Israel, the Spiritual Prince with God. As Jesus was the prevailing Prince with God, so all of those whom he accepts as members of his body, his Church, must also have the same spirit and be, in the language of the Scriptures, "overcomers."

THE CHURCH'S NEW NAME

By his faith Jacob obtained a rank, a standing, amongst his posterity with his father Isaac and his grandfather Abraham, and in olden times no Israelite would appropriate any of these three names--they were considered too sacred for others than the originals. The changing of Jacob's name reminds us of other similar changes: for instance, amongst our Lord's disciples Simon was renamed Peter, and again Saul of Tarsus was renamed Paul, and this gradually led to the custom prevalent throughout Christendom of giving to every convert a new name, a Christian name, and this principle was eventually applied to children of believers and ultimately to all children.

But God proposes a new name for his people--his Church--the Bride, the Lamb's wife. As Jesus was our Lord's name and he became the Christ, the Messiah, so all who become members of his body come under his new name, and are recognized of the Lord and may be recognized of each other as members of the Christ (Rev. 3:12); and again, the Lord, prophetically speaking of Christ, says, "This is the name whereby he shall be called, The Righteousness of Jehovah," (Jer. 23:6): and again, speaking of the Bride of Christ, we read, "This is the name by which she shall be called, The Righteousness of Jehovah." (Jer. 33:16.) The name of the Bridegroom is given to his Bride--"They shall be mine, saith the Lord, in that day when I make up my jewels." (Mal. 3:17.) And those who will get this new name, we may be sure, will all be called upon to demonstrate that they will be overcomers. They must all pass approval before the Lord for their faith and their persistency in holding to him and his gracious promise--the Oath-Bound Covenant.

"DO IT NOT, WORSHIP GOD"

The answer of the angel, when Jacob in turn asked for his name, reminds us of the words of the poet,--

"O! to be nothing, nothing--
To him let their voices be raised;
He is the fountain of blessing,
Yes, worthy is he to be praised."

The angel seemingly had no desire to flaunt his own name and have it handed down to posterity. He was content that he was the mouthpiece and representative of Jehovah God, and desirous that the Lord alone should have the honor and distinction of having conferred the blessing, and that the instrument through which the divine favor was extended might not be in evidence to detract from the glory of the Lord. Would that all of us who are the Lord's people could take exactly this unselfish view of our various opportunities to serve the Lord and his brethren--to be willing to be out of sight ourselves that all might the more clearly see that the blessings conferred are from the Lord alone. This thought is brought to our attention in Rev. 19:10, where John, as a representative of the Church, having heard and seen wonderful things, fell at the feet of the angel to worship him who had showed him these things. The command was, "See that thou do it not, for I am thy fellow-servant--worship God." So if there come to any of us a thought of doing homage to the Lord's messengers or servants through whom his blessing has been bestowed upon us it will be proper for him to give the admonition, "Do it not, worship God"; and in any event it [R3971 : page 105] would be our duty to fully recognize that our blessings come not from any human being but from God, however much he may use human instrumentalities in conveying his blessings. He alone is to be honored and reverenced and appreciated as the Author and Giver of every good and perfect gift.-- James 1:17.



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"HATED OF HIS BRETHREN"
--GENESIS 37:5-28.--APRIL 21.--

"Where envying and strife are, there are confusion and every evil work."--Jas. 3:16

THE Bible story of Joseph is one of the most interesting known to literature in any age and in any language. The portion which belongs to this lesson might easily be termed a tragedy. It illustrates human nature good and bad, and in its various types and incidents furnishes valuable lessons, prominent among which is the oft-repeated one referred to in the Golden Text--that envy is one of the principal roots of human depravity--selfishness--and that from this root have sprung some of the most injurious influences and experiences known to man--"every evil work." As we study the present lesson let us have this thought in mind, and apply each to himself the moral. If in our fallen condition envy can produce such terrible fruitage, how much on guard against it every true follower of the Lord should be. How each should realize that to permit the growth of even the smallest shoot of this root in his daily life might lead on to most disastrous consequences to him as a New Creature.

Realizing this, each should be on guard for the extermination of this weed from the garden of his own heart. One writer has even said, "There is but one man who can believe himself free from envy, and it is he who has never examined his own heart." Undoubtedly this evil root of selfishness is to be found in every imperfect son and daughter of Adam, whether it is flourishing under favorable conditions or dormant for lack of them, or from the overmastering power of grace. Only the heart that is aflame with love for God supreme and for his neighbor as himself is in a condition so sterile as respects envy that the latter has no opportunity for development. With an abatement of our love for God and man comes a corresponding increase of favorable influence for the development of this root of envy and its concomitants of anger, hatred, strife and every evil work--yea, murder --all of which the Apostle tells us are works of the flesh and of the devil, and hence to be shunned by all those who now and by and by would have the Master's approval. Whatever may have been the natural tendency of our flesh, the new nature begotten of the holy Spirit of the Lord, the spirit of love, is expected by the Father to dominate and render sterile to envy all whom he recognizes as children of God. "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God."

"JOSEPH, THE BELOVED SON"

At the time of our lesson Joseph was about seventeen years old, next to the youngest of Jacob's twelve sons, and his father's favorite. He was the son of the gentle Rachel, the specially loved wife of Jacob. Evidently he partook in large measure of his mother's gentleness as well as of his father's courage and faith, as all of his subsequent history shows. His elder brothers were of coarser type, so that all the circumstances and conditions justified Jacob in having a preference for Joseph, in considering him his specially beloved son. His father procured for him what in the common version is called a coat of many colors, and in the revised version a coat of extremes. It is presumed that the extremes were not of colors but of lengths--that the coat was long and had long sleeves, thus differing from the ordinary coats of the working people and corresponding to the style worn by the aristocratic. It is suggested, however, that the coat may have been of many colors, because upon some of the ancient monuments of Egypt such long coats are pictured as having been made of material of bright colors joined together in a kind of patchwork; thus it is possible that both translations are correct.

In any case the coat was a distinct one, and, in conjunction with Jacob's acknowledged preference for Joseph, it helped to fix the jealousy and bitterness of his brethren, who in it saw the suggestion that in their father's opinion Joseph would eventually be a ruler amongst his brethren --his father's successor as the chief of the household, the tribe. We need not here stop specially to criticize the unwisdom on the part of the father in manifesting so pronounced a favoritism. We can, however, realize that Joseph had such peculiarities as justified favoritism and special love. In this, as well as in many other respects, the Scriptures clearly indicate that Joseph was a type of Jesus. The latter was the heavenly Father's beloved Son, and he similarly was rejected by his brethren, he similarly was sold for silver, he similarly was delivered, we are told, for envy. (Matt. 27:18; Mark 15:10.) More than this, Joseph typified the entire body of Christ, every member of which is to some extent represented in his experiences--to every member of which our Lord's words apply, "The Father himself loveth you." --John 16:27.

THE VALUE OF DREAMS

Certain dreams which Joseph had and which evidently were in some manner inspired by the Lord, and prophetic, tended to further embitter his brethren, serving to fertilize the root of bitterness and envy which was in their hearts. One of these dreams represented a wheat-field in which were twelve sheaves, one of which arose and stood upright while the others fell before it, as though doing homage. Joseph, without evil thought, apparently, told the dream to his brethren, and they, lacking faith in the Lord and submission to the divine will, were angered by the very suggestion that their younger brother should ever be their superior-- "And they hated him the more for his dreams and for his words." The words referred to Joseph's report of misconduct on the part of some of his brethren. Righteousness, justice, seems to have been an integral part of Joseph's natural character, and his report of his brethren was not a slander but merely what he considered to be proper, that his father should know the manner in which his business was conducted. (V. 2.)

Another of Joseph's dreams enkindled the anger of his brethren, and even drew a protest from his father, as though Joseph's ambitions were the groundwork of his dreams. Nevertheless, Jacob pondered these things in his heart, and doubtless wondered how great his favorite boy might some day be. This second dream pictured the sun, the moon and the stars bowing to one star, and was interpreted to mean that the whole family would some day acknowledge Joseph as their superior. How preposterous this must have seemed to them all, including Joseph. Poor boy! His subsequent [R3971 : page 107] lessons in life doubtless taught him to be more secretive, not to tell every dream and hope, not to cast his pearls to those who could not appreciate them, but who would be angered thereby. How necessary to us all is the lesson of wisdom along the lines of secretiveness. Our Lord illustrates this, saying, "I have many things to tell you, but ye cannot bear them now." There is a time to tell and a time to refrain--we all need to watch and to pray, "Set a guard, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips."-- Psa. 141:3.

GOD'S WORD SUPERIOR TO DREAMS

With the Scriptural record of inspired dreams before us it would be folly to denounce them and to declare them unworthy of any consideration. We remember the other miraculous dreams that Joseph interpreted, also Jacob's, Peter's, Paul's, etc. On the other hand we need to guard ourselves lest dreams should be given undue importance. We are to remember that there was an appropriate necessity for dreams in the olden times which does not exist at the present time; because the Gospel Church is expected to walk by faith and not by sight--is expected to listen to the voice behind them saying, "This is the way," rather than to expect a miracle or a dream to indicate the path of righteousness. The path beyond us is shown by the divine Word, and we are to cultivate the ears of our hearts that we may have the proper direction. In harmony with this the Scriptures say, "He that hath a dream let him tell a dream, but he that hath my Word let him speak my Word." (Jer. 23:28.) Here the Lord indicates that a dream might be told if we have nothing better to tell--nothing more direct, nothing more authoritative; but that the Lord's Word, his revelation, his inspired testimony is to be put far above all dreams of our own and of others. If a dream, therefore, corroborates some plain statement of the Word of God it may be used and appreciated in the same sense that we use and appreciate a type--not to teach a doctrine or duty, but to illustrate and call attention to the statements.

"COME, LET US KILL HIM"

Joseph's faithfulness in reporting facts led Jacob to make him a kind of overseer, and it was probably in this capacity that he was again sent to his brethren to Shechem, a three days' journey--to carry to them some home delicacies [R3972 : page 107] and to bring word again to Jacob of the general conditions prevailing, the prosperity of the flocks, condition of the pasturage, etc. Not finding his brethren at Shechem Joseph followed directions to Dothan, manifesting in the whole procedure a considerable degree of courage and self-reliance, sleeping outdoors at night as was the custom of the time and braving the dangers of the way. This shows us, too, that Jacob's love for his favorite son did not lead him to spoil him entirely, and that the boy himself was recognized as one who could be trusted in a general way to care for himself. Many parents today are less wise, and fail to cultivate courage, determination, etc., in the children they favor--sometimes shielding them from difficulties in a manner which proves ultimately very prejudicial to their interests.

The brethren as shepherds were accustomed to keep a sharp look-out for wild beasts likely to injure the flock, and discerned their brother at a distance. Forthwith the circumstances and conditions tended to a rapid germination of their root of envy and bitterness, and in a few moments had sprouted and brought forth in their hearts the spirit of murder. Nine of the ten at once agreed to kill their brother. The only one to object, and he covertly, was Reuben, who knew too well the bitterness of his brethren to venture to oppose them, and as a counter suggestion he urged that they do not murder him but put him into one of the dry cisterns of those parts, intending in his heart to subsequently return and secretly deliver his brother.

In these brethren we see illustrated the heart of the natural man, which might at one moment fight for justice and shortly thereafter violate every principle of justice. Was it not these same men who now, in violation of all brotherly love, were planning their brother's murder, who only a short time before had avenged the dishonor of their sister by slaying the population of a whole village--in what they considered a righteous indignation against sin? The transforming influence of the holy Spirit is necessary to correct these violent extremes of the fallen flesh; hence the Scriptures tell us that those who are begotten again of the holy Spirit alone have the "spirit of a sound mind." (2 Tim. 1:7.) Truly in the natural man pride is an important factor, and often leads to murders and lynchings, ostensibly in the defense of righteousness--really in the gratification of an element of selfishness. It was then similarly pride, one of the roots of selfishness, that led to that wholesale murdering; and it was envy, another root of selfishness, which now led them to attempt to murder their brother.

"STRONG CRYINGS AND TEARS"

Reuben's plea was effective. Joseph was put into a pit and the brethren sat down to eat bread, doubtless consuming some of the very delicacies that Joseph had brought to them from home, while the poor boy's cries and entreaties and appeals rang in their ears. They were stony-hearted, unmerciful, as well as unjust: and indeed the natural heart is usually unmerciful. Mercy is often extended through shame or fear or policy amongst worldly people, but mercy in itself is an element of love which, although it originally belonged to human nature, has very generally been lost, and is principally an evidence amongst those who have been begotten again in heart-likeness to their Lord.

Our lesson does not mention the cries and entreaties and pleadings of the imprisoned Joseph, but another Scripture does when later these same brethren were forced by the famine in Canaan to go to Egypt to buy wheat. Their brother Joseph was governor there, and he, affecting to consider them spies, put them in jail three days. It was while they were there that their minds were more or less awakened to the wrong doings of previous years, and they said one to another, "We are verily guilty concerning our brother in that we saw the anguish of his soul when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us." Reuben's reply to them was, "Spake I not unto you saying, Do not sin against the child; and ye would not hear? Therefore, behold, also his blood is required." Apparently Reuben departed from that vicinity [R3972 : page 108] after Joseph was imprisoned, intending to return later for his deliverance, but upon his return he found that his brethren had sold him to a company of merchantmen who had taken him as a slave into Egypt.



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PATIENT ENDURANCE IN ADVERSITY
--GENESIS 39:20-23; 40:1-15.--APRIL 28.--

Golden Text:--"Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life."--Rev. 2:10.

THE story of Joseph's trials and difficulties is a most pathetic one: yet we see that in all these things the blessing of the Lord was with him, and he, faithfully responding, his experiences, instead of doing him injury, were on the contrary greatly to his advantage. Although Joseph lived long before the Pentecostal blessing as we experience it--long before the bringing to light of the exceeding great and precious promises of the heavenly nature and Kingdom glories and invitation to the elect to share therein--though Joseph had only the indefinite revelation of God's mercy contained in the great Oath-Bound Covenant given to Abraham, nevertheless his faithfulness and patient endurance constitute a wonderful lesson to the household of the Spirit-begotten sons of God of this Gospel age. If he could endure so patiently and so faithfully, what should not we, so much more highly favored, be able to endure? The secret of his success and ours is the same, namely, a fast hold by faith to the Abrahamic Covenant, which, as the Apostle says, we have as an anchor to our souls, sure and steadfast, entering into that which is beyond the vail. (Heb. 6:19.) The consideration of this lesson should nerve, energize, every one of the Lord's consecrated people to still further endurance and faithfulness under the circumstances and conditions that the Lord's providence may mark out for them.

JOSEPH A SLAVE IN EGYPT

The Ishmaelitish traders, to whom Joseph's brethren sold him for twenty pieces of silver, took him to Egypt, where he was exposed for sale in the open market, as was the custom of the time. We can well imagine the anguish of the poor boy. Delivered from the pit in which his brethren had put him to die he soon realized that they had not repented at heart, but merely changed the form of their murderous envy. Passing not many miles distant from his father's abode the dejection of the boy of seventeen can be better imagined than described, and arriving in the Egyptian metropolis, the center of civilization at that time, and beholding there wonderful things entirely new to him as a shepherd's son, his heart must have been full of suspense and wonder as to who would purchase him and what would be his future lot in life. There was plenty of room in all of these experiences he had recently passed through for him to lose faith in God--to wonder why he should be left to the mercy of his pitiless brethren, why he should be allowed to become a slave, separated from his father's home. Yet we have no intimation that his faith forsook him.

In the Lord's providence he was purchased by a wealthy official of Egypt named Potiphar. As a servant in this man's house he was faithful to his duties small and great, and grew in his master's confidence and esteem until, at the age of twenty-two, he was made manager of his entire estate. When twenty-seven years of age--ten years after coming to Egypt, in the prime of young manhood, he unwittingly attracted to himself the love of his master's wife, but when it manifested itself he persistently resisted it on the lofty grounds of faithfulness to God and faithfulness to his master. Dr. Blakie pointedly remarks of this

TRIAL OF JOSEPH'S VIRTUE,

"We may believe that it was no ordinary temptation when, day after day, the mistress of the house, expert in amorous arts, came to spread the net, with every allurement which her skill and her passion could devise. We may conceive how even Joseph might be moved by the thought that, slave as he was, he had attracted the admiration of a woman of such rank, and how the vision might flit before him that through her influence he might recover his liberty and in a bright career realize his dreams after all."

The conduct of Potiphar's wife well illustrates how love may be changed to bitterest hate. In her determination she grasped Joseph by the coat, but he slipped out of it, and then her rage and resentment became bitter. She kept the coat and told her husband that his favorite servant had endeavored to entice her to do evil, and that when she made outcry he fled, leaving his coat in her possession. What a turn this was in Joseph's affairs! Why should the Lord permit him to be thus scandalized, not only in the eyes of his master, but amongst all those with whom he had formed an acquaintance in the ten years of his residence there? Why should the Lord permit his virtue to be so evil spoken of?

This probably seemed to Joseph a mysterious providence, yet in the light of the subsequent story we can see how the Lord's providence had not forsaken him, but was ready to make even this experience work out to his further instruction in righteousness, patience, experience, faithfulness, and to prepare him for still greater blessings by and by--on the throne. The lesson for us of this spirit dispensation is most evident and most striking: as it was not because of Joseph's unfaithfulness that the Lord permitted this trial to come upon him, so it does not speak unfaithfulness on our part and retribution from the Lord if trials and difficulties may be permitted to come upon us. Are we not learning every day more and more to trust the Lord where we cannot trace him in his providences, when we cannot see the end of the way? If we could see the end would it be faith at all? Is it not our lack of knowledge of the future that constitutes the very virtue of faith in the present time? [R3973 : page 109]

"ABANDON US NOT IN TEMPTATION"

The great Spurgeon once remarked, "In contending with certain sins there remains no mode of victory but by flight. The ancient naturalists wrote much of basilisks, whose eyes fascinated their victims and rendered them easy victims; so the moral gaze of wickedness puts us in solemn danger." In harmony with this thought the Apostle wrote to Timothy, "Flee youthful lusts." (2 Tim. 2:22.) Jesus' example in this matter is a wonderful lesson to us all respecting loyalty to the principles of righteousness even to the extent of hazarding the brightest hopes and prospects of an earthly kind. And if we may well copy this lesson of fleeing from temptation, we may also note with the Prophet another lesson in this connection, for when Joseph's master Potiphar was very angry with him, so far as the evidence shows, Joseph contented himself with merely denying the allegation without attempting to demean Potiphar's wife by relating the facts of the case. What a noble example is here given us of avoiding evil speaking, even when that would be the truth!

Joseph's noble heart probably reasoned that while it would have been no more than justice to have revealed the wickedness of the woman, such a course would not only have damaged the wife but have dealt an irreparable blow to Potiphar's affection for her, thus destroying his master's confidence and breaking up his home. Willingness to endure under such conditions is a marvelous illustration of high and noble integrity --character. Such a man was indeed fit for a throne-- but not yet; God had other experiences for him before he would be ready for the exaltation intended. So with us: God has called us to the throne of the Millennial Kingdom to be associated with our Lord and Redeemer in his great work; but first we must be made meet for the inheritance of the saints in light, and trials and buffetings and testings of patient endurance are essential to the development of such character as the Lord seeks.

THE STRENGTHENING OF CHARACTER

A lump of rock candy is pure carbon and a diamond is pure carbon, yet there is a difference between them which consists mainly in the fact that the diamond has been crystallized to an extreme degree of hardness, firmness, solidity. So there is a difference between the states and conditions of the New Creatures in Christ. At one time we are mere "babes in Christ," but if faithful through patient endurance and the Lord's instructions and disciplines of providence we are to become strong in the Lord and in the power of his might--the "babe in Christ" corresponds then to the pure carbon in the form of rock candy, while the mature Christian, developed in the furnace of affliction, etc., corresponds to the diamond. We remember in this connection the Lord's assurance that at the close of our trial time in the end of the Gospel age, at his second coming, he will make up his "jewels."

At that time undoubtedly an official of Potiphar's rank would have been permitted to kill his slave under such a charge, and the fact that, instead, Joseph was imprisoned, may therefore be taken as an intimation that Potiphar was not fully convinced of the treachery of the man who had served him faithfully for ten years. But a prison in olden times differed greatly from a modern prison in civilized lands. Joseph, in mentioning the prison, "dungeon" (v. 15) in the Hebrew calls it a "hole," and a minister familiar with oriental prisons of today says:--

"We have visited many a prison in the Levant; we have seen...intolerable filth and want of ventilation, the excess of vermin, the unmerciful stocks in which the feet are made fast. We may well pity virtuous Joseph, who was indeed, as claimed by tradition, put into the prison dungeon of the present city of Cairo, which is composed of dark, loathsome and pestilential passages where the prisoners are chained to the wall."

Joseph's experiences in prison are referred to by the Psalmist (Psa. 105:18), saying, "Whose feet they hurt with fetters; he was laid in irons."

What was the effect of this new experience upon Joseph? Was he discouraged, cast down, embittered in soul? Did he say to himself or to others, If this be the reward of virtue, give me vice? Did he repine against the Lord's providences in permitting this experience, or was he patiently submissive, trustful? Joseph was in all these experiences the most wonderful, model example of the proper course of a true Christian and saint. And again we suggest that if he could be faithful with as little light as he enjoyed respecting the Lord's permission of this evil, what might not the Lord reasonably expect of us who have been blest with so much greater light and instruction, and with the noble example of Joseph and scores of others in the Scriptures and in our own experiences--what manner of persons ought we to be in all holy living and godliness and faith in God?

For very shame's sake we should strive at least to come up to the standard of Joseph--we who have the exceeding great and precious promises--we who have the explanation of why our trials and difficulties are permitted and how they are to prepare us for the Kingdom and its glorious work. Can we not readily see how Joseph's trials and difficulties developed character in him? and how, as he overcame in one instance after another, he was becoming stronger--his character was crystallizing? Ah! no wonder he will be amongst the "ancient worthies" who, in the future, after the glorification of the Church, will be made princes in all the earth for the ruling and blessing and uplifting of the entire human family, under the guidance and direction of the Christ, Head and body. Most evidently the Lord knows how, not only to select the wonderful characters for his service, but also to develop these characters and prove and test them, and make them strong for his service and their blessing.

"THE LORD WAS WITH HIM"

Joseph's experience in the stocks was a limited one. Evidently the prison-keeper discerned that he had a prisoner of no ordinary character and ability, [R3973 : page 110] whatever might be charged against him. His reverence for the Lord and his faithfulness to duty made him a marked man, and the keeper of the prison was glad to give over one responsibility after another into Joseph's hands. According to the story, Joseph's own experiences made him tender hearted toward the other prisoners, whose degradations and sorrows he was enabled to enter into by reason of his own experiences. He was learning noble lessons, which would fit and prepare him for higher usefulness as the governor of Egypt. The secret of the whole matter is told in the lesson in a few words, "The Lord was with him, and that which he did the Lord made to prosper."

Whoever has reverence for the Lord in any degree will be proportionately blessed: much faith, much reverence, much obedience will surely lead to much blessing in heart and life--to much supporting and steadying of character, whatever it may have been by nature --to much of the spirit of a sound mind, however erratic the person may have been naturally to begin with. In all these respects we who have the instructions of the Lord's Word or the encouragement of his promises and the guidance of the spirit of a sound mind are greatly blessed. In proportion as we make use of them and develop the proper character we shall have the ultimate reward and hear the Master's voice, saying, It is enough, come up higher. Thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.

We should never forget, as "New Creatures in Christ Jesus," the exhortation of the Golden Text to faithfulness--to the Lord (which includes faithfulness to the brethren, to the truth, to righteousness in every sense of the word). This faithfulness must be tried, tested, proven, clear down to the end of life's journey --until we go into the prison-house of death. "Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life." The Lord whom we serve is able and willing to open the prison-doors and bring us forth in the First Resurrection to a share in the glory, honor and immortality of his own Kingdom. Hallelujah, what a Savior! what a salvation! and for what a peculiar people these are intended! Such thoughts incite us--as was the divine intention--to strive to make our calling and election sure.

PROSPERING IN PRISON

Well might the chief jailor be content to leave the care of the prison in Joseph's hands. We may well imagine the cleaning up of the dungeon effected under his direction, and that a measure of peace would reign within those dark walls quite in contrast with the bedlam that had previously prevailed. Wisdom, mercy, gentleness, patience, were all, we may be sure, needed and exercised; and the model prison not only effected a blessing upon those who were incarcerated, but brought a blessing also to Joseph in his own heart-development, and additionally in that our own joy and peace [R3974 : page 110] are always ministered to when we endeavor to solace the woes of others.

A picture of how Joseph dealt with the prisoners is given in the lesson: instead of treating them rudely and roughly, he looked after their interests to such an extent that he noticed one morning that two of the prisoners were of peculiarly sad countenance, and he tenderly inquired, "Wherefore look ye so sadly today?" They had dreamed, and they were in trouble lest their dreams boded further adversity. Joseph said unto them, "Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell me them, I pray you." How evidently the secret of Joseph's faithfulness and strength of character lay in the fact that he had faith in God--that he believed in the great Oath-Bound Covenant that God had made with his great-grandfather Abraham, confirmed to his grandfather Isaac, and again to his father Jacob, and of which he was an heir. What a power faith has in life to hold it steady in every storm and cloudy trouble!

One of the dreams bore a most favorable interpretation, and Joseph requested the one who would so shortly be set at liberty and restored to the king's favor that he would remember him and his kind attentions to him while in the prison, and speak a good word to the king on his behalf, that he might be relieved from the dungeon. And in explaining the matter let us not overlook the fact that he neither incriminated his brethren nor Potiphar's wife, but merely said as an excuse for his being in prison, "For indeed I was stolen away out of the land of the Hebrews, and here also have I done nothing that they should put me into the dungeon." It was not necessary that he should speak evil of any in order to plead his cause, and he abstained. What an evidence we here have that our race 3,000 years ago were neither monkeys nor savages. On the contrary, this natural man, not begotten of the holy Spirit (which did not come upon any until the Gospel dispensation--Pentecost), had such a marvelous development of generosity, love, that he seems not even to have been severely tempted along the lines of evil speaking--and that without any instruction, either oral or written.

How this story should shame many who have named the name of Christ and have professed to turn their backs upon sin and every evil work and who well know that evil speaking is closely related to the works of the flesh and of the devil. Joseph had not the instructions of our Lord and the apostles to the effect that love is the principal thing, that love thinketh no evil, suffereth long and is kind, is not easily provoked, etc.; and that this love is not only appropriate amongst the Lord's people, who should love one another as he has loved us, but must be extended also to our neighbors, that we may love our neighbors as ourselves-- yea, beyond this, to our enemies, who are to be fed and clothed by us if they need our assistance. Thank God for the lesson of Joseph--enduring affliction, yet full of faith, mercy, gentleness, patience, kindness. How evidently the mind had to do with all this character-development. Without the hopes set before him in the Abrahamic promise, Joseph might have been as dispirited and characterless as the majority of mankind. Remember, too, that it is the same promise that we are heirs to, as the Apostle declares--Christ is the heir, and if we be Christ's then are we Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise.--Gal. 3:16,29.

"Virtue may be assailed but never hurt;
Surprised by unjust force, but not enthralled;
Yea, even that, which mischief meant most harm,
Shall in the happy trial prove most glory."



[R3974 : page 111]

ENCOURAGING WORDS FROM FAITHFUL WORKERS

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--

I received a letter a short time ago that was so very encouraging to me that I feel I must tell you about it in order that you may be encouraged also. While canvassing last summer I met a man who when I told him that I was introducing STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, remarked that I had perhaps stopped at the wrong house, as he did not or could not believe the Bible. He said he was very sorry that the Bible taught eternal torment, that only for that he might be able to believe it. When I assured him that the Bible did not teach the doctrine of eternal torment he seemed very much surprised that I would make such a statement and said, "It surely does teach it." I told him that the Bible teaches that the wages of sin is death, that the soul that sinneth shall die, and that the wicked shall be destroyed, etc. I then briefly told him what a loving heavenly Father we have, and how far he would be from torturing any one, and that the books which I was selling clear up these false accusations which people have been making against our heavenly Father, and that they would also strengthen his faith in the Bible. When I had finished he asked me when I expected to deliver. When I told him he said he would like to have them sooner if possible, as he was getting old and might not have much longer to read. So I promised to deliver his books the next day and did so. I was in the town only about two weeks afterward, but called a number of times to see him and always found him with either DAWN or Bible in hand. I gave his name to the friends in the town so that they might keep in touch with him. The letter above referred to is from one of the brethren there, who says that this man, once an infidel, is now one of the happiest men in the world, that he is now fully in the Truth and has four of his friends interested also, two of whom have subscribed for the TOWER. They are all rejoicing together and we rejoice with them, not only because we are being so greatly blessed but because the time for the establishment of the Kingdom is so near, when all the families of the earth are to be blessed.

Sister D__________ joins me in much love to yourself and all of the Bible House friends.

Yours in the one good hope,
H. W. DICKERSON,--Colporteur.


DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--

It is with a rejoicing heart that I am writing to you to tell you of the deep things of God that I am enjoying. My dear husband and I have only been in the Truth three months. What great joy the reading of the DAWNS has given us! So many questions arise and all seem to be answered in the DAWNS. We did so wonder whether we be of the true wheat, since learning that the call ended in 1881; but we have just finished Vol. 3 of the DAWNS and found the answer. The dear Lord would not give us a taste of these things if he did not mean that we should fully attain them. How good and gracious he is to those that try to follow in his steps! But how many tumbles we do have! Then I get up and start afresh. I wish I could express in words what the DAWNS have done for us. We now feel more contented about the at present unsaved. It did seem such a terrible thing for those that did not believe to be eternally tortured. How such teaching has blasphemed God's character, the one who is all Love. How beautifully his character is set forth in his marvelous plan! It seems so wonderful that everything in the plan had been arranged in the beginning and also how grandly all is being carried out! My mind seems too small to grasp such wonderful truths.

My husband and I came out from the Brethren and they think us among those false prophets who are to arise. Little do they realize of the deep, deep joy to be had in knowing our dear Lord and to be led by his loving hand. I have in this little time realized to some extent the steepness and narrowness of the way which leadeth unto life. But I do so much long for that Christ-like character and to shine for his sake, to shine for him who has done so much for all mankind.

We are having the WATCH TOWERS now. How helpful they are. I do thank our dear heavenly Father for raising you up to give us this meat in due season. The Lord has provided all that is needful for his Church. It seems to me to be like a great big feast and the more you eat the more you want. My husband joins in sending Christian love and may God bless you in your labors is the prayer of us both.

Yours in our dear Redeemer,
G. & M. HINE,--Eng.


DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--

May the Lord, guide, uphold and bless you through all the coming year, and, dear Brother, I ask your prayers that he may be with me and keep me safe from evil, toward which I am so prone. I am learning to distrust myself more each day and I want to learn to trust him more for the grace and strength to overcome my many weaknesses and failings.

Would say that I am learning to love the Colporteur work more each day and while at first it was somewhat unpleasant work, to which I had to force myself, owing partly, however, to much natural timidity and backwardness in approaching strangers, it is now a pleasure, especially as I often meet persons who appear to be hungering for something better than they have.

At present I devote the first four days of the week and Friday morning to the Colporteur work. I have other duties Friday afternoons and Saturdays. Am [R3975 : page 111] doing very nicely and am making expenses, and so feel satisfied to continue. Again thanking you for so kindly remembering me, I am, with much Christian love,

Yours in the harvest work,
ALBERTA CROSBY,--Colporteur.


DEAR BRETHREN:--

You will find enclosed my first report. It covers, as you see, somewhat more than half a month, but I hope you will accept it as it is and make allowances for mistakes or omissions, remembering that it is new to me. It shall be my effort to make each report more satisfactory than the last. Your words of instruction and encouragement have, I assure you, been greatly appreciated. It seemed to me that I esteemed the Colporteur work a great blessing and privilege, but since reading the report in the January 1 TOWER I feel much ashamed and pray the heavenly Father for a like earnest zeal as that shown by the Colporteurs in Jamaica and Costa Rica. May the heavenly Father's blessing attend all your labor of love in the new year.

Your Sister in the Anointed One,
ELLEN ZELLER,--Colporteur.



page 113
April 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. XXVIIIAPRIL 15No. 8
A.D. 1907--A.M. 6035


CONTENTS

Views from the Watch Tower115
Speaking with Tongues as a Modern Religious Mania115
Likens Protestantism to a Cerberus116
Psychological Phenomena116
Get Them to Study Millennial Dawn117
A Presbyterian Minister's Pointed Criticism of his Creed117
Getting Ready for the Millennium117
The Wilderness Path (Poem)118
Memorial Supper Reports118
Them that Honor Me I will Honor119
Blessed are the Merciful123
Behind a Frowning Providence126

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 114

THIS JOURNAL AND ITS SACRED MISSION

THIS Journal is one of the prime factors or instruments in the system of Bible Instruction, or "Seminary Extension," now being presented in all parts of the civilized world by the WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY, chartered A.D. 1881, "For the Promotion of Christian Knowledge." It not only serves as a class room where Bible Students may meet in the study of the divine Word, but also as a channel of communication through which they may be reached with announcements of the Society's Conventions and of the coming of its traveling representatives styled "Pilgrims," and refreshed with reports of its Conventions.

Our "Berean Lessons" are topical rehearsals or reviews of our Society's published "Studies," most entertainingly arranged, and very helpful to all who would merit the only honorary degree which the Society accords, viz., Verbi Dei Minister (V.D.M.), which translated into English is, Minister of the Divine Word. Our treatment of the International S.S. Lessons is specially for the older Bible Students and Teachers. By some this feature is considered indispensable.

This Journal stands firmly 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." (I Pet. 1:19; I Tim. 2:6.) Building up on this sure foundation the gold, silver and precious stones (I Cor. 3:11-15; 2 Pet. 1:5-11) of the Word of God, its further mission is to--"Make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery which...has been hid in God,...to the intent that now might be made known by the Church the manifold wisdom of God"--"which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men as it is now revealed."--Eph. 3:5-9,10.

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

TO US THE SCRIPTURES CLEARLY TEACH

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




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

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

All Bible Students who, by reason of old age, or other infirmity or adversity, are unable to pay for this Journal, will be supplied FREE if they send a Postal Card each June stating their case and requesting its continuance. We are not only willing, but anxious, that all such be on our list continually and in touch with the Studies, etc.


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

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



DAILY HEAVENLY MANNA--READY IN MAY


Our new edition of the "Manna" will contain the same texts and comments as the former one; but it will have twice as many pages. Every alternate leaf will be blank ruled, for use as an Autograph and Birthday Record. It will be printed on fine bond paper and bound in handsome dark blue cloth. It would be well worth $1 or more in any bookstore.

NEW PRICES, WHOLESALE AND RETAIL

The new "Manna" will be sold by Manna Colporteurs and others at 50 cents each (60c when gotten by mail or prepaid express). The wholesale rates, open to any TOWER reader, are as follows--cash with order:

1 copy, postpaid, each........................35 cents
10 copies or more, by express, prepaid........30   "
10   "       "        "       at your charges.20   "
30   "       "     by freight.................20   "

We of course prefer the DAWNS or STUDIES to be colporteured; but a good follow-up work can be done with "Manna" by those who cannot do the regular work with DAWN-STUDIES.

CHARTS OF THE TABERNACLE


We have arranged to supply beautiful Charts of the Tabernacle on cloth, carriage prepaid, for two dollars each. Very choice, and very cheap for the quality and size--5 ft.



[R3975 : page 115]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER.

SPEAKING WITH TONGUES AS A MODERN RELIGIOUS MANIA


SPEAKING with tongues has been a feature of recent revival meetings held in various cities of Ohio. As reported in the secular and religious press these manifestations have taken the form of articulate but unintelligible utterances for the most part. In one instance, however, a young woman is reported to have "babbled for nearly an hour in what is said to be the Greek language," though in her normal condition she disclaimed all knowledge of the ancient tongue. These involuntary utterances appear to be a part of the sign manual of the "Apostolic Faith Movement," which we are informed by a writer in The Wesleyan Methodist (Syracuse), "originated in the Pentecostal experiences of Evangelist Charles F. Parham and colaborers in Topeka, Kans., in A.D. 1900, January 1." At that time a Miss Agnes Ozman, a member of the Bible school previously founded by Mr. Parham, "received the gift of the holy Spirit and spoke with other tongues as the Spirit gave utterance." On January 3 following "twelve students were filled with the holy Spirit, and spoke with other tongues as the Spirit gave utterance." On January 3 following "twelve students were filled with the holy Spirit, and spake with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance, while some in the room were said to have seen cloven tongues of fire as they appeared on the day of Pentecost." In these events is said to reside the origin of a more or less wide-spread movement frequently referred to as the "present Pentecost." The adherents of this movement make the claim that "speaking with tongues" is "the only Bible evidence of the baptism of the holy Spirit." An examination of the manifestations was made by S. A. Manwell and reported by him in The Wesleyan Methodist (February 20). He writes as follows:

"Those with whom the writer has talked who claim this gift, say that the spirit takes possession of their vocal organs and uses them as he wills, while their minds are at rest. They say they are conscious that their vocal organs are being used, but do not know how, nor do they know what they are saying. They have no power to stop speaking when once the spirit possesses them. In the meeting I attended, two women were thus wrought upon. One remained in that condition four or five minutes; the other but a few seconds. The first indication I had of anything out of the ordinary was a low muttering sound without articulation. This muttering lasted but a few seconds, then the voice raised to a more natural tone and volume and it would be hard to imagine how a more rapid succession of sounds could come from the mouth of a human being. For the most part, these sounds appeared to be articulate, but if she spoke a language no one knew it. She herself knew not the meaning of any sound she made. In the same series of meetings on another occasion, another lady was similarly possessed, and when it was time to go home her tongue was yet speaking, and instead of taking a street car, as she had formerly done, she walked, not desiring to enter a car with her vocal organs beyond her control. If I remember correctly, her tongue did not cease until she had nearly or quite reached her home. Some are said to have spoken in as many as twelve different languages, but in all this I had no evidence that what they uttered were languages of earth or heaven. That these people were sincere in their belief that the Spirit of God was moving them, I have no doubt. They believed they were talking a foreign language."

In trying to "identify" this movement Mr. Manwell quotes Isaiah respecting "the spirits that peep and mutter," with this addition: "To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." Certain other historic phases of aberrant religious manifestation seem, according to Mr. Manwell, to classify with the present outbreak. Thus:

"History records that during the early part of the last century, the affliction known as the jerks raged with violence. Young men and women were seized [R3975 : page 116] with it and fell in convulsions. Wicked men were seized, swearing at every jerk. Some not affected with the regular jerks ran through the woods till exhausted; others crawled on the ground as a religious exercise; while some jumped and some barked for the same reason, and a few spoke in 'unknown tongues,' from which facts arose those obscure classes of sectaries derisively known as Jumpers, Barkers and Mutterers....

"It is also a matter of history that in the early days of the Mormon Church, whole days of 'speaking meetings' were devoted to it. We find that the claims made by the Mormons are the same now being made by the 'Apostolic Faith Movement.' Mr. Parham says, 'We truly are in the days of the restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.' In an announcement of the 'origin, purpose and methods of the movement,' we find the following: 'Handkerchiefs blest in behalf of the distant sick.' We do not remember that many people since the days of Paul have dared to go to this extreme. We are forcibly reminded that a few years since a man by the name of Schlatter practised sorceries, blest handkerchiefs, and otherwise played with the credulity of the people. So much so that special railroad trains were run to carry the hundreds of sick to him for healing. That Paul had extraordinary power of this kind we do not doubt, but what promise or intimation have we that such power would be continued? If this one feature of the movement were all, it would be enough to brand it as a counterfeit.

"In these days the devil is working in every possible way to destroy the work of Christ. 'He comes as an angel of light, deceiving if possible the very elect.' He counterfeits everything that is good. Many honest souls are being deceived and the work of God is hindered. In the meeting where I made my observations not a sinner was converted to God, and I am credibly informed that the manifestation of the so-called 'tongues' brought no conviction to sinners, but to the contrary, the number thrown into doubt and greater unbelief was greater than those who professed to have the 'tongues.'"--Literary Digest.

LIKENS PROTESTANTISM TO A CERBERUS


"Protestantism is a modern kind of Cerberus with 125 heads, all barking discordantly," says the Rev. Charles Edward Stowe, son of the late Harriet Beecher Stowe, and himself a prominent Protestant divine, being pastor of the Central Square Congregational Church at Bridgewater. He is of the opinion that in many respects life was brighter in the so-called "dark ages" than it is today. This condition is due, he says, in part to the many sub-divisions of sects and creeds in religion.

He exceedingly regrets the condition of Protestantism in America and England today, there being, according to him, 125 different sects in these countries. "There is great unrest and hunger among the Protestants of today that refuses to be allayed by critics or aesthetics," he says:--

"There were but few, very few colonists in numbers, and their material wealth was entirely inconsequential; how can we account for the stupendous influence which this tiny commonwealth exerted and still exerts on the history of mankind?

"There is one, and only one, possible answer to this question. It was their devotion to the invisible, the eternal, the moral order of the universe, the glory of God! They endured, and yet endure, as seeing him who is invisible. All the history of mankind for them centered about his cradle and his cross, and for them there were none of those unusual benefits and privileges which we enjoy in this enlightened age, of being illuminated by the dark wisdom of the blind moles and [R3976 : page 116] bats of a godless, Christless scholarship that burrows in the holy ground of Sinai and Calvary alike, finding there only common dirt.

"Alas! It is only too true that the heavenly city which our Puritan fathers yearned for and sought with prayers and tears has become to many of their Christian descendants a frigid city of ice palaces, built of pale negations, cold, cheerless, shining in a pale winter sun with an evanescent glitter of a doubtful and unsubstantial intellectual worth.

"The full, rich, glorious Christ of Catholic Christianity has been dragged from his throne by these 'advanced thinkers'--God save the mark!--and reduced to beggary. A pale, bloodless, emaciated Syrian ghost, he still dimly haunts the icy corridors of this twentieth century Protestantism, from which the doom of his final exclusion has been already spoken.

"Then in their boundless arrogance and self-assertion they turn upon those of us who still cry with Thomas before the Risen One, 'my Lord and my God,' and tell us that there is no middle ground between their own vague and sterile rationalism and the Roman Catholic Church. If this be so, then for me most gratefully and lovingly I turn to the Church of Rome as a homeless, houseless wanderer to a home in a continuing city.

"We are hungry for God, yea, for the living God, and hence so restless and dissatisfied. The husk of life's fruit is growing thicker, and its meat thinner and dryer every day for the vast majority of our people. In many and important respects life was brighter in the so-called 'Dark Ages' than it is today. The seamless robe of Christ is rent into hideous fragments and trampled in the dirt.

"It is not all good that we have inherited from our Puritan and Pilgrim sires. We have been talking about civil and religious liberty as if that were the only thing in the world. Noting the use the average man and woman makes of this boasted liberty today, one is inclined to think it would be far better for them if they had less liberty and more law."--Boston American.

PSYCHOLOGICAL PHENOMENA


"There are others beside economists who have turned to psychology in order to explain great movements, economic, socialistic or governmental. The master of them all is Gustave Le Bon, author of the famous study on the "Psychology of Crowds." In that work are the full explanations of such phenomena as this country is now witnessing in the ever-increasing hostility to corporations, corporation managers, bankers, capitalists and men prominent in affairs. There is usually, unfortunately, a basis for the fearful antipathy [R3976 : page 117] which is finally engendered among the "crowd" against the leaders. But this antipathy, small in the beginning is fostered and cultivated by pure reasoners and demagogues alike, until each offence, big or little, is magnified into some monstrous crime. Calm men are converted into ravening wolves, reasoning creatures lose their sense of proportion, mere suspicion becomes confirmation of dreadful offences and men are condemned unheard and executed unshriven. The French Revolution is a case in point, a psychological demonstration, and the spirit of one is developing now."


***

There is truth in the above clipping. We are not defending thefts great or small, but readily agree that public indignation is apt to be unjust--not only in including the better with the worse, but also in showing no mercy on the erring, even though it would be conceded that the majority would have done the same if they had possessed the opportunity. We cannot suppose that the rich of other lands are superior in morals either. They may have seen less opportunity, or have not been exposed to such a searching public examination.

However, all this is exactly what the Bible led us to expect. A revealing from the housetops and a consequent breaking down of the respect of the masses for the upper classes, whose wealth is more and more coming to be recognized as illegitimately secured. Thus is our present Lord guiding in the affairs of earth toward the great climacteric of selfish and embittered anarchy--the predicted "time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation."

We agree, then, that G. Le Bon is quite correct in his declaration that crowds and classes are often moved en masse to do things that would not be considered by them as individuals, and that the experiences of the French Revolution will be duplicated throughout Christendom. Thank God that we can see a silver lining to this cloud: that it will be followed speedily by the rise of the great Sun of Righteousness to heal and bless and enlighten "all the families of the earth."

GET THEM TO STUDY MILLENNIAL DAWN


The Westminster Teacher publishes with implied approval the following item from the columns of The Baptist Teacher:--

A LAMENTABLE LACK

"Never were there so many Bibles in the world as there are today. And never was the Bible so much praised. Never were there so many Sunday schools as now, and the one great purpose of the Sunday school is the study of the Bible. Yet even among the teachers in our Sunday schools the ignorance of the Bible is nothing less than deplorable; the proportion of gray heads among them is comparatively very small. The great majority of them are but novices in the Christian life, and they have enlisted in this service not because of any special fitness for it, but because there was a lack of teachers, and their youthful zeal prompted them to enter a door that seemed to open up a field of usefulness. But their zeal was not according to knowledge. They were utterly unfurnished for so responsible a task. They have been doing the best they could --poor things!...How few of our Sunday school teachers have any conception of Scripture truth in its entirety--in its glorious symmetry! How few of our Bible school teachers have any definite knowledge of the way in which our Bible, as we have it, came into being--of the canon of Scripture, of the proofs of the authenticity of the Scriptures, of the meaning of the inspiration of the Scriptures, of the relation of the Old and New Testament Scriptures, and the meaning of all this hullabaloo that has been lately raised about the 'higher criticism.' When confronted with questions raised by modern skepticism they are dumb and ashamed because of their utter ignorance. And these questions are apt at any time to be raised in the very classes that they teach. They have never had the advantage of any theological training, and why should they be expected to answer them?

"Now something ought to be done to remedy, if possible, this lamentable lack, and that teachers themselves should first be taught, so that when they come to teach they should not 'mutter and peep,' but speak with no uncertain sound, and not only know, but know that they know, and so be able to render to every man that asketh them a reason for the hope that is in them."

A PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER'S POINTED CRITICISM OF HIS CREED


The Toronto Evening Telegram gives the following as the language of Rev. Dr. Carter in regard to the Westminster Confession of Faith:--

"The Westminster Confession in fact says that God is a monster; modern theology says that he is not. Tamerlane built a pyramid of two thousand men of the garrison of Herat, laid in brick and mortar, and history calls him a monster for doing it. Lord Jeffreys presided over the 'bloody circuit,' in which he condemned 700 to execution, and he stands scorned and by himself on the scroll of England's Chancellors. But Tamerlane and Jeffreys were sweet souls compared with a God who could condemn a whole race to endless torment for a single sin.

"Readers of 'Lorna Doone' will remember how the robber Doones of Bagworthy looted a farmer's cottage and found a little babe in its cradle. One of them called to his comrade to have a game with him. He tossed the infant to the other, who caught it upon the point of his pike. We call these men fiends, but they were bright angels and seraphs compared with a God who could send millions of infants to eternal torments.

"The moral sense of the people is shocked by the shilly-shallying of the Presbyterian Church as to the Confession. The present connection of the Presbyterian Church with the Confession, if it were not so serious, would be a farce; being so serious, it is a crime. A sham theology is sure to make a sham religion."

GETTING READY FOR THE MILLENNIUM


Our amazement is excited by a proposition to convert two-fifths of the area of the United States from arid lands into fertile farms. Yet this stupendous enterprise is seriously entertained by the youngest division [R3976 : page 118] of our government. It contemplates nothing less than the ultimate solving of the 50,000,000 acres of waste comprising the great American desert. The undertaking will involve the expenditure of $1,500,000, but it will create $2,350,000,000 worth of taxable property, and will provide homes for 3,000,000 of our future population. This is the prospective goal to which the bureau aspires, and its engineers declare that it is attainable within the present half-century.--Merchants' League Advocate.

[R3977 : page 118]

THE WILDERNESS PATH
Beside me walks--O hallowed thought!--
The Maker of the Universe,
The God and King of Heaven and Earth--
My Father! Tenderly he leads
My stumbling steps. I hear rare words
Of wisdom, warnings of the snares
On right and left; encouragement
To overcome the obstacles
Which here and there obstruct my way.
And as he brings before mine eyes
Grand visions of the glory bright
Awaiting (if I hold in him
My confidence firm to the end,
Inspiring me with promises
Of grace abundant for each need)
I oft forget the landscape drear,
And dangers imminent, and walk
In ecstasies of light and hope.

Now brightly shines upon my path
The glorious sun! The air is fresh
And sweet, and hopes run high of what
I shall accomplish for my Lord.
The melody within my heart
Has tuned my lips; and songs of praise
And gladness tell the peace and joy
Which they alone can feel who know
The secret of his will, and walk
In child-like trustfulness therein.

And still, when chilling mists enshroud,
And storms my wondering faith appal,
I know that he is nigh and will
Preserve my steps. Why should I fear
As landmark after landmark fades
To shadow, and I find myself
Alone with him who knows them all?
Can I but wait with shoulders bent
And visage set, until he calm
The tempest, and the way be cleared?
Then, stronger for the test endured,
Shall I by his unchanging grace
The paths of peace again pursue.

O Lord, how precious is this walk
With thee! Nor height, nor depth, nor length,
Nor breadth, nor creatures near or far,
Can separate thy child from thee.
Strong in thy strength, I tread
On scorpions, quench the adder's fang,
The roaring lion subjugate,--
E'en tempting angels, clothed in light,
And powerless to work their charm,
Since Christ in me doth conquer all.

Lord, hear my prayer, and ever keep
In me this constancy of faith.
--R. B. Henninges.



[R3977 : page 118]

MEMORIAL SUPPER REPORTS

EXCELLENT reports of Memorial observances are reaching us by every mail. We give below a few samples. Evidently a great blessing and refreshment have been experienced, as usual. Our Lord's blessing, promised to the twos and threes meeting in his name and "doing this" in remembrance of his death and of their fellowship in his sufferings, has again been experienced.

At Allegheny the report shows smaller than last year for two reasons: (1) Because it was on Thursday night some found it impossible to attend who got out last year on Sunday night. (2) We got a more accurate numbering this year than last. However, in respect to the holy joy of this last occasion, it was by far the most blessed of all our experience. It was good to be there! and the sacred blending of sorrow and joy then experienced we believe will long abide in many of our memories.

The attendances of 15 or over reported up to going to press, are as follows:--Waukesha, Wis., 15; Chattanooga, Tenn., 15; Fort Wayne, Ind., 15; Waterbury, Conn., 15; Dubuque, Iowa, 15; Weatherford, Tex., 16; Niagara Falls, 16; Carbondale, Pa., 16; Spokane, Wash., 17; Easton, Pa., 17; Muncie, Ind., 17; New Albany, Ind., 17; Clio, Mich., 17; Rockford, Ill., 18; Big Sandy, Tex., 18; Harrisburg, Pa., 19; Lancaster, Pa., 19; Magnet, Ind., 21; Jacksonville, Fla., 21; New Brunswick, N.J., 21; St. Petersburg, Fla., 21; Knoxville, Tenn., 22; Worcester, Mass., 22; Mansfield, O., 22; Hartford, Conn., 23; Hamilton, Ont., 24; Allentown, Pa., 25; Canton, O., 27; Louisville, Ky., 28; Wheeling, W.Va., 29; New Brighton, Pa., 30; Baltimore, Md., 31; Schenectady, N.Y., 31; Buffalo, N.Y., 34; Binghamton, N.Y., 36; Richmond, Va., 36; Kansas City, Kans., 38; Tiffin, O., 39; San Antonio, Tex., 40; Altoona, Pa., 40; Denver, Colo., 41; Youngstown, O., 42; St. Joseph, Mo., 47; Dayton, O., 48; San Francisco, Cal., and vicinity, 50; Marquez, Tex., 50; Seattle, Wash., 52; Scranton, Pa., 60; Cincinnati, O., 60; Columbus, O., 65; Providence, R.I., 65; St. Paul, Minn., 66; Toronto, Ont., 79; Cleveland, O., 94; St. Louis, Mo., 95; New York, N.Y., 102; Washington, D.C., 115; Los Angeles, Cal., 133; Philadelphia, Pa., 146; Boston, Mass., 190; Allegheny, Pa., 451.

We subjoin a few samples of the many interesting letters received, as follows:--

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--

The Church at Weatherford observed the memorial. We were blessed spiritually, and I think all felt the importance of the occasion. Sixteen partook of the emblems [R3977 : page 119] representing our Lord's broken body and shed blood. Two brethren came 200 miles to participate in the Lord's supper and two came 100 miles. Tears of joy were shed and the occasion was one of solemnity. We renewed our vows of consecration to our dear Lord, realizing that we are nearing the end of these precious meetings. Yes, dear Brother, the time is short. May God bless you with such blessings as he sees are best for you and all the colaborers, is the prayer of us all.

Your humble servant in the Lord,
WILSON SUTCLIFFE,--Texas.


MY DEAR BROTHER:--

I am writing a few lines to tell you that ten of us met at the appointed time to celebrate our Lord's supper, and we had a blessed season, certainly the best communion we ever had. One dear Brother who had not yet withdrawn from the Methodist Church, and was with us for the first time, said he had thoroughly enjoyed the meeting. One dear Sister came about thirty miles from the country and was nearly all day in getting here. A brother left his work eight or ten miles away, and reached us just in time. There were a few others whose hearts were with us, I know, and were unable to attend.

I believe I can say truthfully that all here are growing in knowledge and love for the Lord and for his brethren. We have of late been feeding on the Truth more than ever. Thanks--yea, many thanks to that servant who is sending out to the household of faith meat in due season, especially these Berean lessons.

We are all striving to follow in the footsteps of the Master as we see them; willing, yea anxious to share the cup with him, and we know what it means. And soon we hope to drink the new wine with our Lord in his Kingdom. We remembered you all in our prayers. We know that we cannot help to bear our Lord's cross, but we can and will, D.V., help to bear that of the brethren, knowing that the Lord will reckon it as done unto himself.

We notice that we have a Pilgrim coming this way, Brother Mitchell. Thank you very much. We will welcome him, and pray that the Lord may use him here for his honor and glory. We would all like to have a visit from Brother Russell, but we know that you must have your hands full. With Christian love to all I am,

Yours in Christ,
CHURCH AT TRURO,--Can.


DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--

I am sure you will be glad to know of the little gathering last night in Muncie to commemorate the death of our dear Redeemer. There were seventeen of us met together in remembrance of Him, all but five of this number having come into Present Truth during the past few months, and thus partaking of the supper for the first time, with the right understanding of its significance. We first sang Hymn 122, and after prayer read as Scripture lesson Mark 14:1-50, then spoke briefly of the memories which gathered round the anniversary of our Lord's death, calling attention to the Father's love and our Savior's sacrifice; to the significance of the bread and the cup, and to his invitation to us to fellowship, to take part with him in his [R3978 : page 119] death. Then, after giving thanks for the bread and cup, respectively, the friends were served, and after singing Hymn 276 we went out.

We had a most solemn, impressive and blessed season with the Lord, remembering in our prayers all the dear brethren, yourself in particular, and praying that another anniversary may find all of us more fully developed in the spiritual life, and more meet for the Kingdom.

With Christian love from all the friends here, including the writer, I am, as ever,

Your brother and fellow-servant,
G. B. RAYMOND,--Ind.


DEAR BROTHER:--

Our little class at Columbus celebrated the Memorial of our Lord's death last night, six being present and five participating. Some were prevented from being present by reason of a storm. And as we remembered our beloved Pastor, and all the balance of the flock, known and unknown, and especially those we have met and known in the flesh, and with whose trials and afflictions we were more or less acquainted, our hearts grew warm in gratitude and love to the Father for the past experiences of our lives which made this occasion possible for us. With great regard,

Your brother in the Lord,
G. M. HUNTZINGER,--Kan.



[R3978 : page 119]

THEM THAT HONOR ME I WILL HONOR
--GENESIS 41:38-49.--MAY 5.--

Golden Text:--"If any man lack wisdom let him ask of God."--James 1:5.

JOSEPH'S three years' experience as a prisoner, most of it as the superintendent of the prison, undoubtedly brought to him a rich experience of patience and sympathy, and tended to confirm and deepen those beautiful elements of his character manifested in his boyhood. The Lord had him in training for a great work: not only was it appropriate that his character should be developed, but also that his faith should be tested and made very strong. We have seen that although he trusted the Lord implicitly, this did not hinder him from appealing to Pharaoh's butler, whose dream he interpreted favorably, asking him that when restored to the king's favor he would remember Joseph's kindness to him as a prisoner and speak a word in his interest to secure his liberty. Perhaps he expected much from this man, who certainly would have had many opportunities for requiting his kindness, yet two years rolled around without relief--two years in which, nevertheless, Joseph maintained his confidence in the Lord and waited patiently for the outworkings of his plan.

There could be no better illustration than this for the proper course of all who belong to the New Creation. In a special sense all of our interests are the Lord's, because we [R3978 : page 120] have presented ourselves to him wholly, unreservedly, and have been accepted as members of the body of Christ. It is for such to remember the Master's words, "Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of," "The Father himself loveth you," "No man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand," "All things shall work together for good to them that love God." While, therefore, it is proper for us to make use of any and every reasonable means for the securing of what we consider to be our best interests, we are not to rely upon these but upon the Lord, and to wait patiently for his time and his way for our deliverance from every evil condition.

WAIT PATIENTLY FOR HIM

The Lord's time and method for delivering Joseph from the prison transcended all of Joseph's expectations; and lifted him from the prison to the palace of the greatest nation of that time. It came about eventually through the mediation of the butler, but to the latter's shame it was not because of his appreciation or thoughtfulness. Pharaoh had two dreams which impressed his mind deeply, and he earnestly sought the interpretation of them. He dreamed of seeing seven cows come up out of the river Nile, very fat, and feed upon luxuriant grass of the river side; next he saw seven lean cows come up out of the river, and they devoured the seven fat ones, yet seemed none the fatter themselves. This dream was followed by another in which the king saw a stalk of Egyptian wheat, known as compound wheat; its top was exceedingly large, dividing into seven distinct branches or spikes, indicating a most prolific yield; and following it came up another stalk, with seven thin ears or branches, of the kind common to a time of famine, when lack of moisture and a southeast wind would injure the crop and make it worthless. This last stalk of seven branches devoured the first one.

We are to remember that the Lord in those ancient times gave important dreams not only to some of his own people, as in the case of Joseph, Daniel and others, but also sometimes to the heathen; for instance, to Nebuchadnezzar a dream of the golden image, and again of the fruitful tree, and in the present instance Pharaoh's dreams. We are not to wonder, then, that the king of Egypt desired assistance in the interpretation of his dreams and called for it of the wise men of his court, who, however, were unable to offer any satisfactory solution. After we have Joseph's interpretation the whole matter seems so simple and plain that we wonder that the wise men and priests had not guessed it: but thus it is with our wisdom; it seems simple after we have it, understand it and appreciate it. Thus it is, too, with the inventions of our day. We wonder why they were not thought of centuries ago.

We are sure that the world is not inclined to give proper credit for wisdom to the great Revealer of secrets, and we are sure, too, that the majority of Christian people are not sufficiently inclined to honor God in respect to such matters. Could the world but realize what we see from the Scriptures--namely, that the present activity of thought along the lines of invention are of divine prearrangement as elements of the "Day of God's Preparation" for the Millennial Kingdom--how it would prick its bubble of pride in our present-day wisdom; how it would show us most effectively that all wisdom comes from above, and that we might be groping almost as blindly as our ancestors were it not that the Lord's due time has come for lifting the vail and helping us to develop the forces of nature as a preparation, not only for the Kingdom, but also a preparation for the great time of trouble by which it will be introduced.

"IN ALL THY WAYS ACKNOWLEDGE HIM"

When the wise men of Egypt were unable to interpret Pharaoh's dream, his butler naturally enough called to mind his own dream and how accurately it had been interpreted by the kind and sympathizing Joseph, and his own promise to do something for the interpreter, and his neglect until this time. Perhaps he was not entirely to blame; he could only be useful to Joseph when God's time for favoring the latter had come. When Pharaoh heard the story of the wonderful interpretation of the dreams of his butler and baker he sent with haste to the prison, eager to know the meaning of his own dreams. Here we have a further test of Joseph's character. Let us notice carefully how he demeaned himself in the presence of the king. Was he haughty, boastful, self-assertive? Did he throw around himself a mystery and seem to call from the recesses of his mind some deep wisdom? Not so. He was the very personification of modesty, and when the king expressed the hope that he could interpret his dreams he answered, "It is not of me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer."

Here we have one of the secrets of the greatness of Joseph: he honored God, and was therefore of the kind whom God is pleased eventually to honor and exalt. How the Scriptures bear out this thought! Mark our Master's words, "He that humbleth himself shall be exalted, he that exalteth himself shall be abased." (Luke 14:11.) Mark the Apostle's words, "Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time." (1 Pet. 5:6.) O, that we all might have this lesson deeply impressed upon our hearts and minds, so that with us it will be true, as with Joseph, in harmony with the instruction, "In all thy ways acknowledge him."--Prov. 3:6.

While such an acknowledgment of the Lord is proper in all the affairs of life, it certainly is especially appropriate in connection with the study of the divine Word and any attempt to give an interpretation thereof. Let none of us speak as of ourselves, nor appropriate wisdom to ourselves, but rather, with hearts full of gratitude to the Lord for blessings received, let us acknowledge him and his Word and his arrangements in connection with his Truth. Especially is this appropriate in those who occupy positions of responsibility in the Church--whom the holy Spirit has made overseers to "feed the flock of Christ." To whatever extent self-seeking is indulged, to whatever extent the honor of men is craved, the Lord as the fountain of wisdom and the channels which he uses in dispensing his Truth are ignored or belittled by any of us, to that extent we may be sure we are in a dangerous situation and not likely to make real progress in the good way.

SEIZING FAVORABLE OPPORTUNITIES

Pharaoh related his dreams, and after hearing them Joseph promptly gave the interpretation and explained that the two dreams were one--that they taught the same lesson: that thus the Lord had indicated to Pharaoh that there [R3979 : page 121] would be seven years of very bountiful harvests which would be followed by seven years of drouth and famine, in which all the surplus of the first seven years would be necessary for the preservation of the lives of the people. A lighter-headed man than Joseph, a man who felt that in interpreting the dream he had confounded the wise men of Egypt, had done a wonderful thing, would have been so overwhelmed with the sense of his own importance that he doubtless would have stood there and received the king's thanks, and have passed out a free man, to be noted by the people as the wise man.

The humility of Joseph was not merely assumed: his crediting of the wisdom to the Lord was the genuine sentiment of his heart, so that he did not feel thus elated when he had delivered the Lord's message, but with coolness and self-possession he proceeded to suggest to the king what might be the proper steps to be taken so that the dream might indeed prove a blessing. He said, "Let Pharaoh look out a man discreet and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt, and let him appoint officers over the land, and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt in the seven plenteous years; and let them gather all the fruit of those seven years as the property of Pharaoh, to be kept in store in cities for use in the seven years of famine that will follow." We cannot suppose that Joseph had the slightest suspicion that he would be the one appointed to this work. It would be a most unnatural expectation that Pharaoh would take from the prison a man of foreign birth and exalt him to a station above the other officers of his empire. Yet this is just what Pharaoh did, and it is here that our lesson proper commences.

COULD WE CHOOSE MORE WISELY THAN GOD?

Addressing his court officers Pharaoh said, Could we find such another one as this Joseph, in whom is the Spirit of God, to be at the head of this great work of preparing for the years of famine of which God has thus forewarned us? Not waiting to have the consent of the officers of his court, but after the manner of the time as an autocrat, he decided the question and said to Joseph, "Forasmuch as God has showed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art: thou shalt be over my house [kingdom], and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou. See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt."

So thrilling a transition from slavery and the dungeon to the governorship of the greatest country of the world, and honor and distinction and power next to those of the king, outrivals the pen of fiction in the most attractive novels. It seems so wonderful that it is difficult to believe its truthfulness. Hence it is well for us to remember that while such transitions would not be possible under the democratic conditions of our day and country, they were not out of harmony with the conditions of their time and place. For instance, we know that Daniel was a Hebrew captive and slave, and yet that he was chosen by Nebuchadnezzar to be one of the rulers of the empire of Babylon. We remember also that Daniel was brought to the King's notice in a very similar manner, namely, by the interpretation of a dream. Professor Sayce says, "It was not an unheard-of thing for a Syrian to be thus raised to the highest offices of the Egyptian State, and in the days of Hyksos' dominion it was naturally easier than when a dynasty of purely native origin was on the throne....For many centuries during the Mohammedan age none but a slave could govern Egypt." We are also reminded that in 1852 the prime minister of Persia, the second in rank in the kingdom but first in power, was the son of a donkey driver; and that the Sultan of Turkey once rewarded a poor dentist who relieved him of pain by making him a peer of the realm.

The exaltation of Joseph from the condition of a slave and from a dungeon to be the second person of power in the world suggests to us further the typical character of Joseph's life. Did not our Lord Jesus take a bondsman's form? and did he not enter the great prison-house of death? and was he not suddenly raised up to the throne--to be next to the Father, the Governor of the universe? And did not the experiences of Jesus under God's providence have to do with preparing him for his great work of the future, the blessing of the whole world? And as Joseph saved the lives of the people of Egypt, will not the antitypical Joseph save the lives of the world? While thinking along these lines let us remember, too, how we are invited to be members of the body of Christ, if so be that we suffer with him, that we may also be glorified together. (Rom. 8:17.) With this thought in our minds, the trials, the difficulties, the sufferings of this present time, its afflictions, disappointments, may all be endured with cheerfulness if we have the proper faith--knowing that all things shall work together for good to them that love God, to the called ones according to his purpose.

"UNTO HIM EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW"

When the time came for King Pharaoh to introduce the new governor or prime minister of the empire to the people he first provided for him suitable apparel, to indicate the rank; next, the second state chariot, and, third, that he should be escorted in parade before the people by criers, who should announce his rank and call upon the people to bow the knee--to acknowledge him as the king's representative. How this reminds us of the Apostle's words respecting our Lord Jesus and his high exaltation after his trials were concluded. Paul says, "Wherefore God hath also highly exalted him and given him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven and things in earth." (Phil. 2:9,10.) And while we contemplate this high exaltation of the Master let us not forget that his Bride is to be joint-heir with him in all of his glory, honor and immortality, and that the privilege of becoming members of the Bride class belongs to the "called, chosen, faithful," the "very elect" of this Gospel age.

If we could but have this in mind continually, what manner of persons would we be in all holy conversation and godliness--how trifling all earthly pleasures and sorrows, all riches and poverty, all weakness and debasement would seem to us! so intense would we be in our desire to make our calling and election sure to those exceeding great and precious promises. Pharaoh gave Joseph a new name, the meaning of which is suggested to be something like-- Deliverer from death by the bread of life. We remember how our dear Redeemer said of himself, "I am the bread [R3979 : page 122] that came down from heaven." God provided in Jesus the bread of life, by which the whole world may be saved eventually from Adamic death if they but eat of the divine Word, appropriate its lessons and experiences, under the ministry and discipline of the great Redeemer during his glorious Kingdom. And all this was considerably illustrated in Joseph's course as the governor of Egypt.

DID JOSEPH ENSLAVE THE EGYPTIANS?

Some have severely criticised Joseph's course in dealing with the people on this occasion, but we find no criticism of it in the Scriptures. His first work was to journey throughout the entire land of Egypt, select suitable sites as granaries, and to give contracts for the building of these. Then throughout the seven years of bountiful harvests he first of all collected from the people their usual tax of one-fifth of the product for the king. Additionally he bought from the people with the king's money all the surplus grain they could spare and thus laid up vast stores of wheat. When the years of drouth and famine came the people in turn were glad to buy from the government the very same grain that they had previously sold. We have no intimation that an exorbitant price was charged for the wheat, no intimation that advantage was taken of the people.

But after the people had spent their money still the famine prevailed, and Joseph, the governor, purchased their cattle and all the people had, which thus became the property of the king. This was not an ideal condition according to our conception of matters, because it left too much of a centralization of power and authority in the hands of an autocrat; but if we could imagine divinely appointed and divinely guided and divinely willed kings and priests in the world, such an autocratic power would be one of the very greatest blessings imaginable to all the people. Indeed we know through the Scriptures that this will practically be the condition of affairs that will prevail during the Millennial age--that the world will not be asked to vote for its rulers and to determine its laws, but simply be required to obey the great Governor of divine appointment, unto whom every knee must bow and every tongue confess to the glory of God.

Here, then, in Joseph we see another illustration or type of the Christ of glory and the manner in which he will bless the world. Our Redeemer has already laid up in store a complete provision of the bread of life, sufficient for every member of our race. In him was life, and he gave it on our behalf. We who are now accepted as his members, and who at once receive this life by faith when we accept him, and will receive it actually in the First Resurrection, are the predecessors of the world in the matter of these blessings. Only the little flock is now being developed, now being fed, now passing from death unto life, through accepting the bread from heaven--only the Bride and the virgins, her companions. The great work which God has in mind, and for [R3980 : page 122] which he has appointed our Redeemer, is the work of saving the world, and the time and means for this salvation of the world is the Millennial age, the reign of the Kingdom of heaven amongst men.

THE BREAD FROM HEAVEN

During the Millennium the great Provider of the Bread of life and his associated Bride will dispense to the world, through the agency of the ancient worthies, the Bread of life as they will need it and be able to appreciate it. Day by day and year by year, during all that time, the world must bow the knee to the great Ruler and Representative of Jehovah. And during all that time they will be required to give up one thing after another for the attainment of the eternal life, until finally, at the end of the Millennial age, all who remain--not cut off in the Second Death--shall have given their property, their all, including themselves, in exchange for the eternal life represented by this living Bread that came from heaven, of which if a man eat he shall never die.

The abundance of corn gathered by Joseph typically assures us of the abundance of God's provision for granting eternal life to every member of the human family willing to receive it from the Son upon the terms of loving obedience to the extent of full surrender. While the surrender of the will and of all that we possess to a fellow-mortal would be a very dangerous matter indeed, against which we should properly strive, it is not so as respects the Lord. He is the grand exception. To give ourselves wholly and unreservedly to him is to bring to each of us, through his blessing, the peace of God which passeth all understanding, and to have him mould and fashion our characters with all our interests of life to our highest welfare and his glory. What a blessed prospect then is before the world! and how we who by faith eat of this Bread in advance, and participate with the antitypical Joseph in all of his trials and sufferings for righteousness' sake, may rejoice in our privilege.

"IF ANY MAN LACK WISDOM LET HIM ASK"

Our Golden Text should not be forgotten here. Surely we all lack wisdom, and we appreciate our lack the more as we come to clearly and yet more clearly appreciate the lengths and breadths and heights and depths of God's loving provision for us in Christ.

Once life was to us a maze, like as to the remainder of the world,--a round of duties and responsibilities for which we could see no adequate result or reward. We are born, we eat, we drink, we sleep, we learn in the school, we labor, and, to a greater or less extent, we enjoy our life of mingled labor, suffering and pleasure, but appreciate not the purpose of all these. Now, with increasing wisdom from on high, some of us see with the eyes of our understanding the great divine plan of the ages, and the divine purpose and lovingkindness toward us in Christ Jesus, and that we shall be heirs of God and joint-heirs with our Redeemer if so be we suffer with him.

Seeing this has changed the entire current of life for us. Now, indeed, to be living is sublime--full of interest, full of importance. The days, hours, go swiftly by, and we feel them none too many for the grand purposes of God which we see are being accomplished in us and for us, and with which we are in fullest accord and sympathy. Still, we lack wisdom, and the more we gain the more we see we still lack. We need, therefore, to continually go to the fountain of all grace and wisdom and truth, that we may profitably use each experience of life as it comes to us, to the intent that ultimately we may come off conquerors--yea, more than conquerors--through him who loved us and bought us with his precious blood.--Rom. 8:37.



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"BLESSED ARE THE MERCIFUL"
--GENESIS 45:1-15; 50:15-21.--

Golden Text:--"Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."--Eph. 4:32.

THE climax of Joseph's story is reached in this lesson. Truly no one can read the simple narrative in the Bible and not be blessed by it. The present lesson dates twenty-two years after Joseph came into Egypt a slave. Seven years of bountiful harvests had passed, and the second year of the famine seven had come. If we are inclined to wonder why in all those twenty-two years Joseph had not communicated with his aged father, remembering especially that he had plenty of opportunity for so doing after he became governor of Egypt, let us remember also how particularly his affairs were guided of the Lord, and that quite possibly in this matter he was acting under divine direction. He evidently was expecting his brethren, knowing that the drouth and consequently the famine extended to Palestine and over a wide range of country. Through trusted servants a watch was evidently kept for the Hebrews, anticipating that the famine would drive them to Egypt for supplies. Thus on the arrival of the ten sons of Jacob Joseph was immediately apprised of the fact. They were arrested and brought before him, treated with suspicion and accused of being spies, and put into prison for three days.

Joseph, the governor, addressed them through an interpreter, that he might the more thoroughly conceal himself, and that they might be more frank in their utterances in his presence. He interviewed them after they had spent three days in prison, and heard their admissions the one to the other that their adversity in this matter was esteemed as a judgment from the Lord on account of their wrong course toward their brother twenty-two years previous. He noted that they still remembered his cries as they had put him into the pit to die; he perceived that the matter had made a deep impression upon their minds, and that they were now in a different attitude of heart. He kept one of their number as a hostage and gave the others a small amount of food, bidding them return and, as a proof of their story, to bring with them the younger brother whom they had mentioned, assuring them that with this proof of their sincerity they would be privileged to traffic without interruption.

The brethren properly enough associated their experiences in the dungeon with those of Joseph, and evidently took to heart the lesson of their wrong course. Although in a previous lesson we saw that these men with one exception were murderers in their hearts, we will see further in the present lesson a marked change in their characters. This was brought about perhaps partly by their father's grief over the loss of Joseph, and partly, no doubt, by their own remorse in respect to their wrong doing. Thus an evil deed is not always a precursor of further evil, but sometimes becomes the pivotal or turning point of character. What Christian has not had an experience along this line--that his point of failure, demonstrating his weakness in some particular line of character, has really been to him a valuable lesson, making him the stronger in that particular, the better able to stand future trials and temptations from the same quarter. Thus all of our experiences in life rightly received (even life's stumbling-stones) may prove to be stepping-stones to better things.

TEN VERY CHANGED MEN

On arrival at home their experiences were related to their father Jacob, who now also mourned the loss of Simeon, the hostage, but utterly refused to allow Benjamin to go from him. It was here that Reuben, noting his father's sorrow, offered himself and his children as hostages for the safe return of Benjamin. It was not until the famine pressed them sorely and starvation stared them in the face that Jacob consented to allow Benjamin to go with his brethren to Egypt, upon the assurance of Judah that if anything happened to him he would bear the blame. How evidently these men had learned sympathy from their father during those twenty-two years. Once so indifferent that they brought trouble upon him, they now were willing to pledge their own lives for his comfort. We are to remember that these men were the heads of the tribes of Israel, some of whose children were the most notable in history: for instance Levi was the father of the entire priestly tribe, including Moses and Aaron; Judah was the progenitor of David and Solomon and Jesus our Lord. It was evidently a part of the divine purpose to give these men a great lesson in connection with their father, the famine, etc.--a lesson that not only would be beneficial to themselves but have an influence upon all future time.

Arrived back in Egypt from their father's house, the ten brethren were astonished when they were directed to enter the governor's palace. The money for their previous purchase they had found in their sacks when they emptied them, and this they explained to Joseph's steward, saying that they had brought it back with additional money for the purchase of more wheat. Their trepidation was lest it should be claimed that the money was stolen, the penalty for theft under the Egyptian law being slavery. Joseph's steward gave evidence of having to some extent his master's confidence and some knowledge of his religion, for he answered [R3981 : page 123] them kindly, "Peace be unto you: the money returned to you was from the God of your father." He further restored their confidence by bringing Simeon to them at liberty. They washed and prepared for dinner at the governor's house, as they were instructed. What could it all mean?

Farmers, they felt strangely out of place in the palace, and queried why the governor, who had treated them previously as spies, should now treat them so generously. Their astonishment grew momentarily as they noted the peculiarities of the situation: the seats assigned them were in the order of their birth, and when portions were sent from Joseph's separate table they noted that five portions were sent to Benjamin, as indicative of the governor's favor especially upon him. They knew not that the governor, able to understand their tongue, was listening to know whether or not they still were envious, or how they would receive this manifestation of special favor to the younger brother. They stood the test. They showed that their envy was dead, that they rejoiced in their younger brother's favor.

Yet another step of testing was to be taken: the men were allowed to depart with their supplies, but into one of [R3981 : page 124] Benjamin's sacks of wheat upon his beast the steward by direction placed the governor's silver cup, and then, ere the men had gotten far from the city, they were overtaken by the palace guard and accused of dishonorable conduct, rendering evil for good in the theft of the "divining cup" of the governor. They all professed their innocence, and declared that if the cup were to be found not only the one who had it should be a slave but the entire company. The search for the cup began with the eldest and concluded with the youngest, Benjamin, the cup being found in his sack. We can well imagine the dismay upon the brethren; they all returned, although the steward said he wanted only the culprit for his slave. How could they face their father Jacob and tell him of this calamity? Returning to the palace the governor, Joseph, was still there. They prostrated before him, and knowing the futility of protestation as to innocence they spoke of the matter as a calamity and resigned themselves to their fate as bondsmen.

The governor replied, "Not so! we of Egypt are not unjust to take you all for bondsmen for one man's fault. Let the guilty one serve, the rest may go free. Return to your home and your families and take with you your wheat." Then it was that Judah, once hard hearted in respect to his brother Joseph and his father Jacob, addressed the governor a most pathetic plea, which for its simplicity and directness and pathos stands out preeminently amongst all the records of history. He detailed to the governor the circumstances connected with the bringing of Benjamin, his father's grief in parting with him, his assurance that it would mean the hastening of his death if anything happened to him, the fact that he, Judah, had become surety for his brother, etc.; then he concludes, "Now, therefore, I pray thee, let thy servant abide instead of the lad as a bondsman to my lord, and let the lad go up with his brethren, for how shall I go up to my father, and the lad be not with me, lest peradventure I shall see the evil that shall come on my father?"--Gen. 44:18-34.

THE SILVER LINING OF THE CLOUD

The final test put upon the brethren by the Lord and by Joseph was met successfully. It was demonstrated that they were changed men, that instead of coldness, indifference and gross brutality, they were tender hearted, sympathetic and willing to suffer one for the other. The time, therefore, had come for the clouds and shadows that had been over them for some time to break away. Joseph, the governor, could refrain himself no longer. He ordered the place cleared of the attendants that he might be alone with his brethren--the matter was too sacred for the eyes of others. The time had come for him to throw off his reserve and reveal himself to them. Alone with them he wept, and his voice shook with emotion as he told them who he was and how their designs against him of twenty-two years before had, under God's providences, been overruled for his good. What wonder that the guilty men trembled now as much or more than ever. What resentment might their brother feel against them? how might he now requite them evil for evil, and send them to the house of bondage or to the dungeon?

But through his tears of joy Joseph spoke graciously to them; and, at first disposed to flee, they gathered to him as he said, "Be not grieved with yourselves, that ye sold me hither; for God sent me before you to preserve life.... So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God, and he hath made me a life-giver to Pharaoh....Haste ye and go up to my father and say unto him, Thus saith thy son Joseph, God hath made me lord of all Egypt, come down unto me, tarry not." A more dramatic scene could scarcely be imagined, yet through it all runs the thread of simplicity and honesty, and above all the spirit of love and mercy, which could emanate only from the one great instructor, God, and could be exemplified only by those who have been near to him and received his instructions.

"TENDER HEARTED, FORGIVING ONE ANOTHER"

Had Joseph been a saint of this Gospel age, begotten of the holy Spirit and illuminated thereby through the manifold revelations of the divine purpose and character as we have them in the Bible, his conduct would still be worthy of the very highest type of Christian development. But when we think of the circumstances and conditions under which his character was developed, in a heathen land and with but a small revelation of the divine character and plan, we stand amazed. Do we not properly say to ourselves, while studying this lesson, What manner of persons ought we to be considering our great advantages every way? Would we have proven as noble and generous as Joseph under the same circumstances and conditions? If not, why not, except that we have not made the proper use of the lessons provided us in the school of Christ? And we know that unless we do learn these lessons and develop at heart such a character of mercy and generosity we will not be meet for the inheritance of the saints in light--not be acceptable to the Lord as members of the elect, the Bride class.

When sending them home Joseph kissed his brother Benjamin and tarried with him quite a while, the two weeping upon each other's necks. Then came the turn of the other ten brothers. How would he deal with them? Surely he would not manifest the affection of kissing them after the custom of eastern lands, because surely he could not feel toward them a perfect love and good will. But he did kiss every one of them, and since the matter was neither of constraint nor for effect, it evidenced the fact that his heart was full of generosity and loving kindness. "Blessed are the merciful," they are the kind to whom the heavenly Father will be pleased to extend his mercy and his favor. They are the only ones who will be in a proper attitude to receive the great blessing of the Kingdom--others not having developed this character for mercy will be unfit for the exaltation whatever may be their portion.

"AM I IN THE PLACE OF GOD?"

Our lesson skips over that part of the narrative which relates to the coming of Jacob and his household in wagons sent for them by the governor of Egypt, with the full knowledge and consent of Pharaoh the king, and how they were settled in the land of Goshen and prospered there. By and by the aged Jacob died in the land of Egypt, but was taken for burial back into Palestine. The funeral over, Joseph's [R3981 : page 125] brethren were in some trepidation. Joseph's course in rendering so much good in return for so much evil seemed so unnatural that they feared that it was only a temporary matter for their father's sake, and that now since his death they would be entirely out of favor with the governor. They came to Joseph again and, apologizing for the past, asked assurances of his forgiveness, telling him they were the servants of God and that they were quite willing to be Joseph's servants also. Note the noble answer they got:-- "Fear not: for am I in the place of God? But as for you, ye meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it to pass as it is this day, to save much people alive. Now, therefore, fear ye not; I will nourish you and your little ones," and he comforted them, speaking kindly to them.

Generous Joseph! Not a complaint, not a bitter word, only excuses for their villainy. Since the matter had worked out good why should he think evil of the agencies or agents which God had permitted and used? His expression, "Am I in the place of God?" signifies, Is it for me to judge you or attempt to punish you in any manner? Is it not God alone to whom you have responsibility in this matter? and if you can make the matter right with him it already is right with me, for vengeance belongeth unto the Lord and not to his creatures, all of whom are more or less imperfect in one way or another.

Let us apply this lesson each to himself, not only as respects the brotherhood in the Church of God but also in regard to the dealings with our brethren in the flesh and with our neighbors. What matters it to us whether they meant us evil or meant us good, have we not God's assurance that all things are working together for good to them that love him--to the called ones according to his purpose? And this being the case, why should we have the slightest anger or resentment against the persons or instrumentalities in any way used of the Lord in connection with our affairs. Those who thus trust in the Lord, and they only, are able to properly view and meet the affairs of life, and they alone are able to rejoice in tribulation, in persecution, [R3982 : page 125] in suffering for righteousness' sake, because they know, as the Apostle assures us, that all these things are working out for them a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, and that present difficulties and trials are not worthy to be compared with the glories that shall be revealed in us by and by--when we with our dear Redeemer shall sit upon the throne of earth for the blessing of all the families of the earth.

"THE SPIRIT OF PRAYER AND SUPPLICATION"

If the story of Joseph, his sufferings and exaltation to power as the governor of Egypt next to the king, represents the story of Jesus and all those who follow in his footsteps in the narrow way of self sacrifice and suffering, incidental to their exaltation to power in the Kingdom of God under the whole heavens; and if the preparation and afterward the distribution of the wheat, the bread of Egypt, for the saving of the lives of that whole people represents well the blessings and glorious opportunities that are to come to the world of mankind during the Millennial age through the glorified Redeemer, it does not seem amiss to suppose that Joseph's eleven brethren are somewhat typical also. We are to remember that it was his own that received Jesus, not those who cried, "Crucify him, his blood be upon us and upon our children."

We perceive that in the Lord's providence that nation has passed through severe experiences and ordeals since. We may hope that these are proving beneficial, and that ere long the famine for the Word of the Lord will reach them and cause them to come to the great Governor for the Bread of Life. The Scriptures intimate that this will be the time of "Jacob's trouble" (Jer. 30:7), but he will be delivered out of it. The Apostle assures us of the same, saying that God's gifts and callings he will not repent of or alter, and that ultimately the natural Israelite shall obtain mercy through the favor of the spiritual Israelite. (Rom. 11:30,31.) The Prophet (Zech. 12:10) takes up the theme, and tells us of how they shall yet look upon him whom they have pierced, and how they shall mourn as these brethren mourned, and how then the Lord will pour upon them the spirit of prayer and supplication, and upon their manifestation of repentance his forgiveness, and how ultimately their sins and iniquities he will remember no more--that instead he will be very gracious to them and kiss them.

We close this lesson with the Apostle Paul's exhortation of our Golden Text, "Be ye kind one to another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." The more we each realize our own indebtedness to the Lord for the forgiveness of our sins and for our adoption into his family and for the blessings that come to us as the sons of God, the more should we seek to copy after his glorious character and be copies of our dear Redeemer, the essence of whose character is nothing less than justice to every one--with as much additional of love and mercy as we can possibly attain to. The larger our attainments of this God-like quality the more pleasing we will be in the Father's sight and the better fitted for joint-heirship in the heavenly Kingdom, in the dispensing of the bread of life to all the world of mankind.

He who sees not these things and follows not this course according to the Apostle's word is blind and cannot see afar off--cannot see and appreciate the blessings which the Lord has promised to those who faithfully copy him. Those who do see, find the eyes of their understanding opening more widely day by day to the lengths and breadths and heights and depths of the love of God which passeth understanding; and to make this progress in joyful appreciation of our benefactor, our Lord assures us means a corresponding growth in benevolence, kindness, gentleness and mercy to those with whom we have to do. While this rule must obtain, especially in the household of faith, it will also extend not only to our own immediate relationship in the flesh, but also to our neighbors and friends--yea to our enemies and to the brute creation. All of these will more and more realize the changing of our characters and dispositions, and it will be to their general blessing as well as to our joy.



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BEHIND A FROWNING PROVIDENCE
--EXODUS 1:1-14.--MAY 19.--

Golden Text:--"Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distress."--Psa. 107:13.

OUR present lesson treats of the virtual enslavement of the nation of Israel and their tribulations connected therewith. Our preceding lesson showed Joseph the governor of all Egypt, and the coming of his father Jacob and his entire household to live in the land of Goshen, a portion of Egypt well suited to herdsmen. This, we are informed, was with the full knowledge and consent of the reigning monarch. The entire family of Jacob, surnamed Israel, at this time consisted of seventy souls, persons, but since these are all said to have come out of the loins of Jacob, we are to understand that the actual number exceeded seventy perhaps considerably, the additional persons being probably wives and servants.

The record (v. 6) that Joseph died, and all his brethren, and all that generation, seems to cover a lapse of considerable time, since Joseph himself lived seventy-three years after the coming of his father and brethren to dwell in Egypt, and apparently until his death Joseph was the governor --next to the king. Meantime the Israelites under special divine providence multiplied greatly. The number of adjectives used to express this increase intimates that the writer recognized the multiplication as abnormal, miraculous. He declares (1) they were "fruitful," that is prolific; (2) they "increased abundantly"; (3) they "multiplied"; (4) "waxed exceedingly mighty"; (5) "the land [Goshen] was filled with them."

ANOTHER KING WHO KNEW NOT JOSEPH

From the time Jacob entered Egypt until the exodus was two hundred and fifteen years, and the wonderful increase is shown by the statement of Numbers 1:45,46 that the Israelites, exclusive of the tribe of Levi, numbered 603,550 of twenty years old and upward, capable of military duty. These figures imply a total number, including women and children, of some two or three million persons. This was at a time when there arose a new king which knew not Joseph. Excavations made in Egypt show that it was about this time that the government of Egypt was revolutionized. In Joseph's time, and for quite a while before, it had been governed by what were known as the Hyksos or shepherd kings--supposed to have been invaders and not of pure Egyptian stock. The revolution brought in a change of dynasty, supposed to have been commenced with Rameses I. It is quite generally claimed amongst scholars that Rameses II. was the Pharaoh who specially harried the Israelites in the endeavor to prevent their increase in numbers and influence, and his son Menephtah I. is supposed to have been the Pharaoh reigning at the time of the exodus of the Israelites.

The change of dynasty brought the change of ambitions and methods, and Rameses II. is credited with having been the most wonderful builder of great edifices of his time. It is doubtless in connection with these expensive public improvements that the Israelites were so rigorously treated. The method employed was not that of chattel slavery, as was practised in the United States and elsewhere until recently, but a slavery of a different kind: Solomon similarly oppressed the Israelites, though not with the same degree of severity and rigor, in conjunction with the building of his palace, the public roads, Temple, etc. The method was to demand a certain percentage of the younger, stronger, vigorous males to serve without pay and on very scanty rations in the work on the public buildings, cities, etc. The same method is today employed in some parts of Africa, particularly by the Portuguese, who taking possession of certain portions of the dark continent, demand a certain amount of service from the natives, who are marched off in bands as slaves and hired out for a period of time to the gold and diamond industries without pay except the plainest food. The sum paid by the miners to the Portuguese government for the use of these poor creatures is credited up as taxes for defraying the expenses of their oppressors.

ISRAEL PERSECUTED YET PROSPERED

King Rameses II. was evidently a very ambitious man who feared and prepared for wars with his neighbors, to the north and east especially. Hence he built fortified cities, "store cities," where food and implements, chariots, etc., were held in readiness for use on emergency for repelling foes expected from that quarter. The land of Goshen, inhabited by the Israelites, was in the same general direction, and this presented a double cause for fear. The Israelites held aloof from the Egyptians, not intermarrying or otherwise amalgamating. They were animated by certain hopes of their own future greatness, of which, no doubt, they sometimes boasted. What should be done with this people? was the query of Rameses II. Although the Egyptians were more numerous, the king is represented as saying, "They be [R3983 : page 126] mightier than we." Dwelling largely with their flocks and herds in the open air they were probably a stronger, more rugged race than the Egyptians. Even to the present time the natural seed of Abraham seem to have the Lord's blessing upon them physically in good degree. The king did not meditate driving the Israelites out of Goshen--no! that might prove a troublesome and expensive operation. Besides, he was shrewd enough to realize that if he could use that people as his slaves they would do much for the enrichment of the Egyptians by furnishing labor at the mere nominal cost of the commonest sustenance.

The first step was to take the most rugged from their homes and families for service in the Egyptian public works under taskmasters who were directed to work them so hard as to make their lives burdensome--to wear them out or drive them to suicide. In Central Africa quite a great many of the natives impressed into public service after this manner have been known to commit suicide rather than continue their toil unrewarded. But the increase of the Israelites continued more and more, and Rameses II., fearful of trouble with them, commanded the midwives to murder all the male children at birth. Not succeeding in this, he displayed far more cruelty than the notorious Herod, who slaughtered the babes of Bethlehem, for Rameses II. commanded every parent to slaughter his own male children, and held responsible all who failed so to do. It was under these trying conditions, we remember, that Moses was born, and it was this rigorous law that prevented his parents from rearing him at home, as their own lives would [R3983 : page 127] have paid the penalty of the preservation of his. Apparently, in spite of everything that the king did, the Israelites flourished, and this persecution, we remember, continued until Moses was eighty years of age, and as God's representative delivered the people.

CORROBORATIONS OF THE BIBLE NARRATIVE

In confirmation of the Bible record, in recent times the ruins of the city of Pithom has been discovered and it corresponds exactly to what should be expected. It evidently was a large warehouse, and apparently its only openings were at the top. Scholars describe the city thus:--

"Pithom was discovered in 1883-4 by M. Naville, near the Suez canal, and about twelve miles west of Ismalia. The town is altogether square, enclosed by a great wall 22 feet high and measuring 600 feet around each side. The area contained within the wall is estimated at about ten acres. Nearly the whole of its space is occupied by solidly built square chambers divided one from the other by brick walls from eight to ten feet thick unpierced by window or door or opening of any kind. The access to these chambers was from the top. Granite statues were found representing Rameses II. Amongst the inscriptions occurred the name of the city, Pi-Tum (Pithum) meaning 'the house of Tum,' the Egyptian god of the setting sun. An unfinished temple of Tum was also found. Specimens of the brick can be found in the British Museum and the Metropolitan Museum in New York. They are usually four to eight inches square and one and a half to two inches thick, unbaked, but very hard. An especial confirmation of the Bible story, and proof that this is one of the very cities that the Hebrews built, is the fact that the lower courses of these walls and for some distance up are of well-made brick with chopped straw in them; but higher up the courses of brick are not so good, the straw is long and scanty, and the last courses have no straw at all, but have sedges, rushes and water plants baked in the mud."--Exodus 5:6-18.

THE VALUE OF THESE EXPERIENCES

Whoever regards these experiences of Abraham's posterity as amongst the ordinary vicissitudes of life to which all mankind are subject, makes a mistake. To rightly understand the history of Israel we must remember that the divine purposes as represented in the Oath-Bound Covenant made with Abraham were behind and intermingled with all of Israel's experiences. And more than this, the natural seed of Abraham were to furnish a type, illustration, picture, of the experiences of Spiritual Israel on a higher plane. Looking first at the effect of the bondage and tribulation upon natural Israel we can readily surmise that they served to make that people of much stronger character than they otherwise would have been. To be a subject race would undoubtedly help to develop, in many at least, a humility of mind which was markedly illustrated in the person of Moses, who is declared to have been the meekest man in all the earth.

Furthermore, their tribulations would tend to bind them in sympathy more closely together as one nation, one people. Additionally their rigorous treatment as slaves would impress upon them more than ever their Abrahamic heritage in the promise of the Lord that they should be a great people and ultimately be used of him in the blessing of all the nations of the earth. This properly enough led them, as we read, to cry unto the Lord in their sore distress. Who can estimate the value of these lessons given to this nation at the very beginning of its existence--a nation from which the Lord designed to develop some of his chosen servants, amongst whom would be the Messiah himself and his chosen apostles, the foundation of the new dispensation, Spiritual Israel. Well has the poet said that behind a frowning providence God hides a smiling face. The Israelites had an experience of this kind: for a time divine favor was hidden from them, but the Lord was merely waiting for the appropriate time to be gracious to them, in a time and in a manner that would be most favorable to them and most in accord with his own arrangements for the blessing of themselves and all mankind.

The Psalmist in the Golden Text touched the vital point of Israel's experiences. Before being used of the Lord and prepared for further great things at his hand Israel needed to learn dependence upon him. And not only they but all of us have learned that trouble is a great teacher: that it appeals to the heart far more than does prosperity; that it points us to the Lord as the great care-taker. The Prophet has declared that before he was afflicted he went astray; and similarly Israel evidently would have been far more astray if deprived of the tribulations which led them to call on the Lord, and which brought to them his deliverance out of their distresses at the hands of Moses, the mediator of the Law Covenant.

LESSONS FOR SPIRITUAL ISRAELITES

Very similar are the lessons which the Spiritual Israelites are day by day receiving individually in the great school of experience. How often does the Lord allow Egypt, the world, to oppress those who are his. This oppression sometimes comes along financial lines and sometimes socially. It is sometimes severest in the home, at other times in the shop. The great oppressor typified by Pharaoh is Satan. He is the great taskmaster. To what an extent he has gained a power over the flesh of those who are trusting in the Lord along for deliverance! And who will doubt that the great Adversary's special attacks are not upon the world and the wicked, but upon those who are the Lord's peculiar people, upon those who are his jewels, who have made a covenant with him by sacrifice, and whose deliverance at the hands of the antitypical Moses, Christ, he has promised. Hearken to the Master's words, which assure us that in all of our tribulations we may reckon on his sympathy and loving interest and his power to make all things work together for our good. Let us give attention, too, to the prayer he taught us, "Abandon us not in temptation, but deliver us from the evil one." And again the Apostle's assurance that he will not suffer us to be tempted above that we are able, but with every temptation will provide a way of escape.

As the effect of Israel's tribulation was to turn their hearts toward the Lord and to lead them to cry out for his promised assistance, so all of our trying experiences with the world, the flesh and the Adversary and the bondage of sin and death--all these appeal to the New Creatures in Christ who have the Father's promise. All this leads us more and more to look unto the Lord from whom cometh our help, and to wait for his Son from heaven, and to expect the deliverance of the groaning creation at his second advent. Is it not true, then, that present distresses and tribulations are all working out for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, if we are rightly exercised thereby? And if as true Israelites we have confidence in the Abrahamic promise, we have it, as the Apostle describes, as an anchor to our souls both sure and steadfast, entering into that which is beyond the veil, whither our forerunner is entered for us-- and made atonement for us--and from whence he provides us the blessed deliverance which we hope soon to experience in the resurrection change, when in a moment, the twinkling of an eye, we shall be made like him, see him as he is and share his glory.



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