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

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

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

SEMI-MONTHLY
VOL. XXVIIIJUNE 1No. 11
A.D. 1907--A.M. 6035


CONTENTS

"Go Ye Also into the Vineyard"163
Volunteers, Sharpshooters, Colporteurs, Pilgrims164
Laboring Amongst the Colored People165
Is the Fate of a Soul Fixed at Death?165
Berean Bible Study in Tabernacle Shadows167
The Faithful Approved and Tested168
In the School of Discipline169
The Trial of Your Faith170
Things Lawful Not Expedient171
"Am I My Brother's Keeper?"172
"Eat, Asking No Questions"173
"All to the Glory of God"174
An Encouraging Letter175

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

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

page 162

THIS JOURNAL AND ITS 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.



1907--THE GENERAL CONVENTIONS--1907


The design of these General Conventions is spiritual refreshment by mutual upbuilding along spiritual lines. "The fellowship of kindred minds is like to that above." Those who have never enjoyed these "feasts" know not what they are missing. So say we all! Assuredly the Lord will make up the loss to those not permitted to join us; but when it is reasonably our privilege we do well not to forget these assemblies of ourselves.--Heb. 10:25.

GET READY PROPERLY

Prepare your heart for a blessing. Come to the Convention in the proper spirit--as a disciple, a learner. Come intent also on doing good as well as getting good, of consoling and encouraging others, as well as to be yourself comforted. Above all, come realizing that the Lord himself is the fountain of blessings, and remembering his word--not by might, nor by power, but by the Lord's Spirit are we to expect the blessings we hope for. In making ready and en route do not forget this important item, for on it your share of the Convention's blessings greatly depends.

PLEASE PRACTISE THESE HYMNS


We urge all who expect to attend the Conventions to practise the following selections from the Hymns of Dawn: (333 choice hymns and tunes--cloth bound, 35c, post prepaid.) Numbers 7, 8, 12, 15, 19, 23, 24, 32, 55, 59, 71, 72, 75, 77, 83, 87, 93, 100, 105, 110, 114, 116, 119, 123, 124, 126, 147, 152, 155, 165, 166, 174, 178, 195, 196, 198, 201, 203, 235, 249, 251, 255, 259, 268, 273, 280, 283, 296, 310, 321.

Many of these are familiar to all of you, but please learn them all so as to be able to sing them with spirit as well as with understanding.

THE INDIANAPOLIS CONVENTION


Friends from Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, etc., desirous of attending the Convention at Indianapolis should ADVISE US AT ONCE, so that we may procure for them from the railroads orders for two-cent-per-mile rates.

Reports seem to indicate that there will be a large gathering at Indianapolis.

ACCOMMODATIONS

In private residences accommodations can be had for 50c and $1.00 each per night. In hotels board and lodging can be procured for $1, $1.25, $2, and upward to $5 per day.

Write at once, if you wish us to procure accommodations, stating briefly and pointedly what kind, number of persons, sex and color, and if married couples wish to room together. Do not expect any alteration of your party's location after writing. If others join it later they will be accommodated in the order of notification. Address all letters to C. A. Wise, 1112 W. 30th St., Indianapolis, Ind.

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.



[R4000 : page 163]

"GO YE ALSO INTO THE VINEYARD"

"Sow beside all waters; thou knowest not which shall prosper, this or that."--Isa. 32:20; Eccl. 11:6.

IF the sowing has been a general one with a view to the gathering of the Lord's little flock from every nation, people, kindred and tongue, we must expect the harvest work to be similarly broad, widely extended. In reply to inquiries respecting the African mission: Returns from Brother Booth are meager as yet. He arrived at Cape Town and at once proceeded to bring the good tidings to the attention of the English-speaking whites and blacks in that city. He has met with some success in the sense that a few are hearing gladly. We hope that some of them will be convinced. Some are inquiring whether or not reaping work could be done in India, Japan and China. We reply that we have a few WATCH TOWER subscribers in those far-off lands, who doubtless are doing everything in their power, and they will, we feel assured, be prompt to tell us if there are openings there for the services of the Truth and for the harvest message.

Meantime let us not forget that our own land is the gathering-place for people from every nation under heaven, and is therefore a fruitful field in a larger sense than any other. The Lord seemingly held back the discovery of this continent until the due time, when it would become the gathering-place for the oppressed of all nations; for the oppressed are specially amenable to the Truth, as our Master's words indicate, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, and ye shall find rest unto your souls." As an illustration of the advantages of the freedom of conscience secured by many who come to this favored land, we mention two instances which came under our personal observation. Meeting an Italian workman casually and finding him to speak broken English we had a conversation with him, as follows:--

"Are you an Italian?"

"Yes, me Italian."

"Are you a Christian?"

"Yes, me Christian."

"Are you a Catholic Christian?"

"No, me Protestant Christian."

"How does that come? I thought that nearly everybody in your land was Catholic. How does it come you are a Protestant now?"

"Me friend comee here, join Baptist Church; me comee here, he takee me. Now me no pray to Mary, me pray to Jesus."

Another case was that of a Greek who kept a confectionery store in Virginia, and was reached with the Truth by one of the brethren of his city. His own story to us was:--

"I never knew anything about other religions until I came to the United States some years ago. I was then surprised to find various denominations of Protestants, and that the Roman Catholics here were in the minority. I noticed that many of the Protestants were quite intelligent, and some of them apparently good people. I visited various churches, saying to myself, I want to find the Truth, whatever it is. A Methodist minister had a talk with me and urged me to join his congregation. I told him that I would do so if I could be convinced that it was the right one--that I was looking for the Truth. It was not long after this that one of the brethren handed me a tract, and subsequently I got into conversation with him and his presentations were more satisfactory than anything I had ever heard. He brought me the DAWN in English, and with patient perseverance I was able to read it and to understand it, and so the other volumes."

This brother promptly made some donations to the Tract Fund, sold out his business in Virginia and returned to Greece, where he has gotten out a translation of several of the tracts and the first volume of DAWN. His latest letter says that the translators are working on the second volume, which he hopes will be ready this year. The dear brother is throwing his entire heart into the matter, desiring to help the brethren of his [R4001 : page 164] own nationality. Meantime also he visits the ships that enter his port, and canvasses the passengers and seamen for English, French, Italian and Greek DAWNS.

Surely, as the Master said at the first advent-- The fields are ripe for the harvest, and he that reapeth receiveth wages. (John 4:35,36.) What wonderful opportunities lie right at our hand! Let us be wise in the use of these, not only praying but laboring. We must not think of the immigrants ungenerously; they come from countries poorer than ours, but many of them are bright, and some of them apparently honest-hearted, and quite likely some of them are at heart true Christians--the Lord's brethren and hence our brethren. Let us be on the alert to do them all the good in our power--to serve them with that which will do them more good than anything else we know of.

We earnestly commend the course followed by some of refusing better situations that would pay larger salaries, because the labor involved would be more taxing and leave less opportunity for the service of the Truth. We recommend that situations that pay well and absorb every moment of time except that requisite for providing the things that perish be sacrificed in favor of situations paying less wages but affording greater opportunity for volunteer work, colporteur work, etc. We are glad to say this spirit prevails more and more amongst those who have received the Truth in the love of it.

VOLUNTEERS, SHARP-SHOOTERS, COLPORTEURS, PILGRIMS

Try, dear friends, if possible, to secure a blessing by laboring in one of these departments of the harvest work. All cannot be Pilgrims, all are not qualified for the work, neither will the funds of the Society permit the engagement of large numbers, nor are many necessary, as each little class should have amongst its own number some possessed of talents which should be consecrated and actively used in the service of the brethren. All cannot be Colporteurs, though there is a much wider door of opportunity here. This service can only be engaged in by those who are comparatively free from earthly responsibilities and ties, or who can make themselves free by shaping their affairs to this end. They must be strong enough to endure a considerable amount of walking and the carrying of the books: they must be neither too young nor too old. Nevertheless this is a branch of the work which has been greatly blessed of the Lord, and laborers in this department are usually greatly blessed spiritually as they seek daily to lay down their lives for the Truth and for the brethren.

HOW CALLED TO COLPORTEURING

Mistaken ideas respecting calls to the ministry have troubled the Lord's people for centuries. Many seem to think that a mental impression is a call to preach, and insist that they must preach whether they have a natural ability or not, and whether they have opportunity or not, and whether people desire them to preach or not. A call to the Lord's service comes through the Truth and our acceptance of it. Whoever has the Lord's Spirit must feel interested in all of the Lord's work, and feel called upon to do anything and everything in his power to forward the same. Who needs more of a call to the use of his talents in the Lord's service than is given in our Lord's message, "Go ye, therefore, and disciple amongst all nations ...teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you alway: even unto the end of the age."

God's message is so good, so grand, that whoever receives it into a good and honest heart receives a blessing which so rejoices him that he must desire to live it, to tell it to others. That desire is a spirit of the Truth. He should follow that desire, that leading, that love of the Truth, that desire to lay down his life in its service just so far as possible--his limitations being according to his talent and according to the incumbrances and responsibilities which are properly his. A call to the Colporteur work implies that the person called has already turned from sin and is endeavoring to live reasonably, soberly. It involves more, that he has presented himself a living sacrifice to God. It involves further that he is so situated in life that it is possible for him to arrange his affairs without injustice to his own family or to his neighbors, so that he can be free to take up this work. The call to it consists of the desire to serve God, to serve the brethren, to serve the Truth. This holy spirit or holy desire should be gratified to the extent of ability, and should be restrained only by the necessities above mentioned. If all could realize this privilege and opportunity how many there would be to promptly enter this field of service.

Sharpshooters are those who have no particular time that they could devote to the Colporteur service, but who, nevertheless, make it their business to sell a considerable number of DAWNS to their friends and immediate neighbors. They differ from the Colporteurs in that they do not cover the territory. Any one who regularly and systematically canvasses territory spoils it as such for another for some years. All such are rated as Colporteurs, and need to have an assignment, that we may know what has and what has not been thoroughly worked. Nearly all of the Lord's dear people should be Sharpshooters, and we hope that they are.

"Volunteers" is a name applied to those who systematically undertake the distribution of the WATCH TOWER tracts free, in their own city or town, etc. Many of the dear friends do their volunteer work on Sunday mornings, going from house to house, perhaps having a son or a daughter assist by taking the opposite side of the street, placing the tracts carefully under the doors and ringing the door-bells. Very many indeed have been reached in this manner--and the tracts are free and the freight paid for you. We recommend that the dear friends in each city and town cooperate in this work so that it may be systematically done [R4001 : page 165] everywhere. The present rulings of the post-office department prevent us from sending tracts by mail at the usual newspaper rates as heretofore; hence we are more than ever dependent upon the dear friends for the scattering of the "hail" everywhere. "Do with your might

WHAT YOUR HANDS FIND TO DO"

An illustration of the blessed influence of this work comes to our mind as told by a brother who is now deeply interested in the Truth. At the time mentioned he was a railroad accountant, and an attendant of one of the principal churches of Washington City. He was born in China, where his parents were missionaries, and had become accustomed to the religion of formalism. One Sunday as he came from Church he was handed a tract by one of the brethren, whom he recognized as a merchant, owner of several stores in the city. He said to himself, That man is not doing that work for pay, he must be sincere; I will read the tract. Slightly interested from the reading of the tract he obtained further reading matter, the DAWNS. Now a bookkeeper in one of Washington's principal banks, he is one of the most aggressive of the volunteer force there, as well as an Elder of the Church.

We are not to hold back from the service of the Truth because we are well known by our neighbors nor because the majority of those who distribute tracts and handbills are illiterate or forced to the service by poverty. Rather we are to remember that we have given our all to the Lord, not only our lives but our physical strength, our mental strength, our reputation and influence and our money. If we made a full consecration to him we gave our all, and we must judge of our Lord's estimation of our attitude by his words, "He that is ashamed of me and my Word,...of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed" (Mark 8:38); and again, we remember the declaration, "They that honor me I will honor." It is not surprising then that we find that those who are most active in serving the Truth and who thus indicate their special love for it and its authority, the Lord, should have special evidence of his love to them in their spiritual health and progress and keeping by his power.

"I'm not ashamed to own my Lord,
Or to defend his cause;
Maintain the honor of his Word,
The glory of his cross."

The volunteer ammunition (tracts) is now being shipped--two million tracts. How many of them can and will you use judiciously, carefully. Let the dear brethren and sisters of each place, who have not already made application, consider together and send in a united order as quickly as possible, now that the fine weather is at hand. We know not how many more such opportunities will be ours. All around us we see evidences that the shackles of error are breaking, the darkness of superstition fading away, and that new delusions are being brought forward by the Adversary to captivate those who are now awakening and beginning to see a little light. Let us be faithful, us to whom the Lord has been so gracious in the bestowment of such clear knowledge of his own character and of the harmony of his blessed Word in the "Plan of the Ages."

LABORING AMONGST THE COLORED PEOPLE

A short time ago, when first mentioning the African mission, we called attention to the opportunities that are still nearer at hand and in which many may engage in the interests of our black brethren. The more we think of this the more it appeals to us. In nearly every city of our land there are colored people whose parents were brought from Africa as slaves, and who in the Lord's providence are now free and able to speak and read the English language. Many of them give evidence of deep religious sentiment and fervency of spirit. Why is not the Truth for these? Perhaps the Lord allowed us to overlook them to some extent in the past; why may we not now make a general movement all along the line for their aid? In many of the little gatherings of those in the Truth there is a surplus of talent and ability to present the plan of God. Why should not this surplus be turned to the help of the colored brethren? This may be done by the congregation systematically or may be done individually. But in either case we would like to be in touch with the laborers, and be kept informed as to just what is being done. We suggest that the following plan would perhaps work to advantage everywhere: [R4002 : page 165]

Let those who have the time at their disposal and who have some ability for public address make a thorough study of the Chart of the Ages, with a view to giving several discourses therefrom. To those desirous of proficiency in this service we now offer free a little pamphlet giving outlines of discourses on the Chart that will be helpful to many. In writing for these please give a very brief statement of your qualifications, the time at your disposal, and the number of colored churches in your vicinity.

As soon as we are able to judge as to who would be proficient in this service we will send the outlines of a little plan of procedure which we believe will operate favorably.



[R4002 : page 165]

IS THE FATE OF A SOUL FIXED AT DEATH?

From the Buffalo Express, March 25, 1907
--A REMARKABLE SERMON BY REV. DR. HOLMES--

WESTMINSTER Presbyterian Church was filled Sunday afternoon when the pastor, Samuel Van Vranken Holmes, D.D., delivered a sermon on Eternal Hope. This was the fifth and last in a series of Lenten addresses by Dr. Holmes on Life's Last Realities. Dr. Holmes said:

"In concluding our course of studies in Life's Last Realities, we come to a problem which, difficult as it is, [R4002 : page 166] must not be shirked. It is a problem to which allusion has heretofore been made, but which I have purposely postponed for discussion until the end: What is to be the final destiny of those who die in their sins?

"You will remember that, in our study of judgment after death, we reached the two-fold conviction that retribution in the life to come is inevitable because grounded in a general moral necessity, and that such retribution must necessarily entail moral separation from goodness and from God. Now, in the face of these facts, is there any hope of better things for sinful men hereafter? Or are we shut up to the belief that such men must spend an eternity in pain and punishment and without hope of moral and spiritual recovery? And this problem has an importance and interest far greater than any general speculative concern as to human destiny. I told you the other afternoon, in our discussion of heaven, that one of its most blessed realities would be the reunion with those whom we have loved and lost. And I am sure that, in almost every heart, there is love and longing for some one who has passed out of this life, caring little or nothing for Christ or the things of the Spirit, and whose last days, it may be, were clouded by sin and shame. What, then, of such? Must we give up all hope of seeing them again, of meeting them by and by, knowing, as we do, that inevitable desolation separates the good and the evil when the secrets of all hearts are disclosed?

DESTINY FIXED AT DEATH?

"Of course, you know what the teaching of the Church on this question has been for centuries, and what it continues to be in certain quarters today. But one must be blind indeed to movements in the modern religious world who is not aware that a great change has come over the minds of thinking people in regard to this matter. For a mighty and ever-growing doubt has arisen within a generation as to the irrevocability of destiny at death. The conviction has come to be very common today among educated men that there is every possibility of moral change for a human soul in the future life; and this conviction, too, is based, not on mere human speculation, but on the unmistakable implications of the Master's own teachings.

"Personally, I do not believe that Jesus taught the doctrine that human destiny is fixed at death, that after the dissolution of the body the chance of moral change is withheld from men, and that those who die in their sins are condemned to everlasting torment. I believed it once, but I thank God that I believe it no longer; and the implied threat in that doctrine is no more to multitudes of men today than 'the rattling of a medicine man's gourd.' Instead, the world of thought is rapidly coming to believe that, for every man who survives the death of the body, there is opportunity given to be united to God in Christ, and for so long as there is the slightest survival of individual spiritual life. Moreover, this belief rests upon solid foundations.

UNDEVELOPMENT HERE

"In the first place, it is a purely arbitrary assumption to affirm that moral finality is reached at death. Such a doctrine is not taught explicitly anywhere in the Scriptures, and the several passages sometimes cited in its support are capable of very different interpretations --interpretations more completely in harmony with Jesus' teachings elsewhere. No more is there anything in the nature of death itself to put an end to the possibility of change. Apart from the awe and mystery attaching to death, there is no reason for assuming that at its crisis man's destiny is irrevocably fixed. The entire position of the Augustinian theology at this point is pure and gratuitous assumption.

"On the other hand, a wider observation of this life and a deeper knowledge of men have conspired to reveal the incomplete and undeveloped state in which a vast majority of souls leave the world at death. They do not make sufficient moral progress here to settle the moral issue involved for all time. Most of those who die have by no means reached that stage of character where moral change is impossible. They are only on the threshold of development. They have just begun to recognize the importance of moral choices. And, as one of our modern theologians has well put it, 'It would be very strange if so solemn an experience as death were withdrawn from among the experiences that might influence the final decision of the soul.'

"Moreover, as I tried to point out in a previous address in this series, no conceivable life in the future can possibly deprive men of moral and spiritual accountability. The doctrine that 'moral strain' is only for this life, that in heaven man is free from moral activity and that in hell his moral responsibility is ended and he is compelled to suffer only for the sins committed in the flesh--this doctrine is intolerable and impossible. The moment a man ceases to be an active moral agent, he becomes less than a man, he sinks to the level of an automaton. And if, as is clear, the future life is as morally active and responsible and as full of solemn ethical meaning as the present, then a free moral agent will be capable of choosing good even if he is in hell. Wherever living spirits are, the law of growth and progress, with all the corresponding possibilities of degeneration and death, must be carried with them and must hold for eternity.

CHANCE FOR LOST SOULS

"Now, if all that has thus far been said is true, if the final destiny of man is not fixed at death, and if moral and spiritual choices are open to him in the future life, then is it conceivable that God can fail of winning gracious victories of love over countless souls whom the world has reckoned lost? Over against the dogma of a hard and unrelenting theology at this point, I prefer to place the teaching of my Master in the parable of the lost sheep, wherein he tells us that the Good Shepherd will not cease to search for the one that is strayed and is lost 'until he find it.' For God will surely never falter in his quest for the sinning and unrepentant, so long as opportunity is left to recover them. Just because God is good and loving and sovereign, just because of that wondrous divine compassion which we witness on Calvary, we may have confidence that multitudes of souls without number shall finally be restored to holiness and happiness and heaven.

"Only let it be remembered that such a restoration will come about, not through any forensic process or legal fiction, but through the only salvation that can ever really avail here or hereafter--the salvation wherein God helps man to make an end of sin in his own soul, and wherein he imparts to him the life of the [R4002 : page 167] Spirit. No man will ever be saved hereafter in any way, other than that in which he is saved here. No redemption is ever possible that does not involve a departure from sin and a humble, resolute quest after holiness. Therefore, let no man think that this is an easy doctrine, that he can keep on sinning and living in selfishness until by and by an indulgent God will rescue him from punishment by judicial fiat. This universe of ours is a universe of inexorable moral laws, and the hope of a final restoration does not mean that a single one of those laws will ever be broken. So long as men continue in wilful sin, no salvation could possibly be accomplished. Moreover, delay only renders redemption the more difficult. Hence it is well that here and now we turn to the Christ, and begin to find life in him, and through him likewise to know God; for the Master has told us that this is life eternal, to know God and Jesus Christ whom he has sent.

"And now a single and solemn question remains to be answered. What if there be any who shall persistently refuse to be recovered, who, in a future life as in this, shall spurn the love divine and sink deeper and deeper in selfishness and sin? What is to be said of their final destiny? It is certain, as has been seen, that persistence in sin makes heaven impossible, so long as that persistence endures. But, on the other hand, to posit an endless hell for wickedness is to posit an endless dualism, continuing through the endless [R4003 : page 167] reign of sin in certain hearts. Such dualism would spell defeat for a sovereign God.

"There is, however, a simple alternative, and one that I believe is implicit in the teachings of both Jesus and Paul--that when a soul, through its persistence in sin, comes to the point where it is morally irrecoverable, it comes also to its final death. Paul distinctly tells us that immortality is an achievement, and the inference is plain that some souls may finally fail of immortality. Moreover, throughout the New Testament, immortality is correlated with goodness, 'possible where goodness is, impossible where goodness is not.' With Jesus the issues of the future are presented, not in terms of pleasure and pain, but in terms of life and death. 'For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have aeonian life.' 'For what shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his psychical life?' These and other utterances of Jesus seem to indicate that eternal life is a possibility only, and is the alternative of death and extinction. The only really indestructible elements of personality seem to be the moral and the spiritual. In the processes of organic evolution, 'the living creature at no stage remains alive so long, and only so long, as it conforms to the conditions of living.' Shall we think otherwise of the human soul? When a soul has reached the stage of moral and spiritual development which Paul describes in the phrase 'being in Christ Jesus,' it is the possessor of eternal life. But when a man has continued in sin, has gone on dwarfing his moral and spiritual nature until every appeal of God is in vain, is it not in accordance with the analogies of life that extinction is the certain outcome?"



page 167

BEREAN BIBLE STUDY IN TABERNACLE SHADOWS

In the references below, Z. represents this journal and T. stands for Tabernacle Shadows. The references should be given to brethren and sisters for reading in the classes. Free comment should be permitted either before or after each reading.


ANOTHER TYPE OF THE ATONEMENT SACRIFICE
--LEVITICUS IX.--

JUNE 30

1. What is illustrated in the further picture of the Atonement, given in Lev. 9? Heb. 2:10; Col. 1:24; T.79, par. 1-3.

2. If, as we have already seen, there is no intrinsic merit in the sacrifices of the Church, why are we called to be sharers with him in his sacrifice? Z.'07, p. 47, "Readest Thou Carefully?"

3. In what sense was our sinless Lord made perfect through sufferings? Heb. 2:10,17,18; E.119, 142.

4. How does the Apostle Paul show our intimate relationship to our Head? Eph. 1:4,6; 2 Thess. 2:14; 2 Tim. 2:12; T.80, par. 1.

5. Was it part of our Father's original "plan" that the Church should have a part in the work of Atonement? Lev. 9:7; Col. 1:24-28; Eph. 1:4,5, R.V.; T.80, par. 2.

JULY 7

6. How long has the "burnt offering" of Jesus been burning? and what class have been witnesses to this? Lev. 9:12-14; T.81, par. 1.

7. In this picture of the Atonement Day, given in Lev. 9, why is there no mention of the "scape goat"? Is it because here the consecration of the Priest is represented, and because the "Great Company," represented by the "scape goat," is excluded from membership in the "body" of the self-sacrificing Priest?

8. What important teaching does this picture further confirm? Rom. 8:17; Luke 9:23,24; 2 Tim. 2:11,12; T.81, par. 2.

9. What is represented in the "peace offering"? Lev. 9:18; T.81, par. 4.

10. What is this "better-covenant" referred to, and when will it come into existence? Heb. 8:6-13; Jer. 31:31-34; T.82, top; C.296, 297.

11. Who is the Mediator of this covenant, and who are to be blessed under it? Heb. 8:6,10,11; T.82, top; Z.'97, p. 82.

12. What particular blessing seems to be typified in Lev. 9:22? Matt. 5:13,14,16; 2 Cor. 3:2; T.82.

JULY 14

13. State in a general way the difference in the two pictures of the Atonement Day given in Lev. 16 and Lev. 9. T.82, par. 2.

14. What did Moses typify, and why did both Moses and Aaron go into the "tabernacle of the congregation" after the different sacrifices of the Day of Atonement were finished? and why did they then come out, and together bless the people? Lev. 9:23; Gal. 3:8,16,29; Gen. 12:3; T.83, par. 1.

15. Will God's law be to any extent ignored, or sin page 168 excused during the next age? Isa. 28:17,18; Acts 3:22,23; T.83, par. 1.

16. Will the law of "obey and live," "he that doeth righteousness is righteous," be then a disadvantage or a blessing? Hag. 2:7; Psa. 96:10-13, R.V.; Isa. 25:8,9; T.83, par. 1.

17. Will the blessings of the Millennial reign become manifest at once to the entire world as soon as the reign begins? Lev. 9:23; Isa. 40:5; T.83, par. 2.

JULY 21

18. Are the "priests" included in those who are to be blessed under this reign? and if not, why not? Lev. 8:22-24; Matt. 25:31,32; Rom. 8:18-22; Rev. 21:2,3; 2 Thess. 2:14; T.84, par. 1.

19. Is reference made to this blessing of the whole world in Heb. 9:28? and does this imply that those who "look for him" shall all recognize him as soon as he comes at his second advent. Z.'01, p. 179.

20. Was Christ manifested to the Jews at his first advent, as the sin-offering for them? and has the Church been so manifested to the world? and if so, did the Jews, or does the world as yet, realize the value of this sin offering? 2 Cor. 4:11; Isa. 53:1-3; Jno. 15:18,19; John 1:5; Heb. 13:13; T.84, par. 2.

21. What is the difference in the manifesting of Jesus and his Church to the world during the Gospel age and during the Millennial age? Col. 3:4, R.V.; I Cor. 15:42-45; Mal. 4:2,3; T.84, par. 2; D.616; A.322, near bottom; T.84, par. 2.

JULY 28

22. Will the glorified Christ appear to those who "look for him" in a manner that can be appreciated by their natural vision? If not, how will he appear to them, and how will others be aware of his presence? I Tim. 6:16; 2 Cor. 4:18; Heb. 2:9; 12:2; 2 Thess. 1:8; Isa. 40:5; Luke 17:26-30; T.85, par. 1,2.

23. Will the fact that Christ appears only to those who "look for him," imply that there will be some who will not "look for him," and who will not recognize or realize that the great Messiah is present for the blessing of the world? Rev. 1:7; Psa. 22:27,28; Psa. 67:2-7; Isa. 52:10,15; 2 Thess. 1:7,8; T.86, par. 2,3,4.

24. Do the Lord's faithful ones "see Jesus" now? And in what way? And how does this way differ from the way in which we will see him beyond the vail? Heb. 2:9; T.85, par. 1.

25. Will human beings ever be able to see things on the spiritual plane? And why? John 8:19; 14:9; I Tim. 6:16; John 1:18; T.85, par. 2; 86, top, and par. 3.

26. What other examples have we of unseen spiritual power? Eph. 2:2; 6:12, Diaglott; Isa. 8:19; T.86, par. 1,2.

27. What is the meaning of the Apostle's expression that God "is the Savior of all men, specially of those who believe?" I Tim. 1:40; Isa. 26:19; Hos. 13:14; Jno. 5:28,29, Diaglott; T.87, top of page.



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THE FAITHFUL APPROVED AND TESTED
--REVIEW.--JUNE 23.--

Golden Text:--"When thou passest through the waters I will be with thee; and through the rivers they shall not overflow thee.--Isa. 43:2.

REVIEWING the lessons of the quarter we find that they indicate that God was seeking for and approving and encouraging and testing those of his people who exercised special faith in him--to the extent of obedience, to the extent of their ability. Nor should this surprise us: what other quality could God seek in any member of the fallen race? Surely he could not seek for perfection, for his own Word declares explicitly that "There is none righteous, no not one." (Rom. 3:10.) As he sought not the perfect in mind or morals or features, we ask ourselves what quality would especially commend any member of the race to the Lord, and our answer is, in harmony with the evidences of the quarter, that "God seeketh such to worship him as worship him in spirit and in truth"--in honesty, in sincerity. Such worship would be impossible except as it had a basis of faith: as it is written, "He that cometh unto God must believe that he is, and that he is the rewarder of those who diligently seek him"; and again, "Without faith it is impossible to please God." (Heb. 11:6.) True, the Apostle writes that love is the principal thing, but the Apostle is writing to those who already have been approved in their faith. In another sense of the word faith is the principal thing, because it is the basis and only condition upon which any other of God's favors are now obtainable.

Abraham--what did he do? What great exploits? How is it written? "Abraham believed God and it was counted unto him for righteousness." (Rom. 4:3.) According to this, faith will hide a multitude of defects? Indeed, according to the Word, it is only by the exercise of faith in our Redeemer that we are reckoned as covered with the robe of righteousness, and made acceptable to the Father, and permitted to stand complete in him.

What was there in Isaac's experiences in life to mark him as one of the Lord's. Isaac did nothing great, nothing wonderful. He founded no colleges, he built no churches, he organized no great relief funds, etc., etc., praiseworthy as those things may be; but he had the approval of God because he also believed God.

What wonderful things did Jacob do to give him a place of such prominence in the history of God's people, and to make him worthy to be the father of the nation of Israel? There is no record of any very wonderful works on the part of Jacob, aside from the fact that he had a wonderful faith in God. He believed in the Oath-bound Covenant made to his grandfather Abraham--it saturated and [R4003 : page 169] filled his entire life. Everything in his entire course from first to last was shaped in accordance with that faith. God counted his faith to him also for righteousness, and his name has come down to us amongst others who had the grand testimony that they pleased God and are ultimately to have a share in the great work of God as a reward.

JOSEPH, THE FAITHFUL

Joseph accomplished more than his forebears as respects great and useful work in the world: in the line of God's providences he not only saved the nation of Israel, his father's house, but also the nation of Egypt from the famine which otherwise might have destroyed them all. But Joseph is not brought specially to our attention in the Scriptures because of this great deed. Rather the Scriptures lay as much emphasis upon some of the smaller transactions of his life, and recite all of his affairs as evidences of his faith in God. Without that faith Joseph would not have been anything. It was his faith that kept him in good courage and of restful heart even in the midst of trying circumstances and conditions; it was his faith and loyalty to the one in whom he believed that kept him from the hour of temptation while a member of Potiphar's household; it was his faith that triumphed in the prison and gave him opportunities for comforting and assisting others, and learning himself to sympathize with those in distress. It was his faith which prompted him to have that relationship with God which brought to him the interpretation of dreams and the exaltation to power and influence. It was his faith still that enabled him to use those opportunities without losing his head, that showed him to have the spirit of a sound mind.

MOSES, THE MEEKEST MAN

Moses, perhaps more than all the characters of this lesson, was a mighty man both in word and deed; but while his greatness as a leader and a lawgiver shines out and marks him as a wonderful character, his faith is the most remarkable feature of his history. Not that in his case or in any of these cases the matter of faith is specially paraded and held up to our admiration--rather it is told in that simple manner which carries with it powerful conviction. We see the faith in its operation without being told about it. Moses without the Lord would have been nothing; Moses with the Lord, without faith, would have accomplished nothing, for God would not have used him, but would have found another instrument for his service. It was the combination --God, Moses, Moses' faith and obedience--that prompted the grand exhibit which we find in his life, and constituted him in the eyes of the whole world one of the most gigantic figures of history. So great was Moses that he could in simplicity and without bombast write, "A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up of your brethren like unto me"--in reference to the great Messiah, King of kings and Lord of lords.

These things being true teach us that the most important thing for us, that we may have the divine favor and approval and blessing, is first of all that we have implicit faith in God. And this faith we find both from the Scriptures and from experience is a matter of development, growth. Our faith should grow stronger with every day, month and year that we live, so that our closing days in life would be the fullest of trust. But here we must note a danger and difficulty amongst those who seek to cultivate faith: the Adversary would present faith in man and in the words of man and in the theories of man as instead of faith in God and his Word.

How many have been hindered, turned aside from the right path, by a misplaced faith! How many today are worshiping the creeds and theories of men and neglecting the Word of the Lord! How necessary to us that, while recognizing the fact that God has always used mouthpieces and leaders amongst his people, we should also recognize the fact that Satan has many mouthpieces and provides many leaders, and that our method of discrimination as between the true and the false prophets must be by their faithfulness to the Word of God, as it is written--"If they speak not according to this Word it is because there is no light in them." (Isa. 8:20.) Let us then not only resolve to cultivate faith, but that we make sure that it will have foundation in the Word of the Lord. And to thus make sure will imply such a love for truth, such an appreciation of the divine Word, as will lead us to spend time and energy, money, everything, that we may know the truth and be made free by it. Whoever, therefore, loves money, praise of men, honors of men, etc., more than he loves God or his Word, is not likely to obtain or to hold the proper knowledge of God, upon which alone [R4004 : page 169] the proper faith and obedience can be built.

IN THE SCHOOL OF DISCIPLINE

It was not sufficient that Abraham had faith to begin with, so that he was ready to follow the invitation of the Lord to leave his own country for another upon which as yet he had no claim except the divine promise. It was because Abraham had such a faith and was able to exercise it that God counted him worthy to receive promises at all. Then came the test as to how strongly he would hold to the promises--for instance, the test respecting his son, whose birth was the very center of all the divine promises. Twenty-five years did God test the faith of Abraham on this point until he was growing old, and Isaac was born when he was a hundred years old. Notice again how God kept Abraham in the school of discipline, testing his faith; not testing it with a view to breaking it and destroying it, but on the contrary applying the tests so as to increase the faith, to make it stronger and every way better. Note, for instance, that Isaac was allowed to grow up to be a young man, and Abraham to pass the time of life when he might hope to have another son, when God commanded the slaying of Isaac as a sacrifice. How grand was the faith that never faltered, that still believed that in his Seed all the families of the earth should be blessed! What evidence we have here that Abraham was well taught and had learned well the various lessons under the divine instruction! He was able to offer up his son, and counted that God was able to raise him from the dead and thus to fulfil the promise--never doubting. O, what a grand summit of faith was thus evidenced! How such a character must have pleased God! and it shines out the more because of the darkness and idolatry of his time.

Consider how Isaac and Jacob were also schooled in advance, and learned well the lesson of confidence in God [R4004 : page 170] and his Oath-bound Covenant. See the same in the case of Joseph, whose life was full of adversity and was grandly rounded out by these trying experiences, his faith becoming stronger, apparently, at every step of the journey of life. Note the same in Moses' case from first to last. He who was so humble minded respecting his own talents that he insisted he was quite unfit to be the leader of the people, after being assured that God would lead him and use him as his representative and channel merely--then Moses was willing and ready and able to do all things through his faith in the Almighty God. The lesson clearly is that the trials and difficulties, tests and disciplines of faith were specially provided of the Lord for the development of the character of the ancient worthies chiefly along the lines of faith; that they not only had faith prominent to begin with, but that God saw to it that this characteristic was more and more a pronounced one in them.

THE TRIAL OF YOUR FAITH

We are glad to have the testimony of the Apostle that these grand characters of the past met with the divine approval, and fell asleep in death to await at the resurrection a grand reward--their trial and testing having been successfully finished. But in the same connection the Apostle tells us that in the divine plan the "little flock" of this Gospel age has been called to a still higher station and privilege and blessing than the ancient worthies. The Apostle's words are, "These died in faith, not having received the thing promised; God having provided some better thing for us [the Gospel Church], that they without us should not be made perfect." Their perfection will be to the human nature; ours, if we are of the very elect, will be to the divine nature, far above angels, principalities and powers.

What then shall we suppose respecting God's approval in the Gospel Church, and the tests that he will apply? Can we think that he would make faith a test in the past and ignore it as respects the present election? Nay, verily! Faith is still the test of all who would please God. So then, as God in the past selected for the channels of his promises and blessings only those who could exercise faith, we may expect that in the present time the Lord has nothing whatever to offer except to those who can exercise faith in him and in his promises. We know that this must of necessity signify that the called of this Gospel age would be a very much smaller number than the whole population of the world; and then again we have the further declaration that of the called few will be chosen. What does this signify except that few will prove themselves to have the requisite faith and obedience to please God, to be counted worthy a share in the Kingdom with his dear Son, our Lord.

And if only those who have faith have been called throughout this Gospel age, what shall we say of the testings of faith for these? The Apostle's intimation is that their faith will need a great testing. He says, "The trial of your faith is much more precious than that of gold which perisheth." (1 Pet. 1:7.) Gold has a special value at the present time by reason of its scarcity--a value that will perish when with the new order of things it will be as easy to have gold as to have clay or iron; but the "little flock," which the Lord is selecting during this Gospel age, is always to be specially precious in that to this class alone of humanity, so far as the divine revelation shows, will be granted the divine nature, with its glory, honor and immortality. Hence the trial of the faith of this class is very precious, a very important matter. None shall be admitted to that glorious immortality without first being tested and proven by the Lord. But here again let us remember that our testing is not as respects the flesh, to see whether or not we are perfect in the flesh, but on the contrary we are assured that God knoweth our condition--that all things are open and naked before his sight, and that he declares that we are all imperfect.

What then is God seeking in us? The development and perfection of faith! The first element in it is to believe in him as a faithful, wise, true God; and secondly to believe in his revelation of Jesus as his Son, and the one through whom he has provided a covering for our imperfections, our blemishes, past, present and future. This is the essential phase which must be held on to, and which he will therefore test in order to prove our loyalty. This is the faith that must grow stronger as the days and months and years roll by. This is the faith through which will be reckoned to us the merit of Christ's atonement, and through which we will have reconciliation. This is the faith that must be proven to have such tenacity and strength that it will trust the Lord even where it cannot trace him, as did Abraham when he believed that God was able and willing to fulfil his promise, even though it should imply the resurrection of Isaac from the dead. We must learn, we must develop, at least that much faith also, so that we will believe in God and the fulfilment of his promises even though the fulfilment of them signifies not only our own resurrection from the dead to glory, honor and immortality, but signifies also an awakening of all the families of the earth from the prison-house of the tomb, that they may have fulfilled toward them the gracious promise made to Abraham --"In thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." Without such faith in God and in his promises it will be impossible to please him and to become of the elect class which he is now selecting.

"IF GOD BE FOR US"

Nor are we to worry ourselves to make tests for our own faith--rather we are to leave the matter in our Lord's hands. The tests will probably not come to us along the lines of our expectancy, but, on the contrary, from unexpected quarters. That many such tests are before us in the "evil day" in which we are living, the Apostle assures us. He tells us that we will require the whole armor of God in order to be able to withstand the assaults upon our faith in this time. So subtle will be these assaults that our Redeemer tells us that if it were possible the "very elect" would be deceived. But, thank God, it is not possible for these to be deceived. The Lord has become their refuge and their habitation; he has accepted the supervision of their affairs; he will not suffer them to be tempted above that they are able, but will with the temptation provide a way of escape. (1 Cor. 10:13.) While we are not to think it strange concerning these fiery trials, our faith in the Lord's testimony respecting them will have much to do with [R4004 : page 171] our preparation for withstanding them: if we believe his Word we will improve every opportunity for putting on the helmet, the breastplate, the sandals, and for the learning to use the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, and the shield of faith, whereby we may quench the fiery darts of unbelief. Whoever does not take heed to the Word and thus put on the armor of God is thereby showing his lack of faith, his unbelief, being disobedient to the word of the Commander. When he assures us that every man's work shall be tried of what sort it is, and that only the gold and silver and precious stones of divine truth will constitute such faith as will stand the tests of this day, we may be sure that our Lord understood the matter thoroughly; and in proportion as we have this faith we will be energetic in getting rid of any wood, hay or stubble of our theology, and replacing the same with the precious things of the divine Word, that we may be able to stand in the "evil day," that we may be counted worthy to be helped of the Lord as those who are truly his. According to our faith it will be unto us. [R4005 : page 171]

"FAITH CAN FIRMLY TRUST HIM, COME WHAT MAY"

Our Golden Text is a very encouraging one. In view of the fact that all of the called, chosen and faithful must be required to pass through the school of experience, discipline and testing with a view to their final approval, how encouraging it is to know that the Lord will indeed be with us in every trouble, that he sympathizes with us in all of our trials, adversities, afflictions, perplexities, etc., and that "behind a frowning providence he hides a smiling face." The waters of affliction, disappointment, perplexity, trouble, will be about us, and we are not to float with the current either, but are to endure hardness as good soldiers. But our source of strength in battling with the current of life is never to be forgotten--"When thou passest through the waters I will be with thee." Blessed thought! "I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me," and he assures us, "My strength is made perfect in weakness." (Phil. 4:13; 2 Cor. 12:9.) Our Golden Text implies rivers of trouble, but assures us that when we pass through the rivers they shall not overflow us, they shall not extinguish us; on the contrary the Lord will pull us safely over to the other side, where we shall have life, and that more abundantly, with the glory, honor and immortality which he will provide for his Bride--his Elect.



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THINGS LAWFUL NOT EXPEDIENT
--1 CORINTHIANS 10:23-33.--JUNE 30.--

Golden Text:--"It is good neither to eat flesh nor to drink wine nor anything whereby thy brother stumbleth." --Romans 14:21.

OUR lesson relates to personal liberty, and is interjected into the regular course as a temperance lesson. It is a fact that no other religious system teaches personal liberty in the sense and to the degree that it is taught in the Bible--by Jesus and his apostles. Even the Jews under the Law were taught a higher degree of personal liberty than were others in their day--by the Law itself. The essence of all human religion and philosophy seems to be the bondage of the individual to the customs, the usages, of his forefathers, bound by ignorance, superstition and priestcraft. It may be argued that amongst Christians, too, priestcraft, ignorance and superstition are quite prominent and weighty. We assent to this, but point out that such bondage is quite contrary to the teachings of the Scriptures. It is written, "Whom the Son makes free is free indeed" (John 8:36); and everywhere the teaching of the New Testament is that "Where the Spirit of Christ is there is liberty."--2 Cor. 3:17.

MENTAL POISE OR BALANCE

If so great personal liberty is accorded under the Gospel, the question arises, Why should there be any difficulty along this line? We reply that the difficulty lies in the fact that the Lord's people, who are given this large liberty as New Creatures, find difficulties to its exercise in their own flesh--because of inherited weaknesses, mental and physical; and they find perplexities and difficulties also because of the general undone, fallen condition of humanity, and because human weaknesses take so many different forms, all of which need more or less restraint in some form or other. The difficulty is in knowing how to balance our liberties as New Creatures with these blemishes of the old nature--the natural man. Nor is it possible to make this question entirely clear to the natural man because, as the Apostle says, "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."--1 Cor. 2:14.

Even to those whom the Scriptures recognize as "New Creatures," begotten again of the holy Spirit, the elucidation of this question is difficult, because so many "New Creatures" fail to recognize the difference between the new (I) and the old (I). The newly begotten spirit is represented by the new will, and the old flesh is reckoned dead when we are begotten again. The New Creature, having no proper body until it shall experience its resurrection "change," is permitted to use the fleshly body as its servant, which is reckoned alive for that purpose. This body is subsequently reckoned as having passed from death unto life to be the body and servant of the New Creature until the latter shall have eventually experienced its perfecting in the resurrection "change," in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. The Apostle explains this new relationship between the spirit-begotten mind or will and the body reckoned dead and reckoned as awakened again, saying, "If the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit which dwelleth in you." The power of God which was sufficient to raise Jesus from the dead a quickening Spirit is surely powerful enough to operate in our mortal bodies so as to permit us (New Creatures) to use them in God's service.

LIBERTY OF THE SONS OF GOD

Let us get the proper thought: The holy Spirit is a [R4005 : page 172] spirit of liberty--God "seeketh such to worship him as worship him in spirit and in truth": he seeks not the worship and service of slaves under bondage and restraints. Hence amongst the angels we may be sure there is no compulsion to divine service--they all serve willingly, gladly, joyfully. We may be sure that it is the ultimate design of God that every creature throughout the universe which has not and will not come into absolute harmony with the Creator --no other restraint but of joyful willingness--shall ultimately be destroyed as unworthy of further divine favors unto life eternal. But mankind is not in this free condition. The liberty of the sons of God was lost to our race through the disobedience of our first parents: we were alienated from God, and came under his sentence of death as unfit for eternal life.

The Scriptures tell us that we were "sold under sin"-- sold into bondage, servitude, into sin, by the disobedience of our first parents. The world is still in this bondage, and hence is not free in any sense of the word, and should not be. As bond-slaves of sin, the world must wait for the deliverance which God has willed and will fully provide, and of which the Apostle writes, saying, "The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now," "waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God." "For the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the sons of God." (Rom. 8:19-22.) Here the Apostle tells us that the world's liberty awaits the dawning of the Millennial morning, when the sons of God, Christ the Bridegroom and the Elect Church his Bride, shall be manifest in power and great glory as the divinely appointed Royal Priesthood, judges for the world--to lift them out of bondage to sin and death, and by restitution processes to give back to them, by the close of the Millennium, the full perfection of their human nature and a perfect home, and divine favor and blessing unto everlasting life--all the unwilling and disobedient being destroyed in the Second Death.

"NOW ARE WE THE SONS OF GOD"

With one voice Jesus and his apostles assure us that those of the human family who have had the ear to hear and the heart to appreciate the message of God's grace in Christ, God has been willing to accept as sons of God, and to accord to them the liberty of the sons of God without their waiting for the times of restitution to secure these favors. Those who by faith have the eyes of their understanding opened and who evidently hear, are reckoned as justified --as made right in God's sight--because their minds are right, their wills are right, however imperfect their flesh may be. Those of this class who consecrated themselves irrevocably to the Lord and were begotten of the Spirit were counted New Creatures, of a new nature, to whom old things had passed away and all things had become new--who henceforth walked not after the desires of the flesh but after the desires of the Spirit. These are the New Creation, begotten by the Lord's Spirit.

It is to these New Creatures that God has accorded liberty--not to the world nor even to the flesh of the New Creation. The New Creature, because in full accord with the Lord, may be granted full liberty; and hence it is that the Church, the body of Christ, is left without bondage to any law except that they shall love the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind and strength, and their neighbor as themselves. They are entirely free within these limitations, which are the very most that could be granted under the divine arrangement, which recognizes only those who have the Spirit of God as being sons of God and having any liberty whatever as such.

CONFLICT BETWEEN THE FLESH AND SPIRIT

Here arises the conflict: the spirit indeed is willing to use its liberty only to the glory of God, but the flesh is artful, cunning, strong. Although condemned to death, "crucified with Christ" and "dying daily," as the New Creature grows "strong in the Lord and in the power of his might," nevertheless the flesh--always contrary to the spirit on these subjects--argues for its rights, its privileges, its liberties, in a manner which the New Creature, the new mind, the new will, must frequently disregard, deny. It is a trick of the condemned flesh to appeal to the New Creature along the line of personal liberty, pointing out in the words of our [R4006 : page 172] lesson that all things are lawful to it--that is, that there is no law restraining its liberty, and that therefore it should grant to the flesh larger concessions in some respects, at least, than the world would enjoy.

Our lesson is the Apostle's answer to such an appeal: he declares that while nothing is forbidden the New Creature under direct divine law, it is also true that there are many things that would be inexpedient, ill-advised, contrary to its best interests, its strengthening, its development: hence such inexpedient things should be noted, and the interests of the New Creation should always decide the question, although the New Creature, begotten of the Spirit of God, loving God supremely and his neighbor as himself, is forbidden nothing. It is to be remembered, says the Apostle, that not all things edify, profit, strengthen, build up, encourage. And whatever is not to edification is not profitable, and is not to be entertained or practised regardless of law on the subject.

"AM I MY BROTHER'S KEEPER?"

Continuing his argument along this line, the Apostle shows that the New Creature, while not restrained by law, is restrained from many things by his own nature. Begotten of the spirit of love, and loving his neighbor as himself, he is bound to think not only of what would be harmless to himself but also to consider what would be helpful or injurious to his neighbor: hence, as the Apostle says, none of us should seek his own welfare merely, but each also his neighbor's welfare. In a word, the Apostle shows that the New Creature is his brother's keeper in the sense that he must consider his brother's interests as well as his own. Not that he should interfere with his brother's rights, privileges and interests, and be a busybody in other men's matters, but that he should allow the Spirit of the Lord, the spirit of love, to so thoroughly fill his own heart that he would be a helper and not a stumbling-block to the brethren and to the world.

These New Creatures to whom the Apostle ministered resided in the midst of civilized heathendom, and hence were exposed to trials along lines very different from those [R4006 : page 173] affecting the converts from Judaism residing in Palestine, where the surroundings would be godly at least. Not that the Christians of Palestine had no difficulties, for we know that they had their special trials in respect to the demands of the Law, the usages of the synagogues and the Temple, etc., but the Apostle was now discussing the special trials of Christians in foreign lands. The custom of that time was to offer animals as sacrifices to idols, and then to give the carcasses of the animals to the priests, who in turn sold these through butchers in the public markets. Hence those who would eat meat at all would find it almost impossible to avoid eating meat that had been offered to idols. This was a serious point and a very perplexing question: what should they do? Some were stronger of mind than others, and could understand that an idol was nothing, and that therefore the offering of meat before nothing could do it no injury. However, all were not thus minded: some brethren and sisters were weaker--unable to draw such a distinction, and for these New Creatures to live conscientiously would mean that they must deny themselves frequently the use of such meat. The case would be particularly difficult where some of the members of the families were Christians and others were not. No wonder the Apostle referred to this question in more than one of his epistles and indicated its importance.

There were two sides to the question: The idol being nothing, the offering of the food to it being nothing, the personal liberty question alone would be in dispute, for there was no law given on this matter except the law of love. The other side of the argument would be that the brother who could not conscientiously partake of such meat might have too much pride or an insufficiency of courage to follow his convictions, and might thus violate his conscience in trying to keep pace with another whose eyes of understanding open more widely or more quickly. The Apostle's exhortation is that these should be remembered, and that the one of broader comprehension should be willing to consider his brother and not to stumble his conscience--be willing to refrain from eating such meat rather than run the risk of injuring his brother, whom Christ so loved that he died for him.

"EAT, ASKING NO QUESTIONS"

In the verses preceding our lesson the Apostle urges great care on the part of believers, pointing out to them that God delivered the nation of Israel, but that subsequently, because of their lack of loyalty, he permitted them to die, some for one offence and some for another. His suggestion is that we, having been set free from the bondage of Satan, should be careful how we use our liberty, lest it become to us a snare, a stumbling-stone. In view of the prevalence of idolatry at that time he felt it expedient to urge the Church, saying, "Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry." (1 Cor. 10:14.) He then proceeds to contrast the feast which marks us as Christians--the Memorial of our Lord's death --with the heathen feasts to which many of the Lord's people would undoubtedly be invited, and in which they would be exposed to various misleading influences which might prove injurious to them as New Creatures in Christ, tending to relax their vigilance over the flesh and to hinder them from progress in growth as New Creatures. He points out that there is a fellowship, a communion, implied in our partaking of our Lord's loaf and the Lord's cup--that we thus indicate that all of the New Creation are members of the body of Christ, participants in the same joys, blessings, hopes, promises and sufferings. Then he declares that in the feasts of the heathen not God but devils were worshipped, and he asks what communion or fellowship could there be between the table of the Lord and the table of devils, and between those who feast at the Lord's table on the heavenly spiritual things and those who were more or less identified with the heathendom of the time. The implication is that there is no fellowship, no communion.

Although in our day conditions are in many respects much more favorable, nevertheless there is some similarity. Many of our dear friends and relatives fail to worship the true God, the God of love and wisdom and power, but the declaration is that Christ has been provided as a "ransom for all, to be testified in due time." Many on the contrary, while thinking that they worship God, really worship "doctrines of devils," of which they are ashamed, and by which they are hindered and restrained from progress in the Lord's good way. While we should sympathize with these and with all mankind in their blindness and superstition, yet what communion, what fellowship could there be between ideas so diametrically opposite? What fellowship of worship and teaching could there be between such and those who recognize God as the loving, merciful One who willeth not the death of him that dieth, but who would that all should turn unto him and live, and who has made a full provision that the knowledge of Christ shall reach every member of Adam's race either in the present age or in the coming Millennial age by an awakening from the tomb. Surely there can be little harmony between us and those who believe and teach that God, before he created mankind, deliberately planned the eternal torment of the great majority of them and determined a plan by which only a mere handful, a little flock, should ever hear of or enjoy a knowledge of the truth and an opportunity for salvation.

The food upon these two different tables is so very different as to make a breach. Not that we will be out of accord with our brethren and neighbors, but that to the Lord and his Word we must be true. We cannot but show forth the things which we have seen and heard: we love to tell the story, and to refrain from so doing would be woe to us, "Woe to me if I declare not the gospel" (1 Cor. 9:16); and again the Apostle says, "I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth"--and we know that all will be granted an opportunity of knowing and believing.--Rom. 1:16.

The Apostle points out the reasonable, proper course to be followed under such circumstances. If a Christian of that time were invited to a feast he was not bound to suppose that the meat had been offered to idols, and therefore not bound to refuse it. On the contrary, he might give thanks and eat it without injury to his conscience if able to see the matter in its true, proper light. But if some brother said to him, The meat provided here has been offered to idols, and I fear that it would be wrong for us to eat it, then, says the Apostle, it should not be eaten for the sake [R4006 : page 174] of the brother who indicated his own knowledge and fear-- for his conscience' sake--lest he should be stumbled. I am to be willing, yea, glad to deny myself what otherwise would have been my liberty, my privilege, since my conscience was not at all involved, but clearly discerned that the idol was nothing and did no injury whatever to the meat. How grand is this lesson of brotherly consideration;--yet it is strictly within the lines of the law of love, for are we not to do to our brother or neighbor as to ourselves? and would we think it right to risk our own spiritual standing for a morsel of meat? How then could we risk our brother's standing on such a consideration? The law of our liberty in Christ, love, must govern our conduct automatically on every occasion. The Lord wishes us to learn, not as children, certain fixed rules, but as philosophers the fixed principles which can be applied.

THE PRINCIPLE OF WIDE APPLICATION

All who have been begotten of the holy Spirit of love will perceive that the principles governing the New Creation are of very wide application indeed. The committee selecting this for our lesson desired that we forget not the application [R4007 : page 174] of this principle to the subject of temperance in respect to alcoholic liquors. Surely so grave an evil should not be overlooked, and to it we might advantageously add the influence of other narcotics--opium, morphine, cocaine, etc. These evils which so seriously tempt the human race, which have wrecked so many lives, blighted so many prospects, destroyed so many homes, and which annually consume an amount of wealth which, applied properly, would mean so much of comfort, blessing and elevation to the race, certainly demand thought from all who have been begotten of the holy Spirit of love. Such cannot be indifferent to the interests of their brethren nor to the interests of mankind in general. True, we have neither the word nor example of our Lord and his apostles to the effect that we should leave the more important work of preaching the good tidings of the Kingdom to engage in a temperance work; but we may be sure that whatever influence we have that cannot be used in the forwarding of the Kingdom message could much better go to the restraint of this demoniacal influence in the interest of our fellowmen than to almost any other cause in the world.

The reason why the Kingdom message is given precedence to all others is that, whatever may be done for the world under present conditions, will be merely palliative and not radical cures. The Kingdom under the whole heavens, the exercise of divine power in the hands of the glorified Christ, is the only power to which we can look for the overthrow of these venomous evils. We may be sure that when the Kingdom of God's dear Son is established and the will of God begins to be done on earth as it is done in heaven, it will mean the utter abolition of every ensnaring and degrading influence--the bringing of all things into subjection to the will of God in Christ. We may be equally sure that it would be pleasing to the Lord that all who would be his true followers should give no countenance to these evils, nor to any others in the present time, even though we cannot share with our fellowmen in the hope that any powers of ours would ever ultimately put down these terrible evils. We must still wait for God's Son and his mighty power to intervene, and hence we continue to pray and to labor for the Kingdom that is to come.

A TERRIBLE AND TRUE INDICTMENT

A minister of God makes the following indictment against the influence of the saloon:--

"The saloon is the enemy of God. Its forces are against the forces that make for righteousness. It makes a brute of the being God created in his own image and likeness. Its very atmosphere wreaks with blasphemy. It is destructive of all faith, all virtue, all love toward God, reverence for God and likeness to God. It is the organized expression of the kingdom of Satan amongst men.

"It is the enemy of man. It bloats his visage, corrupts his heart, weakens his will, sears his conscience.

"It is the enemy of the home. It puts out the fire, empties the larder, turns the protector of the family into a thing of abhorrence, clothes the wife in rags and brings the children to suffering and shame.

"It is the enemy of the State. It is the breeding-place of all the plots and conspiracies that threaten the downfall of society. It is the Gibraltar of bad politics. It is the gathering-place of thugs and repeaters, the market of the purchasable vote, the fountain head of municipal wrong-doing.

"The devil is for it; God is against it. Vice is for it; virtue is against it. The brothel is for it; the home is against it. Falsehood is for it; truth is against it. The anarchist is for it; the statesman is against it. Poverty is for it; plenty is against it. Misery is for it; happiness is against it. Disease is for it; health is against it. Death is for it; life is against it."

"ALL TO THE GLORY OF GOD"

The Apostle sums up his argument in favor of loving consideration for our brethren and liberty of conscience for ourselves--"Whether, therefore, ye eat or drink or whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of God." More than thirty years ago this text was so impressed upon the mind of the writer that he had it beautifully painted on glass and it still greets the eyes of visitors to the WATCH TOWER office, the Bible House parlor and the Editor's study. It is difficult to imagine a more comprehensive statement of the Christian's liberty and limitations than is expressed in these words. To whatever extent one learns to govern thoughts, words and deeds by this glorious precept he is becoming more and more filled with the spirit of the law of love, strengthened in character and meet for the inheritance of the saints in light. This limitation to what would be to "the glory of God" will enter into and affect all the affairs of life if we will only permit it. A dear brother now deceased told us on the occasion of our first meeting that for years he had been a nominal Christian, first a Congregationalist and subsequently an Episcopalian, and always found of his personal liberty; but how, failing to see the other side of the question, he had allowed his liberty to lead him into various excesses. He felt that he was exercising his personal liberty when he drank wine and occasionally played a social game of cards with the rector of his Church, and generally he felt at liberty to do whatever would not be in violation of the laws of the land.

His inquiry was, "Brother Russell, can you explain to [R4007 : page 175] me the change which has come over my life: I do not understand it myself. My friends used to hand me tracts in opposition to wine and tobacco, etc., but I pooh-poohed them and said in effect, 'I am as good as you; mind your own business and let me mind mine. I am violating no law, I am merely exercising my personal liberty.' But, Brother Russell, since I read MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. 1, a change has come over me, and those practices which I once considered my liberty I now esteem to be my snares and avoid them. The matter came about in this way: I first asked myself, Is that time spent with the rector playing cards a profitable use of my time? Are you doing it to the glory of God? And as for the wine, do you use that to the glory of God? I was obliged to answer both questions in the negative and discontinued both practices. It was not long after this that I found myself striking a match and about to light my usual cigar. The thought of doing all things to the glory of God came to my mind afresh and I said, 'Can you smoke that cigar to the glory of God?' It took a little time to decide the question, for I had been in the habit of smoking on an average ten cigars a day. That match went out and I struck another while still thinking. I finally decided that I could not smoke the cigar to God's glory and I threw it away. It was only a short time after that that I found myself feeling for my fine-cut tobacco, and about to take it as a substitute for the cigar. Again the question arose, Can you chew the tobacco to the glory of God? My judgment answered, No! and I threw away the tobacco. I have never used either since. Conscious that the thing that had influenced me to this course was the reading of the DAWN I reexamined the volume carefully, but could find in it no tirade against the practices I had just discontinued--no recommendations even along sumptuary lines. I want to ask you what it was in the DAWN that effected such a revolution in my life." We replied that the DAWN, instead of attacking the branches of evil, followed the Scriptural course of laying the ax to the root of the tree. Whoever realizes the true meaning of his consecration vow, the true significance of his begettal of the holy Spirit, the true meaning of the perfect law of liberty under which he has come, the law of love, will find it ample for the regulation of all of life's affairs, for he must seek thereafter that whether he eats or drinks or whatever he does all shall be to the glory of God.

"GIVE NONE OFFENCE"

The Apostle carries this thought of our personal responsibility in seeking God's glory to its legitimate conclusion. He shows that we will be disinclined to do anything that will stumble either Jews or Greeks or the Church of God. And he declares in the last verse of the lesson that this was his own course in life--that so far as possible in line with his conscience he sought to be pleasing to all men in all things--disregarding his own advantage and considering chiefly the profit of the many that he might do all possible for their salvation. This noble spirit is the only one consistent with our law of liberty--love which is always generous, thoughtful of the interest of others, unselfish, not proud, boastful, greedy;--not ill-mannered, not careless of the interests and feelings of others, either in the great or in the small things of life--the present or the future. We are glad that the Apostle was able to call attention to his own course as an exemplification of his teaching. And this should be the rule with all of us, not merely to give precepts but to follow them with example.

The Apostle in the next verse, which should be a part of the same chapter, says, "Be ye followers of me, as I also am of Christ." It would have been strangely inconsistent of the Apostle to set himself up as an example in anything except as he had pointed out either directly or indirectly that he could be an example only because he was a follower in the footsteps of the Redeemer. Christ is the pattern of us all, though we may learn to appreciate the grandeur of his example better by our closer contact with some who are walking in his steps and with whose experiences we may be able the more closely to sympathize. O that this lesson of the import of our law of liberty in all the affairs of life might be with us with increasing force, not only in our own affairs but also in our relationship in the Church, the body of Christ, that each might be the more careful as the days go by to exemplify the love of Christ, the love of God, the love of the brethren--the love even of our enemies.



page 175

AN ENCOURAGING LETTER

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--

I have been to St. Paul, Minn., to the Memorial, and learned concerning the prospective Convention to be held there in July. Am delighted the Lord is thus favoring them, as there are many new ones apparently coming in there now. I think that about ten or twelve, who have become interested from the sale of DAWNS, are attending the meetings, and that about ten have made entire consecration.

I was surprised to see the rapid growth of the Church there in zeal and love. You advised them to have a Wednesday evening testimony meeting and use a verse of Scripture for the text and they are carrying it out to the letter. The first Wednesday meeting I attended there were twenty-two present, all living long distances away, and all seemed ready to give testimony along the line of the subject. They use your text for the preceding Sunday's discourse published in the Pittsburg Dispatch. They meet at a different home of the brethren each week until they complete the circuit, as some cannot get to meeting at any other time than when it is at their home.

Minneapolis is carrying out the same plan. Sundays they all meet together, and the Elders are giving some fine discourses.

My heart has been greatly rejoiced of late to learn of three who after being stirred up by your discourse at Lynn, Mass., in January accepted the terms of consecration and complied therewith. They were from my home town in Nova Scotia, some of my warmest friends. I gave two of them the "Plan of the Ages" seven years ago, but they never read it or valued the Truth in the least until they heard you in January.

I thought I would write you privately about these things, as your heart would be rejoiced to learn of the prosperity of the Kingdom work anywhere. We are always rejoiced when anyone is benefited by the sale of the books, and I know you must be even more so. I have a friend who is reading with great interest, and is accepting the Truth as fast as she sees it. I have been almost sure her life has been consecrated to the Lord for years, it has been so beautiful. She cannot afford to pay for the TOWER and will you kindly place her name on the Lord's poor list.

Yours in him,
E. E. M.,--Minn.



page 177
June 1st

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

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

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

SEMI-MONTHLY
VOL. XXVIIIJUNE 15No. 12
A.D. 1907--A.M. 6035


CONTENTS

Admonitions for the Consecrated179
Patience and Forbearance Commended180
"Consider One Another to Provoke"181
"Love Seeketh Not Her Own"182
Led by a Way that They Knew Not183
"The Bread that Came Down from Heaven"184
"Come Near Before the Lord"185
This Doth God Require186
The Law Covenant for Israel Only187
"Fulfil the Law of Christ"188
A Scape-goat Query190
Some Interesting Letters191

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

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

page 178

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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.


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THE INDIANAPOLIS CONVENTION, JUNE 14-17


ALL SESSIONS IN "TOMLINSON HALL," COR. DELAWARE AND MARKET STS.
BUREAU OF INFORMATION IN UNION DEPOT RAILROAD RATES

We have secured a rate of two cents per mile within the territory of the Central Passenger Association, embracing railroads west of Buffalo, Pittsburg and Wheeling, in Ohio, Indiana, Lower Michigan and a considerable portion of Illinois. Excursion tickets should be asked for the "Watch Tower Convention, Indianapolis." These tickets will require to be signed at Indianapolis before using on return passage, and will be sold on June 13th and 14th, and be good for return journey to leave Indianapolis not later than June 18th, and return ticket must be signed in the presence of the Agent. (However, in a considerable portion of this territory, the two cent a mile rate already prevails without a special excursion ticket.)

The Western Association has declined to make any special concession; friends from that territory must do the best they can in the matter of purchasing tickets. Remember the "mileage" plan; or, where a number are in one party, the "theatrical rate."

The Eastern Trunk Lines Association, governing New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey, and Maryland Railroads, will grant us a special rate, on a signature ticket, of two cents a mile each way, provided we can furnish at once the names and addresses of those desirous of attending. Friends within this territory desirous of attending the Indianapolis Convention will say so at once; a postal card will do. On receipt of it we will procure a special order for a ticket and mail it to you.

Friends from Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, etc., desirous of attending the Convention at Indianapolis should ADVISE US AT ONCE, so that we may procure for them from the railroads orders for two-cent-per-mile rates.

Reports seem to indicate that there will be a large gathering at Indianapolis.

ACCOMMODATIONS

In private residences accommodations can be had for 50c and $1.00 each per night. In hotels board and lodging can be procured for $1, $1.25, $2, and upward to $5 per day.

Write at once, if you wish us to procure accommodations, stating briefly and pointedly what kind, number of persons, sex and color, and if married couples wish to room together. Do not expect any alteration of your party's location after writing. If others join it later they will be accommodated in the order of notification. Address all letters to C. A. Wise, 1112 W. 30th St., Indianapolis, Ind.



BRITISH PILGRIMAGE OF BRO. A. E. WILLIAMSON


Thornhill,          Eng.     June     26 East Kirkby,       Eng.     July 12, 13
Oldham,              "         "      27 Liverpool,          "        "   14, 15
Macclesfield,        "         "      28 Warrington,         "        "       16
Manchester,          "         "  29, 30 Atherstone,         "        "       17
Poulton-le-Fylde,            July      1 Leicester,          "        "   18, 19
Belfast,            Ire.       "   3,  4 Nottingham,         "        "   20, 21
Bangor,              "         "       6 Worcester,          "        "       22
Dublin,              "         "   7,  8 Tewkesbury,         "        "       23
Carlow,              "         "      10 Cardiff,          Wales      "   24, 25



[R4008 : page 179]

ADMONITIONS FOR THE CONSECRATED

"I write unto thee...that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."--I Tim. 3:14,15.

IT is one thing to make our consecration to the Lord, to be his and to serve him even unto death, and another thing to carry out that service day by day in all the little details of life. Our Lord's words --that he that is faithful in that which is least would be faithful also in greater things--is well illustrated by the fact that it would be comparatively easy for us to finish our sacrifice by suicide, or even by going to the stake, and a much more difficult thing to day by day hold our sacrifice on the altar in all the little affairs of life--in self-denials, in patience, in perseverance, in brotherly kindness, in gentleness--to receive reviling and revile not again, to be smitten mentally or physically and not to retaliate; this endurance of a lingering crucifixion-death is much more difficult. But we can readily see that the Lord's plan is greatly to our advantage, in the sense that while the consecration evidences a right spirit, will or intention, the gradual carrying out of that consecration tends more and more to develop the character-likeness of our Lord in us. Hence the Apostle urges that we learn to rejoice even in tribulations, knowing that they will work out in us various fruits and graces of the Lord's Spirit, as we receive them in the proper attitude of heart and seek to learn the lessons they teach.

GOOD BEHAVIOR IN THE CHURCH

Recognizing that we are all defective according to the flesh, that none of us come up to the divine standard of perfection, and that our only perfection is that of the heart, the will, we must not wonder if occasionally we have trials and testings, aggravations, one from the other, though it must be the will, the desire, the intent of each to provoke one another to love and good works and not to anger, hatred and evil works. (Heb. 10:24.) For ourselves we must recognize the very highest standard of God-likeness, and as for others of the Body we must be prepared to allow our love for them and for the Lord to cover a multitude of blemishes should they appear to us. And each one, in proportion as he or she follows this course, is pleasing to the Lord, is pure in heart--a copy of God's dear Son-- and, covered with the robe of the Redeemer's merit, is considered from God's standpoint, not according to his imperfect flesh, but according to his perfect-intentioned heart or will. To us, "in the Church" does not signify in a meeting-house, but amongst the Lord's people. Neither does it mean merely when we are assembled together, but it includes all of our dealings with them, every day and all the time. And we all should desire to learn the lesson how we ought to conduct ourselves in or amongst the members of the Church, the Body of Christ, the tabernacle of the holy Spirit amongst men.

Everywhere in the Bible the Lord sets before us perfect Love as the standard, and we must therefore suppose that all who have passed the standard of babes in Christ, and have come to some measure of knowledge of the Lord through his Word and Spirit, recognize this love standard and are seeking to conform to it. We must therefore suppose that the difficulties which from time to time arise amongst such are largely because of imperfect development of knowledge and experience in applying the love standard, as well as because of imperfections of the flesh. Hence the Scriptural exhortation that we grow in grace as well as in knowledge, and that we be more and more filled with the Spirit of the Lord, the spirit of love, the spirit of a sound mind, the spirit of brotherly kindness, the spirit of meekness, the spirit of patience--the holy Spirit.

ARE CONTENTIONS NECESSARY?

We reply that they are sometimes, but not nearly so often as they occur. There is just one ground of contention authorized, and we find it in the words, "Contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the [R4008 : page 180] saints." (Jude 3.) But since the spirit of contention is everywhere in the Bible reprehended, we must understand the Apostle to mean that only the important points of our faith are to be contended for. We must not give place to any who deny the personality of the heavenly Father, and who would teach in the Church that God is a great big nothing, merely a principle of good; and if there is anything good in the sense of useful in the piece of iron or wood or stone or in any other substance, there is that much of God in it. We must contend earnestly against such vain philosophies, as being not only foreign to the faith once delivered to the saints, but antagonistic to it to the last degree. We must contend also for the ransom, because it is the very foundation of the faith once delivered to the saints --that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures and that he rose for our justification. This would imply a contention against various false claims, such as that our Lord was not made flesh but remained a spirit being, to whom death was quite impossible--that he merely assumed for a time the human body, pretending that it was himself, and pretending that he died when it died.

We must hold to the faith once delivered to the saints, that our Lord left the glory which he had with the Father before the world was, that he humbled himself and was made flesh, and that he did this not as an example, but that he by the grace of God "tasted death for every man"--that he might die the Just for the unjust to bring us to God. This means additionally that we must contend that his death was a real death, the Just for the unjust, else our faith in him as a Savior and Redeemer would depart. Furthermore, if we did not believe that he really died, really gave himself as a corresponding price for father Adam, thus purchasing him and his race, how could we believe in his resurrection from the dead? How could anyone be resurrected from death if he had not gone into it? We must also hold to and contend earnestly for the great fact that God's work during this Gospel Age is the selection of the Bride of Christ--the Church of the First-born-- and that this election, completed at our Lord's second coming, will have its consummation in the resurrection of the little flock to glory, honor and immortality in the Kingdom, as the Royal Priesthood under Christ their Royal Head and High Priest, that as the Spiritual Seed of Abraham they may fulfil the Abrahamic Covenant, "In thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." For all these fundamentals of our religion, including the declaration that sin entered into the world by Adam's transgression and that we are all partakers of his sin and of its penalty, and all need redemption--all these first principles of the faith we must stand for, contend for. To be indifferent to these and to allow error to creep in and to be promulgated, taught in the Church, would be a serious sin and show unfaithfulness on the part of those who had pledged themselves as soldiers of the cross to defend it.

But aside from such fundamentals, the Lord's people should seek to exercise great moderation amongst themselves upon any point of doctrine not clearly enunciated--upon the meaning of any parable not explained in the Scripture itself. Neither should there be any dispute or division as respects Brother Russell or any other brother. Each should be allowed to exercise his own judgment in respect to things not specifically stated in the Word of God. Each should feel a delicacy or reserve about promulgating any doctrine or matter not specifically and clearly taught in the Scriptures, and above all he should be sure never to teach or attempt to teach speculations if he himself is not thoroughly convinced respecting the same. Each one has enough to contend with in the twists and kinks of his own imperfect judgment without having others add to his difficulties by the rehearsal of matters which they admit they do not clearly understand. There is so much in God's Word that is simple and plain and well substantiated that we can talk about and think about, that we are well nigh inexcusable for far-away speculations. The Scriptures declare, "The secret things belong unto God, but the things revealed belong unto us."--Deut. 29:29.

PATIENCE AND FORBEARANCE COMMENDED

If some dear brother has a peculiar theory or hobby and feels that he cannot rest until he has presented it to the Church, there should be some opportunity given him to let off steam--even if it would not be advisable to hear him in the most public manner lest visitors should conclude that his fancies represented the general thought of the Church. But if after he has been heard on some occasion, and it be the judgment of the Church that his theories are unreasonable, unscriptural, he should be content with having given his view; and if he be not content, but desires to ride his theory continually as a hobby, to the annoyance of others and to the interference with the general spirit of worship and progress in study, it would seem to be the duty of the elders to call his attention to the fact, and to remind him that he has been heard, and therefore his urging the matter is in the nature of a contention, not for a fundamental of the truth, but for a theory, and that such contention is reproved [R4009 : page 180] throughout the Scriptures as contrary to the will of the Lord and to the good of his people, themselves included, and that therefore they cannot permit the matter to continue.--Titus 3:9.

The Apostle speaks of those who are "contentious and obey not the truth." (Rom. 2:8.) The intimation is that the contentious spirit or disposition is generally to be found amongst those who are not living up to the spirit of the truth which they have already recognized. They have been attempting to grow in knowledge without growing in grace--in love, in kindness, gentleness, meekness, patience, etc.; and those who are right at heart will be pleased to note this as their difficulty, and to correct the same, because what would it profit us to contend for our theories and cause confusion in the Church of God, and be ultimately reprimanded by the Lord and be unable to pass the examination for perfect love and Christ-likeness, and [R4009 : page 181] therefore be counted unworthy a place in the Bride class! Surely such contentions, such theorizings, are well worthy of the Apostle's reprimand, and well worthy to be heeded by us all.

The Apostle's exhortation that "nothing be done through strife or vain-glory" gives another suggestion along this line, namely, that some have naturally the spirit of strife, and therefore more to overcome along this line than have some others. Some, it is intimated, have a vain-glorious spirit, the spirit of pride and ambition, which gets themselves and others into difficulty. But are we to reject those who are naturally combative, naturally ambitious? Are we to say that they therefore are not of the Body, and cut them off? By no means; rather we should seek to so exemplify the proper course in our own conduct as to impress a lesson upon them and upon all with whom we have contact. Wherever we see a wrong spirit in another our first thought should be, Have I any of that disposition myself? and our first correction should be in our own hearts and conduct. Thus casting the mote or beam out of our own eyes we would be the better prepared to approach our brother with gentleness and kindness, and unobtrusively to render him assistance in getting the better of his difficulties.

BEREANS WHO "FIGHT TO A FINISH"

Some of the Lord's dear brethren of excellent heart and noble intention seem to get the improper thought in connection with the Berean studies. They seem to say to themselves, There can be but one right thought on this subject, and that one the truth; and everyone else here should want the truth, and we should contend and dispute on this question if necessary all night and fight the matter until some one gives up and sees that he is wrong. This is an evil thought entirely, and is productive of great discomfort and disadvantage, and a hindrance to spirituality in various classes. On the one hand we are to appreciate more those who do some thinking of their own about a subject than those who do no thinking, and who merely swallow a statement set forth by others. But there is a proper limit to be observed: the Lord has had great patience with us all in our slowness to learn, and surely we should be patient with each other. He lays down line upon line, precept upon precept, and is slow to anger and plenteous of mercy, and very generous toward all those who give evidence of desiring to do his will.

We certainly are not authorized to do less than this in his name and as his representatives. Rather our realization of our own obtuseness in the past should make us very sympathetic with others who are slow to see, slow to hear, slow to understand. Each therefore should be content if he have a reasonable opportunity for presenting his view on any question, and should not attempt to enforce and crowd it in upon another. If the Editor has stated his view, and one or more do not see the matter exactly so, and the question is not fundamental, then it would be the proper course to let the matter rest there, and to allow the Lord eventually as the great Teacher, through his providences to gradually bring us to where we could the more completely see eye to eye. In this we have the opportunity for learning the lesson of patience and forbearance, brotherly kindness, meekness, gentleness--Love.

"CONSIDER ONE ANOTHER TO PROVOKE"

If anyone of a contentious mind would set himself about it, he would have no difficulty in provoking in others resentment and evil works; but the Apostle urges, that having the holy Spirit of love dwelling in our hearts, we should consider one another to provoke unto love and good works. We should study one another's natural dispositions from a sympathetic standpoint, with a view to helping each other over difficulties and weaknesses. And how much of this is possible! Frequently it is possible by speaking a kind word, gently, sympathetically, lovingly, to help some dear brother or sister to keep balanced--to overcome some of his or her weaknesses, the expression of which would be injurious to himself as well as to the Church or others. How we should all study this spirit of helpfulness and recognize it as the spirit of love, the Spirit of the Lord! Let us remember that a soft answer, a kind and gentle word, may be helpful and turn away anger, but that grievous words and strifeful words, cutting words, sarcastic words, are almost sure to stir up anger. (Prov. 15:1.) Let us therefore study more and more to be gentle toward all and kind and affectionate one toward another, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.--Eph. 4:32.

Another point upon which forbearance and consideration seem very necessary is in respect to the choosing of leaders. Some very devoted brethren seem to get the impression that they should have no part in electing as an Elder anyone they could not endorse in every particular. We agree that no immoral person should be chosen to eldership under any consideration, and that if an Elder be found to be immoral his resignation should be immediately called for. But usually this is not the ground of difference: the Lord's people would never knowingly choose an immoral person as a standard-bearer or leader in spiritual things. But suppose that in a congregation there be one person whom the majority may consider vastly superior and better qualified every way than any other of their number to be their Elder or leader, and suppose that a minority of the congregation have a liking for the presentations or manners or what not of another brother, and suppose that another minority have a preference for still another brother, or at least a desire to see him brought forward into the public service of the Church, believing that he has talents that could be used of the Lord to his glory. What shall each party do?--fight it out on political lines and say, We have power, and therefore authority to elect our man, and you must either join in this or quit the company? By no means!

This might be "good politics" amongst the worldly, but it would be quite out of harmony with the spirit of love which must govern in the Church. In gaining such a victory we might wound one or more of the Lord's [R4009 : page 182] brethren, might offend our Lord, and do ourselves incalculable injury in our race for the great prize. Such a "victory" would be a defeat of our real aims and aspirations --a victory for our great Adversary. Are we not to consider one another, and seek not every man merely his own preferences, but seek to build one another up in the most holy faith? The spirit of love would therefore seem to dictate that more than one Elder should be elected in such a case--two or three or more, as the supply of material and the desires of the company could be reasonably interpreted, without violating the general directions of the Lord's Word. A fair and reasonable decision should be such as would be proportionate to the number of the brethren. Some might be found specially well adapted to the leading of one kind of meeting and others to the leading of another kind, and the Apostle points out that we have need of every member of the body, so that the eye cannot even say to the hand or the foot--I have no need of you. The thought we should have in mind is that there is plenty of room for all of the Lord's people to do service.

When the Apostle points out the qualifications of an Elder he mentions the ideal, just as our Lord mentions the ideal to us all when he says, "Be ye like unto your Father which is in heaven." We cannot be like the heavenly Father fully, completely, but we can have him as our standard or pattern to which we are striving to attain. Similarly, few elders may come up to the standard of qualification mentioned by the Apostle, but these qualifications should not be overlooked by any in their expression of a choice, or rather in their expression of what they believe to be the Lord's choice in the matter. "Forbearing one another in love," says the Apostle. O, how this forbearance and consideration of one another's preferences, tastes, views, would help to make us all more and more like the glorious Lord himself, and how it would smooth many of the wrinkles and difficulties, and bring peace in every little company of the Lord's people! We are not thinking of nor striving for the kind of peace and quiet that prevails in the graveyard or which prevails in the sleeping room, but the kind which the Lord would approve amongst those who are awake and alive and thoroughly consecrated to him, and forbearing and considering one another because of their love for the Head and for all those who are seeking to walk in his steps. [R4010 : page 182]

"LOVE SEEKETH NOT HER OWN"

All of the Lord's people should gradually come more and more to be ashamed of a self-seeking spirit and disposition and to appreciate more and more the spirit of love, which thinks not of personal interests but of the good of others, especially those of the household of faith. If a brother thinks that he has some talents which he would be pleased to use in the Lord's service in the Church, it is proper for him to be on the alert for opportunity to use these, but also proper for him to avoid imposing himself or his services on the Church. While glad to serve the Church freely, without money or price, while glad to give time, strength, energy and every talent to the service of the Truth, the spirit of meekness as well as the spirit of wisdom should hinder him from crowding his services upon the Church more than the latter could appreciate. Better go gently, and trust to the Lord to guide and to eventually indicate who shall serve the Church and to what extent they shall serve and in what capacity. This, the Lord's way, the Scriptural way, will be found to be the wisest one--any other course will sooner or later bring difficulty to all concerned.

"WHOM THE SON MAKES FREE"

It is difficult for many of us to keep balanced respecting our personal liberties: we are largely influenced by the customs and practices of those surrounding us, and need continually to hearken to the voice of the Lord in his Word. Because in Babylon it is customary that nothing should be done without ordination, a feeling sometimes creeps in amongst those less developed in grace and truth that is somewhat in accord with that: the feeling, for instance, that no meetings must be held except as they are appointed by the Church and conducted by one of the elected elders. There are advantages coming from a recognition of the oneness of the Church, and the appointing of meetings when and where they may be most helpful and to be led by those esteemed to have superior qualifications. But we must never lose sight of the fact that neither the Lord nor the apostles placed any limitations upon the liberties of individuals, and hence we may not do so. Note our Lord's words--"Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." (Matt. 18:20.) That promise is as true today as it ever was, and places no restriction upon any of the Lord's people.

If, therefore, any of the Lord's flock feel that their best spiritual interests are not served by the arrangements already made by the Church, they are fully at liberty to start a meeting that will be more helpful to them--any kind of a meeting not in conflict with the provisions of the Scriptures. In case of such a necessity seeming to present itself to any, our advice would be that they seek to appoint such meetings at a time and place that would not be in conflict with the appointments of the general congregation. If then it be desirable, as we hold that it generally is, that the Church should take a general supervision of such matters, it should recognize its responsibility and appoint a sufficiency of meetings and of the desired kinds, and under such leadership as will meet the necessities of the dear people--that all may be fed, that all may be strengthened, that all may progress, and that all may be maintained in unity of heart and in love and fellowship and cooperation.

This may be as suitable a time as any for mentioning again, what has already been emphasized in DAWN STUDIES, Vol. VI., namely, that in our opinion the Lord's dear flock grow most in grace and strength where testimony meetings and Berean classes and [R4010 : page 183] DAWN studies are given quite a prominent place amongst their meetings. In these social gatherings, especially in the meetings devoted to testimony, prayer and praise, the dear friends have opportunities for getting into sympathetic touch with one another, which is most helpful, and which binds them more together in the bonds of Christian love than perhaps any other meetings could do. In the Allegheny Church these meetings are held every Wednesday evening, and are eight in number, in various parts of Pittsburg and suburbs. The average attendance for last quarter was more than one hundred and fifty, and the influence going out from these meetings is, we believe, excellent. How glad we would be if all the dear company who are able would attend them and partake of their refreshing influences. Many, we are sure, if obliged to choose one kind of meeting only would vote for the testimony meeting, or else that the testimony feature be made an important part of some other meeting. Let us remember that this is much of the kind of a meeting described by the Apostle in the early Church, as "When you come together."--I Cor. 14:26.



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LED BY A WAY THAT THEY KNEW NOT
--EXODUS 16:1-15.--JULY 7.--

Golden Text:--"I am the living bread which came down from heaven."--John 6:51.

FULL of exultation at their great deliverance by the mighty hand of God, the Israelites, still guided by the cloudy pillar, journeyed for the promised land by a circuitous route. They started upon the journey, which lasted forty years, while it might have been accomplished in as many days. The object of the long delay was their instruction in righteousness, especially in faith. This would have been profitable for any people, but especially for a subject people born in a state of serfdom, and hence unused to liberty and initiative. But, more than this, natural Israel was intended of the Lord to constitute a type or shadow of spiritual Israel, and the lessons of the former were to be illustrative of the lessons of the latter. Whoever has read the story of Israel, and failed to discern that they and their experiences were foreshadowings of better things coming, has failed to get the gist of the lesson the Lord would teach. The experiences and instructions of the wilderness journey remind us of the poet's words, "God moves in a mysterious way his wonders to perform."

The first lesson of the journey showed that the people had much to learn along the lines of faith and trust in the Lord. One would have thought that the plagues upon Egypt resulting in their liberty would have been convincing proof to them of divine favor, and would have secured them from every doubt and fear that he who had begun a good work on their behalf would surely not desert them on the threshold. Nevertheless, after journeying for three days slowly they came to the waters of Marah, and sore was their disappointment when they found that they had been appropriately named--Marah, signifying bitter. The waters were brackish and unpalatable and unfit for use. A great murmuring ascended from all sides, the disappointment was intense. Where was Moses? Why was the water brackish? The cry of the people to Moses was in unbelief, reproach; but Moses cried unto the Lord in faith, and the Lord showed him a tree which, cast into the waters, acted as a medicine, sweetening them, making them fit for use. The lesson to the people must have been a valuable one, leading them to trust the Lord more fully and to realize his continued care for their interests.

Water, one of the most important elements for human sustenance, is used in the Scriptures to represent the Truth --the message of God--the hope of everlasting life. In a certain sense the Law Covenant made with Israel was such a hope, such a fountain of water, of which the Israelites might drink and be refreshed and be enabled to gain eternal life. But while the Law was good in many respects, it had in it certain condemnatory qualities which hindered it from giving to the Israelites the refreshment and the life everlasting which they had hoped for. The Law made nothing perfect, writes the Apostle--yea, he adds, that which was thought to be unto life was found to be unto death.--Rom. 7:10.

HEALING THE BRACKISH WATERS

Moses, the Mediator of the Law Covenant, typified the Christ (Head and Body), the Mediator of the New Covenant, and the tree that Moses cast into the waters for their sweetening represented another tree--the one referred to in the statement, "Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree." (Gal. 3:13.) The tree represented the cross of Christ, the agency through which the waters of truth and divine law become waters of grace and blessing for the world of mankind in general when, in the Millennial Age, they shall be delivered from the bondage of Satan and sin, represented by the slavery of Egypt. As the Apostle points out, it will not be possible for God to make a new law under which to bless mankind, for the Law given to Israel was good, was perfect, as the law of God must always be. The divine promises represented by the water were poisoned by sin-- by Adam's disobedience--and hence were unsuitable and could not give the desired blessing. The cross of Christ, by cancelling Adamic sin, cancelled also the condemnation of the divine law against mankind, and eventually will permit the great antitypical Mediator to make the gracious promises of God good, refreshing, applicable to all who seek to walk in the ways of the Lord. The New Covenant between God and Israel, in which all the families of the earth are to share the benefit, will shortly be sealed with the precious blood--be confirmed, made operative. It merely waits for the completion of the sacrifices of the Day of Atonement, and meantime the Church of the First-born are counted in as members of the Body of the Mediator, and permitted to suffer with him--to share with him in the sufferings of the present time, that they may also have a share in the glory that shall follow, when the New Covenant shall be sealed, and through it the blessing of the Lord extend to every creature. [R4011 : page 184]

"Traveling o'er the desert's scorching sand,
Father, lead me! grasp my hand.
Lead me on! Lead me on!
When at Marah, parched with heat,
And the sparkling fountain greet,
Make the bitter water sweet.
Lead me on! Lead me on!"

The New Creation is not under the Law but under grace--not under the Law Covenant nor under the New Covenant, but under the original Covenant, the "Everlasting Covenant," which reads, "In thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." As the Apostle assures us, it is the privilege of the Church of the First-born, who make their calling and election sure, to constitute members of the "Seed," which under the New Covenant is to bless first natural Israel and subsequently all nations: "Ye, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise." (Gal. 4:28.) "If ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's Seed, and heirs according to the promise." (Gal. 3:29.) The original Covenant, as the Apostle explains, was typified by Sarah: that Covenant was the mother of our Lord and of all his members. We have nothing to do with the Hagar Covenant, the Law Covenant, nor with the Keturah Covenant, the New Covenant, except that the promise is that in and through the elect Seed of the Sarah Covenant the offspring of both the other covenants, are to receive their blessings.

TWELVE FOUNTAINS AND SEVENTY PALMS

A journey of a few hours brought the Israelites to Elim, noted for its twelve fountains, or springs, and its seventy palm trees. It was a delightful resting place, symbolical of the blessings which may be enjoyed after our trials. The twelve springs, fountains, remind us of the apostles, God's special gift or blessing to the Church, through whom have come the refreshments of the water of life, and who are to be prominent also, according to the Lord's promise, in the Kingdom--in the work of blessing Israel and all the nations. The seventy palm trees remind us of the seventy whom our Lord commissioned subsequently to the twelve apostles, and whose ministries typified the public services of this Gospel Age down to its harvest or close. As the seventy were directed to go into every city whither our Lord would ultimately go, and were instructed, "Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel until the Son of man be come," it signified that our mission is to all nations, peoples, kindreds and tongues, wherever we may find a hearing ear, with the assurance that we shall not have more than accomplished the work of declaring the good tidings to every nation until the second coming of the Son of man in the power and great glory of his Kingdom.

Our lesson opens with the declaration that the Israelites removed from Elim, going toward Mount Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month--just thirty days from the time they left Egypt, following the Passover. Apparently, therefore, they stayed at Elim about two weeks before entering the wilderness region surrounding Mount Sinai, one of whose peaks was called Mount Horeb, where God manifested himself to Moses in the burning bush. Not only had Moses made this journey several times, but Aaron also, for we remember that after the Lord's first revelation at the burning bush he sent Aaron to Moses and they met in Horeb, the Mount of God. That meeting of Moses and Aaron prior to the passing over of the first-born, etc., might not improperly be understood to symbolize the beginning of this Gospel Age, and to be a picture of the two features of the work of Christ: Aaron representing the sacrificial work as the priest, and Moses representing the future work as the leader and commander of the people. The Church of the First-born was typically represented in the under-priests, the sons of Aaron, and also typically represented in the body of Moses, illustrating our participation in the sufferings of Christ in this present time and also our inheritance in him in the glory that shall follow.

The journeying of the people toward Mount Sinai, then, would represent the carrying out of the great program outlined at the beginning, when Moses and Aaron met by divine arrangement; the gathering of all the hosts of Israel to Mount Sinai typified not the blessings which came to the Church at Pentecost, but the blessings which are about to come to the world, all mankind who are ready and willing to receive them under the New Covenant. The covenant made with natural Israel at Sinai by Moses, the mediator of that Law Covenant, typified specifically the new and better Covenant about to be made with Israel, and incidentally with the whole world of mankind through the better Mediator, the Christ, Head and Body. The Apostle clearly sets this forth in his delineations in Hebrews 12, where he pictures the time of trouble in the end of this age in connection with the sealing of the New Covenant with its type at Mount Sinai when and where the Law Covenant was sealed and made effective. His intimation is that in the trouble near at hand everything that can be shaken, political, social, religious, financial, will be shaken thoroughly, until only the unshakable, true things, shall remain. And these unshakable things he tells us will be related to the Kingdom of Messiah in which we shall share, "We receiving a Kingdom that cannot be shaken."

"THE BREAD THAT CAME DOWN FROM HEAVEN"

Travelers tell us that the wilderness surrounding Sinai is far from barren. One declares: "The whole sides of the valley through which the children of Israel marched are still tufted with brushwood, which doubtless afforded food for their beasts. Lastly, the herbage under these trees and shrubs is completely covered with snails of a prodigious size and of the best sort. However uninviting such a repast might appear to us, they are here esteemed a great delicacy. These mollusks of the land would aid in sustaining the people."

We can see, however, that so mighty a host would have a very limited bill of fare, and realizations of the conditions will help us to sympathize with them in their murmurings when they said, "Would to God we had died by the hands of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness to kill the whole assembly with hunger." It appeared to them that their first hopes had died, that no preference of the Lord had been shown them, and that they should have continued under the Egyptian bondage. We see their lack of faith and that the lessons of the plagues and the sea and the healing of [R4011 : page 185] the waters of Marah had not given them full assurance of faith that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was leading them forth to fulfil in them his glorious promises made to the fathers--the blessing of the world.

But while blaming them for lack of faith we are not to blame them for desiring some of the necessities of life, nor does the Lord blame them for the latter; rather he was waiting for them to appreciate their need, so that they might the better appreciate the bountiful provision which he had intended. In answer to their cry God sent them bread from heaven--not indeed baked, cut in slices and buttered, but according to the Lord's usual way he did for them what they could not do for themselves: he provided the substance from which they might make their bread. The distribution of the manna and its daily sending through a long period marks it as a miracle.

There are indeed other mannas from that desert of Arabia. One kind is exuded in drops from the tamarisk tree, and is a sweet, semi-fluid substance. The manna of commerce is an exudation from the flowering ash. But none of the known mannas of Arabia correspond to this described in Exodus: (1) The supply is very small and only at special seasons of the year; (2) they are unsuitable for food; (3) they can be kept indefinitely. The manna of the Israelites spoiled after twenty-four hours except that gathered on the sixth day, which corrupted not for forty-eight hours, leaving a rest from the gathering on the seventh day, the Sabbath. It was ground in mills, and baked as bread or stewed. By this miracle of the manna the Lord taught the Israelites faith in him as their great Provider.

To Spiritual Israelites there is a lesson in connection with the manna also: it is Scripturally called the "bread of angels," and again, the "bread of the mighty," and again, the "bread of heaven." (Psa. 78:25.) It was a food supplied by the Lord's providence. Our Lord Jesus tells us that he was the antitype of this bread--that it typified the life-giving qualities which he possessed and which he sacrificed on our behalf; that all the dying race might profit through his death and obtain a right to life eternal. Thank God that some of us have had the eyes of our understanding opened to hear the message of good tidings respecting its value. More than [R4012 : page 185] this, some of us have already tasted that the Lord is gracious, and we have already fed on this bread from heaven, rejoicing the while that it is not only for the First-born but for all Israel--for all who eventually shall desire to come into accord with our God. It was some of this manna that by divine direction was put into the golden pot which was hidden in the ark with the scroll of the Law under the golden mercy seat, typifying, illustrating, the immortality which the Lord has provided for the Church of the First-born, to whom he has sent the message, "To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna." (Rev. 2:17.) That incorruptible hidden manna in the golden pot represents the grace of God in the Church of the First-born, and teaches what is elsewhere plainly stated in the Scriptures, that the "little flock" shall enjoy the incorruptible life, immortality. While these will have inherent life, the remainder of God's creatures in their eternal perfection will instead of this have supplied to them eternal life.

"COME NEAR BEFORE THE LORD"

The lesson of faith was to be so impressed before the sending of the manna that its coming was foretold, and the Israelites were gathered to behold the glory of the Lord. They looked at the cloud which represented the Lord and which was caused to shine with resplendent glory. And as Aaron spoke to the congregation, telling them that their murmurings had been against the Lord and not against himself and Moses, and directing their attention to the cloud, behold, the glory, the brightness, of the Lord appeared in the cloud, and a message, saying, "I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel: speak unto them saying, At even shall ye eat flesh and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I am the Lord your God." How patient was the Lord in his dealings with his people--full of compassion and of tender mercy. The people should have cried unto the Lord, "Give us this day our daily bread," but should not have murmured and stipulated that they wanted something as good as the flesh-pots of Egypt.

Many Spiritual Israelites may learn a lesson along this line. It is not for us to dictate to the Lord how he shall provide for us, but by faith to accept his provision according to his promises, and while waiting for the same to make our requests, make them unto the Lord--but always according to his will. "Thy will be done" should be the spirit of our hearts, and hence the spirit of our prayers. Our Father knoweth what things we have need of before we ask him, and he is more willing to give good gifts unto his children than are earthly parents to give good gifts to theirs.

"He that hath led will lead all through the wilderness;
He that hath fed will feed; he that hath blessed, will bless."

QUAIL ABOUT TWO CUBITS DEEP

Travelers tell us that in the spring of the year large flocks of quail frequently cross the Arabian Gulf of the Red Sea. They come in great flocks, and, wearied with their long flight across the water, they fly low, so as to be easily within the reach of man. Tristram says, "I have myself found the ground in Algeria in the month of April covered with quail for an extent of many acres at daybreak, where on the preceding afternoon there had been none." The reading of Numbers 11:7 seems to imply that on this occasion the quail were nearly two cubits deep, and infidels have pointed to the fact as an absurdity. It would be entirely possible, however, for us to understand the narrative to signify that the great quantities of quail flew low, even within two cubits of the ground, thus insuring a large catch on the part of the flesh-hungry Israelites. The subsequent narrative indicates that the quail were not sent regularly, but only on rare occasions--so far as appears only here in the wilderness of Sinai and in the wilderness of Paran.-- Numbers 11:31-34.

The next morning after the shower of quail the Israelites had a new experience with the "corn from heaven." It came with the dew, and when the latter left the little grains of food were scattered all over the country side. Thenceforth it became a part of the regular labor of each family to gather its portion of the heavenly manna. The word manna [R4012 : page 186] is supposed to signify, What is it? Moses answered, "It is the bread which the Lord hath given you to eat." What a constant reminder they would have, in the necessity for gathering this grain, grinding it, making bread of it, etc., of the Lord's providential care for their interests. How full of faith and loyalty to him they should have subsequently become --more and more as the days went by. We are, therefore, continually astonished to find evidences of lack of faith and a disposition to contamination with idolatry, etc. If all this seems strange to us we should allow it to make a deep impression upon our minds and apply it to ourselves. For have not we the true Bread that came down from heaven? and has not God so arranged our affairs and interests that it is quite necessary for us to go continually to the throne of the heavenly grace to obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need? Nevertheless, is it not true that many find their hearts overcharged with the cares of this life, and that their faith in the Lord continually needs to be refreshed? How few there are who go regularly to the throne of grace to obtain their supply of daily refreshment! How few who belong to the New Creation realize that the New Creature needs daily bread as much as does the natural man.

The supply of manna was a beautiful figure of the supply of grace in Christ: it needed to be gathered daily; it would not keep over for succeeding days. The lesson of this would seem to be that those who accumulate much of God's grace and truth must also be dispensers of it. It is not provided with a view to the creation of a spiritual aristocracy. How often we have seen this exemplified: those who study the Word merely for themselves, and who do not commingle with the brethren and share their blessings, are not in the long run as much advantaged as we would have expected. Our gathering of the manna is to be day by day: our feeding on the heavenly bread is to be a continuous privilege, without which we will not have the strength for the journey of life; but with it we would be strong in the Lord, and may perchance be permitted to assist others by the dispensing of divine grace to them.

When our Lord declared himself to be the Bread from heaven, many of his hearers failed to comprehend the simile, and said, "This is a hard saying. Will this man give us of his flesh to eat?" They failed to see that our Lord personified the Truth, the great plan of God which centered in him, the life which he had come to give on behalf of the world, that we might live through him. To eat the flesh of Jesus literally would have merely produced flesh, but to eat of him in the sense of partaking of the blessings and mercies of God provided in him, and in the sense of appropriating his Spirit and disposition, is the proper thought. As we partake of our Lord's qualities they become ours, as we feed upon him in our hearts we become strong in faith and in all the graces of his Spirit. Let us then daily gather our portion of manna and daily seek to use it all, and realize that it will be our portion until we reach the heavenly Canaan. Surely then all the supply of divine grace experienced by the Lord's faithful should be stimulating to our faith and confidence in him who has called us from darkness into his marvelous light.



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THIS DOTH GOD REQUIRE
--EXODUS 20:1-11.--JULY 14.--

Golden Text:--Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.--Deut. 6:5.

OUR lesson relates to the first four of the ten commandments delivered to the Israelites at Mount Sinai as the basis of the Covenant which the Lord made with the nation of Israel there. The journey from Egypt to Mount Sinai is about 150 miles, and with intermediate stops nearly fifty days were consumed in reaching it. We recall the leading experiences of these fifty days: (1) The passing at the Red Sea; (2) the making sweet the waters of Marah; (3) the rest at the wells of Elim near the palm grove; (4) the beginning of the supply of manna; (5) the smiting of the rock from which gushed waters for their refreshment--typical, as the Apostle tells us, of Christ and the life and refreshment which now come to spiritual Israelites by faith (1 Cor. 10:4); (6) the battle with the Amalekites, in which Israel, untrained to battle, was victorious, while Aaron and Hur upheld the hands of Moses and "the Lord fought for them"; (7) the organization of the nation by the appointment of seventy elders as judges under Moses. [R4013 : page 186]

All of these experiences were designed of the Lord to prepare Israel for further blessings and mercies, and to make them typical of Spiritual Israel and the heavenly favors to be bestowed upon them in due time. When Moses said to Pharaoh that the Lord commanded that the people should go into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to him, it was but a vague statement of a great fact. The sacrifice which the Lord proposed was a consecration of themselves and all that they possessed to him and to his service. The experiences of the fifty days were calculated to establish faith in the Lord, and to ground and establish the hope of the Abrahamic Covenant under which they had essayed to leave Egypt to seek the promised land where the blessing would be granted. They had now arrived at the spot in the wilderness, at Mount Sinai, where God proposed to enter into covenant relationship with them. This was, therefore, the important epoch in their history. God proposed to adopt them as his people, and that Moses should be the mediator between him and them.

THE LAW COVENANT SEALED

The Law was read in the hearing of the elders and representatives of the people, and signified the terms and conditions upon which the Lord would grant them his special favor and blessing. If they would obey his statutes and keep his commandments he would make of them a great nation; he would give them prosperity of every kind; he who would do those things should live, and the blessing of the Lord would prosper his every interest. This implied eternal life, though it is doubtful if the faith of the people could fully grasp this part of the blessing. They all, however, could appreciate the fact that they were promised [R4013 : page 187] health and wealth if obedient to the Law. On the other hand, if disobedient it was to mean to them disease, national and individual sickness, pain, sorrow, poverty. They were called upon to take their stand once and forever. Would they be the Lord's people and nation and enter into this covenant, or would they not? They responded favorably; they declared, "These things will we do." But little did they appreciate the comprehensiveness of these divine commands --they saw only the outward aspect and not the spirit of the Law.

The Apostle assures us that it was impossible for them or for any other members of the imperfect race to fulfil the requirements of that Law in its real spirit and depth-- that the divine Law measures the full capacity of a perfect human being, and hence that no imperfect being, none of the fallen race, could possibly keep that Law. He says of it, "The commandment which was ordained to life, I [we Jews] found to be unto death." (Rom. 7:10.) This was not the fault of the Law, for, as the Apostle declares, the Law was just and perfect and good. It was the fault of the fall, because "there is none righteous, no not one," therefore there is none able to keep the perfect Law in its very spirit. This fact, however, was kindly veiled from the eyes of the Israelites that they might with the greater courage undertake to do their best and receive the full measure of possible blessing under the circumstances. God from the beginning foresaw the entire plan, and meant in this Law Covenant with Israel merely their blessing at the time, and to use them as a type of Spiritual Israel, who as the great antitypical Mediator will in due time provide for them the benefits of the New Covenant, which will make allowance for their imperfections, and during the Millennium bring them and all others of mankind who desire harmony with God back to full relationship with the Creator and to eternal life--destroying wilful evil-doers.

THE LAW COVENANT FOR ISRAEL ONLY

Much needless confusion prevails respecting the application of the Decalogue. Few seem to notice that it was the basis of the Covenant made with Israel, and that it included in its provisions, promises and penalties only the Jewish nation. Its commands had nothing whatever to do with the Egyptians or any other nation of that time or since, neither are they now applicable to Spiritual Israel. Even those Jews once under this Law Covenant needed to be freed from it before they could become espoused to Christ. The Apostle most distinctly states this, saying to the Jews that, so far as its blessings and opportunities were concerned, these ended at the cross of Christ, that Christ made an end of the Law Covenant, nailing it to the cross. (Col. 2:14.) He further shows us that every Jew who believed in Christ needed first to recognize the death or end of the Law Covenant under which he had previously been bound before he could become married to Christ, betrothed to Christ as a member of the Bride class, Spiritual Israel.

It will be remembered that the Apostle tells us that the Law Covenant was typified in Hagar, whose son Ishmael typified the Jewish nation under the bondage of the Law-- not free, not sons of God in the highest sense, not heirs of the Abrahamic Covenant. He points out that this higher position of the sons was represented in Isaac, whose mother, Sarah, represented the original Abrahamic Covenant, which God made 430 years before the Law Covenant was added at Mount Sinai. As Hagar, the bondservant, brought forth her son first, so Natural Israel was developed before Spiritual Israel: as later Sarah bore the true heir to Abraham, so later the Abrahamic Covenant bore the antitypical house of sons, Spiritual Israel, of which Jesus is the Head and the Spirit-begotten ones members. Our Lord also refers to this change of dispensation and shows that all who were of suitable condition of mind in the Jewish nation were privileged to be transferred from the Law Covenant and the Ishmael seed to the better Covenant, as members of the Isaac class, the house of sons. He says he came unto his own and his own received him not [as a nation], but to as many as received him, to them gave he liberty [power, privilege] to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name."--John 1:12.

If the ten commandments, the basis of the Jewish Covenant, were only given to that nation and not to the world, is the world without a covenant? We answer, Yes: the world never has been under any law of God, never has been recognized by God, whose time for dealing with the world is in the future under the terms of the New Covenant, at the hands of the greater Mediator than Moses, namely: Christ, Head and Body. Thus we read, "God has appointed a day in the which he will judge the world in righteousness." (Acts 17:31.) That day has not yet come, hence the world is not on trial, is not being judged, rewarded or punished. The day of the world's trial will as surely come as Natural Israel's time of favor and trial came when they were delivered from Egypt, and as surely as Spiritual Israel's day of favor and judgment came, beginning with our Lord and Pentecost.

Meantime, since the casting off of Natural Israel at the time of our Lord's crucifixion, God has been dealing only with Spiritual Israel, rewarding, punishing, chastising, etc., "every son whom he receiveth"--but not the world, whom he has not received nor entered into covenant relationship with. "The world still lieth in the wicked one," is still blinded by the "god of this world," is still under Adamic condemnation, and therefore still "children of wrath," to whom no favor is due until the inauguration of the Millennial Kingdom.

ALL COMMANDED TO REPENT

With the end of the Jewish Law Covenant, with the accomplishment of Christ's sacrifice at Calvary and the application of the merit thereof to the household of faith, all men everywhere were commanded to repent, and to know that God was prepared to give the trial or testing to all, to the intent that the willing and obedient might be adjudged worthy of everlasting life if assisted thereto through the Redeemer. The law of God was originally written in man's constitution in that he was created in the image and likeness of God, with the qualities of mind which would enable him to appreciate right and wrong, justice and injustice, and esteem righteousness. But the fall largely erased this law from the human heart, until today, in some of the more savage, only the merest trace of conscience and appreciation of right and wrong remain. Consequently the eyes of their [R4013 : page 188] understanding and the ears of their heart remain closed to the message that is now promulgated, urging all everywhere to repent and turn to the Lord. That this is true is demonstrated: our Lord called attention to the fact that few have ears to hear and eyes to see, and declared of some who received his message, "Blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear." Furthermore, the promise is that eventually, during the Millennial age, all the blind eyes shall be opened and all the deaf ears be unstopped.

"FULFIL THE LAW OF CHRIST"

The Decalogue is styled the Law of Moses because, as the Apostle declares, "The Law came by Moses, but grace and truth by Jesus Christ." The Jew who did not receive Christ did not receive the grace and truth, and the Christian who has received Christ and his grace and truth is "not under the Law [Covenant] but under grace." (Rom. 6:14.) The Law of Christ is a very different one from that of the ten commandments, and yet there is an agreement between them, because, though Moses' Law was given to the house of servants and the Law of Christ was given to the house of sons, both emanated from the Father and both are based [R4014 : page 188] upon his eternal law of righteousness.

No wonder, then, that there is a harmony between them. The Law of Christ is positive and is called a new commandment. It does not attempt to say what we shall not do, as did Moses' Law, but taking the positive form tells us what all of Christ's followers shall do, must do, in order to be acceptable to him. His law is that we shall love God and "love one another as I have loved you." Under this divine arrangement with the house of sons he that loveth not is not of God--"if any man have not the Spirit of Christ [the spirit of love] he is none of his," and if he have the spirit of love for God and consequently for his fellowmen he would not think of doing things forbidden the house of servants in the Decalogue. What was proper enough as a prohibition to the natural man would be wholly inappropriate to the members of the New Creation, the Body of Christ, who have been begotten of the holy Spirit of love. What an insult it would be to such to command them not to blaspheme God's name, not to worship other gods, not to kill, not to steal! Would God steal? would God murder? and would any who have been begotten of his Spirit have the wish or desire to do these things? Surely not! Hence the prohibitions contained in the ten commandments are not for the New Creation and were never given to them. As the Apostle declares, "The law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death"--the Mosaic Law.-- Rom. 8:2.

"MOSES GAVE YOU THE LAW"

These were Jesus' words, and he adds, "none of you keepeth it." (John 7:19.) They could not keep it, could not be justified by it. Do we then of the New Creation keep the still higher law of love? and if so, how? The Scriptures answer--"The righteousness of the Law [its requirements --full obedience] is fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit"--who are striving to the best of our ability to be in harmony with the very essence of the divine will, Love. Not that we can walk up to the spirit of the Law, but that when we walk after it with our best endeavors God counts it unto us as though we walked up to its requirements--the merit of Christ our Lord and Head being imputed to and compensating for all our unwilling imperfections.

Nevertheless, although we are not under the Mosaic Law, we--the New Creatures, begotten of the holy Spirit and accepted in the Beloved under the Covenant of grace-- may gain valuable lessons from an examination of the Law of Moses, because the study of it will open wider and wider the eyes of our understanding to see what are the particular and exact requirements of the divine law and our own natural shortcomings. Our study of the Law, however, will not bring to us condemnation, for we remember that we are not under the Law but under grace--not condemned because unable to fulfil every requirement of the Law, but justified before God and the Law through the merit of Jesus when we put forth our best efforts to the accomplishment of the divine will. In the declarations of the Law designed for Natural Israel we see the outlines of the perfect will of God, and the more clearly we discern this the more it will enable us to fulfil the desires of our hearts and to come into fuller accord with God's perfect will in thought, word and deed.

THE FIRST TWO COMMANDMENTS

God properly puts himself first, for he is first, head, chief over all beings and all things, and to him properly belongs their homage, their reverence, and only as mankind come to realize this do they approximate the spirit of a sound mind. The Israelites had been in contact with idolatry in Egypt, and would again be in contact with it when they entered Canaan. The first lesson they were to learn was, "Hear, O Israel, the Lord thy God is one"--Jehovah-- and "thou shalt have no other gods before me." No other rulers of any kind were to be allowed to usurp the place and honor of the great Ruler, nor should they attempt to make any likeness of the true God, for a true representation of him could not be made. They were to bow down to nothing in the sky or on the earth or in the waters as an object of worship, but were to recognize the true God as the invisible one, whose energy and power are everywhere present throughout the universe. Disregard of this command would bring upon them trouble, for God would not consider it a light thing, but would visit the iniquities upon them to the third and fourth generations of those despising him, and would show mercy unto thousands of those loving him and keeping his commandments. The application of this commandment to Natural Israel is very evident; its language is simplicity itself. What lessons can Spiritual Israelites draw from this command given to Natural Israel?

We can, as the Apostle urges, keep our hearts from idols; we are not in danger of making idols of wood or stone or metal in the image of God. We have too thoroughly gotten rid of the ignorance and superstition engendered by the fall to take such a course; but we should remember how natural it is for us to turn the organs of reverence and worship into improper channels, and to give a measure of worship to children or parents or husband or wife or minister; or to have such an appreciation of and desire for honor of men as to reverence their gift of office, or to have such a love for money and the honors and blessings it will give as [R4014 : page 189] to become Mammon worshipers. Thus we may draw valuable lessons from what the Lord said to the house of servants, and although we cannot apply the letter of the commandment to the sons, the latter can get blessings from the spirit of it.

THE THIRD COMMANDMENT

The command, "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain," was evidently very appropriate as a limitation upon the Jews, the house of servants. It forbade profane swearing of every kind, and would be proper for the natural man everywhere and always. Why should any profane the name of the Almighty? Why should not all the world fear so wrong a course? This taking of God's name in vain would include perjury, false swearing, which has always been punished by all civilized peoples. Under the Jewish Law an offender was to be punished with the very penalty which his perjury was intended to prevent. It was punished by the Egyptians with death or mutilation, and by the Greeks with a heavy fine, and ultimately with the loss of civil rights. In the world the man who uses the name of the Deity profanely is properly esteemed to be no gentleman--to be coarse, rude, vulgar. It may well be noted here, however, that nothing in this command even among the Jews would have hindered them from the taking of a legal oath before a court of law. Such oaths are not profane nor taking the Lord's name in vain. They are merely affirmations in public that the thing said is the truth as God knows it to be the truth.

What lesson may the Spiritual Israelite learn from this commandment? We reply that none who are Israelites indeed, begotten of the spirit of love for God, would need any command not to blaspheme his name by profane swearing. We can make still more deep and suitable application of the command, however: we who have accepted Christ, who have vowed the full consecration of all we have and are to the Lord, have been begotten of his Spirit, and been told that we may consider him our Father and ourselves his children--we should realize that in one sense of the word we have taken upon us the name of the Lord. Just the same as a child adopted into a family takes the name of the family, so we have taken upon ourselves the name of the sons of God in accepting the divine proposition to this effect. As we accepted this holy relationship with a realization of what it signifies--"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is (1 John 3:2)--having confessed this relationship before man, it is for us to show and for them and the Lord to see whether it has been in vain or with a sincere heart. If the latter, we will to the extent of our ability be showing forth the praises of him who hath called us out of darkness into his marvelous light, and this thought will help to hold us firm and loyal to our obligations to the Lord and his truth, and to all the members of the household of faith, to each of whom we have become related through this spirit of adoption. In line with this the Apostle exhorts, "See that ye receive not the grace of God in vain." (2 Cor. 6:1.) Our adoption into the Lord's family in the present life is merely on probation. If faithful the matter will be confirmed, and we will be granted our perfect bodies in the First Resurrection and a share with our Redeemer in his glory, honor and immortality. If we receive this relationship in vain sin lieth at the door, and we will be excluded from the family in glory whatever may be our portion either in the Great Company of Rev. 7 or wherever.

THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT TO ISRAEL

In this command the Lord set apart the seventh day in each week that thereon the people should do no work. This would be a blessing to them in giving rest from toil and opportunity for recuperating and for thoughts of him who had made this provision for their necessities. The command contained no obligation to do good, to preach, to teach, nor even to receive instructions on this day. It merely commanded rest, leaving it to the individual Jew to determine how he would employ his own time. By general [R4015 : page 189] consent, however, the nation seemed to recognize the propriety of devoting the Sabbath day to consideration of the divine Law and the precious promises, and even to the prophecies. The appointment of the day was in the interest of all; to the poor it would mean protection from the greed of capital, and to the enterprising and prosperous it would mean a break upon their selfish propensities--the acknowledgment of the Lord and of the interests of their fellow-creatures. With the command was a reminder that in some respects it resembled the course of Jehovah, who, after six creative epochs, "rested on the seventh." The lesson to Natural Israel was plainly evident; what does this command impart to Spiritual Israel?

We might be at a loss to know what lesson would be in this commandment for us did not the Lord through the Apostle make the matter very clear, assuring us that the Sabbath rest of the Jewish nation was typical of the higher and better rest of the house of sons. The Israelites were obliged to rest every seventh day, every seventh year and every jubilee year, that they might make a type of a better rest which God provided, and which would be entered into first by Spiritual Israel and subsequently by Natural Israel and the whole world. The Apostle explains this matter in Hebrews 4, where he speaks of a rest [Sabbath] into which the Spiritual Israelites now enter, represented by the Sabbath day of the Jew, and also of another rest that remaineth for the people of God which we should fear to come short of, namely, the great Sabbath, the Millennial Kingdom--the seventh thousand-year period.

As elsewhere more fully pointed out,* Israel's day Sabbaths every year pointed to a culmination, for following the Passover they counted seven times seven days, which brought them to the fiftieth day or Pentecost. As the Passover typified the death of Christ, so their fiftieth day pointed out the full complete rest or Sabbath of the present time, into which the Spiritual Israelites entered at Pentecost, when they received from the Father through the Lord Jesus the holy Spirit, which indicated that their sins were covered and that they were accepted of the Father as New Creatures, begotten of the holy Spirit. So all followers of Jesus from that time to the present, when begotten of the holy Spirit, are accepted into this rest of faith, and, ceasing from all hope of self-justification, accept Christ as the end of the Law [R4015 : page 190] for righteousness, and the imputation of his merit as the full satisfaction for their sins and reconciliation with the Father. Only those who have had this experience have ever kept the real antitypical Sabbath. And so long as they maintain this faith and trust they are fulfilling the antitype of the Sabbath day given to Natural Israel.

*MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. VI.

This, as the Apostle explains, excludes works and the Jewish Law as a basis of reconciliation to God, and accepts instead the blood of Christ; but it does not exclude works as manifestations of our love, thankfulness and devotion to God in view of his mercy in the forgiveness of our sins. On the contrary, our faith and hope and trust without the works of thankfulness would, the Apostle assures us, soon die, for a faith not manifested by endeavors to do right would not have the divine approval. Indeed, the measure of our rest in the Lord and his finished work will depend largely upon the measure of our thankfulness and appreciation, and the latter will manifest itself in loving devotion to him and the righteousness which he represents.

Thus has God bound together our faith and obedience to the extent of our ability and the rest or Sabbath which we may enjoy. He who lacks this rest lacks the evidence that he is an Israelite indeed and in covenant relationship with God through Christ. He who has this rest of heart has in it a foretaste, an assurance, of the perfect rest of the future. For if now we can rest by faith, notwithstanding the besetments of the flesh and the Adversary under present adverse conditions, how gloriously we will rest by and by, when that which is perfect shall have come, not only in our own change to the Lord's character-likeness, but in the change of all the outward environments which will then be accomplished. On the other hand, the hope and faith respecting a future rest or Sabbath is without foundation if we do not enjoy the present rest by faith, if the peace of God which passeth all understanding is not ours.

We are not in this repudiating the observance of a day of rest every week, but we are repudiating any demands of the fourth commandment upon Spiritual Israelites as respects any day of the week, for that commandment was not given to us but to Natural Israel. Ours is the higher commandment. Nevertheless we are to recognize as of divine oversight and permission the fact that a weekly Sabbath day is enjoined by a civil law throughout Christendom. We rejoice in such a privilege, and consider it a great mercy to the natural man that he has thus by law a portion of time set apart for rest, with the privilege and opportunity for mental improvement. This wonderful privilege and blessing should be especially appreciated by all those who enjoy the higher light of Present Truth. If it is a privilege for the world to have one day in seven for rest from physical toil, how much more is it a blessing to those whose eyes and ears of understanding are gradually opening more and more to the heavenly things! We could use profitably two or three Sabbaths every week for the study of the divine Word and for building one another up in the most holy faith.

We trust that with this view clearly before our minds none will use his knowledge on this subject to his own injury, to his own loss, nor to the breaking down of an institution which, however falsely based in the minds of the public, is so great a blessing to all and almost indispensable to us who are seeking to walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit. By obedience to the laws of the State respecting abstinence from labor and business we not only set a good example in letter and in spirit as obedient to the powers that be, but we strengthen our influence for the Truth as lovers of law and order and righteousness, and thus furnish ourselves with better opportunities for presenting to those who have the spiritual sight and hearing the true significance of the Sabbath to the Israelite indeed.

While this Sabbath-keeping of rest is especially for the consecrated, as the Jew commanded that his children and his servants were similarly to rest, so all who come under our influence, either as our children or employes, should be influenced by our rest and be partakers of our trust and confidence in God--through our knowledge of him, which they could only partially appreciate.



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A "SCAPE-GOAT" QUERY

WHY is it that after telling of the Atonement Day sacrifices and of the application of their blood--the first for the sins of the priest and his house or the Levitical family and the second "for the sins of all the people"--then we read of the confessing of the trespasses of the people on the head of the Scape-goat? What sins would remain after the atonement for all with the blood?

We reply that the antitypical sacrifices of the Atonement Day for the sins of all the people cancel all of the Adamic guilt and condemnation for all; and this includes all hereditary sins and blemishes. None of these sins remain to be confessed over the head of the Scape-goat.

But there are other sins of measurable wilfulness committed against a measure of light and knowledge. These are not Adamic and are not covered by the sin offerings. It is these sins and trespasses that are represented as put upon the Scape-goat class--the "Great Company." In the antitype, shortly to be enacted, the "great company" will be allowed to suffer for some of the partly wilful sins of the world--especially "Babylon's."

Glancing back to the "harvest" of the Jewish Age we see there a picture of what is coming here. There the Jewish people, cast off from divine favor, went into an awful time of trouble. And our Lord, referring to that trouble, said, "Upon you shall come [the penalty for] all the righteous blood shed upon the earth--from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias. ...Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation."--Matt. 23:35,36.

Similarly, all the blood of God's holy ones, from the beginning of this Gospel Age, will be required of the present generation, and will bring about the great "time of trouble, such as was not since there was a nation." The martyrs of the past, "the souls under the altar," are represented as crying out symbolically for [R4016 : page 191] this vindication of Justice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge the world and avenge our blood upon them that dwell on the earth." They were bid wait until others, their brethren, should be killed similarly, when the guilt for all would be avenged.--Rev. 6:9-11.

Why require the full payment for all the wrongs of the ages at their closing?--is it asked?

Because the chief light of each age comes at its close, and because those who sin against such light are worthy of more severe judgment than similar evildoers preceding them who had less light.

It was on this principle that our Lord charged the Jews of his day, who opposed the true light, with being more guilty than all their predecessors who had persecuted the just. And on the same principle he declares to us, "Come out of her ['Babylon'], my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins and receive not of her plagues." Those who remain in Babylon now, in the light of Present Truth, are endorsers of Babylon and indirectly endorsers of all of her past wrong doing. And to endorse the wrongs of the past in the light of the present is to double the responsibility and to deserve the plagues of the whole, is the Scriptural argument.

Let us, then, see that in the Scape-goat type the Lord pictures the sending into the "wilderness" of isolation and persecution the "Great Company," who after consecration were unwilling to go voluntarily "outside the camp, bearing the reproaches" of the Christ. They shared not in the sin-atonement, but will be permitted, yea forced, to bear the weight of the world's sins and thus to become dead to the world--that their spirit-being may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.



page 191

SOME INTERESTING LETTERS

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--

Many, many thanks indeed for your kindness in sending me reading matter which I appreciate far more than words or pen can tell.

I now feel like a new person altogether since reading the TOWER and tracts. I was brought up a Catholic and was, therefore, kept in ignorance of the divine Truth. I no longer feel afraid to read the Bible, as through your kindness and charity in sending me the reading you have I now see everything in a new, more reasonable and loving light. With many, many thanks, I am,
V. K.,--Mo.


[R4016 : page 191]

DEAR BROTHER:--

I am meeting with larger success than ever before in getting people to read Vol. I by using the following two simple plans:

(1) I fold the 5c DAWN and carry it in my hip-pocket under my coat. When I find someone that I can interest, I immediately tell him I have a book I have been reading and pull out the copy. I then give him a regular Colporteur's canvass as though to sell it to him but finally loan it to him under his promise to read and return when through with it. Loaning it gives me the right to look it up after a lapse of time.

(2) Carrying several 5c copies in this way and canvassing house after house, beginning right next door to my house, I get the right party by inquiring, "Is there anyone here who is specially interested in the Bible?" My object is to get Vol. I in the hands of the most religiously inclined person in each house. I loan it saying I will call after two or three weeks. The call gives an opportunity to water seed or to secure the book. Right in my own block I have found about six or seven interested readers already. There is nothing like being prepared.

Your brother,
G. H. F.,--Pa.


page 191

MY DEAR BROTHER:--

Having just read the article under the heading, "She hath done what she could," I was moved to lay the paper down and write you. Of course, I will not be able while in the flesh to express my feelings while reading and weeping as I realized that I could not wash my dear Redeemer's feet. Oh how I longed that I could have the honor of washing yours. Yes, I got the ready consent of my mind that I could so joyfully go through the Bible House bathing the feet of each member of the same, even if it required the entire night till dawn. For a time I felt I was unfortunate in not having an opportunity to bathe the feet of some dear brother tonight. Then I was made to rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory that I had in some sense bathed the feet-members of Christ with tears. All glory and honor be to him for such ecstacies of peace and joy even while in the flesh.

Bless the Lord, oh my soul, for ZION'S WATCH TOWER. If such is the sweetness of the streams, what must the fountain be? If such joys are lavished upon us here, what must it be to be there?

Dear brother, enclosed find an increased "Good Hopes" offering as a token of my increased love.

Your brother in the faith,
J. T. B.,--Fla.


DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--

Love and greetings! It was too cold here to do very much colporteur work this winter, but what I could do has been a great blessing to me and we will leave results to the Lord.

He has richly blessed the work the past year. Several have, through books it was my privilege to carry, already come out of Babylon and are rejoicing in the Lord and his Truth.

The past year has been one of the happiest I have known since engaging in the work, as it has been so full of opportunities of service. Pray for me that I may prove worthy of the vocation to which I am called. You are all remembered daily by me at the throne of grace.

Brother K., who is one of the Cleveland class, has sold fifteen volumes since January 1. These he sold to people with whom he comes in contact in his business. Reading the last year's report was what made him want to have a share in the harvest work.

Oh that all could see what a privilege it is to engage in some way to spend and be spent in the service of the Lord. May the Lord's blessing be with you all in rich measure.

Yours in the one hope,
T. B.,--Ohio.



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