page 321
November 15th
ZION'S
WATCH TOWER
and
Herald of Christ's Presence

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

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

SEMI-MONTHLY
VOL. XXIX.NOVEMBER 1No. 21
A.D. 1908--A.M. 6037


CONTENTS.

Views from the Watch Tower323
Israel's Interest in Turkey's Troubles323
News from Judea323
Union of Baptists and Disciples323
Is Christianity Decaying?323
"Loving Kindness, O How Great"324
Lessons for Spiritual Israelites325
Lord, This Vow That I Have Taken (Poem)327
A Man After God's Own Heart327
"Love Divine All Love Excelling"328
What Sins the Scape-Goat Bore331
Letters Acknowledging "Vow" Blessings332
Berean Studies on the Atonement333
Catalogue of Bibles, Testaments, Helps, etc334

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 322

THIS JOURNAL AND ITS SACRED MISSION

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

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

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

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

TO US THE SCRIPTURES CLEARLY TEACH

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




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CHRISTIAN HOME EMBELLISHMENTS


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1909--MOTTO-CARD AND CALENDAR--1909


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

"DAILY HEAVENLY MANNA"


Those who use this book as we recommend are surely being blessed. It should be on your breakfast table regularly. Its daily text should be read and commented on freely by all. Then the Manna comment should be read. Introduce it to your friends as a help toward Godly living. See prices in our November 1st issue. Do not expect New Bibles before November 15th.



[R4267 : page 323]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER.

ISRAEL'S INTEREST IN TURKEY'S TROUBLES


LIKE a bursting bomb, disturbing European peace, has come the announcement of a rupture of the "Berlin Treaty" by Austria's annexing two Turkish provinces. Russia at once announced her desire that the Treaty be revised, and Bulgaria declared her independence of Turkey. The "Berlin Treaty" of thirty years ago claimed that the Turks were unable properly to govern portions of their territory in which Christians resided, and divided the supervision of these amongst the other powers. Bosnia and Herzegovina were two of these, put under Austria's care. It will be remembered that Palestine was put under British protection, and Egypt unitedly under French and British supervision, but that France avoided her responsibility in favor of the British.

Whether the present trouble shall result in a general war or not it probably will mean the rupture of the "Berlin Treaty," and that the several provinces supervised by other nations will come more completely under their control.

This would make Palestine a British province, like Canada, and mean as full liberty to the Jews as they have in Canada--to buy, build, elect local government, etc. We are not, however, to expect for Palestine full independence before 1915.

NEWS FROM JUDEA


In a recent letter from Jerusalem, Mr. W. H. Dunn refers to the remarkable development in the Jewish National Zionist movement which took place in Jerusalem during the fifteen months he was in England: "Great numbers of Jews are returning to Jerusalem, not for repentance or confession of sins, but simply because they must go somewhere, and the Sultan allows them to enter without hindrance. In that short time no fewer than 5,000 Russian Jews landed at Jaffa. These Jews are investing what money they have in buying land and buying and building houses. So great is their activity that it is a matter of concern to the foreign residents. The Moslems sell to them however without demur. They believe this land really belongs to the Jews. The development in Jewish education is also striking, and kindergarten schools are being opened for the children. Hebrew is being taught and becoming a living language, and new Hebrew words are being formed so as to make the old tongue helpful for up-to-date use. It is common to hear Hebrew spoken in the streets."--Exchange.

UNION OF BAPTISTS AND DISCIPLES OF CHRIST


The Rev. I. J. Spencer, pastor of the Central Christian Church (or Disciples of Christ, the term used by members of this denomination), will accept an invitation to address the National Baptist Congress, to be held in Chicago, November 10 to 12, upon the subject, "What Definite Steps Should Be Immediately Taken Toward the Union of Baptists, Free Baptists, and Disciples of Christ?" Other speakers representing the first two denominations also will discuss the topic, and it is expected that the discussion will result in a long stride toward the union of the two denominations--Baptists and Disciples of Christ, the first steps toward which were taken two years ago.

At the National Congress of the Disciples in Indianapolis, in March, 1908, by invitation Dr. E. Y. Mullins, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary of Louisville, and Mr. Spencer discussed the topic: "What Does the New Testament Teach Concerning the Doctrine of the Remission of Sins?" One session of the congress was entirely given to the addresses.

The similarity of the teachings of the denominations on vital points aroused great enthusiasm. This gave rise to the suggestion that through committees the [R4268 : page 323] two denominations might learn as exactly as possible just what are their doctrinal differences.

The original drafts of the statements have been completed and are before the members of the committee for suggestions. When finally revised these statements will be given wide publicity through the religious press, and in the course of time will come before the congress of the denominations. The rough drafts show that they are surprisingly alike. When this is known through publication, the belief is held that in a spirit of fraternity and desire for unity the denominations will waive minor differences and merge congregations, acting as individuals, yet probably in concert, pursuant to a recommendation from their congresses.

In western Canada, Disciples and Baptists have already united, are using churches in common and share things alike.--Courier-Journal.

IS CHRISTIANITY DECAYING?


The pastor of the Fifth Avenue Baptist Church, New York City, Rev. Dr. Charles F. Aked, who came to [R4268 : page 324] its direction from a London pulpit, in his sermon Sunday said:

"When I first came to this great city of New York, the center of empire, its broad avenues thronged with eager, strenuous crowds, pulsating with energy and hope, I saw the buoyancy of the American people. I learned of their hope and endeavor and electric activity. Now, I want to learn the signs of the times. What is the condition of Christianity in New York? When I interview my parishioners, and they are among the most representative in the city, I find the spirit of religious depression very unlike the spirit of abounding enterprise in business, in manufacturing, in engineering and construction.

SOME BIG LOSSES

"To turn to that mighty religious organization, the Catholic Church, to which over 1,000,000 New Yorkers give fealty, even there the losses are heavy. I think that church is doing a magnificent work, but with all its enthusiasm and rallying force it does not nor ever did hold its own in this city or in the nation at large. There are about 16,000,000 Catholics in continental United States. Now, in our immigration for ninety years back, no less than 15,000,000 were Catholics. If all remained loyal to its tenets they would number 45,000,000 now instead of 16,000,000.

"The Protestants have lost ground, too, when the filling up of the country is counted. Our own denomination, the Baptist, reflects the general trend. The increase among the Baptists of America has been equal to only one-fourth of the birth rate among us, proving that three out of four of our Baptist population have fallen away from us. We have in this city 40,000 Baptists. If we held all that was coming to us we should have had at least 150,000. All the Christian churches in city and country in this nation show a similar condition.

"The decline of Christianity is universal. In England, in France, in Spain, in Italy and Germany we hear the same cry.

"Only lately I was talking to an English clergyman. He told me that not merely is there a great falling off in church-goers in England, but that the class of people who frequent churches are becoming inferior.

THE BLAME

"The church here is out of touch with the masses. Everything has progressed except Christianity. Many thinking and progressive young men and women have been driven from the church by the stupidity of the preachers. The pulpit has too many bigots, too many bores, too many hell-fire screechers for the enlightened thought of the day. Compelled to a life of grinding poverty, treading always the same old paths of a thousand years, hide-bound and restricted, the church of Christ has become a laughing stock--parrots of the dead church cry instead of preachers of the living Christ.

THE AWAKENING

"The church is obliged to accept any applicant for the ministry who is respectable. Even with this latitude, Baptist, Presbyterian and Methodist vocations show a remarkable falling off in 25 years, while the needs for an enlarging clergy were never felt so much as now. There must come an awakening when pious and God-loving men will see a paramount duty in actively enlisting in the cause of salvation and finding its exposition in preaching the Gospel and in doing good to everyone within the sphere of their influence." --Utica Globe.

REV. DR. GOODMAN'S METHOD


Five hundred men packed the new Men's Church at Atlantic City Sunday night, and puffed cigars and pipes furnished by Rev. Sidney Goodman during the sermon, which was sandwiched between a special entertainment, also provided by the pastor of new ideas. Moving pictures, stereopticon views illustrating the parables, and singing by professionals who volunteered from beach-front cafes and theatres, made up the remainder of the programme.--Exchange.



[R4268 : page 324]

"LOVING KINDNESS, O HOW GREAT!"
--II SAMUEL 9.--OCTOBER 18.--

Golden Text:--"And be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another."--Eph. 4:32. "I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me."--Prov. 8:17.

THE Lord gives us a deep insight into David's character, and shows us one of the abilities he possessed which constituted him "A man after God's own heart." Entirely overlooking and forgetting the evils which he experienced from King Saul during the years in which the latter sought his life, King David remembered with appreciation the conduct of Saul's son, Jonathan; how the latter had befriended him, and how he had made a covenant that in turn he would show kindnesses to Jonathan's family. For a time, busy with the affairs of the kingdom, King David apparently forgot to make any special inquiry respecting the family of Saul, but something occurred which brought prominently to his mind his obligation to Jonathan. Presumably this was about the middle of his reign; and quite possibly it was David's serious sin with Bathsheba and his hearty repentance therefore that now quickened his mind in respect to his responsibilities to those about him, including the family of his deceased friend.

Ziba, chief servant of King Saul, was called to David and inquiry was made respecting any of the remaining members of Saul's family. This disclosed the fact that there was still living a son of Jonathan, who was a child of five years at the time of the death of Saul and Jonathan, and who was lamed in his feet by falling from his nurse's arms as they fled at the news of the defeat.

King David explained to Ziba that he desired to do kindnesses to Saul's posterity, and bade him bring to court Jonathan's lame son Mephibosheth. The King's command was obeyed, although it must have been received with great fear and trepidation and doubt with respect to its sincerity. It was the custom at the time, that when one king succeeded to the dominion of another all the heirs of the throne should be sought and killed, lest they should give trouble later to the new dynasty. This was evidently expected of King David, and hence the secrecy in respect to the whereabouts of Jonathan's son was kept so that the King knew not of him. However, Ziba was a man of large family interests and realized that it was incumbent upon him to perform the King's bidding, even if it should mean the death of Saul's heir. And the latter, being lame and knowing that his present residence was known to the King, could [R4268 : page 325] do nothing less than respond and present himself at the court. His fear that the King's words might be treacherous, his thoughts that so great a generosity as has been suggested could not be expected or trusted, doubtless caused him fear and trepidation as, coming to the presence of the King, he prostrated himself at his feet, saying, "Behold thy servant!"

"Fear not," said David, "for I will surely show thee kindnesses for Jonathan thy father's sake, and will restore thee all the lands of Saul, thy father; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually."

With the people of oriental lands the eating of food together as friends implies a pledge of friendship and fidelity; and to eat continually at the table signifies membership in the family. We are not to consider this a light matter, for David had two wives and their children were hopeful of being his successors to the kingdom and this bringing a stranger into the family might properly be considered as a menace to their interests, especially as that stranger already, according to the usages of nations, had a prior claim to the throne, superior even to that of the King.

The entire operation shows us the fearlessness of the King and confidence that the kingdom should not be taken away from his posterity; and it shows us also the confidence which all the members must have felt towards him and respect to his judgment as to the affairs of the home and his headship in his home. This [R4269 : page 325] headship we cannot suppose was used in an austere and arbitrary manner, but with loving kindnesses and generosity and in the interest of his entire household. He who could be thus kind to the son of a friend, certainly could be kind and generous also to the members of his own family.

LESSONS FOR SPIRITUAL ISRAELITES

The most advanced even of the Lord's consecrated people may draw some helpful suggestions from the incidents of this lesson.

(1) A friend in need is a friend indeed. Jonathan had been David's friend in his time of need and thus had attested his nobility of character, his faithfulness to principles of righteousness, his loyalty to the Lord, even when the Lord was taking his kingdom power to give it to David. David's friendship came in time of need to the poor man with lame feet, who lived in secret, fearful that anyone should recognize him lest his life should be taken.

(2) David's searching for the opportunities to do good reminds us that such should be our attitude; that we should not merely wait until circumstances force upon our attention the troubles of others and their need of assistance. Well do the Scriptures say, "Blessed is he that considereth the poor." This is a God-like quality, and whoever practices it is to that extent godly. The Apostle says of God, that he looked down and beheld the "groaning of the prisoners" in their condition of sin, degradation, dying. He looked further to note that there were no other means of assistance, that they were wholly dependent upon him; then his own arm brought salvation. The arm of the Lord Jesus was revealed for man's uplift from the condition of death back to harmony with God. Our Lord suggested, "Be ye kind even as your father in heaven; for he is kind unto the unthankful and the evil and the good."

In harmony with this, our generous sentiments and helpfulness should not be confined to those who have claims upon us through love relationship. Our generosity is to go beyond, even to our enemies. "Yea, if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink." So shall we be the children of our Father in heaven; so shall we show that we have his disposition, "the mind of Christ," who, when we were enemies, died for us. We are not, however, urging the same degree of love and benevolence toward all. The Lord specially loves those who are in accord with him--and so should we, but our love and sympathy and assistance must not be confined only to these, for we have the admonition that "If ye love them that love you, what thank have ye? And if ye do good to them that do good to you, what thank have ye? for even sinners do the same." But God commended his love to us as an example of what ours should be in that his Son, "Christ, died for the ungodly."

(3) David's justice and generosity are both manifested in the course he pursued. Instead of coveting Saul's possessions and using his power to attach these to his own he deliberately settled the matter that the profits of Saul's estate should all go to his son, who at the same time would be continually partaker of the King's bounty at his table. Comparatively few would have been so just and so generous. The incident gives David's character a fresh luster and helps us to understand why he was so beloved of the Lord. He was not content with merely wishing to do right, willing to do right, he went forward and dealt justice. He put his bright thoughts and generous impulses into practice, and made "footprints on the sands of time" which have helped to mark the proper pathway for the millions who have since examined these in the holy records.

OUR FIRST GOLDEN TEXT

While the Scriptures everywhere inculcate the thought that God's people are to be generous towards strangers as well as their own people, they make common the thought that they should have a special interest in one another, as the Apostle expresses in these words, "Be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another." Ah! Yes. Kindness is certainly one of the elements of love, as the Apostle says, and tender-heartedness must characterize those who would have a participation with our Lord in his Kingdom. Hardness of heart and cruelty are evidences of degradation--the loss of the image of God. The coldness and the hard-heartedness of the world make countless thousands mourn, even more than their circumstances necessitate. As the Apostle declares, "The whole creation groaneth," waiting for the King of Glory, who will bring in restitution. And it should be a part of the mission of every member of the Body of Christ to do something to help ameliorate the world's difficulty. And each may do something, even if it be no more than the cheering word. Indeed, we rejoice as we see the manifestations of the coming Kingdom of our Lord, "The times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began."--Acts 3:20.

"FORGIVING ONE ANOTHER"

Are not the Lord's people commended "to be perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect"? And if this is so, what in each other's conduct would they have to forgive? Ah! there it is. At heart they must will perfection absolutely; but how to perform it they find not; hence, as the Apostle says, in many things we all fail. "There is none righteous; no, not one." More than this, the Lord's elect are not, according to the flesh, the highest, the noblest, the best. "Not many great, not many noble, not many rich hath God [R4269 : page 326] chosen." While the Apostle intimates that some great, some rich and some noble may be expected amongst the elect, he emphatically declares that God has chosen chiefly the mean things of the world, and the things that are despised, and the things that are not, to bring to naught the things that are. How strange! Nevertheless, it is just like the Lord to pass by the self-righteous and the proud, and to declare that "Only those who humble themselves shall be exalted and those that exalt themselves shall be abased." This fact, then, that God will accept none but the humble, accounts for the fact that those who have received the message in humility are chiefly the mean, the ignoble. It is only the humble-minded, taught in the school of Christ, who are able and willing to accept the ignoble ones who rally to the Lord's standard and who may be accepted. To love the ignoble signifies that we must view them from the divine standpoint and love them as God loves them --not because of their ignoble and mean qualities, but in spite of these; because of their heart's desires towards God and righteousness. As we come to love and appreciate all those who stand for and strive for those principles, we take our position with God and view the situation from the divine standpoint, having compassion upon those who are weak and out of the way and doing all we can to assist them, if they are of those who love righteousness and hate iniquity and are striving in harmony with their ideals.

The more such have to contend with the more will they call forth the love and sympathy of God and all who are his. God has promised to "cover their blemishes" and this must be the sentiment of all who are on his side. As the Apostle said in this text we must be disposed to forgive one another and, as he again in I Cor. 12 teaches, that "Those members in the Body of Christ which are most ungainly," upon them we should bestow more efforts and energy for their assistance, especially covering their blemishes, especially assisting them. Along this line the Apostle elsewhere says that we ought to follow the example of Jesus in laying down our lives for the brethren--"We that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves."--Romans 15:1.

Too often the Lord's people forget this injunction and are disposed to lay down their lives for themselves, for their own comfort, or to lay down their lives, their time, their energy, in fellowshiping with those of the brethren most congenial to them in cultivation or in advancement. Is not this pleasing ourselves in ignoring to serve those members of the Body who need our assistance most--the more ignoble?

OUR SECOND GOLDEN TEXT

The Sunday-School Lesson Committee have appointed this date for a special prayer to God in behalf of Sunday-School people the world over. While the lesson itself does not seem to have been chosen in connection with this thought our second Golden Text is very appropriate to it, "I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me." This is said respecting wisdom, but God himself is the very personification of wisdom, and hence this applies to God. Similarly to those who are privileged to hear of God's grace, Christ is wisdom. As the Apostle declares, "He is made unto us wisdom"--unto all who rightly, properly accept him.

It is not our thought that the Gospel call was sent especially to children, nor do we find our Lord's teaching specially adapted to the child mind, nor that he taught children, nor that he or the apostles established Sunday-Schools. (See our comment on Sunday-School work in DAWN-STUDIES, Vol. 6, pages 544-7.) We may properly say, however, that whatever were the limitations of the Jewish Law which hindered Christ and the apostles from becoming ministers of the Truth until after they were thirty years of age, there are no such limitations applying now, and hence "Whosoever has an ear to hear, let him hear," however old, however young.

We encourage the dear brethren of the Truth everywhere to see to it that their children have the very best religious instruction, as well as their own example in daily living. Every home should have its Sunday-School [R4270 : page 326] class, even though there be but one child. Every Sunday should have its quiet, sacred hour of fellowship, communion and praise, participated in by the parents and the children. It is beautiful to note the influence of a proper home-life in the families of some--in joy and love and truth. Will not all so resolve and by the grace of God fulfil?

There is a charm about childhood--its innocency, its faith--and the child-mind is peculiarly susceptible to the Truth and its spirit, too, the spirit of consecration. How blessed it would be if all of our children from earliest infancy were taught to love the Lord as the Giver of all good; to consider his will, to consecrate their little all to him! Such children so instructed often become teachers of their parents, showing forth the true spirit of devotion. Here and there on our Pilgrim visits we are introduced to little ones thus early given to the Lord and trained in harmony with his will. Some of these have the spirit of devotion so strongly developed that any pennies coming to them, instead of being spent for sweets, are laid by as consecrated to the Lord, to be sent to Brother Russell from time to time to print tracts to help the people understand the Bible and to see that God is love. We seek not the pennies of the dear children, but their welfare, the great spiritual blessing which comes into their lives and which will surely go with them through coming days to their comfort and joy. The little, loving hearts thus early given to God, surely find a blessing and a protection from much of the evil that is in the world.

Many of the little ones who thus began a life of consecration and self-denial for the Truth's sake before they could rightly appreciate the situation in full have since matured most remarkably, and at twelve and thirteen years have requested opportunity for symbolizing their consecration, and have given clear evidence of a comprehensive knowledge of the fundamentals of the Gospel and of a heart-appreciation of the sacrifice presented to the Lord.

Our Lord said, "I pray not for the world, but for those whom thou hast given me." And similarly our prayers need not go up on behalf of the world, for whose blessing the Millennial Kingdom and its opportunities have been provided, but our petitions may ascend on behalf of those who have become consecrated to him, our brethren in Christ, and this will include the younger ones of the consecrated as well as the aged. We may also in a general way include those whom the Father has given to us as our wards, as being under our care and instruction; we may pray for these favorable providences of God for their highest welfare, and for ourselves wisdom and grace, that we may present to them the Lord's message in its best form and exemplify the same in our daily conduct and in our dealing with our children. [R4270 : page 327]

LORD, THIS VOW THAT I HAVE TAKEN

(Tune: Nettleton)
Heavenly Father, I adore thee!
Hallowed be thy holy name;
Mighty angels bow before thee,
Should not mortals do the same?
May thy rule of love control me,
And thy will in me be done;
Hear the Vow I make before thee,
In the name of Christ, thy Son.

Daily will I pray, remember
All thy servants, dearest Lord,
Those who labor as one family,
To dispense thy precious Word;
Those who lonely go, as Pilgrims,
Those who travel two by two,
Those who volunteer to scatter
Golden gems, like morning dew.

O'er my thoughts, and words and actions,
I a closer watch will keep,
That I may be used more freely
In the feeding of thy sheep.
Oh, I want thy power to cleanse me,
By its power to set me free,
From all fleshly imperfections,
And to make me more like thee.

Lord, I know the powers of evil
Are increasing every day;
Trying to ensnare and hinder
Those who walk the narrow way.
Never will I listen to them;
Lord, I fear their subtle power,
From their every snare protect me,
Help me, keep me, every hour.

Lord, in all my daily dealings
Toward my brethren in the Truth,
I will not by word or action
Do what thou wouldst not approve.
Purity shall mark my conduct;
Chaste in thought and word I'll be,
That the image of my Master
May be perfected in me.

Lord, this Vow, that I have taken
I could never keep alone.
When I think of self, I tremble;
When I look to thee I'm strong.
Leaning on thee, in my weakness,
Trusting thee for promised grace,
I will take this Vow and keep it,
Till I see thee face to face.
Rebecca F. Doney.



[R4270 : page 327]

A MAN AFTER GOD'S OWN HEART
--PSALM 32.--OCTOBER 25.--

Golden Text:--"Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered."

AFTER a most prosperous career, about thirty years from the time of his anointing and when he was somewhere about fifty years of age, King David fell into most grievous sins. In quick succession he violently broke three of the ten commandments. He coveted Uriah's wife; he committed adultery with her, and he indirectly murdered her husband. Dividing the ten commandments into two parts, the one appertaining to the Lord and the other to humanity, King David certainly violated the second portion about as grievously as could be possible. A fouler record than this of man's inhumanity to man can scarcely be imagined. The Scriptures offer no apology, nor do they in any degree shield the offender or justify his course. In view of these admitted facts skeptics sometimes inquire, "How is it that such a man is regarded as a great prophet of the Lord? How is it that of him it is said that 'He was a man after God's own heart'? Does God approve of such a course as his, represented by those sins?"

We reply: Those transgressions do not represent David's course of life. They were exceptions; they were contrary to his heart; they were repented of; they were punished; David was forgiven. Today's lesson is intended to bring this matter fully and clearly before our attention; to show us the underlying principles connected with what God approves and disapproves in his creatures. There is a philosophy connected with all of the divine dealings, the appreciation of which is helpful to such as desire to be in harmony with the Lord, because it will enable them the better to govern their course of life, that we may also be as was David, men and women after "God's own heart"--such as please him.

ONE PECULIARITY OF THE BIBLE

The Bible holds up before us the naked facts of its heroes as no other religious book does, and in this particular it commends itself as truthful testimony of the Lord. It tells not only of Samson's strength, but also of his weaknesses. It tells of Rahab's favor and of her previous immorality. It tells of Peter's denying the Lord with cursings, as well as his noble traits and faithfulness to death. It tells us that amongst the early Church was a Judas as well as an Ananias and Sapphira. It tells of Adam's disobedience and condemnation to death, as well as of Christ's obedience and his voluntary sacrifice for the redemption of Adam and incidentally his race. So, then, the mention of David and his experiences in sin, sharply contrasted with the majority of his experiences as a faithful servant of God, is not our keeping, but the Scriptural usage, though it is out of accord with the custom of men and of other religious writings. Instead of upsetting our trust in the Lord and his Word, these facts only strengthen our faith and give us assurance of the truthfulness of the narrative and the good intentions of their writer, and of the wisdom and power of God in [R4271 : page 327] respect to the use of all these weak servants in connection with the ministry of the Truth.

It might be said in extenuation of King David's course that in ancient times kings were accorded despotic powers and esteemed to be above the laws of their realm. This, however, is no real excuse, for King David understood well that he was not superior to the divine Law, but on the contrary amenable to it. We find even amongst heathen kings a much higher standard of morality, a more close approach to the requirements of the divine law, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." [Note the attitude of King Pharaoh towards Abraham's wife. (Gen. 12:18,19.) Similarly the conduct of King Abimelech.-- Gen. 20:2-5,9-11.]

COMPASSION, FORGIVENESS, SIN-COVERING

Another peculiarity in respect to the Bible is that the God which it reveals is a merciful one. The gods of the heathen are cold, merciless, terrible--deficient of [R4271 : page 328] any attribute of love and compassion. The God of the Bible commends himself to us in that "While we were yet sinners, Christ died for the ungodly," and made it possible for God to be just and yet be also the justifier of repentant sinners believing in Jesus and returning to his favor through faith in and obedience to Jesus. This is the essence of the lesson, and we have no hesitancy in saying that David's sincere repentance for his sins and the declaration of God's forgiveness and the continuance with David of divine favor have been a lesson of great value to many poor, weak, fallen members of our race, as they have attempted to come into the presence of the holy Jehovah and have realized their own blemishes and unworthiness of his favor. Well do the Scriptures declare, "There is forgiveness with thee, that thou mightest be feared," reverenced. Moreover it is this quality of the divine character that calls forth more than fear, more than reverence from those who appreciate it; it calls forth love; as it is written, "We love him because he first loved us, and sent his Son to be a satisfaction for our sins." Well has the poet declared that this is

"LOVE DIVINE, ALL LOVE EXCELLING"

This love of God, as we come to appreciate it, becomes a constraining, drawing, influencing power in the hearts and lives of his people. Thus the Apostle declares, "The love of Christ constraineth us," for if one died for all, then all were dead (under dying conditions): and we who live (we who through faith in Jesus' sacrifice have passed from death into life--justification) should henceforth live not unto ourselves (selfishly), but unto him who died for us.

The Psalm which constitutes our lesson is supposed to have been composed by the Prophet after his heart had returned to peace with God through assurance of divine forgiveness of his sins. Its opening sentence takes this standpoint. David was the blessed man who had experienced divine forgiveness and covering of his transgression, his sin. He was the man to whom the Lord no longer imputed iniquity and in whose heart was no deception, no secret longing for sin, with merely the restraints of fear, but who had a heart and mind fully turned away from sin and in absolute accord with divine justice and all of its righteous requirements.

Instead of rebelling against the laws of God as hindrances to wilfulness and wickedness, the King delighted in the law of the Lord and meditated therein by day and by night. He was pleased henceforth to measure all of his conduct, yea, his thoughts also, by the divine standard, realizing that these were not only righteous altogether, but that every contrary course would surely meet out to him discomfort, trouble.

GROANING ALL THE DAY LONG

Verses 3 and 4 briefly rehearse the King's unhappy experiences during nearly a year. The King's transgression began in his mind, as do all sins. It is on this account that the Scriptures urge the Lord's people to "Keep their hearts with all diligence, for out of them are the issues of life." The King coveted his neighbor's wife, and in the language of our God, "He committed adultery with her in his heart." The first step of sin having been taken the King's conscience was hushed to sleep in some unaccountable manner, while the strength of his vigorous mind was turned aside to the gratification of unholy desires. These accomplished, his case seemed to him hopeless except in one direction. Regret and remorse, already begun in his mind, brought terrors as he realized that under the Jewish Law both parties were to be stoned to death at the instance of the wronged person. Hence his command to his chief general, Joab, that Uriah, the wronged husband, be placed in the front of the battle and then be deserted by the remainder of the corps, that he might be slain by his enemies. Joab understood the situation. Indeed, the whole matter probably leaked out, and poor David was in serious trouble every way. Not only had Uriah been one of his prominent, valued men, but the grandfather of Bathsheba, Ahithophel, was King David's chief counsellor in State. That the incident did lead to an estrangement between this man and his sovereign is quite evident; later on in Absalom's rebellion he joined his cause as against the king. Apparently, too, these various burdens upon David's mind and heart brought upon the king a spell of sickness.

Sin is always a disturbing element under all conditions, and more particularly as the sinner has light and responsibility and therefore condemnation of conscience. Indeed, we may well suppose, as the Psalmist intimated, that the chiefest of his troubles consisted in his separation from the Lord; his realization that the Lord's favor was justly turned from him, and that in a certain sense he was forsaken of the Lord as an intelligent transgressor of his Law. It may, indeed, be generally recognized as a principle of the divine government that anything which separates the Lord and his people brings upon them the deepest melancholy, and incidentally is sure to affect their health. On the contrary, we may well realize it as a fixed principle that "the peace of God" is sure to be favorable to physical health and happiness. Thus continually we find amongst the Lord's people that as they grow strong in the Lord there is very apt to be a measure of physical rejuvenation also.

THE PROPHET'S PARABLE

Apparently for a time the King had smothered his conscience; had, perhaps, come to think of himself as a sovereign to some extent exempted from the laws governing others, and had this condition been allowed to progress it might have meant a complete estrangement of the King from the Lord. But because he had made a covenant with the Lord and the Lord had accepted him and warranted unto him "the sure mercies of David," therefore he was not allowed to pass into a comatose condition morally, but the Lord sent the Prophet Nathan, who, by a parable of the wealthy man stealing a sheep from a poor man, aroused in the King a sense of justice and a demand that the thief should be severely punished. It was then that the Prophet declared, "Thou art the man," explaining to him that he had not only stolen Uriah's wife, but had sinned still more grievously, and that he must expect chastisements from the Lord for his wrong doing.

Honest at heart the matter appealed to the King immediately, and he saw himself a grievous sinner. He went to the Lord and said, "Against thee and thee alone have I sinned and done this great evil in thy sight." True, he had sinned against Uriah, but since the latter's death there was no means of making amends for his misdeeds; no restitution was possible. To the Lord only could he go asking forgiveness. Although the Lord is very gracious and very merciful, he apparently permitted David to lie under the lashings of his conscience for a considerable time before he restored unto him the joys of his countenance. This should not intimate [R4271 : page 329] an unwillingness on the divine part to forgive, but the wisdom of divine grace which will permit the lesson as a means of blessing and as a safeguarding against the future.

Wonder is often expressed that some of the most notorious evil-doers in the world appear to have no conscience, no realization of their own wickedness; and still more wonder is expressed that these often pass through life with no chastisements, no punishments for sins such as came upon King David for his sins. The explanation of the situation is given by the Apostle, saying, "Some men's sins go before unto judgment, and some follow afterward." The world in general will find that transgressions in the present life, violations of conscience, have a degrading influence upon them which will make their climbing from sin and imperfection to righteousness and perfection during the Millennium all the longer and more difficult. Thus the judgment or penalty for their sins will follow after and they will be obliged to reckon with them during the Millennium. On the contrary, the Lord's consecrated people of the Gospel Age, and his specially consecrated people of the Jewish Age, shall have had their stripes in the present life, because they are not to share with the world in the experiences of stripes, disciplines, etc., during the Millennium, but to do so now that they will be ready for a share in the resurrection of life; to come forth from death perfect beings in full harmony with God. This constitutes an ample explanation as to why the following is true, That the Lord's true followers receive chastisements, stripes, for their correction while the world in general escapes, except in so far as human laws and nature's laws may chastise them; or in a case such as the Amalekites and Amorites; their iniquities came to the full, reaching the point where to have allowed them to go further would have been inconsistent with the divine program, and they were cut off from life [R4272 : page 329] to hinder them from greater degradation.

THE LORD'S CHASTENING HAND

In one of the Psalms David wrote, "Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me." Verses 3 and 4 tell us something of the King's experiences under the rod of chastisement, which the pride of the Lord's favor calls elsewhere, "The light of thy countenance." At first the King kept silence. He was ashamed of himself and knew of nothing he could say to the Lord in extenuation of his conduct. But the burden grew heavier and heavier for both mind and body. He seemed to age rapidly that year. His "bones waxed old"; he became enfeebled prematurely. Day and night the Lord's chastening hand was heavy upon him, so that all the freshness, vigor and joy were consumed as by a drouth. What a poetic picture of a child of God under the ban of divine displeasure--mourning after a manner that the world could not understand! The result, however, was joyous, because when the Lord restored to David the light of his face, and again, when David's cup ran over with divine favor and blessing, he was able more than ever to appreciate the value of the Lord's smile. All of the Lord's people must learn the value of the blessing of the Lord in the fellowship divine. Here they can sing,

"O, let no earth-born cloud arise
To hide thee from thy servant's eyes."

Fortunately not all of God's dear people need such severe discipline. Nevertheless, for all there is the comforting thought that even if any should be taken in grievous sin, there is still mercy with the Lord, which is to be sought for. But still more are the blessings for those children who possess more of the Lord's character, so that from their hearts they can say, "I delight to do thy will, O God; thy law is written in my heart." These also require lessons, chastisements, for even our dear Redeemer himself "learned obedience from the things which he suffered." He learned the cost of obedience, as he has since learned the value thereof in the Father's estimation--who raised him to glory and immortality. Similarly all his followers must learn in his school. Each one whom the Father will receive must be an under-study of the great Chief Shepherd. Each one must by experiences learn the value of the Father's smile and fellowship and gracious promises for the present and the eternal life.

THOU FORGAVEST THE INIQUITY

Various erroneous views are entertained respecting the forgiveness of sins and the stripes which sometimes follow after the sins have been forgiven. King David's experiences demonstrate the truth on this subject. After he sinned there was a period in which he seemed to appreciate the facts--their enormity. Then came all the force of awakening and self-abasement and contrition of heart and humbling before the Lord in acknowledging the sin, in confessing the transgression before the Lord. Then came in due course the Lord's forgiveness and by and by the King's appreciation of the fact that he had been forgiven, and, as a result, the restoration of the joys in life's experiences. Nevertheless we find that the end was not yet; that years afterwards the Lord allowed a very severe, heavy discipline to come upon the King and his family, apparently as a retribution. Absalom's rebellion against his father, King David, and all the train of evil experiences which followed as a part of the same, were recognized by David himself as permitted of the Lord as a chastisement on account of his transgression which had been forgiven.

How can this be understood? How can a sin be forgiven and yet punishment be inflicted on its account? The right thought on this question is that divine forgiveness signifies that God gives over or relinquishes his indignation against the sin and the sinner and deals with the sinner henceforth from the standpoint of favor. Justice, however, still maintains a hold and must be satisfied. Justice knows no forgiveness. It requires a full payment, "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth." Applying the matter to ourselves, to Christians of this Gospel Age, we remark that Justice has been satisfied so far as "believers" are concerned by the death of our Lord Jesus. His merit has been appropriated to us. Is this only a part of the demands of justice? We reply that it was for all of our wrong-doing or short-coming or such proportion of it as was unwilful. In a word, God's provision in Christ for our forgiveness does not cover a wilful sin, of which the Apostle says, "He that sinneth wilfully is of the devil." It merely covers the unwilful sins, or in the case of sins that are partly of weakness, partly a temptation and partly of wilfulness, it covers all the unwilful features, but leaves us responsible for whatever portion of wrong-doing on our part was wilful; hence the Apostle said to the Church, "If we sin wilfully after we have received a knowledge of the Truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation which shall devour the adversaries."--Heb. 10:26,27. [R4272 : page 330]

As a matter of fact, it is safe to presume that, surrounded by the weaknesses of others and beset by the weaknesses of our own flesh, very few of the Lord's people reach this point of full, complete, deliberate, intentional sin, the penalty of which is the Second Death. In nearly all sin, therefore, there is room for a measure of divine forgiveness, proportionate to the willingness or weakness. The sins of the Lord's people repented of are graciously forgiven in the sense that divine disfavor and withholding of the Lord's countenance are no more in evidence and the individual is restored. Still there hangs over him a responsibility for whatever measure of wilfulness is connected with the misdeed. And the Lord will see to it that he receives the necessary stripes. We are not to think of this as vindictive, but rather as a measure of justice, that thus is learned something of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, its undesirability, and that good always brings its reward.

In harmony with this thought there are numerous Christians today who have come into full harmony with the Lord Jesus and every blessing of fellowship with God's children, who are, nevertheless, suffering physically the penalty for indiscretion, sins of their earlier life. The sin has been forgiven in the sense that it is not held against them so as to bar their fellowship with the Lord. It is covered, but it has left its mark upon their flesh and causes them distress in various ways. Indeed, a general blight is upon the whole human family, which is covered in some respect to those who have accepted Christ. The scars and weaknesses of the present persist in our mortal flesh, and we have no hope even to get rid of these. They belong, however, to the mortal, which having been reckonedly justified through faith in Christ and consecration to God's service, will not be gotten rid of until the "change" in the First Resurrection, when we shall be granted new bodies. Then the sins which are now covered or hidden in the Lord's sight will be absolutely effaced, and we shall know them no more. This seems to be the Apostle Peter's thought when he says, "Repent and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord." (Acts 3:19.) In a word, our sins may be covered, but, at the second coming of our Lord, they will be blotted out completely and forever.

WHEN THOU MAYEST BE FOUND

Thinking of the Lord's favor to himself, the Prophet by inspiration sets forth a principle applicable to all of the Lord's--to all people at all times, saying, For this [cause--because of God's mercy], everyone that is godly may pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely, when the great waters overflow, they shall not reach unto him. In other words, there is a time limit to divine mercies. The Lord will not always chide, neither will he keep (restrain) his anger forever. There came a limit to his merciful dealing with natural Israel. When that point had been reached a separation took place between those who were Israelites (the wheat) and the remainder (the chaff). The former were received into the Gospel dispensation, the others being scattered in the destruction of Israel's national polity in A.D. 70.

Similarly in dealing with the Gospel Church, a reasonable period seems to be allowed to each individual to make his calling and election sure, who, if he fails to do so, may drop into the Great Company, but whose only hope of attaining this place is through fiery trials in which, if still unfaithful, the end will be destruction in the Second Death. Similarly in the end of this Gospel Age comes the testings of the nominal systems, with the Lord's declaration that some will stumble and fall and be overwhelmed in the anarchy impending as Babylon is cast down, while the faithful will be "changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye." Similarly during the Millennial Age, when the knowledge of the Lord shall fill the whole earth and every member of the race shall be privileged to see the "true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world," everyone will be obliged to make a start in righteousness by obedience to God's laws; and those who refuse will, as the Prophet says, die the Second Death: "There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days; for the child shall die an hundred years old, and the sinner an hundred years old shall be accursed."--Isa. 65:20.

David seems to speak prophetically for those in the end of this Gospel Age, saying, "Thou art my hiding place; thou wilt preserve me from trouble; thou wilt compass me about with songs of deliverance." As the faithful were delivered in the great trouble that came upon the Jewish nation, so the faithful will be [R4273 : page 330] delivered from the great trouble impending upon Christendom. This does not necessarily imply that they will be taken away before the trouble. It is "Through much tribulation we shall enter the Kingdom." As of old the three Hebrews who were cast into the fiery furnace were uninjured, while those who threw them in were slain by the heat, smitten to death, so in the coming trouble the Lord's faithful will not be injured by the fiery trials through which they will pass.

GUIDED BY GOD'S EYE

The last four verses of our lesson represent our Lord as speaking to his people, "Ye righteous." In view of the context this is not to be understood to represent any absolutely faultless. "There is none righteous; no, not one." The righteous here addressed are such as the Lord reckons righteous, because of their heart attitude of faith and desire to be obedient to his will. To these he says, "I will instruct them and teach them in the way in which they shall go; I will guide them with mine eye."

This may be understood to signify that the Lord's eye will watch over us that he may give us the necessary, proper counsel. Another way in which it may be viewed, is represented by an exhibition which some of us have seen of a horse driven without reins or bridle, simply directed by the eye and watching for the master's will, the animal being without restraint. But this is true of only those who have had exceptional training. A horse and a mule, as the next verse tells us, are without understanding and require bit and bridle to make them serve us properly. We are exhorted not to be driven in this manner, because such is not acceptable to the Lord. "He seeketh such to worship him as worship him in spirit and in truth."

Those of God's children who fail to learn this lesson will never constitute the members of the Elect class, will not be "fit for the Kingdom of heaven." True, the Lord will deal with the world in general along these lines during the Millennium. With bit and bridle they will be restrained. Nevertheless, even the restitution class must advance beyond this place else they will never be fit for eternal life at the close of the Millennial Age. Whoever sees the principle here involved, [R4273 : page 331] that if he has any hope or desire for joint-heirship with Christ in his Kingdom, must learn the lesson of serving the Father and his cause of righteousness gladly, willingly; must be guided by his eye; must follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth.

SORROWS TO THE WICKED

"Many sorrows shall be to the wicked; but he that trusteth in the Lord, mercy shall compass him about." Those who trust in the Lord, to all outward appearances, have as many sorrows as their less pious neighbors. Nevertheless God's promise is sure, his grace is sufficient for them. They may rest assured that "All things work together for good" to those who rejoice in tribulation, knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope, which maketh not ashamed those in whose hearts the love of God is shed abroad.

BE GLAD IN THE LORD, AND REJOICE AND SHOUT FOR JOY, ALL YE THAT ARE UPRIGHT AND HONEST IN HEART

We trust that all of our readers are coming to appreciate this blessed message more and more--to be glad in the Lord--a very different thing from being glad in the trifling things of this world. He whose affections are set upon this earth will continually find tribulations which hinder his rejoicing. But he who has set his affections upon things above, on the Lord and the glorious things which he has promised us, may indeed rejoice, for our Lord changes not. "Not one of his good promises shall fail." Let all who are honest in hope, in intention, in endeavor, speak forth the Lord's praise and shout for joy, not merely that their unintentional imperfections according to the flesh are covered, but also in the thought that the reign of righteousness, the Millennial Kingdom, is now at hand, and that under its domination all the families of the earth shall be blessed after the great Adversary, Satan, shall have been bound.

"'Tis sorrow builds the shining ladder up,
Whose golden rounds are our calamities;
Whereon our firm feet planting, nearer God,
The spirit climbs and hath its eye unsealed."



[R4273 : page 331]

WHAT SINS THE SCAPE-GOAT BORE
FOLLOWING the account of the Day of Atonement in Leviticus 16--after the account of the first sacrifice of the bullock for the sins of the High Priest's body and house and the sacrifice of the Lord's goat for the sins of all the remainder of the people--we read that the High Priest took the Scape-goat and laid his hands upon its head and confessed over it "all the iniquities of the children of Israel and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send it away." We have interpreted this Scape-goat to be a type of the "Great Company" of Rev. 7:9-15. We have pointed out that the Lord's goat and the Scape-goat, both tethered at the door of the Tabernacle, represented the two classes who during this Gospel Age make full consecration to the Lord and are accepted of him and begotten of the holy Spirit. The one class goes on in harmony with its consecration, following the example of Christ, who is in type represented by the bullock. The other class, equally consecrated and begotten of the Spirit, fails to avail itself of the privilege of "suffering with Christ." It is allowed to escape the sufferings implied in the covenant of sacrifice. The question arises, What were those sins that were laid upon the head of the Scape-goat and what do they represent in the antitype of the Great Company? We answer that they do not represent the same sins which were laid upon the bullock, which made atonement for the household of faith; neither could they represent the sins that were previously atoned for with the blood of the Lord's goat. The sprinkling of the blood for those sins entirely cancelled them for "all the people."

The explanation of this seeming incongruity of first making an atonement in the Most Holy "for the sins of all the people," and then "laying the iniquities of the people upon the head of the Scape-goat" is explained by the fact that there are two kinds of sins and that the sacrifice of Christ and the Church, typified by the sacrifice of the bullock and the Lord's goat, atoned for one kind of sin and not for the other. Thus of our Lord it is written, "Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world," and this Lamb has associated with himself the Church, whose sacrifice is represented in the Lord's goat. The sin of the world is the Adamic sin, to which the Apostle refers, saying, "By one man's disobedience sin entered into the world, and death as a result of sin, and so death passed upon all;" that sin and its penalty was upon everybody alike regardless of his wishes, for all were born in sin, shapen in iniquity --blemished, incapable of righteousness in the absolute sense. It was for that one sin, and that only, that Christ, the Head and Body, pays the penalty.

Aside from this general sin, however, there are "iniquities of the people" in which some share more and others less and others not at all. These are the more or less wilful wrong-doings which prevail throughout the world--violations of justice and love beyond the degree of inherited weakness. In these things, therefore, there is a measure of responsibility proportionate to the knowledge and ability to resist. These are the sins of the world that will be confessed on the head of the Scape-goat class and for which they will be permitted to suffer. An illustration of this is found in our Lord's words respecting typical Israel and the awful trouble which came upon those of the Jewish nation found unworthy, who had enjoyed the great privileges and were still found unworthy of the high calling.

Of that time of trouble our Lord spoke freely in Matt. 24, and the Apostle, speaking of it, says that "God poured upon that nation his wrath to the uttermost, that all things written in the Law and the prophecies concerning them should be fulfilled." Why should such great severity come upon them more than had come upon their forefathers? Why should so great tribulation as the Scriptures foretell come upon the Great Company in the end of this age more than came upon others of previous times? Our Lord dropped a word which gives us the key to the situation: "Of this generation shall be required all the righteous blood." (Luke 11:50,51.) And similarly respecting the end of this age the Scriptures imply that there is a great back-account of retribution owing to the rest of the world which will be fully squared in the awful trouble with which this age will end. For instance, those who suffered earlier in the age are represented as beheaded souls under the altar crying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?" (Rev. 6:10.) The answer given them implies that their blood, the wrong and [R4273 : page 332] injustice done to them as well as the wrong and injustice done to others since their day, is kept strict account of and will all need to be settled in the end of this age.

Those who made a covenant to sacrifice their lives in the service of the Lord, the Truth and the brethren, and who on the strength of this were begotten of the Spirit to a spirit nature, and who subsequently neglected to fulfil their covenant or vow, would be liable to the Second Death on this account; but in great mercy the Lord purposes to pass them through a "great tribulation" and to accept as "conquerors" those who will stand the tests of that time of trouble loyally. But their sufferings will not be on their own account. They will suffer for the sins of others--the accumulated sins of this age against light and knowledge will be required of those who in this day of the "bright shining" of the light of Truth have still held back from the voluntary sacrifice to which they devoted themselves in consecration.

However, eventually this Great Company, passing their tests, proving themselves loyal to the Lord, at last will receive a great blessing, even though it will not be so grandly glorious as that which the Lord will give to the Little Flock, who willingly, gladly, lay down their lives in harmony with the privileges and instructions of the Word. They will be invited to participate in the marriage festival of the Lamb. --Rev. 19:9.

Some have written us lately the assurance that they know that the Great Company will be blessed on the earthly plane. We reply that it is true that a great multitude will be blessed during the Millennium under the restitution blessings and privileges--"all the families of the earth." But the Great Company of Revelation 7:9-15 is specially identified with the Church and separate from the world. They will come up to their station through "great tribulation," while the world will be led upward along the grand highway of holiness, on which there shall be no lion or ravenous beast, and in a time when nothing shall hurt nor destroy in all that holy Kingdom.

If there were no references to the Great Company in the Bible we should be inclined to look for one, or else know with sorrow that many shall go into the Second Death. Surely of all that consecrate fully and are begotten of the holy Spirit to new nature only a "little flock" make their election sure by compliance with the terms. The remainder, unfit for the glories to which they were called, must, it would seem, either die the Second Death or have their new natures developed in fiery trials and great tribulations "for the destruction of the flesh that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus."



[R4274 : page 332]

LETTERS ACKNOWLEDGING "VOW" BLESSINGS

[QUERY:--What if health or weather hindered leaving the door open, and one were alone in a room with one of the opposite sex? Or what if it were in an office or room not under the control of the one who took the Vow?

ANSWER:--Both of these and every other contingency are fully met by the words "so far as reasonably possible," and it is your own judgment that decides. It would not be reasonably possible for anyone to regulate an office or room that is only partly or not at all under his control.]


DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--

I write to tell you that I have taken the Vow. I was influenced to come to the point by reading a paragraph of an article in the TOWER entitled, "David Attaining Kingship." The paragraph was this:

It is difficult to estimate the power of the human will. Apparently God has placed all the interests of the present life under the control of our wills, and, indeed, much of the success in respect to the future life is similarly under the control of our wills. Apparently the will, rightly exercised against sin, is invulnerable.

I humbly pray that God may "work in me both to will and to do of his good pleasure."

Sincerely yours in Christian fellowship,
F. I. PARMENTER.


DEAR BROTHER IN THE LORD:--

I don't want to wait another hour to register my Vow to the Lord. I am very sorry I waited this long. I am so glad it is not too late. I have hesitated because I was afraid I could not keep the Vow, and know it is worse to break than to pledge myself at all. Since praying and thinking it over I know that I can, with the help of our dear Master, live up to the Vow.

I surely need it as much or more than any one else. My life previous to consecration was most sinful, and I regret that I cannot tell you that I have made no great mistakes since.

My sacrifice is such a small, miserable thing; but I do want to bind it firmly to the altar.

Remember me in your prayers, dear Brother, and give my love to all the dear ones at the Bible House.

Yours in Christ,
__________.


DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--

We wish to add our names to those of the dear friends who have made the Vow unto our heavenly Father, and are very thankful for the privilege.

As God's children we are willing to do anything that will help us along the narrow way and bring us nearer to our heavenly Father, and this we know the Vow is doing. We cannot have too much of a good thing if we use it properly.

We think we should have taken the Vow even if we had no need of it at this time, for we do not know what we shall need in the "evil day," except keeping close to the Lord.

And so, dear brother, we ask that you remember us in your prayers that by his strength we may keep the Vow we have made. With much Christian love and best wishes, we remain,

Your brothers in Christ,
W. T. BAKER,
A. SMITH.


DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--

Beloved Brother in the Lord. It has taken considerable time, and a severe conflict with the old self, to reach the point of sending in my name as a signer and endorser of the Vow in all its particulars.

I must confess that I was somewhat opposed to the matter at the first. However, I prayed very earnestly for guidance and wisdom to decide the matter aright. Have just now finished a re-reading of it, and am wondering how I found any objection, for my heart and head both endorse in the fullest possible manner its every detail. Sister Kendall and I now feel convinced that our heavenly Father in his loving kindness has sent this Vow as a special safeguard to his children in this time of special need, and I have been prompt to send my name as soon as the matter was made plain to my mind. It will surely prove a source of great blessing to all the pure in heart. Doubtless it will sift out some who are not. 'Tis always so. Therefore, with greatly increased thankfulness to our loving heavenly Father for this further evidence of his care over us, and with renewed assurance, dear Brother, of our perfect confidence in your own Christian deportment and integrity, we gladly and solemnly and reverently register this Vow before "Our Father, which art in heaven," praying that he will enable us to keep it inviolate.

With much Christian love,
MR. AND MRS. S. C. KENDALL.

page 333

PILGRIM PARKER NOT AFRAID
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--

In making Pilgrim visits from place to place, I sometimes encounter opposition to the Vow, and to the publishing of names of those who have taken the Vow; and I have just had a letter from a brother who thinks Brother Russell is going too far, and that he feels that he must write Brother Russell in remonstrance. I have just replied to this letter as follows:

"I do not think you look at the Vow properly. If you could know what I do you would be heartily in favor of it. I think I have had a few friends tell me of their objections to the Vow, and in every instance I have been made to see that those who object to it need it much more than many of those who have taken it gladly and are praising God on account of it.

"In every instance of objection made to me, I have been able to see that there is a little false pride left, which is a good thing for Satan to work on, or else (this chiefly on the part of brethren) there is a natural propensity (and sometimes it has been cultivated) to associate too freely with the opposite sex. In either case the Vow would be a safeguard. As to the Vow being published I like this feature particularly. I want my wife and children to look at the Vow each day and say to each other, 'Papa is trying to live up to that Vow. The Lord keep him true to the end.' I hope my name will appear on a card and that my neighbors, not in the Truth, will read it when visiting my home. It may be they will catch the spirit of it and inquire of my wife, 'What is it your husband is preaching? What is this thing which leads you to make such sacrifices as you and the boys do, in remaining at home alone, weeks at a time, while your husband is visiting other parts of the country.'?

"If we are living up to our Consecration Vow, then we are confessing him before men every day, and it will be readily seen by men that we are 'Paying our Vows unto the Most High.'

"Then why not register one and place it where it can be seen, that others may see what kind of standard we set in making our Vows? Then let us so live each day that those who read the Vow we have taken, will say, 'Those people not only register a Vow, but they keep it!'

"Thus we may please the Lord in fulfilling Matthew 5:16. Take the Vow, brother."

Yours in brother love,
J. A. PARKER.


***

[We fully agree to the advantage of publishing the names of those who have taken the Vow. Nevertheless, let us exercise charity and patience toward all, the fearful and the weak included, and forego for a time at least our rights and privileges lest some should be stumbled. Once they realize that this Vow is now "meat in due season," intended of the Lord to stimulate his people spiritually and draw them closer to himself, we may reasonably expect that every truly consecrated brother and sister in the Truth will be anxious to join us in making this Vow unto the Lord, and in paying it faithfully in the presence of all the people.--EDITOR.]



page 333

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

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


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

DECEMBER 6

(37) If vitality went forth from Jesus to heal the sick, did it cause him proportionate weakness? pain? sickness? And can similar instances be cited of others to a less degree? Pp.125, 126.

(38) Should we say, then, that suffering is the wage of sin which our Lord bore for mankind? P.126, par. 2.

(39) How did our Lord pour out his soul unto death? What part of his experience paid our penalty? P.127, par. 1.

(40) When our Lord cried, "My God! My God! why hast thou forsaken me"? whom did he address? and what did the expression imply? Was such an experience necessary? If so, in what way? P.127, par. 2.

(41) What was the effect of these trying experiences? What purpose was served? Who will ever profit by them and how? P.128.

DECEMBER 13
THE MEDIUM OF THE ATONEMENT

(1) Why do we speak of "the man Christ Jesus" as the Medium of the Atonement rather than refer to the Logos, or pre-human One? P.129.

(2) In considering our Lord's genealogy as a man, what is the explanation of the conflict between the accounts in Matthew 1 and Luke 3? Explain why they differ and the value of the two, and why one says that Joseph was the son of Heli while the other declares him the son of Jacob? P.129.

(3) If Jesus was a descendant of King David by both Joseph's and Mary's lineage, to which is he really accredited? Quote the Scriptures proving the point. Pp.130-132.

(4) Why and how was the line of our Lord's descent changed from Solomon's to Nathan's? P.133.

DECEMBER 20

(5) When Jesus' mother poetically sang of the putting down of the mighty from their seats and the exalting of those of low degree, to what did she refer? P.133, par. 5.

(6) When did our Lord become the "righteous branch" of David's stock? When did he become David's root? What different thoughts do the two words express? P.134, par. 1, 2.

(7) In John 1:1 the Logos is referred to as a God; and in Matthew 22:43,44, we read: "Jehovah said unto my Lord (Master) sit thou," etc. What is the proper relationship of these statements? When did Christ become Lord both of the dead and living? (Rom. 14:9.) Pp.134-136.

DECEMBER 27

(8) When our Lord is styled the Second Adam, what feature of his work is referred to? P.137, par. 1.

(9) When did our Lord become the Second Adam and how and when will he regenerate the first Adam and his death-stricken family? Pp.137, 138.

(10) Did it cost our Lord anything to become the Second Adam? If so, what? P.138, par. 2; P.139, par. 1.

(11) How will the Lord's first work for his Church correspond with his whole work for the world by and by?

(12) How is the expression, "root and offspring," well illustrated in the Scriptural figure of Christ and the Church (a grape-vine)? Note and explain the figures. P.140.



page 334

Bibles, Testaments, Students' Helps, Etc.

SUPPLIED AT WHOLESALE COST PRICES


THIS LIST SUPERSEDES ALL PREVIOUS LISTS

Bible publishers announce that, owing to increased cost of material and labor, they have found it necessary to advance the price of many of the cheaper grades. IN presenting our list of Bibles this year, we have dropped a number which we previously carried and have selected others which we think more desirable. We give below a list which, although not very large, we think will cover a range sufficiently broad to suit the wants of nearly all. However, should any of the friends desire a more complete list to select from, we shall be pleased to mail publishers' catalogues upon postal card application. First in importance among Bibles we rank the

WATCH TOWER BIBLE
described on next page.


TEACHERS' BIBLES
No. (Add Postage on these, 20c each.) Pub. Our
04403 Minion, French Morocco, div. cir., round corners, Price Price
red under gold, references, 7-1/4 x 5 $1.35 $ .94
8301 Minion, French Morocco, div. cir., red under gold, illustrated, full teachers' helps, references, linen, 7-3/4 x 5-1/4 1.60 1.00
4412 Black Face Brevier--easy to read. Egyptian Morocco, div. circuit, head bands and marker round corners, red under gold, 5-1/8 x 7-7/8 2.30 1.25
(Add Postage on these, 26c each.)
8701 Long Primer, French Morocco, div. cir., red under gold, helps, references, concordance, illustrated, linen, 8-1/2 x 6 2.10 1.38
8702 Same as 8701, leather lined 2.50 1.58

COMBINATION TEACHERS' BIBLES

These Bibles show the variations of the Revised Version at the foot of each page. Otherwise they are ordinary "Teachers' Bibles," with maps, concordance, etc., illustrated.

(Add Postage on these, 28c each.)
610 Bourgeois, French Seal, div. cir., red under gold, 8 x 6 x 1-3/4 5.00 1.35
614 Same as 610, leather lined 6.00 1.63

LINEAR TEACHERS' BIBLES

Hitherto these Bibles have been sold by Subscription Agents only. Their special feature, differentiating from other Teachers' Bibles, is that they show the readings of the Common and Revised Versions side by side in the same line, self-pronouncing.

(Add Postage on these, 30c each.)
350 Small Pica, French Seal, red under gold, full teachers' helps, 8-3/4 x 6 x 1-1/2 6.00 2.10
360 Small Pica, Levant Morocco, kid lined, otherwise same as 350 10.00 4.25

POCKET BIBLES
(Add Postage on these, 15c each.)
01153 Ruby, French Morocco, round cor., red under gold, div. cir., text only, 5-1/2 x 3-7/8 x 1-1/8 .95 .63
01329 Same as 01327, leather lined to edge 1.60 1.05
194 Minion, French Morocco, div. cir., red under gold, text, 5-7/8 x 4 x 1-1/4 1.10 .75

INDIA PAPER POCKET BIBLES
093x "Mite" Bible (the smallest Bible) Venetian Morocco, div. cir., gilt edges with magnifying glass, 1-3/4 x 1-1/4 x 5/8 1.00 .75
(Add Postage on these, 8c each.)
01103 Diamond, French Morocco, div. cir., red under gold, text only, 4-1/2 x 2-1/2 x 1/2 1.40 .98
01112 Persian Morocco, leather lined to edge, otherwise as 01103 2.00 1.35
01157x Ruby, French Morocco, div. cir., leather lined, red under gold, text only, 5-5/8 x 3-7/8 x 9-16 2.00 1.35
03029x Pearl, Alaska Seal, div. cir., leather lined, silk sewed, red under gold, references, 5-1/8x3-7/8x5/8 3.25 2.15
03114x Ruby, Persian Levant, div. cir., leather lined, silk sewed, red under gold, references, 5-5/8x4x3/4 3.25 2.15
(Add Postage for these, 4c each.)
0612 Diamond, Persian Morocco, div. cir., leather lined, red under gold, text only, 3-3/4 x 2-1/2 x 7/8 2.25 1.55
02002x Brilliant, Persian Morocco, div. cir., leather lined, red under gold, maps (smallest reference Bible made), 3-5/8 x 2-1/2 x 5/8 2.50 1.70

INDIA PAPER BIBLES
(Add Postage for these, 15c each.)
8635 Minion, French Morocco, div. cir., red under gold, references, maps, 7 x 4-3/4 x 5/8 1.75 1.13
8636 French Seal, leather lined, otherwise as 8635 3.00 2.14
9635 Brevier, large face, French Morocco, div. cir., red under gold, references, 7-1/8 x 5 x 1 2.75 1.90

THUMB INDEX ON A BIBLE, 25c EXTRA
INDIA PAPER BIBLES--(Continued)
9636 French Seal, silk sewn, leather lined, otherwise as 9635 4.00 2.85
03265x Minion, Levant Morocco, div. cir., calf lined silk sewed, red under gold (thinnest minion reference Bible), 6-7/8 x 4-3/4 x 5/8 4.25 2.85
03274x Minion, Alaska Seal, div. cir., leather lined, silk sewed, red under gold, references, index, concordance and maps, 6-7/8 x 4-7/8 x 7/8 4.50 3.00
03554x Brevier, black face, Alaska Seal, div. cir., leather lined, red under gold, references, index, self-pronouncing, concordance and maps, 8-1/8 x 5-1/2 x 7/8 5.50 3.60
03581x Long Primer, black face, same as 03554x, 7-3/4 x 5-1/4 x 15-16 6.00 4.00
0865-1/2x Long Primer, Levant, div. cir., calf lined, silk sewed, red under gold, teachers' helps, arranged as cyclopedic concordance, 7-3/4 x 5-1/4 x 1-1/8 8.35 5.25

AMERICAN STANDARD REVISED BIBLE
(Add Postage on these, 20c each.)
160 Bourgeois, Cloth, references 1.00 .80
172 Bourgeois, Egyptian Seal, references, red under gold, div. cir. 2.00 1.60
(Add Postage on these, 30c each.)
260 Long Primer, Cloth, references, 8-3/4 x 6-3/4 1.50 1.15
272 Long Primer, Egyptian Seal, references, red under gold, div. cir., 8 3/4 x 6 3/4 3.00 2.25
(Add Postage, 15 cents each.)
Minion, black faced, reference edition, self-pronouncing, a fine edition--4-3/4 x 7.
152 Egyptian Seal, div. cir., red under gold 1.75 1.38
154 Persian Levant, leather lined to edge, otherwise same as 152 3.25 2.35
(Add Postage, 12 cents each.)
152x India paper edition of 152 2.75 1.97
154x India paper edition of 154 4.00 2.81

LAP BIBLES FOR THE AGED--References, Light
Weight, Large Print
(Add Postage on these, 25c each.)
2002 Pica, Cloth, red edges, 9-1/4 x 6-1/2 x 1-1/4 2.00 .90
2014 Pica, French Seal, limp, size same as 2002 2.75 1.43
2022 Pica, French Seal, div. cir., size same as 2002 3.50 1.75
2032 Arabian Morocco, grained leather lining to edge, silk lined band and marker 6.00 2.80

CHILDREN'S ILLUSTRATED BIBLES
(Add Postage on these, 11c each.)
216 Minion, French Morocco, limp, red under gold, 5-3/4 x 3-5/8 1.15 .82
215B Minion, French Morocco, references, div. cir., red under gold, 7-1/4 x 5-1/4 x 7/8 1.50 .85

TESTAMENTS
(Add Postage on these, 3c each.)
2113 Nonpareil, French Morocco, limp, gold title, side and back, gold edges (vest-pocket edition), 4-3/8 x 2-7/8 x 1/2 .40 .22
2113P Same as above, with Psalms .50 .27
2115 Same as 2113, with div. cir., and red under gold .56 .30
2115P Same as 2115, with Psalms .66 .35
013RL Same as 2113, with words of our Lord in red letters .60 .33
015RL Same as 013RL, with div. cir., red under gold .80 .42
2142X Nonpareil, French Seal, limp, grained leather lining, red under gold, gold roll (thin), 4-3/8 x 2-3/4 x 3/8 .85 .43
2142PX Same as 2142X, with Psalms 1.00 .50
010 Diamond, Venetian Morocco, limp, gold edges, 3-3/4 x 2-1/4 x 1/4 .50 .35
014 Diamond, Arabian Morocco, div. cir., leather lined, red under gold, India paper, 3-3/4x2-1/4x1/4 .90 .65
(Add Postage on these, 5c each.)
287 Brevier, Roan leather, flexible, gold edges, with Psalms, 6-1/4 x 4-1/2 .42 .42

NEW TESTAMENTS FOR THE AGED
(Add Postage on these, 10c each.)
212 Small Pica, Roan, square cor., 5-3/4 x 8-1/4 .45 .45
283 Same as above, with Psalms, 8-1/4 x 5-1/2 x 3/4 .50 .50

REVISED TESTAMENTS
0100 Brevier, Cloth, red edges, 16 mo., including postage .23

TEXT BIBLES
(Postage, 7c)
178 Agate type, cloth, red edges, 4 x 5-3/4 .17 .17
(Postage, 12c)
131 Nonpareil type, cloth, red edges, 5-1/4 x 7-1/4 .25 .25


page 335

CONCORDANCES AND OTHER BIBLE STUDY HELPS

First in this list we mention the several volumes of

"STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURE" SERIES
--referring inquirers to the second page of each issue of this journal for prices, etc. We commend also, as aids, the following publications by other presses, which we supply at specially low prices because of the assistance they will lend to the study of God's Word. We mention these somewhat in the order in which they seem to us to be desirable aids.

THE WATCH TOWER BIBLE
STUDENTS' EDITION

We specially recommend this Bible for its smallness of size, lightness of weight and good-sized print, and above all for the helps to Bible students and teachers bound with it. Printed on India paper; excellent press work. Its special feature distinguishing this Bible from all others is ITS BEREAN BIBLE TEACHERS MANUAL Part I.

Brief Scripture Commentary based on expositions of Dawn-Studies, ZION'S WATCH TOWER and Brother Russell's published sermons, tracts, etc., with references to these for fuller comments.
Part II.

INSTRUCTORS' GUIDE TEXTS

Texts topically arranged for use in teaching divine plan privately or publicly.
Part III.
BEREAN TOPICAL INDEX
Part IV.
DIFFICULT TEXTS EXPLAINED

SPURIOUS PASSAGES NOTED

WHOLESALE PRICES
IN ANY QUANTITY
POSTAGE, OR EXPRESSAGE INCLUDED

MINION TYPE EDITION, 4-1/2 x 6-3/4 inches. Sample of Type in our October 1 issue.

No. 1918--So-called French Seal,
red under gold, round-cornered,
divinity circuit, linen-lined....$1.65
No. 1928--Same as 1918, bound in
Levant Morocco, fine-grained,
very durable, leather lined...... 2.50

BOLD-FACED TYPE EDITION.
SAMPLE OF TYPE IN OCTOBER 1 ISSUE,
PAGE 302, SIZE 5-1/2 x 7-1/2 INCHES.

No. 1938--The Helps in this Bible
and the binding are exactly the
same as in the above described
No. 1928. (We have these only
in the better binding "Levant
Morocco.") Price................$3.00
No. 1948--This Bible is exactly
the same as No. 1938, except
that it contains additional matter
desired by some, namely:
the Bagster Concordance, etc.,
which adds to its bulk. Price... 3.25

Patent index 25 cents extra, but we do not advise this on so small a book. The above very special price was secured only by our placing a very large order--10,000 copies. This is probably the largest-sized single order ever placed for India paper Bibles.

DAILY HEAVENLY MANNA
FOR THE HOUSEHOLD OF FAITH.

This publication, we believe, will be in great demand as soon as known. It is a text-book for each day in the year--and good year by year continuously.

But this is more than a text-book; it has an appropriate comment under each text selected from the columns of back issues of ZION'S WATCH TOWER.

Our new edition of the "Manna" contains the same texts and comments as the former one; but it has twice as many pages. Every alternate leaf is blank ruled, for use as an Autograph and Birthday record. It is printed on fine bond paper and bound in handsome dark blue cloth. It would be well worth $1.00 or more, in any book store. NEW PRICES, WHOLESALE AND RETAIL.

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

 1 copy, postpaid............................................   $ .35
10 or more copies, by express, prepaid, each.................     .30
10 or more copies, by freight or express, charges collect, each   .20

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

We hope this little book will find a place at every breakfast table; and that spiritual refreshment may thus be enjoyed with the natural food, stimulating thankfulness to the Giver of all Good and thus inducing the peace of God and favoring both spiritual and natural health and well-being.

THE EMPHATIC DIAGLOTT

This very valuable work, published under the author's copyright by Fowler & Wells Co., New York City, has been sold by them at $4 in cloth and $5 in half leather binding. For several years a friend, an earnest Bible student, desirous of assisting the readers of our Society's publications, has supplied them through us at a greatly reduced price; now he has purchased the copyright and plates from the Fowler & Wells Co., and presented the same to our Society as a gift, under our assurance that the gift will be used for the furthering of the Truth to the extent of our ability, by such a reduction of price as will permit the poor of the Lord's flock to have this help in the study of the Word.

REDUCED PRICES.--These will be sold with ZION'S WATCH TOWER only. In cloth binding $1.50 (6s. 3d.)--includes postage and, as a Premium, one year's subscription, new or renewal, to Z.W.T. On thin paper, in full morocco leather, divinity circuit, red under gold edges, silk sewed, leather lined, $2.50 (10s. 6d.)--includes postage and one year's subscription to W.T.

THE TISCHENDORF NEW TESTAMENT

This is the ordinary Common Version in cloth binding. As footnotes it gives the reading of the three oldest Greek MSS., Sinaiticus, Vaticanus and Alexandrine, wherever these differ from the Common Version. This is a very valuable little work, published in Europe, which we specially import for the benefit of our readers. Price, 50c., including postage.

LEESER'S TRANSLATION OF THE OLD TESTAMENT

This is the standard translation amongst English reading Hebrews, by one of their own rabbis. It is not perfect, but is a valuable aid in critical study of the Old Testament. Our special price, in leather binding, including postage, is $1.10.

ANALYTICAL CONCORDANCE TO THE SCRIPTURES

In English, Hebrew and Greek, by Prof. Young (Presbyterian). A valuable work for all critical students. Price, in cloth binding, $5, including postage. We are not permitted by the publishers to cut this price; but may and do give postage free and give besides a premium of any four volumes of the SCRIPTURE STUDIES series in cloth binding with each Concordance, or six volumes if purchaser pays the expressage.

THE EXHAUSTIVE CONCORDANCE TO THE SCRIPTURES

In English, Hebrew and Greek, by Prof. Strong (Methodist). This is also an able work and useful in critical study. It has some advantages over Young's; after getting used to it we prefer it. Special reduced prices,--in cloth binding, $3; half leather, $5. Carriage prepaid, 65c. extra.

CRUDEN'S CONCORDANCE TO THE SCRIPTURES

A valuable work, but scarcely necessary to those who have either of the above mentioned. English only. Cloth binding, $1, delivered.

SMITH'S BIBLE DICTIONARY

This is one of the most desirable editions of Prof. Smith's work. It is a large volume of 1020 pages. In cloth binding, $1.30, including postage.

"BIBLE TALKS IN SIMPLE LANGUAGE"

This is the best book of its kind we have ever seen. It presents the Bible stories in simple, but not childish language, and seems remarkably free from the bad theology so common in this class of books. All Christian parents should have a Sunday Bible lesson with their children, and this book furnishes interesting topics, to which may be added as much concordant "Present Truth" as the age of the children will justify. Parents are responsible for their children's training in theology as well as morals. This will assist you in the discharge of this duty, and thus be a blessing to yourself as well as to your children.

624 pages, 250 illustrations; cloth sides, leather back and corners, gilt edges. A subscription book at $3. Our special price, 75 cents, plus 25 cents postage.

SCRIPTURE STUDIES--INDIA PAPER

Calls for SCRIPTURE STUDIES divided into small portions, light convenient for the pocket, that could be read on the cars, etc., led us to prepare an India-paper edition. The entire volume is on this very fine paper reduced to three-eighths of an inch in thickness and about four ounces in weight. [The type is exactly the same size as in the regular editions.] It is a beauty. Leather covers, gold edges. Its cost, with postage, is now 75c each for the first three volumes and 85c each for the remainder per volume, at which price it is supplied to WATCH TOWER subscribers.

We have a Karatol (imitation leather) bound edition on poorer paper, but very choice, at 35 cents--first volume only.



page 337
November 1st

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

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

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

SEMI-MONTHLY
VOL. XXIX.NOVEMBER 15No. 22
A.D. 1908--A.M. 6037


CONTENTS.

The Nova Scotia Convention339
Pride, Ingratitude, Hypocrisy, Rebellion340
A Murderer of the Brethren340
"Just for Today" (Poem)342
Love in Return for Treachery342
Victory for the Right343
"The Lord is My Shepherd"344
"My Sheep Follow Me"345
"Green Pastures and Still Waters"346
Evil Speaking--Busy-Bodying--Truth-Hiding348
"Suffering as a Busy-Body"349
A Truth-Telling Obligation350
Don't Tell or You are a Tell-Tale351
Public Ministries of the Truth352

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 338

THIS JOURNAL AND ITS SACRED MISSION

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

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

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

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

TO US THE SCRIPTURES CLEARLY TEACH

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




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NEW BIBLES FURTHER DELAYED


We hope to begin shipping the New Bibles about Dec. 1st.

BROTHER RUSSELL'S SERMONS


FRIENDS WRITING approvingly to journals publishing Brother Russell's sermons, should word their letters so that if they were published the public would know to whose sermons they refer.

1909--MOTTO CARDS--1909


These are very handsome, made specially for our use. Velvety green card with inset flowers and text, and with a calendar pad, and a copy of "the Vow." Those preferring not to have the Vow can tear it out without damaging the calendar. Price, 15 cents each, includes packing and postage.

COLPORTEUR BAGS AND DAWN-MOBILES


Dear Sister Brown of Washington City, finding that canvas bags, to hang on the shoulder and under the coat, are a great convenience to Colporteurs, has gladly assumed the service of supplying these to the regular Colporteurs of our list free. She has supplied us with a lot, which we will be glad to forward to those not yet supplied.

Brother Cole's kind offer of Dawn-Mobiles free to Colporteur Sisters is still open. Others desiring to purchase the device may remit $2.50 for one, to be sent charges collect.

TABERNACLE SHADOWS--Leather, 50c; Cloth, 15c.



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THE NOVA SCOTIA CONVENTION
THE JOURNEY from Allegheny to Halifax and back was approximately 3000 miles--a long distance to go to a Convention where only comparatively a small number could be expected. However, the Nova Scotia friends were anxious for a Convention, as were also some of those at Boston born in Nova Scotia. This helps to account for the fact that 75 of the Boston friends attended. From various parts of Nova Scotia about 125 more completed the total of 200 in attendance. Everything considered this was an excellent turnout. We had a very enjoyable time and parted company, longing for the time when "those of like precious faith" will be forever with the Lord and with each other.

The Convention had been in session two days by the time of our arrival and continued two days more. The chairman was Brother Marchant, and discourses were given by Brothers Streeter, Bridges, Barker, Brenneisen, MacMillan and Russell on various features of the Divine Plan. Seventeen symbolized their consecration by water immersion, and when it came to the closing service--the LOVE FEAST--the blessings seemed to overflow out of all our hearts. The experience was both a solemn and happifying one, well calculated to remind us all of the perfect union with our Lord, in which we hope to join in the General Assembly of the Church of the First-Borns.

The largest attendance at the Convention was, of course, on the occasion of the discourse to the public, on "The Overthrow of Satan's Empire." The audience was variously estimated above 2000, but we accepted the most conservative estimate of 1200, and felt very glad that that number of people was privileged to hear [R4275 : page 339] of the "good tidings of great joy." The audience was a very intelligent one.

A GRAND TIME AT TRURO

The Truro friends bespoke the day following the Convention, and on its acceptance made considerable preparation. From the Halifax Convention a train-load of 140 went to Truro, a distance of about one hundred miles. Their presence was very gratifying to all concerned. On arrival we had time for a Colporteur meeting before noon, all participating, though the total number of Colporteurs present was twenty-five. In the afternoon we had a symposium on "The Principal Thing," participated in by sixteen brethren, to each of whom was allotted ten minutes, and between whom were divided the various items of interest pertaining to the Christian character, and what should be put on and what should be put off.

The High School chapel had been secured for the evening meeting, to which the public was invited by liberal advertising. It was the largest available auditorium, and it was crowded, over 600 being seated, while more than 100 stood during the two hours' services. Many of those familiar with the subject gave place to the people of the city by attending an overflow meeting. We believe that we never had any more thoughtful and attentive hearing. We trust that some good seed was sown in some good hearts. At the adjournment of the meeting at 10:30 p.m., a special train took back the friends who had come from Halifax and vicinity and Boston, while another train bore ourself and others in the opposite direction. The scene at the depot was very inspiring. Inside and outside the songs arose, "God be with you till we meet again," and "Blest be the tie that binds our hearts." The experiences of the day will long be remembered by us.

THE GATHERING AT BANGOR

A ride from 11:00 p.m. until 1:30 p.m. the next day brought us to Bangor, where we had accepted another invitation for a stop-over. We were heartily welcomed and generously entertained. The afternoon session for the interested was attended by about seventy, who had gathered from various districts around about, some of them residents of Quebec. The evening session for the public as in the Universalist meeting-house and there was an attendance of about 700, who gave strictest attention, and many of them indicated their endorsement of the presentation during the service, as well as afterward.

More goodbys and then a midnight train, which brought us to Boston the next morning and from there a ride of a day and a night returned us safely to Allegheny, weary but very thankful to the Lord for the privilege of service we had enjoyed and from the encouragement we had received from the loving zeal manifested by so many of the dear friends.



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PRIDE, INGRATITUDE, HYPOCRISY, REBELLION
--2 SAMUEL 15:1-12.--NOVEMBER 1.--

Golden Text:--"Honor thy Father and thy Mother, that thy days may be long in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee."--Exod. 20:12.

LESSONS may be drawn from the lives of the ignoble, as well as from those of the noble. As the poet says:--
"Lives of great men all remind us,
We should make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time."

This being so, then surely it is true also that the footprints of the evil-doers on life's pathway have lessons for us also, indicating to us which paths should be shunned, which elements of character should be restrained, which ambitions should be curbed. Following this course of instruction the divine Word holds up before the Spiritual Israelites not only noble precepts and counsels and examples of heroic devotion to truth and righteousness, but illustrations also of the course of evil-doers. Our lesson today belongs to this latter class. It considers Absalom, the son of King David, who at the time of this lesson was presumably nearly thirty years of age. His father, the Lord's anointed king over Israel, his mother, the daughter of a king of a neighboring realm, Absalom inherited princely qualities and manners and, being very beautiful, became a center of Israelitish pride. "In all Israel there was none to be so much praised for his beauty. From the sole of his foot, even to the crown of his head, there was no blemish in him"; and the hair of his head is a proverb to this day.

It is worthy of note that those who are highly favored by nature, richly endowed in appearance or mental ability, are subject to temptations to a far greater degree than their fellows who are less talented, less handsome. Their besetting weakness is apt to be pride, self-esteem, to which ambition is apt to lend a helping hand. Thinking of Absalom and his beauty and his high position in the kingdom, reminds us of Lucifer and the glorious description given of him in the Scriptures--his high position and honor and his pride and ambition and the downfall to which they led. The very suggestion of these two characters, from this standpoint should bring a thrill of fear to the hearts of all who realize that we today of Spiritual Israel are princes, highly favored of our Father, the Great King, and greatly blessed with the beauty and perfection which come to us through our justification and greatly honored of our Father in the gracious hopes set before us in the Gospel of glory, honor and immortality, and greatly blessed also in the light of divine revelation granted to us, which gives us a wisdom superior to that of the world.

What if these blessings and mercies and favors should have their wrong effect upon us and bring us eventually to disaster, as was the case with Absalom and with Lucifer? The thought is sufficiently appalling to remind us of the Apostle's words, "Let us fear, lest a promise being left us of entering into his rest [of becoming joint-heirs with our Redeemer], any of us should seem to come short of it"-- through a lack of loyalty, a lack of allegiance, a lack of faith, a lack of humility.

A MURDERER OF THE BRETHREN

It will be remembered that David's eldest son was Amnon, and that he had defiled his half-sister Tamar, the full sister of Absalom. King David, sorely vexed at the matter, appears to have been at a loss as to what manner of punishment he should properly meet out for the offense, so that two years passed without any being inflicted. Then Absalom took upon himself to be his sister's avenger. He made a feast, to which were invited all the King's children by his several wives. In the height of the feast, in disregard of the rules of etiquette and the claims of natural affection, Absalom slew his brother and then fled, from fear of justice, which, under their code, centered in his father, the King. What lesson is there in this experience for us? What should we copy? What avoid? In Spiritual Israel we are all princes, sons of the Great King, who is also the Judge. The lesson to us would properly be that the authority and responsibility for meeting out justice is not in our ambitions, but with the Father.

As the Scriptures declare, "Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord." We are not to wait what seems to us a proper length of time, and then, if we see no divine punishment for what we consider to be no longer tolerable, to take the matter in our own hands--to murder one another. Nay, the command of our Great Teacher is, "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another, even as I have loved you." The lesson for us to learn is expressed in the Master's words, See to the beam in thine own eye, rather than put thyself to too much inconvenience examining the mote that is in thy brother's eye. To his own Master he standeth or falleth.

The parallel would not imply that literal murder would here be accomplished amongst the Lord's children. No, thank God! The world is too far advanced in civilization to make such a course practicable; but where the Absalom spirit is-- the spirit of hatred, anger, envy, bitterness-strife is also. There is a modern method of assassination by the use of slanderous words, by insinuations, by the shrugging of the shoulders, etc. And this modern kind of murder is oftenest committed in the presence of the members of the royal family, the heavenly brotherhood. How terrible! do we say? Let us take heed that such blood-guiltiness, such "works of the flesh and the devil," be not upon us, else we shall never inherit the Kingdom.

THE UNGRATEFUL SON--TRAITOROUS

Absalom remained for three years at the court of his grandfather, Talmai, king of Geshun in Syria. By the murder of his elder brother he had put himself next to the throne of Israel, heir-apparent, and this, possibly, was considerably his inspiring motive in the crime, although he affected that the crime was committed in defense of justice and principle. Alas! how treacherous is the human heart! How frequently do we find double motives operating therein! We see the advantage of those who, as children of God, follow implicitly the Father's Word and leave all the results to him. They thus show their faith in God's power, as well as in God's justice, and thus, as the Apostle intimates, they show that they have become partakers of a holy spirit of wisdom-- "wisdom from above; first pure, then peaceable, easy of entreatment, full of mercy and good fruits," a spirit of wisdom which leaves in the Lord's hands his own matters and trusts fully to his care. This is indeed "The spirit of a sound mind." Let us, dear brethren of the Royal Spiritual Family, apply [R4276 : page 341] this principle in all of our dealings and thus receive thereby increasing blessings.

But Absalom realized that as an exiled prince his chances for acceptance as king of Israel would be comparatively small, in the event of his father's death. He therefore instituted an ingenious scheme by which his case was brought to his father's notice under most favorable conditions, and finally a respite or forgiveness or an invitation to return to his homeland was sent to him. As a continued showing of disfavor, his father, loving him the while, refused for two years to invite his wayward son to a personal visit and fellowship. Meantime the ambitious murderer skilfully managed his affairs so that, as the Scriptures declare, he "stole" the hearts of the men of Israel. He did not openly plot mischief against his father, the king, nor speak vilely respecting him, nor manifest any antagonism; he was too deep, too adroit, too wise with earthly wisdom for such a course. He stole the hearts of the people away from the king to himself by feigning extreme humility and extreme zeal for justice, and by careful attention to his personal appearance and by attention to those in influential positions. He got up early, contrary to the usage of princes, and went forth to the King's gate, where he could see the people who, some justly and some unjustly no doubt, were awaiting the king, hoping for contracts and decisions in their favor, etc. These, beholding the handsome and elegantly-dressed prince, bowed themselves to the ground after the manner of the east, only to be lifted up by the hands and kissed and told with affected modesty and love that they should not do that; that it was a king's business to serve his people and that the prince was merely sorry, so sorry, that it was not in his power to do for them all and more than they asked.

Thus for two years Absalom, the hypocrite and sycophant, endeavored (and was considerably successful in so doing) to draw to himself the love, the loyalty of the nation, which had belonged to his father David as the Lord's anointed. Evidently the young man was leaning to his own understanding and forgetting, if he ever knew, that the Lord God was the Ruler of that nation, and he alone had the power to designate who should be and who should not be his representative upon the throne.

ABSALOM'S OPEN REBELLION

Our text says, "After forty years," but scholars are agreed that this is a copyist's blunder and that it should read "four years." Some ancient authorities read this "four years"; so does Josephus. Feeling sure that his mock humility, combined with his handsome appearance, gentle manners and affected love for the people and for justice, worked successfully on the minds of the people, Absalom was ready for his next step--open rebellion against his father, the king of the nation and the appointee of divine providence. Surely he did not realize his situation in the odds of divine power against him. Continuing his practice of hypocrisy he requested of his father the privilege of visiting the neighboring city of Hebron, which had been the capital before Jerusalem was taken.

He said he desired to do sacrifice there in fulfilment of a vow. He affected to be very humble and very religious, while his heart certainly was far from the Lord. "Do men gather grapes of thorns or figs of thistles?" The king granted the request, which included the privilege of taking a certain number of companions and chief people from Jerusalem, without anything amiss being thought of it. What worldly wisdom this young man had! And how ignominiously his mock humility stands out to his discredit! And how his ingratitude to his father, and his lack of every element of principle and righteousness are conspicuous! For us, dear friends, to see in ourselves anything in any degree or measure apparently approaching such a picture, or in our course anything in any degree corresponding to this, should be to horrify us, to rebuke us, to quench the kindling fire.

Into the conspiracy was drawn King David's most valued counselor, Ahithophel, whose presence with the prince as one of his friends on the occasion would mean a tower of strength to his position and the attainment of his ambition. Many of the people, deceived for years, were drawn into this conspiracy. Besides, Absalom had carefully appointed men throughout the various tribes and various parts of the land district, who were posted for his designs and in full sympathy with them, and whose business it was to create a stampede in his favor, and to help by expressing evil insinuations against the king and expressing hopes of wonderful things, if Absalom took the kingship. These were to congratulate the tribes that they now had a most worthy king in Absalom, and to explain to them that when the trumpets were heard blowing this meant not that Absalom aspired to the kingship, but that he already was king.

Alas, that history shows so many perfidious characters like Absalom! And alas, dear friends, let us remember that while we have become New Creatures in Christ, we still have to contend with the mean, perfidious dispositions that were ours according to the flesh! Let us remember, too, that "we wrestle not with flesh and blood" merely, but additionally "with principalities and powers and wicked spirits in high positions." Let us on the contrary remember the Apostle's words, "Humble yourselves, therefore, brethren, under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time."-- 1 Pet. 5:6.

"My soul, be on thy guard,
Ten thousand foes arise;
The hosts of sin are pressing hard
To draw thee from the prize.

"O watch and fight and pray,
The battle ne'er give o'er;
Renew the conflict every day,
And help divine implore."

To those about to enter, or who have entered the narrow way, as well as to those who have already been on it for a time, there comes a suggestion that we must "mark well the pathway and make straight paths for our feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way." We are all lame according to the flesh; some more, some less, but all need to observe the heavenly course and to walk circumspectly, seeing that pride and ambition are the greatest of foes to humanity and faith. We are reminded here of one feature in the story of "Pilgrim's Progress": When Christian and Hopeful had escaped from the dungeon of Giant Despair and returned to the Highway leading to the Celestial City, they erected a monument near the entrance to Bypath Meadow, which had led them astray. On the monument they put the following words, "Over this stile is the way to Doubting Castle, which is kept by Giant Despair. He despises the King of the Celestial Country and seeks to destroy his holy Pilgrims."

Satan is the great giant who through these many centuries seeks to draw us away from the narrow path, away [R4276 : page 342] from full confidence in God and away from reliance on God's power and his wisdom and his Truth, by which alone we can ever become heirs of the Kingdom.

OUR GOLDEN TEXT

While fully commending the propriety of honor to earthly parents, and appreciating the Lord's promise of blessing to such as obey it, we have in mind that the Great King Eternal, the Creator, has adopted us into his family and given us the spirit of sonship whereby we cry, "Abba, Father." He has given us "exceeding great and precious promises, that by these we might become partakers of the divine nature" and sharers with our heavenly brother Jesus in his Messianic Kingdom. How we should honor him! How it should be the chief endeavor of life to us to glorify our Father in heaven! How we should hearken to his words and keep them before us--"If ye love me, keep my commandments!" How we should realize that the end of his commandment is Love--out of a pure heart, fervently! How we should realize that hereby we know that we love God, if we keep his commandments --and his commandments are not grievous unto us, if we delight to do his will! Of this character are the sons who, as copies of the Redeemer, will be the heirs of God, joint-heirs with Jesus Christ our Lord in his Kingdom. Let us make no mistake, but remember that the "Well-done" blessing will be given only to those who attain such a character development.


[R4283 : page 342]

"JUST FOR TODAY"
"Just for to-day!" O depths of faith,
I need to help me say,
"Thy Will be done"--"Thou leadest me,"
Just step by step today.
I do not know tomorrow's ills
Or joys--which may befall;
But whatsoever may betide,
Thy grace will cover all.

"Just for today!" O blessed thought
That cheers my fainting heart!
I cannot wander far from thee
If I but do my part,
Which is to trust and never fear
What man may do or say,
But only "look to thee in prayer"
And trust, "Just for today!"

"Just for today!" How many saints,
Now gone to their reward,
Have trod this narrow path of faith
By "Leaning on the Lord,"
Not knowing what each day might bring
Of joys or trials severe;
Not even caring, for by faith
They knew the Lord was near!

"Just for today!" Yea, all his flock,
His "Body," these "Last days"
Rejoice to follow in his steps,
And lift their hearts in praise.
For well we know "a little while"
Is all we have to stay.
How glad we are he helps us pray,
"Dear Lord, just for today!"

"Just for today!" This "Day of Trial,"
When Satan seeks to sift;
When God permits "such polishings"
We praise him for "the Gift"
Of One who's mighty to direct
The work, till he shall say
"Enough! the Jewel shines! 'Tis mine!
I'll gather it today!"

"Just for today!" Then, brethren dear,
Be neither weak nor faint,
But "watch and pray" to be kept free
From sin's dread power and taint
That ye with Christ may "live and reign"
Till sin and death shall cease,
And Earth shall have her Jubilee
Of Everlasting Peace!
W. Homer Lee.



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LOVE IN RETURN FOR TREACHERY
--II. SAMUEL 18:24-33.--NOVEMBER 8.--

Golden Text:--"A foolish son is a grief to his father."--Prov. 17:25.

KING DAVID, thoroughly unsuspecting Absalom's duplicity, was completely taken by surprise with the proclamation that Absalom was King of Israel, with Hebron as his capital. "To the pure all things are pure," writes the Apostle, and as David's heart was guileless towards his son, it was far from his thought to imagine such deceit and treachery as had been practised against him in a cunning and underhanded manner for two years preceding the opening battle.

Hearing that Absalom had started on his march of twenty miles toward Jerusalem, intent upon the capture of his father and the overthrow of his kingdom, King David hastily retreated, accompanied by his bodyguard of 600 men and a comparatively small number of people who manifested sympathy for him and went with him to share his fortunes. Doubtless several motives combined to lead up to this decision to retreat. (1) He wished to avoid, especially in his capital, the horrors of civil war. (2) He was overwhelmed with grief that his antagonist, his enemy, was his own son. (3) The evidences were plentiful about him that Absalom had stolen the hearts of the people and that his former friends had become his enemies, who now jeered at his discomfiture, and anticipated with evident pleasure the oncoming of Absalom and the establishment of his kingdom. "God is not in all his thoughts," says the inspired writer. (Psa. 10:4.) So evidently the people of Israel failed to think of what would be the Lord's will in the matter, and this was their great mistake.

That must have been the darkest day of King David's eventful life. Accompanied by his bodyguard, most of whom were foreigners--and of his own nation comparatively few with him--he fled from his own family and the capital city of his kingdom, which he had established, and from the people in whose interests he had given the best years of his life in harmony with the divine anointing. He fled from the face of the people who some years before had sung his praises as their deliverer from the hand of the Philistines-- "Saul hath slain his thousands, but David his tens of [R4277 : page 343] thousands." Poor old man! The street rabble cursed him and threw stones and dirt at him. Amongst the persecutors was one of Saul's sons, to whom David had shown great kindness, sparing his life and providing for his maintenance and comfort. Here certainly was an occasion for the trial of David's faith and patience and love. What he would have done in earlier life we cannot tell. His history in every place shows him to have been a man of well-balanced mind, but his chief protection was his possession of a Spirit of a sound mind, the spirit of consecration to the Lord, the spirit of faith and trust and loving devotion. Instead of threatening the mob or returning railing for railing, or in any way defending himself, King David gave instructions to his guard that no harm should be done to those who were speaking evil of him, slandering, smiting. "The cup which my father hath poured for me, shall I not drink it," were our Master's words in his dying hour (John 18:11), and we can see his spirit exemplified in King David, who typified him in some respects.

It is supposed that the fourth Psalm and portions of the third were written from the standpoint of David's experiences as an exile from his capital. Dean Stanley says, "It has been conjectured with much propriety that as the first sleep of that evening was commemorated in the fourth Psalm, so in the third is expressed the feeling of David's thankfulness at the final close of that twenty-four hours." The king's objective point was a fortified city, Mahanaim, on the east side of Jordan; but the little army camped on the west side for the night.

ABSALOM THE HEARTLESS

Starting from Hebron with 200 men, Absalom's army made rapid increase, the population evidently rising en masse to share his sedition. Alas for the weakness of humanity. This scene reminds us of our Lord's experience, of his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, the multitudes shouting Hosanna to the Son of David, and five days later shouting, Away with him, crucify him, release unto us Barabbas. They were Jews in both cases; but we have no reason to suppose that they were more fickle than others of our race.

Absalom had a triumphal entry into Jerusalem and quite probably was intoxicated with the success. The records of his doings, of the various ways in which he endeavored to cast dishonor upon his father and to arouse the bitter prejudice of the people about him, all correspond with the vain, treacherous, ignoble character which we see displayed in this young man of large opportunities. We, who belong to the King's sons of a higher plane, should search our hearts diligently and scrutinize critically our every thought and word and act to make sure that we are thoroughly loyal to the Lord, our Father, the Great King; that we are not self-seeking, nor humble merely in outward appearance, but humble of heart, and that we are fully desirous of doing the Father's will, and that his will is not grievous to us, but that we can sincerely say, "I delight to do thy will, O my God."--Psa. 40:8.

VICTORY FOR THE RIGHT

For three months the rebellion seemed to grow and prosper. The seeds of slander and disloyalty which Absalom had so carefully sowed through others, while quiet himself, had taken deep root in the hearts of many, who joined their cause with Absalom as rebels against the Lord and his anointed. The army of Absalom was increased rapidly from various quarters, while few came to the cause of King David. The size of Absalom's army is not stated, but can be conjectured from the fact that more than 20,000 wee slain, while apparently the great mass was discomfited and fled in the battle of the Wood of Ephraim. What may have been David's sentiments during these three months of trial of faith and love, we can merely conjecture; but we have every reason to believe that he was a victor along all these lines. His patience certainly was manifested. His faith must have held secure to the Divine promises that the Lord would not take from him his sure mercies; but that he would deliver him out of all evil. And as for his love, even for his wicked, treacherous son, it surely was very great, as we shall see.

The attack was evidently led by Absalom and his army, while David's forces were divided into three little bands under three of his able generals. Apparently with purpose they drew the battle into the woods, where their smaller forces would have the advantage over the attacking party. The result of the battle was the complete defeat of Absalom's forces, and the death of the latter. Riding on his mule through the woods, his head was caught between the forks of a branch, his mule going on, leaving him hanging by the head while the army was in rout. One of King David's soldiers found him, but would not kill him because the King had strictly charged all the soldiers before they left for the battle that they should do Absalom no harm. But when the soldier reported the matter to Joab, the King's chief general, the latter without hesitation slew the traitor, and at his command he was buried under a huge pile of stones.

"IS THE YOUNG MAN ABSALOM SAFE?"

King David had proposed going with his army, but wiser counsel prevailed, for because of his advancing age (about 62 years), and because of his grief, and because of his love for his enemy, he would not be so competent as others to have charge of the battle. Conforming himself to the advice of his generals and counselors, he remained at Mahanaim, waiting near the gate for tidings from the battlefield to be brought by couriers, runners. On a lookout, a watchman perceived one of the runners, and, recognizing him by his movements, announced that it was Ahimaaz. King David at once remarked, He is a good man and undoubtedly will have good tidings for us. (v. 27.) What a lesson there is in that very expression! As our Lord said, "A good man, out of the good treasure of his heart, bringeth forth good things." (Matt. 12:35.) On the other hand, from a bitter heart proceed bitter words, evil speaking, injurious arrows. Our lives should be so that all of our friends and acquaintances would be ready to say of us, He is a good man; his message will have something of consolation in it. He is never a strife-breeder, nor a heart-wounder, nor a betrayer of confidences.

When the runner reached the King, he prostrated himself to the King, saying, "All is well." This was indeed good tidings to the King, but we note his love for his dishonoring, treacherous, enmitous son, evidenced by his first inquiry, "Is the young man Absalom safe?" Some may consider that the King had a love for his son to the extent of weakness. We will not dispute that, but we will hold that if he must err on the one side or the other, it was far more pleasing to the Lord that he should love his enemy too much rather than too little. That loving expression gives evidence that the King had under divine discipline learned considerable of the "Love divine, all love excelling." If King David loved and pitied Absalom in his rebellious condition, how much more [R4278 : page 344] intently he must have loved him when he was in harmony; and so, if God so loved us while we were yet sinners that he gave his Son to die for us, how much more does he now love us since we are no longer aliens and strangers, but brought nigh by the precious blood and begotten of his holy Spirit through consecration, sanctification! (Rom. 5:8.) It does us good to see an illustration of great earthly love, because it pictures favorably to us the great lesson that the Master impressed by the words, "The Father himself loveth you."

With such an illustration before us of David's love for his son, we may safely surmise that to some extent he misrepresented the sentiments of his own heart during the two years after Absalom had been permitted to return from his foreign exile. The King refused to see him during that time, and thus possibly encouraged Absalom's defiance and hatred. We mention this because we believe there is a lesson in it for many parents. It has seemed to us frequently that for some reason parents are disposed to treat their children much more harshly than they really feel, and thus misrepresent to their children their real heart attitude of affection. Whatever severity or austerity may be necessary, whatever chastisements appropriate in dealing with children, all should be done in such a manner as to fully assure them always of the parent's love, and that the punishments inflicted are given with a view to duty, and for the good of the children. Justice is excellent, Wisdom is valuable, punishments are necessary, but above all, "Love is the principal thing." Let us, therefore, judge ourselves along the lines of this divine standard--our acts, our words, our very thoughts. Whatever acts, words or thoughts will not fully square with the purest of love will be injurious to us as well as to those upon whom they are exercised.

"O ABSALOM, MY SON, MY SON!"

The good messenger broke the news as gently as possible to the King. He knew of the general rout of the enemy and of the concourse in connection with Absalom; but instead of telling all that he knew and, drawing upon his imagination for details, his goodness of heart led him to say little except that there had been a victory and that it seemed a great tumult, but did not know all of the particulars. Presently Cushi, a second runner, came, announcing the death of Absalom. King David's heart was bowed with great grief. This was what he evidently had feared. He betook himself to a room in the tower, on the way sobbing, "O, my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!" Of these words one writer says, "There is not in all of the Old Testament a passage of greater pathos than this. The simple beauty of the narrative is exquisite; we are irresistibly reminded of him who, while he beheld the rebellious city of Jerusalem and thought of the destruction it was bringing upon itself, wept over it."--Luke 19:41.

The expression, "Would God I had died for thee," finds two parallels in the Scriptures. Moses, Israel's mediator under the Law Covenant, gave vent to a similar expression when the people had come under divine displeasure and were threatened of the Lord because of their sin. St. Paul gave utterance to a similar sentiment when he said, "I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen, according to the flesh." I could wish that I might be separated from membership in the glorious Church of Christ, and have my share with the earthly restitution class, if by the sacrifice I could bring to my kinsmen the great blessings of the Gospel privileges which they are missing. (Exod. 32:32; Rom. 9:3.) We are reminded here of the words of Longfellow, the poet:--

"There is no far nor near, there is neither there nor here;
There is neither soon nor late, in the Chamber over the Gate,
Nor any long ago,
Nor any cry of human woe,
'O Absalom, my son!'

"That 'tis a common grief, bringeth but sweet relief;
Ours is the bitterest loss, ours is the heaviest cross;
And forever the cry will be,
'Would God I had died for thee,
O Absalom, my son!"

If in Absalom's perverse course of vanity, treacherous sedition, and in its ruinous end we find a lesson respecting the undesirable, evil, godless way, in King David's course we find the opposite lesson of faith and submission and growth in grace, knowledge and love. In a previous lesson we have noted the fact that David committed a most awful crime, violating three of the divine commands most wantonly and inexcusably--coveting his neighbor's wife, committing adultery with her, and indirectly murdering her wronged husband. The Scriptures most pointedly condemn those sins, and intimate that the severe experiences which we have just recounted were permitted of the Lord to come upon him as retributive justice. Yet David's recognition of his sin and his penitence for it testify distinctly that at heart he was not a murderer and not an adulterer. The Lord who looketh at the heart approved him ultimately, while reprobating his misdeeds and permitting him to suffer therefor.

We can draw a great lesson and a profitable one from the lives of these two men without copying either of them. We are not to feel that it is necessary that the man who would preach temperance should be able to say, I was once a drunkard in the gutter; neither is it necessary for us to follow David into his sins in order to profit by the lessons taught us by his experiences.

"Happy the man who learns to trace
The leadings of Jehovah's grace."



[R4278 : page 344]

"THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD"
--PSALM 23.--NOVEMBER 15.--

Golden Text:--"The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want."--Psalm 23:1.

OF ALL the beautiful symbolic pictures which the Lord gave us through the Prophet David, none seems more forceful than that of the Psalm which constitutes our lesson. The eastern shepherd and his love and care for his sheep are given us as an illustration of our heavenly Father's care over us. It is true that our dear Redeemer was sent forth as the Good Shepherd who gave his life for the sheep, and by his death opened the door into the sheep-fold of divine love and favor and rest and peace. This was a favorite picture that our Lord Jesus gave us of himself: "I know my sheep, and am known of mine"; "My sheep hear my voice, and they follow me"; "A stranger will they not [R4278 : page 345] follow, for they know not the voice of a stranger." The Apostle followed the same thought when speaking of our Lord's return. He refers to him as the Good Shepherd of the flock: "For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls." (1 Pet. 2:25.) The same thought is maintained when the elders of the Church are referred to as pastors and "overseers of the Church of God."--Acts 20:28.

But while it is refreshing for us to take a comprehensive view of the divine favor and care manifested in provisions made for our welfare as the Lord's sheep, it is well that we should ever keep in mind that the under-shepherds do not own the flock, and that their value to the flock as overseers consists in their faithfulness in making known to the sheep the message of the Great Shepherd and, to the extent of their ability, communicating his tone and his spirit with his Word. The faithful of these, like the Apostle, may urge, "And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord."-- 1 Thess. 1:6.

On the other hand the sheep are called upon to mark the spirit of the under-shepherds, whether or not it comports with that of the Chief Shepherd, so that they be not led astray. They are to try the spirits of those who pose as pastors or under-shepherds, to note whether they be of God or whether they speak of themselves; whether their words and deeds are according to love or according to selfishness. They are enjoined to note these under-shepherds who feed upon the flock, but do not feed the flock.

Examining our text critically, we perceive that the Shepherd is not any of the under-shepherds, nor even our Lord Jesus, but the heavenly Father. The Hebrew word here rendered Lord is Jehovah. This fact greatly enhances the value of the entire picture. While it is proper for us to love all the sheep and the "under-shepherds" and the "Good Shepherd" of the flock, it adds to our joy to know who is the "Great Shepherd" and to hear the "Good Shepherd," his Son, assure the sheep of the Father's love, saying, "The Father himself loveth you." How wonderful that the heavenly Father, surrounded by the sinless angelic hosts, should feel an interest and a care for his human sheep of the earthly plane, who, through Adam's disobedience, were plunged into death; and how precious to us is the knowledge that at great cost he sent his Son to be our "Good Shepherd," and to bring back to the divine fold all of the sheep that are desirous to return!

"OTHER SHEEP I HAVE"

Our Lord Jesus declares, "Other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, that there shall be one fold and one Shepherd"--ultimately. Those other sheep we understand to be the Restitution flock, which, during the [R4279 : page 345] Millennial Age, the Lord will shepherd, gathering to his right hand of favor the willing, obedient class, who will ultimately be ushered into the blessings he has provided for the good sheep. The wayward goats he will ultimately destroy in the Second Death. We are glad, indeed, that the light of Present Truth shows us clearly that the thousands of millions of heathen and ignorant that have gone down into the prison-house of death are neither to suffer eternally nor to be hopelessly destroyed, but are to be awakened and granted full opportunity to come to a knowledge of the "Good Shepherd" and to be guided by him into the path of life, by the following of which, with his assistance, they may be fully recovered from all the imperfections entailed upon them by the fall.

But we are specially glad to know of the "little flock" which the Lord is now selecting from the world, and we are specially glad to be privileged to join its numbers now and our Redeemer-Shepherd" through evil report and through good report," whithersoever he may lead us in the "narrow way" of self-sacrifice. We rejoice that we hear his encouraging voice; that our present trials and difficulties are all foreseen; that he knoweth the way that we take, and that he is able and willing to make all things abound to our highest good. It gives us special comfort to have this assurance that the "Trial of our faith is much more precious than that of gold"; and that as the metalurgist would carefully watch the gold tried in the fire, lest it should be destroyed by too intense a heat, so our Lord, our Shepherd, will watch over the interests of those that are his, and not suffer us to be tried above that we are able, but with every temptation will provide a way of escape. And if, perchance, our pathway may entail special trials, we have the "Good Shepherd's" assurance that these should be considered as "light afflictions" in comparison with the blessings to which they lead; that if rightly received they will work out for us "A far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory."

"MY SHEEP FOLLOW ME"

Our lesson relates, not to the flock of the future, but to the one of the present--the "little flock" which the Lord, during this Gospel Age, is now gathering out of every nation, people, kindred and tongue. It is the Father's flock, and his Son, our Redeemer, represents him, as he tells us, "As I hear, I speak"; "I came to do the will of my Father in heaven." Thus the Shepherd's Son fully and completely represents the Great Shepherd; as he says, "All mine are thine, and thine are mine." And again, "Thine they were, and thou gavest them me."

The wealth of our relationship to the "Great Shepherd" and his Son increases in our appreciation in proportion as we grow in knowledge. As our Redeemer said, "This is life eternal, that they might know thee and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."--John 17:3.

"No good thing will he withhold
From sheep which stray not from his fold."

How comforting is the declaration, "I shall not want!" Our Lord illustrates this lesson by pointing out that a kind earthly father would not give a stone instead of bread, nor a serpent instead of fish, and so he assures us that our heavenly Father, much more loving and tender, will withhold from us nothing that will be for our good. We are to remember, however, that it is not as human beings that he does this, but as "New Creatures" in Christ Jesus. It is not the justified believer merely that is a member of this Little Flock at the present time, but the sanctified believer, fully consecrated to walk in the "Good Shepherd's" footsteps, to hear his voice and follow him. Our Lord informed us at the start that following him as his disciples, as his sheep of the Little Flock now being selected, must signify to us, as to him, worldly disfavor and opposition, not only from the prince of darkness, but also from those deluded by him and under the sway of his spirit of anger, malice, hatred, envy, strife, backbiting, slander, evil-speaking, etc. And in addition to these things we are to expect to contend with our own blemishes and weaknesses. Such a picture of the "narrow way" would indeed have terrified us had it not been for our Shepherd's [R4279 : page 346] assurance of succor in every time of need, and his assurance that these trials to the flesh rightly received would constitute a part of our development in the spirit and preparation for the "Rest that remaineth for the people of God."

"I shall not want" may be applied to the necessities of the present life. We are assured that "No good thing will he withhold from us;" but he specially means that we shall not want, not lack the disciplines, the trials, the instructions, the encouragements, the reproofs, and the assistance necessary to our attainment to all "The glorious things that God hath in reservation for those that love him." The only condition connected with this promise is that we shall abide in his love, abide in his flock, continue to hearken to his voice and to follow his directions. How dangerous then to all of the true sheep would be any measure of worldly ambition, pride or self-esteem! How necessary that the heart should be right, desirous of knowing and obeying the Shepherd's voice! With what care should the sheep scrutinize the motives which actuate their daily conduct, their words and the thoughts of their hearts!

"GREEN PASTURES AND STILL WATERS"

Professor G. A. Smith says, "A Syrian or an Arabian pasture is very different from the narrow meadows and fenced hillsides with which we are familiar. It is vast, and often virtually boundless. It has to be so, for by far the greater part of it is desert--that is, land not absolutely barren, but refreshed by rain for only a few months, and through the rest of the year abandoned to the pitiless sun that sucks all life out of the soil. The landscape the Psalmist saw seemed to him to reflect the mingled wildness and beauty of his own life. To him human life was just this wilderness of terrible contrasts, where the light is so bright, but the shadows the darker and more treacherous; where the pasture is rich, but scattered in the wrinkles of vast deserts; where the paths are illusive, yet man's passion flies swift and straight to its revenge; where all is separation and disorder, yet law sweeps inexorable, and a man is hunted down to death by his bloodguiltiness."

More and more as "New Creatures" we are learning to appreciate the barrenness of worldly hopes and ambitions and knowledge. And more and more we should be giving heed to the leadings of the "Good Shepherd," who is guiding his flock of "New Creatures" for their spiritual refreshment through the labyrinth of the "present evil world." Those sheep which keep nearest to the Shepherd secure the fattest and richest experiences and refreshments. On the contrary, the sheep which stray looking for pastures green on their own account, or following the voice of false shepherds, are the ones that are likely to become hungry and eat of the poisonous growths and fall into the pitfalls of sin and be devoured by the ravenous beasts of passion and worldliness. Happy is the sheep who learns to know the voice of the true Shepherd, and whose faith is such that he follows closely and not afar off!

LYING DOWN IN GREEN PASTURES

To lie down is to be at rest, to be happy. This is the privilege of all the Lord's true sheep. Outwardly they may be distressed and "on the run," assailed by the world, the flesh and the Adversary, but as "New Creatures" they may be at rest, at peace, because of their nearness to the Lord, the Shepherd, and because of their faith in his overruling providence, which is able to make "all things work together for good." "Great peace have they that love thy law, and nothing shall offend (stumble) them." These let the "peace of God rule in their hearts...and are thankful." It is to these that our Lord's words apply, "My peace I give unto you....Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid."

This rest, this peace of heart, is absolutely essential to our development as "New Creatures," even as the crystals are deposited from the liquids when they are quiet and not when they are in agitation. So the crystalline character which God is developing in us absolutely demands that a condition of rest, peace, quietness of heart, shall be attained; and to the attainment of this condition patience, faith and love, the chief graces of the spirit, are necessary.

THE LABYRINTH OF LIFE

"A labyrinth is a species of structure full of intricate passages and windings, so that when once entered it is next to impossible for an individual to extricate himself without a guide. The one in ancient Egypt, near Lake Moeris, was composed of twelve great palaces containing, according to Herodotus, three thousand chambers and halls. The palaces were connected by courts, around which ran a vast number of most intricate passages. Around the whole was a wall with only one entrance."

"Some years ago," writes Hawthorne, "a minister was rambling in the famous labyrinth of Henry VIII, at Hampton Court near London, where the common children's puzzle is wrought out on a large scale by paths between high and thick evergreen hedges. He wandered about if for a time, but when the time for closing drew near, with all his efforts he could not find his way out, and he feared that he might have to remain all night. At last he looked up, and saw a man in the tower in the center of the labyrinth who had been watching him all the time, and waiting to catch his attention. The eye above could see all so hidden from the man within, and soon guided him out of his difficulties. [R4280 : page 346] Visiting this labyrinth with Deacon Olney, we purchased a chart for our guide, remembering my friend's experience. When the time came for us to find our way out, we took the chart, and by careful study and exactness in following the designated way, we threaded the mazes of the labyrinth with success. Life is such a labyrinth. No person knows enough to guide his course unaided. He cannot see where the paths lead. The picture of the future is a sealed book to all."

One of the important lessons for every sheep to learn is need of the Shepherd's care and guidance through the labyrinth of life. "Who is sufficient for these things," writes the Apostle. Then he declares, "Our sufficiency is of God"--in Christ. He who redeemed us has gone the way before us and directed that we walk in his steps. Those who become so wise in their own conceits that they fancy there are nearer ways and shorter cuts and more flowery ways to Paradise are deceiving themselves. If those who recognize the message and are walking in the Master's footsteps and are walking circumspectly, neglect these and become overcharged with the world and earthly ambitions and joys and toys, they are surely unwisely selling the glorious heavenly birthright for a mess of earthly pottage. On the contrary, he who carefully follows the Master, experiences the truth of the declaration, "He restoreth my soul." Some find their [R4280 : page 347] spiritual strength refreshed as they walk in the paths of righteousness in which the Lord leads. He leads them "for his name's sake." This is one of the considerations. Our Lord, the Shepherd, has undertaken to do a shepherding work; to gather a flock. His promise is involved; his honor is at stake! We may be sure that not only because of his love for us will he guide us aright, but because it would be a dishonor to him to make the slightest mistake in respect to our guidance. He is the Faithful Shepherd. The angelic hosts are watching and learning lessons in respect to all this shepherding of the flock through the narrow way. "Which things the angels desire to look into."--1 Pet. 1:12.

"THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW OF DEATH"

This valley was entered by our race because of our first parents' disobedience. We have been in the valley more than 6000 years. The shadow of death has been over the human family, and its accompaniments of sickness, pain and sorrow have extended to every creature, so that the Apostle truly said, "The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together, waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God"-- waiting for the uplifting power of the Millennial Age, waiting for the sons of glory, Jesus Christ and his Church, to bring the promised Restitution and uplifting out of "the valley of the shadow of death" back to the heights of light and love and the divine likeness.

The fear of evil, of trouble, of disaster hangs over the world and is accentuated by its ignorance of God and of the future. Satan, taking advantage of this spirit of fear in the fallen race, has so terrorized mankind with horrible pictures of purgatory and eternal torment as to thoroughly separate the human heart, if possible, from its Creator, while feigning to be its Shepherd. Under the influence of "doctrines of devils," the Adversary has made God's character and his Book repulsive to mankind in general and well-nigh quenched their love, while fanning their fears.

Our text represents the true sheep as saying, "I will fear no evil." How appropriate; how true! Weak and poor and insufficient and surrounded by foes, we nevertheless need not fear, and the developed sheep does not fear what the demons may seek to do, knowing that "all power in heaven and earth" is in the hands of our Shepherd King, and that he is directing our ways, and has guaranteed that our every experience shall work out a blessing, and that in permitting trials he merely designs our correction and instruction in righteousness and to draw us nearer to himself and make us copies of his Son, to the intent that by the First Resurrection change he may take us to himself and give us a share in the Millennial Kingdom. Ah! how true it is that we do not fear --because the Shepherd is with us! We have his promise, "Lo, I am with you, even to the end of the age." And furthermore we have the light of his Word, showing that the Shepherd is to be present with his sheep and to care for them and develop them.

"THY ROD AND THY STAFF COMFORT ME"

The shepherd's rod or club was of hard wood, sometimes open and preferably of the shape of a golf stick, except that it was shorter and much heavier. With it the shepherd was prepared to defend the flock, combating every foe. The staff was lighter and more like a cane and longer, with a crook at the end. With its point the shepherd at times prodded the sheep that were careless, and with the hook he sometimes helped out one that had stumbled into the ditch, by putting the crook under its forelegs. Our Shepherd, too, has a rod for our enemies and a staff for his sheep--the one for our protection, the other for our relief and assistance and correction. How glad we are to know that all power is committed unto him in heaven and in earth and that under his protecting care nothing shall by any means harm us! What a comfort is here! No wonder that under such circumstances the sheep may enjoy "the peace of God which passeth all understanding," resting themselves, comforting themselves in the assurance that all things shall be overruled for their eternal welfare!

"THOU PREPAREST A TABLE FOR ME"

The picture of the shepherd and the sheep has been gradually fading, and now is in the past. Instead of pastures and the water-brooks we now have the table and the cup. We hear the under-shepherds say, "This is the Bread which came down from heaven, and this cup is the blood of the New Covenant." He whose name is the Truth gave us his flesh to eat. He sacrificed his earthly interests that we might partake of them through faith and be justified thereby and appropriate to ourselves more and more the benefits of his sacrifice. He passes to us the cup of his suffering, his shame, his ignominy, his death, saying, "Drink ye all"--drink it all. By thus appropriating the merits of his sacrifice and participating with him in his sufferings we are his sheep; or, in another figure, we are the branches of the True Vine; or, under another figure, we are members of his Body and he the Head; or, under another figure, he is our Bridegroom and we his Bride. This provision is made for us in the presence of our enemies.

"Marvel not if the world hate you," said our Master. Yet even in the presence of the opposition of the world and our Adversary and all of the besetments of the hosts of demons, we are privileged to partake of these rich blessings and privileges! Yea, even in the presence of our besetments of the flesh, which are also our enemies, we can feast with our Lord and naught can make us afraid. All this has been true throughout the Gospel Age, but it is all accentuated now in this harvest time by reason of our Lord's presence in the consummation of the age.

In harmony with this promise of the Scriptures, to all who open their hearts to receive him, he comes in and sympathizes with them. Yea, he girds himself as a servant and comes in and serves us, setting before us rich things from his storehouse--things new and old. Under this service all the old truths become fresh and appetizing, refreshing and strengthening. And new truths are ours, fitting to the peculiar time in which we are living and the special trials and tests now due to come upon the Lord's faithful brethren. They are ushered into the eternal Father's presence, where is fulness of joy forevermore.

MY HEAD ANOINTED, MY CUP OVERRUNS

Let us not spoil this beautiful picture with any thought of anointing a sheep's head, etc., but rather take the higher and grander and nobler view that our Lord Jesus is the Christ, the Anointed; and that his anointing was typified by the anointing of Aaron with precious oil (which typified the holy Spirit), which ran down his beard and unto the skirts of his garment. Let us think of this as the holy Spirit of Pentecost, which has anointed all the sheep which have come [R4280 : page 348] into the fold and the Body of Christ. Let us appreciate this anointing and abide under it, allowing it more and more to be what the Apostle terms an unction from the Holy One, affecting our every talent and power and bringing them all into subjection to the divine law of love.

"Let my eyes see Jesus only;
Let my feet run in his ways;
Let my hands perform his bidding;
Let my tongue speak forth his praise."

"My cup runneth over." Our Master's cup was one of suffering, ignominy, shame and death. We partake of it. It becomes our cup also; but he promises us a new cup of joy and rejoicing, which he will share with us fully in the Kingdom. That cup of joy and peace and divine favor and blessing our Master partook of by faith. And we now also have the same cup full to overflowing; but we cannot appreciate it fully until we shall be changed and made like our Head and share his glory. By faith we can enjoy it now and realize that it is full to overflowing. And our joys in the eternal future will be exceedingly and abundantly more than we could have asked or thought.

"GOODNESS AND MERCY PURSUE ME"

"Surely goodness and mercy shall pursue me all the days of my life." This appears to be the stricter translation and it contains a beautiful thought. These sheep of the Lord's "little flock"--these "New Creatures" of Christ Jesus, instead of being pursued by fears and terrors and trapped and ensnared, are following the Good Shepherd and hearkening to his voice; and, according to his promise, God's goodness and mercy are pursuing them, keeping after them, watching over them, assisting them, caring for them, upholding them in trials. These are the messengers of the Lord, of which the Apostle wrote, "Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister unto those who shall be heirs of salvation?" Surely this is so. Looking back we can praise the way in which goodness and mercy have pursued us, never leaving us!

"Angels watch him on his way
And aid with kindly arm;
And Satan, seeking out his prey,
May hate, but cannot harm.
O, child of God; O, glory's heir;
How rich a lot is thine!"

The conclusion of the whole matter--the end of the journey, is what? To occupy a place in the heavenly mansions in our Father's house! What a glorious consummation to the grandest of all hopes! Why should we murmur or complain at the roughness of the journey which will bring us to such a glorious goal? Let us say with the Psalmist:--

"What shall I render unto the Lord my God for all his benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows unto the Most High!"



[R4281 : page 348]

EVIL SPEAKING--BUSY-BODYING--TRUTH-HIDING

"Speak evil of no man." (Titus 3:2.) "Let none of you suffer as a busy-body in other men's matters." (1 Pet. 3:16.) "Speaking the truth in love."--Eph. 4:15.
ALL Christians who have made advancement in the development of the graces and fruits of the Lord's Spirit accept as true the texts of Scripture cited. They cheerfully admit the correctness of the points these texts set forth, and agree that it is their duty and the duty of all Christian people to very carefully, very rigidly follow these divine instructions. But, strange to say, it appears that in the majority of minds the reasoning faculties become more or less entangled so that very wrong constructions are put upon the words of heavenly wisdom. The result is that many of the Lord's dear people find the Episcopal confession fitting to them. "We have done those things which we ought not to have done, and we have left undone those things which we ought to have done." One peculiar feature connected with the matter is that some of the Lord's dear people, sincerely desirous of doing his will and naught else, after making blunders and getting into a great mess of trouble, fail to discern wherein they erred; hence with them the experience has brought no lesson, and instead of being helps and bright-shining lights they are stumbling-blocks to a considerable degree and thus offset largely the good they desire to do, or perhaps really do accomplish. It will be clearly understood, then, that the object of this dissertation is not to hurt, wound, offend, but to assist the members of the Body of Christ to accomplish more fully the essence of their covenant with the Lord and the desire of their hearts.

"WHAT IS EVIL SPEAKING?"

We answer: That to speak anything that is derogatory respecting another, to tell things uncomplimentary of them, is evil speaking. Some have the impression that evil speaking is lying and consider that speaking the truth is always in order. This is a misconception. The speaking of anything that is prejudicial to the character of another, whether it be truth or falsehood, is evil speaking in the proper acceptance of that term. The Lord's Spirit, as well as his Word, forbids evil speaking because the Lord's Spirit is the spirit of love and kindness, and evil speaking, true or false, is repudiated by love, is contrary to love, is born of some evil motive, either busy-bodying and gossiping, or, worse still, malice, envy or strife, and all of these the Apostle designates in his list of "the works of the Devil."

It is said that there are "exceptions to every rule," and so there are to this one. For instance, if you were a witness to a murder, a theft, or any other heinous crime, it would be a duty to society to speak of the evil, to report it to the proper authorities, the mayor, chief of police, or whoever. This would be evil speaking, it is true, but this is an exceptional case and requires exceptional treatment. It does not, therefore, imply any wrong motive on your part in respect to the wrong-doer --anger, hatred, malice or strife, but is called for by the interests of society and your appreciation of the spirit of love to them. Indeed, in some States the law holds a silent witness as jointly responsible with the principal offender. In the Church also there is an exception noted in the Scriptures, namely, that if the trespass be of sufficient importance and likely to break our fellowship with the offender we may go to him and discuss the matter with him alone--not with a view of judging him, condemning him, etc., but with the object of helping the brother out of some view of matters or course of conduct that seems to us to be wrong, sinful, [R4281 : page 349] contrary to the Word of God. Before going to him or her, we are to make self-examination to see that we are not in a fault-finding mood, and that the matter is one that really concerns us, either in our personal relationship to the brother or in our mutual relationship to the members of the Church of Christ, whose interest we believe might be injured by the brother's course. We should go kindly and with the hope in our hearts that the matter which seemed strange and in violation of God's Word might prove upon explanation to be nothing of the kind.

We are to go hoping that in any event the Lord will bless our mission, not to the injury of the brother or sister, but to his or her comfort, succor, deliverance from what we believe to be a wrong course. It is only after we have taken this step and the wrong course is persisted in, either to our injury or to the injury of the Church--only then are we permitted to speak to another of the thing which we consider to be an evil. Even then the speaking must be done in the presence of the accused, that he may have the fullest opportunity to present his view of the matter, as set forth in the Scriptures in Matt. 18:15-17 and explained in detail in DAWN-STUDIES, Vol. VI. If it were not so pitiable and so grievous an error it would be amusing to note how some conscientious brethren and sisters dodge this matter of evil speaking and seemingly its point entirely. For instance, one of these may say to another, "I have just heard something about Sister C which shocked me fearfully. I do not know what to think about it. I should like to have your advice, but of course I could not tell you what the matter is, for that would be evil speaking, which, as the Lord's follower, I would not be privileged to speak and you would not be privileged to hear." Poor, silly sheep! Such seem not to discern that they are at the time engaged in the very worst kind of evil speaking. In nine cases out of ten, if they would tell all that they know, the impression upon their auditor would not be one-tenth as bad as the one given. This serious error, which is doing so much harm in the whole world and amongst the Lord's people, is an evidence of two things: (1) A lack of reasoning power, (2) a lack of the spirit of love.

We are trying in this article to correct the first defect and to help some to reason more correctly; but it is not ours to help them over the second defect, their lack of love, which really lies at the foundation of the wrong. If they had loved the sister of whom they had heard the evil report, they would never have breathed a word of it to another soul, but would have gone directly to the condemned one in love and with a hope that the report was false, and would have told her, as a friend and as the spirit of love would prompt, all that they had heard or seen or misunderstood, and would have assured her that they hoped there was some explanation of it; but in no event should any hint of the matter escape them.

"SUFFERING AS A BUSY-BODY"

There are generally two sides to a matter. In nearly every instance in which one person violates the command, "Speak evil of no man," assistance is rendered by the one to whom the evil is told. He or she "draws the matter out" by questions or hints or suggestions or looks of interest or encouraging comments, etc. Undoubtedly such a hearer of evil is in the Lord's sight equally guilty with the speaker of the evil. The difficulty with both is that they lack the spirit of love, which the Apostle refers to, saying, "Charity thinketh no evil," but "covereth a multitude of faults." The first intimation that something scandalous or unkind is about to be said respecting another should lead us to shrink back and feel the fear and realize that the Adversary is near to assist in any evil work. The wise course, as already seen, would be to say promptly, "My dear Sister or Brother, excuse me, but are not you and I both the Lord's children, and can we not please God better and advance our own spiritual welfare more by giving heed to his Word and developing in our own hearts and minds the spirit of love, instead of back-biting and devouring one another? Let us think of each other's [R4282 : page 349] good traits, good qualities, as the Apostle would have us do." If such a proper course lose you the friendship of anyone it will be to your advantage, for if he or she were right-minded such kindly treatment would be helpful, and you would be at once advised that they fully agree with you and are also striving in the same direction.

How often have we heard people say, "Yes, indeed, I wish that I had never heard it! It has caused me a deal of trouble and suffering." These are the people mentioned by the Apostle--who are suffering as busy-bodies in other men's matters, contrary to the divine direction and the spirit of love. They are getting their deserts, and the chances are that they will do spiritual injury to themselves and also do spiritual injury to others through their busy-bodying. Few of us have time enough to attend to all of the affairs of the world and still give proper attention to our own. "Sweep before your own door" has become a proverb, the intimation being that those who pay great attention to their neighbors' affairs are neglecting home duties and responsibilities and that they are likely to get themselves into trouble in so doing. The Christian of advanced experience emphasizes the fact that he has quite a sufficiency of knowledge of evil in himself and his environment without making special search for the weaknesses and blemishes of others or for their liberties, which perhaps to him seem to be sin; as in the Apostle's case when he speaks of some who "Crept in to spy out our liberties." We may be sure that all to whom the Apostle referred were in a dangerous position by reason of their busy-bodying, and we may be equally sure that the same principle will always hold good. However good our intentions, none will be crowned for striving unlawfully.--2 Tim. 2:5.

There are some so constituted that it is second nature for them to attempt to regulate everybody else according to their own ideals and standards, forgetful of the fact stated by the Apostle, "To his own Master every servant stands or falls." Our limitations respecting what we may and may not do by way of interference in the affairs of others are very many. To some in olden times it was a terrible sin to eat meat such as was generally sold in public because it was previously offered to an idol. The Apostle took a larger, broader, truer view of the subject when he declared that the idol was nothing anyway, recognizing the fact that the offering of the meat to the idol could do the meat no harm. There were some, however, ready to spy in such matters and to busy-body themselves with other men's affairs, and some of these were perhaps stumbled by reason of their busy-bodying tendencies. The fact that the Apostle was very willing to yield to these weaker brethren and say that he would abstain from meat entirely does not prove that he was wrong and they right. It merely proves that he was large-hearted [R4282 : page 350] enough to forego his own liberties--which were in no wise condemned in the Scriptures--for their sakes because of their weaknesses, their lack of logic, and their weakness along the lines of busy-bodying. Our Lord addressed busy-bodies when he suggested that they were like the man who went to his neighbor and desired to help him to get a mote out of his eye, without being aware of the fact that he had a whole beam in his own eye. Jesus said to such, "First pluck out the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pluck out the mote out of thy brother's eye."--Luke 6:42.

A TRUTH-TELLING OBLIGATION

We have already pointed out that it is not permissible even to tell the truth where it would be slanderous or injurious or calculated to bring dishonor to our neighbor; that to tell the truth under such circumstances would be evil speaking from the Scriptural standpoint and forbidden, not only by the Word of the Lord, but by the spirit of love for the brethren, and that it would be wrong even to listen to such a statement, and that rather the one attempting such evil-speaking should be in love rebuked and helped to overcome the weakness. But there is a truth-telling which is in harmony with love. If a scandal-monger and back-biter and slanderer and evil-speaker has disclosed some matter to us, it is our duty not to repeat the matter and not even hint of it to others, but it is our duty to tell the matter and all that we know about it to the one who has been slandered, vilified, spoken against. Why is it our duty to do this? We answer, that the same spirit of love which would prompt us not to speak derogatively of another to others should prompt us to tell the aggrieved one the facts: (1) It will put him on his guard and assist him in overtaking the falsehood or misrepresentation, and all lovers of the truth and righteousness should be glad to assist in such a manner. (2) It would be very helpful, doubtless, to the slanderers, evil-speakers; a practical lesson would thus be brought home to them, and they might learn before it was too late for learning, that they are still cultivating the works of the flesh and the devil, which must be eradicated from their hearts before they would be ready for the glorious change of the First Resurrection and a share with Christ in glory, honor and immortality. (3) This course would be profitable to ourselves because it would assist in developing in each true courage on the side of right, on the side of truth, the Lord's side, and against the side of the devil, the side of slander and evil speaking.

Strange to say, something in our crooked heads or something of the Adversary's deception at times leads some of the Lord's true people into a very wrong course in respect to this matter. For instance, a case came under our observation recently which illustrates this: Mr. A communicated "lovingly" some slanderous information to Mrs. B respecting Mrs. C. Mrs. B "lovingly" heard the awful news and then communicated with Mrs. D, saying that she had heard some awful things about Mrs. C and was greatly distressed thereby. Mrs. D, intimately acquainted with Mrs. C, assured Mrs. B that there was certainly no foundation for any evil speaking. Mrs. B said that she would like to tell Mrs. D the whole of it, but dared not do so, as it would be evil speaking. Mrs. D urged that in any event Mrs. B should go to Mrs. C and tell her the evil things that had been spoken about her and give her the name of her traducer, so that she might go to him in harmony with Matt. 18:15-17; but dear Mrs. B was horrified at the suggestion and declared that not for her life would she be so untrue to Mr. A, and thus "speak evil" of him.

Now notice the mistakes made all through these transactions: (1) Mr. A began the matter as a back-biter, speaking evil of Mrs. C. (2) Mrs. B, in listening to that and not rebuking it promptly and before allowing it to proceed, was a partaker in the guilt. (3) Mrs. B became a slanderer and evil-speaker and back-biter on her own account when she communicated the slander in vague terms to Mrs. D. It matters not that she did not go into details. She gave the bad impression, possibly a much worse impression than if she had told all that had been told to her. (4) Mrs. D was possibly at fault also in listening at all to the slanders, but she took the right course in attempting the defence of one who had not been heard, and in urging that the whole matter be taken at once to Mrs. C that she might know of the evil that was being done her in the robbery of her good name by Mr. A. (5) Mrs. B's suggestion that she would be "evil speaking" in taking this open, aboveboard course shows that she labored under serious misapprehension of the points of equity. She was partaker with the thief in his robbery of a reputation. (Psa. 50:18.) The reputation of another had been stolen and she was helping to secrete the thief. Yet, as we say, the delusions of our twisted minds and the cunning of the Adversary get some of the Lord's people into these difficulties so that they take unwittingly the side of the Adversary, who puts light for darkness and darkness for light. Mrs. B "would not for the world" expose Mr. A, believing that in so doing she would be "evil speaking." What sophistry! The very opposite of the truth! That was the one and only time she should have told the matter, apologizing at the same time for her own share in the sin. The person against whom the evil was spoken is the one and the only one to whom it should have been mentioned at all, and as for Mr. A, if it turned out to be discreditable to him and he lost some of his prestige thereby, it might mean the greatest blessing that had ever come to him and might recover him from the snare of the Adversary, which, if not recovered from, would most assuredly hinder his entrance into the Kingdom.

ANOTHER PRACTICAL ILLUSTRATION

Here is another instance which came under our observation and which illustrates the awful danger of this pernicious principle of "evil speaking," slandering, back-biting and the subtle forms it may take and the great danger to be accomplished.

Mrs. V took offense at Mr. W. (It matters not for this illustration whether there was ground for the offense or not.) Being very conscientious she felt that she could not tell the circumstance to her friends; and indeed probably another consideration weighed in this matter. She felt that to tell the truth would not serve her purposes, as many would doubtless consider that the wrong and blame belonged to herself. Under the Adversary's guidance, of which doubtless she was unconscious, she began to slander Mr. W in a pantomime way--by looking hurt, acting offended and disconsolate. As she foreknew, this led her friends to question her: What is your trouble? Indirectly and with apparent unwillingness she intimated that Mr. W was the source of her grief, but that it was too deep for her to mention and that she was too noble to speak evil even with a cause. Promptly her friends, X, Y and Z, took [R4283 : page 351] the bait, rallied to her support and, true to human nature, struggled to see which could be the chief busy-body. Incidentally we point out that they should have remembered the Scriptures cited at the head of this article and should have given Mrs. V the Scriptural advice, Go to Mr. W and deal with him along the lines of Matt. 18:15-17. They should not have picked, meddled, busy-bodied, and, in violating this divine rule, they suffered the consequences. These well-meaning busy-bodies, X, Y and Z, began the system of "investigation," declaring to their own hearts and each other that it was the love of God alone which was prompting them to help a poor Sister. We will not question the honesty of their claim, but content ourselves with pointing out that their love was not properly exercised along Scriptural lines. They began with Mrs. V--Did Mr. W do thus or so? Mrs. V's conscience would not allow her to say, "Yes," because their surmise had quite overshot the mark of any grievance she could have claimed. But she was in the humor to crave sympathy and to forward her designs of bringing contumely upon Mr. W, hence she merely sighed and looked sad and refused to answer Yes or No. The busy-bodies, X, Y and Z, held a consultation and concluded that the reason she did not answer their question was that her trouble was far worse than anything of which they had dreamed. Again they approached Mrs. V with sympathy and condolences, telling her that they knew now that it was worse than she had first suggested and that they had concluded that it must be something even worse than they could even imagine or suggest.

Mrs. V was somewhat shocked that her method of slander by insinuation and silence had succeeded so far beyond her original intention. But she felt that she could not go back on the matter now and tell the sympathizers, X, Y and Z, the plain, simple truth, because then they would forever lose confidence in her and discern that by her methods she deceived them. Thus from step to step Mrs. V became involved and her conscience injured until finally she felt that her only course to preserve her standing with her friends, X, Y and Z, was to take the position that their worst insinuations respecting Mr. W were well founded. Her conscience squirmed for a time, but love of sympathy and of the esteem of others and the fear that the truth would cause the loss of these, bound her hand and foot to the falsehood which she had acted and slander which she had suggested by action, insinuation and silence. The result was that for a time all four of those ladies were in great danger of losing the Truth and going into outer darkness--yea, into the Second Death.

I am glad that we do not have to record such an outcome, but the dangers were certainly sufficiently thrilling for all concerned. How promptly all of that evil condition could have been nipped in the bud. When Mrs. V was overtaken in the fault and began to slander Mr. W by intimation, her friends, X, Y and Z, should have remembered the Apostle's words; Ye that are spiritual restore such an one in a spirit of meekness, remembering yourselves also, lest ye should be tempted. (Gal. 6:1.) If Mrs. V had refused to be restored and continued her process of vilification by conduct, these friends, acting along the lines of the Golden Rule, should have gone to Mr. W and told him of the matter, Mrs. V's conduct, insinuations, etc. What a great help this proper Golden-Rule course would have been to Mrs. V, Mr. W and the three friends! How it would have saved them from the Adversary's snare, which for a time enwrapped them and caused them a spiritual blight.

DON'T TELL OR YOU ARE A TELL-TALE

Mark those persons who request you to keep secrets from those to whom they properly belong. We do not mean by this that there are no proper secrets in business, in the family, etc., but we do mean that if anyone has a tale to tell us derogatory to another, and first attempts to bind our reason and judgment with a vow of secrecy, it is time for us to be on guard against that person, and to tell him or her in no uncertain terms that we believe that such an attempt to bind our conscience or judgment in advance is belittling to us and ignoble to him. Let us tell such in kindly terms that their ways are ways of darkness, whether they are aware of the fact or not; and that we decline to be a companion in the dark ways which their language intimates, and that we advise them to come out of the dark into more honest methods and practices. Let us tell them this in such a manner as will wound them as little as possible, but in such a manner as will settle it for all time as between them and us and that we do not wish to have their dark secrets--we do not wish to be sharers in their slanders and back-biting and "evil speaking" and thieving of reputation.

Fear of being called a tell-tale has been the Adversary's method for secreting wrongs these many years, and not infrequently it is used as a lash to hinder "overcomers" from doing their duty. They must overcome this, and must learn that it is a sin not to tell the truth to the right person for fear of offending a slanderer, equally as wrong as to tell a slander to the wrong person.

This is a part of the overcoming, the victory which love and justice gain in our hearts. We must learn to pay no attention to the world's false standards and sneers of "tell-tale" and to pay every attention to the divine standard, the Golden Rule. It is the duty of every clerk or employee to make known to his employer any matter of consequence seriously affecting his interests, either financial or moral, as according to the Golden Rule he would wish that employer to do to him if their situation in life were reversed. It is the duty of every one hearing slander and defamation of a friend's reputation to give that friend the fullest information respecting the matter, just as much as under common law it would be his duty to report the matter if he were a witness to a theft of material goods. Fear of consequences must not hinder our faithfulness to this divine principle, this Golden Rule.

Let us fix it in our minds as an inviolable element of the Golden Rule by which we are bound, that if evil speakings come to our knowledge without our being in any sense a party to them or able to prevent them we will always and promptly bring the matter to the attention of the brother or sister or person whose name or reputation is traduced and will tell that person all that has been heard and the name of our informant, and everything else that will enable him or her to pursue the traducer, according to the instructions in Matt. 18:15-17. Whoever fails to see this, the proper course of a Christian, fails to appreciate, we think, the Golden Rule, which is binding upon all the disciples of Christ.


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"The Father himself loveth you."
"Have faith in God."
"Keep yourselves in the love of God."
"The Lord will judge [correct] his people."
"All the wicked will he destroy."
"Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth."
"Faint not when reproved of him."
"The Lord doth prove you whether you do love."
"Love is the fulfilling of the Law."
"He that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God."
"He shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty."
"He that hateth his brother is in darkness."
"Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer."
"Anger, malice, hatred, strife, evil-speaking, are
works of the flesh and of the devil." "Put off all these."
"Love is the principal thing."



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