page 65
March 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. XXIXMARCH 1No. 5
A.D. 1908--A.M. 6036


CONTENTS.

Views from the Watch Tower67
Socialism Spreading in Great Britain67
Socialism at Home Also68
"Go to, Ye Rich Men, Weep and Howl"69
Anarchists in Small Minority69
"Man Elects God Now, Not God Man"69
Cincinnati Debates and Convention70
Berean Study on the Atonement71
"I am the Bread of Life"72
"We Eat His Flesh"73
Justified by our "Eating"74
The Stone Witness (Poem)76
"I Was Blind, Now I See"76
The Light of the World78

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 66

THIS JOURNAL AND ITS SACRED MISSION

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

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

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

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

TO US THE SCRIPTURES CLEARLY TEACH

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




LETTERS FOR THE EDITOR SHOULD BE SENT TO ALLEGHENY, PA., U.S.A.
BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS AND REMITTANCES
--ADDRESS TO--
WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY,
"BIBLE HOUSE," 610, 612, 614 ARCH ST., ALLEGHENY, PA., U.S.A.
--OR TO--
BRITISH BRANCH--24 EVERSHOLT ST., LONDON, N.W.
GERMAN BRANCH--MIRKER STR., 45, ELBERFELD.
AUSTRALASIAN BRANCH--EQUITABLE BLDG., COLLINS ST., MELBOURNE
PRICE, $1.00 (4S.) A YEAR IN ADVANCE.
MONEY MAY BE SENT BY EXPRESS, BANK DRAFT, POSTAL ORDER, OR REGISTERED.
FROM FOREIGN COUNTRIES BY FOREIGN MONEY ORDERS, ONLY.
TERMS TO THE LORD'S POOR AS FOLLOWS:--

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


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

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



[R4145 : page 66]

THE CINCINNATI DEBATES COMPLETE


The Cincinnati Enquirer found quite an interest in the White-Russell debates, and gave them all the space required after the first one, and it was abridged only to the extent of failing to print some of the Scriptures in full. A few texts which formed no part of the speakers' arguments were referred to by citation only.

The Enquirer printed the debates in its weekly edition as well as in its daily: and now it has in preparation a Special [R4146 : page 66] Edition containing all the debates and two extra sermons delivered by Brother Russell. We have purchased a large supply of these at a wholesale rate which permits the below very low rates to you--specially favorable to those who desire to circulate them amongst their friends. Being a special issue postage must be paid in stamps, hence there is a saving of labor and postage on quantities.
Single copies to any address .05
Ten copies to one address .30
Forty copies to one address $1.00

Some will read these Debates which present both sides of these important questions who would not read our side alone. We have confidence that those who have "ears to hear" the Master's voice and spiritual "eyes of understanding" to discern will be blest. Such will see through the sophistries presented by Elder White and will realize that brag and bluster are not arguments, but prove that real arguments were scarce with him. We are not ashamed of the Truth from whatever standpoint viewed. "I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ."


page 66

THE WOMAN'S NATIONAL DAILY! Are you receiving it through us? If so please write it a postal requesting discontinuance and a return of the price to us. We will send you instead another paper publishing the desired sermons.

THE NEW BIBLES are all gone. We hope for the new edition about June. Due notice will appear.



[R4143 : page 67]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER

SOCIALISM SPREADING IN GREAT BRITAIN


THAT Socialism is growing rapidly in Great Britain is attested by the fact that at a recent convention of the British Labor Party at Hull, England, a split occurred over a socialistic resolution-- more than half representatively voting for the resolution, which read as follows:--

"Resolved, That in the opinion of this conference the time has arrived when the Labor Party should have as a definite object the socialization of the means of production, distribution and exchange, to be controlled by a democratic state in the interest of the entire community, and the complete emancipation of Labor from the domination of Capitalism and Landlordism, with the establishment of social and economic equality between the sexes."

The reporter adds:

"Each delegate voted for the whole number of union men he represented, and the final vote on the resolution stood: For Socialism, 514,000 votes; against Socialism, 469,000 votes. The result was hailed as a great victory by the Socialists, who put the convention in an uproar by their frantic cheering."


***

Of course these leaders may not on either side fully reflect the sentiment of all whom they represented as delegates; but the proportions are probably nearly correct. At all events this shows the rapid growth of Socialism in quarters where it had almost no influence ten years ago. The importance of this item is seen when it is remembered that the British Labor Party is represented by more than forty members in the present Parliament.

That statesmen are quick to measure the influence of this growth of Socialism is shown by the comments on it by the Hon. Arthur Balfour, ex-prime minister and now leader of the Conservative party of Great Britain. He sees in Socialism the foe of present institutions and fears, just as the Scriptures foretold, "Men's hearts failing them for fear and for looking forward to the things coming upon the earth." He prophesies the reformation of all parties along that line--for Socialism or against it. He is reported thus:--

"Mr. Balfour, on learning of the vote of the Labor Party, at once declared that henceforth in England the political fighting would be between Conservatives and Socialists; and that the old-time Liberals and Radicals would disappear, as they are already rapidly disappearing in France and Germany."

The reporter continued:--

"Since then nearly all the British papers have thrown their columns open to the discussion of Socialism. As yet the laboring men are a good deal divided, while several secessions from the Labor Party are noted. It is said that the name of the Labor Party will not be changed, and that the extreme Socialists will still keep a separate organization. England is the last country in Europe where Socialism has secured a foothold. As yet but one man has ever been led to Parliament on a straight Socialist platform. Whether the Labor Party will gain or lose by its connection with Socialism the next general election will show."

A dispatch from London to the Chicago Tribune on the same subject says:--

"In all the political movements of England possibly no such sudden and remarkable swing of the pendulum of public opinion has ever been witnessed as that recorded this week, when in a conference at Hull representatives of millions of British workingmen, forming the Labor Party, hoisted the flag of Socialism.

"The English public is still so dazed over the suddenness of the avowal that only a few newspapers seem to grasp the real significance of the new situation. Persons who expressed astonishment and fear when the lonesome figure of John Burns--since raised to a seat in the cabinet--entered Parliament as a representative of a labor constituency many years ago have now a real reason to fear for the traditional conservative trend of British legislative institutions.

"Among other things, the latest move of the Labor Party really means that the cry of Socialism will not only be raised with a strong voice in the House of Commons [R4143 : page 68] but that the present Labor members of Parliament, who have so suddenly changed their political complexion, will be backed in pushing the socialistic propaganda by the strong organization and wealthy treasury of the Labor party, though it is true that since the Hull meeting some non-Socialist members of the party have condemned its action and threatened to break away.

"Impartial observers in some quarters declare the middle and upper classes of England, who have such good ground to fear the present socialistic movement, have only themselves to blame for the Labor party's sudden change of front. In other words, laboring men seem to be practically driven to take their latest radical step from sheer desperation at their deplorable plight, the growing rarity of employment and the rise in the cost of living. The percentage of hungry men, women and children begging bread throughout England this winter is greater than for twenty years, and the desolation in many towns and villages, to say nothing of the larger cities, is appalling.

"Labor leaders, while acknowledging the splendid efforts made to relieve suffering, point to the utter impossibility of preventing starvation and the utter indifference of the great mass of people to the condition of the poor. A typical illustration of their ground for resentment against the more fortunate portion of the community was shown this week, when the county council voted a liberal sum of money to purchase flagstaffs to be set up on the public schools rather than vote money to feed those thousands of London school children who average less than one meal a day and always go to school hungry.

"Labor leaders have wisely taken into consideration the economic conditions of the country in framing their accusations, and by so doing they strengthen the charge of criminal callousness against the prosperous sections, that are always willing to open their checkbooks to aid sentimental measures--monument funds, funds to preserve old buildings, etc.--but who refuse to interest themselves in the demands of charity."

KING'S PARK FOR FARMS

Surrounding Windsor Castle is a large park, which a lot of idle men at Manchester, Eng., think would be more useful to them if cut up so that a section of it might furnish them with small truck and garden farms. They have no objection to being close neighbors to their ruler. It is proposed that a small army of the unemployed shall besiege and beseech their king on this subject, and a cablegram says, "That the movement is most serious is certain."

SOCIALISM AT HOME ALSO


The following extract from a letter to the Editor speaks for itself:-- [R4144 : page 68]

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--"Let him that is taught in the Word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things." (Gal. 6:6.) If I bother you again with a letter please accept the above Scripture as my excuse. Thinking that perhaps you have not noticed what has come under my observation, I write you about it. In a Socialist paper about ten days ago there were several articles reporting that in different places in this country Socialist speakers have been invited into churches to address the congregations and debate the subject of Socialism. Right here in Dayton that has been the case in a church of whites and also in a church of colored people--with what results you can see in the newspaper clipping I send you herewith. Last week I noticed a statement in the Fort Wayne News that one Fort Wayne (Ind.) minister had been accepted as a member of the Federation of Labor, and that ministers all over the country are contemplating a similar move--"to keep in touch with the working people," was the statement.

Through the Socialist press we learn that the Federation of Labor is adopting Socialism--just what we look for in the near future, that the masses will be carried away with that doctrine. Now, dear brother, do you think it likely that Babylon will accept that teaching when she sees that the greater bulk of the people will be carried away with it? Does it not look as though they will be compelled to do so if the image of the beast is to exercise all the power of the first beast? (Rev. 13:12.) How else could they do that--unless they have the majority of the people with them? The masses surely will be Socialists before long. And would not that be in harmony with the Scripture that "the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her," Socialism being the next king?
__________, Dayton, O.


***

Just so: the press and the pulpit and the colleges have been on the one part preaching Higher Criticism Infidelity and Evolution, and destroying faith in a personal God, and in the Bible as his revelation; and on the other part preaching that "doctrine of devils" respecting eternal torment as the divine provision for the mass of our race and thus alienating men from the true God of the Bible; and now they wonder at the results --Socialism and later on anarchy! Surely, as the Scriptures declare, the wisdom of their wise men has perished and the understanding of their prudent men is not visible.--Isa. 29:14.

But now to the query of our Brother's letter we reply: No. Socialism will never become King of mystic "Babylon." The Scriptures most clearly teach that Babylon will be on the side of the chief captains and mighty men and kings of the earth and their armies in the struggle with which this age will close. (Rev. 18:9-15.) Just for a time Socialism will be popular with a few ministers who, sympathizing with "the submerged tenth," will seek their uplift thus--not seeing the better way of the divine plan and Word. But the majority of ministers "look every man to his own quarter," and finding that their supporters are from the other side they will trim their sails accordingly. This does not mean that they will antagonize the laboring class; but that ultimately they will oppose Socialism to the limit. Our own position is well known to our readers: we sympathize with many of the aims of Socialism, but deny the practicability of it, directing all mankind rather to the plan of God--"Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth even as in heaven." We assure the sober, intelligent Socialists that beyond [R4144 : page 69] question the end of Socialism will surely be that most terrible of all calamities--anarchy.

"GO TO NOW, YE RICH MEN, WEEP AND HOWL FOR THE MISERIES THAT SHALL COME UPON YOU."--JAS. 5:1

The present panic has been called "the rich man's panic"; because primarily it was the rich who suffered most. In previous panics as a rule the public held the railway and industrial shares which crafty rich speculators had sold out to them at high prices: so that when the crash of prices came the rich speculators were safe and the public suffered. But this time it has been the reverse, the rich speculators held the stocks and have suffered the losses. But the influence, "lack of confidence" and "deficiency of circulating medium," has spread to safe and prosperous enterprises and caused a temporary check. This has affected day-laborers in particular. And this class now is composed chiefly of Polish and Italians--mostly ignorant, and many of them vicious, the very scum of Europe: it includes, however, some as honest and faithful as could be asked. These now number millions, and the vicious of them are responsible for the dastardly "black-hand" lawlessness of the past year, which has been directed mainly against the better-to-do of their own countrymen.

Now, however, the "black-hand" methods of extorting money by terrorizing letters and circulars are being extended to other wealthy people; and anarchists are adopting "black-hand" methods, hoping to arouse public sentiment against the "predatory rich." Thus public prints tell us of a gathering of hundreds at the City Hall, Philadelphia, to demand from the mayor work or bread. And the New York World tells of a "black-hand" circular directed against the rich men of the Wall Street Stock Exchange. It says, Feb. 20:--

"KILL THE RICH," SAY ANARCHISTS

"What is believed to have been the real cause for the closing of the visitors' gallery of the Stock Exchange to the public became known yesterday, when Police Commissioner Bingham made public an anarchistic circular that has been sent broadcast through the city.

"The circular calls upon all workingmen to arm themselves and begin the slaughter of all rich men. Copies of the circular were sent into the Wall street district, and it is said that several members of the Stock Exchange received the notices with accompanying letters of warning.

"The explanation given when the visitors' gallery of the Stock Exchange was closed was that repairs were being made. There is not a bit of work being done on the gallery. The report is persistent that members of the Stock Exchange became aware of a "black-hand" plot to throw a dynamite bomb upon the floor of the Exchange while the members were trading.

"'We are determined to take along some of those who are to be blamed for our misery,' the circular says.

"Another part reads:

"'Brothers, let us put an end to this unbearable misery! Come on the street and let us show those criminal gamblers in Wall street how we are starving and suffering from untold misery.'

"The police think the circular was printed in Paterson, N.J., which is an anarchistic hotbed. Detectives have been sent there.

"Deputy Commissioner Woods said: 'I cannot make the circular public just now, as it is of such an inflammatory nature that it might do harm. I have never seen a paper so threatening and vicious in my life. It is likely to cause a great deal of trouble.'

"Copies of the circular were sent to labor organizations in New York and Brooklyn. Several of these organizations have notified Commissioner Bingham of the receipt of the circular and have asked him to discover and punish the authors of it.

"There can be no doubt that the circular has caused a scare in Wall street. None of the members of the Stock Exchange will admit having received a copy of it, but they know about it. Secretary George W. Ely declared that the visitors' gallery was not closed on account of the circular."

There is trouble nearer home, too. In Sewickley Heights, one of the suburbs of Pittsburg, the residence district of some very rich and very estimable people, a "black-hand" scare has caused many of the most aristocratic establishments to be deserted except by watchmen, while detectives are searching for the lawless threateners.

ANARCHISTS IN SMALL MINORITY

None should think from these things that the majority of laborers are "thugs." Quite to the contrary; the anarchists are few and may safely be set down as victims of mental aberration, the result of unfortunate birth, intensified by an unfavorable environment, by a false secular education and an entire ignorance of the true character and Word of God. Now these anarchists are few in number but with fanatical zeal make a stir far, far beyond their relative strength: the real trouble will come when the now bewildered but well-meaning masses shall have become fully inoculated with the infidelity of the Evolutionists and Higher Critics, and fully persuaded respecting the inalienable rights of man and fully convinced that these cannot be obtained for all except by a radical change of present institutions. Then Socialism will appear to the masses the only peaceable way for obtaining social and financial equality: then Socialism will spread like wild-fire. But Socialism will fail; because money and brains will cooperate against it from selfishness and fear. Then, maddened by their failure, Socialists will en masse turn anarchists, and the direct results will ensue: "A time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation."

"MAN ELECTS GOD NOW, AND NOT GOD MAN"

DECLARES DEAN OF CHICAGO DIVINITY SCHOOL


"In an address on 'The Gospel and the New Age,' Shaler Matthews, dean of the divinity school of the University of Chicago, noted for his commentaries on the Bible, before Haverford College students recently traced the decline of Christian faith and showed how by [R4145 : page 70] a reconstructive process it can still be made to meet the spiritual needs of the age.

"'Man elects God now, not God man,'" said the speaker. 'We have outgrown conceptions of God as a king and a father. Our deity is a personality endowed with the qualities the god of an advanced people must have. We think in terms of scientific progress, and since Darwin propounded his theories on evolution we have been living under their controlling concepts, and come to look at Christianity in this light.'

"The Church must modernize the gospel, restate the Testament teachings, or it will incur in the future the hostility of labor and science, and find in its diminished ranks only the mediocre."

"Dr. Matthews ridiculed the religious attitude which accepts outworn beliefs because 'they were good enough for a sainted mother or father,' saying that in the natural order of things children must break with traditions and get away from the religious decadence due to sentiment. He depicted the two factions at work trying to mould the religion of college men. On the one hand, old school teachers telling the youth to stop thinking and accept blindly their crude faiths and intellectual inheritance; on the other, strong men trying to adjust their faith to their judgment."--The North American.


***

A very rich man, whom we have every reason to regard as a Christian in the ordinary sense of that title, even if not a "saint," endowed the college whose teachings are represented by the head of its faculty in the above address. That rich man, already paying his employees liberally, gave liberally of his surplus to enlighten them or others of his fellow-creatures. Not vastly learned himself, he supposed that he was acting wisely, for the good of all mankind, when he entrusted so vast a fortune to the care of the learned ministers and professors of theology of his own (Baptist) denomination. Alas! he probably did not suspect that under the name of Christian influence and education his millions would be used to propagate Evolution doctrines contrary to the Bible, and to instil Higher Criticism of the Bible to utterly destroy the Bible's influence. The size of his generous gift and the size of the resultant college give increased weight and influence to the infidel doctrines which are flooding Christendom.

We do not blame Mr. Rockefeller, but concede his good intentions; neither do we condemn the professor whose words we quote above. Ensnared of the Adversary, he is probably honest in the utterance of his convictions. The point we do make is that the wealth and learning of Christendom have for the past thirty years been carrying forward the Adversary's work--destroying faith in a personal God and in the Bible as a revelation from him.

Now the fruit of their "sowing to the wind" is appearing and shortly they with others will reap the whirlwind of anarchy. Yet they are so blind to this as to fancy that the education they are giving the rising generation is the antidote for anarchy. Alas! they cannot see that "The reverence of Jehovah is the beginning of wisdom." Their educational program ignores this foundation and hence is proving injurious to the race. Discontent and not happiness is the result of such education, and its influence extends to the uneducated.


***

Note how the campaign of destroying faith in the Bible and heeding infidelity which will soon lead to anarchy, progresses. A Wheeling, W.Va., paper says:--

"In the reading of his paper Rev. Clayton consumed the larger part of the evening, and the large congregation present accorded him rapt attention. He pointed out how man originally existed in the form of a worm, and how he later developed into the form of an ape, and how even today he bears a close relation to the gorilla. Each one of his theories Rev. Clayton backed up with proofs obtained from the science of evolution."



[R4145 : page 70]

CINCINNATI DEBATES AND CONVENTION
ANOTHER splendid "Convention of Bible Students, believers in the Atonement of the Precious Blood, a 'Ransom for all,'" has just closed. It was very enjoyable. Many said it surpassed all previous ones, due to the debates, due to the sharp contrasts manifested between Truth and Error and their different spirits. About 600 attended--from Canada on the North to the Gulf on the South; from the Atlantic on the East to the Rocky mountains on the West. Some of those who came first could not stay until the close, but others got in at the finish who were unable to come earlier. Probably at no time were there less than 500. We heard excellent reports of the Convention discourses; and some told us that the Testimony meetings were up to the highest notch and filled with the spirit of love. Prayers were offered for both of the disputants--for Brother Russell that his mouth might be widely opened to declare the lengths and breadths of God's love, and for Brother White that his eyes of understanding might be opened to see the real plan of God and its harmony and beauty.

Elder White, on learning of our Convention, made objection to it. This surprised us. We assured him that we would have been glad to have a large convention of people of his faith present to hear the debates. We discovered finally that his fear was that we purposed running the debates like a political convention--to cheer our own side and to howl and hiss down our opponent. We assured him that he much misunderstood us all; that nothing would be farther from our sentiment and purpose; that he would be treated with the greatest courtesy by all of us, both in public and in private.

The last day of the Convention was a rainy one, nevertheless the enthusiasm continued and the last public session (Sunday afternoon, March 1) was attended by about 2100 to hear concerning Life, Death and the Hereafter as portrayed [R4145 : page 71] in the Abrahamic Covenant. That a good impression was made on the minds of many was testified to personally, some saying, We came here fully in sympathy with Elder White's side of these questions, but we now see differently and rejoice accordingly. Some of these were immersed. On the day following the debate on Baptism 37 (18 males, 19 females, all adults) symbolized their consecration by water immersion, understanding clearly that it was not for "remission of sins" nor for admission into God's Kingdom or Church, but merely a symbolical testimony that their sins were already freely forgiven through faith in Christ's blood and that their heart consecration, whenever it occurred and was accepted of the Lord, admitted them to the Church of the living God whose names are written in heaven.

We opine that Elder White's course of boasting and misrepresentation during the debates did him little good. We understand that a part of his program and that of his fellow-believers was to "follow with a revival." We of course hope that they will not succeed in reviving their errors in the minds of the people. There is plenty of room for all the preachers of righteousness, but the poor world already has too many preachers of error. Elder White's meetings opened on Sunday, March 1, and the total attendance, as reported to us, was 31, including himself.

BELIEVING AND TEACHING

Elder White's various statements respecting "sheol" and "hades" seemed so peculiarly inconsistent that one evening after the close of the debate Brother Johnson spoke to him on the subject, saying, What is your view of sheol and hades? I really do not understand you. Elder White, he says, answered rather vaguely and, being further pressed for a reply, his fellow-minister and assistant in the debate, Elder Kurfees, spoke up and said, We hold that "sheol" and "hades" refer to the tomb. Then Elder White said, Never mind what I believe! What I have publicly uttered is what I teach!

ONE GENERAL CONVENTION AT PITTSBURG

It was remarked incidentally that this year would probably witness one large Convention at Pittsburg, about the time of the G.A.R. Encampment at Toledo, Ohio, and and if possible be so arranged as to gain for us some of the advantages of their usually low railroad rates. This would bring it about September 1, but definite announcement may be looked for soon in these columns.



page 71

BEREAN STUDIES ON THE ATONEMENT
THE TEXT BOOK USED FOR THIS COURSE
IS SCRIPTURE STUDIES, SERIES V. (E)
Questions on Study I.--The Fact
and Philosophy of the Atonement.

APRIL 5

1. Do the Scriptures teach that the Church is so separate from the world that her hopes and ambitions spiritual are not discerned? Page 26, par. 1. Matt. 11:27; John 15:15; 1 Cor. 2:11; 1 John 3:1.

2. What are the "earnest expectations" of humanity and when will these be more than realized? Page 26, par. 1. Rom. 8:19-23.

3. What great promise did the Lord make, prior to the First Advent of our Lord Jesus, in which are included all the hopes for the Church and the world and which was subsequently elaborated by our Lord and his apostles? Page 26, par. 1.

4. Since "condemnation passed upon all men, because all are sinners," and since God changeth not, what grounds have we for faith or hope as respects the salvation of Adam and his race? Page 26, par. 2.

5. What difference is there between the Little Flock and the world as respects God's love and its redemption from the curse--the death penalty? Page 26, par. 2.

6. What inference may properly be drawn from the fact that the Church is referred to as a "first-fruits"? James 1:18.

APRIL 12

7. Are there two parts to the work of Atonement? If so, name them and describe their operation. Page 27, par. 1.

8. Are the members of the Little Flock included in the first part of the Atonement work--the reconciliation for iniquity?

9. Will the Little Flock share with the world in its experiences under the New Covenant? Or will this class be counted "not of the world," but chosen-out ones for association with their Redeemer, as members of the Body of the great Mediator between God and mankind in general. Z. page 7, '07.

10. Does the invitation to the Church to follow the Lord in sacrifice, to drink of his cup of the New Covenant, signify the privilege of joining with our Lord in providing the blood (sacrifice) wherewith the New Covenant will by and by be sealed?

11. If by nature "we were children of wrath even as others," whence and how does this privilege come to us? "Who hath made us to differ?" and how were we made acceptable as joint-sacrificers with Christ? Page 28, par. 1. Rom. 12:1; 1 Cor. 4:7; Eph. 2:3.

12. Will the world's justification be instantly or gradually effected? and how? and when? Page 29.

APRIL 19

13. How long a time will the mediation of the New Covenant God-ward require? And how long man-ward? Page 29, par. 2.

14. When did our Lord Jesus become the Head of the world's Mediator? At his birth, or at his baptism, or at his resurrection? 1 Tim. 2:5,6.

15. When was it that our Lord "gave himself a ransom"? Was it at his consecration? and did he fulfil the giving even unto Calvary?

16. When do we join our Lord as members of "his Body"? At birth, at justification, at consecration and acceptance of the Spirit, or in the resurrection?

17. Does this "His Resurrection" begin when the Lord accepts our consecration? and is it finished when we experience our final "change"? Phil. 3:7-11.

18. Will the mediatorial work of Messiah (his Millennial reign) ever have an end? When? Why? page 72 What will by that time have been accomplished? Why will it not be prolonged? Page 30, par. 1,2.

APRIL 26

19. Accepting Abraham as typifying God, and Isaac as typifying the Christ, and the three wives of Abraham (Sarah, Hagar and Keturah) as typifying the three great covenants between God and all from the human family who shall eventually become blest with the full liberty of the sons of God, which represented the "Law Covenant"? which the "New Covenant"? and which the original or "Everlasting Covenant"? Gal. 4:22-31; Jer. 31:31-34.

20. Is there room for doubt as to which were the children of Agar or Hagar, the people under the Law Covenant?

21. Is there room for doubt as to which are the children of Sarah, "the Seed of Abraham according to promise," or children of God under the Original Covenant or Everlasting Covenant? Gal. 3:16,17; 4:28; Heb. 13:20; 11:17; Jas. 2:21.

22. Is there room for doubt that the "New Covenant" cannot have been the oldest or the original and "Everlasting Covenant," nor the "Law Covenant" added four hundred and thirty years after it, but must be the one typified by Keturah, Abraham's last wife, accepted after the death of Sarah? (Gen. 25:1-4.) Is there any doubt that the promise of a New Covenant and its effects belong to the future? Jer. 31:27-34.

23. Is it not the New Covenant that the Apostle refers to in Rom. 11:27? If not, what Covenant is signified?

24. How could Israel partake of restitution except under the New Covenant? and how could this signify their obtaining mercy through the Church's mercy, except as the Church as the Spiritual Seed of the original promise (Gal. 3:29) becomes partaker with her Lord in the sealing of the New Covenant? Rom. 11:26,31. Pages 30, 31, 32.



[R4146 : page 72]

"I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE"
--JOHN 6:26-37.--MARCH 8.--

Golden Text:--"Jesus said unto them, I am the Bread of Life."
AFTER partaking of the miraculously provided supper, the multitude, evidently according to their habit, lay down in the fields, wrapping themselves in their outer garments. Indeed, this is even today a prevailing custom in Palestine with the poorer people when on a journey. In the morning they looked about for their benefactor, evidently expecting to find Jesus in the same vicinity, and no doubt also expecting that he would miraculously provide for their breakfast. But not finding him nor the boat in which the disciples had come they journeyed onward towards Jerusalem, but still on the lookout for the reputed Messiah. When finally they came upon the Lord and his company they told of their search--and our lesson for today begins with our Lord's reply, You seek me not because of the miracle, but because of the satisfactory and free supper which you received. Here we perceive the wisdom of the Lord in not pressing matters too earnestly. He preached no sermon when he performed the miracle, but allowed it to have its effect; but now, instead of working another miracle, he preached a sermon, using his miracle as a text.

His reproof was not harsh, although it was quite pointed: Strive not for the food which perisheth, but for that kind which will produce everlasting life. This is the kind which the Son of man is prepared to give unto you, for him the Father, even God, hath sealed, indicated, marked as his appointed channel for blessing. The lesson contained in these words is obvious, and is as applicable today as then. The trouble with the whole world is that they have either earthly aims or no aims at all, and of the two conditions the latter is the worse. It is the people with aims, with purposes in life who are accomplishing something in themselves and for others. These are the worldly wise, who make two blades of grass grow where one grew before, who build factories and works and conduct large enterprises, and to whom in large measure civilization owes so much. They have ambition to be rich or to be wise or to be famed, and these ambitions spur them on to works.

But, alas! the great majority of mankind are in a much worse case, for without ambition they are merely eating to live and living to eat--merely animals of a higher intelligence. They labor for the meat that perisheth--it is their aim, their goal, and sometimes includes the inebriating cup, which steals from them whatever of sense they may have. Our Lord would have his hearers, including all his followers down through the age, note this message from his lips: that although the meat that perisheth is necessary under present conditions, those who are his followers will remember that their heavenly Father knoweth they have need of these and will not suffer them to come to serious want. And thus being without anxious care for the bread that perisheth they might turn their entire attention not to earthly but heavenly ambitions--the noblest, the grandest of all they might aspire to, because such blessed children come within the range of divine blessing of life everlasting. The meat, the food that would develop in them such an ambition and lead to its satisfaction, would be food indeed and well worthy of every exertion to obtain it.

WHAT SHALL WE DO?

The discourse had its effect; the people realized that they were leading comparatively aimless lives, or that their aims were earthly and therefore would perish with their dying, and they asked the Lord what kind of work or labor he meant they should perform to secure the food that would bring the divine favor and gain them eternal life. What do you mean by works that would please God? This is just the point that Jesus wished to bring them to and that he [R4146 : page 73] wished to answer. He replied that the work for them to do at once was to exercise faith in him as the Sent of God--the Messiah. But they replied, What reason have we to think of you as the Messiah? Work for us some conclusive sign that will prove that you are Messiah and we will believe. The fact that you fed five thousand of us last evening with five loaves and two small fishes does not prove your Messiahship. Messiah is to be like Moses, only greater than Moses, and the miracle you performed is not as great as some that Moses performed. You furnished five thousand one meal and had the loaves and fishes to start with, but Moses fed our fathers for years in the wilderness without any bread as a start. The manna which he provided came down from heaven; as it is written, "He gave them bread from heaven to eat." They were good reasoners in some respects--they were not going to be too easily converted, they wished to be thoroughly convinced before they would believe Jesus to be the Messiah; they had heard of others who had been deceived by false Messiahs; they were intending to stick close to the Scriptural record and to see that the one they would accept as Messiah must be greater than Moses, able to feed them and all the people every day--and with bread superior to that which Moses gave in the wilderness.

Then was Jesus' turn to expound his teaching and to show that the comparison as between himself and Moses was not as to who would give a finer kind of earthly food and more of it, but that he would give a heavenly food, a spiritual food, which would secure to them a heavenly life. He therefore called attention first of all to their mistake in thinking the giving of the manna to be the work of Moses, saying plainly, It was not Moses that gave the bread from heaven, but my Father; do not credit that to the wrong source. Moses was indeed an honored servant of the Lord as the Lawgiver of Israel, but he neither gave the manna nor sent it. My Father who sent that manna in the wilderness has now sent another kind of bread, another kind of food, another kind of manna from heaven--not literal, but symbolical. The bread which God is now about to send to his people, also comes down from heaven and is intended to be the Bread of life for the whole world--not merely day by day for a few years, but for life everlasting.

"EVERMORE GIVE US THIS BREAD"

The lessons were going home to their hearts, as we know by their reply, "Lord, evermore give us this Bread." We note the similarity of expression here with that used by the Samaritan woman to whom the Lord mentioned the gift of life under the figure of the water of life--"Evermore give me this water." The answers in both cases show us the longings of the people of that time, both Jews and Samaritans, for something superior to what they had. As the poet has declared, "There are longings infinite in the human mind"-- longings for life eternal. From remote times history tells us of how people in every clime have sought for health-springs and health-foods that thus they might have a longer continuance of the present life and, if possible, an annulment of death entirely. All realize that this has not yet been attained, and the war still goes on. It is on the strength of such longings of the soul for continued life that patent-medicines thrive. We are glad that there is such a longing in the human mind for a perpetuation of life; it becomes, as in this case and in the case of the Samaritan woman, a basis for further investigation for the eternal life which the Lord proffered.

Our Lord replied, "I am the Bread of life: he that cometh to me shall not hunger, and he that believeth on me shall never thirst." Again our Lord's words would undoubtedly be beyond the depth of the people's understanding. We can imagine their consternation, and to assist us in sympathizing with them we should remember that they were not Spirit-begotten, because Pentecost had not yet come, "the holy Spirit was not yet given because Jesus was not yet glorified." (John 7:39.) Indeed, we find that this question is a very abstruse one with many of the Lord's people today, and few comprehend it with any clearness except the Spirit-begotten. [R4147 : page 73] Let us make the matter as plain as possible by continuing the investigation of the context. Therein Jesus explains that he himself had come down from heaven--not merely like the manna from the clouds, but from heaven itself, having laid aside the glory which he had with the Father before the world was, having humbled himself to an exchange of his previous spirit nature for the earthly nature in which he was then addressing them--the man Christ Jesus. But they could not eat him while he was alive, nor could they even understand what he meant when he said, "My flesh is meat indeed and my blood is drink indeed," and they reasoned, Will this man give us his flesh to eat? Is that what he means? The lesson was too deep for them; but, thank God, not too deep for us. As then some of the disciples forsook Jesus and walked no more with him, saying, "This is a hard saying, who can receive it?" so today there are some who cannot receive this teaching, which is the fundamental one of the Gospel of Christ. Whoever cannot receive this lesson cannot receive the other lessons which are built upon it. Our Lord further explained, "My flesh I will give for the life of the world." He had not yet given his flesh, though he was in the process of giving it; he was drawing out its vitality, its strength, in their service, but would complete the work of his sacrifice by surrendering his all to death--even the death of the cross. And this he did later.

"WE EAT HIS FLESH"

We do not eat the flesh of Jesus literally--we eat it by faith; that is to say, we appropriate by faith to ourselves the merit, the efficacy which was in his flesh and which he surrendered to death on our behalf. But why was this, and what did he surrender, and how do we partake of it? We answer that Adam as the head of the race had forfeited his life through disobedience and hence, instead of being able to propagate a race of perfect beings in harmony with God and privileged to [R4147 : page 74] have eternal life, his offspring was like himself, dying, unworthy of eternal life. In God's arrangement a redemptive sacrifice was necessary--some one must take Adam's place, suffer death for him in order to release him and to justify his race from the original sentence. No human being could be found who was perfect and who could give to Justice a ransom for his brother-- for all were sinners, coming short of the glory, the perfection, which God recognizes as essential to eternal life. It was to meet these requirements that God made the arrangement with his Son by which the latter freely, gladly, for the joy set before him, died, the Just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God. (1 Pet. 3:18.) So, then, it was our Lord's flesh or human nature that was given for Adam and his race, and hence given for the life of the world, that the world of mankind might be recovered from under the sentence of death. Thus Jesus, by the grace of God, tasted death for every man and we are all redeemed, not with corruptible things such as silver and gold, but with the precious blood [life] of Christ, as a lamb without spot or blemish.--1 Pet. 1:18,19.

We see, says one, how it was necessary for Christ to be made flesh and how it was necessary for him to give his flesh for the life of the world by going into death, but how shall we eat his flesh? is the question. Ah, we answer, the matter, as put in that figurative form, is beautifully simple and meaningful when we understand it. The eating of the Lord's flesh must be an individual matter on the part of all those who would benefit by his sacrifice. The eating represents the appropriating by faith. Thus, when one comes to an understanding of the fact of the redemption and believes therein and goes to God in prayer and by faith accepts the forgiveness of his sins and reconciliation with God, he in so doing is eating the flesh of the Son of man; he is partaking of those benefits or advantages which our Lord's flesh or sacrifice secured.

JUSTIFIED BY OUR "EATING"

The result of such eating by faith signifies the appropriation to one's self of all the blessings and privileges which our Lord possessed as a perfect man; it implies our justification on the human plane, our relationship to God as those whose sins are graciously overlooked or covered and who have joy and peace and fellowship with God through faith in the precious blood. We are to continue to eat that we may grow stronger and stronger--that we may be able to appropriate more and more the wonderful blessings and privileges, relationships and divine favors which belonged to our Lord, but which he surrendered on our behalf and on behalf of all the members of Adam's race. Additionally, those who are rightly influenced by the eating --those who are drawn nearer to the Lord and led to a full consecration of their all to him--these receive a special invitation during this Gospel Age to drink of his blood. The blood is the life in Scriptural language, and hence ordinarily the Jews were not to drink blood; to do so would make them guilty or responsible for the death of the person or creature. Thus the Jews said of our Lord, "His blood be upon us"--we assume the responsibility of his death.

And thus also the Apostle explains that those who partake of the blood of Christ symbolically in the communion cup are symbolically representing themselves as being guilty of the blood of Christ, guilty of the death of Christ--unless they partake of it with the proper, the intended signification. What is that intended signification? We answer that our Lord stated the matter at the last Supper, saying to his disciples, "This is the cup of the New Covenant in my blood-- drink ye all of it." This cup of the fruit of the vine represents my blood, my death; by it the New Covenant will eventually be sealed, and I invite you who believe on me to partake of this with me, to partake of this not as those who caused my death, but as those who voluntarily gave up their own lives and joined with me in this death, in this self-sacrifice. As you partake of this cup with me it signifies that you lay down your lives as I laid down mine and that you become participants with me in this cup which speaks, which means the great sacrifice, the great life given through which the New Covenant will be established, under which all the families of the earth will be blessed.

So, then, under the guidance of the holy Spirit through the words of the Apostle we may see a depth of meaning in our Lord's words which the people whom he addressed did not comprehend. Indeed, we believe that while our Lord addressed these words to the Jews he intended them more particularly for us to whom they have been communicated and by whom they have been more fully understood. We rejoice, then, in the justification which we have through partaking of his flesh--through being justified by the sacrifice of his humanity--our appropriation of our share of human justification. And we rejoice also that eventually the whole world shall be privileged to eat of that flesh--to accept the grace of God in the cancellation of their human sins and weaknesses, and to realize that all those blessings of restitution times, the blessings of the Millennium, will come to them because Christ died for their sins, because he gave to them his flesh to eat. The whole world is to eat of that Bread, and, as the Apostle intimates, the Church is now privileged to be a part with the Lord in the Loaf that is being broken, as well as to be participants in the cup of ignominy and self-sacrifice which the Father poured for him and which he permits us to share with him--for if we suffer with him we shall also reign with him, if we be dead with him we shall also live with him, if we drink of his cup we shall also share in his joys in the Kingdom by and by.--2 Tim. 2:12.

WHOM THE FATHER GIVETH SHALL COME

The multitude who had eaten of the bread the night before, and who now had received the explanation respecting the higher food necessary to eternal life, did not believe, although they recognized Jesus as a very wonderful personage indeed, and probably, like another multitude, were ready to declare, "Never man spake like this man." (John 7:46.) Was our Lord disconcerted [R4147 : page 75] and disappointed because these thousands of Israel, heirs of the promises, received him not, heeded not his message? Nay, verily! Nor should we his followers think strange of it that in this harvest time the divine message should be incomprehensible to the great majority of the household of faith of our time. We read nothing of our Lord's becoming excited to a frenzy and appealing to the people and teaching them that they were about to fall into an eternity of torture if they did not receive him. We read nothing about the apostles going out amongst them and urging them to a mourner's bench. Quite to the contrary of all this. Jesus evidently expected that few would believe; he even turned to his disciples and said, "Will ye also go away?" But they answered, No; to whom should we go? from you we have the message of eternal life which comes from nowhere else. Master, we will stand by you; we could not do otherwise, our every interest is bound up in this glorious message which we have heard from your lips. We are ready to die with you, to drink of your cup.

Instead of manifesting any perturbation our Lord said to the multitude, This is what I told you before; ye have seen me, ye have believed not. Why? Because ye are not of the flock of sheep whom my Father hath given me to lead at the present time. Other sheep I have which are not of this flock; by and by I will attend to them. But now, "All that the Father hath given me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out"--reject. What is this if not an election, a selection? How much in harmony it is with what our Lord uttered in his prayer on the night before his crucifixion, "I pray not for the world, but for those whom thou hast given me...that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me and I in thee, that they also may be one in us; that the world [R4148 : page 75] may [then, later] believe that thou hast sent me!" (John 17:9,21.) As our Lord was not expecting all to come to him and to accept of his gracious offer and God's gracious provision in him and thus to be justified through eating his flesh, so he could not expect either that many would go on still further and make the consecration to walk in his steps in the narrow way and thus be partakers of his cup and prospective joint-heirs with him. Oh, no! these in all, from first to last, are but a Little Flock, but a very blessed Little Flock to whom, as the Master declared, the Father will give the Kingdom. (Luke 12:32.) And when they shall be changed and are like their Master and shall receive the Kingdom power and glory and dominion-- then will come through that Kingdom the overthrow of the prince of darkness, the prince of this world; the overthrow of sin and the work of blessing, enlightening and uplifting all the poor world of mankind who are not now called and drawn by the Father!

Note our Lord's words in this connection, "No man can come unto me except the Father which sent me draw him." (John 6:44.) There is an exclusiveness about this: the time had not yet come, mentioned in Revelation, when the water of life shall flow freely, and whosoever will may come. (Rev. 22:17.) That glorious time belongs to the Millennial Kingdom and not to the present time, which is devoted to the election or selection of the Bride class of joint-heirs which the Father is now drawing, calling, sealing. Mark the distinctive difference between this drawing of the present time by the Father and that later drawing of the Millennial Age, which will not be by the Father but by the Son, and which will not be exclusive but inclusive, including all mankind. Hearken to our Master's words to this effect, that "I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me." (John 12:32.) All men are not yet drawn to the Lord. Why? Because the lifting up is not yet complete. The Head was lifted up not only at Calvary but was subsequently highly exalted as a reward, and the members of his Body, the members of the Bride class who follow in his steps, must finish their course and also be highly exalted as his joint-heirs before the lifting-up process will be complete.

With that glorious "change" of the First Resurrection the Millennial Kingdom will be ushered in and during that wonderful reign of righteousness, that shining forth of the sun of light and truth for the blessing of the world, all mankind will be drawn away from sin and selfishness, away from sickness, pain and sorrow, away from everything that is evil, toward the Lord, that they may partake of his flesh indeed and have eternal life with all the blessings of restitution which God has provided through the great Redeemer. We are not in this teaching Universalism, for as many of those who are called and drawn now to be of the Bride class can, and many do, resist the drawings, or, as the Apostle says, "receive the grace of God in vain." So it will be possible to resist the drawings of the Millennial Age, as is pointed out in the Scriptures in various statements, of which this may suffice, "It shall come to pass that the soul that will not hear [obey] that Prophet, shall be destroyed from amongst the people" --in the Second Death, without hope of any recovery. Note again the Lord's promise to these Elect ones whom the Father now draws and who now come and feed upon our Lord's flesh and who drink of his cup, his blood, and participate with him in his sacrifice. Their hope is stated in these words, "I will raise him up at the last day." The last day, the great seventh day, the Millennial day. Ah, yes! We remember it is written respecting the Church, the Bride class, "God shall help her right early in the morning" (Psa. 46:5.)--the morning of that Millennial day. The six days, epochs of one thousand years each, from Adam have passed, the seventh is already dawning and the time is near at hand when the Bride, all glorious, shall be presented to the great King, the Father, by the great King, his Son, our Lord--"with gladness and rejoicing shall she be brought: they shall enter into the King's palace."-- Psa. 45:15.

"I WILL IN NO WISE CAST OUT"

How glad we are that our dear Master added these words. Without them we might have doubted the efficacy of the calling and the drawing which we receive; [R4148 : page 76] and some might have said, Yes, I was indeed drawn, but evidently the Lord Jesus did not count me worthy of a place amongst his followers. He here assures us that the drawing of the Father which brings us to him with a desire to be his disciples will insure for us his aid, his succor, his assistance, his acceptance. Thus we may know that if we fail of the grace of God now provided for us in the high calling, it will be our own fault, because of failure to give heed to the voice of the Shepherd and to walk in his steps. [R4142 : page 76]

"THE STONE WITNESS"
In a dark, dreary land,
In a wilderness lone,
In a desert of sand
Stands the Witness of Stone.
So ancient, so vast,
So majestic its plan,
It speaks from the past
Of a strength not of man.

So perfect the whole,
So true the design,
It speaks to the soul
Of a Builder divine.
Behold how it towers
In its grandeur alone!
"God's ways are not ours,"
Saith the Witness of Stone.

[R4143 : page 76]

It is awful to go
When the world is asleep,
And stand 'neath the glow
Of the star-studded deep,
And gaze at that tower
With its secret unknown,--
For great is the power
Of the Witness of Stone!

They have scoffed at the Truth
Which is written in ink,
They have deemed it uncouth
For the brain which can think;
But they will awake
When they see it defined
In figures which make
An appeal to the mind!

The Book of the soul,
The Book of the heart--
There is naught on that scroll
For the shrewd or the smart!
And so there must be
A witness for such,
A thing they can see
And a thing they can touch.

'Tis a book for the wise,
If the meek and the just;
'Tis a chart for the eyes
Long blinded by dust.
'Tis a proof for the sage
Whose god is the known--
There is truth for the age
In the Witness of Stone.
--Grace P. Bronaugh.



[R4148 : page 76]

"I WAS BLIND, I NOW SEE"
--JOHN 9:1-41.--MARCH 15.--

Golden Text:--"I am the Light of the world."--V. 5.
OUR Lord was in Jerusalem on the occasion of the Feast of Tabernacles, in the fall of the third year of his ministry--just six months before his crucifixion. No doubt there were then as now many blind men sitting by the wayside soliciting alms, especially at that season of the year, when the crowds gathered for worship and were apt to feel benevolent. Our Lord did not heal all of these blind; the recorded instances are just six. His mission was not for the healing of the sick, but for the preaching of the Gospel, the power of healing being exercised merely to point to the Gospel message, as in the instance given in this lesson.

As our Lord and the apostles passed one of these blind men it was noted that he was blind from birth. Probably his asking for alms led to a discussion of a very important question raised by the apostles --"Lord, which did sin, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" It may be that the apostles were less clear in their logic than usual, else they might have known that the man could not have sinned before birth; but it is barely possible that some of the heathen ideas respecting the transmigration of souls had come to their attention. Satan has deluded many of the heathen into the supposition that they lived before in some other form or condition and that having been born into the world they were merely having life renewed under changed conditions, either better or worse than previously. This view is held by millions of Buddhists and also by the Mormons. The Scriptures, however, are very explicit to the contrary, teaching that Adam was a direct creation of God and that all the human family have sprung direct from him by natural processes of birth.

Our Lord's reply that neither this man nor his parents had sinned is not to be understood as meaning that he and his parents were without blemish, without a share in the condemnation which came upon Father Adam and which, through him in a general way, has come to all of his posterity. Of this the Apostle says, "By one man's disobedience sin entered into the world and death as the result of sin, and thus death passed upon all men." (Rom. 5:12.) This blind man and his parents as members of the Adamic race were under the death sentence, the same as ourselves and others. Our Lord evidently meant and was understood to mean that it was not because of any special sin committed by this man and his parents that he had been born blind. Similarly on another occasion he said, speaking of those upon whom the Tower of Siloam fell, "Think ye that these were sinners above other men? I tell you, Nay; but unless ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish" --not all perish in the same manner, but all shall die. (Luke 13:4.) The death sentence is over all, and [R4148 : page 77] only by getting into relationship with the Life-giver can any of us hope to escape it.

AFFLICTIONS NO PROOF OF GOD'S DISPLEASURE

The principal point of this lesson, therefore, is that calamities are not necessarily marks of divine disapproval. It was not so in this man's case; it was not so in the case of Job nor in the instance of the burial under the Tower of Siloam. Nevertheless, our Lord did imply that with the Jews special sickness often meant stripes or punishment for personal sin. Thus in the case of the impotent man at the pool of Bethesda; in a previous lesson we noted our Lord's words to the healed one, "Go thy way, sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon thee." It is undoubtedly true that many of the ailments that afflict mankind are the results of improper living on their part or on the part of their forefathers. Scrofula is such a disease, often being transmitted through several generations; gout is another. Indeed we could mention scores. It is proper, therefore, when we find ourselves in sickness, that we examine carefully to what extent we ourselves have been responsible through careless living, either through eating or drinking too much, or by the use of foods unsuited to our condition. If we find the cause of such an ailment in such a direction it is well that we repent thereof and take such steps in an opposite direction as may be possible to us, while with prayer we resolve that with the Lord's assistance we shall be more consistent [R4149 : page 77] in the future; that our eating and drinking and whatsoever we may do may be to his glory and for the best possible preservation and usefulness of the mortal body we have consecrated to his service.

But if on investigation we cannot find that our experience and sickness were the result of self-gratification nor the result of hereditary disease beyond our control, it would be well, then, for us to examine carefully and note whether or not our experiences had resulted from our activity in the Lord's service. If so, we should glory in them; we should rejoice that we have been enabled to lay down some of life and health in the service of him who did so much for us. Nevertheless as wise stewards we should seek to note whether or not we could accomplish as good results or better by a different course, one which might be less exhausting, less debilitating. Even then, however, the thought before our minds should not be self-protection, for he that loveth his life to an improper degree will lose it. Our thought should be our responsibility as stewards, that we might accomplish in our bodies that which would be most pleasing and acceptable in his sight. If none of these suggestions seems to fit our case we still have two others to examine:--

(1) Might our sickness be a chastisement for a course displeasing to the Lord? Might it be in the nature of stripes? If in our minds we can find sin at the door of our hearts--a wrong course of life, it would be safe to accept the experience as a chastisement and to seek to profit thereby. But otherwise, (2) finding none of these things to fit the case we should consider that our affliction, as in the case before us in this lesson, is simply for our welfare, to assist us to the application of some valuable spiritual lesson, or, as our Lord expressed it, that the works of God might be made manifest. It should be our pleasure to glorify God in our bodies and in our spirits [minds] which are his, either by receiving good lessons ourselves or by pointing good lessons to others. As we shall see this was much the experience of the blind man; his case was one which operated as a blessing for himself and as a manifestation of the Lord Jesus and his power and as a testing to the Pharisees and others of his time and as a valuable instruction to many of the Lord's people from that day until the present time.

"THE WORKS OF GOD"

We emphasize the fact that the works of God were not merely in the healing of one out of thousands of sick and blind, but the manifestation of Jesus as the Light of the world and the influence and testing which that would mean to the Jewish people--gathering out of them a little handful of Israelites indeed for membership in the Bride class and the rejection of the great mass of that nation as unfit for a share in the heavenly Kingdom. This work our Lord proceeded to do in the healing of this blind man, saying, "I am working the works of him that sent me while it is day. The night cometh when no man can work." Our Lord's day of opportunity was rapidly drawing to a close. This miracle and others, especially the awakening of Lazarus, brought him so prominently before the eyes of the people that there was a division amongst them concerning these things, some accepting, some rejecting, and this division must necessarily proceed throughout the whole nation. It was the test, and it must culminate in a night time in which the Light of the world, Jesus, would be for a time entirely extinguished--before the Israelites, before Pilate, at Calvary. Similarly with each one of the Lord's followers we might say that there is a day time of opportunity when his time and talent and zeal may bring forth fruitage to the Lord's praise, and that the opportunities then afforded should be exercised to the fullest, for to each will come a night time when the opportunities will pass from him as he passes into death.

In harmony with this is the prophetic statement, "Do with thy might what thy hand findeth to do: for there is no work nor device nor knowledge nor wisdom in the grave [sheol] whither thou goest." (Eccl. 9:10.) And there is another application still which we should not forget, namely, that the Church as a whole has had varying experiences. Beginning at Pentecost there was quite an illumination upon the early Church; but it was not morning time, it was evening time. The glow of light which was upon them was from the setting sun; gradually the darkness came and throughout the long epoch of this Gospel Age gross darkness has prevailed and in it the Lord's people have been able to see only a little of the pathway at a time; as it is written, "Thy Word is a lamp to my feet and a lantern to my footsteps." That epoch in general has been called the "dark ages," and now we are approaching the dawning of the morning and the path before shines more and more. [R4149 : page 78]

The light now shining more closely resembles that which shone upon the early Church, and in both instances it is the light of the parousia, the light of the presence of the Son of Man. But even in this morning of dawning light we are to expect another time of deep darkness: a night time in a certain sense will intervene, an overcasting of the skies, a great morning storm, as the Lord has foretold through the Prophet, "The morning cometh, a night also." (Isa. 21:12.) The morning is here, but before it is ushered in in the full splendor of Millennial brightness the great storm of the time of trouble will break--"a time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation." (Dan. 12:1.) Therefore we may well say to ourselves, individually and as the Body of Christ, we "must work the works of him that sent us"--who commissioned us while it is day, while the light of the sun is upon us, because the night of trouble cometh when no man can work, when our opportunities for serving the cause and the brethren and for the public dissemination of the Truth will be forcibly closed by the powers that be.

THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD

Our Lord added, "As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world." The light shone amongst them to reprove the evil and to encourage the good for another six months, up to the time of our Lord's crucifixion, but he left behind him some who were receptive to the influence of the light, his Spirit, and who were illuminated by the Pentecostal blessing. Of these he said, "Ye are the light of the world." "Let your light so shine before men that they, seeing your good works, may glorify your Father in heaven." Thus, as the Apostle says, "As he was, so are we in this world"--lights shining in darkness, appreciated not, comprehended not, understood not, refused, repulsed by the great mass, even by those who claimed to be the people of God, but whose hearts were not in such sympathy with the light as to permit them to receive the holy Spirit's illumination. For be it noted that there is quite a distinction between having the holy Spirit and being illuminated by it so as to let our light shine, and on the other hand being of those upon whom such illumination shines. Our Lord let his light shine upon many, and so we have opportunity to let our light shine upon many. But no one has the light within him except he is begotten of the holy Spirit.--Heb. 10:32.

ANOINTING THE EYES OF THE BLIND

This little discussion was probably within the hearing of the blind man and intended not merely for him but also for the disciples and all who have since believed on the Lord through their words. Afterwards our Lord spat upon the ground and made an ointment with the dust and saliva, with which he anointed the eyes of the blind man. All this implies some assistance from the blind man. His assent is also implied in his going at our Lord's bidding to wash in the waters of the pool of Siloam. Faith was first followed by works and this attested a degree of perfection. If he had not believed he would not have submitted to the anointing, neither would he have left his seat as a beggar to go and wash. The ointment which our Lord made and used, we may safely say, had no particular virtue in it, neither had the waters used any virtue in them, and this fact is recognized in the whole narrative; it was merely an aid to the blind man's faith, but did not in his mind perform the cure; he recognized that it was a miracle, as did the Pharisees. The great weight of this miracle lay in the fact that this man was born blind, and as he said subsequently no one up to that time had ever heard of the opening of the eyes of one born blind. Indeed, oculists today tell us that with all the advancement of science since on this line those who are born blind are beyond hope of relief, except in the one ailment, cataract. And in this case the remedy is but partial, through a surgical operation; removing the lens, for which an artificial one is substituted.

The miracle was evidently the talk of all in the vicinity of the man's home; neighbors and friends congratulated him, but some were unable to believe that it was the same person, unable to believe that one born blind should ever be able to see. It became quite an advertisement for Jesus, for the man when asked how it came that he could see told that a person named Jesus had performed the miracle. The Pharisees, already envious and seeking occasion to kill our Lord, had, we are told, formulated a resolution that if any one confessed Jesus as the Messiah he should be excluded from the synagogue and its privileges as unworthy of the honor and liberty and privileges belonging to a true Jew. Lest the matter should spread, and, if possible to corner it and head it off, they made an investigation. Going to the man's father and mother, the parents simply told the truth and avoided anything further, saying that they knew him to be their son and that he was born blind and that now he saw; but how [R4150 : page 78] they could not say, for they did not see; he was of age and able to speak for himself. The once blind man was again interrogated: How? When? Where? as though to entrap him in an untruth. His own heart honest, he perceived that these so-called holy men were so opposed to Jesus that they were trying every way to disprove or belittle the miracle.

Turning to the healed man the Pharisees said to him, Thank God for your sight, even though it came through a bad channel, for we know that this man Jesus who healed you is a sinner, is a hypocrite, is a falsifier in claiming to be Messiah; he is a bad man. This was more than the once blind man could or should endure; he must not hear the character of his best friend traduced without speaking a word in his defense; he therefore said, This is a very remarkable case that a miracle should be performed such as never before was heard of, and that the man to perform the miracle should be a sinner with whom God would have no dealings; this is indeed remarkable. It has been a teaching amongst us Jews that God would not even hear the prayer of sinners; how then could this man, a sinner, have performed so stupendous a miracle? Then they began to cross-question him again respecting the how and when and where. But perceiving their dishonesty of heart he said to them, Why are you asking [R4150 : page 79] again? You remember what I told you; are you anxious to become his disciples that you want me to explain further, or what is your motive? Perceiving that their hypocritical designs were discovered, they railed at the man, saying, No, we are not Jesus' disciples; you are one of his, we are Moses' disciples. We know that God appointed Moses, and by his Law we stand; as for this man, who knows anything about him? He is said to come from Nazareth, but is not of wonderful parentage, and is not the kind of a Messiah that we have been expecting, with power and great glory and ability to deliver our nation from the hands of the Romans. You had best follow him, we will have nothing to do with you or him; do not come again to our synagogue. Consider yourself an outcast from the religious people of your own nation.

Jesus heard that they had cast him out and found him and said to him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? In answer to the man's desire to know more our Lord revealed himself to him as the Messiah. Then he worshiped Jesus. Notice the exercise of the Lord's providential care over this man and his interests. He did not spare him from being cast out of the synagogue, but turned the same into a special blessing of instruction of much advantage to the man in every way.

In the various features of this incident we today find a lesson along higher lines. Some of us were born blind--blind to the Lord and his true character, blind to the truth of the divine Word. The blindness upon us was neither our own fault nor the fault of our parents. They as well as we were honest-hearted toward the Lord. Our blindness, therefore, was not a chastisement for sins. The darkness, the blindness, which so long has overspread Christendom entrapped us as well as others, but the Lord had mercy upon us and passed our way and made ointment and eyesalve for us. He took of the clay of human agency and mixed it with his Word, the fruit of his lips, and with that combination he gave us the anointing of the eyes of our understanding and bade us wash in the waters of Siloam, his Word of truth and grace. We followed his prescription and now we see. A new world is opened before us, "Wonderful things in the Bible we see!" The Scribes and Pharisees of our day wonder, criticise and try to account for the blessing which has come to us, and of course will find fault with every agency which the Lord has used in connection with our blessing, for their hearts are not in the right attitude to appreciate the light of the favor of God.

It is for us now to take a similar stand to that which this blind man took, to confess the truth, confess the light, confess the miracle which the Lord has wrought upon the eyes of our understanding and to give him our hearts. And it is also for us to find that this will bring against us the anger, the chagrin, the malice of the Scribes and Pharisees of our day. It is for us to find that this will lead men to separate us from their company, to cast us out of their synagogues. Through the Prophet the Lord has foretold this, saying, "Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out, said, The Lord be glorified [we do this casting out for the good of the Lord's cause that we may glorify him]. But he shall appear to your joy and they shall be ashamed." (Isa. 66:5.) How many of the Lord's people have found that the major part of their blessing comes after they have acknowledged the Truth, stood up for it and endured some persecution on its account! Then the Lord findeth them, he knows where they are and all about them all the time, but then he reveals himself to them specially that they may know him, that they may have fellowship with him, that they may receive from him a blessing, as in the case of this blind man.

"ARE WE BLIND ALSO?"

The last two verses of our lesson call our attention to the theological pride of the Pharisees. And, alas, in this also, we must concede that they represent fitly some of their successors in Spiritual Israel who are spiritually proud. Our Lord had declared that his coming into the world would prove a judgment or testing to that order of things, that some of the blind would be made to see and some of those who had been seeing would become blind. That is to say, the truth would prove a testing to many, some coming out of the blindness and darkness and ignorance and superstition to an appreciation of the grandest of God's blessings, and others, who had a larger measure of favor previously, lapsing into a blind condition. Those who received the Lord received enlightenment at Pentecost, and the Apostle remarks that the remainder were blinded and are to remain blind until the close of this Gospel Age.

Hearing his remark about the blind ones seeing and the seeing ones becoming blind the Pharisees said to the Lord, In what list are you placing us? not amongst the blind, we hope? Jesus replied that it would have been better for them if they had been blind, if their course had been actuated by total ignorance, but the case was different. They did have considerable enlightenment and therefore corresponding responsibility, but because of their pride and self-sufficiency in taking what they did see as the whole truth and rejecting the real message of the Lord they were hardening themselves against the light, against the truth, and their sin was fastening itself upon them, shackling them so that they could not and would not and did not receive the light that was then due.

Are there not a good many in this situation today, prominent Christian people boasting of their enlightenment and yet afraid of the light of God's Word and afraid, ashamed to acknowledge either their own ignorance of it or the light that is now shining upon it by the Lord's presence and through the channels which he is using for the scattering of the light in this present time? Let us be prompt to acknowledge that we have nothing of our own, neither light nor wisdom, and let us receive at the Lord's hands the true wisdom, the true enlightenment which comes from above. If all could come to this position rapidly the truth would spread. The great opposition comes from those who claim to know but do not really know; whose boastfulness and pride not only hinder them from entering into the light, but lead them also to hinder others from appreciating it.



page 81
March 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. XXIXMARCH 15No. 6
A.D. 1908--A.M. 6036


CONTENTS.

Views from the Watch Tower83
Our Losing Fight with the Criminal83
The Pre-Existence of Jesus83
Higher Criticism-Infidelity Not Satisfied84
Paid Music in Churches84
Popular Religion vs. Bible Religion85
"Miracle Wheat"86
The Memorial, April 1486
Holding Fast at the Mark87
Quarterly Review Lesson88
The Progress of Total Abstinence90
"Within the Vail" (Poem)92
The Shepherd, the Door, the Flocks92

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 82

THIS JOURNAL AND ITS SACRED MISSION

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

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

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

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

TO US THE SCRIPTURES CLEARLY TEACH

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




LETTERS FOR THE EDITOR SHOULD BE SENT TO ALLEGHENY, PA., U.S.A.
BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS AND REMITTANCES
--ADDRESS TO--
WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY,
"BIBLE HOUSE," 610, 612, 614 ARCH ST., ALLEGHENY, PA., U.S.A.
--OR TO--
BRITISH BRANCH--24 EVERSHOLT ST., LONDON, N.W.
GERMAN BRANCH--MIRKER STR., 45, ELBERFELD.
AUSTRALASIAN BRANCH--EQUITABLE BLDG., COLLINS ST., MELBOURNE
PRICE, $1.00 (4S.) A YEAR IN ADVANCE.
MONEY MAY BE SENT BY EXPRESS, BANK DRAFT, POSTAL ORDER, OR REGISTERED.
FROM FOREIGN COUNTRIES BY FOREIGN MONEY ORDERS, ONLY.
TERMS TO THE LORD'S POOR AS FOLLOWS:--

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


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

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



[R4153 : page 82]

BROTHER RUSSELL'S SERMONS WEEKLY


THE CINCINNATI WEEKLY ENQUIRER, a clean paper of very large circulation, proposes to publish Brother Russell's sermons every week, and offers us a special clubbing rate. This enables us to supply it with the WATCH TOWER for $1.50 per year. If you have already sent in your TOWER subscription send merely the balance, 50c. Moneys returned by the Woman's National Daily will be applied on the Enquirer. Act promptly. Order extra copies for your friends if you so desire.

Humanly speaking, it seems quite unfortunate that the Woman's National Daily accepted subscriptions with the understanding that Brother Russell's sermons would appear weekly, and then discontinued them. Although it received nearly 5,000 subscriptions through us, it declines to refund the money unless the subscribers so demand. We have asked you to send postcard demands for the stoppage of the subscriptions and the refund of the money through us, but evidently few of you have done this, for only a few have been refunded. Were you all to insist no doubt the sermons would be published. page 82

GIVE PROMPT ATTENTION, PLEASE


The Post Office Dept. is unwilling to restore second-class privileges to our Old Theology Quarterly unless we can show a larger list of specifically paid subscriptions. We suggest, therefore, that individually or in groups, classes or ecclesias, you send us bona fide paid lists for as many copies as you can use. The rate will be 6c per year; or, 10 to one address (40 tracts), 20c; 50 to one address (200 tracts), $1; or more at the same rate. You may send personally, or bunch your orders through one of your number as your agent. Tract Fund subscriptions and Good Hopes may be applied on this account by explicitly authorizing us so to do. Please act promptly.



[R4150 : page 83]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER

OUR LOSING FIGHT WITH THE CRIMINAL


"COMMISSIONER Bingham reports 4,470 arrests made by the Bureau of Detectives for felonies in 1907, against 2,091 in 1906. Convictions totaled 1,330. The increase in arrests for misdemeanors is still more startling: the total was 3,889, while in 1906 it was 910. There were 1,566 convictions. Chief Wilkie of the United States Secret Service reports 216 arrests, of which 160 were for counterfeiting. A substantial decrease in this crime is shown, largely due to the conviction of Irving Tolley, now confined in Atlanta, Ga., who was responsible for 50 per cent. of the raised notes. The most significant item in the report of J. C. Graveur, chief probation officer of the New York Court of Special Sessions, discloses 565 persons placed on parole. Only twenty failed to meet the requirements of their release.

"Society not only fails to hold its ground but it is losing in its warfare against the criminal. In 1901 the Government published the conclusion of Eugene Smith that our annual tribute to crime was $600,000,000, and criminologists have recently computed a substantial increase. To our eternal disgrace, the United States leads all civilized countries in the number of homicides. Over 8,000 yearly is the average. William C. Clemens fixes New York City's quota at 240. In six years over 300 murderers have gone undetected. The Alabama State Bar Association has shown that in proportion to population there are twelve murders in New England to one in London; in California seventy-five [R4151 : page 83] to one; in Nevada 245 to one."--New York World.


***

The above is from an editorial and we have no reason to doubt its correctness. The facts set forth are open to speculation as to why they are true. It is well that we remember that this indictment relates to the most favored and most prosperous, most wealthy, most awake and most generally educated nation on earth. Looking at the ghastly figures, let us learn the lesson that worldly prosperity does not spell happiness, contentment, peace and joy. We have every reason to believe that similar results would show in every civilized land under similarly prosperous conditions.

The lesson to us is to emphasize the Bible's teaching that God alone can satisfy the soul;--that the Spirit of Christ is "the spirit of a sound mind." True, something should be credited to the fact that many of these murders, etc., were committed by emigrants suddenly transported into new conditions and unable to balance and adjust themselves to the new conditions. But why is it that the greater intelligence and opportunity do not make for peace and holiness instead of sin and crime? We reply, Because the chains of ignorance and superstition have been the blasphemous misrepresentations of the divine character and plan! These have caused the masses to fear and to hate God and his Book, which, it is claimed, reveals his plans as diabolical. Increased knowledge to such means doubt of all religious teaching--practically atheism or universalism, according to the bent of the mind.

While zealous missionaries are teaching heathen children our civilization and our popular travesties upon the religion of the Bible, they fondly dream of thus converting the world and fulfilling our Lord's prayer, "Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as in heaven." Alas! how blind we all have been not to have noticed these two facts: (1) That the numbers of the heathen in proportion even to the nominally Christian doubled last century; (2) That if we could bring all the heathen up to the standard of our most civilized and most progressive nation it would mean that God's will would be less done the world over than it is now.

Let us console ourselves with the Bible's teaching, that the evils of our day, induced by greater worldly light and ambition, will end in their own destruction and prepare the way for the Kingdom of God's dear Son.

THE PRE-EXISTENCE OF JESUS


The Christian Commonwealth of London is firmly committed to "The New Theology." It publishes Rev. [R4151 : page 84] Morgan Campbell's sermons and now one of its editors, Rev. J. Warschauer, M.A., D.Phil., thus answers, in the columns of the Commonwealth, a correspondent's question on the preexistence of Jesus:--

"In answer to a Scottish correspondent--to whom, by the way, I want to send a word of cheer, more even than a theological answer--I quite agree with his view, viz., that Jesus 'preexisted' only in the sense in which all men do, that is to say, in the mind of God, for whom there is neither past nor future, 'for all live unto him.' That our Lord had a conscious, individual existence prior to his birth some nineteen centuries ago, I see no reason for supposing. Having come into the world--with no more control over that event, as I hold, than other infants--and having reached maturity, he voluntarily adopted a certain course of action; but that he had determined upon that course in some previous heavenly existence, I simply do not believe."


***

Thus the pendulum swings from one extreme to the other while the central truth is ignored. From holding and teaching that Jesus was one of three Gods, one of a trinity of Gods, the next step usually is to the above extreme--the claim that he was merely a member of the sinner-race. Oh! how much more rational is the Scriptural teaching that our Lord was Jehovah's "only begotten Son," "the first and the last," by and through whom angels and men were created, in fulfilment of the Father's wondrous plan. How this, the Bible presentation, glorifies the Lord Jesus more than any other! As the Apostle declares, "To us there is one God the Father, of whom are all things; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things." See afresh the proofs in DAWN-STUDIES, Vol. V., "The Atonement," Chapters III. to VII.

HIGHER CRITICISM-INFIDELITY NOT SATISFIED


In the Educational Review Mr. Chas. E. Witter complains that agnosticism is not progressing rapidly enough in the Sunday-schools of the world. We quote:

"There can be no doubt that in many cases the teaching lags behind the real knowledge of the teacher. Many who have outgrown the crude and literal interpretations of earlier years, into whose minds religious truths have entered in new forms, are seemingly afraid to impart their real light to their young hearers. When they come before their classes in the Sunday-schools they feel obligated to give them, not the fresh views that have proved more satisfactory to themselves, but the traditional statements of orthodoxy in which most of them were reared. This may be due to a strained sense of loyalty to their church organization or to a feeling that these older views are commonly reputed to be safer for children, but in any case the results can be only bad. They are bad first of all because of the insincerity in the teacher himself. No amount of juggling and trimming for the sake of expediency can justify one in teaching as true what he knows to be false, in teaching as fact what he knows to be myth. In the second place, such teaching is in the end ineffective. One cannot teach satisfactorily and effectually that which he only half-heartedly believes himself. The secret of the wonderful power that the religious teaching and preaching of the fathers had over their hearers was just in this fact, that they believed with all the intensity of conviction every word which they uttered. The results are bad, moreover and chiefly, because of the great wrong that is thus done to the child's future. The time must inevitably come to those young people who read and think when they will awake to the superficiality and falsity of such teaching, and when that awakening comes the reaction will probably be more radical than it would have been had they been properly enlightened in the first place. The pendulum will swing so far that in rejecting these feeble and narrow views of spiritual truths they will in many cases be led to reject all versions of them. That this is a real danger can be seen by daily observation. It accounts for the absolute skepticism and agnosticism of many, and it also accounts for the fact, often noted, that the most confirmed infidels frequently spring from just those narrow denominational schools and influences that refuse obstinately to open to the light of more modern and better conceptions of the religious life."


***

Alas! this modern infidelity, styled "New Theology," is all too rapidly gaining a footing in our Sunday-schools! Are not children deliberately taught that the Genesis account of creation is a falsehood contradicted by "Science"? Are they not taught that the flood of Noah's day is a myth, and that Jonah never was swallowed by a whale? Are they not taught to give no heed to what the Apostle Peter calls "the more sure word of prophecy to which we do well to take heed, as unto a light shining in a dark place until the day dawn"?

True, these underminers of Biblical faith do not deny that there once was a great Teacher named Jesus, whose teachings have influenced the most enlightened quarters of the globe. That would be worse than wasting breath. Besides they want Jesus for a figurehead or rallying center for their "New Theology." But it does not take the honest child-mind long to draw the conclusion that when Jesus mentioned the flood of Noah's day and the fact that Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, and that he quoted from the prophets as inspired writings--that if these be false Jesus must have been a fraud and not the Son of God, else he would not have declared these truths. Not only so, it would imply that he was much less inspired and wise than were these modern wise men who claim to know so much. Alas! they are taking away from the children what little faith yet remains. "When the Son of man cometh shall he find the faith on the earth?"--Matt. 12:40; 24:38; Luke 18:8.

PAID MUSIC IN CHURCHES


Rev. Charles M. Sheldon writes in The Congregationalist against the spending of money for Church music, as follows:--

"I see no reason why the finest singer or player in the parish should receive compensation for service rendered any more than the best teachers in the parish should receive money for teaching in the Sunday-school. I have in my parish a man who is a graduate [R4151 : page 85] of one of the best colleges in this country, who spent very many years in acquiring his education, who is a thorough scholar and a splendid teacher. He has a class in my Sunday-school. I do not think the thought of compensation for teaching that class ever entered his head. He is giving, however, out of the ripeness of his knowledge what it cost him many years and many hundreds of dollars to acquire. If he does not expect anything for his service to the Church, which he gives as service, why should the man or woman who has spent years acquiring a musical education in learning to play or sing expect money compensation for it?

"I have always felt proud of the fact, I hope in a right way, that in our average Church for eighteen years we have never paid a cent for the service of musicians, [R4152 : page 85] either for playing or singing, accepting what was offered as service, and very many times it has been of the very best that the parish afforded. I know of a Church which has in its parish one of the finest lawyers in the State, and whenever that Church wants a public address or an inspiring talk to its young men it calls upon this member of the Church for service. He does not ask for pay, although he can get the highest price in the lecture-field when he goes out to give a public lecture. I think the more we dignify the service in the Church by drawing into it the finest talent we possess, and offer it as service, we increase the Church's efficiency, and very often the money that is spent for musical service or for flowers or decorations could be better used, it seems to me, directly in doing missionary work or in adding to the real effectiveness of the Church in ways where the money is more needed.

"I hope I shall not be misunderstood in all this. What I mean is that the Church has a right to the finest service that can be rendered to it by its members. There is no man or woman so talented or so gifted in the parish that he ought not to feel that the finest he has can and should be offered upon the altar of religion."


***

Very good! Very true! But why not return to apostolic usage also in the matter of a paid ministry? If singers and Sunday-school teachers should serve from love and not for pay, should not as noble a spirit actuate the preachers? Why not have the abler members of every congregation give public addresses on the Scriptures or conduct Bible studies which would bring out more of the true teachings of the Word and stimulate research?

POPULAR RELIGION VS. BIBLE RELIGION


The editor of the Christian Advocate (New York) tells us that he has been looking at the signs of the times and finds hardly a single point of harmony between the common standards and those of the Gospel. This he thinks "should awaken every sincere Christian to a thorough self-examination by Gospel standards and to determine to keep as far from evil as possible." We quote:--

"It would be wise for every member of a Christian church and every minister thereof to read carefully what Christ said of his religion, his disciples, the method of preparing for the future life, and the intimations that he gives of the judgment and eternal destiny, instead of occupying themselves entirely or chiefly with the contemplation of great church edifices, great organs, great colleges, great Sunday-school parades, great hospitals, great congregations, great movements and great statistics.

"Popular religion today avoids all conflict with the world. Against the grosser immoralities, indeed, it lifts up its voice; for it is respectable to do so, and a large proportion of all connected with the Church are above the more degrading forms of vice. But against pride-producing and extravagant fashions of the world it utters but a faint protest, or none.

"Popular religion seeks wealth with as much greediness, and grasps as eagerly after honor, and runs as swiftly after pleasure as does the world. A large majority of the professors of Christ's religion seek their intimate associations in worldly society, and never think of lifting up their voices against the prevalent folly and dissipation. It is not in the least embarrassing for the most gay and thoughtless to be thrown into the company of Christians of the popular religion type. Days and weeks may pass away and no mention be made of Christ or of anything he ever did or said, or which might lead persons to think of his religion.

"Popular religion has a very easy conscience, as is shown by many things. It makes a distinction between equally binding duties, performing those which are convenient, agreeable, and in harmony with the natural instincts or dispositions, and neglecting others which require self-denial. Thus there are many possessed of large incomes who will pray and sing, but will not contribute their means to the support of the Gospel. Others are willing to contribute liberally but pay no attention to the spiritual work of the Church. Popular religion enters upon doubtful enterprises if they promise large pecuniary rewards. It makes every form of excuse for neglect of duty. The merchant and mechanic declare themselves to be too busy. The contradiction between this and Christ's religion is expressed in the words, 'Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness.'

"Popular religion professes timidity whenever called upon to take part in the services of the sanctuary, a timidity never shown in performing conspicuous, remunerative or honorable public duties or functions of importance in the Church. Popular religion disregards the most solemn vows. Every member of the Christian Church has assumed the weightiest obligations. Every baptized person in the Methodist Church vows to 'renounce the devil and all his works, the vain pomp and glory of the world, with all covetous desires of the same.' When there is a controversy between them, popular religion places temporal interests before spiritual. It evinces this in the kind of preaching it likes and in the mode of its life. It would rather attend public amusements, political meetings, social companies, or spend the evening in business calculations than to discharge the plainest Christian duty. Popular religion never agonizes before the Lord in secret, never sets apart hours for meditation, never reads the Bible for devotional or life-regulating purposes; seldom observes family prayer, never does [R4152 : page 86] anything really inconvenient for Christ's sake, and almost wholly eliminates the element of self-denial."


***

Alas! how true is this arraignment of Babylon of every denomination. The fault lies in false doctrines, which, under the lash of fear, have gathered to the Christian standard millions whose credulity is now giving place to a refined infidelity.

Note the contrast in those who are the Lord's true sheep and who are now hearing the Great Shepherd's voice in the Millennial morning dawn. How zealous, how self-sacrificing, how willing to give their time, influence, money--yea, life itself--in the service of the "good tidings of great joy which shall be unto all people."

Yet we do not boast! Nay, we admit that we can never do enough to show our appreciation of the God of love and his wonderful plan of the ages. We realize that we are not profitable servants, but on the contrary are our Lord's debtors to a degree that an eternity of his service will only continually increase.

"MIRACLE WHEAT"


The public press is telling of the origin of "Miracle Wheat" in answer to prayer. The description has the earmarks of truth to it, in that it gives the address of the man whose prayers are said to have been answered-- "K. B. Stoner, a farmer of Fincastle, Botetourt county, Virginia." It would appear from the account that the original stalk of wheat appeared in the midst of a crop of the ordinary kind, but with "142 heads of grain." We quote:--

"Mr. Stoner was amazed. It seemed incredible. When a Frenchman, in 1842, announced that he had discovered a species of wheat in the Mediterranean country which produced four heads to the plant, people said he was crazy.

"But here was a plant with 142 heads!

"Naturally Mr. Stoner carefully preserved the heads, and the next year sowed the seed, continuing to do this each year, for he realized he had discovered a phenomenal brand of grain. And each year his amazement increased.

"That first year after discovering the plant he got 2000 grains. In 1906 he got sixteen bushels, and has now raised the crop of wheat, all carefully preserved for seed, to 800 bushels.

"What is most remarkable about the wheat is this: Whereas there is produced in the wheat sections of that country an average at the best of seventeen bushels to an acre, the average yield of the "miracle wheat" during the last three years has been fifty-six bushels to the acre; and whereas from eight to ten pecks of seed are required to plant an acre in Virginia, Mr. Stoner uses only two pecks, and, in comparison to the yield of ordinary wheat in the neighborhood, which is eight bushels for each bushel of seed, Mr. Stoner gets about seventy-five bushels for one. An ordinary stalk of wheat covers about four inches of space. The miracle wheat covers twelve.

THE GOVERNMENT REPORT

"Last year United States government officials became interested in the remarkable wheat and sent Assistant Agriculturalist H. A. Miller to examine it. In his report he declares:

"'The wheat, which came from an unknown source, has been grown in the nursery every year since that time, and also has been grown under field conditions the last two years, giving excellent results. The yield has been from two to three times the yield of other varieties grown on the farm under the same condition of culture, except the rate of seeding, which was two pecks to the acre, while other varieties were sown at the rate of eight to ten pecks per acre, which is the common practice of farmers in the vicinity.

"'Milling tests have been made of this wheat, and its quality seems to be as good as, if not superior to, other varieties of winter wheat.' [R4153 : page 86]

"The average height of the wheat, according to the report, is four feet four inches.

"It is said that the Russian government has secured an option on the wheat, and will buy a consignment of 80,000,000 bushels when that quantity shall have been raised. During the next year the seed will be distributed among farmers in Virginia and North Carolina, who will raise it and preserve the seed, keeping the seed only for planting until the required amount will have been produced. By next fall, it is believed, 30,000 bushels will have been produced."

IS IT RESTITUTION WHEAT?

If this account be but one-half true it testifies afresh to God's ability to provide things needful for the "times of restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began."--Acts 3:19-21.



[R4153 : page 86]

THE MEMORIAL, APRIL 14
AFTER six o'clock on Tuesday evening, April 14th, readers of this journal in all parts of the world will gather as ecclesias of Christ to memorialize his death with "unleavened bread" and "fruit of the vine" as emblems of his broken body and shed blood. The largest of these will probably assemble at Allegheny Carnegie Hall--not a great multitude meeting anywhere--while the little ecclesias will be numerous--for, as the Master said, "Wherever two or three are met in my name, there am I in their midst."--Matt. 18:20.

We urge that none neglect this annual privilege, for any reason. There is a special blessing in its observance. If you incline to feel discouraged, go partake of the broken loaf, asking the Lord for a fresh realization of your justification, and a fresh appreciation of your consecration to be broken (sacrificed) with him, as reckoned members of the one loaf--his Church, his Body. Then as you taste of "this cup" remember that it speaks of our Lord's sufferings on our behalf--his tasting death for every man. Remember, also, that this is "our high calling"--"to suffer with him that we may also reign with him." This is the significance of his words, "drink ye all of it." And, as the Apostle declares, [R4153 : page 87] it is the com[mon]union in his sufferings.-- 1 Cor. 10:16.

Let us not forget that the Memorial is meaningless or worse unless thus accepted and appreciated. But let nothing hinder us--neither sins, nor coldness, nor feelings of unworthiness. Go to the Lord and make a clean breast of all your shortcomings. Go to your brethren or any whom you have wronged--make full acknowledgment, whether they acknowledge faults toward you or not. Get yourself right with your Lord and so far as possible with every man, and then eat--yea, feast upon the rich provision the Lord has made for all who accept, now or in a later "due time."

Such a heart-searching and cleansing, we remember, was shown in the Passover type given to the Jews. Before they gathered to eat their Passover-lamb they searched everywhere throughout their habitations for anything containing leaven or putrefaction, bones, crusts, everything. These all were burned--destroyed. So must we fulfil the antitype and "put away the old leaven" of anger, malice, hatred, strife.--1 Cor. 5:7,8.

But remember that this kind of leaven of sin cannot be thoroughly put away unless it be burned; and only love can burn it out--heavenly love, the love of God. If we have that love shed abroad in our hearts it will consume everything of the opposite character--jealousy, hatred, evil speaking, etc. Put off all these, urges the Apostle, and put on Christ and be filled with his Spirit. Do not be discouraged. True, for the time you ought to be further along, nearer to perfect love. But learn the lesson and start again with fresh resolutions and increased appreciation of the fact that of yourself, without the Master's aid, you could never gain the prize. He knows this better than do we, and says "Without me ye can do nothing." It was because of our need that the Father thus arranged for us. "Be of good, courage!" is the Master's word to all who are longing and striving to be of the class called "Conquerors."

YOUR ADVERSARY THE DEVIL

Temptations seem to be specially permitted at this season of the year. "Roots of bitterness" seem to sprout and grow always, but at this season with ten-fold vigor. Let us remember that Love, not Knowledge, is the final test of our discipleship. "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another." It was because the apostles had not enough love for one another that they disputed as to which should be the greatest in the Kingdom, and were so determined not to stoop to one another that they neglected also to wash the Master's feet, and gave him the opportunity even in menial things to be servant of all. It was this wrong spirit--this lack of the Lord's Spirit--that made them susceptible to the Adversary's power and led Judas to betray and Peter to deny the Lord's Anointed.

Let us then take heed to ourselves and watch and pray and be very humble and very loving, lest we fall into temptation. Not since that time probably has our great Adversary been more alive than now to do injury or to entrap or to stumble the followers of Jesus.

For the benefit of readers "at the ends of the earth" we published as early as in our February 1st issue a treatise on this Memorial subject; and again in our March 1st issue we discussed the Bread of Life. We commend a fresh examination of those presentations and of our treatment of the subject in DAWN-STUDIES, Vol. VI., page 457.



[R4153 : page 87]

HOLDING FAST AT THE MARK
THERE is no doubt that in the divine schooling there is a mark or standard of fitness for graduation to the Church in glory. When first we surrendered our wills to the Lord it was necessary that the consecration should be a whole or perfect sacrifice of our wills to the Lord's will; but our wills were not at the mark or standard of perfect love. And if our experiences could be imagined as cut short in death immediately after our consecration we could not think of ourselves as "fit for the Kingdom," because the rewards are not promised to consecrators, but to "him that overcometh." Thus in the case of the Master himself, our forerunner, it was necessary that he should suffer and thus be proven worthy of entering into his glory. In a word, as the child cannot be graduated the day he enters school, no more can we who enter the school of Christ.

The rapidity of progress in learning the lessons depends greatly on our temperament and our zeal. Some evidently make as much progress in one year as others do in twenty, and very many never graduate at all--never reach the mark or standard which God demands, perfect love. The Word of God, our textbook, informs us that "Love is the fulfilling of the Law" (Rom. 13:10); that "The end or purpose of the divine commandment is love out of a pure heart and a good conscience." (1 Tim. 1:5.) "As many, therefore, as be perfect [-willed, at the mark of perfect love] should be of this mind."--Phil. 3:15-17. [R4154 : page 87]

Those who have "thus learned Christ," he has taught the meaning of (1) perfected love toward God, which would prompt them to do and to dare anything in his service; (2) of perfected love for the "brethren," which would prompt the laying down of life itself in their service; (3) of perfected love for the world, yea, even for enemies, which would lead to do good to them that hate us and despitefully use us, and say all manner of evil against us falsely.

Alas! we cannot suppose that many of the consecrated have reached this standard or mark; hence we must expect that few have graduated as "fit for the Kingdom"; hence also the intimation of Scripture that the left-overs--non-graduates--will be "a Great Company" as compared with the Little Flock of overcomers who do attain to the mark, the fixed standard. Here, however, it is well to remember that this "mark" or standard of love is not of the flesh but of the mind or heart. As the Apostle says, "We cannot do the things that we would." Our blemishes of the flesh sometimes momentarily stumble us into an unloving word or act, [R4154 : page 88] which if repented of will not be reckoned against us nor put us away from the mark and the loving acceptableness of our Lord, which the mark represents.

"LET NO MAN TAKE THY CROWN"

"Hold fast that which thou hast; let no man take thy crown," seems logically to refer specially to those who have reached the mark or standard of perfect love, and not merely to those who have taken the first step of consecration, entrance into the school of Christ. The words, "Hold fast that which thou hast," implies a previous effort and attainment, and that the attainment has had something to do with the right to the crown; and that the position attained must be held if the crown would be ultimately possessed. The intimation is also clear that the holding fast will be at the cost of a severe struggle.

This may be a new and a somewhat startling thought to some who have erroneously supposed either that consecration alone was necessary, or that to attain the mark or standard of perfect love would end the struggle. Apparently, the severest struggles, tests, temptations, assail those who are at that mark, and this is in accord with our Master's promise that we shall "not be tempted above that we are able to bear." The stalwarts at the mark should be able to bear most and they will be most severely tried. Mark the exhortations to these, "Watch ye, stand fast, quit you like men." No longer "babes in Christ," "no longer children," their special test is as men, strong in the Lord and panoplied in the whole armor of God. Hearken again to the Word: "Having done all, stand!" These words do not fit one entering the school or entering the race; they are most appropriate to those who have reached the standard of perfect love. Those who have "done all," who have attained the mark of character and "put on the whole armor," are the ones who are cautioned, warned, to "hold fast" and "stand fast" and "fight a good fight."

"WHO SHALL BE ABLE TO STAND?"

These fundamental truths have been true and applicable to the Lord's people throughout this Gospel Age, and hence the narrowness of the way and the few there be who have found and walked therein--in all a little flock. But now, more particularly than ever before, this warning applies and probably to a larger number of the Lord's people than at any time in the past; because we are in the "harvest" time, when the ripening and gathering seems chiefly to apply. It is doubtless for this reason that so many Scriptures seem to specify our time in connection with these warnings. For instance, we read, "Take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand in the evil day, and having done all to stand!"--Eph. 6:13.

The logic of this situation implies that during the few years immediately before us will come the severest of trials and the most subtle tests of our love: (1) For God as represented by our love for his Truth and the honor of his name; (2) our love for the Lord's brethren; (3) our love for our enemies. And whenever the "brethren" (of whom so much might be expected) become our enemies the test of our love will be the severer. In view of these things, "What manner of persons ought we to be, in all holy living and God-likeness?" In view of the solemnity of the situation, how "circumspect" we all should be! How we should scrutinize our every act and word and thought! And our thoughts require our special care, because by the thoughts and intents of the heart we are being judged. And words and acts proceed therefrom. How often ambition hides its envious desires under the cloak of duty! How many of the fires of the "Holy Inquisition" were lighted by the torch of "duty!" Let us each be on guard. Ourselves or others we might deceive, but not God, who says, "Be not deceived, God is not mocked; he that doeth righteousness is righteous"--not merely he who professes. He whose acts and words are loving, gentle, kind, considerate under trying conditions gives evidence of being begotten of the God of love and of having developed much Christ-likeness! Consider our Lord's love for his enemies and his forbearance for them when railed at, "Come down from the cross!" Consider how, when reviled and slandered, he reviled and slandered not in return! Consider how gentle was his reproof of the perfidious Judas and how he merely hinted a reproof to Peter, who denied him with cursings! In his case surely Love was ready to cover a multitude of faults. Let us not be easily offended nor of implacable spirit. Let us with generous and forgiving spirit say with the Apostle, "None of these things move me"--from my stand at perfect love; it shall grow more rooted and grounded in proportion as it is tested. Let us also be on guard against the spirit which is envious of the honors, privileges and blessings granted to another. Contrariwise let us have so much of the spirit of love that we will rejoice with all who rejoice in the Lord and will mourn with all in distress. To feel even a coolness of sentiment in connection with the prosperity of a brother or a lack of interest in his welfare is a sign of serious danger-- that we have slipped from the mark. This should alarm us and lead to fresh energy.



[R4154 : page 88]

QUARTERLY REVIEW LESSON
--MARCH 22--

Golden Text:--"In him was life; and the life was the light of men."--John 1:4.
WE leave the review of the Quarter's lessons to each according to his time and preferences, merely suggesting that the entire subject of our Lord's life and ministry is well summed up in our Golden Text. It divides itself into two parts, the one the result of the other. (1) In him was life, (2) the life that was in him was the light of men.

A strange statement, "In him was life." Is there [R4154 : page 89] not life in every man? We answer, No! From the divine standpoint a death sentence passed upon Adam and was inherited by all of his descendants, and from this, the divine standpoint, the legal standard, the whole world is dead, under the sentence of death, because of transgressions and sins, the tendency to which was inherited when, as the Scriptures declare, we were all born in sin, shapen in iniquity. (Psa. 51:5.) The statement, therefore, that in Christ there was life implies much. It implies that he did not receive his life, as did other men, from an earthly father. It corroborates the testimony of the Scriptures that our Lord was begotten from above, that his life was transferred from a higher plane, that he left the glory which he had with the Father before the world was and humbled himself and took the bondman's form and was found in fashion a man.--Phil. 2:8.

It was because Jesus had life in this special sense which no other man had that he could be the Redeemer of man; as was written of him prophetically, Let go the prisoner out of the pit, for I have found a ransom. (Job 33:24.) No member of Adam's race was able to give a ransom for his brother, because all were under condemnation, and one condemned life could not be substituted for another condemned life. Hence the necessity of sending God's Son in human likeness and nature that he, by the favor of God, as the perfect one, having life, "might give his life a ransom for many." Thus, as the Redeemer of the world, our Lord's life was given for father Adam's life, a substitute, and since all of Adam's posterity shared in his death sentence, therefore naturally, justly, properly all who shared thus in his condemnation shared through Jesus in Adam's redemption. Hence a redemption for all has been provided, and God's assurance is that in due time all shall learn thereof and receive a blessing therefrom, an opportunity to return to harmony with God. This opportunity cannot come except through knowledge, and hence it has come first to those who have the hearing ear and are blessed of the Lord thereby. Blessed are your ears for they hear and your eyes for they see. --Matt. 13:16.

IN HIM WAS SPIRIT-LIFE

But there was another sense in which this text applies to our Lord Jesus and to him alone. When he had laid down at Calvary his life and finished the work which the Father had given him to do, that life was gone and could never be taken back, except by rescinding the entire contract of redemption. We are glad [R4155 : page 89] that this was not done. We remember, however, at the particular time when our Lord made his consecration to death, namely, at the beginning of his ministry, when he was immersed in the symbolism of death, that he received of the Father a begetting of the holy Spirit --he was begotten to a newness of life, to a spirit life. We perceive that the spirit life or new nature progressed and developed during our Lord's earthly ministry, and that at his resurrection from the dead it was this New Creature, this spirit being, that was raised up to perfection, so that our Lord is not a glorified man but, as the Apostle says, "Now the Lord is that spirit."--2 Cor. 3:17.

Our text has a special application to this New Creature--"In him was life," the new life, life as a New Creature, partaker of the divine nature. It is this life which the followers of Jesus in the present time are invited also to share. The promise is made to them that if they are baptized into his death, they shall also be in his resurrection. In the divine program all the Church's spiritual rights and interests were thus made to center in Christ; as the Apostle declares, "When he who is our life shall appear, we also shall appear with him in glory." (Col. 3:4.) It is this divine nature which our Lord has that he has been privileged to give to his followers. Thus it is written, "As the Father hath life in himself, so he has given unto the Son to have life in himself," and that he should give this life of a divine nature unto as many as he would, according to the Father's good pleasure. (John 5:26; 17:2.) He has promised it to those who love him, who follow in his footsteps and become overcomers of the world. Thus the Church throughout this Gospel Age is to be a partaker of the divine nature and is being gradually transformed in harmony with this new life, prepared for the glorious resurrection change at the end of this age, that by this resurrection of the just they may be made partakers of the divine nature and elevated to joint-heirship with their Lord in his Kingdom.

THE LIFE WAS THE LIGHT OF MEN

This second part of the text is applicable to both of the lives of Jesus, to the perfect human life which was his as a man, and also to the perfect life as a New Creature which became his as a result of the begetting of the holy Spirit. The Apostle apparently refers to our Lord's human life when he says, "He was made flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld his glory, the glory [honor] as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." (John 1:14.) This seems to picture our Lord Jesus as the man and refers to the glory and dignity of his manhood; as the same is again referred to in the eighth Psalm in the words, "What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the Son of man, that thou visitest him? Thou madest him a little lower than the angels, thou didst crown him with glory and honor and didst place him over the works of thy hands." It is evident from this that there is a glory and an honor which belong to perfect manhood, and that our Lord possessed these is evident not only from this statement of the Apostle John, but also from the testimony of John the Baptist, who knew him before he was anointed and who at first declined to baptize him, declaring that he was in no sense of the word a sinner, and saying, I would rather need to be baptized of thee; and do you come to me for baptism? He recognized our Lord as holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners, aside from his begetting of the holy Spirit. In this manner the life that was in him, the perfection [R4155 : page 90] of manhood in him, was the light of men in his day. We cannot doubt that it had much to do with his popularity with the common people. He was full of grace --not only graceful in form, in manner and in speech, but in every other sense of the word he was a favored man. This was the result of his perfection, of his having an unlimited life from an unimpaired source--by reason of his not having had a human father or life-giver. He was full of truth in the sense that his life was not biased or warped; he was not born in sin or shapen in iniquity.*

*See SCRIPTURE STUDIES, Vol. V., Chap. IV., "The Undefiled One."

We come now to the power of the holy Spirit which was in our Lord Jesus--the new life, the divine life. This, shining through our Lord in perfect accord with his perfect flesh, made him a most wonderful one. This indeed was the light of men. It not only shone forth as a burning lamp to reflect the divine character in all of our Lord's doings and words, but it enabled him to speak out to his followers, who had ears to hear the wonderful words of life. It enabled him to grasp the divine plan and to appreciate the pathway leading to the glory, honor and immortality, and to point it out to his followers, saying, "He who would be my disciple must take up his cross and follow me." Thus our Lord illustrated in himself to all who would be his followers the glorious words of the prophecy, "Thou wilt show him the path of life." (Psa. 16:11.) By the holy Spirit our Lord was shown that the path of sacrifice meant the path to glory, and similarly he pointed out to his followers that the light which was in him became the light of his followers.

It is in full harmony with this double application that we read elsewhere that our Lord "brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel." (2 Tim. 1:10.) As the man he showed, illustrated, the perfection of human life and made it possible for the whole human family, sold under sin but redeemed by the precious blood, to come eventually to that grand standard of human perfection which he personally represented. This he also told us in his declaration that the Son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost. (Luke 19:10.) Thus we see in our Lord the manifestation of the perfection of restitution life, and we see in his sacrifice how he secured that restitution life for all who will have it at his hand, for the entire human family, and that thus he became the author of life, the Life-Giver to all who would obey him. The great mass of the world have not yet had opportunity to hear him, because their blind eyes and deaf ears have not yet been opened. But in due time they shall have the opportunity of gaining by restitution, through the Redeemer's merit, the life which he brought to light, which he manifested and which he declared he had provided for them.

But what did he provide for the Church? Ah, we answer, the great Deliverer has provided some better thing than restitution life and blessing for the Church --wonderful, grand, as are those provisions for the world in general. For the Church he has provided immortality, the highest form or condition of life, the divine nature, life on the divine plane. This thought is too wonderful for us, it is incomprehensible; we must merely take it without hoping to grasp it or comprehend it fully as yet. It is a testimony to the unspeakable gift of God through Christ Jesus our Lord to all those who obey him, to all of his Little Flock. It is this, the very highest conceivable plane of life, to which our Lord is inviting his followers now, and everything in the divine plan is being made to wait until the Very Elect shall have been gathered from the four winds of heaven, until the Bride of Christ shall have made herself ready, until the polishing processes shall have made the jewels meet for the Master's use, and then by the resurrection change these may pass to glory, honor and immortality. "Sown in corruption, raised in incorruption; sown in weakness, raised in power; sown an animal body, raised a spiritual body!" "We shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is, and share his glory."



[R4155 : page 90]

THE PROGRESS OF TOTAL ABSTINENCE
--MARCH 29.--PROV. 23:29-35--

Golden Text:--"At last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder."
WE shall not attempt a special analysis of this lesson, believing that all of our readers are thoroughly competent to do this, each for himself. We do, however, with pleasure call attention to the fact that total abstinence has been making great progress recently, especially in our own land. Our readers are well aware that we do not admit that there is a total abstinence Gospel and that it is the duty of the Lord's people to be preaching it. On the contrary, while we have much sympathy with reforms along the lines of temperance and every other direction, we recognize the fact that only one Gospel commission has been given to the Lord's followers, namely, Go thou and preach the Gospel, good tidings of great joy which shall be unto all people. We are not turning aside from this divine commission to teach temperance, total abstinence, but we do take the passing opportunity of registering our sympathy with the cause, and the joy it would give us to see this great evil of intemperance put down.

So surely as the Lord's people pray, "Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven," they are hoping the time will come when the liquor evil in its various multiplied forms will be thoroughly overthrown and banished as a part of the devil's instrumentality of evil whereby countless [R4156 : page 91] millions have been caused to mourn and helped into further sin and degradation. Whoever looks forward to the coming Kingdom and its work of blessing mankind, in the manner suggested and other ways, must also at heart be very much in sympathy with every endeavor on the part of the poor world to help itself and to get free from this terrible bondage. And such in turn in their own hearts and lives must feel like putting on restraints which would not only keep their bodies suitable temples of the holy Spirit but keep them ready, meet for the Master's use, and at their very highest degree of usefulness for his service. It would be in vain surely for any of this class to pray for God's Kingdom to come and not strive to have that Kingdom operative in themselves and illustrated in their own daily lives to the best of their ability.

From letters received we perceive that the question of license or no license is being very widely discussed and made an issue. Our readers know that in general we advise that as followers of the Lamb it would be to the advantage of the Lord's dear people to avoid complications with political questions and that our privileges as citizens of this country of casting our votes at the polls be generally ignored as being to our disadvantage spiritually. Furthermore we have suggested that voting brings a measure of responsibility for the upholding of the party with which we have affiliated and voted and a partial responsibility for its right or wrong use of power, and might imply a certain responsibility to bear arms, etc. Our advice, therefore, has been that we who are seeking the heavenly city, the heavenly country, and who are praying, "Thy Kingdom come," should wait for that Kingdom, and not meddle with earthly affairs, politics, voting, etc. Now the question arises, Would it be right or wrong for us to vote on the question of local option? Our thought, dear friends, is that it would be perfectly right for us to express our sentiments on this subject at the polls. It is a special question and the law invites every citizen to express his preferences and we do well to express ourselves, not in a partizan manner, not in denunciation of those who think differently, but quietly, meekly, to say by our vote at the polls that we are quite willing to forego our own personal liberties in connection with spirituous liquors for the good which would thereby be accomplished for the masses. And if at the same election a choice were being made for a School Board, we see no objection that could reasonably be urged to an expression of one's preferences there that the best men might be chosen to supervise the school work. But we suggest to all that there is danger of being absorbed by the worldly and political spirit and of having our time and attention taken from other important matters. We would advise that politics in general be left to the children of this world who believe nothing and care nothing for our Kingdom for which we pray, "Thy Kingdom come."

It may not be amiss to give a few quotations from--

ADVOCATES OF TOTAL ABSTINENCE

Mr. Andrew Carnegie, answering a question on this subject, replied, "The best temperance lecture I have delivered lately is my offer of ten per cent. premium on their wages to all the employees of my Scottish estates who will abstain from intoxicating liquors."

The Brotherhood of Railroad Engineers, we are informed, "will do all they can to help a man to overcome the evil habit. They will bear with him, encourage him, but if he continue to drink they must for the safety of the public report him to the authorities and have him discharged." So says one of them.

A military man, an inmate of an institution for reformation of those addicted to the liquor habit, when questioned respecting the necessity for his being there, told that he had tried hard to stop the periodical "bouts," but that he might as well have tried to stop an express train. He said that the helpers at the institution had succeeded in stopping his craving so that he refused a glass of whiskey after the fourth day. The minister who was questioning him said, "But were you not on your honor not to drink it?" "True," replied the major, "but if the craving had come I might have been on fifty honors and they would not have mattered a straw."

A business man at the same institute said, "I came here because I was always telling myself that I could give up drinking just when I wanted to; but one day I was startled to find how my periods of sobriety had shortened from three months to three weeks."

A BUSINESS FIRM RUINED

"A number of years ago a certain firm of four men in Boston were rated as 'A1.' They were rich, prosperous, young and prompt. One of them had the curiosity to see how they were rated at Dun's agency and found the above rating and was satisfied; but at the end these words were added, 'but they all drink.' He thought it a good joke at the time, but a few years later two of them were dead, another was a drunkard, and the fourth was poor, living partly on charity. That little note at the end of their rating was the most important and significant of all the facts connected with embodied in their description."

President Lincoln was once criticised by a friend for his seeming rudeness in declining to test some rare wines provided for his use. He answered, "I meant no disrespect, John, but I promised my precious mother only a few days before she died that I would never use anything intoxicating as a beverage, and I consider that promise as binding today as it was the day I gave it."

ATHLETES CONSIDER LIQUOR INJURIOUS TO THEM

Mr. Giannini, director of the New York Athletic Club, says, "Alcoholic liquors as a beverage, moderate or otherwise, are entirely tabooed by athletic trainers everywhere and under all circumstances."

Mr. H. S. Cornish, director of athletics in the new [R4156 : page 92] Manhattan Club, says, "I have never used intoxicating liquor in training, and never will. I do not believe in it. I don't allow a man whom I am training to drink any liquor whatever, or to smoke either for that matter; it stimulates and affects unfavorably the action of the heart."

Total abstinence may be much more necessary today than it was centuries ago, because the race is gradually becoming weakened. It is the same in this as in the matter of marriage. Marriage between blood relatives, even of second cousins, is not sanctioned today because of the weakness of the race, whereas in Adam's time there was the closest of intermarriage, between brothers and sisters, without the slightest deleterious effect. Those who are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, says the Apostle, and this argument should especially appeal to all who belong to the Lord's army, who are battling for righteousness and truth and for the uplifting of their fellow-men. Surely those who have their all upon the altar of consecration can well afford to deny themselves liberties in this direction in the interest of others so that their influence may be on the helpful side of this as well as every other question. [R4156 : page 92]

"WITHIN THE VAIL"
Homesick for heaven? and longing for its rest?
And does the way seem long that leads thee there?
Lift up thine eyes, the "vail" is growing thin
That separates us from its glories rare.
But yesterday a dear one passed beyond--
"Within the vail"--and entered into rest;
And as she passed we caught a radiant glimpse,
As when effulgent glory shineth in the west.

Another link is added to the chain
Of precious gold that draws us surely home,
Another strand is twined with the cord
Of love that holds us that we may not roam.
Yes, one by one his saints are passing o'er,
His loved from shadows into heaven's pure light,
Into the joy of his dear presence, where
They feel no more the darkness of earth's night.

But sweeter, grander still, "within the vail"
That almost grows transparent to our gaze,
We see our Master, our beloved Lord,
And lift to him our rapturous songs of praise.
So near we are, we almost catch the strains
Of heavenly music from celestial choirs.
Can we not bide with patience one more hour?
We've almost reached the goal of our desires!

Then let us not go mourning on our way,
But let our hearts be light, our faces glad,
These pressing burdens we shall soon lay down
Forevermore; why, then, should we be sad?
"A cloud of witnesses" behold our course
With interest intense, and shall we fail?
Our race is almost run;--Lord, nerve our hearts,
And scatter every doubt that doth assail.

So clarify our clouded vision, Lord,
So lift our thoughts and hearts to things above,
That earthly woes shall have no power to vex,
Nor separate us from thy grace and love.
While still we toss on life's tempestuous sea,
Shield from the rocks our tiny barques so frail,
Stand at the helm, and guide us safely till
We, too, are anchored safe "within the vail."
--Alice G. James.



[R4157 : page 92]

THE SHEPHERD, THE DOOR, THE FLOCKS
--JOHN 10:1-18.--APRIL 5--

Golden Text:--"The Good Shepherd giveth his life for the sheep."--V. 11.
THE Scriptures assign many very beautiful and expressive titles to our Lord as descriptive of his relationship to his faithful. Amongst the most beautiful and impressive of these is the Good Shepherd, or, more literally, the grand Shepherd, the ideal Shepherd. Likewise amongst the various names applied to our Lord's followers, the term "sheep" is the one most familiar as well as one of the most fitting. Surely it would never occur to the natural man to use such an illustration. In illustration of what we mean note the fact that the barons and lords of England have adopted various signets, coats of arms, etc., on many of which animals or animals' heads appear. Did any one ever see a sheep's head on any of these? We think not. If we could imagine any earthly lord as adopting a symbol of a sheep, it would surely represent a surly-horned ram. Lions' heads, tigers' heads, eagles' heads, and nondescript heads of ferocious aspect, dragons, etc., are what are usually chosen. This represents the natural mind and the desire that the natural man has to appear strong and ferocious and to intimidate others. He who represented himself as the Good Shepherd and his followers as sheep had a very different idea of the whole matter from that of the natural man, and we who have become his followers should take note of this, and, appreciating it, should cultivate more and more of the sheep-like nature in our relationship to him as the Shepherd.

THE DOOR INTO THE SHEEPFOLD

The parable of our lesson divides itself into two parts, representing Jesus first of all as the door into the sheepfold and secondly as the Shepherd. The fold described in the parable is well represented in the accompanying illustration. It was a place of safety, of rest, of protection from prowling wild beasts and from robbers. There was but one doorway into these folds and it was supposed to be guarded by a porter who would know the true shepherd and admit him and no other. Our Lord declared himself to be the true Shepherd of Jehovah's flock, the only one to whom the porter would grant admission and the only one, therefore, who had the right to control the sheep and who alone could provide for their safety. The porter who could thus discriminate between the true and the false was the Law Covenant. [R4157 : page 93] Those who could not answer the Law, who could not fulfil its demands, could not substantiate their claims to being the Shepherd, the Messiah. But our Lord did meet the demands of the Law fully, completely--"in him was no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth." He was already holy, harmless, separate from sinners. He is thus identified to us as the rightful Shepherd. Others had come in his name, professing to be the Messiah--false Messiahs--and had endeavored to attract the sheep; but our Lord declares of them that they were fraudulent, "thieves and robbers," who were merely assisting to steal the sheep, and who were actuated not with a desire to profit the sheep but by personal, selfish ambitions.

There was but one way to become the true Shepherd of the Lord's flock and to have a right to lead his flock-- out to the green pastures and still waters of truth and grace and into the rest and security of the fold. That way was the way of the cross--to give himself a ransom for all. This our Lord did and thus he became the door to the sheepfold, opening up a new and living way, or, more correctly, a new way of life. Nevertheless, this is not the making of a new door into the fold, but the opening of the door which had previously been closed. The door was the Law, which could not open except by obedience to the Law; and now our Lord Jesus, having kept the Law, has made it possible for all of his true sheep to enter in by the same door, by the keeping of the Law--not, however, the letter of the Law, which would be impossible to us, but its spirit. Thus the Apostle says of the true sheep and their entering into the fold, "The righteousness of the Law is fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit," (Rom. 8:4); because our Shepherd has made an appropriation of his grace on our behalf which makes up for us all that we lack. So long as we are his and are striving to walk in his ways every deficiency is compensated out of his abundance. To him the porter openeth, to him the Law and the prophets bear witness.

"BUT THEY UNDERSTOOD NOT"

It is supposed that this parable was uttered in the hearing of the man born blind, who had been expelled from the synagogue, and in the hearing also of the Pharisees, who had so much to do with his expulsion. No doubt the man was feeling discouraged, downcast, because of his excommunication from the supposed fold of the Lord's people. The presumption, then, is that the Lord gave this parable to illustrate the fact that he had not really been cast out of the Lord's fold, but merely out of a human organization by those who had no power in respect to the matter. Our Lord would have him and the Pharisees and his disciples and us see that there is no flock of the Lord except that of which he is the Leader and Shepherd; that there is no way into that flock except through him, through the work which he would accomplish by his sacrifice and through our acceptance of the same by faith. But verse 6 says the hearers understood not the meaning of the parable, therefore the Lord repeated it in slightly different terms, proclaiming himself as the doorway by which any could enter into divine favor as members of the Lord's flock. Thus the man who had been cast out of the synagogue might perceive that he really had lost nothing, but that on the contrary he had been assisted toward the right door of the true fold, in which rest indeed could be obtained. Now he was invited to see that the Lord alone was the avenue to rest and salvation and to the spiritual refreshment of divine instruction. Others had selfishly sought to steal or to destroy the sheep, if thereby they could advance their own personal interests; but he, as the true Shepherd, instead of seeking his own welfare, was seeking the welfare and advantage of the sheep that they might have life and have it more abundantly.

What a lesson for us! The Master did not say that he came to deliver the sheep from eternal torment, but that he came to deliver them from death. He does not say that they already have a life which they must spend somewhere either in joy or anguish, and that he had come to assist them, so that it should not be spent in anguish; his language, on the contrary, teaches that the sheep could have no life except through him, the Life-Giver; that he had come to give back in due time by restitution processes, to as many as would receive it, the life which was lost by father Adam's disobedience --human life. Yea, he declares that he intended to give life more abundant than that which was lost! How could this be, if father Adam was perfect and as such had everlasting life according to divine arrangement? We answer that the life which the Lord proposes to give to those who are his sheep of this Gospel Age, this Little Flock, is a still higher form and degree of life, namely, immortality, inherent life. These he proposes to make partakers of the divine nature by giving them a share with himself "in his resurrection," the "First Resurrection."--Phil. 3:10.

HE GAVE HIS LIFE FOR US

This is the central point of our lesson. The Good Shepherd, so far from self-seeking, gladly laid down his life for the sheep, and it was by virtue of thus purchasing the sheep by his own precious blood that their eternal life is possible; without his purchase there would be no flock, and it is by this that he becomes the Shepherd of the flock. How clear, how beautiful the thought, "Ye were bought with a price"! (1 Cor. 6:20.) No one else could give this ransom for us, no one else could purchase us or grant us life everlasting, no one else, therefore, could legally become our Shepherd or be able to lead us into the rest and peace of God, into the knowledge of the truth and ultimately into the heavenly fold, the rest that remaineth for the people of [R4157 : page 94] God. Worthy the Lamb that was slain to receive glory, honor, dominion and power!

"THE SHEEP HEAR HIS VOICE"

The tales told respecting the shepherds of eastern countries and their flocks are remarkable and illustrate well our Lord's declarations of this parable. Let us examine a few of these that we may sympathetically enter into the spirit of the Lord's words. Those who heard him were familiar with these facts. One writer says:--

"It is one of the most interesting spectacles to see the number of flocks of thirsty sheep water at a fountain. Each flock in obedience to the call of its own shepherd, lies down awaiting its turn. The shepherd of one flock calls his sheep in squads, and when the squad has done drinking, orders it away by sounds which the sheep perfectly understand, and calls up another squad. The sheep never make any mistake as to who whistles to them or calls them. In a flock of hundreds or thousands each individual sheep has a name, knows it and is known by it. The Greeks had a similar custom. The names frequently corresponded to certain defects, as for instance, 'Torn' or 'Broken-Legged,' 'One Eye,' 'Curly Horn,' 'Bald Head.' As lambs they are taught to answer to their names by patient drill, being led back and forth from the rest of the flock and not allowed to go to their mothers for food until they respond properly to the calls. The shepherd never drives his sheep in the East, but goes before them, they follow him, they run after him if he appears to be escaping from them and are terrified if he is out of their sight or any stranger appears instead of him. He calls for them from time to time to let them know that he is at hand, they listen and continue grazing, but if anyone else attempts to produce the same peculiar sounds they look around, startled, and begin to scatter. A Scotch traveler [R4158 : page 94] changed clothes with a shepherd, and thus disguised began to call the sheep; they remained motionless; then the true shepherd raised his voice and they all hastened to him in spite of his strange garments."

"HE CALLS HIS OWN SHEEP BY NAME"

The foregoing illustrations help us to appreciate this statement and assist us in applying it to the true sheep of the Lord's Little Flock. "The Lord knoweth them that are his," and it is also true that those who are his know him. "He goeth before them and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice and a stranger they will not follow, but will flee from him; for they know not the voice of strangers." The voice of the Lord is the voice of justice, of truth and of love, and all who are his sheep are expected to be able to discriminate between his message and the various false messages which more or less particularly represent the Adversary, who seeks to mislead the flock, using human instrumentality to accomplish the purpose. We have the Lord's assurance that none of the true sheep will be satisfied with the false Gospel; it will not appeal to their hearts, and equally we have the assurance that the true sheep will be satisfied with the true Gospel, because it will satisfy their longings as nothing else will do. This is an important point to keep before our minds. It indicates to us the importance of becoming fully, truly, emphatically the Lord's sheep, of entering into covenant relationship with him and thus making sure his protecting care and instruction.

"I KNOW MY SHEEP"

It becomes an important question then as to how and when we become the Lord's sheep. Are all the wise and the learned, the rich and the great, the Lord's sheep? The Apostle answers, No, and says further that not many of those will be found amongst the sheep--not many wise, not many great, not many learned, not many noble, not many rich, but chiefly the poor of this world, rich in faith. (1 Cor. 1:26-28; Jas. 2:5.) Are all of the poor, then, the Lord's sheep? We answer, No! These different flocks do in a general way indeed hold the name of Christ. But surely not many of them give evidence of being his disciples, his followers. Many of them know little about his Word, his voice; many of them know nothing about his leading into green pastures and by still waters of divine truth and grace, many of them know nothing about the real fold with its rest and peace and protecting care. Their lack in these respects shows that they are not of the true flock whom the Lord is leading, though true sheep of the Lord may be found in each denomination. But wherever they may be, if they are his, they are being led and being fed and know him and know his voice, his Word, and are dissatisfied with the husks of human tradition.

"THE HIRELING FLEETH"

Many, indeed, might have been glad of the honor of being the Shepherd, the caretaker of the Lord's flock, but the test, the cost, was too great for them. We may well suppose that many of the angels would have been glad to occupy such a position--but would they have been willing to undertake it at the cost involved? Many amongst men have coveted the office of a shepherd both before our Lord's day and since; but while none of them could have bought the sheep, since all were under condemnation, we have no reason to suppose that any of them would have been willing to purchase them at the cost of his all. The Lord's words seem to imply this. Only the true Shepherd was willing to make the sacrifice and to lay down his life for the sheep. We may remark here that while there is but one Shepherd of the Lord's flock, he, in his absence, has made provision for his flock, that he would give them pastors and teachers who were to feed the flock of God and to watch for their souls, for their lives, to protect their interests.

It is in line with the Master's teaching that we find that he expects all who would be worthy of this position of feeding this flock, shepherding them, must have his spirit, his willingness to lay down their lives for the sheep, and in their defense, as his representatives, to protect them from the Adversary and his various snares and machinations and from the wolves in sheep's clothing who would make merchandise of them that they might bring them into bondage, into human pens separate and apart from the true fold opened by the true Shepherd and who would feed them upon the husks of human tradition, instead of leading them to the green pastures of "Present Truth." As the true sheep know the true Shepherd and are known by him, so the true Shepherd should know the true under-shepherds and they should know the sheep intimately. Those who utter a voice or call of their own cannot be recognized by the true Shepherd or by the true sheep; the faithful under-shepherd will [R4158 : page 95] speak not only the words but also in the tones, in the manner of the true Shepherd.

How comforting the assurance of verse 14, "I know mine own and mine own know me, even as the Father knoweth me and I know the Father"! (R.V.) What a beautiful description we here have of the precious relationship between the Lord and his own! The comparison between his knowledge and that of the Father is forceful, and, as our Lord elsewhere pointed out, they that know not him know not the Father. How important from the divine standpoint is knowledge, not merely head knowledge, but heart knowledge, intimate acquaintance with the Lord and his glorious plan!

ONE FLOCK AND ONE SHEPHERD

An important truth is set forth in v. 17: There is only the one fold now provided for the Lord's sheep, and in it all of his true ones of this Gospel Age find rest and peace through faith and obedience. This is the Little Flock, to whom it is the Father's good pleasure to give the Kingdom. Many have supposed in the past that this Elect Little Flock which will receive the Kingdom glory, honor and immortality will be the only ones ever recognized of the Lord as his sheep, that all others will be consigned to purgatory or to eternal torment. But the erroneousness of this view is abundantly shown in this verse where our Lord distinctly declares that he has other sheep not of this fold, others who have not yet entered into its rest of faith which we have entered, hoping for the glories of the Kingdom beyond. Let us have a good view of the lengths and breadths and heights and depths of divine love and provision in Christ: that the whole world was lost in sin and death through father Adam's disobedience, and that the whole world was redeemed by the precious blood of Christ! Let us see that as yet only a special class has been called out of darkness into the Lord's marvelous light and into the privileges of the present sheep-fold conditions! Let us note that the great mass of mankind are without God and have no hope in the world, because their eyes are blinded and their ears are stopped and they know not of the grace of God and have not yet received of the blessings!

But let us hearken also to the declaration of the Lord that in due time all the blind eyes shall be opened and all the deaf ears shall be unstopped! Let us hearken to his declaration that the Little Flock now being selected are to constitute his Bride and joint-heirs in the Kingdom and that then, through him and his glorified Bride, the blessing of the Lord shall be extended to every member of the race. The Sun of Righteousness shall shine forth with healing in his beams, every knee shall bow and every tongue confess. Then the gathering of the sheep of the other flock will begin, as recorded in John 10:16. At that time the present flock will have passed beyond the vail into the Kingdom and its glories. Then the present fold will be at an end and there will be no use for such a fold in the future, for thieves and robbers will not be permitted then--"nothing shall hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain [Kingdom]." (Isa. 11:9.) Then the great Adversary shall be bound for a thousand years that he may deceive the sheep no longer until the thousand years are finished. Meantime the whole world of mankind will be under the instruction of the Lord and his Bride class, and the knowledge of the glory of God shall fill the whole earth. (Hab. 2:14.) The effect will be a test of humanity, and some will come gladly, voluntarily, into accord with the Lord as his sheep and be accepted to his right hand, to his favor, as the kind upon whom he is pleased to bestow everlasting life. Others under the same favorable conditions will manifest the goat-like, the wayward disposition and be gathered gradually to the left hand of disfavor as of those who have the spirit of the Adversary, which cannot be favored of the Lord. These ultimately with Satan, at the close of the Millennial Age, will be utterly destroyed in the Second Death. Their punishment will be everlasting, because their death will be everlasting; they will never be resurrected, theirs will be the Second Death--symbolically Gehenna, destruction.

None will deny that throughout the Gospel Age there is a large class who have never heard of the only name given under heaven and amongst men whereby they must be saved and who, therefore, have never had an opportunity of becoming members of the Lord's flock. That they have gone to heaven without a knowledge of the "only name" is unscriptural as well as unreasonable, and that they have gone to eternal torment without an opportunity for salvation is equally unscriptural and unreasonable. That the Lord intends to use the Very Elect Little Flock of this Gospel Age as his kings and priests during the Millennium, to carry his mercy and favor to all of these and to give them an opportunity of becoming members of the human flock to whom he will be pleased to give eternal life, is both reasonable and Scriptural.

ONE FLOCK, BUT NOT ONE FOLD

Our common version declares, "There shall be one fold and one Shepherd," but this is not borne out by the Greek [R4159 : page 95] text, which is more properly rendered in the Revised Version and in the Diaglott--"There shall be one flock and one Shepherd." This is in full agreement with the Apostle's statement (Eph. 1:10) that in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one [literally, under one head] all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth, even in him. Ultimately all of God's creation will be under the headship of this great Shepherd, who is now the Head of the Church, the Little Flock, and who in future will be Head over angels also and over restored humanity. The flock will be one, but the sheep will be of various natures on various planes of being; as it is written, "In my Father's house are many mansions," many apartments, many planes, but all harmonious, grand. But the highest of all these planes, the plane of glory, is that to which the Lord has invited the Little Flock, the Bride class of this Gospel Age. Let us hear his voice, let us follow in his footsteps, let us make our calling and election sure!



Prev Top of Page Next