page 353
December 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. XXIX.DECEMBER 1No. 23
A.D. 1908--A.M. 6037


CONTENTS

Views from the Watch Tower355
Church Union Skilfully Arranged355
The King of Peace Inaugurated357
We are in Training for a Throne358
"Let Us Draw Nigh With a Pure Heart (Poem)358
Christendom's Temperance Lesson359
Proud of Their Tables No Longer360
The Work of Dragon Alcohol361
Give Me Submission, Lord (Poem)362
Desire and Choose, Then Seek and Attain363
Lessons from This Story for Our Day363
Joint-Heirs with Christ364
Judgment of Fallen Angels365
Berean Studies on the Atonement366

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 354

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.




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"LET NOT YOUR HEARTS BE TROUBLED"


"Trust in the Lord and do good and verily thou shalt be fed"--both physically and spiritually.

Give no heed to the wise who manifest their lack of humility in their boastful assurance that they have obtained special revelations. Remember that "He giveth grace to the humble." "Thou couldst have no power at all except as permitted of the Father," is still true of Satan and of all his unwitting servants. The Father's will we must not fear, but desire.

"THE WONDERFUL STORY OF GOD'S LOVE"


This is the title of a poem of 56 verses by Sister M. M. Land. It is a beautiful little booklet, appropriately illustrated, and suggested for use as a Christmas token. Price, 15c or $1.50 per dozen, postpaid.

INFORMATION FOR COLPORTEURS


Several of our most successful Colporteurs are finding rural districts and country roads excellent territory; better, they say, than cities. Remember to suggest DAWN-STUDIES and Manna for Christmas presents.

GERMAN VOLUNTEER LITERATURE


We have an excellent and large supply of German Volunteer Tracts on hand. Let all those whose hearts have been so greatly blessed by the Truth herald forth the "good news" to others. Order at once the quantity you can judiciously use.



[R4285 : page 355]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER
ALTHOUGH this Journal does not pretend to keep track of politics in the ordinary sense of the term, it seems scarcely proper to allow a matter of so world-wide an interest as the election of a President to pass without comment. The leaders of both of the prominent parties are men of such high character and ability that in our judgment the interests of the public would be quite safe in the hands of either.

Now that Mr. Taft has secured the prize of the most honorable station of service in the gift of this nation, he is to be congratulated upon his popularity. Nevertheless he also deserves our sympathy, for however generally popular and successful his execution of the laws may be, faithfulness to his responsibilities will present an arduous task. Besides, if our estimate of the conditions that will prevail during his regime prove correct, he will face grave responsibilities and more trying conditions than the present incumbent of the office--strenuous though those have been. As for Mr. Bryan, perhaps he is worthy of congratulations also, in that he has escaped arduous duties and responsibilities, severe trials and difficulties. If it be true, as we have heard it intimated, that he is a consecrated Christian, he may properly enough apply to himself the Scriptural declaration that "All things are working together for his good." We can readily surmise that many other positions in life will be more favorable to saintship and growth in grace than is the one which he has just missed.

Recognizing the fact that we are now in the Harvest time of this Age, and that the Great King is taking a hand in all the affairs of the world, we may be sure that the election just closed has brought the results which he prefers. In this connection it may not be amiss for us to suggest what may be the probable influence of the election of Mr. Taft and a Republican Congress by so strong a majority. To us it means a strong sentiment of conservatism on the part of the majority and fear of anything radical in any direction. The large Republican majority in Congress, and particularly the election of Speaker Cannon, will be considered an endorsement of a strongly conservative policy, in harmony with the Republican party and high tariff and trusts, more than an endorsement of President Roosevelt and his more aggressive policy and utterances, of which Mr. Bryan seemed a more thorough exponent than Mr. Taft.

This will probably mean, at least temporarily, a more favorable outlook for business prosperity than if Mr. Bryan had been elected. But even if a measure of prosperity should ensue, we must not forget that, according to the Scriptures, we are to anticipate further financial spasms, "As travail upon a woman with child," with increasing severity, until the climax shall be reached.

Mr. Taft's broad-mindedness and worldly wisdom will make him popular with all religious people, Protestants and Catholics, and be very favorable to the expected federation of Protestants and their sympathetic cooperation with Catholicism in a combined effort to bring Church and State into very close relationship, which the Scriptures lead us to expect within the period of Mr. Taft's administration.

It will be remembered that in this very month there is to meet in Philadelphia a council of various denominations, with a view to deciding on such a federation as we, so far back as 1881, pointed out was coming. The method to be followed, we surmise, will be somewhat after the suggestions of the article following this one. The results will be a seeming strengthening of all the forces of earth, making for law and order and good government, and "Peace, Peace," will be loudly proclaimed in many quarters. But, according to the Scriptures, the power will lead to very stringent laws and regulations and enforcements, which ultimately will result in a revolutionary upheaval and the predicted "time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation"--Anarchy.

CHURCH UNION SKILFULLY ARRANGED


Special interest attaches to the proposed union between the Presbyterian and Anglican churches in Australia, which is described as "the most elaborate program of reconciliation between episcopacy and [R4285 : page 356] presbytery which has been worked out since the sanguine days of the Savoy Conference in London just after the restoration of Charles II." Although the compact of union has been drawn up by a joint-committee comprising on the Episcopalian side the Archbishop of Melbourne, three other bishops, six priests, and two laymen, and on the Presbyterian side two ex-moderators of the General Assembly, nine other ministers, and two laymen, the scheme has yet to go before the Presbyterian General Assembly and the Anglican General Synod. According to The Interior, a Presbyterian paper published in Chicago, "it is already plain that the High-church party in the Anglican fellowship throughout the world will move heaven and earth to prevent the ratification of the agreement on the Episcopalian part." From the same source we learn the following interesting details of how the joint-committee approached a problem so bristling with difficulties:

"They began work by the model of the so-called Lambeth quadrilateral, and speedily agreed on the first three points--that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments should be accepted as an infallible rule of faith and practice; that the standard of doctrine should be the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds, and that the sacraments observed in the United Church should be the Lord's Supper and Baptism. On the fourth point, 'the historic episcopate locally adapted,' there came a hitch, and it took long and patient negotiation to find a way out satisfactory to both parties.

"After a year of conferences, the joint-committee announced the adoption of an extended minute agreeing on the following principles and provisions: The United Church shall be an independent church without any connection with the State. It shall recognize that the same succession of ministerial orders was common to all Christians up until the Reformation, and since then the succession has been maintained with equal validity in the Anglican Church through ordination by bishops, and in the Presbyterian Church through presbyteries presided over by moderators. In forming the United Church there shall be held to be no difference whatever in the standing, rights, and privileges of Presbyterian ministers and of Anglican priests. (To this clause, which is the hardest point for High-churchmen to get over, a minority of the Anglican committee would give only a qualified assent.)

"After the two churches are united, all ministers shall be called presbyters. Some form of superintendence will then be necessary, and the church shall therefore have power to elect any presbyter to be a bishop. But the church in its duly constituted legislative body shall have power not only to enact the laws which bishops must obey, but shall also have power to determine their tenure of office in the jurisdiction to which they are elected. Candidates for the ministry shall be first ordained to preach, without right to administer the sacraments, and shall then be called deacons or licentiates. When they are ordained as presbyters with power of administering sacraments, the act shall be performed with the laying on of hands of one bishop and at least three presbyters.

"When a presbyter is consecrated to the bishopric, three bishops and a committee of presbyters appointed for the purpose shall 'take part'; it is not stated who shall lay on hands. The Book of Common Prayer is to be sanctioned, and additional forms of worship with it; but local congregations, if they prefer, may adhere to non-liturgical services. Church wardens and ruling elders shall be superseded by an order of local lay officials, for whom no name is yet designated, who shall have oversight of the local congregation, but shall not have right to participate in the dispensation of the communion.

"In the actual consummation of the union it is proposed that the primate of the Anglican Church shall take every Presbyterian minister by the hand and confer upon him 'all the rights, powers, and authorities pertaining to the office of a priest in the church as set forth in the ordinal of the Church of England.' Then the moderator of the Presbyterian Assembly shall in turn confer by name on every Anglican priest 'all the rights, powers, and authorities pertaining to the office of a presbyter in the church as set forth in the ordinal of the Presbyterian Church.' It is understood that before entering the union the Presbyterian Church of Australia will consecrate a few of its own pastors to the bishopric, so that they may be immediately assigned to dioceses along with present Anglican incumbents." --Literary Digest.


***

The combination above suggested impresses us as a most skilful one to accomplish a church union without seemingly wounding the pride of the participants. By the method suggested, the sanction or blessing of the apostolic succession would be imparted to the Presbyterian ministers without any acknowledgment on their part of receiving the boon, because the presiding officer of the Presbyterian body would simulate a similar blessing upon the Episcopal clergy. Nobody would be deceived, yet everybody would affect to be deceived. Apparently, by the assistance of some cunning fox, the way at last has been opened for a reuniting of Protestants of all denominations with the Episcopal system.

This, as our readers generally know, we have been expecting for a long time--since 1880, when first we saw it outlined in the Divine Word as the imparting of "life [R4286 : page 356] to the image." (Rev. 13:15.) It will probably require two or three years to effect such a union and another year for it to develop and exercise its power, but this is surely what is coming sooner or later. When first we drew attention to the matter, union and everything akin to it was being opposed, and the claim of the various denominations was that the cause of Christ prospered better by divisions. What a change has come to pass in the intervening twenty-eight years!

WHY A MINISTER QUIT


"Most of the ministers today are out for the money," said the Rev. Arthur Gee, in an address to his flock of the Arlington Baptist Church. "I am not out for the money, and I'll quit. There is too much commercialism in the churches. Churchianity is taking the place of Christianity. I won't accept any creed to bind my faith. I want liberty of speech and freedom to preach. I can't get these in the churches. That's why I quit."

MR. TAFT'S VIEW OF MATTERS


Mr. Taft, in his Kansas City speech, said: "Vigorous action and measures to stamp out the existing abuses and effective reforms are necessary to vindicate society as at present constituted. Otherwise we must yield to those who seek to introduce a new order of things on a socialistic basis. Roosevelt leads his party as Lincoln led his, as McKinley led his, to meet the new issues presented, to arm our present civilization and fit it with a bold front to resist the attacks of Socialism."



[R4286 : page 357]

THE KING OF PEACE INAUGURATED
--I KINGS 1:32-40,50-53.--NOVEMBER 22.--

Golden Text:--"Know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart, and with a willing mind."--1 Chron. 28:9.

SOLOMON'S name signifies peaceful. Nathan, the Prophet, who was his tutor, called him Jedidiah, which signifies, "beloved of Jehovah." Apparently he inherited certain natural traits which were much to his advantage, and under special divine blessing gave him properly the title, "the wise man." A writer says of him:--

"His parental inheritance was remarkably strong in several directions. His father David was in the maturity of his age; his mother was the grand-daughter of the Prince Ahithophel, whose advice 'was as if a man had inquired at the oracle of God.' He thus inherited from his mother sagacity, quickness of judgment, judicial insight and perhaps some sensual weakness; from his father, thoughtfulness, literary taste, the skill of ruling and an interest in religion. His bodily form and countenance must have borne the graceful characteristics of all David's children; and, if we may follow the description given in the Canticles, he was fair, with bushy locks, dark as the raven's wing, yet not without a golden glow, tall and imposing."

He was about twenty years of age when his reign began. His father, King David, was about seventy years old and quite feeble, and it was manifest to all that a successor to the throne must soon be found. David's eldest son, Amnon, was murdered by Absalom, who was next in years, and the latter was slain in the battle of his rebellion. The next in age, "the heir apparent," was Adonijah, who evidently understood that his father, the king, premeditated that Solomon should be his successor, and this purpose he sought to thwart by himself seizing the kingdom on the pretext that his father was now too old to administer its affairs.

When Adonijah thought his project ready, he invited his adherents with all of the king's sons--except Solomon, who seemed to have shared his jealousy--to a great banquet in the "royal garden." Here, amid the mirth of the festival, a preconcerted cry was raised, "Long live King Adonijah"! Joab, King David's able general, now advanced in years, and Abiathar, the High Priest, were among his abetters. Thus the second conspiracy was hatched in David's family.

"THE KINGDOM OF THE LORD"

"God is not in all their thoughts," writes the Prophet. This was true of Absalom's conspiracy, and again of Adonijah's. They did not consider that the kingdom of Israel was the special institution of the Lord, different from other kingdoms, so that, as the Scriptures declare, it was God's Kingdom. Thus we read, "Solomon sat upon the throne of the kingdom of the Lord in the room of his father David." Had the conspirators realized that they were really attempting an interference with the Divine arrangements, surely neither attempt would have been made. God's people of today should be on the alert to discern in all of life's affairs, the will of the Lord. We surely should know that the Lord's wisdom and power are with the interests of Spiritual Israel in all of their affairs, in such a manner and to such a degree that human conspiracies and oppositions can work only harm to those who foment them. Though the Lord may permit these to go to great lengths and to have apparent success, as in the case of the conspiracy of the high priests and Scribes and Judas against our Lord, or in the case of Absalom and his coadjutors against King David; but the assurance given to all who have the faith to receive it is that "all things must work together for good to them who love God, who are the called ones according to his purpose," and that it must always be true in the case of all the Lord's people; as Jesus said to Pilate, "Thou couldst have no power at all except it were permitted thee of my Father." The Father will permit nothing which would interfere with his glorious plans. He assures us of this, saying, "The word that goeth forth out of my mouth shall not return unto me void; it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it, and accomplish that which I please."

SOLOMON CHOSEN, ANOINTED, PROCLAIMED

In due time, Divine providence drew the attention of King David to Adonijah's conspiracy--in proper time for him to take the necessary steps to accomplish the Divine will. Our lesson tells of how David called another priest, Nathan the Prophet, and Benaiah, another general, and sent them with his son Solomon to the valley just outside the city gate and near the very place where Jesus later rode on the ass. Solomon was directed to ride on King David's own white mule, an act which would of itself proclaim him David's appointed successor. With this special envoy went the two companies of the king's special body-guard, the Cherethites and the Pelethites. Presently, the anointing performed, the trumpet was blown announcing Solomon king, and the people unanimously confirmed this with great shouts and rejoicing. Thus was Solomon brought in state to the palace, where he reigned jointly with his father David for some six months until the death of the latter.

SOLOMON'S WISDOM AND MODERATION

The king was a very young man for the heavy responsibilities devolving upon him, and the moderation displayed shows him to have been not merely well-balanced but well-trained. Solomon was born when his father was in his 53rd year, and at a time, doubtless, when he had learned from experience that he had been too indulgent to the remainder of his family. David had not brought them up with sufficient strictness. He had not realized sufficiently the need of training them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Great affairs of state had claimed his attention and the children had been left too much to the care of others not so reverential as the king. Himself religious from his youth, he seems to have supposed that his children would possess similar qualities of heart and mind. Evidently he had not sufficiently realized the demoralizing influence of wealth and earthly honors; that these do not make for godliness but, to the contrary, cultivate pride, worldliness, godlessness.

It was doubtless due to David's increasing reverence for the Lord, and his realization of the mistakes made in the training of his other children, and his desire that his successor to the throne should honor the Lord and carry forward the interests of religion--these things doubtless led the king to put his son Solomon under the special care of the Prophet Nathan, with the view to his preparation to serve the Lord and his kingdom righteously, and to build the temple of the Lord which David had purposed to build but was not allowed. The Prophet Nathan knew of the temple project and of God's promise that it should be built [R4286 : page 358] by David's heir, and that Solomon was the chosen of the Lord and of the king. We can imagine the Prophet's faithfulness in the training of Prince Solomon for the duties of the position he was intended to fill.

Respecting Adonijah it is written, "His father had not displeased him at any time." (I Kings 1:6.) Evidently he was a spoiled child, and one that probably felt glad that his father had never put him under the tutelage of so religious an instructor as the Prophet Nathan. He no doubt considered that Solomon was specially hampered and hindered from certain pleasures and "sowing of wild oats" and in general had too much restriction. Solomon, however, seems to have been greatly pleased by this experience, which illustrates well the fact that the twig that needs to be bent should be dealt with early. Fain would we impress this lesson upon all parents and guardians--that their wards need supervision and loving religious control, and that it is a mistake to allow the early years of life to be wasted through inattention and lack of training and then expect good results. [R4287 : page 358]

WE ARE IN TRAINING FOR A THRONE

Our Father is the Great King and he has promised that the Christ shall sit upon his throne, and we have been invited to become parts of the Christ, the Anointed, the Messiah. Shall we wonder that we need training for this important position; shall we be surprised if disciplines are imposed and requirements made of us more than are imposed upon those not intended for this high position! Surely the arrangements of our Father, the Great King, are wise and righteous altogether. Therefore, those who are in full sympathy and accord with him will be anxious to learn the lessons and to make the preparations necessary for the Kingdom honors. These must not wonder if they are excluded from the companionship and feastings of the Absalom and Adonijah types. They may be disesteemed by their ambitious brethren and may be evil spoken of, from the Head down to the last member of the Body, but if they have the Divine favor, theirs shall be not only the anointing but also the acceptance to the throne. "Have patience, brethren, the hour of your deliverance draweth nigh"; "Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time."

OUR GOLDEN TEXT

"Know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and a willing mind." There is a golden sentiment expressed in these words. Outward service is not sufficient in our dealing with the Lord. "He seeketh such to worship, as worship him in spirit and in truth." Solomon's excellent start in his high office and the favor of God which then came upon him had been preceded by years of study. Under the Prophet's direction and under his father's suggestions he was enabled to enter into the spirit of his father's plan respecting the erection of the great temple at Jerusalem which would put religion, the true religion and worship of God, in the most prominent position before the nation of Israel. He got, sympathetically, the spirit of his father which discerned that the whole nation of Israel would be specially blessed in putting God and his worship in advance of every other thing and interest. He was informed respecting the stores of material and wealth gathered by his father for the temple purposes and consecrated to that service. In these things Solomon found abundant opportunity for the exercise of his intelligence and his ambitions along proper and helpful lines, which drew him nearer to the Lord and taught him how better to serve the Lord and his people Israel as his father's successor.

So we see, as we seek the Lord with all our hearts as "dear children," and with willing minds, that he makes known to us his great plans and purposes respecting the future. He makes known to us his purpose to have a temple, and preparations already made therefor, and how and when it will be built and its object: the blessing of all the families of the earth. At each step of the way, as we the more fully enter into sympathy with God's great plan of the ages, it serves to develop us the more and to prepare us for the share in that Temple and Kingdom.

SOLOMON'S WISE MODERATION

Our lesson closes with the account of Solomon's magnanimity toward his brother Adonijah. It seems to have been the custom of that day amongst other kingdoms that as soon as the king was installed in office, others who might become his rivals and opponents were put to death. Adonijah, probably judged Solomon by himself, and concluded that his life would be in danger, and laid hold upon the altar in the tabernacle court as a place of safety until he would get a message from the king assuring him that he would suffer no harm for the rebellion he had almost inaugurated. Solomon's words to him, as well as his conduct, were wise and kind--"If he will show himself a worthy man, there shall not a hair of him fall to the earth, but if wickedness be found in him, he shall die"; and when he presented himself before Solomon the latter said to him, "Go to thine house." In other words, no punishment of any kind was to be inflicted for the past, and as for the future, he was on his good behavior. Generosity is always a good sign wherever it is displayed, and in the children of the heavenly Kingdom it is an indispensable quality; as our Master said, "Be ye like unto your Father in heaven, for he is kind to the unthankful and causes his sun to shine upon the just and unjust, and sendeth rain upon the good and upon the evil."

God purposes that ultimately all the wicked will he destroy, and he extends his present kindness and mercy to his enemies and the enemies of righteousness by reason of the fact that ignorance and weakness have such a hold upon the human family that they are not so responsible as they would be under full light and ability. It is only when we get this broad view which God's Word emphasizes that we can exercise loving benevolence toward all men, yea, against our enemies also, realizing that they like ourselves are encompassed with weakness, frailties and ignorance, by which their responsibility every way is largely controlled and which God has arranged to cover and ultimately remove through the merit of our Redeemer. As he generously overlooks these inherited blemishes, so we shall--all who have his spirit and are guided by his Word.


[R4295 : page 358]

"LET US DRAW NIGH WITH A TRUE HEART"
Betake thyself to prayer, dear child;
A time like this demands
An oft communion with thy Lord,
A closer grasp of hands.

Spend seasons sweet and precious, child,
Confiding all thy ways;
Herein lies strength and succor full
To meet these evil days.
Joseph Greig.



[R4287 : page 359]

CHRISTENDOM'S TEMPERANCE LESSON
--ISAIAH 28:1-13.--NOVEMBER 29.--

Golden Text:--"I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection."--1 Cor. 9:27.

OUR lesson pertains to natural Israel and the fact that it was drunken with pride and prosperity and because of these warned of a coming overthrow. Only those who recognize that there is a Spiritual Israel, antitypical, are able to appreciate many of the promises of the Old Testament. The Apostle Peter declares that "Not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things now freely reported to you." (I Pet. 1:12.) Whoever, therefore, merely reads the Old Testament prophecies as relating to matters and conditions then present and impending fails to get the real instruction and blessing designed of the Lord.

Applying the lesson to Spiritual Israel, so-called Christendom, we find similar declarations of drunkenness referring to an intoxication of error, false doctrines and theories. Thus we read that the scarlet woman held in her hand an intoxicating cup wherewith she "made drunk all nations." (Rev. 17:2; 18:3.) This figurative use of the word drunkard is more noticeable in Isaiah 51:17; 63:6; Jer. 46:10, and 51:57 than in our lesson. The vomiting mentioned in our lesson is also figurative, as we shall see. We are not disputing that intemperance proportionately prevailed in olden times and that it does now prevail in Christendom. We are merely pointing out that the Lord's disputation is less with the literal drunkard than with the mentally and morally intoxicated of our day.

As prosperity led the way to the intoxication of pride, so the prosperity of Christendom during the past century has led up to great boasting, pride and self-consciousness. One denomination boasts that it completes a new meeting-house for every day in the year. Others boast of the amount they expend upon missions, and altogether they felicitate themselves on their conversion of the world to Christ. Little do they seem to realize that if the heathen were all converted to the same condition which prevails in Christendom it would mean that they would be just ready to convert over and over again. Still worse! It would mean that larger percentages than at present would be put into prisons and insane asylums. Little do they seem to realize that the number of the heathen is twice as great as a century ago, according to their own statistics.

FALL BACKWARD, BROKEN, SNARED

These words from the last verse of our lesson remind us of similar words in the Psalms, when applied to the stumbling and fall of natural Israel from God's favor upon their rejection of Christ at his first advent. (Rom. 11:9; Psa. 69:22.) Our lesson applies to the fall of Babylon (Christendom) now in the end of this age, at the time of our Lord's second advent.

From this standpoint is seen in our lesson God's prophecy of the doom of Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots, and of her daughters, the various Babylonish systems which have sprung from her. Verses 3 and 4 tell us that the crown of pride will quickly fade, and the beauty of the great system which human ingenuity has built up and named Christendom will be like a fading flower, and like the early fruit it will quickly disappear; but that "in that day shall the Lord of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty unto the residue of his people." That is to say, the earthly beauty of present ecclesiastical systems will disappear; but to a remnant of faithful ones here the Lord himself will become more glorious, because in this day this remnant, or "little flock," specially blessed of the Lord, will be enabled to see the breadth, height and depth of the love of God, passing all understanding. More than this: this class will have a spirit of judgment, justice, and balance of mind in respect to the wonderful events transpiring, so that they will not be overtaken unawares in the day of the Lord, which will come, however, as a thief and a snare upon the great mass, upon the world in general. Furthermore, the Lord in this day to this [R4288 : page 359] class will be a strength and power, enabling them to "turn back the battle at the gate." (Vs. 6.) So that while outwardly there may be conflicts, inwardly they will have peace.

"THEY STUMBLE IN JUDGMENT"

Returning again to the nominal system, which is to fall, the Prophet points out that the priests and the prophets of the Church have erred through the intoxication of false doctrine. On this account "they err in vision, they stumble in judgment." They do not stumble in their feet, but in their minds. An actual spree would surely do them far less harm than the mental intoxication under which they are laboring, because it would be far easier to escape from the former than the latter. The intoxication from the cup that has made all nations drunk affects various subjects. The intoxicated think that they are about to convert the world, instead of remembering that the Redeemer said, and also the apostles, that our Lord would come at his second advent and that he would receive his Bride to himself, set up his Kingdom and then conquer the world. (I Cor. 15:23-25.) Their intoxication of error leads them to fear that the Almighty has predestinated that all the world, except the "little flock," the Elect, are bound for either purgatory or eternal torment. Such as get sobered up from this false doctrine are apt to become intoxicated with the spirit of the world and the mingled drinks of Evolution, Higher Criticism, Agnosticism, Christian Science, New Theology, etc., and this last intoxication is, if anything, worse than the first. All of these intoxications of error pervert the judgment and hinder a proper view of the divine Word and the simplicity of the Gospel of which Saint Paul was not ashamed.

"ALL TABLES FULL OF VOMIT"

It is not supposable that all the tables of the people of Israel were literally full of vomit, with no place clean. Not literal tables were intended. In Romans 11:9 the Apostle, speaking of the Israelites, said, "Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumbling-block, and a recompense unto them." The Israelites had but one table, the table of divine truth, which God spread for them and upon which he heaped bountifully his gracious promises from the Law and the prophecies. The Israelites stumbled over those promises and became proud and vain and imagined that God's favor would not pass them by, and thus they stumbled as a people, and left the way for us who are Gentiles to be brought nigh to God, that we might have access to the spiritual table supplied with the "exceeding great and precious promises" of God's grace and Truth.

Our lesson refers to tables, whereas Israel had but one table. Christendom today is divided into various sects and parties and each has its own party which it calls the table of the Lord. Each claims that its doctrinal table is of divine provision. Examining these creed-tables, [R4288 : page 360] these confessions of faith, we find they do indeed present their votaries certain Scriptural truths, but alas, these have been so mixed and conglomerated with human traditions of the dark ages as to be unwholesome and some of them nauseating! None of them is presented in attractive, appetizing form. What is true of one is true of all, with slight modifications. Our Presbyterian friends on their table make a specialty of such dishes as Sovereign Grace, Divine Foreordination, Predestination, Election and Reprobation. There is an element of Truth running through all of these; but alas, in the condition in which these were prepared in the Dark Ages, so much of the old lady's leaven is intermingled that now they are thoroughly fermented, injurious!

The Methodist table is slightly different. It omits the special viands preferred by Calvinists and instead has dishes labeled Free Grace, God's Love, A Chance for All, etc.; but when we look into these dishes our disappointment is unspeakable. The dish, Free Grace, simply signifies that God is will-less, or powerless, respecting the salvation of mankind and, doing his very best, will rescue but a handful of saints, while the great masses of mankind will be eternally lost. The dish labeled "Love of God," upon examination, proves to be merely a statement of God's willingness to show his love to his saints and "little flock," but that for the masses of mankind he has provided eternal torture as an expression of his love for his enemies, quite in contradiction to his instruction to his saints that they should love their enemies and do good to them!

Peering into the third dish to see what kind of chance for all is provided, we find that, stripped of subterfuges, it really means not a chance, but a certainty of eternal damnation and torture to every member of the race except the few who in the present life hear of the "only name" and accept the Gospel proposition and take up their cross to follow Christ.

The Roman and Greek Catholics have their tables, too, and, in contrast, these tables, perhaps, are not so bad as either of the foregoing. Their main dish is Purgatory and the redeeming feature of it, of which they boast, is that its roasting and boiling, frying and stewing will not be endless, but that, by virtue of masses, indulgences, popes' jubilees, etc., the hundreds and thousands of years due to be spent by mankind in the horrible place may be somewhat curtailed.

Our Baptist friends have the same dishes upon their tables that the Presbyterians and Congregationalists have on theirs--Election, Predestination, etc., with eternal torment for the non-elect, but they have one large central dish of which they principally take note and draw to our attention. This is labeled Immersion. However, instead of this dish enlarging the scope of the Elect, it seriously contracts it by claiming that while the Elect will be saved and all the non-Elect be lost, there is the further test that all the Elect must be immersed in order to gain numbers for the Church of Christ, which alone they claim is to be saved.

PROUD OF THEIR TABLES NO LONGER

The time was when each denomination prided itself respecting its table, and publicly advertised its various dishes and the Christian strength and refreshment to be obtained from these; but that time has gone. They boast of their doctrinal dishes no longer. They are ashamed of their visions and prophecy, of the things they once saw to be beautiful and declared to be such. Now, instead of boasting of these, they seek to hide them. Their nausea as respects their own doctrinal standards is graphically pictured by the Lord in the words of the Prophet when he declares that "All tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean."--Vs. 8.

Alas, alas! the Editor, and perhaps a large majority of this journal's readers, once sat down to those tables. But, thank God, clearer light upon his Word has led us to reject and eject the cruel misrepresentations of the divine character and plan which once intoxicated us! Our dear friends of the Presbyterian denomination felt so disgusted with the Westminster Confession that they spread a new cloth over it all and adopted a very short and colorless creed for public use. They made a mistake, however, in allowing the filthiness of the old table to remain. They should have gotten rid of the entire mass and should have sought the Lord and his Word for the better spiritual food he is so willing to supply. Thank God some of us have realized the Lord's willingness to spread for us a fresh table directly from his Word, laden with the true promises of the Scriptures, exceedingly great and precious! How our souls now rejoice and we desire to continue always at this table feasting upon the "things new and old"! How we see fulfilled to us our Lord's promise that at his second advent, if we should hear the knock of his presence and open our hearts by faith to receive him, he would come in to us and cause us to sit down to meat and come forth and serve us--"things new and old"! What a rich, blessed feast we have had! Our only sorrow seems to be that our dear friends still stick by the tables and the denominational names, which in spirit they reject, and refuse to come with us and partake of the Lord's bounty, "Which satisfies our longing as nothing else can do."

"WHOM WILL HE TEACH KNOWLEDGE?"

The point here is that Christendom is astray and stumbling, because intoxicated with error, and the question is pertinent, How can the Lord correct them and teach them knowledge?--substitute knowledge for ignorance and superstition. He has given us in the Gospel of Christ a most glorious message, "Good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people"; but whom will he make to understand this? This is the query of the Prophet. The answer is given, "Them that are weaned from the milk and drawn from the breast"; them that are no longer babes in Christ, but willing to feed upon the strong meat of the divine Word.

But alas! many of these, awakening from their intoxication of error, are inclined to stumble into agnosticism in some of its forms. They are not willing to look for the Lord's message in the way he has been pleased to give it--"Here a little and there a little." They want to open their Bibles and to read therefrom, directly and explicitly, what will be harmonious and reasonable. But this is not God's way. They must accept the Truth as he provides it for them, "Here a little, and there a little." They must be prepared to receive the message of Truth and Grace--because it is the Lord's--from other lips than those of their own denomination and in quarters from which they had not expected it to come. Whoever is really Truth-hungry and sincere must thus be marked out and separated from others. And this is the will of God, for he is seeking those who follow not human tradition, but who hearken for and follow the voice of the true Shepherd. [R4289 : page 361]

THEY WOULD NOT HEAR

God's message to his people is for those who have "an ear to hear"--not to the others. To the hearing ear he says, Follow my voice, by whomsoever it is proclaimed and through whatever lips, and study my Truth and receive spiritual strength therefrom--"Line upon line, and precept upon precept, here a little and there a little," and this will give you rest, peace, satisfaction. This is the rest wherewith he causes the weary to rest and this is the refreshing which he has provided for the true sheep. But others will not hear. The spirit of the world and its various intoxications attract them, hold them; and hence the Lord's final message to these is that because of their rejection of the Truth in the form in which he had presented it they will "fall backward and be broken and snared and taken." But the "little flock" who accept the divine terms are being richly blessed. These are his jewels whom the Master is now polishing and will shortly translate to glory by the First Resurrection, that they may constitute the joint-heirs in the glorious Millennial Kingdom, which shall rescue eventually all the world of mankind who desire divine favor from the blindness and intoxication and deceptions of our Adversary, the devil.

"I KEEP MY BODY UNDER"

Our Golden Text is a great lesson of itself. It brings to our attention the fact that, like the Apostle, we should recognize ourselves as New Creatures in Christ Jesus, for whom "old things have passed away and all things have become new," and, acting from this standpoint, the New Creature should keep a continual supervision of the old nature, its desires and affections, and should keep these continually under or subject to the new nature, and the higher law should bring it gradually into full subjection, yet hoping, yet praying for the glorious consummation of the First Resurrection, when the New Creature, the new mind or will shall be clothed upon with the spiritual body. Such a keeping under of the body will include wisdom and control in respect to what we eat, as well as what we drink and what we wear, and our every act, word and thought.

Those who selected today's lesson as one that would assist the cause of total abstinence undoubtedly had excellent intentions, and we desire that it may be profitable to some that we quote here some logical reasons presented favoring total abstinence. Surely all of the Lord's saintly people must feel a deep, sympathetic interest in every move made for the restraint of the great alcohol dragon which has already accomplished so much harm and which we cannot expect will be brought under full control until Messiah's Kingdom shall exercise its power and Satan shall be bound. So while we cannot take our time from the still more important message of the Kingdom, we certainly can express our sympathy towards all who take their stand in opposition to this dragon and on the side of the Lord and general righteousness. This is our excuse for the following Peloubet quotations, which may be helpful to some and specially to the children in the families of our readers:--

THE WORK OF DRAGON ALCOHOL

"We visit a hospital in company with Dr. Wilcox and inquire whether the dragon alcohol, as some say, will make you strong and healthy. Suppose we go out to the Erie County Hospital and ask Dr. Gilray, the superintendent, how many sick he had in the hospital last year, and he tells us two thousand. Well, what made them sick? Oh, a lot of causes. But did the dragon alcohol bite any of them? Oh, yes, about one-half of them were made sick because of the dragon's bite. Yes, I guess more than that if you count those whose parents were bitten by the dragon, and who fell ill because their parents were not strong.

"Again, the dragon's friends will tell you that his bite will give you a clear brain, and make you a jolly good fellow. All right, we all want clear brains in this world, so let us go to some place where they make a study of brains. The man who knows the most about brains in this vicinity is Dr. Hurd, at State Hospital on Forest avenue. Suppose we say to him, 'Doctor, how many people in your hospital this morning?' He replies, 'Seventeen hundred.' 'What made them insane?' 'Oh, a lot of reasons.' 'Well, are any of them insane because they have taken poison into their systems?' 'Yes, lots of them.' 'How many of them?' 'Well, perhaps half of them have either been poisoned themselves or born of parents poisoned.' 'What kind of poison?' 'Oh, alcohol generally.' 'Oh, then they have been bitten by the dragon alcohol?' 'Yes.' 'Well, Doctor, do you think any of them were made insane because they ate too much ice cream?' 'Oh, no, never heard of such a case,' 'Too much meat, too much milk? will any kind of healthful food make one crazy?' 'Oh, no!' 'Well, then, Doctor, if alcohol is a food, as some chemists claim it is, and if it is the only kind of food which ever made people crazy, would you advise our taking it and giving it to our friends?' 'Well, no; I wouldn't.'

"But we want a little more light on this subject of clear brains, so we take a journey down the Lackawanna railroad to the Craig Colony, where the epileptics are cared for, and we ask Dr. Spratling, 'How many of the patients are epileptics because of alcohol?' And he answers, 'About forty per cent.' Now suppose we go to Massachusetts prison for the criminally insane, and ask the same question; then listen to the awful answer. 'Ninety-three per cent from alcohol.' Well, if that is the way it makes people have clear brains, I guess we had better eat ice cream, cake, bread and butter, etc., which have never been known to make epileptics, idiots, or lunatics."

The doctor's office is not far away. It is a good place for making inquiries, for the desire of good doctors is to prevent people from injuring their health, as well as to cure their diseases when they have them. Let us listen to a little company of them as they express their opinions.

Victor Horsley, M.D., F.R.S., Professor of Clinical Chirurgy, University College, London, speaks: "The bad effect of alcohol on persons performing muscular work is well-known. The evidence is overwhelming that alcohol in small amounts has a most harmful effect on voluntary muscular work."

Dr. T. D. Crothers, superintendent of Walnut Lodge Hospital, Hartford, Conn., declared that alcohol is more dangerous than the disease it is given to correct. "Both alcoholism and tuberculosis, one the 'great white plague' and the other the 'great black one,' are a menace to civilization."

Adolf Fick, M.D., Professor of Physiology, University of Wurzburg, states that "Every dose of alcohol, even the most moderate, diminishes strength. All that man asserts of the strengthening effects of alcohol is a delusion. The well-known poor man's glass during working hours is beyond question injurious. Every penny which the workman spends for alcoholic drinks is not only wasted but employed for a destructive purpose."

August Forel, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry, University of Zurich, says: "Life is considerably shortened by the use of alcohol in large quantities. But a moderate consumption of the same also shortens life by an average of five or six years."

THE BUSINESS VIEW OF ALCOHOL

From the doctor's office we go to the Insurance offices, where a most careful and scientific investigation has been made. The editor of the Trumpet Call introduces us, as they tell how alcohol takes away health and life. [R4289 : page 362]

Aetna Life: "Drink diseases the system and shortens life."

Dominion Life: "Weakens constitution to resist disease."

Equitable Mutual Life: "Drink impairs vitality; less likely to throw off disease."

Hartford Life: "Moderate use lays foundation for disease."

Knights Templar and Masonic Mutual Aid: "Total abstainer the better risk."

Massachusetts Mutual Life: "Drink reduces expectation of life nearly two-thirds."

Pacific Mutual Life: "Predisposes to disease."

Royal Templars of Temperance: "Death rate much lower among abstainers."

For the last place we can visit on this day's excursion, we will go into a Court House and listen to the judge. Rev. J. F. Hill of Pittsburg, secretary of the permanent Committee on Temperance of the Presbyterian church, will introduce us. When the judge tells his court-house story he is sitting at a banquet with the city council and the jurymen in a noted case that had just closed.

"No, I thank you, I never indulge," said the judge, as his companions passed the sparkling wine to him.

His companions rallied him on his change to total abstinence. "Isn't it sudden?" "Wife object?" "Nothing short of the tragic could have made a prohib. out of you."

"Oh, come, tell us what brought you into the teetotaler army!"

Reluctantly the judge told his experience:

"Five years ago--it was five years ago this very day--strange!" A pause.

"You remember the Rushworth case being tried in Sawyer county? It was the longest trial known in the state, and everybody was getting tired of the complications. I was on the bench, and on the day in question had taken something to encourage me, and had also given the jurymen enough to put them in the best of humor. The verdict was 'guilty.' After passing the sentence I asked the young criminal if he had anything to say. He was only twenty years of age. I was sorry for him, but duty is duty, and I felt at that time that I had done mine honorably and justly. The court was packed, and [R4290 : page 362] as the boy arose, a hush prevailed. His mother, father, and two sisters sat in the gallery near the door. His fine eyes lit up as he caught his mother's look of love, and then he said, in a voice I have never been able to forget: 'I am guilty of the charge. I deserve the punishment. I do not wish to place the responsibility of my crime on any shoulders but my own. I am everything the judge says I am--a gambler, a forger, and a heavy drinker, and, as the last witness said, not fit to be in the presence of honest men and women. I am glad the judge has granted me the privilege of speaking. I see some of my old chums here, and what I say may do them a little good--may keep them from stumbling over the rocks that ruined me."

He looked around until his eyes rested on the seats at the right of the entrance.

"Dr. Pickets, I took my first lesson in gambling from you! You said there was no harm if I did not 'go in too heavy!' I went 'too heavy,' it seems. The boy laughed nervously, and the doctor flushed crimson, and loosened his cravat.

"I took my first lesson in forging from you, Mr. Wyatt. The juror at my right hand jumped from his chair as if shot from a cannon, but said nothing. His adeptness with the pen was well known, and his head drooped with a sense of guilt.

"I took my first drink of brandy from a lady, who serves drinks that sting." A woman started up, she was one who had entertained royally.

"Judge, I am all you say, a gambler, a forger, a drinker, and now you have given me another name-- convict. Twenty years--is that the sentence?"

"Father," he said, turning his eyes toward the gallery, "you had a great future planned for your son. I'm sorry I have disappointed your hopes and darkened your home; forgive me!"

"Four months later," continued the judge, taking a paper from his pocketbook, "I received this letter from that young man.

"I always carry it," he said. "This, friends, is what made a teetotaler of me. I've heard the greatest sermons of the greatest preachers, but nothing ever came so near making a Christian out of me as did this letter from that boy in prison. I hope it may yet. That boy had a martyr's spirit, and I feel sure that if I am ever permitted to pass through that strait and narrow gate, Albert Rushworth will have more to do with my entering than any other human being I ever knew." Judge Morse held the soiled paper nearer the light, and read the last words from the boy he had sentenced to "twenty years at hard labor."

"Judge, I've tried to escape, and am writing this from the hospital ward. I was not quite brave enough to bear the thought that I must pass twenty years in this tomb. I much prefer the one I am about to enter-- the grave. I feel sure that if you had been sober the last day of my trial, my sentence would not have been for twenty long years. I tried to escape, and the guards shot me; the doctor says I cannot recover, so you see my term will soon end. Be careful of Clarence; it is pretty hard for young men to resist the temptations that are sanctioned by law, and patronized by those in civil power. Be careful of Clarence; boys follow where men lead, and to be or do like some men is the highest ambition boys have. I followed the wrong kind of examples, but cannot die without sending you this parting message: Be careful of Clarence.

Albert Rushworth, No. 187, cell 18."

"Clarence is my second son's name," said the judge, folding the letter away in his note-book; "and he and Albert had been the closest of friends for a long time. I felt every word of that letter as a message to lead me into a better life."


[R4290 : page 362]

GIVE ME SUBMISSION, LORD
Dear Father, hold my trembling hand,
And bid my heart be still,
And help me while I waiting stand,
To know and do thy will.

Teach me, when grief has touched my heart,
Or when my pulses thrill
With some exquisite new-found joy
To trust thee and be still.

For only thou who formed the mind
Canst all its workings know;
And in thy love and pity kind
Compassion thou dost know.

For thou canst school each wand'ring thought
Till it revert to thee;
Thou canst direct each deed that's wrought
Till we thy purpose see.

Thou canst our hearts emotions calm,
Our best affections claim,
Till by thy spirit's soothing balm
They glorify thy name.

Thus what we know, and do, and feel
We give into thy hand;
Use all according to thy will,
For thou dost understand.

Thine is an "everlasting love,"
And therefore thou has "drawn;"
Thou art our magnet from above,
And so we "follow on."

We follow on by day, by night,
Whate'er thy leadings be,
Knowing the path, if dark, or bright,
Leadeth thine own to Thee.
G. V. G. Calkins.



[R4290 : page 363]

DESIRE AND CHOOSE, THEN SEEK AND ATTAIN
--I KINGS 3:4-15.--DECEMBER 6.--

Golden Text:--"The reverence of Jehovah is the beginning of wisdom."--Prov. 9:10.

KING SOLOMON began his reign with a reverent heart, as evinced by his offering sacrifices at Gibeon. In this he evidenced the faithfulness of our Golden Text, which prepared his heart for the blessings which he subsequently received of the Lord. We note the wide difference between his attitude and that of his two brothers, who had sought the throne of Israel in an ambitious spirit and in a traitorous manner, as described in preceding lessons. So far as the record shows Solomon manifested in this matter a proper respect for the Lord and his Divine appointments. In this he may be considered an illustration of our Lord Jesus and of the Church, which is his Body; even as Absalom's career corresponded to the course of Satan and all those who follow his disobediently ambitious course.

Possessed of reverence for the Lord and acknowledging him before all the people as the real Ruler of Israel, and by sacrifice confessing him as Israel's Ruler, the young king was in just the right attitude of heart to receive a blessing. He slept--he dreamed. Whether the dream was the outworking of his own devotion of heart and the Lord's response to it or whether the Lord, noticing his teachable attitude of mind, gave the dream as a lesson respecting Solomon's proper course, none can say, because the matter is not revealed; but, at all events, the young king had a most beautiful dream, which, in view of later developments, can be considered only as a true reflection of Solomon's attitude of heart.

He dreamed that he was in the presence of the Almighty, who graciously inquired what were his desires. Solomon's answer was a most humble one. It intimates that he realized that it was not of any worthiness or merit of his own that God's favor was thus indicated, that it was merely the continuation of the Divine mercy which for years had blessed his father, King David, "according as he walked before thee in truth and in righteousness and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day." (I Kings 3:6.) How beautiful an adornment is humility! The fact that few possess it should make it all the more estimable to us. It is like salt to our food. It adds a blessing to every other grace and talent we may possess.

"I AM BUT A LITTLE CHILD"

We have nothing to indicate that Solomon ever became very haughty, proud, though he certainly would have been a marvelous man had his great wisdom and honor and wealth not affected in some degree the childlike [R4291 : page 363] simplicity which he expressed to the Lord in this dream, saying, "O Lord my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father; and I am but a little child; I know not how to go out or come in [how to conduct myself in public or in private before the people]. And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. Give thy servant, therefore, an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and evil; for who is able to judge this thy great people."--Vs. 7-9.

The simplicity of this prayer is beautiful. In it Solomon recognized his own littleness and need of assistance and God's greatness and ability to help. He recognized also that the people were not his, but God's; and that he was not really the king, but God's servant appointed to judge or rule the people according to Divine standards. He recognized that good might appear evil and evil might appear good to his imperfect judgment; and his prayer, therefore, was for wisdom; not that he might be reputed the wisest man in the world, nor for any other selfish purpose or ambition, but that as God's servant he might faithfully and wisely administer the duties of his office, and honor God and bless his fellow-Israelites. Would that all rulers and judges today might have a similarly humble opinion of themselves and a similarly broad appreciation of the duties and the responsibilities of their office, and a similarly child-like faith in God's ability to guide them, to use them, to bless the work to which he has appointed them! Would that they could recognize that all people are God's people, and that they themselves must render an account to God which will be exacting to the extent of their knowledge and ability.

"THE SPEECH PLEASED JEHOVAH"

We do not wonder that the record shows that the Lord was pleased with his choice--because Solomon asked neither long life, nor riches, nor the lives of his enemies, but something far better--wisdom. Then, just as we might expect, with our present knowledge of the Lord's bounty and mercy and generosity, Jehovah declared to Solomon that his request for wisdom was granted, but that with it he would add riches and honor above those of any other human being of his day; and he promised also that if Solomon would continue in this way he would lengthen his days, give him an increase beyond the limitations of his natural powers.

When Solomon awoke and found that it was but a dream, doubtless there was a measure of disappointment in connection with it, but it brought before his mind, clearly and distinctly, just the condition of heart and mind most pleasing to the Lord. And be it remembered that for a considerable number of years Solomon maintained his humble attitude of heart and faithfulness to God. He returned to Jerusalem and there, through the agency of the priest, made various additional offerings and sacrifices to the Lord, the flesh of the peace-offerings constituting a feast for his servants, including many of the royal citizens. Thus was his reign reverently and wisely inaugurated and the foundation laid for his personal prosperity and that of the nation, which, as God's representative, he both ruled and served.

LESSONS FROM THIS STORY FOR OUR DAY

The word opportunity signifies "standing at the door." We have seen how great opportunities stood at Solomon's door and how he embraced them. Similarly opportunities stood at the door of his two brothers and they embraced them for sin and treason. Let us note that opportunities for good and for evil come to all of us at some time and it is for us to decide which we will grasp. But before the opportunity, comes the desire. If the desires be impure, an evil opportunity in harmony therewith will be found. If the desires be good, noble, true, loyal, opportunities in harmony with these will come to us. The thought to be impressed upon our minds, therefore, is that the desires of our hearts should be noble in every respect, and that all ignoble desires be studiously and promptly set aside, to the intent that [R4291 : page 364] only the good opportunities may come to us. But desire and opportunity are not enough. Many a man has had both and gotten nothing. When the good desires have been cultivated and developed and by and by a noble opportunity stands before us, then comes the responsibility of seizing it--decision. Probably more people make failure of life at this juncture than at any other.

Our counsel to the worldly would be along these lines: That first they should have noble ambitions; that they should resist all others; that they should be on the lookout for opportunities in harmony with their noblest sentiments and should seize them with all the energy of their being, when they come within their reach, and should never let them go. It is worthy of note, too, that very few are so meanly born or unfavorably environed that they are utterly devoid of noble principles or incompetent of discernment as between these and ignoble ones. True, born in sin and shapen in iniquity and surrounded by others in similar conditions, none can help it if ignoble suggestions come to his mind. But it is within his power to exercise his will to resist the evil suggestion and bid it be gone and to entertain only noble, pure, true sentiments. This is illustrated by the adage which declares that "We cannot help crows flying over our heads, but we can prevent them from building nests in our hair."

The difficulty is that where an affinity exists between the evil suggestions and the fallen nature, the will may not be prompt enough to rid itself of the intrusion. The battle of the will, therefore, is not merely with the crow thoughts that desire to nest with us, but additionally the wrong disposition which desires the crow company. A child's hand was stuck in the narrow mouth of a vase. He called for aid and the father suggested, "Open your hand loosely." "I know," replied the child, "that if I do that, I'll drop my penny." The thought is that to release ourselves from the power of sin requires such an exercise of the will as would enable us to drop the cost of our release, "the pleasures of sin for a season."

THE NEED OF CHRIST WITHIN

Our Lord gave a parable respecting a man possessed of an evil spirit who got rid of it and got his heart swept and garnished--but empty. By and by the evil spirit took with him seven others more wicked than himself and they overpowered him and his last end was worse than the first. A valuable lesson can be drawn from this. It illustrates that under present adverse conditions we are unable to keep ourselves, and that even if we were relieved from the power of sin, even if we were justified freely from all the sins that are past, we would be unable to keep ourselves--the world, the flesh and the Adversary in manifold forms will surely overpower our good resolutions and desires for purity and uprightness. What we need is an occupant for our hearts--the Divine One. If Christ be enthroned in our hearts, if our wills be turned over to him in full submission, he is able to keep our hearts, to guard our hearts. Respecting such he says, the Father and myself will come in to them and abide with them. Oh, the security this implies! Let us not forget that the will is the doorkeeper of the heart and that the Lord's presence will not remain except as we will to have it, and that if we admit to our hearts evil thoughts, evil surmisings, the Lord will not hear us, will not abide with us, but will proportionately vacate and leave room for more and more of the evil influences to enter into us and to possess us.

Hence the admonition, "Keep your hearts in the love of God." The Evil One and entrenched sins will endeavor to remain in our hearts and fight against our wills. But not so with righteousness and the laws of God. These are easily offended and easily driven out. Hence with the Psalmist we should pray, "Oh, Lord! take not thy holy Spirit from me." Remember also the exhortation of the Apostle, "Grieve not the holy Spirit with which ye are sealed unto the day of redemption."

If we know these things, happy are we if we act upon them. Happy are we if we realize the primary necessity for good desires and for the rejection of evil desires. Happy are we if, when the message of God's grace came to us as an opportunity of return to his favor, we promptly embraced and received at his hands justification by faith, through the merit of the precious blood. Happy are we if being thus swept and garnished and delivered from the power of the Adversary, we promptly recognized our obligation to the Giver of all blessing and sought relationship with him. Happy are we if, learning of his willingness to accept the keys of our hearts, to accept our will, we should give it to him fully, completely, forever! Happy are we if we maintain this same attitude of heart-purity and desire for the Lord's will instead of our own, and if more and more we allow the Spirit of the Lord to fill every nook and corner of our hearts and to drive out, not only sin, but every worldly ambition, that we may be fully and wholly possessed by the Spirit of our Lord, the holy Spirit! Happy are we if we continue to manifest meekness, gentleness, patience, long-suffering, goodness, brotherly kindness, peace, love, so that anything which would mar this heavenly bliss or quench this holy flame or offend our Master or lose us his smile, would be considered as indescribable disaster! Happy are we if the joys of the Lord thus continue in our hearts and rule our lives and make us joyful in our pilgrimage towards the heavenly city and its glories! Happy are we as we find the Spirit of the Lord working out through hands and feet and tongue and every power to glorify the name [R4292 : page 364] of our Redeemer and to bless his children and as many others as possible of the groaning creation!

JOINT-HEIRS WITH CHRIST

Dear fellow-members of the Royal Priesthood, in a certain sense we already have received the anointing of the Great King, which constitutes us in an embryotic sense the Kings and Priests of the future. We are at the threshold of a great work. We are to be associates with our Lord in the Kingdom, that we may be his assistants in conferring Divine blessings upon all the families of the earth. Our position, therefore, is not so unlike that of Solomon. We, like him, have turned aside from service for a time that we may offer sacrifices to the Lord. Each has a sacrifice to bring, his justified self, his will, his time, his influence, his talents. Now is the time of our dream. Now is the time when the Lord has appeared to us, revealing himself to the eyes of our understanding through his Word. He invites us to choose. He wishes us to see of what spirit we are. Day by day we are making choice, either wisely or unwisely. And day by day he is taking note of those who make a wise choice, as did Solomon.

Do we ask for long life by seeking chiefly self-preservation? Do we ask for riches by giving the best of our time and talent to their accumulation? Or do we ask for triumphs and trials of an earthly kind over others? If we ask any of these things or all of them, as some seem to do, we are not choosing the better [R4292 : page 365] part, and the Lord will sooner or later advise us that our choice is not pleasing to him. Are we day by day seeking at the Lord's hand and through his Word an understanding heart, that we may know his will and obediently follow his instruction? If so, we are choosing wisely, reverently--"The secret of the Lord is with them that reverence him, and he will show them his Covenant."

Our desire to know the secret of the Lord should be two-fold: (1) That we may fill the office and service to which he has so graciously called us; and (2) that we may be prepared in his providence for the blessing of all with whom he will bring us in contact, not only in the present life, but also in that which is to come. It should be our desire, as it was Solomon's, to realize our own littleness, our own unworthiness of so great an honor; to realize that we have the Divine favor only because of our relationship to the typical David, the Beloved, our Redeemer. We are reminded of our Saviour's words, "Except ye become as little children ye can in no wise enter into the Kingdom of God." Here again is the thought of simplicity and humility and teachableness, and not the thought of littleness of stature or immaturity of judgment. The thought of what we have been called to, in the Lord's providence, in connection with his Kingdom, should lead us to be very humble in the present time, to learn all the lessons which our heavenly Father would give to those who shall be associated with him in his Kingdom, "To the called according to his purpose."

All of the Lord's people are sheep. All are under the Good Shepherd. But amongst the sheep he has appointed some to measurably represent him and to assist and guide the sheep in right paths. These may get the special blessing from this lesson by applying the suggestions to some extent to their present relationship to the people of God. None of the elders of the Church of Christ should ever be heard saying, "My people!" "My flock!" "My Church!" "My congregation!" Rather in humility he should be feeling himself as a little child needing the Divine wisdom to guide, direct, feed the Lord's people, whose interests are so great, so momentous, and the corresponding need of assistance on the way to the Kingdom.

To all who thus choose, to all whose hearts are firmly fixed unwaveringly upon these principles and desires, the Lord declares his approval and assures them that while now granting them the desires of their hearts in respect to wisdom and knowledge, he will by and by give them still more wisdom and, in addition, riches and honor and length of days--eternal life. If this matter of consecration has been thus far but a dream, let us awaken to realities and permit the good promises of the Lord to awaken in us, not only to will and to do aright the Father's good pleasure, but also to cultivate in word and deed, and the thought and intent of our heart, the good purposes of his will. So doing, we shall shortly enter into the "Joy of our Lord."



[R4292 : page 365]

JUDGMENT OF FALLEN ANGELS

A REPLY TO SOME QUERIES
YOUR favor of the 23d is at hand, and I much appreciate its loving spirit. With very much of it, dear brother, I am in very hearty accord and have offered some suggestions in the DAWNS and Tracts, especially respecting the fact that the angels were preached to, taught a great lesson in connection with our Lord's sacrifice and resurrection, and that some of them probably have taken their stand for righteousness and perhaps suffered from some evilly-disposed on this account. I do not see, however, as you seem to intimate, that their trial is wholly in the future. As the trial of the Gospel Church has continued throughout this age, but will terminate with severe testing, so I understand that the fallen angels have been on trial--but in their case for over 4300 years; that some have been taking their stand and that now what remains of trial for them is a short, sharp, final test similar to the one that will come to the world at the close of the Millennium.

Your suggestion that these fallen angels must see and appreciate the testing of the Millennial Age before their trial could be complete does not to me appear sound. They have knowledge, not only of the primeval condition, witnessing the degradation occasioned by sin in the world, but also of heavenly conditions and their own harmony at one time with these conditions. With mankind the matter is different. We have had comparatively no knowledge or illustration of perfection, but only of sin, degradation. God's purpose to give mankind an uplift and a knowledge of the good seems reasonable, for man has by experience no knowledge of the beauties and grandeurs of the heavenly estate for his instruction by contrast.

Assuming, as I do, that there have been good and bad fallen angels since Christ preached to them, and assuming that this knowledge brought to them responsibility, trial, testing, my understanding is that the culmination of their testing is about due. I do not understand these to be the angels of the devil mentioned in Matthew 25. Those I understand to be the goat-class, messengers of Satan, who love unrighteousness and who during the Millennium will pass to the left hand of the great King and Judge as "goats."

The judgment of the great day, I believe, is upon us, testing the Church, the world and the fallen spirits, and, I believe, will produce an awful time of trouble. We are to remember that, according to the parallel dispensations, the King came in, or assumed his power in 1878. He then called for his servants and began to reckon with them respecting the pounds and talents.

If we are correct in our supposition, the majority of the "little flock" is now with the Bridegroom beyond the veil and assisting in the work of judgment already beginning. Why may not we on this side of the veil have some share also in the matter? If the judgments of the Lord are already abroad in the earth and have to do with the fiery trials which are trying the Church, "When every man's work shall be tried so as by fire," and when the "great company," thus tried, shall suffer loss of all their Kingdom privileges, yet themselves be saved so as by fire, is not this a part of the Lord's judgment which begins with the house of God, which extends to Babylon and involves the whole world? Is not this the time of which it is written, "This honor hath all his saints, to execute the judgments written"? Will not this execution of the judgments written constitute a large part of the great trouble just before us? Again, in his statement, "To him that overcometh [R4292 : page 366] will I grant power over the nations, and he shall dash them in pieces as a potter's vessel," does not our Lord suggest that the Church will have a share in this work? To suppose the Head and the majority of the members in glory, and the Feet still in the earth and in the very midst of much of the trouble, but shielded from it by their close relationship to the Lord, as the three Hebrews in the fiery furnace were protected --does not this fit all of the conditions?

Consider now the part of the fallen angels. In the "lying wonders" would not the expression "lying" convey the thought of deception? And could any wonder be greater than an apparent resurrection of the dead? And would it be more deceptive or a greater lie than for the fallen angels to personate the dead? It seems to me that the acquirement by the angels of the power to materialize and personate the living and the dead will most wonderfully accord with the various declarations respecting "all manner of deceivableness and lying wonders."

My thought is that God's restraint upon the fallen angels was not merely one of command, but included also his taking away from them the powers of materialization, which once they misused. I do not think of divine power as returning to the demons the liberty and authority to materialize, but understand that whatever success they may have in this direction and the still further success they are expecting is [R4293 : page 366] all the result of their finding out a method by which it might appear to them that they had circumvented the divine mandate. Thus they would seem to triumph over God and be able to work their orgies in defiance of his power.

Here would be the sublime test, which would demonstrate not only the gross wickedness of those of them who for centuries had defied God and righteousness and injured humanity, but it would be the supreme test also upon that other company of the fallen angels who, we are assuming, are sick of sin, abstaining from it and longing for divine mercy and reconciliation. The breaking loose of such evil spirits and the resulting pandemonium would imply amongst them a climacteric test, the decision in which would be final. It not only seems to me that no such tests would be possible for those demons during the Millennium, when nothing shall hurt or destroy, but it also seems incongruous to me to suppose that there would be any hope for those who are in a devilish attitude now after having witnessed the fall and its terrible consequences, and the goodness of God manifested in Jesus' death and resurrection and the faithfulness of his followers in being baptized into his death.

I am not urging this matter, dear Brother, merely explaining the matter as it appears to my mind. In doing this I, of course, wish to thoroughly arouse the Lord's people in due time, to put them on guard, to forewarn and forearm. And incidentally, we know not but that we are forewarning and forearming those of the demons who have turned their faces again towards God and his righteousness. It is far from our thought to terrify the Lord's people or others. Rather we point them to the only sure place of safety, and admonish them that in abiding therein they need have no fear. The Vow we have recently suggested is a finger pointing in the right direction--to the fullest imaginable degree of consecration to the Lord and his service, and to love for the brethren and to separateness from sin. These, abiding under the shadow of the Almighty, need fear no evil. The Lord will be their refuge and habitation, and no evil can come near that dwelling-place.

In a word, those who are living as closely as possible to the Lord in faith and obedience and knowledge are absolutely safe and need fear none of the powers of darkness. We believe that all others are unsafe propositions, as they are distant from this safe habitation.



page 366

BEREAN STUDIES ON THE ATONEMENT
THE TEXT-BOOK USED FOR THIS COURSE
IS SCRIPTURE STUDIES, SERIES V. (E)*

*Five years ago DAWN-STUDIES, VOL. V., was reset, and unfortunately the type was not exactly same size as before; and hence page for page they differ. The references given in these Berean Studies apply to the present edition, a copy of which postpaid will cost you but 30c. But keep your old edition, for unfortunately the new Bible Helps refer to its pages.


Questions on Study V.--
The Author of the Atonement.

JANUARY 3

"THE EVERLASTING FATHER"

(1) What titles are given to our Lord in Isaiah 9:6?

(2) In what sense should we understand that our Lord Jesus was the Mighty God? How the Wonderful One? How the Counselor or Teacher? How the Prince of Peace? P.141, par. 2.

(3) Does the application of the title, The Everlasting Father, to our Lord Jesus, in any manner conflict with the application of such a title to Jehovah? If not, why not? P.141.

(4) Quote one or more Scriptures which refer to the heavenly Father as one person, and to the Son of the Father as another person, and which declares Jehovah to be the Father of our Redeemer. P.141, par. 3.

(5) Is Jesus now the Everlasting Father or will he become such in the future? Under what circumstances will this be to him a proper title? P.141, par. 3,4.

(6) What relationship will the perfected world hold at the end of the Millennium to the Son--and what to the Father? P.141, par. 4.

(7) Explain the Scripture which says, "Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children," etc. (Psa. 45:16.) Who are the fathers and whose children will they become and by what process will the change be effected? P.142, par. 3.

(8) Is our Lord Jesus ever spoken of as the Father of the Church? If not, why not? P.143, par. 1.

(9) What is the relationship between Christ and the Church, Scripturally stated? Prove your view by several quotations. P.144.

(10) If this particular relationship between Christ and the Church is the "mystery" of the Scriptures, explain it and show why.

JANUARY 10

"THE SON OF MAN"

(1) How does this title, "The Son of man," apply to our Lord Jesus, since the Scriptures declare that he was born of a virgin, and since he never acknowledged Joseph as his father? P.149.

(2) Cite a few of the texts in which our Lord applied to himself the term, "The Son of man." P.150.

(3) Is this to be applied to our Lord merely respecting his earthly ministry or is it also applied to him relative to his glory of the future? P.150.

(4) Since the evidence is conclusive that our Lord Jesus was not Joseph's son, has it any weight that his page 367 human nature was sacrificed forever? Why should he adopt this title which so clearly identifies him with humanity? P.151.

(5) Who was The Man of the human race, aside from our Lord Jesus? P.152, par. 1.

(6) Quote from the Psalms showing that Adam was ordained of God to be the head of his race. P.152, par. 1.

(7) Is Christ to inherit that which was originally Adam's? Quote a Scripture in proof of this. P.152, par. 2.

(8) If Adam's inheritance was lost through sin, how does it come to Christ as The Son of The man? P.152, par. 2.

(9) Does the Greek text connected with our Lord's title, "The Son of Man," show any peculiarity? If so, what? P.153, par. 1.

(10) Why should this title, "The Son of Man," apply to our Lord Jesus not only after his resurrection, but after the Millennium--to all eternity? P.153, par. 2.

JANUARY 17

"THE MAN CHRIST JESUS"

(1) Is it conceded even by the enemies of the Gospel that Jesus was a remarkable personage? If so, on what account? Cite some Scriptures in proof of this. P.153, par. 3.

(2) What was the significance of Pilate's expression, "Behold the man"? Where should the emphasis be laid and what significance should be attached to his words? P.154.

(3) Quote Rousseau's eulogy on "The Son of the Man." P.154, par. 2.

(4) Quote Napoleon Bonaparte's eulogy on "The Man Christ Jesus." P.155.

(5) Why should the world be excusable for considering Jesus more than a man? P.155, par. 4.

(6) Was he not more than a man--not only more than sinful man, but more even than a perfect man? Where, how and when did he receive this greatness? P.155, par. 4.

JANUARY 24

"NO BEAUTY THAT WE SHOULD DESIRE"

(1) Quote the text of Isaiah 52:3 and show comparison with Leeser's or Young's translation.

(2) Does this Scripture imply that our Lord Jesus was of mean personal appearance? P.156, par. 2.

(3) Mention various views of honorableness, beauty, etc., and show which of these ideals our Lord disappointed and why. P.156, par. 3.

(4) What were the Scribes, Pharisees and rulers of the Jews expecting in Messiah from his reign? And how did our Lord disappoint these expectations. P.157.

(5) In what respect was our Lord's appearance undesirable and disappointing to those men? P.158, par. 2.

(6) What can we say of the expression, "His visage was so marred?" Is it not out of harmony with what we should expect of a perfect man and what we should expect in the light of various Scriptures referring to our Lord? P.158, par. 3.

(7) Give a better translation of the passage of this prophecy and show its application. P.159, par. 1,2.

(8) If our Lord was "touched with a feeling of our infirmities" might not this include possible lines of sadness on his face? Explain this fully. P.159, par. 3.

(9) Would our Lord, the Perfect One, suffer more or less from his environment because of his perfection? P.160, par. 1.

(10) How did these outward conditions probably affect our Lord's personal appearance? And would they assist in appreciating human conditions sympathetically? P.160, par. 2.

(11) Review the questions of this lesson and point out what beauty there is in the expression, "The chiefest among ten thousand." P.161, par. 2.

JANUARY 31

THE CHANNEL OF ATONEMENT--THE HOLY SPIRIT

(1) Does the holy Spirit have an important part in connection with the Reconciliation of At-One Ment of the Church of God? If so, what is its part? And why could we not without it appreciate the Divine will or understand the "deep things" of God's promises? Pp.163, 164.

(2) Will the holy Spirit be an instrumentality of blessing to the world also during the Millennium? Quote a Scripture in proof of this. P.163; P.164, par. 2.

(3) What reason can be assigned for the blessing of the world being mentioned by the Prophet in advance of the blessing of the Church, when really other Scriptures show us that the order was reversed? P.164, par. 1,2.

(4) Quote another Scripture in the New Testament which shows that the holy Spirit will operate during the Millennium for the blessing and assistance of the world.--Rev. 22:17. P.165.

(5) What Doctrine arose in the Church after the death of the apostles--after the New Testament had been completed--and beclouded the Truth in general and the operations of the holy Spirit in particular? P.165, par. 1.

(6) Does the word Trinity or Trinitarian occur in the Bible? If not, by what authority are these terms so generally applied as names of doctrines, churches, etc.? Are the Scriptures consistent and harmonious on the subject of the relationship of the Father to the Son and the holy Spirit, and how? P.165, par. 2.

(7) Is the expression, "These three, the Father, the Son, and the holy Spirit, one in substance, equal in power and glory," a Scriptural quotation? If not, where is it found? P.165, par. 2.

(8) Explain how three persons could be one person, or how one person could be three persons. And if merely one in kind or substance be meant, and not one in person, where would be the proof of their equality, since the Father is always mentioned first--mentioned as the God and Father of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ? P.166.

(9) Give references to the holy Spirit under sixteen different terms or titles in the New Testament. P.167.



page 369
December 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. XXIX.DECEMBER 15No. 24
A.D. 1908--A.M. 6037


CONTENTS

Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society's Report
for 1908371
The Watch Tower Subscription List372
Our Correspondence Department372
Evangelizing Through Newspapers372
The Society's Colportage373
The Tract and Volunteer Work373
The Pilgrim Service374
Summary of the Year's Work374
The Temple of God is Holy374
The Greater Than Solomon's379
A Review Lesson--December 27381
Resolved, by God's Assisting Grace381
Fourteen Elders and Others382

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 370

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.




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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 MAY 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.


ENTERED AS SECOND-CLASS MATTER AT THE POSTOFFICE DEPT., OTTAWA, CANADA

"THE WONDERFUL STORY OF GOD'S LOVE"


Just issued--a poem of 59 verses by Sister M. R. Land. It is a beautiful little booklet, appropriately illustrated, and suggested for use as a Christmas token. Price, 15c or $1.50 per dozen, postpaid.

DANO-NORWEGIAN AND SWEDISH LITERATURE


Tabernacle Shadows and Spiritism booklets in the Dano-Norwegian language, 10c each. Also excellent Norwegian Volunteer matter.

The Hell Booklets in cloth at 10c and in board covers at 15c, in Swedish; also Spiritism and Tabernacle Shadows treatises in TOWER form, in Swedish, at 5c per copy. Tabernacle Shadows in booklet form at 10c each. Plenty of good Swedish Volunteer matter.

Volume 1 in Hollandish is now in stock at 25c per copy.

MOTTOES, POSTCARDS and BOOKLETS for CHRISTMAS


We have a choice line at very low prices, as set forth in our issue of November 1st. Also "Sermonette" Postcards, 15c per dozen, postpaid.

Glacier Window Mottoes, like those exhibited at the Convention, 30c per dozen, postpaid.

OLD THEOLOGY QUARTERLY


We are about to discontinue these Tracts. Order at once all you can use, so we need not move the stock to our new quarters.



[R4293 : page 371]

WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY'S REPORT
--DECEMBER 1, 1907, TO DECEMBER 1, 1908.--
FOR many years the work of the Society has shown phenomenal progress, our last report being the best of all--an astonishment even to the most hopeful. Of course, in the face of the financial depression, we had not the courage to hope that the present year would even nearly come up to last year's remarkable showing. We are confident, therefore, dear brethren, that you will be overwhelmed with surprise to learn that, notwithstanding the adverse conditions to which the panic led, the present year not only shows as favorably as last year, but shows a great improvement. We may well rejoice with one another and give to our Lord all the praise. Surely without him we could do nothing, in the face of the opposition which we continually meet from the world, from the flesh, and, above all, from our great Adversary, who works in and through the blinded children of disobedience. Ah! more and more do we realize the meaning of the Apostle's words, when he declares, "We wrestle not with flesh and blood, but with wicked spirits in high positions."--Eph. 6:12.

The contest is so unequal that if we did not have the supervision and protection of our Lord through his various agencies, we would surely be deceived and thwarted in every direction. As it is, in the light of our Lamp, the Word of God, we know what to expect; that for the harvest testing, which begins with the house of God and extends to the nominal systems and the world, there will be a relaxing of the Divine restraints upon the evil spirits, permitting their greater activity and correspondingly more and more severe tests upon all mankind. We remember our Lord's words, to the effect that the deceptions would ultimately prove so severe that they would "deceive, if it were possible, the very elect." It will not be possible, because for this class the Lord will provide special protection, special warnings, special assistances. We note the Apostle's remark that if it began first with us, what will the end be upon those who obey not the Gospel? "If the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?"--I Pet. 4:18.

While the report shows progress in the work accomplished in extending the Truth to others, our chief cause for rejoicing lies in the fact that a deep work of grace seems to be in progress in many places; we believe very generally throughout all the Harvest work, considered as a whole. We are able to form, we think, fairly good estimates along these lines from the phraseology of the letters we receive and also from the reports made to us by the "Pilgrims." The spirit of brotherhood, the spirit of love, seems to be on the increase, even as the reverse spirit is increasing and manifest in the world--a spirit of strife and envy, evil-speaking and hatred.

We have been pleased to note the remarkable progress made by some dear friends who have come into the light of Present Truth recently. The rapidity with which they grasp the outline of the Plan in many details, and the zeal with which they undertake to "let their light shine," and to bring their thoughts and words and doings into line therewith, are evidences of the power of the spirit of the Truth working in them, and are gratifying indeed. But alas! a faithful "View" from the Watch Tower reminds us of the fact that the harvest time is not alone for gathering the wheat from the fields, but a time also for threshing and winnowing it, for the separation of the chaff from the wheat, that the latter may be ready for the garner. We should, perhaps, expect that the remaining years of the harvest will be conspicuously marked in this manner. While we expect a large ingathering of ripened grain, we must also expect that the flail of trial and testing will fall heavily, swiftly and repeatedly upon the wheat, that it may be thoroughly threshed, that every grain may be thoroughly separated from the hull or chaff. Results may sometimes be very disappointing as we find ourselves mistaken in our estimates; as we find some fall whom we had no doubt would stand firmly with us to the end of the journey and enter the garner of the Kingdom. However, the work is the Lord's, and not ours. It is for us to do with our might what our hands find to do, and to leave all results in the Divine care, knowing that our Lord is too wise to err, and that his love for all of his dear people is far more intense than ours, and that nothing in their interest, for their correction in righteousness, etc., will be left undone.

It is ours, therefore, to do our part and leave the remainder with him. We cannot share the sentiments of our opponents that the Lord has allowed the harvest work to progress thirty-four years along wrong lines, and now wishes three or four self-appointed brethren to [R4293 : page 372] take direction of affairs and say what should and what should not appear in the columns of this Journal, etc. This very same thought, as some of our readers know, has twice in the past led to conspiracies on the part of misguided brethren to turn the channel of the Stream of Truth more to their pleasement. As those efforts failed, so, we believe, other efforts, of a slightly modified form, will fail. These endeavors cause us sorrow of heart indeed, but in no sense or degree shake our confidence in the Lord and his perfect mastery of the situation and the carrying out of the harvest work. Our sorrow is for the deluded brethren whom the Adversary thus sifts out. It is not for us to question the methods of Divine Wisdom, but rather to remember that "The Lord knoweth them that are his." We may esteem brethren too highly or insufficiently, but the Lord knows the heart and makes no mistake. Then, too, each of the called ones has a will of his own. It is not our flesh that is being tested, but our wills; hence the necessity for watching our hearts and keeping very humble; otherwise pride or ambition may enter and in a few months, or even a few days, or hours or moments might work havoc to all our character development, from the Lord's viewpoint.

Ah! how carefully we should heed the words, "Keep thy heart with all diligence (thy will, thy affections), for out of it are the issues of life"--life eternal or death eternal.--Prov. 4:23.

We have some very important and very interesting things to present to you respecting the grand outlook for the work in 1909, but that properly belongs to the "View" of our next issue, and we must not trench upon it here. Suffice to say that it contains wonderful hopes and prospects, under the Lord's continued guidance, and your continued cooperation. [R4294 : page 372]

THE WATCH TOWER SUBSCRIPTION LIST

With the New Year we expect to drop the word "Zion's" in the title of our Journal, because many of the friends inform us that the word is objectionable, having been so much used by Mr. Dowie and his followers. They report that our Journal is frequently cast aside under the supposition that it is published under Dowie's auspices, or in some manner affiliated with Zion City, which he founded. The new name, THE WATCH TOWER, is the one by which the Journal is usually mentioned. It appears, further, that African churches and papers use the word Zion extensively, which has led to the inquiry whether or not our Journal is published and generally read by colored people.

We consider the subscription list of our Journal the surest and safest criterion, as respects the numbers of our deeply interested ones. Our present enrolment is 25,000. This is only half the list we think we should have. It is the only discouraging feature connected with this report. It shows no increase over last year. For our encouragement, however, we must remember that during this year the Postoffice Department put into effect with all publications a rule intended to cut off the lists the names of all who do not actually subscribe and pay the money for their subscriptions, or have it paid for them by others. This meant the cutting off of large numbers of names from our list. Otherwise the list would probably show at least 5,000 stronger. As it was, our Society advanced to the TOWER account moneys representing the subscriptions of those who requested the Journal as the Lord's poor, and also advanced arrearage for those requesting the TOWER continued to them on credit. The Society is pleased to do this, as the work is one in any event, and any surplus which might accrue from the WATCH TOWER would belong to the Society. We state these matters in explanation and wish all our dear readers to know that we are as glad to have their names on the list, if they are poor and unable to pay for themselves, as if they were rich. We are continually reminded of the Scriptural declaration that amongst the Lord's consecrated flock there are not many rich nor great, but chiefly the poor of this world, rich in faith.

We offer no premiums to obtain subscriptions. We rely upon your loving interest in this Journal and in the Truth it presents and in the brethren whom we believe will be blest and profited by the reading of it. On these high grounds we appeal to all the consecrated in sympathy with this Journal and its mission, to see to it that the names of all the interested promptly get on our lists, whether as paying subscribers, or on credit, or as the Lord's poor.

What can and will you do in this direction for the coming year? Those who are on the list of the "Lord's poor" will please remember that their requests for renewal need not be sent to us now, but next May. We thus arrange so as to save our office force, for whom the present is the very busy season.

OUR CORRESPONDENCE DEPARTMENT

We esteem this department very highly, because it permits us to keep closely in touch with the dear friends of the Truth, and to know of their joys and sorrows, and to give them advice along various lines of their special requests. We want you to know how much your letters are appreciated; how pleased we are to have them, and we want you to understand why only an occasional letter receives a response, and that, sometimes, a very brief one (perhaps on a postal-card). It is because we trust that you accept the DAWN-STUDIES and TOWERS and Tracts as answers. Whenever a letter contains a direct question, we endeavor to give it a direct answer, and very frequently can do this best by citing the volume and page of the DAWN or TOWER in which it is treated much more fully than a private letter would permit. We offer the suggestion that in writing to us you endeavor to keep the business part of your letter separate from the more social portion, and, if you ask questions, please make them pointed as possible. Say as much as possible in few words, and your letter will receive more, rather than less care and attention. Let us assure you that the Lord has greatly blessed many of your kind letters to our refreshment of heart, during various trying experiences, which he has wisely and lovingly permitted, and against which we do not murmur nor repine.

Your assurances of your prayers and love and progress in the Truth and its service have been specially helpful. Continue, dear friends, to remember us and all the dear colaborers in your prayers. We feel sure that this is true in the case of all those who have informed us that they have taken the Vow.

EVANGELIZING THROUGH NEWSPAPERS

The newspaper has become the great factor in the daily life of the civilized world. The Lord seemed to point us to this way also of forwarding the interests of the Truth, and opened a wide door for us in connection with the publication of the debates. We have sought wisdom and grace to use this opportunity to the Lord's praise and to the finding of his people, and their liberation from the chains of error. The Lord has greatly blessed the effort so that at the present time the editor's [R4294 : page 373] weekly sermons are published in eleven newspapers regularly, representing a combined circulation of 402,000. This is equivalent to a circulation of 400,000 tracts per week, or 21,000,000 per year, with the advantage that it reaches people in a manner which some prefer; for quite a good many dislike to be seen receiving or reading a tract. Surely this is an excellent field, well worthy of cultivation as one of the best means of reaching the reading public.

Brethren familiar with newspaper methods advise us that Allegheny is practically unknown, that Pittsburgh is noted more for its smoke and dirt, steel and iron, Homestead riot and millionaires, than for anything along the lines of science, literature or religion. They assure us that if the weekly sermons emanated from a more favorable quarter it would possibly result in the publication of the sermons all over the United States; that within a year there might be hundreds of papers publishing them regularly. Investigation and reflection seemed to teach that Chicago and St. Louis, although central in a large degree, have a stock-yard and big reputation, rather than a religious one; and Boston, although cultured and scientific, has a reputation for unorthodox fads along religious lines. Altogether we concluded, after seeking Divine guidance, that Brooklyn, N.Y., with a large population of the middle class, and known as "The City of Churches," would, for these reasons, be our most suitable center for the harvest work during the few remaining years. Besides, the brethren of the office force, always zealous to use their time, energy and opportunities in holding meetings, will find in Brooklyn and surrounding cities a vast field, only partially cultivated at the present time. Within the radius of a few miles reside seven and one-half millions of civilized people of every nation--the two-hundredth part of the population of the whole earth-- the one-fiftieth of civilization. There are more Jews in New York City than in all Palestine, and more Irishmen than in Dublin, the capital of Ireland. We trust that our proposed move will commend itself to all of our dear friends. In our next issue we will briefly explain to you some of the Lord's remarkable leadings in connection with the selection of the new Bible House, which is undergoing extensive repairs to adapt it to the needs of the work.

THE SOCIETY'S COLPORTAGE

When a year ago we looked at our reports, a month after the panic began, we concluded that the Colporteur work had reached its climax, and that whatever success might attend other parts of the work, it would be impossible for the dear Colporteurs to make ends meet, in the face of a money stringency; that they would be obliged to retire, and hence that the sales would drop off greatly. Your surprise can be no greater than ours to find that, notwithstanding these various difficulties, the year 1908 stands head and shoulders above its predecessor and every other. True, the shutting down of works spoiled some of the territory entirely, but even this worked a blessing and led the Colporteurs to try the small villages and rural routes, with surprisingly good results, carrying the Truth to hungry hearts, who might otherwise not have been brought in contact with it. The total output of DAWN-STUDIES for the year shows an average of more than 2,000 volumes for each working day of the year. And the best of all--the last two months have been the best two of this, the best year.

We note a great work of grace amongst the dear Colporteurs themselves--a deepening, mellowing, enriching of the Lord's holy Spirit of love and zeal. Not content with colporteuring merely, they seek, in harmony with our suggestions, to water the seed which seems to have fallen into good ground. By the time the Colporteur is ready to leave the city or town, he generally finds a number of interested ones ready to form a Berean Class for further study of the Word, by the aid of the Society's "Helps," which, we believe, the Lord has specially provided for this harvest time and this "hour of temptation."

Let us all continue to remember these dear, loyal, faithful servants of the Truth in our petitions to the Throne of Grace. We scarcely dare hope that the year 1909 will show a further increase upon the present one in this department; for we constantly say to ourselves, "Will wonders never cease?" No such sale in subscription books was ever known. Undoubtedly the Lord is using this method, not only to reach many of his ripe and Truth-hungry saints, but also to put the Truth into the homes of others, where it will be sought and devoured, and give strength during the "time of trouble," especially to the Great Company class. [R4295 : page 373]

THE TRACT AND VOLUNTEER WORK

Tons of literature have gone forth this year. The present report does not include the German and Scandinavian Tract distribution, which will be set forth later. However, the totals in the English are astounding. When it is remembered that these Tracts are nested four in one, and separate, it gives us a total of over thirty millions. You would be much interested in the details of this distribution--to know that not only Pilgrims and Colporteurs, but also doctors, merchants, housewives, etc., carefully plan to redeem their time from secular pursuits that they may give the more time and energy to this branch of the work. God is blessing it, too. In various ways we can note that those who are "not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ," but are zealous to serve it, are blessed of the Lord in their hearts and heads, and granted increasing privileges of service in various ways. It is certainly true that a great blessing goes out from this work to every one that participates in it, and that it would be well worth while to continue it for their sakes, if not one of these seeds of Truth fell into good and honest hearts and brought forth fruitage; but, on the contrary, the reports we receive show that gradually the Truth is making headway against opposition and finding the "Israelites indeed, in whom is no guile."

The Postoffice Department has not yet restored to us second-class privileges in connection with the Old Theology quarterly, hence we think of discontinuing it. Order all you can use of the old stock that we need not "move" it. The present form of the Old Theology Quarterly has become widely known, and may have gained some enemies, as well as friends. Look out for the new quarterly, "PEOPLE'S PULPIT." We propose transferring the subscriptions of the Old Theology Quarterly to "PEOPLE'S PULPIT," confident that this change will be satisfactory to all of the subscribers. But the Postoffice Department may demand to see our authorization of such substitution. We request, therefore, that you address our Society by Postcard, saying in so many words that you will be pleased to receive "PEOPLE'S PULPIT" for the remainder of the time that Old Theology Quarterly would be coming to you on your subscription already paid. [R4295 : page 374]

THE PILGRIM SERVICE

During the forepart of the year, when financial matters looked unfavorable, we made no special attempt to increase the number of the Pilgrims, but, as the year advanced, and we found that instead of the Tract Fund donations decreasing, they were increasing, we began to put on more force, and today have several new Pilgrims and some others ready to start early in the New Year. This branch of the service is greatly blessed of the Lord, especially in connection with the interested. A special effort seems to be necessary to successfully reach the public. For the new year we plan to have several Pilgrims do a special evangelistic work with the public in cities and towns where we have, and where we have not, interested readers and classes.

Our thought is to have these services in good localities and well advertised. We are selecting the brethren whose talents, we believe, will best qualify them for this department, leaving to the others the special work of more particularly ministering to the household of faith, as heretofore. We appreciate very much the helpfulness of all the dear friends along this line of service and trust and believe that the Lord has fully rewarded their self-sacrificing labors, in connection with the arranging and advertising. Only beyond the veil will we fully know what are the results. Now we see by faith, but are sure that the Lord's Word will not return to him void, but will prosper in the thing whereunto it was sent, and that our endeavors, on behalf of others, will bring refreshment to ourselves.

In the financial department, it will be noticed that the expenses of the Pilgrims run up into larger figures than ever before. This does not signify extravagance on the part of any of the dear brethren, but is owing to the following: Many of the dear friends go to considerable expense in hiring halls and advertising the one-day conventions (and sometimes the Pilgrim visits), and these outlays in the service of the Truth we have asked them to report to us, so that this money also can appear in our reports as so much money contributed to the Society and paid out by the Society for said meetings, etc., even though our treasury never actually received the money, nor paid it out. The money was spent for the propaganda, and had it not been so spent, quite probably it would have been sent to the Tract Fund. Have this in mind, therefore, when noting the summary of cash received and cash paid out, against Pilgrim expenses.

TRACT FUND RECEIPTS

Confident that it would not be the Lord's will that we should go in debt, we are very careful not to undertake larger contracts than we feel reasonably sure we can meet financially. But as the year passed and the funds accumulated, we concluded that the Lord had in view a widening of the Work, and was preparing us for it. It is our thought that the increase of financial power put into our hands should not lead to less economical methods, but to an enlargement of the Work. We remember the Lord's statement, "He that is faithful in that which is least would be faithful in that which is greater." We go to our new quarters, therefore, financially well equipped for the opening of the work on a larger scale.

Our reasons for believing that a large number of the Lord's people are to be brought into the light of Present Truth during the year just beginning we will set forth in our January 1st "outlook." We believe that you will all agree with us on this subject, after reading the evidences.

SUMMARY OF THE YEAR'S WORK
Letters received75,569
Letters sent out61,573


DAWN-STUDIES sent out--all volumes, all languages728,474
Average per working day2,372


TRACTS circulated free7,686,500
TOWERS circulated free445,000
SERMONS in newspapers, about11,500,000
Foregoing in tract pages as usually stated308,000,000


Pilgrims in service47
Miles traveled235,750
Public meetings held2,527
Parlor meetings held6,077


FINANCIAL SHOWING.
Balance from 1907 report $ 9,260.42
"Good Hopes," 1908 93,994.26

$103,254.68
Expended in Foreign Missions:
Great Britain $ 2,789.32
Australasia 2,945.89
Germany 9,826.41
Scandinavia 3,583.67
Jamaica 1,794.73
Switzerland, France and Italy 232.95
Africa 1,704.84
China 232.85

Total $23,110.66
Expended for Tracts, Postage, etc. 34,468.72
Expended for Pilgrim Service, Conventions, etc. 20,074.96
Brooklyn Realty 17,500.00

$ 95,154.34

Balance for 1909 $ 8,100.34


***

The above account of DAWN-STUDIES put into circulation includes the foreign work; but the other items do not. The reports of foreign branches we hope to present in our next issue.

We congratulate you, dear friends, on the Lord's blessing upon our mutual efforts. The realization of our own insufficiency for the great work which seems to be opening up before us for 1909, properly makes us feel very humble and dependent upon the great Chief Reaper. "Greater is he who is on our part, than all that be against us." Let us look carefully for his leadings and abide in his love by keeping his commandment, "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another, as I have loved you."



[R4296 : page 374]

THE TEMPLE OF GOD IS HOLY
--I KINGS 8.--DECEMBER 13.--

Golden Text:--"I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord."--Psa. 122:1.

NEARLY twenty years elapsed between the incidents of our last lesson and those of the present one--the dedication of the temple of God, built by Solomon chiefly of materials accumulated by King David, his father. There were no methods of rapid construction in those days such as we have now. Solomon, with all his wisdom, had not invented steam-saws for cutting stone and wood and iron, nor steam-hoists for elevating materials into place, nor traveling cranes, nor hundreds of other useful conveniences [R4296 : page 375] which help to make our day so wonderful, in contrast with every other time. We are not for this to plume ourselves on a greater brain capacity or wisdom, but rather to accept the Scriptural interpretation that God specially lifted the curtain and disclosed to us these blessings, as part of his preparation for the Millennium, incidental also in bringing in the great time of trouble, with which the Scriptures declare this age will end. Nevertheless, Solomon's temple was one of the grandest buildings in the world in its day, although we consider the following comment by Edersheim rather exaggerated. He says:--

"Alone and isolated in its grandeur stood the temple mount. Terrace upon terrace its courts rose till, high above the city, within the enclosures of marble cloisters, the temple itself stood out, a mass of snowy marble and of glorious glittering in the sunlight, against the half-encircling green back-ground of Olivet....Nor has there been in ancient or modern times a sacred building equal to the temple, whether for situation or magnificence."

THE GREAT COST OF THE TEMPLE

Estimates of the cost of the temple are made, which we consider very unlikely--estimates running up into the hundreds of millions, and even as high as thousands of millions of dollars. On this fact was based an argument that Christian people today are well justified in building grand and costly edifices for divine worship, chiefly used one day in seven. It is not for us to find fault with others of a different view who choose thus to invest their energies. It is their own concern and they are right in following the dictates of their own consciences. We remember, however, that the temple at Jerusalem was the house of prayer for all the people of that nation, numbering millions, and that it is also styled, "A house of prayer for all nations."

We remember that at the beginning and at the middle of their year were festivals, which God's people from all parts of the land of Israel and the whole world were expected to attend personally or by representative. Thus viewed the temple, even from the standpoint of the natural man, was a very different structure from a local church meeting-house. The Jews had meeting places styled synagogues, and they were generally quite humble and simple. Fault is sometimes found with us that we take a different course in this matter. Instead of erecting grand edifices in which to worship, we are poor and cannot attempt so to do except by solicitation of aid from the world, which is contrary to our judgment of the Lord's will, contrary to our conscience. Instead, our benevolences go towards the propagation of the Gospel by word or printed page. We have very economical arrangements for our little assemblies and also for our Convention spiritual feasts. We, of course, consider that our view of the matter is the correct one.

IN THE DIVINE LIGHT

There might be room for dispute amongst the Lord's people on the subject of costly church edifices, until we get to see the subject in the Divine light of God's Word. Thereafter there should be no room for discussion. That Divine light shows us the temple at Jerusalem as more than a house of worship for its time, as a type of a greater Temple to be built by a greater than Solomon. That greater Temple, the New Testament assures us, is the Church, the Body of Christ, of which he is the Head. This is the Temple of which St. Peter declares that himself and all of the Lord's thoroughly consecrated followers are antitypical, the living stones or members. This is the Temple of which our Lord declares, "Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the Temple of my God." This is the Temple of which our Lord again said, "Destroy this Temple and in three days I will rear it up"; he spake of the Temple of his Body, not of his own flesh, for that was but a tabernacle and was not reared up by our Lord. The Father raised him from the dead, but in a new body, a spiritual one.

Of the Temple, the Body of Christ, the Church, he declares, "I will raise him up at the last day." The last day, the seventh day, the Great Millennium, is the third day referred to by our Lord. He was living in the fifth thousand-year day, there following the sixth, and the seventh has just begun, and with it, we believe, the raising up, the "change" to glory of the "Church, which is his Body."

Of this Temple St. Paul writes, "The Temple of God is holy, which Temple ye are." (I Cor. 3:17.) He here referred to the Church in its present condition, on probation, as though it were a finished Temple, because by faith may be realized the Lord's presence and protecting care amongst these members in their temporary organization as the Church of Christ. But the same Apostle shows that this Temple is not quite complete, saying, "Ye are built upon the foundation of the apostles, Jesus, Christ himself being the chief cornerstone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy Temple in the Lord." (Eph. 2:20,21.) In a word, as St. Peter suggests, the Lord's consecrated ones, as living stones for the glorious spiritual Temple of the future beyond the veil, are now being shaped, chiseled, polished, fitted for their places.

THE ANTITYPICAL TEMPLE

That glorious Temple, The Christ, in the power of the First Resurrection will share in the glory, honor and immortality of the divine nature; and through it during the Millennium, the heavenly Father will communicate his blessings to the world of mankind for their uplifting out of sin and death. Thus, as the High Priest in his robes of glory and beauty represented The Christ, the Messiah, Jesus the Head and the Church his Body, so the temple in which he served likewise symbolizes the same Redeemer and the same Church. The one illustration discloses one relationship or communication between God and men. The other represents another feature of the same ministry of reconciliation, as it will ultimately reach the world of mankind.

From this standpoint we can readily see that God's temple, built by Solomon, represented so glorious a class and such rich blessings of God to men that it was very appropriate that the type of these riches of grace should be costly, ornate, beautiful in the highest degree.

But now in the strict sense of the word these living stones are undergoing the process of chiseling and polishing, and the stone-yard and surroundings are not gorgeous and beautiful. Rather, as the Apostle declares, the Church in its present condition is a body of humiliation, or, as improperly translated, "Our vile body." The Church in the present life, like her Lord, is disesteemed in the world, despised, persecuted, "counted as fools all the day long," and "the filth and offscouring of the earth." It is in full harmony with these actual conditions pointed out in the Scriptures and known to us by experience that we see it to be the will of God that our present religious conditions should be very humble ones, unostentatious, inexpensive, to the intent that our energies may be the more efficaciously used in the forwarding of the work at the present time, rather than in attempting to make further [R4296 : page 376] types of the "glory that is to follow" our Resurrection "change."

This is further shown in the type. God's association with his people now is represented in the tabernacle and its court and its tent, all of which were temporary. Thus the Apostle speaks of us who are in this tabernacle as groaning, waiting for our house from heaven, waiting for our "change" to the Temple condition through the power of the First Resurrection.

"THE GLORY OF THE LORD FILLED THE TEMPLE"

The record tells us that the stones and timbers of the temple were brought to the spot all prepared, shaped and marked for their several positions, so that the actual construction was a quiet one. We read that, "The parts came together without the sound of an hammer." The antitype of this is that the chiseling and polishing and preparing of God's saints in the present life and the marking of them for their several places, by which God sets the various members in the Body as it hath pleased him, will leave the work of the First Resurrection a very quiet one, so quiet that the world is not aware that it is now in progress. Thank God it is not yet finished, and there is yet hope and opportunity for some of the consecrated now living to "make our calling and election sure," and by the final "change from glory to glory" to be placed in the great spiritual Temple, in the particular niche or position for which under Divine providence we shall have been prepared. This resurrection "change" will make us all glorious and like unto our Lord and Redeemer, who is the express image of the Father's person.

Our Lord described the assembling of the representatives of all the tribes of Israel for the grand occasion. The festival apparently lasted more than two [R4297 : page 376] weeks, certain prominent features marking each day of the time. The priests bore the ark from Zion, the city to which it had been brought by King David, as described in a previous lesson on, "The Homing of the Ark." Mount Zion was one division of the City of Jerusalem, while the temple was built in another division called Mount Moriah. At one time they were separated by considerable of a valley, but the topography has greatly changed in the intervening period and the bottom of the valley is filled in some places twenty feet and more. The city wall surrounded both of these mountains, or, as we would say, hills, for Jerusalem is built on a mountain.

There were great demonstrations of joy in connection with this dedication of the temple. It meant much to the holy people as they realized that the great Creator had deigned to approve the erection of a dwelling-house with them. As the ark came forward the Levites sang and chanted, probably some of David's psalms, which apparently by inspiration were written for the occasion. (Psa. 47, 98, 99, 107, 118, 136.) The theme of the occasion seems to have been, "For his mercy endureth forever." Ah! how that oft-repeated expression of the Psalmist will be understood, appreciated by mankind shortly. When the priests with the ark shall have entered in, and when the Levites of the future, the Ancient Worthies and others, shall chant the praises of Jehovah throughout all the earth, making known to the people "That his mercy endureth forever" and that during the Millennial Age, in and through the Anointed, The Christ, they will have the privilege of returning to God and to all that was lost, how joyful indeed will be the occasion! How world-wide the blessing! Then every knee shall bow and every tongue confess to the glory of the Father!

THE DEDICATION SERVICES DESCRIBED

Prof. W. J. Beecher, after studying the account, offers the following suggestions respecting the order of ceremonies observed. We think it not unreasonable and quote as follows:--

(1) "Then spake Solomon, the Lord said that he would dwell in thick darkness"; the declaration of I Kings 8:12,13; 2 Chron. 6:1,2.

(2) King Solomon then turned and blessed the standing congregation.--I Kings 8:1; 2 Chron. 6:3.

(3) King Solomon then delivered an address to the standing multitude.--I Kings 15:21; 2 Chron. 6:4-11.

(4) King Solomon then offered a dedicatory prayer, the multitude kneeling.--I Kings 8:23-53; 2 Chron. 6:14-40,54; 6:3.

(5) Psalm 132 was then chanted: "Arise, O God"! Then fire from the cloudy pillar descended upon the Mercy Seat, the Shekinah, and the glory of the Lord filled the house and the multitude outside prostrated themselves.--2 Chron. 6:41; 7:1-3.

(6) The Congregation then said, "For his mercy endureth forever."--2 Chron. 7:3.

(7) King Solomon closed the ceremony with an address and benediction, the multitude standing.-- I Kings 8:54-61.

"HE SHALL PRESENT YOU FAULTLESS"

As living stones of the Spiritual Temple requiring much chiseling and polishing to prepare us for places in the heavenly temple, let us appreciate these. Instead of seeking to avoid them, let us rather thankfully welcome whatever experiences of this kind the Heavenly One shall see fit to permit us to have. We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works. Our present disciplines are intended to develop in us the character necessary to the great service for which our Creator intends us.

The good works, the great works of God to some extent, are most abundantly manifested in this "New Creation," the Church, and some of our good works are as colaborers with God and Christ in shaping and up-building one another in the most holy faith. The great good work of God to which he has called us is that mentioned in the oath-bound Covenant to Abraham, "In thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." --Gal. 3:29.

While we longingly look forward to our glorious station of the future, when the glory of the Lord shall fill the Temple, "When we shall know as we are known," let us not forget that unless we are submissive to the molding and fashioning influences of the School of Christ, we shall be set aside. Our names will be blotted out of that special role and our crowns apportioned to others. It is in full view of the possibilities of so great a loss of so great a prize that the Apostle wrote, "Let us fear lest a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of us should seem to come short."

The cultivation of pride along any line, the development of an unsanctified ambition, are amongst the greatest dangers to these living stones now in preparation. Such flaws developed would render us unfit for this special service. And if they should develop in us headiness or high-mindedness, they would probably also develop envy, malice, hatred, strife, evil-speaking, evil-surmisings, all of which are contrary to the Spirit of Christ and would soon render such "none of his."



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YOUR "GOOD HOPES" FOR 1909


[The plan here proposed we designate "GOOD HOPES," because nothing is actually promised--only your generous hopes expressed, based upon your future prospects as they now appear to you. The plan proved not only so beneficial to the cause of truth, but also so blessed to the hopers, for some years past, that we again commend it to all as Scriptural and good. Those who desire to make use of this plan can fill out both these memoranda. One should be kept for the refreshment of your memory; the other mail to us.]

To the
"WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY."

Dear Friends:--I have read with interest of the openings for the Dawn and Tract work in foreign lands and here at home. I need not tell you that I am deeply interested in the spread of the Glad Tidings of the lengths and breadths, the heights and depths of redeeming love expressed for us in God's great Plan of the Ages.

I am anxious to use myself--every power, every talent, voice, time, money, influence, all--to give to others this knowledge, which has so greatly blessed, cheered and comforted my own heart and placed my feet firmly upon the Rock of Ages.

I have been considering carefully, and praying to be instructed, how to use my various talents more to my Redeemer's glory and for the service of his people--those blinded by human tradition who are, nevertheless, hungering for "the good Word of God," and those also who are naked, not having on the wedding garment of Christ's imputed righteousness, the unjustified, who stand at best in the filthy rags of their own righteousness. I have decided that so far as my "money talent" goes, I will follow the rule so clearly laid down for us by the great Apostle Paul (1 Cor. 16:2), and will lay aside on the first day of each week, according to my thankful appreciation of the Lord's blessings during the preceding week. Out of this fund I wish to contribute to the several parts of the Lord's work specified on the back of this letter. Of course, I cannot in advance judge or state particularly what the Lord's bounty may enable me to set apart weekly, and hence you will understand the sum indicated to be merely my conjecture or hope, based upon present prospects. I will endeavor to contribute more than I here specify; and should I not succeed in doing as well, the Lord will know my heart, and you, also, will know of my endeavors.

My only object in specifying in advance what I hope to be able to do in this cause is to enable those in charge of the work of publishing and circulating the Tracts, etc., to form estimates, lay plans, make contracts, etc., with some idea of what I will at least try to do in the exercise of this my highly appreciated privilege.

My present judgment is that during the coming year, by self-denial and cross-bearing, I shall be able to lay aside on the first day of each week for Home and Foreign Mission Work (to assist in circulating Scripture Studies in foreign languages, and in publishing the "Old Theology Tracts" in various languages, and in supplying these gratuitously to brethren who have the heart and opportunity to circulate them widely, and in meeting the expenses of brethren sent out as "Pilgrims" to preach the divine plan of salvation, and in general to be expended as the officers of the Society may deem best), the amount of__________per week.

To comply with United States Postal Laws, all or any portion of my donation may be applied as subscription price for Watch Tower or O.T. Tracts sent to the Lord's poor or others, as the Society's officers may deem advisable.

That the work be not hindered, I will endeavor to send you what I shall have laid aside for this cause at the close of each quarter. I will secure a Bank Draft, Express Order or Postal Money Order as I may find most convenient, and will address the letter to

WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY,
"Bible House," Allegheny, Pa.

or, 24 Eversholt St., London, N.W., England; or, Equitable Building,
Collins St., Melbourne, Australia.

(Name).....................................................

(Post Office)...................(State)....................
CUT HERE AND SEND OUTER-HALF TO THE SOCIETY'S ADDRESS, FILLING OUT THE BLANKS, IF YOU CHOOSE.



[R4284 : page 378]

WATCH TOWER SUBSCRIPTIONS

ON "GOOD HOPES" ACCOUNT


The friends who contribute to the "Good Hopes" (described on the reverse of this sheet) at times desire to send the WATCH TOWER to friends who are not yet interested enough to subscribe for themselves; or to deeply interested friends who are too poor to subscribe and backward about accepting our Lord's Poor offer. They are invited to give us such addresses below--the expense to be deducted from their donations. Give full addresses, and write very plainly, please, mentioning the length of the subscriptions.


page 378

Watch Tower Subscription Renewals


Most of our subscriptions end with the year, so we take this opportunity to remark that we shall be glad to hear promptly from such as desire the visits of the WATCH TOWER continued. The Lord's Poor friends have been requested to send their applications in June. When names are dropped and afterward renewed it makes us unnecessary trouble. When desiring to know date of expiration, look on your TOWER wrapper. Date is given in lower left-hand corner.

Hymns of Dawn with Music


Our readers have for years inquired for this book. We now have it for you in handsome cloth binding and at cost price. It is the best and the cheapest hymn book in the world, at 35 cents per copy, postpaid, and contains 333 of the choicest hymns of all ages. By express, collect, 25c each, in any quantity.

Watch Tower Binders


These are substantially made of stiff cloth boards, and can hold two years' issues of the WATCH TOWER. They prevent soiling and loss. Price, postpaid, 50c.

Christian Home Embellishments


For several years we have been supplying our readers with handsome text and motto-cards for the walls of their homes. Their influence is excellent; for they continually and cheerfully catch the eye and remind the heart of our great favors present and to come, based upon the "exceeding great and precious promises" of our Father's Word. We commend these as helps in the "narrow way"--helps in character-building. (These we import from London subject to custom duty, hence our London office can do still better for our British friends.)

We have a very choice assortment of these this year. For your convenience and ours we put these up in packets of choice assortments, as follows: At $1.00 each, postpaid. So doing we are enabled to give you twice as many mottoes for your money as you could purchase elsewhere. Besides, we select the styles and mottoes with great care. The following packets represent our assortment. Order by number:

No. Ma--Contains only small mottoes of assorted texts and styles, 22 in number; all beautiful.

No. Mb--Contains medium and small mottoes assorted, 11; all choice.

No. Mc--Contains medium mottoes, 10; all handsome.

No. Md--Contains medium and large mottoes, 5; all elegant.

No. Me--Contains large mottoes only, 4; all desirable.

No. Ma1/2--Is a 50-cent packet of small mottoes.

Daily Heavenly Manna


Those who use this book as we recommend are surely being blessed. It should be on your breakfast table regularly. Its daily text should be read and commented on freely by all. Then the Manna comment should be read. Introduce it to your friends as a help toward godly living. See prices in our November 1st issue.

1909--Motto Card and Calendar--1909


These are elegant, 7-3/4 x 12 inches, an ornament to any parlor, a work of art. Besides a Calendar it contains "the Vow," which can be torn out by those who do not prefer it. These, postpaid, would not be dear at 50c each, but getting them in quantities we can supply them at 15c (7d.) each postpaid.

New and Old Tracts


Tracts for distribution among friends, house to house, for enclosure in letters, and in general for use in such ways as seem judicious, are supplied free. The expense entailed by the great demand for these is borne by the Tract Fund of voluntary contributions. Write for the tracts as you feel able to use them, even if not so well able to contribute toward the expense; some who are able, and do contribute, do not have opportunities personally to use all that their contributions pay for, so that the matter is equalized and all may have a part in this service of disseminating the truth. The January issue of each year is prepared in special quantities for general use, the other issues for special uses.

Tracts in foreign languages free. Say how many you can use.

A Privilege and a Service


We are convinced that the WATCH TOWER lists do not contain the names of one-half of those deeply interested in its teachings. The total is small enough surely, and we are not content that the name of any should be missing. We believe that all such will be stimulated and encouraged on the "narrow way" by its semi-monthly appearance on their table, reminding them afresh of spiritual matters which the world, the flesh and the devil continually tend to crowd out of mind and heart.

Hitherto we have required that all desiring the WATCH TOWER on credit, or free, as "the Lord's Poor," should make personal application; but now we request every subscriber to inquire among those whom he knows to be interested in Present Truth, and to obtain the consent of all such to send in their subscriptions either on credit or free, as their circumstances may necessitate. Any getting it on credit may at any future time request that the debt be cancelled, and we will cheerfully comply. We desire that as nearly as possible the WATCH TOWER lists shall represent all those deeply interested in its message.

Our object is not the gain of "filthy lucre," but "the perfecting of the saints for the work of ministry"--present and to come. (Eph. 4:12.) We offer no premiums, desiring the co-operation of such only as appreciate the privilege of being co-workers with us in this ministry. Our list is now about 25,000; but it should be at least 30,000, and we confidently expect the above program to bring it to that figure. Let as many as appreciate it as a privilege, join at once in this service.



[R4297 : page 379]

THE GREATER THAN SOLOMON'S
--I KINGS 11:4-13; LUKE 8:20.--DECEMBER 20.--

Golden Text:--"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord."--Luke 2:11.

THE object of this lesson is to show the downfall of the kingdom of Solomon the wise, the rich, the great, and the necessity for the greater Kingdom than his, which divine wisdom and love have designed, and which Divine power is to inaugurate in due time. In Solomon's experiences we have a most remarkable lesson of a most remarkable man; illustrating the tendencies of wisdom and riches to lead the imperfect children of men away from God, the Source of wisdom and riches, and away from all the highest ideals.

The accounts of Solomon's prosperity are set forth in the books of Kings and Chronicles, and indicate that, under his wise administration, numerous public works were carried on, royal palaces built, great roads engineered, and water works and store-houses and armories constructed, etc. The nation of Israel, under Solomon's regime reached its highest position of power and influence in the world and dominated its largest amount of territory. But as Solomon prospered, he grew less pious. He became what the world would call broader-minded. The royal families of surrounding nations were pleased to have their daughters become Solomon's wives, and he generously accepted them from every quarter. The effect, however, was injurious to the King and to his entire people, because each of these prominent wives felt that she must represent the dignity of her own home land at the Jewish capital, and specially must represent its religious sentiment. Thus the heathen religionists all felt a great jealousy for the great temple of Jehovah and its elaborate services; and these wives, as representatives of the religions of their fathers, urged upon King Solomon, insistently, that they must have the opportunity of serving their gods, and that proper breadth of mind on his part would lead him to accede to their demands and to erect altars to their heathen divinities.

The King, rolling in wealth, yielded to these importunities of his wives and established for them and their foreign ambassadors and visitors shrines, altars, holy places, dedicated to the various false gods of surrounding nations--not that the King believed in these or worshiped them himself, but, through a mistaken view of broad-mindedness and a mistaken form of generosity to his wives and their sentiments, he violated his highest sense of responsibility to his own Lord, Jehovah. Gradually that devotion which had been his at first, and which the Lord had blessed by two special manifestations, yielded, and the King became less and less a man after God's own heart; possessed of less and less of his father David's loyalty of heart and zeal for the Divine will and worship.

SOLOMON'S DISLOYALTY REBUKED

Our lesson tells how the Lord rebuked Solomon for his course; doubtless through the Prophet Ahijah. (Vs. 29-37.) The Lord assured Solomon that, because of his unfaithfulness, the major part of the kingdom would be rent or torn with violence from his son and come under the rule of one of his servants--Jeroboam. This man had been a trusted officer in the raising of taxes and the levying of workmen for the King's business. The same Prophet anointed Jeroboam, in the name of the Lord, to be king over the ten tribes; but, instead of waiting for the Lord's time, as David had done, Jeroboam instituted a rebellion against the King, in which he was unsuccessful and obliged to flee from the King's forces into Egypt. Afterward, in God's due time, he became the King of the ten tribes. Incidentally we note here a lesson for all of God's people; that we should wait upon the Lord for his times and seasons, in respect to all of life's affairs, great and small. It is for us to be faithful and alert and on the lookout for the Lord's providence; but not to anticipate them, not to make a [R4298 : page 379] move in advance in any event of the Lord's own time.

"His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste;
But sweet will be the flower."

THE ANTITYPICAL KINGDOM

It is only when we remember that the Kingdom of God under Solomon was a foreshadowing of the Kingdom of Christ that we get the proper view of the situation. It was God's typical kingdom and Solomon sat upon its throne as God's representative. So a greater than Solomon is eventually to sit upon the throne of earth and extend the Kingdom to the uttermost bounds and bring to the Kingdom riches, honor, wisdom and power greater than we can now properly appreciate and but feebly foreshadowed in Solomon's experiences. Solomon's blemishes are not to be considered as typical blemishes in the Kingdom of Christ, however. They teach another lesson, namely, that all power and wisdom in the present time are hindered by the unfavorable conditions surrounding, so that they become traps and snares, even to the wisest and best intentioned of men. Meantime the Lord's promise through Moses and the prophets was for a greater than Solomon, and wiser than he, and richer and more powerful than Solomon; able and willing to execute the Divine will amongst men, and to bring in a Kingdom of everlasting righteousness. That Kingdom has not yet appeared amongst men, and hence we still pray, "Thy Kingdom come; thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven."

When we remember that this Kingdom is hinted at in our Lord's declaration, that "The Seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head," and that it was later more particularly referred to in the promise made to Abraham, "In thee and in thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed," we readily see that, from the human standpoint, this hope is long deferred. Israel hoped to constitute that Kingdom and waited for Messiah, its head and Lord, to rule their nation, to use it, his elect people, to bless all the nations of earth. But when Messiah came into the world and to his people, that consecrated nation, he found them not worthy of the Kingdom blessings; nay, not even 144,000 worthy to constitute his Church, his Bride, members of his Body class, to be joint-heirs with him in his Kingdom. This was what God had foreseen and foretold, saying, "Though Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant shall be saved." (Rom. 9:27.) This does not signify that the mass of that nation is lost in an irretrievable sense, but rather that only the remnant was saved in harmony with their expectations, saved as respects their relationship to the Kingdom class. This worthy remnant probably constituted in all not above 20,000, who were gathered out during the period of our Lord's ministry and the ensuing thirty-seven years of the Jewish harvest time and begetting of the holy Spirit. [R4298 : page 380] These became the nucleus of Spiritual Israel, and since then, in harmony with prophetic declaration, the Lord has been using various agencies for gathering out a similar class from all nations, peoples, kingdoms and tongues. Soon, we believe, the total number of 144,000 will have been tested, proven, and accepted beyond the veil--"changed in the twinkling of an eye," from human conditions to heavenly conditions--to the divine nature.

The long-promised Kingdom waits for the development of this "little flock" of Kings and Priests, who shall reign with Christ in the earth, as members of the Messiah company, of which he is the Head and Lord, as well as the Redeemer. With the glorification of the last member of this elect class comes the due time for the setting up of the Kingdom of God's dear Son in power and great glory. Then will be fulfilled the promise, "In thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed," because the elect Church is a part of the seed of Abraham; therefore the promise of which they are heirs with Christ cannot be fulfilled until their selection and glorification shall be completed. Toward that glorious consummation of human redemption all the promises and arrangements of the Divine Word and Plan are bent:

A SAVIOUR, WHICH IS CHRIST

This brings us to the second part of the appointed lesson, which stands more particularly related to the Christmas season. It matters not particularly that December 25 is not the anniversary of our Lord's birth, according to the Scriptural account; that really he was born about September 25, nine months later. One day, as well as another, will serve us to commemorate our Saviour's birth in the flesh, as a gift of God's love to a condemned and dying world. Indeed, in some respects December 25, which corresponds to the date of our Lord's annunciation or begetting by the holy Spirit in the womb of Mary, may be considered even more appropriate for celebration than the day of his death. Was it not there that the Father began the sending of his Son, began to give us the gift of the man Christ Jesus? Indeed, at his birth he was not yet the man, and he could not save us as the babe. His begetting and birth were important, but incidental to the man at thirty years offering the sacrifice and saying, "Lo, I come, as in the volume of the book it is written of me, to do thy will, O God." (Heb. 10:7.) There the great Sacrifice for sin was offered to the Father and was accepted, and the acceptance was indicated by the bestowing of the holy Spirit, which begat our Lord again to a spiritual nature on the divine plane.

For the three and a half years of his ministry his sacrificed flesh, laid upon the altar, was being consumed, while the New Creature was growing, being tested and approved, and finally, in his resurrection, he was justified in spirit or perfected as a New Creature. Our Golden Text is in full accord with this. The day of our Lord's birth the Saviour was born, the One who was to save his people, not only from their sins, but from the penalty of those sins, the death penalty--save them from the tomb. He did not really become the Saviour until he was thirty years of age. Indeed, in a larger sense of the word, he has not yet become the Saviour, the Deliverer.

What he did during his earthly ministry and sacrifice of himself was merely to lay the foundation for the world's salvation by his own sacrifice--dying, "the Just for the unjust." After finishing this part of his work he at Pentecost began a work of saving the "little flock," "the elect," those who accept his favor by faith. Yet even with these the salvation is not yet completed; as the Apostle declares, "We are saved by hope."

By faith and by hope we may accept the Lord's promises of a resurrection from the dead in due time. And these promises may operate in us so fully, so thoroughly, as to permit us even now to speak and think of ourselves from the Scriptural standpoint, as no longer dead with the world, but reckonedly risen with Christ, in newness of life, which brings us blessings of a spiritual kind today, but which costs us sacrifices and sufferings until death. The salvation we are looking for and which the Lord promises we shall ultimately have is, as the Apostle tells us, "At the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ."--I Tim. 6:14.

SALVATION BY HOPE AND ACTUALLY

Whoever fails to see the difference between the hope salvation of the present time and the actual salvation of the resurrection morning has not the key necessary to enter into and enjoy, in a deep sense, the Divine Word and Plan. However precious the hope of the present time, it would be of small value alone, without the reality which it foreshadows. The salvation which Christ came to bring to mankind is not merely a hope such as we may enjoy, but a bona-fide reality such as he has promised us shall be realized in his Millennial Kingdom. The whole work of the Millennial Kingdom will be a resurrection work. Not merely will all mankind come forth from the grave, as Jesus has promised (John 5:28), but they will come forth for the purpose of being resurrected out of present sin and death conditions to the glorious perfection of perfect human beings --which Adam lost by disobedience--to the image of God, plus invaluable lessons gained during the reign of sin and death.

THE EMBRYO KINGDOM OF CHRIST

Messiah's Kingdom is to be a world empire, in which every knee shall bow and every tongue confess to the glory of God; when "the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the whole earth," and none shall need say to his neighbor, "Know thou the Lord; for they all shall know me, from the least to the greatest." That Kingdom we still pray for and have not yet received, but the "little flock," the "elect," who hear the call and obey it --these are spoken of as the Lord's Kingdom in embryo, for two reasons: (1) They voluntarily submit their hearts to him and seek to have his will done in them, in thought and word and deed, and increasingly as the days go by; and (2) because they are to be members of the royal family, which shall reign during the Millennium, under the Headship of Jesus, the great Prophet, Priest and King. These shall be his joint-heirs, whose office or service shall also combine Kingship and Priesthood.

GOD'S GIFTS NOW

Let us, then, rejoice at this joyful season of the year and have our hearts filled with appreciation of the Divine love and generosity, which gave us the great gift of Messiah, and thus indirectly a knowledge of the Kingdom yet to come and of our share in that Kingdom, which shall bless the world. As we have freely received, let us freely give, and thus copy our Lord and the heavenly Father. Some may have the opportunity of giving many gifts of many kinds. All will have the privilege of offering to their fellows, directly or indirectly, gifts of God's love, by making known to them the riches of his grace, as presented in the "Divine Plan of the Ages." [R4299 : page 381]

The message of God's love is the most precious thing we have ever received, and let us have this in mind when offering gifts to others that, whatever else we may or may not be able to give our dear friends and neighbors and loved ones, we may offer them this; and our manner and general deportment should show how we value it above rubies, and thus we may best commend the gift of God to others and help them to appreciate it. In such presentations kind words, kind looks, will proceed from the loving heart, which has itself been saved by the power of the Truth from the domination of the Adversary and sin and selfishness. Let us learn to scatter these gifts of grace and Truth and happifying influences to all about us, not merely once a year, but every day and every hour, and not merely upon our friends, but, God-like, upon our enemies also, for "He is kind to the unthankful, and causes his sun to shine upon the evil and upon the good."



[R4299 : page 381]

A REVIEW LESSON--DECEMBER 27

Golden Text:--"Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of Life."--Prov. 4:23.

A REVIEW of the lessons of the past six months will, no doubt, prove profitable to us all. But we suggest that as we are at the closing of the year, we each individually take a review of our lives to see what the year has brought us in the way of lessons and experiences and trials and testings, and how we have received these, and to what extent we have profited by them. We should remember that through life's trials and difficulties the Lord is teaching us lessons and showing us features of our own characters which we may improve. Without these experiences we might not know of certain defects nor appreciate the necessity for overcoming them. Therefore, to the faithful of the Lord's people every trial and every difficulty of life is a special blessing. We are to remember the Apostle's words, "If ye be without chastisements, ye are bastards and not sons," for "Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son," that such may be fitted and prepared for service hereafter.

Our Golden Text furnishes us a very valuable seed-thought for the closing of the old year and the opening of the new. If we keep our hearts, our words, in the love of God; if we do this diligently, carefully, watching thereunto day by day, we shall be following the wise course. To whatever extent we have done this through the year closing, we have surely been blessed and profited. Whether we have succeeded well or poorly, whether, therefore, we can congratulate ourselves or not, the duty of the hour is to resolve that by the Lord's grace we will follow this course diligently during the year 1909.

Many write us of the great blessing they have received from the Vow, and of the assistance it has rendered them in exercising diligence in the keeping of their hearts in the love of God, and in fellowship and communion with those who are actively engaged in the harvest work. Let us continue in those things which have blessed us in the past, and let us remember that part of the value of the Vow is in connection with its statement that its various features will be remembered daily at the Throne of Grace to the Father. Surely those who are in harmony with that Vow are seeking, if possible, more diligently than ever, to scrutinize every word and thought and deed, and to bring all of these into closest harmony with the Lord's Word and Spirit. These cannot fail to have a blessing every day. Let us continue in love and humility and in fervency of spirit, serving the Lord with all our hearts, and keeping our hearts with all diligence, that from them shall be excluded everything that would be defiling or dishonorable or disloyal to the Lord and to his brethren.

"Out of the heart are the issues of life." Ah, yes! This is true in two senses. The issues of life as respects the words and deeds of life are all guided and influenced by the heart. If our deeds and words would be pure and holy and helpful, they must be backed by a loyalty of heart. Again, "Out of the heart are the issues of life" in the sense that the ultimate results that we shall obtain are not according to any formula of the Vow which we make, nor of any creed to which we might assent, nor of any course of study which we might undertake; but those issues would be dependent upon and determined by the real attitude of our hearts, because all the lessons of life, if they extend only to the outward man, and not the inward springs, will never bring us to the life eternal, which the Lord has promised to those that love him with all their hearts, to those who are fully consecrated in heart to him and his service. Let us close the old year with the right sentiments and proper self-examination, and begin the New Year with the proper diligence and proper resolutions out of good and honest hearts.



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RESOLVED, BY GOD'S ASSISTING GRACE
ONE dear Brother writes that he feels fearful of the word Vow, but that he would have much pleasure in taking the Vow, if it were termed merely a Resolution. We mention this fact because there may be others similarly confused as to the meaning of the word Vow. A Vow, as defined by the dictionary and set forth by the WATCH TOWER, is merely a Solemn Resolution of the heart expressed to the Lord,--nothing more, nothing less. "Lord, I Vow," merely signifies, "Lord, by thine assisting grace I have resolved, and do resolve, that I will do and be," etc.

By all means let those who have any mental conscientious scruples against the little word Vow make it in the form of a Solemn Resolution, as above outlined. Encouraging reports, from every direction, are constantly coming in, many of them from classes.

We again urge the dear friends who have taken the Vow that they do not speak or think unkindly of any who have not taken it, but that they remember that "To his own Master each must stand or fall." Let us think kindly, lovingly, of those who follow not with us in this particular. Let no unkind word or criticism be uttered. Similarly we urge those who have not taken the Vow that they will do wisely not to oppose the brethren who have taken it--not to "smite" them with their tongues or otherwise.

If this Vow is of the Lord all of his faithful ones by and by will recognize it. Let us remember that one of the chief tests of this harvest time is love for the brethren, and that another is humility. Let us each see to it that these fruits of the Spirit, love and humility, are very prominent in our own words, thoughts and acts. And let us mark those who [R4299 : page 382] cause divisions amongst you by a lack of these, by harsh and unkind words and by bombastic claims of superior wisdom, etc. "Do men gather grapes of thorn-bushes?" "By their fruits ye shall know them."--Rom. 16:17; Phil. 3:17.

Remember the words "reasonably possible" in the Vow and give them full weight. They cover practically every exigency that could arise. If, for instance, one is in the house of another, it is not reasonably possible nor proper that he should attempt to regulate the doors, but merely have a preference, in harmony with the Vow. Even in his own house the temperature of the weather, or other considerations, might make it unreasonable or improper to have the door open. One who opposed the Vow objected that if he took it and should happen to be alone with one of the opposite sex in a railroad car, he would be obliged to get out. But this is an absurd application, contrary to both the letter and the spirit of the Vow, which makes no mention of elevators, etc.

The natural man will find the Vow very close and stringent. The New Creature will find a sufficiency of elasticity in the words "reasonably possible," and, "As he would do in the presence of a congregation of the Lord's people." For instance, a physician and patient would properly prefer that necessary treatment be less public than before a congregation, yet they would prefer a third party to be present and, in any event, would desire and endeavor that the entire procedure be as modestly performed as though an entire congregation were onlookers. This is both the letter and the spirit of the Vow.

We again remind you that through love for the brethren and fear of stumbling some who take a peculiar view of this matter, we have decided not to publish the names of those who have taken the Vow, or made this Resolution. We have no desire to make it a test of fellowship; still, it is our confidence, that under the Lord's leading, all of his consecrated people will shortly see "eye to eye" on this subject. We remark, however, that the number of those who have taken a stand in opposition to the Vow is comparatively small--about a score. But they seem to make up in bitterness of spirit [R4300 : page 382] what they lack in numbers. Let us hope and pray that the Lord will recover them from this snare, so that brotherly love and humility may again be controlling influences in their hearts, and also control their tongues and pens.

Meantime let us make sure that no roots of bitterness are planted by us who have taken the Vow. One of its special provisions is "A closer scrutiny, if possible, than ever, of our words and thoughts and deeds," to have all in harmony with the Lord. Let us not forget that the benefits we derive from the Vow are not from the taking of it merely, but from the keeping of it, from permitting it to draw us nearer to the Lord--"Under the shadow of the Almighty."



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FOURTEEN ELDERS AND OTHERS
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--

Last night being the first Sunday night in the month was our regular monthly testimony meeting in the Chicago Class. It was such a good meeting that I thought I would write to you about it.

The testimonies were all along the line of the "Vow." The time at our disposal was too short for all to tell of the good they had received since making the Vow their own. Some of the testimonies were to the effect that now the Scriptures seemed so much clearer; others testified that now they felt so much more closely drawn to the Lord and the brethren. Others stated how the sermons at the Convention and discourses in general appealed to them so much more than in the past and that they could understand them better; that since taking the Vow a damper, so to speak, had been opened in their heads, which allowed the Truth to get in.

In this connection I might state how this meeting came to be along the line of the Vow. Some three or four weeks prior, the Chicago Elders, as a body (14 in all), took up the question of the Vow at one of our Elders' meetings, and decided unanimously that it would be a good thing to send in our names to the TOWER office as having taken the Vow, and to invite any in the congregation that wished to send in their names with ours. Accordingly three copies of the Vow were prepared and opportunity given at the various Sunday meetings since for any who wished to sign their names to these lists along with the Elders. The list of names has been growing each week, and after sufficient time has been given, so that all may have had an opportunity to sign, our Secretary will send in the list.

When the Vow first came out many thought it was all right for others to take it and send in their names, but that it was not necessary for themselves. Noting, however, cases where much sorrow and trouble would have been prevented had the Vow been taken in times past, and noting on the other hand the good that came to those who have taken it, the Elders therefore decided that we wanted to lend our names and influence along with others in holding up this Standard to the Lord's people.

With Christian love and greetings from all to all, I remain, yours in his service.
L. W. JONES, (M.D.),--Chicago.


DEAR BROTHER IN CHRIST:--

I presume that you long have noticed the following facts and indications, namely:

While attending Conventions during the past two years, particularly the one at Put-in-Bay, I was impressed by the great number who have been in the Truth for a comparatively short time. A large number informed me that Put-in-Bay Convention was their first. Of course in such a large number there were many whose faces were familiar by reason of meeting them at former conventions. No doubt many whom I have met at other conventions were detained at home by various causes, but still this fact was so marked that I spoke of it to others.

Does this mean that some are losing their crowns? And these later comers into the truth are received in their place? When the boats were leaving the wharfs at Put-in-Bay, on the last day of the convention, the one going to Toledo and the other to Cleveland, the great numbers of people who crowded the decks sang as the boats began to separate, inspiringly sang "God be with you till we meet again"; but my heart was sad with the thought that so many singing so joyously, would not be met again, because they would not be faithful and some one else would receive the crown now awaiting the determination of their faithfulness.

What a great blessing the "Vow" has been to me, I will not take your time to describe. I cannot see how it can be other than a blessing to each one who takes it "to the Lord." I pray the Lord, daily, that he will continue to bless you as his wisdom sees you need, that you may continue to minister his Truth to the household as he sees they need. And that he will help us to trust more and more in his precious promises and grow in the knowledge of the Word, that we will be able to overcome in all trials and testings through which we must pass to become copies of his dear Son, our Redeemer.

Your fellow-servant in the harvest work,
C. C. SEABROOK, (M.D.),--Kan.


***

We must remember that the number of interested is multiplying. This, thank God, accounts for the increased size of our conventions. It is a fact, nevertheless, that the "wheat" as gathered must be flailed, threshed, and winnowed before it is ready for the garner. We must not "think it strange," therefore, if some whom we loved dearly and hoped great things for, should under divine inspection be found to have less of the spirit of love than we had surmised.--Psa. 91:1-9; 2 Thess. 2:11-17.--EDITOR.



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