page 305
October 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. XXXIOCTOBER 1No. 19
A.D. 1910--A.M. 6038


CONTENTS

Views From The Watch Tower307
Signs of Restitution Continue307
Church Federation at the Door308
"The Image of the Beast"308
"Watchman, What of the Night?"310
St. Paul and Moses Patriots Extraordinary311
Wise and Foolish Virgins312
The Reckoning Hour313
The Sheep and the Goats314
The Mark of Perfect Love (Poem)315
This Looks Reasonable315
Some Interesting Questions316
Moses and the Law Covenant316
Justification by Faith317
How to Determine the Lord's Will317
Faith the Gift of God318
Is the Church in the Flesh a Royal Priesthood?318
Some Interesting Letters318
Berean Questions in "Scripture Studies"319

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 306

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.




PUBLISHED BY
WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY
CHARLES T. RUSSELL, PRESIDENT
"BROOKLYN TABERNACLE," 13-17 HICKS ST.,
BROOKLYN, N.Y., U.S.A.

Foreign Agencies:--British Branch: 24 Eversholt St., London, N.W. German Branch: Unterdorner Str., 76, Barmen. Australasian Branch: Equitable Building, Collins St., Melbourne.


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SEND MONEY BY EXPRESS, BANK DRAFT, POSTAL ORDER, OR REGISTERED.
FROM FOREIGN COUNTRIES BY FOREIGN MONEY ORDERS, ONLY.


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



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INTERNATIONAL BIBLE STUDENTS ASSOCIATION MEETINGS


BROOKLYN, N.Y., OCT. 2

Morning rally for praise and testimony at 10:30 o'clock at the Brooklyn Tabernacle, 13-17 Hicks street. The evening Praise Service at 7 and Question meeting at 7:30 o'clock will also be in the Tabernacle. Discourse for the public at 3 p.m. by Brother Russell will be in the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Lafayette avenue and St. Felix street.

NEW YORK CITY, OCT. 9

By invitation of prominent Hebrews, Brother Russell will speak on "Zionism in Prophecy" at the Hippodrome, West 44th street and Sixth avenue, at 3 p.m., Sunday, October 9.

LONDON, ENGLAND, OCT. 23, 30, NOV. 6

Brother Russell will sail for Great Britain on Oct. 12 and will speak in Royal Albert Hall at 7 p.m., on above dates.

CLEVELAND, OHIO, NOV. 20

OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLA., NOV. 27


[R4694 : page 306]

THE ANTITYPICAL JUBILEE BEGINNING

Some of our readers have been disturbed by one item relative to the beginning of the antitypical Jubilee in the September number of the Overland Monthly. Nothing in that article is intended to be different or contradictory to our presentations in the SCRIPTURE STUDIES showing the year 1875 A.D. as the opening year of the antitypical Jubilee of a thousand years. In the Overland article we merely showed that the seventy years destruction of Jerusalem in the days of Daniel represented Israel's entire Jubilee system. We showed two ways of counting it:--

(1) Seventy times fifty equals 3,500 years;

(2) Nineteen times fifty plus fifty-one times forty-nine equals 3,449 years ending with 1874, marking 1875 as the first year of the antitypical Jubilee.

The latter is, to our understanding, the proper method of counting the Jubilee and agrees perfectly with our presentation of the matter in SCRIPTURE STUDIES, Volume II. page 306


HARVEST WORK--COLPORTEURING.

Remember that harvest privileges may soon cease. Remember that they are now many and great. Remember the Master's word, "He that reapeth receiveth wages and gathereth fruit unto life everlasting."

We have plenty of territory open, both for SCRIPTURE STUDIES and for HEAVENLY MANNA. The publishing of the sermons is preparing many for the SCRIPTURE STUDIES. All who purchase and use the MANNA are blessed and ready then to buy and read the STUDIES. Write to our Colporteur Dept.



page 306

STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES
"MILLENNIAL DAWN"

THESE STUDIES ARE RECOMMENDED TO STUDENTS AS VERITABLE "BIBLE KEYS." PRICES ARE NET AND BARELY COVER COST OF PRODUCTION.

SERIES I., The Plan of the Ages, gives an outline of the Divine plan revealed in the Bible, relating to man's redemption and restitution: 386 pages, in embossed cloth, 35c. (1s. 6d.) India paper edition, 75c. (3s. 1-1/2d.).

This volume has been published as a special issue of our journal-- at the extremely low price of 5c. a copy, in any quantity, postage included. (To foreign countries, 9c.) This enables people of slender purse to herald far and wide the good tidings in a most helpful form.

SERIES II., The Time is at Hand, treats of the manner and time of the Lord's second coming, considering the Bible Testimony on this subject: 370 pages, in embossed cloth, 35c. (1s. 6d.) India paper edition, 75c. (3s. 1-1/2d.)

SERIES III., Thy Kingdom Come, considers prophecies which mark events connected with the "Time of the End," the glorification of the Church and the establishment of the Millennial Kingdom; it also contains a chapter of the Great Pyramid, showing its corroboration of the dates and other teachings of the Bible: 384 pages, in embossed cloth, 35c. (1s. 6d.) India paper edition, 75c. (3s. 1-1/2d.)

SERIES IV., The Day of Vengeance, shows that the dissolution of the present order of things is in progress, and that all the panaceas offered are valueless to avert the predicted end. It marks in these events the fulfilment of prophecy, noting specially our Lord's great prophecy of Matt. 24 and Zech. 14:1-9: 660 pages, in embossed cloth, 35c. (1s. 6d.) India paper edition 85c. (3s. 6-1/2d.)

SERIES V., The Atonement Between God and Man, treats an all-important subject--the hub, the center around which all the features of Divine grace revolve. Its topic deserves the most careful and prayerful consideration on the part of all true Christians: 507 pages, in embossed cloth, 35c. (1s. 6d.) India paper edition, 85c. (3s. 6-1/2.)

SERIES VI., The New Creation, deals with the Creative Week (Genesis 1 and 2), and with the Church, God's "New Creation." It examines the personnel, organization, rites, ceremonies, obligations and hopes appertaining to those called and accepted as members of the Body under the Head: 740 pages, in embossed cloth, 35c. (1s. 6d.) India paper edition, 85c. (3s. 6-1/2d.)

The above prices include postage.



[R4688 : page 307]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER

SIGNS OF RESTITUTION CONTINUE

THE United States Government is experimenting with a new kind of wheat recently found in Palestine by Dr. Aaronsohn. Experiments are being made in the arid districts of the far West, where ordinary wheat failed for lack of moisture. The claim made for the new wheat is that it is really the very oldest of all the various wheats--the original or wild wheat, the parent from which all other wheats have descended. Lost for a long time, it is now coming to the front again. Dr. Aaronsohn declares his belief that not only wheat, but oats, barley and rye originated in Syria and Palestine. He claims for this parent or wild wheat that it endures the most extreme climatic conditions, enduring more cold and more heat than other varieties, and subsisting with almost no moisture. He claims also that it is not subject to the pest which attacks others. What will our evolutionist friends think of this--that the parent wheat is better than any of its children.

Wheat is the great staple of the world, and, used with milk as a diet, it supplies really everything essential to the maintenance of the human system; hence, as the New Dispensation will be ushered in, the matter of wheat will be an important one. Dr. Aaronsohn says, "It seems to me that we are justified in hoping to produce races of wheat better adapted to the semi-arid regions of Algeria, Tunis, Syria, Egypt and Turkestan, as well as to those of America. If we secure races that will enable us to increase the yield by as much as one bushel per acre on these vast areas, the world's total production of wheat will be materially augmented."

MIRACLE WHEAT AND MIRACLE RYE

Some years ago we made mention of the miracle wheat discovered in Virginia, which originated with the fruitage of one grain found growing by itself. Two grains of this wheat were given to the Editor, who, in turn, handed them to a brother in the Truth, who reported that the two grains produced 1,312, which, planted, produced five pounds--one grain having fifty stools of well-developed stalks or straws. The brother planted the miracle wheat [R4689 : page 307] alongside of some ordinary wheat, and reports that the miracle wheat heads are from three to five inches long and from three to five grains to the mesh, whereas with the common wheat the heads are from two to three inches in length.

Another brother obtained some of the miracle wheat and, out of the first crop, presented the Editor a peck of the same. This was entrusted to another brother, a farmer, who has just handed the Editor $100 proceeds therefrom, with the following report:--

As you remember, I secured also a peck of the miracle wheat from a brother in the Truth as a donation to yourself (because he first heard of the miracle wheat through THE WATCH TOWER). This was sowed on half an acre of run-out land. On the adjoining half-acre was sowed a bushel of common wheat for comparison. The sowing was done in the midst of a seven weeks' drouth. During the late fall and the early spring the miracle wheat looked very thin compared with the common wheat. However, in the month of May both plots appeared to be about the same, except that the miracle wheat laid flatter on the ground. Late in June the miracle wheat was much the heavier, and stood nearly a foot higher than the common wheat, and about a week later in point of ripening. Not having threshed, I cannot at this writing report the respective yield, but am satisfied that the miracle wheat will be more than double that of the common.

The grains are in appearance similar to ordinary red wheat. I can with difficulty distinguish a difference. The color of the miracle wheat is a trifle richer. I will send you a photograph of a dozen heads and the largest stool I can find of both the miracle and the common wheat. Brother Kuesthardt advertised the wheat in his paper, and the money sent you is the result of the sales at $1 per pound.

Your brother in Christ,
J. A. BOHNET.


RABBI SALE AN IDEAL CONGREGATIONALIST

The public press reports the following sentiments expressed by a prominent Hebrew Rabbi:--

"Orthodoxy as it is known today, with its doctrines, creeds and dogmas of the Trinity, the communion, of heaven and of hell, has been given a severe jolt by Rabbi Samuel Sale, of the Shaare Emeth Hebrew Congregation, in an address before a body of Christian ministers at the Congregational Ministers' meeting at the First Congregational Church.

"Rabbi Sale's remarks brought a breathless silence among his hearers, and his expressions regarding the "universal religion" created a sensation.

"In the views of Rabbi Sale his Satanic Majesty, starring through the ages as a figure of ignominy and evil, is given a new role, in which he is only a negative force and becomes a servant of God, not a rival, in the activities of men. Heaven is declared to be not a place for future preferment, but a condition to be realized here, now and forever. Hell is abolished, [R4689 : page 308] as being no justifiable disposition for those not qualified for eternal bliss. Adam and Eve are relieved from responsibility in the matter of original sin. The Bible, said to be as great a composite as Homer's Iliad or the Odyssey, is about as fallible as these. It is not a book of plenary inspiration, Doctor Sale asserted, for the only reliable scroll of the Law or the Word of God is the intelligent consciousness of the individual man.

"Rabbi Sale denies the Jews the privilege of being the chosen people, except in their own estimation. Christianity, as it is known today, with its foundation doctrines of the Trinity, communion and metaphysical difficulties, Doctor Sale classified as an aftergrowth, and entirely foreign to the exalted simplicity of the lowly Nazarene.

CREEDS BLAMED AS BARRIERS

"The jealous assumptions of creeds and dogmas, with their insistence on incidentals, conventions and artificialities, are blamed by Dr. Sale as the barriers which prevent the realization of the ideal religion--that preached of in the prophetic writings--the worship of God in the service of man.

"In serious mien, Doctor Sale smiled solemnly at the traditional idea that God revealed his laws in the beginning exclusively to the Jew. It was a very natural idea for the Jew to entertain, he thought. Choosing his words slowly and reflectively, he said: 'Not to Israel, not to man of any creed, sect or nationality, but to man, has God revealed himself. Not in the scroll, not in the Bible, is his infallible Word, but in the intelligent consciousness of every individual.'

"When he had concluded, there was a moment of thoughtful silence on the part of the audience, when Doctor Albert H. Jordan arose and said:--

"'That was great.'

"'We'd like to make you a Congregationalist, Doctor Sale,' a minister observed."


***

"The intelligent consciousness of the individual" was indeed God's original writing of his Law--in the first perfect man, created in his Maker's likeness. But the Bible tells truly that all of Adam's children are blemished by sin, and by its death penalty. What about people who have only unintelligent consciousness! And what about the thousands of gradations of unintelligent consciousness --all men! God gave a revealed religion for these in the Bible! Only those intelligently unconscious of their ignorance disdain it!


CHURCH FEDERATION AT THE DOOR

While the religious world has been waiting for the slow processes of denominational action to bring about Church Federation in a couple of years or more, some active ministers in various parts are hastening the matter by methods of their own. The latest of these movements, as well as the one nearest home, is described in The New York World as follows:--

"Protestant ministers in New York have taken a step that may lead, so they hope, to a united Protestantism in New York and eventually in all America. The meeting was held upon invitation of the Federation of Churches, and one hundred ministers present were made up of Baptists, Congregationalists, Disciples, Seventh Day Adventists, Episcopalians, Quakers, Lutherans, Methodists, Moravians, Presbyterians, Pentecostal Nazarines, Reformed Swedenborgians, Unitarians, Universalists and three ministers who said they did not belong to any of these.

"This, the most remarkable religious gathering ever held in New York City, was called a clerical conference. The Bronx and Brooklyn were represented as well as Manhattan. It was the first gathering, but it was announced that it is to be continued with regular monthly meetings, save during the summer.

"Among the ministers present were the foremost leaders in all the bodies named. All of the eight speakers asserted that hereafter Protestants are going to show a united front. Bishop Greer of the Episcopal Church presided.

BISHOP GREER OPTIMISTIC

"'We hear at times,' he said, 'that the churches are failing. It is not true. The churches are well filled, some of them crowded, and the proportion of men attending them is greater than ever. We are all well aware of the sin prevalent in our midst. But it has always been prevalent. The gain is that the churches now know it exists, and are doing something to stamp it out.'

"Speaking for Presbyterians, the Rev. Dr. George Alexander, moderator of the New York Presbytery, declared they stand ready to meet Episcopalians half way. Bishop Greer had mentioned the moderator by name, saying he wished he might have the privilege of laying on of hands upon such a leader as he. Replying, the veteran Presbyterian leader said he would not seriously object. It surely would not hurt him, and it might do good. He allowed there are some Presbyterians in New York who stand on what they are pleased to call their principles, but he added that some who have few principles manufacture them out of their prejudices.

"The Rev. Nehemiah Boynton of Brooklyn, speaking for Congregationalists, enumerated the political, social, amusement, Sabbath rest, labor and other questions on which, he said, Protestants might unite.

A STRONG LIST OF SPEAKERS

"Other speakers included the Rev. Dr. J. B. Remensnyder, who spoke for Lutherans; the Rev. Dr. F. Mason North, who believed the Methodists would join heartily; the Rev. Dr. Swift of the American Tract Society, who wondered how many religious bodies are 'willing to sacrifice their names in order that the cause of Christ may be advanced.'

"In closing, Bishop Greer stated that the next matter in hand is to hear from representatives of each body in the conference what are their hindrances to co-operation. The Bishop believed the time in America to be ripe for unity, and declared that the Episcopal Church stands ready to aid.

"The conference membership is to be much enlarged until, if possible, it includes all of the Protestant ministers in the greater city. The Unitarians and Universalists are usually barred in such meetings, but both were present, three men from each."

"THE IMAGE OF THE BEAST"

Here we have exactly what we have been looking and waiting for since 1881, when we announced the Federation of the Protestant Churches to be set forth in the Bible as one of the prominent features of the harvest of this Gospel Age. We then pointed out that the attempt to organize Protestantism, first made in 1846 through the Evangelical Alliance, would reach consummation soon. We pointed to the Scriptures which indicate that this Protestant Federation will so considerably resemble the Roman Catholic Institutions as to properly deserve to be called its "Image," and that the "Image" already existed [R4690 : page 308] in a disorganized condition, as represented in the terms of Protestant orthodoxy and their co-operation with Catholicism. We pointed out that the important matter waited on and necessary to the power and activity of the Protestant "Image" is the "life" which it is to receive from the Protestant Episcopal System.

Up to the present time Protestant denominations have hesitated to pronounce anybody or anything heretical, except as each denomination may have occasionally done this within its own borders. There has been a strong desire to formulate a creed which would have the support of all and permit the denouncing of everything outside of it. But the way to do this was not heretofore clear, because the retort might be, By what authority do you set yourself up as a judge of what is orthodox and what is unorthodox? What have you more than your own opinion of the Bible's teaching? Have you any authority more than others? Produce the authority.

The fear of being thus questioned has exercised a salutary effect heretofore, except with the ignorant. But when the various ministers of other denominations shall have in considerable numbers accepted re-ordination as ministers at the hands of Episcopalian Bishops, matters will be different. Speedily the validity of other ordination will be questioned. The authority of this so-called [R4690 : page 309] "Apostolic Ordination" will give seeming right of authority, dignity and power. After the prominent ministers of various denominations shall have submitted themselves to such re-ordination the "lesser lights" will make a rush for it. The Episcopal Church proffered it on easy terms years ago, and the only objection to its acceptance has been the fact that it implies that Protestant ministers heretofore have been without Divine authority, sanction, power or ordination to preach the Gospel as God's ambassadors.

"THE BLIND LEADING THE BLIND"

The situation is becoming strenuous. The great ministers realize that with their own teachings and those of the colleges along the lines of Higher Criticism and Evolution, intelligent Christians are rapidly losing faith in the Bible. These ministers realize that this places Society in a dangerous position--that without faith in some higher authority, civilization would soon drift into anarchy. They feel the need of a substitute for the Bible-- the need of some voice to address the people authoritatively. The desired end, they believe, can be best secured through the Federation of the Churches and the coming of all ministers of the Gospel under the Episcopal ordination. Then, they think, we will present to the world a large system and a bold front and command their attention to the voice of the Church and the Voice of God coming down through the "apostolic succession"-- just as the Catholics do--a mild "Image" of Catholicism, but full of its power and vigor.

The Scriptures show that by the time this Catholic power and vigor and "apostolic-succession" authority are felt by the Federators, a spirit of autocracy and persecution of everything contrary to the Federation and contrary to Catholicism, of which it is to be the "Image," will be dealt with more and more severely, energetically and ruthlessly, as the masses fall in line with the Federative Movement and catch its spirit of bigness, dignity, power, authority--a spirit very different from that inculcated by the Master and the Apostles in meekness, gentleness, patience, long-suffering, brotherly-kindness, love.

Far be it from us to suppose that the gentlemen participating in the meeting described foregoing are animated by all the vicious malevolence which the Scriptures indicate will ultimately result. On the contrary, they little realize the end of the road upon which they are entering. It is a case of the blind leading the blind. As the Scriptures indicate, the ditch is before them--the ditch of anarchy, the very thing which they are desirous of averting. To us the Scriptures indicate that the prosperity of the Federated Protestant "Image" will for a little time be so great, so pronounced, and its arrogance become so great that the sympathy of the masses will be entirely alienated and turned into bitterness. Hence the Scriptures show us that the climax will come suddenly, unexpectedly, "In one hour."--Rev. 13:15-17.


IS THE WORLD BETTER?

"Commenting on Dr. C. W. Eliot's statement that 'The world has been re-made within fifty years,' Thomas E. Watson, the Southern statesman and publicist, responds with the inquiry, 'Is the newly made world of today a better world than that of fifty years ago?' Mr. Watson, answering his own question, wrote:--

"'It seems to be a fact that a large percentage of the people have departed from the old faith, in the matter of religion. It seems to me that this is indisputably true; but does the man who loses his faith in Christianity become a better man on that account? Is the scoffing son or grandson of the New England Puritan a higher, nobler type than was his pious forefather? Is the preacher's son who is an infidel a more useful citizen than the preacher father?

"'Again, are we an honester, more temperate people than were the Americans of fifty years ago? What is the exact social and moral significance of the fifty or sixty thousand divorces that are being granted by the courts annually? What weight is to be given to the fact that President Roosevelt appointed a commission to investigate existing conditions in the homes of the people of cities, and that this report, officially made after painstaking investigation, revealed such an appalling state of affairs that the government decided it would be advisable to suppress the publication?

"'Again, what is the real meaning of the astounding size of our yearly drink bill? And what is implied by the infinite variety and ingenuity of the devices invented to keep us from stealing? Every time you go into a store you are bound to be reminded of the fact that the proprietor places no confidence in the employee and the employee places none in the proprietor.

"'In the cash drawer, in the system of collecting fares on street cars and railway trains, in the check and counter-check at the hotels, in the elaborate system of the banks, in the expensive safe vaults provided against the burglar, the robber and the sneak thief--in fact, in every direction that our eyes take in the business world, we are bound to see that commerce goes upon the idea that every man will steal if he gets the opportunity, and the whole trend of the ingenious, elaborate, and constantly changing system is to take away the chance to steal. The entire precautional system cries out: 'Every one of us will steal if you don't watch us!' Was it that bad fifty years ago?

"We cannot agree with Mr. Watson, because of what he sees to commend in the past, that the people as a whole are not very much better conditioned than they were half a century ago. The writer here, who has almost reached the three score and ten, has seen great progress in the improvement of human life and living, much more than the most optimistic fancy of his boyhood days could have dared to imagine.

"Mr. Watson, who, by the way, is an ardent Baptist and clings most tenaciously to the 'old faith,' wants to know if the liberal religious teachings of today have made the present day American a more useful citizen than his orthodox father. We think it has. It is within our remembrance when there was constant warfare between the rival sects. The Catholics were denounced by the Protestants and the Protestants were as roundly abused by the Catholics. Liberalism has changed this."--The Sunday Call.


***

There are two sides to nearly every question--sometimes three. Two sides of a question are discussed foregoing. The third side, which harmonizes both, and which we believe is the Truth, is this:--

Moral standards of the world in general certainly have improved in many respects. The world as a whole is more intelligent, broader-minded and more benevolent than in the past. It is along religious lines that we seem to see an unfavorable comparison. The light and liberty of our day have overbalanced many of the best minds of the world and led into Higher Criticism, Evolution and various other doctrines contrary to the Scriptures. As a result, Christian faith is weak and sterling Christian character is becoming scarce. Our Lord prayed, "Sanctify them through thy Truth; thy Word is Truth." And we are learning that there can be no sanctification without the Truth. Hence the decline in Christianity, because of the departure from the Divine standard. True, indeed, many of the things believed by our fathers were unscriptural. True, indeed, many of the sentiments of the world today are sounder and clearer and more logical and more God-like.

If our forefathers had presented only errors, the loss of them would have been beneficial, rather than otherwise. However, with the errors, they had truths derived from [R4690 : page 310] the same Word of God and their faith rested upon a sure foundation, even though it was blemished, imperfect. A blemished faith is much better than no faith. And hence, from this standpoint, today is less favorable than fifty years ago. We could not expect Prof. Eliot, nor any other Higher Critic disbeliever in the Bible, to see the matter from our standpoint. Nor shall we try. It is our part to do what we can for the establishment of faith and for the purging of it from all the inconsistencies and errors of the "dark ages"--the restoring of faith to its original simplicity and purity. In so far as we succeed in ourselves or others, we know that the result will bring a blessing and sanctification, under which all the light and blessing of this present time will be helpful in a proper approach toward God and appreciation of his character and Word.



[R4691 : page 310]

"WATCHMAN, WHAT OF THE NIGHT?"

From "The Life of Faith."

WATCHMAN, what of the night? The watchman said, The morning cometh." (Isaiah 21:11,12.) The nineteenth century beheld, perhaps, the most amazing progress the Church of Christ has ever experienced. A little more than a hundred years ago there was no Bible Society; today three Anglo-Saxon Bible Societies alone pour forth annually over ten million portions of the Scriptures, in four to five hundred languages of the world. Can any imagination conceive the spiritual effect of this mighty river of Truth pouring itself among all mankind? A little more than a hundred years ago missionary societies--apart from the Jesuit and Moravian --were practically unknown; in 1909 there were 19,875 missionaries scattered, as living epistles of Christ, through the heathen world. It would be difficult to say what was the membership of God's Church when the century dawned; but it is now computed that the membership of Protestant Evangelical communions is not less than one hundred and forty to one hundred and fifty millions. It is possible that eternity will reveal to us that the nineteenth century was the richest toward God of any century in the world's history.

Nor does God's worldwide advance slacken; the last decade is probably the most wonderful of all. "The morning cometh!" More educated converts have been won in India in the last two decades than in the whole preceding century. Bishop Moule, of Mid-China, says that when he first landed in that Empire it held less than fifty Protestant Christians; in the first decade of the twentieth century there have been 16,000 martyrs; and nearly two thousand missionaries are now planted throughout China. A little over twenty years ago the Christians in all Korea numbered seven; in 1908, alone, there were fifty thousand converts; and, at a recent conference of twelve hundred laymen, some walked for ten days to enjoy the Bible study. In Tokachi prison, in Kokkaido, Japan, a spiritual movement, sweeping through it in 1908, brought nearly two thousand of the inmates to Christ, and most of the prison officials have been baptized. Four years after the Welsh revival, in spite of the reaction, from sixty to seventy thousand converts were known to be established in church fellowship. The census bureau of the United States, reports that, between 1890 and 1906, an average of eight new churches had been built every day. It has been recently stated that within the last decade more Jews have become believers (it is, of course, but an approximate computation) than in all the seventeen hundred years after Paul.

All these are but symptoms of a work of the holy Spirit which is nothing short of stupendous. For the first time since our Lord ascended, nearly the whole world is now open to the Gospel, and is being penetrated by heralds of the Cross. The year 1908 was a phenomenal one in missionary advance; 164,674 native members were added to the Church, or an average of five hundred a day. Nor is the heroism of the Cross confined to any Christian group. Dr. Ambrose Shepherd recently met a young Roman Catholic priest in a railway carriage, on a farewell visit to his mother before leaving for the Congo. "When do you expect to come back?" Dr. Shepherd asked. "Never," was the reply; "we have buried fifteen already, and the average period of life is about two years"; and when the young priest arose to take farewell, in a voice that trembled with emotion, he said, "The life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God."

"The watchman said, And also the night." The facts are not more antithetical than are the words of the watchman. "Of no time in the history of the world," said The Times recently, "are so many signs of general unrest recorded as those which seem to confront us today"; or, in the words of the Bible Society's report (1909), "The horoscope of the future is written over with signs of incalculable change." As the Rev. James Johnston has pointed out in his, "A Century of Missions," the heathen and Mohammedan population of the world counts more by two hundred millions than a hundred years ago, while the converts and their families number less than three millions; a seventy-fold increase of the darkness over the light. There are millions more of heathen souls in China today than when the first Protestant missionary landed a hundred years ago; for every convert added to the Church a thousand souls are added to Chinese heathendom by mere growth of population. "If our plans of education be followed up," said Lord Macaulay in 1836, "there will not be a single idolator among the respectable classes in Bengal thirty years hence"; today there is a false god for every member of the population of India--between two and three hundred millions. In Japan there are four hundred and fifty heathen temples for every single Christian missionary. There are 400,000,000 of mankind who have not a leaf of the Bible in their 2,700 languages and dialects.

Nor is faith what it was in the lands of faith. In 1908, in the State Church in Berlin alone, the fall in membership was ten thousand persons. The Bible Society reports that the sale of the Scriptures is falling. In Liverpool--the third city of the empire--in 1881, 40 seats out of every 100 were filled at morning worship in the Free Churches; in 1891, 31; in 1902, 25; in 1908, 12. So also evening attendance has fallen from 57 in every 100 seats in 1881, to 28 in 1908. "Tom Paine's work," says the editor of the Freethinker, "is now carried on by the descendants of his persecutors; all he said about the Bible is being said in substance by orthodox divines from chairs of theology." At the last census in France, eight millions enrolled themselves as atheists; "We have driven Jesus Christ," says the Premier, M. Briand, "out of the army, the navy, the schools, the hospitals, the lunatic asylums, and the orphanages; we must now drive him [R4691 : page 311] out of the State altogether." This decay in faith is already producing its inevitable recoil in morality. While the population of the United States has grown one hundred per cent., crime has increased by four hundred per cent. The decade of unprecedented revivals--in Wales, Madagascar, Korea, China--is the decade of unparalleled earthquakes--at Valparaiso, San Francisco, Jamaica, Messina; it would seem as if grace is speaking her loudest as the earth trembles with premonitory judgments. The vast revival in Moslem lands; the flood of infidel literature which Japan is pouring into China, a fourth of the human race; the mushroom growth of such spiritisms as Spiritualism and Christian Science; the actual rumors of the rebuilding of Babylon and the Temple--"the watchman said, And also the night."

"The watchman said, If ye will inquire, inquire ye." "If the light that is in us be darkness, how great is the darkness"; and if the Lamp of Prophecy be extinguished, how inextricable is the confusion. "Inquire ye." Why inquire? Because the future which God has revealed, is the future which I ought to know; because without a knowledge of prophecy, the present workings of God are plunged in unintelligible mystery; because prophecy uncovers the pitfalls that lie in our path; because a knowledge of the future is of incalculable importance in shaping the present. Hear the watchman's mournful undertone: "If ye will inquire, inquire ye." It is a strange irony of the situation that worldly eyes can read the signs more acutely than the general Church. Says a novelist whose works sell by the hundred thousand, in many languages:

"All things that Christ prophesied are coming to pass so quickly that I wonder more people do not realize it; and I especially wonder at the laxity and apathy of the Churches, except for the fact that this also was prophesied. Some of us will live to see a time of terror, and that before very long. The blasphemous things which are being done in the world today cannot go on much longer without punishment. We know by history that deliberate scorn of God and Divine things has always been met by retribution of a sudden and terrible nature-- and it will be so again."

Prophecy is the profoundest pessimism and the profoundest optimism; it is profoundly pessimistic of all that a Christ-rejecting generation is about to do; it is profoundly optimistic of all that an almighty and an all-gracious God will effect in the imminent establishment of his Kingdom. Dr. Kelman recently asked an eminent American man of science his solution of the problems of modern city life. "An emperor!" came the answer, swift and decisive. "An emperor?" asked Dr. Kelman, in surprise; "I thought you had done with all that in America. Besides, your emperor would need to be a very wonderful man, incapable of mistakes, and extraordinarily competent for leadership." "Precisely," was the quiet answer; "and we know the Man; we are waiting for him, and his name is--Messiah." "The thrill of that reply," says Dr. Kelman, "will never leave me."

"The Watchman said, Turn ye; come." It may be that some unbelieving eyes may alight upon these words. The Rabbis expound the Watchman, who speaks here, as the Messiah; so it is--"turn ye"--repentance toward God; and "come"--faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. Why thus turn and come? Because, to press forward, if we are right, is to press forward amid perhaps the mightiest operations ever put forth on a worldwide scale by the holy Spirit.

"The difficulty in the world today is not to find God, but to escape him. Because every moment that a world hardens itself against Divine light, an atmosphere is being produced in which it is every moment more difficult to believe. Because, if to Chorazin and Bethsaida, after three years of Gospel opportunity, Jesus said, "It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon," shall it not also be said of our cities, after a thousand [R4692 : page 311] years of opportunity? Because nineteen hundred years ago the Night was far spent, and the Day was at hand; there can be no time to lose now. The day before the wall of fire rolled down on St. Pierre, the telephone clerk spoke through to Fort de France, saying that the people were fleeing. Next morning, at ten minutes to eight, he was heard to exclaim, "My God! it is here!" and he was afterwards found, with the receiver in his hand, burnt to a cinder. "Watchman, what of the night?" That is, what hour of the night is it? "Little children, it is the last hour."--I John 2:18.



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ST. PAUL AND MOSES PATRIOTS EXTRAORDINARY

"For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen, according to the flesh."--Romans 9:3.
THIS is one of the most patriotic expressions to be found in the Bible. It is comparable only to the request by Moses in respect to the Children of Israel, that if God would blot out Israel, he should blot out him also from his book of remembrance and special favor. We have a very high estimation of St. Paul's generosity of heart and loyalty of mind to his kinsmen, the Jews, and also for that of the great Law-Giver.

We are not, we think, to understand this as though it merely read, I do wish myself accursed. Neither are we to understand this expression to signify, I could wish myself damned; but rather, I could wish myself cut off from membership in the Body of Christ, if by my being cut off it could be so arranged, in harmony with the Heavenly Father's will and provision, that it would benefit my brethren, my nation--so that as a whole nation the Israelites would constitute the Royal Priesthood and become Israel on the spiritual plane. I perceive that they do not realize how much they are missing. I feel such a grief for them, that having received the promises centuries ago and having hoped in these promises (many still hope in them) they are now so blinded as to reject the favors of God, because it was not on a spiritual plane that they anticipated them. If my being cut off from fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ as a member of that Body of glory would thus benefit them and were to put me down on the plane of the "Great Company," instead of my being one of those who would share in the glory of the Kingdom, I would be well pleased, indeed, if it were God's will, that thus I might have the satisfaction of knowing that I had been such a blessing to my own people.

ST. PAUL'S GREAT UNSELFISHNESS

We confess that the Apostle's attitude on this subject is marvelous. We cannot doubt his sincerity. He was proving this in all of his course of life. For one to will to sacrifice his place in the Body of Christ for the sake of the multitude of his sinful nation, is something very [R4692 : page 312] wonderful. This, however, is not an example to us--that we should say that if we could bring some of our children or friends into the Truth we would be willing to be cut off for the benefit of these, and thus to subordinate ourselves and take the lower position. It is our privilege to take the position God has offered us, but those who may be able to rise up to so high a standard are worthy of admiration because of the grandeur of character implied. St. Paul's great unselfishness was one of his grand traits, and we think it would be well for each of us to cultivate that trait to a greater degree, looking to the interest of the brethren, willing to subordinate our own preferences and our own ways in certain particulars if we can see that this would be an aid to others, especially an aid to a number of others. This is the Spirit of Christ; this is certainly in full accord with all the instructions of the Lord--that we should humble ourselves, and in honor prefer one another, even to the extent of self-sacrifice. The Apostle's course was self-abnegation to an extent, however, that we do not understand the Lord has demanded, although he has said, "we ought to lay down our lives (our human lives) for the brethren."

In a sense, we might say that the Jewish nation stood related to Saint Paul in much the same way that the nominal Christian church of today stands related to the fully consecrated. They are our brethren by a nominal consecration or nominal profession. Such a relationship we ought to feel, we think. We believe this text encourages us to feel a great deal of interest in these brethren, and to be willing to do a great deal to help them. We do not know how many may really be saints and merely for the time blinded by the errors which the Adversary has caused to be promulgated. "The god of this world hath blinded the minds of those who believe not." (2 Cor. 4:4.) We understand these words, "believe not," to apply not only to an entire lack of faith, but to apply also to the various imperfect degrees of development of faith in ourselves and in others. What is it that has hindered us from reaching the very highest attainment of that which God has provided for us? Some of these errors are standing in the way. Where did they come from. They came from our Adversary.

"LET NOT SIN HAVE DOMINION OVER YOU"

And he it is who has completely blinded the heathen and has darkened the understanding of Christians, and we ought to be glad to do all in our power to remove those blinding influences. To whatever extent we do this, to whatever extent we are of aid to our brethren in the nominal church, it will make us proportionately sympathetic with them--not with the systems that are contrary to the teachings of the Word, but sympathetic with the people who are blinded by the teachings of those systems --not sympathetic with the blindness, but with those who are experiencing the blindness. The Apostle seems to give the thought of a gradual obliteration of blindness when he speaks of "the eyes of your understanding opening ye might be able to comprehend with all saints," etc. So we see that in our own cases it is a gradual opening of the eyes of our understanding, and this progresses in proportion as we get free from the power of Satan and his blinding influences. We get free from these influences in proportion as we lay hold upon the Lord Jesus Christ and his wonderful provision made for our liberation, that we might ultimately stand free in the liberty wherewith Christ makes us free. He makes us free as the Emancipation Proclamation made the slaves free. And yet, after the proclamation is made, it is one thing to learn of our liberty and another thing to avail ourselves of that liberty and thus to become actually free. It takes, perhaps, months or years to gain this full liberty from blindness. "Let not sin, therefore, have dominion over you."



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WISE AND FOOLISH VIRGINS
--MATTHEW 25:1-13.--OCTOBER 2.--

Golden Text:--"Be ye therefore ready also; for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not."--Luke 12:40.

THE Great Teacher in today's Study tells us further about his glorious Messianic Kingdom and concerning those who will be accounted worthy to share it with him--as his Bride. This parable has not been of general application all through this Gospel Age. It applies merely at the close of the Age --at the present time, we believe. It does not take into consideration the world, nor even the nominal Church, but solely, only, the true Church, the Virgin class. The word "virgin" signifies pure and in using this term the Lord implies that he is referring only to those who have been justified, by faith and consecration, because by nature none are pure; none are holy; none are virgins.

FIVE WISE--FIVE FOOLISH

One of the special lessons of the parable is to show that amongst the pure, the wise, the consecrated people of God, there are two classes. For a time these will be all together--unseparated. But in the fulfilling of this parable certain circumstances and conditions and truths will develop and separate these two classes of saints, virgins.

The parable shows all the virgins as sleeping, waiting for the coming of the Bridegroom. Apparently, there is no difference; but really there is a difference--the wise had a larger supply of oil than had the foolish. Then came an announcement of the presence of the Bridegroom and a call to go forth to meet him. This implies that something from the prophetic Word at the appropriate time will call the attention of all the Virgin class to the presence of Messiah. But at the Second Advent it will be as it was at the First Advent, when John said of Jesus, "Behold there standeth one among you whom ye know not." We are not to expect the Second Coming of Christ in the flesh, but as a spirit being.

We are to remember that the Scriptures outline two distinct features connected with the Second Coming. First will come the parousia or "presence" of the Lord, recognizable only by the Wise and Foolish Virgins. In his parousia or "presence" he will test and prove his Church, dividing them into wise and foolish virgin classes --the wise virgins to become the Bride class and the foolish virgins to become the class who will experience [R4693 : page 312] a second grade of salvation--coming up out of great tribulation and becoming the Bridesmaids, so to speak, "the virgins, the Bride's Companions, who follow after her." (Psa. 45:14.) These will attain great blessings in spiritual life, but fail to gain the prize of joint-heirship with the Lord in his Throne, in his Kingdom.

Later on will come the manifestation of Christ with his Church, in power and great glory, in the setting up of his Messianic Kingdom and in the overthrow of everything contrary to it. Concerning this manifestation we [R4693 : page 313] read, "When he shall appear, we, also (the Bride class), will appear with him in glory."--Col. 3:4.

It will be in the time of the presence, the parousia, of the Son of man, for the gathering of the "elect," that all the Virgins will be awakened by the message of the Truth. Some will be able to appreciate, others will not be able to appreciate his presence. The latter will need to "go and buy" the oil, the wisdom, the understanding, of the Divine Word. It will cost some of them considerable of self-sacrifice and humiliation to learn their lessons. Such as obtain the oil in time will join the party that will go in with the Bridegroom to the marriage feast. Then the door to that High Calling will close forever.

Thank God that it is not as we once supposed--that the door of mercy is to close, shutting out the foolish Virgins of the Church, together with the whole world of mankind; and, as we once supposed, shutting them into eternal torment. The parable merely shows that the closed door will exclude any others from coming into the Bride class, to be joint-heirs with Messiah in his Kingdom. The door will close because the full number elected and predestinated to this high honor will have attained the necessary character-likeness of Christ and will have stood the necessary testings.

As no one of the Jewish priests could ever serve as High Priest if he had a superfluous finger or toe, it is thus shown in the type that the antitypical High Priest, the Messiah, will have only a definite, fixed number of members in his Body--neither one too few nor one too many. Later on, the foolish Virgins came to the "door," but found it forever shut. They lost the great prize. They were foolish in that they did not give attention to getting the oil in time; foolish also in that they cared too much for the things of this present life; but they were Virgins, nevertheless. They finally got the oil, which represents the holy Spirit, but too late! The door was shut! They could not be of the Bride class. The Master answered, I know you not. I could not recognize you as my Bride.

In view of this the Lord exhorts that his consecrated followers of the Church or Virgin class be constantly on the alert, because they know neither the day nor the hour of the Master's coming and of the invitation to go in to the wedding. The parable shows, however, that although the time of the Master's coming could not be known in the past, nevertheless, it would be known to all of the Virgin class "in due time." It will be announced, as indicated in the cry. The cry will be so loud that all of the Virgins will hear it, even though the world will have no knowledge of it. The Master merely wished us to understand that the great event would not be foretold in advance.

The parable does not show how the foolish Virgins, excluded from the wedding and from membership in the Bride class, will be treated. Other Scriptures, however, show that this foolish virgin class will share with the world in a great time of trouble, which will then come to every nation. In that time of trouble these foolish virgins will suffer severely and "Wash their robes and make them white in the blood of the Lamb," and thereafter be accounted worthy to "serve God in his Temple," though not worthy to be of the Temple. They will be accounted worthy to serve before the Throne, though not worthy to sit in the Throne. They will be accounted worthy to have palms of victory, but not be accounted worthy of crowns of glory. The lesson to God's people is to Awake, to hearken, to have our lamps, the Word of God, trimmed and burning, and to have oil, the holy Spirit, in our vessels --to be living in an attitude of full consecration to God.--Rev. 7:9,14,15.

We see the marriage splendor,
Within the open door;
We know that those who enter
Are blest for evermore;
We see our King, more lovely
Than all the sons of men;
We haste, because that door, once shut,
Will never ope again.



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THE RECKONING HOUR
--MATTHEW 25:14-30.--OCTOBER 9.--

Golden Text--"His Lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."

THIS study follows the one of last week. It also illustrates the fact that Messiah at his Second Advent, before appearing to the world in power and great glory and in the time of trouble, will be present amongst his consecrated people and many of them will know of his parousia, or "presence," in this time. He will do amongst them a judging work--deciding their rewards in proportion to their faithfulness. It is well that we keep in memory the difference between the parable of the pounds and the parable of the talents. Both represented money. But a talent is sixty times as valuable as a pound. In the parable of the pound, each servant got one pound, but in the parable of the talents the numbers given varied. In some respects all of God's people have one common footing and common privilege of service, as represented by the pound. In another respect their opportunities, privileges and advantages vary, as represented in the present study, the parable of the talents.

This is another parable of the Kingdom. The Great Teacher himself went into the far country, even heaven; but before departing he delivered unto his servants certain blessings, privileges, opportunities--"to each according to his several abilities." The beginning of this parable was in the days of the Apostles when Jesus ascended up on high and at Pentecost shed forth in the Father's name the holy Spirit, communicating a blessing upon each one of his followers, as represented in the talents and opportunities of each follower. All through this Gospel Age these servants have been making more or less use of their privileges and more or less wisely exercising themselves to serve the Master. Some traded with their talents, or used them in preaching, teaching, etc. And others hid them in the earth, perhaps under cares and responsibilities. After a long time the Lord of these servants cometh and reckoneth with them. This long time is the Gospel Age, and the presence of the King in the end of the Age to hear the report of his servants and to reward them represents the parousia (or presence) of Messiah and his testing, sifting work in his Church. We should distinctly note that this testing and proving is not of the world, for Christ never recognized any as his servants, except the consecrated. Many Christian people believe that we are now in the time when the servants of the Lord are rendering [R4693 : page 314] up their accounts, and when he is saying to some, "Well done, good and faithful servant; enter into the joys of thy Lord," and when he is saying to others, "Thou wicked and slothful servant...take ye away, therefore, the talent from him, and give it unto him that hath the ten talents." But all of this testing and rewarding of the servants of Christ is manifestly prior to any outward manifestation of the King in his glory, because the worthy ones are to share with the Master in his glorious manifestation and this testing must demonstrate the worthy ones, in advance of the revelation in glory.

TO RULE OVER EARTH'S CITIES

The one who had received five talents and used them wisely, energetically, faithfully, loyally, doubled them and was invited to share in the Master's joy and glory. His reward would be to sit as a ruler of many. In other words, the service of the present life is but an insignificant one in comparison to the glorious service which awaits the Lord's faithful people in the future--when they shall sit with Messiah in his Throne and, as kings and priests, bless and instruct and uplift and control Israel and all the nations of the world. The approval of the one who was given two talents and who was equally faithful, was in equally kind and benevolent terms. He also was a good and faithful servant over a few things; he also would be set as a ruler over many things; he also might enter into the joy of his Lord. The servant who failed to use his talent was branded as wicked and slothful. He knew in advance that the talent was given him for use and because he had professed to be a faithful servant. His failure to use the talent proved him disloyal, unfaithful. It was, therefore, taken away from him.

It is not for us to presume to say that the Lord will have no blessing whatever for that unfaithful servant. He was a servant all the time. He respected the talent. He did not lose it. But he did not use it properly. He seems to represent a very similar class to [R4694 : page 314] the one described in our study of a week ago as the foolish virgins. This class will fail to get into the glories of the Kingdom, but will surely get into the time of trouble and its outer darkness, disappointment and chagrin, with which this Age will end and the New Age be ushered in. The Lord grant that this lesson may help some of his consecrated servants to be more faithful, more careful, in the use of their consecrated talents, that they may glorify the Lord and hear his "Well done" in the end!

One difficulty with many of us in the past has been fear of the Master. We should have gotten better acquainted with him. We should have learned more respecting his real, true character and his purposes. If now the eyes of our understanding are opening, if now we are seeing the beauty of our talents and privileges of service as never before, let us quickly dig the talent out and wash it free from all soil of the earth and use it earnestly, zealously, vigorously, for the praise of our King, redeeming the time, knowing that the days are unfavorable.



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THE SHEEP AND THE GOATS
--MATTHEW 25:31-46.--OCTOBER 16.--

Golden Text--"Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

PREVIOUS studies have pointed us to the Kingdom and incited the Lord's people to strive to become members thereof--kings and priests unto God in association with the Redeemer. Today's study tells of the Kingdom, but from another standpoint. It explains the work of the Kingdom after it shall have been set up--after Messiah at his Second Advent shall have gathered his "jewels" to constitute his Bride class--after these shall be with him in the Throne of his glory--after he shall have taken unto himself his great power and shall have begun his Messianic reign of righteousness "under the whole heavens." It is important in every study of the Scriptures that we recognize the Divine Plan as a whole and properly locate the teaching of each parable.

We know that the parable of the sheep and the goats belongs not to this Age, but to the coming Age of Messiah's glorious reign, because the introduction declares this, saying, "When the Son of man shall come in his glory and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the Throne of his glory, and before him shall be gathered all nations; and he shall separate them one from another as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats." Those sheep and goats will not include the Church, to whom the promise is, "When he shall appear, we also shall appear with him in glory"--sharing his Throne.

The salvation of the Church will be finished before the salvation of the world will begin. Today's study pictures the salvation of the world, showing us how every member of Adam's race will be on trial during the reign of Messiah and, by his obedience or disobedience to the light and knowledge then prevailing, he will be deciding his own everlasting future, either as a sheep or as a goat. It will require the entire one thousand years of Messiah's reign to complete the testing and separating work.

THE WICKED NOT TO BE PRESERVED

All then obedient will be recognized as children of God and brethren. All the disobedient will be reckoned as children of the Adversary and worthy to share his fate, because, under favorable conditions, they were rebellious. Such shall be destroyed with Satan in the Second Death, which is symbolically represented as fire, because fire is always destructive, never preservative. On the contrary, the sheep class at the conclusion of Messiah's reign will have reached perfection, the image and likeness of God, on the human plane. These will be invited to become the kings of earth under the Divine supervision--even as was Adam in his original perfection--crowned with glory and honor and set over the earthly creation.--Psalm 8:3-5.

The terms and conditions which will test and determine who will be sheep and who will be goats, who will be obedient or disobedient to the Divine regulations, will be mercy, kindness, love. The loving and sympathetic character is the only one which God purposes shall have eternal life, either on the heavenly or on the earthly plane--all having either the wolfish or devilish character, or even the goat character--of waywardness and unsubmissiveness, will be accounted unworthy of any further blessing after the close of the reign of Messiah. The testing then will not be as to believing or disbelieving, striving to do well or not striving to do well. The Church is dealt with now along such lines. God's dealings with us make allowances for our unwilling imperfections. But in the trial of the world in the future every man shall be tried according to his work, not according to his faith. In that time knowledge will have practically supplanted faith; [R4695 : page 315] hence faith will have no special rewards. Works will then have the rewards, and each member of the race will be expected to strive for perfect works and to be assistants of the Great King Emmanuel and his Bride, the Church on the spirit plane. Mankind will be enabled gradually to attain such perfection of mind and of body as will make perfect works possible. At the conclusion of the Millennial Age perfect works only will be rewarded.

REWARDS AND PUNISHMENTS

We have already referred to the rewards that will be granted to the "sheep" class at the close of Messiah's Kingdom--they will enter into life eternal and become possessors of the earthly Kingdom originally given to Adam, but lost through disobedience, and redeemed by the sacrifice of Jesus and restored by his Messianic reign, for which we pray, "Thy Kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as in heaven."

As for the "goat" class, we have already intimated that their punishment will consist of destruction in fire, or destruction everlasting, the Second Death--the destruction which God has already determined for Satan and all who are his messengers and servants, after the manner of this goat class--because, with all the favorable opportunities, they failed to develop such characters as God could reward with life everlasting. The contrast is emphasized in the last verse of the study. These (the goat class) shall go away into eternal punishment; but the righteous, the sheep class, into eternal life. The contrast is perfect. The one gets life to all eternity. The other gets the specified punishment of destruction to all eternity. The Greek word here translated punishment is kolasin, which signifies restraint, cutting off--in this case cutting off from life--Second Death. "The wages (punishment) of sin is death."

Some one has well said:--

"Sow a thought and you reap an act;
Sow an act and you reap a habit;
Sow a habit and you reap a character;
Sow a character and you reap a destiny."

The Divine intention as respects the salvation of this Gospel Age and the salvation of the world during the coming Age is that only such as develop the God-like character shall be permitted to enjoy Divine favor to all eternity. God has determined that the time shall come when there shall be no more sighing, no more crying, no more dying; but instead, every creature in heaven and in earth and under the earth shall be heard praising God and the Lamb.


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THE MARK OF PERFECT LOVE
Oh Lord, we thank thee thou hast set
A Mark of perfect love
Which we must reach ere we can win
Approval from above.

For, in the reaching of that Mark,
Our characters are built,
Which thou requirest of all those
Whom Christ has freed from guilt.

We consecrate to follow him
Along the "narrow way";
And so we strive to overcome,
And grow, from day to day.

And "perfect love"--what does it mean?
Must we attain thereto?
And actually love, and perfectly,
Our God and brother true?

E'en so, we actually must love
Our Father, first and best,
And love our "Elder Brother," as
In him we find true rest.

And then our enemies we love;
We seek to do them good!
We ever try to render them
The services we should.

Ah yes, 'tis actual, perfect love
We truly must attain;
But, oh, how often do we fail!
And failure gives us pain--

Because this creature of pure love
In sin-racked body lives;
But, praise his name, our Advocate
His loving service gives.

So, perfect will and perfect love
Are handicapped till we
In his own likeness shall awake--
Like him for e'er to be!
F. A. R.



[R4695 : page 315]

THIS LOOKS REASONABLE

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:-- WHILE reading the article in May 1 TOWER, entitled "The Binding of the Strong Man," certain further conclusions presented themselves to my mind; but they were of such a startling character that I have refrained from mentioning them to a single soul, as I would not for all the world wish to promulgate an idea that had any measure of error in it. However, the more I have thought over it the more has it impressed me as correct. It is herewith submitted for your consideration. If you can discern anything unscriptural in it I shall drop the matter altogether, as it is far better to suppress a questionable truth than run the risk of propagating a possible error.

The Lord has permitted the Church in these last times to be blessed with such an abundance that it makes us tremble lest we might be instrumental in the circulation of some one of the many forms of unscriptural teaching, thus assisting in marring in our own mind, and in the minds of others, the beautiful harmony of the Divine Plan. How the Truth has made us love our Lord, and how grievous it would be if we were to find that in any way we have encouraged that which did not properly represent him!

The article referred to suggests the thought that just as there is a Christ company, the Church, the Body of Christ, and then an individual Christ, who is the Head of the Body, even Jesus, so likewise there is a Satanic company, a System over which the Devil is head, as well as the individual Satan, Beelzebub, the "Chief of Devils."

In that article you remind us that during the last thirty-five years there has been considerable evidence that a work of restraint has been going on in this great "system of which Satan has stood as the representative or head." You there point out how much evidence we have of the gradual binding of this system of things in the Prohibition movement, and we saw how the light along all lines was the agency being used of the Lord in the accomplishment of this binding or restraining of some [R4695 : page 316] of the things connected with the evil system. However, you made it plain that you did not refer to the binding of the individual Devil, but to the binding of the satanic organization.

But right here I thought of the words of our Lord in Matthew 12:29, to which your article also refers, "How can one enter into a strong man's house and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house." According to this, if the Lord were to bind the Strong Man, Satan, before he began to spoil his house, and if we see reason to believe that the house is being spoiled already, then must we not conclude that the personal Devil has been bound for some time? May it not be that part of the work accomplished by our invisibly present Master between 1874 and 1878 was the binding of the Wicked One? One of our Lord's first experiences after his baptism 1800 years ago was with Satan, and how likely that one of his first experiences at his second coming would be with the same Adversary!

If the question is asked, Where, then, if Satan is now bound, do all our temptations come from? I answer, from the fallen spirits who were once under the control of Satan. For some cause, possibly the fact that he had been a being of a higher order than they, Lucifer appears to have had power over the other angels that had fallen, which they could not successfully resist; so if they were ever to be brought back into harmony with God it would be necessary for them to be set free from the bondage they were in to their leader, Satan.

In Hebrews 1:6, we find that all the other translations give quite a different thought from that in the King James translation; even the margin of the authorized version gives the correct thought. The Revised Version says, "And when he again bringeth in the First-Born into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him." This would, to my mind, seem to imply that when our Lord would come into the world the second time, one of the things he purposes is to give the fallen angels a chance to prove whether they are willing to become angels of God once more, and one of the ways whereby they might demonstrate that they are sick and tired of the service of the Devil is to acknowledge the authority of the One who has now returned to be King of earth, by worshipping and obeying him. On the contrary, those of them who would continue in sympathy with the evil principles of their wicked master, would simply use the increased liberty that would come to them through the binding of Satan, to introduce new forms of wickedness.

During the ages in which they served Satan, no doubt many wicked ideas apart from their leader occurred to them, but as he had his own idea of how his kingdom should be run, they were not allowed to have their own way. But now Satan's restraint has given them the occasion wished for, and would account for the great diversity of spiritualistic phenomena, compared with that of former times.

I cannot see how the fallen angels could have a fair trial as long as Satan was at liberty to coerce them to do his bidding, as seems to have been the case in the past.

If Satan is now bound, it would also teach another lesson: Many have the idea that in order to bring all the iniquity in the world to an end, it is merely necessary to bind the great Author of Sin, when things would naturally readjust themselves in harmony with the will of God. But the fact that after the binding of the Evil One things would in some respects be even worse than they were before, resulting in the worst time of trouble that had ever been, would prove to all the universe that sin is not merely such an awful thing because Satan was here to direct things, but that the real cause of the trouble was sin, whether there was an archangel behind it, or one of the lower order of angels, or simply a man; that sin is the terror, with Satan or without him; that sin is the cursed thing.

The last point to be mentioned is this: If Satan was bound about 1874, and if the period of his restraint is also to be a thousand years, he would be due to be set at liberty about 2874. On the other hand, a thousand years from 1915, when the world will have been fully turned over to Christ, will bring us to 2915, when the world will have been fully turned over to the Father. This would allow a period of about forty years as the "little season" when Satan is to bring upon the world the great and final test. But if the binding of Satan is to be reckoned from 1915 it would be difficult to see where the little season, "when the thousand years were finished," would come in. From this standpoint these various Scriptures would be equally applicable to the individual Satan, and also to the satanic system.

Now, dear Brother, if you have anything that even half-way looks like proof that I am wrong in these suggestions, I think it would be better for me to drop it altogether, as far as presenting these things to others is concerned, as we cannot afford to risk stumbling our brethren with a doubtful interpretation.

Praying the Lord's continued direction in all your affairs, as you seek to pour out the little strength and time that remain to you, in the service of the Lord of the Harvest, I remain,

Your Brother and servant in the cause which seeks the Glory of our Lord,
BENJ. H. BARTON.



[R4696 : page 316]

SOME INTERESTING QUESTIONS

MOSES AND THE LAW COVENANT

Question.--Was Moses out from under Adamic Condemnation?

Answer.--If he was a member of the Jewish nation then he was in this special covenant-relationship with God. Adam, when he sinned, lost his covenant standing with God and was sentenced to death. God made a new arrangement with the Seed of Abraham, that he would enter into a Covenant with them as though they were perfect; and to this end Moses became their mediator. We have every reason to suppose that Moses was also a participator in the arrangement as well as being the mediator of it. So we suppose that Moses was under the Law the same as were his successors, and this Covenant, by its arrangement year by year continually, not only put them, at the first, in this condition of typical justification or covenant-relationship with God, but it gave them a whole year of that favorable condition; and only at the end of the year, when the period for which the sacrifice had been offered had lapsed, were they no longer in covenant-relationship with God. Then they put on sackcloth and ashes and, like the remainder of the world, they were sinners, under condemnation, but under more condemnation than the rest of the world because they had the additional condemnation of the Law.

We understand, then, that if Moses could have kept the Law under that Covenant, God would have been bound to give him eternal life according to the promise-- [R4696 : page 317] "He that doeth these things shall live by them." God did not say anything about Christ or believing in Christ or anything of that kind; merely, he that doeth these things shall have eternal life by doing them. And so we think that this promise applied to Moses and all the Israelites under the Law, and still applies to the Jews. And we believe God would give eternal life to anyone who could do those things perfectly, but this offer was made only to the Jews. They were out from Adamic condemnation in that tentative sense; not that they had escaped, for since they still bore unchanged the same imperfections as the remainder of the children of Adam, they could not do what they wished to do; as the Apostle says, "We cannot do the things that we would." So they had a condemnation as a people which other nations did not have. Adam, individually, had been sentenced to death. His children did not have, individually, that condemnation. They were born in "prison"--in this death condition. But in the case of the Jews, God treated them as though they had been separated from the remainder of the world.

It was as if they had said, "We did not do anything wrong, Lord; why do you not give us a chance?"

"I will give you a chance; I will give you my Law to keep."

"What will you give us if we keep your Law perfectly?"

"I will give you eternal life."

"We will keep it. We agree to keep your Law, and you agree to give us life." So, then, these children of Adam, the Jews, who, like the rest of the world, were not on individual trial previously, and had not, therefore, been sentenced as individuals, but were merely sharing the effect of Adam's condemnation--all these Jews were now put on trial for life, and when they failed it meant a special penalty upon them, because they now had an individual trial and failed. Therefore, we see that it was necessary that the Jew, under this second condemnation, or this individual trial and individual condemnation, should all be under Moses as the Mediator, so that Christ could take the place of this Mediator and effect something for that nation. Moses was merely typical of the better Mediator. Therefore, since they were in that Mediator, who was only a type of Christ, God was merely showing to them in a typical way what he will do for them by and by, when Christ will be Mediator of their New (Law) Covenant.--Jer. 31:31.


JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH

Question.--Will any of the Gentiles be justified by faith during the Millennial Age?

Answer.--We understand that justification by faith applies to the present age and to our salvation--the Church's salvation--which is called "salvation by faith" in contradistinction to the salvation that was offered to the Jews in their Age, the salvation by works, under the Law Covenant, and also in contrast with the salvation that will be offered to the Jews and to the world in the next Age, which will be a salvation by works under the New (Law) Covenant. In other words, this Gospel Age is the only Age in which faith takes the place of perfection. It is true, of course, that no Jew could have been justified before God by keeping the Law Covenant unless he had believed in God; and it is equally true that no one will be justified under the New Covenant arrangement except he believe in God and is in harmony with the arrangements that will then be open to all. However, this will not make it a faith-salvation, a salvation by faith, but a salvation by works--the works of the Law.

The works of the Law were unable to save the Jews during the Jewish dispensation because they could not keep the Law, and because there was no arrangement made through an efficient mediator to lift them up out of their degradation, but this arrangement has been made future for all Israel and all who will come in under this arrangement in the Millennial Age. They will be enabled to perform the works. They will be helped out of their degradation. So we read in Revelation that the sea will give up her dead, the grave will give up the dead that are in it, and that they shall all stand before the great white throne during the Millennial Age, and shall all be judged out of the things written in the book; according to their works shall they be judged, then. The distinctive statement made regarding us now is that it is not according to our works that we are judged, but according to our faith. So, then, there will be faith and works in the Millennial Age, and there are faith and works in this Gospel Age; but the faith of the Millennial Age will be less meritorious in proportion because everything will be very plain and easy to believe, and hence it will not be the faith that will be specially rewarded then, but the works. In this Age faith takes the most important place, and we are not rewarded according to our works, for we have none to reward. But it is the faith that will be rewarded.

Faith and works apply to both ages, but in the one age it is the faith that is rewarded, and in the other the works will be rewarded. In the one, faith is the standard or test of whether one is worthy or unworthy and in the other works will be the standard or test of whether one is worthy or unworthy of eternal life.

Galatians 3:8 seems very particularly to show that the reference is to the Gentiles who are justified through faith and not by works; hence, we understand that this text applies to the Gospel Age in the sense that God foresaw that during this Gospel Age he would justify certain of the Gentiles through faith, just as he intended also to justify some of the Jews through faith. The Gentiles never were under the Law of works, but are accepted under the Gospel arrangement, by faith.


HOW TO DETERMINE THE LORD'S WILL

Question.--Suppose some one has in mind an undertaking which he believes is of the Lord's leading, and yet others who are as consecrated to the Lord as himself, seem to think it may not be of the Lord's leading, is there any way whereby he can assure himself that he is right?

Answer.--We think that it is a good rule, when one is uncertain as to what is the right course, to simply stand still and wait, if the matter can be dealt with in that way. But if it is a matter that cannot be delayed but must be determined at once, it would not do to stand still; but it would be well in many instances to merely stand and wait.

For instance, a gentleman asked us as to whether he should build a house or not. We were not hasty in giving him advice, and he urged us to tell him our thought. After he had told us all the conditions, we advised him not to build, and gave our reasons. We did not attempt to urge our views upon him at all, but left them there. It is well for us to remember not to give too much concern about things that are not in our hands to decide; we would thus save ourselves a deal of trouble. In everything, however, that is in our hands to decide, we should use a great deal of care and judgment and try to find out the Lord's will in the matter.

In the case of people having different opinions about [R4696 : page 318] things, we think it well for one, if the responsibility rests with him, to hear what others may have to say and then consider the matter with as much wisdom and judgment as possible, and proceed to act according to his best judgment, taking into consideration the reasons advanced by his friends, bearing in mind, however, that the responsibility of decision is with himself.


FAITH THE GIFT OF GOD

Question.--Is faith the gift of God?

Answer.--"By grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God." The Apostle seems to intimate that grace is God's favor; in fact, the word "grace" has the signification of gift, or that which is favor. Our salvation is of Divine favor--not of any necessity on God's part, not because Justice required it, not because anyone could have demanded it from him, but it is his own merciful, gracious provision, and this salvation in our case is through faith. And the faith is not of ourselves, as a matter of course. Hence we think that when the Apostle says "it is not of ourselves," he must refer to faith. However, faith, in a very important sense, is of the individual; we are urged to "have faith unto God." One cannot have faith for another. The individual must exercise his own faith in God; and yet in this text we are told that our faith is of God. [R4697 : page 318]

In what sense could this be of God? We answer that it is of God in the sense that every good and every perfect gift comes down from the Father. Our faith must have a foundation, must have a basis. We must have knowledge of a matter in order to have faith in it. We have knowledge of God, and this knowledge which is granted us as a grace or favor brings us to the place where we are enabled to exercise the faith. The faith in a great measure rests upon the knowledge. The knowledge shows us God's character; the Divine Revelation makes known to us certain facts respecting God's purposes, and we see the purposes thus outlined to be in harmony with the character of God, and this enables one to believe the promises; and believing them, we are enabled to act upon them; and this is faith.

So, then, our faith, while it is of ourselves in the sense that we must exercise it, is of God in the sense that he supplies the necessary elements from which that faith is to be compounded.


IS THE CHURCH A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD NOW?

Question.--Is the Church in the flesh a royal priesthood?

Answer.--We recognize that we are not a royal priesthood, in the full sense of the word, yet, because we are not yet certain that we shall be in the priesthood finally. We must first make our calling and election sure.

It will have to be determined whether we shall be in the "Little Flock" or "Great Company"--whether Priests or Levites--or whether we shall be worthy of life at all. Since this matter, then, is in process of determination and will not be fully settled until our death, it follows that we are not in the fullest sense of the word officiating priests, but candidates for this priesthood, and temporarily acknowledged as priests and counted as priests-- just as some time you might meet a gentleman who had been nominated for Governor. By way of compliment you might say, "Good morning, Governor." He is not really a Governor yet. That will be determined by the election, but before he is elected it might be proper or courteous to call him Governor. And so with us. We hope we shall make our calling and election sure; that we shall be of that royal priesthood in the fullest sense, and in one sense we are now members in the Body, in that we have already received a begetting of the Spirit, acknowledgment of the Lord as ambassadors of God. This is an acknowledgment in one sense of the word of our priestly office, for these priests are "ambassadors," and to whatever extent we are conducting ourselves as ambassadors of God, to that extent we are priests of God--of the probationary kind, and not fully of the Melchisedec kind, which we shall be when our change shall come and we shall be like our Lord.



page 318

SOME INTERESTING LETTERS

QUARTERLY REPORTS DESIRED

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--

We take this opportunity of advising you of the progress of the evangelistic services the Cleveland, O., class is engaged in.

We have held four meetings in Chardon; the first had an attendance of thirty, and this with opposition from a political meeting held in the church; the number at our service exceeded the church service. The next Sunday there were thirty persons present again, the third Sunday fifteen, and the fourth Sunday ten. An immense amount of literature was taken, and the ten seemed to be interested enough to form a class. They are now reading the first volume. It was thought advisable that they thus continue for a short time, when organization will be taken into consideration.

Upon receipt of a letter in a roundabout way from Lorain, twelve consecrated children of God who had left the Salvation Army, because of methods of which they could not approve, were formed into a class, and are meeting regularly every Sunday. Some sixteen volumes having been purchased since their first meeting. We are furnishing a leader every Sunday.

On July 24 we held a public meeting in Clyde, O., at the direction of the Bellevue Ecclesia, where about fifty were present. The Bellevue friends have been very zealous this summer, and no doubt their efforts are showing some fruit. We have in view two or three one-day meetings, after which we again purpose holding three or four meetings in towns where the expenditures will justify the efforts.

We would appreciate any suggestions from you that you might see fit to make. We are anxious for all the service that we can undertake.

Yours in Service,
INTERNATIONAL BIBLE STUDENTS OF CLEVELAND.

IN REPLY

DEAR BRETHREN:--

I accept the above as a Quarterly Report. It is excellent. The classes which have a surplus of energy and talent surely do well to employ it thus in nearby places. May the Lord's blessing continue richly with you as a class and individually, and upon your labors in the "harvest" field.

I take this opportunity to request Quarterly Reports from all the classes which have elected me their Pastor. To fulfil the pastoral office I must look specially after the interests of these classes--even though I know not how I can really do more for them than I now endeavor to do for all.


DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--

I feel impelled to write you a word of encouragement and endorsement. In WATCH TOWER issue of Sept. 15 there is an article captioned, "Is the reading of SCRIPTURE STUDIES Bible study?" which I read with great pleasure; and in it I note your defense of the Bible and your humility and meekness. My answer to the question would be "Yes, the reading of SCRIPTURE STUDIES is Bible study, for who of us ever understood the Old or New Testament till we, by God's goodness, through your loving, zealous and Christlike effort, came in contact with these STUDIES?"

Those of us who were trained for the ministry studied everything and anything but the Bible. What some of us did, at best, was to memorize as much of the good Book as we could, but neither bishops, nor D.D.'s, nor B.D.'s, nor any other understood the Book, and consequently could not help the weaker ones.

You have spoken the truth; for I remember when I served "Ism," I honestly came to the conclusion that I was unfit to be in that position as a teacher of God's Word when I was practically page 319 unable to give a clear, definite and reasonable answer to one of the members of the congregation who asked a Biblical question; and in substance I said, "I will stop any endeavor to teach others until I know what I believe, what to teach and how to teach it." And it was not many days after this decision that our Father apprehended me through these STUDIES, and I apprehended his Truth.

God bless you! War a good warfare, be courageous and may the blessings in Numbers 6:24-26 be yours until the end of your pilgrimage.

I am yours fraternally,
J. J. HARRIS.


DEAR BRETHREN:--

By an oversight, or rather by a misunderstanding as to who should send in the request for Pilgrim service, we have not been having the calls we expected, and did not know where the trouble was till your letter to us of Sept. 3. Then we found that one Brother who was to send in the request did not so understand it, and this we learned when the class met. Most assuredly we want a Pilgrim Brother every time we can get him, and we want you to plan for us a two-days' visit also each time. This we have always had, and want the same if you can let us have so much of service without in any way taking service from some other class. We shall gladly have Brother Hall with us. He was with us on one other occasion for two days, and we greatly enjoyed his visit. Our class is growing in the knowledge of the Truth daily, and we want every help we can get.

Yours in our dear Redeemer,
CHAS. BOAZ, M.D.


DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--

Greetings from the Church at Lancaster to you, our beloved Pastor, through whom the Lord has called and made us to sit down at his table and through whom he has served us with "meat in due season."

We rejoice with you in the increased light that is shining so brightly on the various features of the Divine Plan (the sin-offering, the covenants, etc.). We have been led and fed, nourished and cherished of the Lord by the precious truths which he has brought to us through you, his servant, until we are caused to exclaim with Brother Paul, "Oh the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God,... for who hath known the mind of the Lord or who has been his counsellor?"

We also recognize with you the evil day in which we are living and the increased powers of evil in various directions, and herewith send the names of those who have sufficiently realized this to make the Vow their own unto the Lord. And as was suggested by you, that all the names of those in the Lancaster class who have taken the Vow be sent to you together, we take this opportunity to do so. Those having previously sent in their names are listed separately.

We earnestly request to be remembered at the throne of heavenly grace that we might faithfully keep both the spirit and the letter of the Vow until we are all brought face to face with him who died for us and bought us with his own precious blood.

Yours in the love and service of our King,
SIGNED BY FORTY-FIVE.

IN REPLY

BELOVED IN THE LORD:--

I acknowledge your letter of the 16th inst., and assure you that its words of love and fellowship in our dear Lord are highly appreciated and fully reciprocated.

I am also refreshed through this token of your confidence, prizing the approval of the fellow-members in the Body next to that of the gracious heavenly Father and our dear Lord himself.

I note, with gratification, that so many of the Lancaster Class have, in acknowledgment of all the benefits which they have received from the Lord, paid their vows to him in the presence of all the people. It is surely strengthening to note the names of the twenty-five friends who have more recently paid their vows to the Lord, in addition to the twenty who did so earlier and who previously notified us.

May each of us be more and more diligent to hold our "Head" purely; that we may grow more and more into him and at his revelation be given a seat with him on his throne.



page 319

BEREAN QUESTIONS IN SCRIPTURE STUDIES

Series VI., Study III.--The Call of The New Creation.

NOVEMBER 6

(25) Would it be consistent with the Heavenly Father's character of Justice and Love to extend a single invitation which could not be made good, if accepted? P. 94, par. 2.

(26) At what time did the general call cease? P. 95, par. 1.

(27) Did the ceasing of the "call" signify the end of all opportunity for admittance into joint-heirship with Christ? P. 95, par. 1.

(28) What evidences may be considered as good proof of having been accepted of the Lord as prospective heirs with Jesus Christ by those who have consecrated since 1881? P. 96.

(29) How does God call the New Creation? In what sense is Christ our Wisdom? What is the value of Wisdom in general? P. 96, par. 1.

(30) Is our natural Wisdom sufficient for us as New Creatures? P. 97, par. 1.

(31) What conditions are essential in order to have a hearing ear for the "Wisdom from above?" P. 97, par. 2.

(32) What important facts must be grasped, and how is Christ made our Wisdom before we can be justified? P. 98, 2d to 18th lines.

NOVEMBER 13

(33) Does Christ cease to be our Wisdom at the time of our Justification? P. 98, 18th line to end of par.

(34) Explain the orderly operation of this "Wisdom from above." P. 98, par. 1.

(35) How is Gentleness manifested in this heavenly Wisdom? P. 99, par. 1.

(36) Explain the relationship of mercy and good fruits to "the Wisdom from above." P. 99, par. 2.

(37) How is heavenly Wisdom "without partiality?" P. 100, par. 1.

(38) Why is this Wisdom "without hypocrisy?" P. 100, par. 2.

(39) How has God given us this heavenly Wisdom through his Son and the Members of his Body? P. 100, par. 3.

NOVEMBER 20

(40) If Christ is our "Justification," what are the primary thoughts contained in the word Justification? Give an illustration. P. 101, top.

(41) Apply this illustration to mankind. P. 101.

(42) Since we as a race are all imperfect, and none can meet the requirements for himself or "his brother," explain how God has purposed to accept and deal with these unjust, imperfect beings in general. P. 102.

(43) Explain the "Justification by faith" provided for the New Creation. P. 102, par. 1. See also W.T.'10-85-88.

(44) How long does this reckoned or faith-Justification hold good? P. 103, par. 1. W.T.'10-87, 1st col.

(45) Is Christ the cause or ground of our Justification? If so, explain in detail the prevalent confusion respecting the ground or basis of our Justification, giving Scriptural quotations. P. 104, par. 1.

(46) How may we harmonize these apparently conflicting statements? P. 105, par. 1.

(47) Explain how we are "Justified by God's grace." P. 105, par. 2.

(48) How are we Justified by Christ's blood? P. 105, par. 3.

NOVEMBER 27

(49) Why was the resurrection of Jesus Christ necessary to our Justification? P. 106, par. 1.

(50) How is the Church justified by faith? P. 106, par. 2. W.T.'10-86,87.

(51) Explain the difference between the faith necessary to vitalized Justification of the Church, and that which will be required of the world for actual Justification, in the Millennial Age. P. 106, par. 3.

(52) What is the difference between our relationship to God through reckoned Justification and that of the world in the next age through actual Justification? P. 107, par. 1. W.T.'10-92, 2d col.

(53) What is the object in granting this reckoned Justification to the Church in the present time? P. 108, par. 1.

(54) What do works have to do with our Justification, and are we judged according to our works? P. 108, par. 2.

(55) Give an illustration of the general operation of Justification by grace, by the blood, and through our faith, and the relation of works to the same. P. 109, par. 1.



page 321
October 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. XXXIOCTOBER 15No. 20
A.D. 1910--A.M. 6038


CONTENTS

Views From The Watch Tower323
Prepare War! Wake Up the Mighty Men!323
Decline of Non-Conformists in Britain324
New Church Union Movement325
The Heavens Rolling Together325
A Catholic Church Prop326
Abraham Lincoln's Confession of Faith326
Higher Criticism Influence Appalling327
Cumbered With Much Serving (Poem)327
Pastor Russell Addressing Enthusiastic Jewish Mass Meeting at Hippodrome328
"Wilt Thou That We Command Fire?"330
"A Savior and a Great One"330
Told for a Memorial of Her331
"She Hath Done What She Could"331
"The Poor Always With You"331
"This Do in Remembrance of Me"332
Israel's First-Borns Passed Over332
God's Estimation Different From World's333
Some Interesting Letters334

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.




PUBLISHED BY
WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY
CHARLES T. RUSSELL, PRESIDENT
"BROOKLYN TABERNACLE," 13-17 HICKS ST.,
BROOKLYN, N.Y., U.S.A.

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SEND MONEY BY EXPRESS, BANK DRAFT, POSTAL ORDER, OR REGISTERED.
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Terms to the Lord's Poor as Follows:--All Bible Students who, by reason of old age, or other infirmity or adversity, are unable to pay for this Journal, will be supplied Free if they send a Postal Card each May stating their case and requesting its continuance. We are not only willing, but anxious, that all such be on our list continually and in touch with the Studies, etc.



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INTERNATIONAL BIBLE STUDENTS ASSOCIATION MEETINGS


LONDON, ENGLAND, OCT. 23, 30, NOV. 6


CLEVELAND, OHIO, NOV. 20

OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLA., NOV. 27

BROOKLYN, N.Y., DEC. 4


INTERNATIONAL BIBLE STUDENTS ASSOCIATION

Some confusion seems to prevail amongst the dear friends in respect to the proper manner of using the above mentioned title, owing to the fact that mistaken advertisements, signs and letter-heads do not read properly, but are misleading. The I.B.S. Association is here at Brooklyn--a regularly organized Association. We suggest that letter-heads, etc., used elsewhere read somewhat as follows:--

PHILADELPHIA CLASS
OF THE
INTERNATIONAL BIBLE STUDENTS ASSOCIATION


HEART BOOK-MARKS

Hereafter regular Colporteurs (working on assignments of territory and making regular reports with lists of names of purchasers of STUDIES) will be supplied free on request, one of the wonderful book-marks for each set of STUDIES of three or more volumes. In other words, they may order one heart for each copy of Vol. III. These are proving to be great aids in the sale of the STUDIES.

PALESTINE REMEMBRANCERS OF OLIVEWOOD

When in Palestine we thought of THE WATCH TOWER readers everywhere and surmised that they might like to have some little remembrancer of our visit. Accordingly we placed an order for a sufficient number of olive wood articles to supply an estimated demand. These have only now arrived. The articles are paper-knives, paper-weights and pin-cushions, the latter made of two thin pieces of olive wood a little larger than a silver dollar, with velvet cushion between for pins and needles. The wood is cut crosswise of the tree and is polished.

It would especially please us to send these out to the different friends without money and without price, but we cannot afford to do this. We can, however, supply these at a very low price, 7c each, including postage or expressage.

Wherever possible we advise that the friends bunch their orders; but we are prepared to send them out as they may be pleased to order them--even singly. State what you prefer and give your address very plainly. Order at once, before the Christmas rush. Those receiving THE WATCH TOWER on the Lord's Poor List may have one of these souvenirs without charge, upon request.


THE WATCH TOWER BIBLE

Those of the friends who are using the Bibles containing our special Berean Helps write us that they are in love with them more and more as the days go by and they learn their usefulness. Some, however, forget what a valuable assistance to Bible study they have close at hand, with comments or other information on the major portion of God's Word and references to SCRIPTURE-STUDIES, TOWERS, etc.

We have these in two different styles and five different grades--the cheapest as low as $1.65, the very best and most complete at $3.50. They will be described in the next issue.


BROTHER RUSSELL'S SERMONS IN GERMAN

The sermons are now published regularly in a German newspaper. Order it through THE WATCH TOWER office and get the advantage of our clubbing rate--$1 per year; $1.50 to Canada and foreign addresses.


LITERATURE FOR HEBREWS

We have obtained a supply of a newspaper published in the Yiddish language, which our readers are welcome to have for use amongst their Hebrew friends. Its contents are Zionistic. It is composed largely of quotations from Brother Russell's writings and sermons. We have already arranged to supply some of the larger cities, but still have some for the smaller places. Order no more than you can and will use judiciously.



[R4697 : page 323]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER

"PREPARE WAR! WAKE UP THE MIGHTY MEN!"

WHILE peace conferences are being held and while disarmaments are being considered, preparation for war goes steadily on. Germany is fortifying her islands nearest to Great Britain, and is now demanding that Holland shall likewise fortify her seacoast. The apparent motive behind this interest in Holland's fortification is that Germany proposes at no distant day to make Holland a part of the German Empire, and would like to have it fortified in advance. This would bring Germany within a few hours' sail of British ports. The British believe that it is the intention that they shall be invaded and conquered and made a German Province. Undoubtedly both Holland and Belgium would be parts of Germany today were it not for Great Britain, which protects these nations as a barrier between her and Germany's army. A panicky feeling prevails in Great Britain. We make an extract from the Naval and Military Record, the writer being a secretary of the National Service League. We quote as follows:--

"We want a million men with six months' training now, and after that another million in reserve, and these must be intact when all our regulars have left our shores. Without them we can neither fight by land nor sea. It is evident to all but to our ill-informed and apathetic people, that our supremacy at sea is slipping from our grasp, and our rivals feverishly prepare to dictate terms when we are least expecting war.

"We must be prepared to send 500,000 of our finest manhood and maintain that force abroad if we would save our interests and keep our friends in Europe. By 1915 Germany will have her ports and naval arsenals, her wharves and jetties and her fleet and transports ready, and when ready she may strike like lightning. Then, not far from Waterloo, must come the clash of nations fighting for their very life.

"Round Holland and Belgium the nets are drawing closer every day. We already harbor a million of the enemy within the gate. Our politicians mostly lie, or dare not speak the truth. Disaster stares us in the face. At the outbreak of war our food supplies will fail, and prices will be far beyond the pockets of the poor. Employment, then, will cease, and starving millions will demand surrender."

THE METHODISM OF WESLEY VANISHING

"For the fourth year in succession the Wesleyan Methodist Church reports a decrease in membership, running into thousands each year. Thousands of 'pious persons' are on the books, some paying to the support of the church, and some not. In course of time many of these paper members, having no living interest in the church, drift away, and are then classed amongst those who have 'ceased to meet,' though they never have met in their lives.

"Many others are still retained on the books long after the 'ceased-to-meet' period, the explanation often being given that the minister will not take the responsibility of 'unchurching' them. A time at length comes when the thing has grown to be such a palpable farce that something must be done. Besides, chapels and churches are assessed in their payments on the numbers on the class books, and grumblings begin to be heard from those who have to find the wherewithal. A drastic pruning then takes place, and decreases are reported. Those who maintain that numbers mean nothing pooh-pooh the returns. 'Things are just as they were,' they say; 'but honesty for the moment has prevailed.'

NUMBERS UNRELIABLE

"There is truth in this view of things, but not the whole truth. The plain fact is that the numbers reported are never wholly reliable. There are thousands of others on the class books whom the ministers know right well are not genuine members, but whom they are afraid to strike off because of the trouble their action might bring on them at the conferences. No church likes to see its membership declining, and any tendency that way is keenly questioned. Only recently the writer sat in a meeting called for the purpose of 'pruning' where many worthless names were allowed to pass muster through that unwholesome fear. Some little time ago the writer was shown two membership tickets written by the minister for two people who had been dead a considerable time, and another for a person who had removed from the neighborhood.

"It is maintained by many loyal Methodists that a true and faithful record of membership would prove that the Wesleyan Methodist Church is far more seriously declining than the returns to be discussed in the conferences show. [R4697 : page 324]

"The causes of the decline are not far to seek. The old Methodism of John Wesley is rapidly vanishing, or, where it still lingers, is tabooed by the upper circles of the church. Not only that, but scores of the very men who are paid to maintain it are constantly declaring that the Methodism of John Wesley has had its day, and that it is not respectable enough for the age in which we live.

DECLINE IN PREACHING

"The preaching in the Methodist pulpits is another cause of the decline. There may be more scholarly men in the pulpits than formerly, but the impassioned note in the preaching common amongst the early Methodists, has almost clean gone out of the sermon. And this is acknowledged by many ministers themselves, but, in explanation, they will tell you that we are living today in a time of changing creeds, and that the most careful language has to be employed in dealing with certain great themes. The truth, however, is that scores of ministers hardly know what they believe, and, therefore, it is not likely that they can grow impassioned over something of which they have only a very hazy idea.

"I do not know whether they are right or not. I am a layman, and not an expert in theology, but the men in the pulpit who have thrown over the old views of the atonement, the resurrection and other great tenets which Methodists used to believe with all their strength cannot expect to fill churches with the dry husks which they offer their congregations instead."--London Dispatch.


DECLINE OF NON-CONFORMISTS IN GREAT BRITAIN

Reports in Great Britain show that Baptists, Congregationalists and the various Methodist denominations there are declining in numbers and prestige. The cause of this is not far to see. Gradually the common people are losing their sectarian spirit. Those once told directly or by implication that the members of their sect [R4698 : page 324] alone would escape eternal torment and attain heavenly bliss have outgrown such teachings. As a result all now teach that one denomination is practically as good as another in the Lord's sight and equally sure of heaven. And the general sympathy and mental breadth of all Christians have increased to the degree that preachers are expected at funeral services to make the heavenly portals broad for all--the white and black, ring-streaked and speckled sheep of every kind and name and to have a large corner for those who have made no profession, but have lived ungodly lives to the very end. For the latter the hope is expressed that they may have said a prayer before drawing their last breath.

By common consent neither people of civilized lands nor people of heathen lands are now going to the hell of torment which our fathers proclaimed and believed. The only ones being roasted there are such as went at least more than thirty years or more ago.

As a result Christianity and Church fellowship and saintliness stand for nothing. Christianity has become merely another name for decency and civilization. All doctrines are abandoned as merely speculations. Churches are becoming merely social clubs in which form and ceremony mark the quality. Consequently the masses are inclined to attend worship, either to hear an entertaining lecture or to hear beautiful music by a trained and well-paid choir or for a ceremonial religion with plenty of show and movement. This accounts for the growing unpopularity of those sects which once stood for the highest standards of earnestness and Christian zeal and liberty, non-conformity and simplicity.

The Methodist Church in the United States is very different from all the various smaller Methodist bodies of Great Britain. The Episcopal feature in it constitutes its clergy a great hierarchy with a vast influence. It is a masterpiece of organization in which the smallest teacher or lay preacher is attached to the one above him, in order to hold his own position. And the ordinary minister is attached to his presiding Elder. And the presiding Elders are attached to their Bishops. Its management, its system, its watch-care over every interest is second only to that of papacy--the masterpiece of all the organizations of the world.

A LAMENTABLE DECLINE

The Methodist Census again shows a decrease in membership, this time of 2,267, as compared with last year's decrease of 1,444; the total reduction in the past four years amounting to the startling total of 9,869. The fact that this falling-off represents but two per cent. of the entire body is of comparatively little moment in the face of the grave fact that, in spite of the huge and continued effort, instead of proportionate progress there has been a steady decline. The outlook is even more serious, for there is, as might be expected, a decline in the sources from which the members are chiefly drawn; thus, when the numbers "On trial for Membership" and of the "Junior Society Classes" are taken into account, "the total loss in all grades of membership for the four years is 23,996."--London Christian.


CHURCH MEMBERSHIP DECLINING

The figures presented to the annual meeting of the Baptist Union this week, showing a decrease of Church membership by 1,553, while there is an increase of some 38 places of worship, are causing a good deal of heart-searching among the leaders of Nonconformity. There was also a decrease in the previous year. It is curious that while the facilities for worship increase, the number of adherents or recognized members decreases year by year.--Darlington (Eng.) Times.

WHERE THE FAULT REALLY LIES

Rev. H. C. Morrison, in a sermon preached at the Desplaines camp meeting, said:--

"I am not afraid of the blatant infidelity of Tom Paine or of Voltaire or of Robert Ingersoll, but I am afraid of the infidelity that masquerades in clerical clothes and in the sanctuary. I believe that that infidel, Rev. Lyman Abbott, has done more evil than any other of his class in America," said the preacher.

"The reason why the working men are rejecting the Bible and are no longer in fear of its warnings against sin, why the Ten Commandments are discounted and the church and the ministry are not respected as they once were, is because men like Lyman Abbott have so instilled doubt into the public mind as to the reliability of the Bible as the Word of God that the average person has lost faith in its commanding authority."

We quite thoroughly agree that the infidelity of the colleges and seminaries and pulpits of today is much more injurious than that of Paine and Voltaire. But Brother Morrison in the quotation above discloses the fact that he does not understand the situation. The real fault lies back of his criticism--in the creeds of the dark ages which defamed the Divine character and, by foolish interpretations of the Bible, overthrew the faith of some of the noblest specimens of our race--turning them into Higher Critics.

The real fault, therefore, lies in the doctrine of eternal torment, which is still held forth in all the Church [R4698 : page 325] creeds and outwardly, at least, endorsed by the Rev. Morrison and thousands of others of all denominations of Christendom. These false doctrines are turning the hearts of honest and logical ministers and other thinkers away from God, who has so long been misrepresented to them, and away from the Bible, which they have so long misunderstood. It is useless longer to ask intelligent people to worship a God described to them as worse than themselves, or to accept as the Divine Plan such an unwise, unjust, unloving one as they represent the Divine Program to be.


A NEW CHURCH UNION MOVEMENT

Recently (July 18) twelve clergymen and twelve laymen of the Episcopal Church incorporated in the State of New York under the name of Christian Unity Foundation. It was announced that this is the official start of a movement which began in St. Thomas Episcopal Church, New York, last February. Bishop Courtenay was announced as the first President. The organization starts with a gift of $10,000 for individual expenses and is ready to receive further contributions. Its object purports to be the bringing about of a union of all the Christians of the world--Protestant, Roman Catholic and Greek.

The new organization differs from the one organized three years ago, styled The Federal Council, which, without disturbing present organizations, speaks for Federation. The new movement provides for one great religious body in which all names and divisions would be removed. Mr. Rockefeller and everybody else is prophesying a united Christendom. They believe such a union or fusion necessary. Our opinion, based upon the prophetic Scriptures, is well-known to our readers. As long ago as 1880, in these columns, we pointed out, when others did not expect it, that such a Federation is sure to be accomplished and that, according to the Scriptures, the effect will be baneful, injurious in the extreme. Nevertheless we still see that while outwardly injurious to the highest interests of the "sanctified in Christ Jesus," it will not really injure this class. On the contrary it will provide the very oppositions and restraints and persecutions which, under Divine supervision, will work out blessings for the elect and separate them more completely than ever as wheat from the chaff of nominal Christendom.

"In your patience possess ye your souls," declares the Master. We are living in a momentous time. Much is accomplished in one year. What may we expect by October, 1914, the date of the termination of Gentile times? Let us not speculate, but let us keep awake and mark the stately steppings of our present Lord amongst the affairs of mankind--leading onward to the inauguration of the glorious Kingdom of the Son of God, and, through it, to the blessing of Israel and all the nations of the earth.


THE HEAVENS ROLLING TOGETHER

Under the symbolism of the rolling together of the heavens as a scroll the Bible pictures the end of this age, its time of trouble, and how, as a result, the extremes of the ecclesiastical heavens, Catholic and Protestant, will be drawn together. A scroll does not always roll equally from both ends. If one end be fastened the other end will do all the rolling. Thus far Roman Catholicism has made little advance toward fellowship with Protestantism, but the latter is daily rolling a little nearer to Catholicism. Notice, as an instance, the great Eucharistic Congress at Montreal, Canada, the first of the kind to be held in America. One hundred and twenty-five bishops were in attendance and thousands of visitors from all parts of the world.

Cardinal Vannutelli, the special Legate or Representative of the Pope, enroute to the Congress, stopped in England, in spite of the legal statute which forbids the entrance into Great Britain of Papal Legates. The newspapers note that he is the first Catholic of this rank to enter the Island of Great Britain in three hundred years. Evidently the Law on the subject is a dead letter. Catholics and Protestants have both made an advance since that Law was made.

The Government's representative in Canada, Judge Girourd, welcomed the Cardinal Legate in the words, "The administration of the Dominion of Canada presents its homage to his excellency and bids him welcome."

At the Congress, Father Vaughan of London, one of the leading delegates, attacked Protestantism, declaring that Protestantism is dying out; that soon there will be nothing left of it; that Protestants, if they wish to conserve their religion, should labor for the abolition of race suicide.


[R4699 : page 325]

WELL EXPRESSED--SHOULD BE HEEDED.

In the Atlanta Weekly Journal, Bishop Warren A. Candler says, "Nothing is more schismatic than the effort to impose conditions of Christian fellowship upon others which the holy Scriptures do not impose." Not only should Methodists, Episcopalians and Catholics heed these true words, but all denominations of Christ should heed. All should remember that there is but one "Church of the Living God, whose names are written in heaven," and that it has but one Lord, one faith and one baptism, and one God and Father over all. All such, recognizing the Scriptures as the message of God through Jesus, the Apostles and prophets, should judge themselves and fellow-members, not by fanciful standards of the dark ages, but by the Word of the Living God which liveth and abideth forever, and according to which, the Master tells us, we, and, in time, the world also shall be judged.


CHEAPEST AND BEST LIFE INSURANCE

Of course, the Lord's consecrated people recognize that they have no earthly life to preserve--that it is consecrated to death in the service of the Lord and of his cause. From this standpoint the best and cheapest policy is a full consecration of baptism into Christ's death and the Lord's receipt, the earnest of our inheritance, the begetting of the holy Spirit. Such are assured by the Scriptures that they will from time to time receive dividends in slander, evil-speaking and persecutions, generally from "false brethren." But even these experiences are guaranteed to work out for the insured special blessings, and to constitute assurances of Divine favor continued with them.

But our particular thought at this time is to answer the queries of some respecting the insurance of their earthly lives in the interests of those dependent upon them for temporal support. So far as the Editor is concerned, he carries no life insurance of any kind and desires none. Nevertheless all are not situated alike. To our understanding a father, having dependent wife and children--if the latter be of tender years and unable to make their own living--has some responsibility for them; according to the Apostle's statement, "He that provideth not for his own is worse than an unbeliever." It may, indeed, be argued that this, in the Apostle's day, could not have applied to life insurance--that at most it could have meant that a man should pay his just debts, keep his family in reasonable comfort, and, if possible, lay [R4699 : page 326] aside for them some small provision in the way of a cottage, or what not, that would stand between them and immediate want, in event of his death. But in case he could not do this, he might now be able to discharge his duty toward them through the medium of life insurance.

True, we have said, and still say, that we believe the time is near when insurance companies, with all the other arrangements of our present civilization, will be overwhelmed in the great time of trouble foretold by the Prophet Daniel (12:1). It is equally true that we anticipate that that climax of trouble is not farther away than 1915. Our thought is, further, that the so-called mutual insurance companies will fail sooner than those styled "old line" insurance companies, which have the backing of vast accumulations of money and the support of the more wealthy. The mutual companies will fail, first, because, as times get hard, many will be unable to pay their assessments and drop out and thus make the assessments larger for those who remain in. And, as the pinch continues, these also will withdraw and the mutual companies will fail. We are not writing as the agent or emissary of any insurance company; hence we mention no names, but merely offer a suggestion for the benefit of our readers who feel that they have an obligation toward their families to the amount of $1,000 or more. All the "old line" companies have a variety of policies, some of them more, and some of them less favorable. And the agents who solicit insurance get larger commissions from the more expensive kind of policies, hence are not so likely to introduce the kind which we are about to recommend and which may be obtained from any first-class insurance company and is the lowest-priced insurance granted by any of them. We describe it as follows:--

It is known as a "Five-Year-Term Policy." It expires at the end of five years, but that should be no objection to us. It is convertible at any time within four years to a longer term policy. These policies grant full immediate benefit and, so far as the insurance feature is concerned, are as good as any other higher-priced policy for the time mentioned. As for the cost:--

For a person of fifty-three years of age, the cost would be $25.65 per $1,000 for the year. For younger persons the rate would be cheaper; for older persons, dearer.


A CATHOLIC CHURCH PROP

The Roman Catholic Church evidently finds its revenues diminishing, as its people become less fearful of the terrors of Purgatory. It has devised a new scheme whereby to provide for its faithful both earthly and Purgatorial Insurance.

The new scheme is an insurance company along ordinary lines, but Catholics only are expected to patronize it. The religious feature of the arrangement is that the insurance premiums are to go to the Catholic Church treasury and to be credited to the insured as instead of direct payments. This is a long-headed scheme. Perhaps it would work well with the various Protestant denominations. Why not?

THE EUPHRATES DRYING UP

In Revelation we read of the drying up of the Euphrates River, that the way of the Kings of the East may be prepared. (Rev. 16:12.) This is symbolical, of course. It calls our attention back to the typical Babylon and her fall before Cyrus. Babylon was built upon the River Euphrates, which ran through the midst of the city. Her wall was impregnable, but Cyrus' army turned aside the river into a new channel, leaving the old channel dry and enabling him to march his army under the Babylonian gates, which otherwise served as the city's defense.

We are to expect a parallel to this in connection with mystical Babylon--Christendom. In the symbolical language of Revelation, waters symbolize people; hence the turning aside of the "waters" would represent the alienation of the people and the alienation of the people would be indicated by their withholding of financial support.

Gifts of money to ecclesiastical institutions represent love or fear. The increasing light of modern times has not only decreased love for the creeds of the "dark ages," but it has also decreased fear for their threatenings. As a result neither love nor fear is operating as strongly today as once it did in the minds of the masses. What wonder if the result would be the drying up of the Euphrates and the ultimate collapse of mystic Babylon! The matter is under the control of the antitypical Cyrus, of whom it is written, "Thus saith the Lord to his anointed (typical), to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two-leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut; I will go before thee and make the crooked places straight; I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron. And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places." (Isa. 45:1-3.) Thus saith Jehovah, "That saith to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up thy rivers; that saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure; even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid." (Isa. 44:27,28.) As the typical Cyrus encouraged and gave liberty to the Jews to return from Babylonian captivity, so the antitypical, our present Lord, will see to the drying up of the Euphrates and also to Israel's opportunity and encouragement to return to the land of Abraham.


ABRAHAM LINCOLN'S CONFESSION OF FAITH

"I have never united myself to any church, because I have found difficulty in giving my assent, without mental reservation, to the long complicated statements of Christian doctrine which characterize their Articles of Belief and Confessions of Faith. Whenever any church will inscribe over its altar, as its sole qualification for membership, the Savior's condensed statement of the substance of both law and gospel, 'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and thy neighbor as thyself,' that church will I join with all my heart and all my soul."


SCIENTISTS ARE VERY COURAGEOUS

Common people hesitate to be out of line with truth, even a little, but scientists think nothing of thousands of millions of years. An illustration of this is found in their statements respecting the age of our planet. The Scranton Tribune quotes the scientific (?) estimates as follows:--

Lord Kelvin, of England, some years ago, guessed the earth's age to be about ninety-eight millions of years-- days and months not stated. Five years later this scientific gentleman revised his figure, estimating mother earth to be from twenty millions to forty millions of years old.

Scientist D. D. Lapparent, in 1890, estimated the earth's age at from sixty-seven to ninety millions of years.

W. J. Sollas, in 1909, estimated the age of the ocean as from eighty millions to one hundred and fifty millions of years. [R4700 : page 327]

Charles D. Walcott, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institute, in 1893 gave as the earth's maximum age seventy millions of years.

The latest scientific (?) declaration on the subject is from the Smithsonian Institute which, being under governmental control, gives its estimate an official standing. The figures are given by Frank Wigglesworth Clark and George F. Baker, of the United States Geological Survey, whose pronouncement is not above seventy million years, nor below fifty-five million years.

Ordinary men obliged to confess themselves perplexed to the extent of from fifteen million years to one hundred million years, would be apt to keep very quiet lest some one would criticize them and say they didn't know their business; but scientific men are so used to guessing on every subject that they do not take their own situation so seriously.

These scientific gentlemen usually feel that they are damaging the credibility of the Divine testimony on the subject. We doubt if the majority of them know that the Bible does not undertake to say when the earth was formed, though it does undertake to say when the ocean was formed. Bible students will note that Genesis declares that when the first of the creative orders or epochs began, "the earth was without form and void." In SCRIPTURE STUDIES, Vol. VI., we have presented the Bible's own testimony, to the effect that each of the creative days was 7,000 years long and that we are living in the seventh epoch day and that six-sevenths of it are in the past. One more thousand years will complete it-- complete an entire cycle of 49,000 years and usher in the glorious fiftieth of absolute perfection.


REMARKABLE WORDS IN A PROMINENT PLACE

It is well known that the Union Railway Depot in Washington City is thus far the finest on earth--the new Pennsylvania Railroad depot in New York City alone excepted. It is nearing completion and the following three texts of Scripture are quite prominent over the main arches of the entrance:--

(1) "Thou hast put all things under his feet."
(2) "The truth shall make you free."
(3) "The desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose."

Our friends and our enemies alike will be inclined to suppose that in some manner we engineered the putting of those texts in those prominent positions. We want, in advance, to disclaim the honor. The selection was made by Prof. Eliot, formerly President of Harvard University and now prominent as an advocate of a Christless Christianity--Evolution and Higher Criticism of the Bible, which mean no Bible. How came he, then, to select these texts of Scripture? Answer: "God is able to make the wrath of man to praise him."


HIGHER CRITICISM INFLUENCE IS APPALLING

Secretary Foster of the Detroit Y.M.C.A., speaking to the World's Sunday School convention at Washington the other day, made this discouraging statement: "Seventy-five per cent. of all the boys over thirteen years of age in the Protestant Sunday Schools of the United States are lost to the church, and never make professions of faith." He added, so as to leave no question about his facts, "I have made that calculation after study, observation and experience," and practically all the delegates in the meeting agreed with him. An English delegate, shocked by it, remarked, "This is the most astonishing statement I have heard in this country. In England we do not lose more than three per cent."

Mr. Foster's statement, which the Englishman called "astonishing," might be called appalling by every sincere Christian, and at once provokes the questions, What are the churches and the Sunday Schools doing? Would the result be better or worse if the latter were abandoned altogether? What happens to the children after they leave the Sunday School to wean them from the faith? Do the Sunday Schools really give them any faith at all, that it is so easily and generally rubbed off afterwards?-- Detroit Free Press.


"HE DIED UNTO SIN ONCE"

We have been requested to reprint the following from our issue of March 1, 1898:--

"There is no necessity for discussing with honest minds what is and what is not meant by the expression--the Lord's death. Some, in an anxiety to get away from the doctrine of the ransom, or, rather, in their anxiety to get away from the logical deductions associated with the doctrine of the ransom, are claiming, regardless of all Scripture to the contrary, that our Lord Jesus had two deaths, one when he came into the WORLD, and the OTHER at CALVARY; and that the death of the "man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all," at Calvary, was of small importance as compared with the other. They seem willingly ignorant of the fact that the Scriptures declare, 'In that he died, he died unto sin once'; and that that one death, and the only one ever referred to by our Lord or his apostles, was the death at Calvary.

"The Apostles declare that Jesus spoke of the death which he should accomplish at Jerusalem. This one and only death of our Redeemer is what is symbolized in the Memorial Remembrancer--his body, his flesh broken for us, and of its merits and life all who would have life everlasting must partake."


CUMBERED WITH MUCH SERVING
"Christ never asks of us such arduous labor
As leaves no time for resting at his feet;
This waiting attitude of expectation
He ofttimes counts a service most complete.

"He sometimes wants our ear, our rapt attention,
That he some sweetest secret may impart;
'Tis always in the time of deepest silence
That heart finds fullest fellowship with heart.

"We sometimes wonder why the Lord has placed us
Within a sphere so narrow, so obscure,
That nothing we call work can find an entrance;
There's only room to suffer--to endure.

"Well, God loves patience; souls that dwell in stillness,
Doing the little things, or resting quite,
May just as perfectly fulfill their mission,
Be just as useful in the Father's sight

"As they who grapple with some giant evil,
Clearing a path that every eye may see;
Our Savior cares for cheerful acquiescence
Rather than for a busy ministry.

"And yet he does love service, where 'tis given
By grateful love that clothes itself in deed;
But work that's done beneath the scourge of duty,
Be sure to such he gives but little heed.

"Then seek to please him, whatsoe'er he bids thee,
Whether to do, to suffer, to lie still;
'Twill matter little by what path he leads us,
If in it all we sought to do his will."



page 328 [On this page a picture of Pastor Russell addressing a Jewish audience at the Hippodrome consumes over three-quarters of the page. The following is the caption below the picture:]

Pastor Russell, of the Brooklyn Tabernacle,
Addressing an Enthusiastic Audience
at the Jewish Mass Meeting at the Hippodrome.



(From New York American, October 2.) [R4700 : page 328]

PASTOR RUSSELL TO
ADDRESS HEBREWS
page 328


Remarkable Gathering to Take
Place in Hippodrome
Next Sunday.


[R4700 : page 328]

Pastor Russell, of the Brooklyn Tabernacle, is to address a giant mass meeting of the Jews of New York on Sunday, October 9, at 3 o'clock, in the Hippodrome. He is considered one of the most eloquent Protestant preachers, and has gained a wide audience among the Hebrews by his sympathetic treatment of Jewish questions.

Pastor Russell's sermon will be on "Zionism in Prophecy." His appearance before a representative mass meeting of Jews will be the first time that a well-known Protestant minister has been asked to deliver an address to such an assembly.

Prominent Jewish citizens are arranging to make the meeting one of [R4700 : page 329] the largest gatherings ever held in this city. The Yiddish newspapers and Jewish societies are represented on the committees in charge of arrangements.

HE IS HIGHLY ENDORSED

Counselor Leo Wolfson, president of the Federated Roumanian Jews of America and Vice Grand Master of the I.W.S.O., when seen at his office, said:

"As one who is interested in the Jewish question and an old worker for the Zionistic movement, my attention was called to Pastor Russell's interest in the Jews.

"I feel that an address by him on Zionism and Jewish prophets will present the question from a new point of view, and a point of view that I will be very willing to learn.

"I am sure that Pastor Russell's treatment of the question will be sympathetic, and will doubtless create widespread discussion of Zionism, its aims and ideals."

In speaking of the coming meeting and Pastor Russell's address, J. Pfeffer, of No. 139 Delancey street, said last night:

"Many of Pastor Russell's sermons have been printed in Jewish papers, and in these sermons he has preached sympathetically upon Jewish questions. This is primarily the reason why the Jews are anxious to hear him speak of the future of the Jew.

UNUSUAL COURSE FOR GENTILE

"Pastor Russell has been and is agitating Zionism. From a religious point of view he seems to believe in Judaism. It is a new occurrence for the Jews to have a Gentile take so much interest in problems and topics that are of special interest to them.

"Judging from the preparations and the interest already manifested in the announcement of the meeting I am of the opinion that it will be a very large gathering."

Pastor Russell, it is reported, will leave after next Sunday's meeting for London. While he is in England he will address many gatherings. One of these meetings will be a Jewish mass meeting. The London mass meeting will be held in Albert Hall, the largest auditorium in Great Britain.

The committee in charge of next Sunday's meeting in the Hippodrome includes: A. B. Landau, editor of The Warheit; Louis Lipsky, editor of the Maccabean; J. Pfeffer, editor of the Jewish Weekly; Abraham Goldberg, editor of the Yiddish Volk, and Leo Wolfson, editor of the Yiddish Spirit.


(From New York American, Oct. 9.)

PASTOR RUSSELL CHEERED BY AN AUDIENCE OF HEBREWS.


4,000 in Hippodrome Applaud When Venerable Brooklyn Clergyman Advocates Establishment of a Jewish Nation.


Hearers Who Came to Question Gentile's Views on Their Religion Find He Agrees in Their Most Important Beliefs.


The unusual spectacle of 4,000 Hebrews enthusiastically applauding a Gentile preacher, after having listened to a sermon he addressed to them concerning their own religion, was presented at the Hippodrome yesterday afternoon, where Pastor Russell, the famous head of the [R4701 : page 329] Brooklyn Tabernacle, conducted a most unusual service.

In his time the venerable pastor has done many unconventional things. His religion is bounded by no particular denomination, and encompasses, as he says, all mankind. His ways of teaching it are his own. But he never did a more unconventional thing than this--nor a more successful one.

He won over an audience that had come--some of it, at least--prepared to debate with him, to resent, perhaps, what might have appeared like a possible intrusion. "Pastor Russell is going to try to convert the Jews to Christianity," was the word that many had received before the meeting. "He wants to proselyte us."

RECEIVED AT FIRST IN SILENCE

In the crowd which filled the big showhouse were scores of rabbis and teachers, who had come to speak out in case the Christian attacked their religion or sought to win them from it. They had questions and criticisms ready for him. He was received at first in a dead silence.

But the pastor did not seek to convert the Jews. To their unbounded delight, he pointed out the good things of their religion, agreed with them in their most important beliefs as to their salvation, and finally, after a warm advocacy of the plan of the Jews establishing a nation of their own, brought about a tumult of applause by leading a choir in the Zionist anthem: "Hatikva--Our Hope."

A more interesting audience the Hippodrome never held, perhaps. From all parts of the city came serious-minded Hebrews to hear what it was an alien, a Gentile, might have to say to them at a service, held during their week of feasting, Rosh Hoshana. They were quiet, well-dressed, thinking men and women.

Among them were many prominent figures of the Hebrew literary world. Some of these escorted Pastor Russell to the Hippodrome in a motor car and then took places in the auditorium. The literary men recognized the pastor as a writer and investigator of international fame on the subject of Judaism and Zionism. Some of those present were Dr. Jacobs, editor of the American Hebrew; W. J. Solomon, of the Hebrew Standard; J. Brosky, associate editor of the same; Louis Lipsky, editor of the Maccabean; A. B. Landau, of the Warheit; Leo Wolfson, president of the Federation of Roumanian Societies; J. Pfeffer, of the Jewish Weekly; S. Diamont, editor of the Jewish Spirit; S. Goldberg, editor of the American Hebrew; J. Barrondess, of the Jewish Big Stick, and Goldman, editor of H'Yom, the only Jewish daily.

NO RELIGIOUS SYMBOLS THERE

No symbol of any religion at all greeted them when they gazed at the Hippodrome stage. It was entirely empty save for a small lectern and three peace flags hanging from silken cords above. One was the familiar white silk banner with the Stars and Stripes in its center, together with the words "Peace Among Nations" in letters of gold. Another bore a rainbow and the word "Pax." The third was a silken strip bearing miniature representations of all the nations' flags.

There were no preliminaries. Pastor Russell, tall, erect and white-bearded, walked across the stage without introduction, raised his hand, and his double quartette from the Brooklyn Tabernacle sang the hymn, "Zion's Glad Day." The members of this organization are Mrs. E. W. Brenneisen, Mrs. E. N. Detweiler, Miss Blanche Raymond and Mrs. Raymond, Emil Hirscher, C. Myers, J. P. MacPherson and J. Mockridge. Their voices blended perfectly, and the hymn, without any instrumental accompaniment, was impressive. [R4701 : page 330]

But still there seemed an air of aloofness about the audience. They did not applaud, but sat silently watching the stalwart figure of the pastor. When he began to talk, however, they gave him respectful attention.

With a powerful, yet charming voice, that filled the great playhouse, the unconventional clergyman made his every word audible to every hearer. His tones pleased their ears, his graceful gestures soon captivated their eyes, and in a few moments his apparently thorough knowledge of his subject appealed to their minds. Though still silent, the 4,000 were "warming up" to him.

RESERVE AND DOUBT VANISH

It was not long before all reserve, and all possible doubt of Pastor Russell's entire sincerity and friendliness were worn away. Then the mention of the name of a great Jewish leader--who, the speaker declared, had been raised by God for the cause--brought a burst of applause.

From that moment on the audience was his. The Jews became as enthusiastic over him as though he had been a great rabbi or famous orator of their own religion. He hailed them as one of the bravest races of the earth--having kept their faith through the persecutions and cruelties of all other people for thousands of years. And he predicted that before very long they would be the greatest of the earth--not merely a people, any longer, but a nation. By a system of deductions based upon the prophecies of old, the pastor declared that the return of the kingdom of the Jews might occur at so near a period as the year 1914. Persecution would be over and peace and universal happiness would triumph.

As he brought his address to a conclusion the pastor raised his hand again to his choir. This time they raised the quaint, foreign-sounding strains of the Zion hymn, "Our Hope," one of the masterpieces of the eccentric East Side poet, Imber.

The unprecedented incident of Christian voices singing the Jewish anthem came as a tremendous surprise. For a moment the Hebrew auditors could scarcely believe their ears. Then, making sure it was their own hymn, they first cheered and clapped with such ardor that the music was drowned out, and then, with the second verse, joined in by hundreds.


***

The discourse has already been reported in the newspapers which publish the sermons weekly.



[R4701 : page 330]

"WILT THOU THAT WE COMMAND FIRE?"
--LUKE 9:51-56.--OCTOBER 23.--

Golden Text:--"And it came to pass, when the days were well-nigh come, that he should be received up, he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem and sent messengers before his face."

THIS week's study relates an incident which occurred on the occasion of our Lord's journey from Galilee to Jerusalem just before his crucifixion. He knew that his hour was come; that his sacrificial life of three and a half years should be accomplished. The Great Teacher was full of courage. "But of the people there were none with him" in the sense of sympathetic appreciation of the conditions. True, he had informed the twelve Apostles respecting the consummation of his work and its nearness, but they had been slow to believe all the things written in the Law and the prophecies concerning him. Their minds naturally grasped the glorious things spoken of the Messiah. They were so busy thinking of his glorious Kingdom, and of their glorious association with him in that Kingdom, that they failed to note the other prophecies which, with equal distinctness, foretold his sufferings and ignominy. Similarly, they overlooked the Master's own words concerning his death. They thought of him as speaking in some figurative, hyperbolic manner. And Peter even attempted to rebuke him, saying, "Be this far from thee, Lord; it shall not happen unto thee."

REFUSED BY THE SAMARITANS

Another account intimates that James and John visited the Samaritan city for the purchase of bread and supplies for the party. The Samaritans recognized them and inquired, would the Great Teacher recognize the Samaritans and heal their sickness or would he treat them as Jews in general treated them--unkindly? They believed the latter. The Apostles frankly told them that the Great Teacher was sent only to the Jewish nation and would not stop to heal their sick ones, because he was "not sent save to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."

Naturally enough the Samaritans resented this and were angry. They said, Very well. Buy bread from the people whom you instruct and whose sick you heal.

St. John and St. James were greatly incensed at this. Was not Jesus the greatest Teacher? Was he not the Messiah? Had he not, as such, the right to determine the will of God respecting who should and who should not receive his benefactions? With this answer they came to Jesus and, relating the circumstances, asked, "Wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven to destroy these men and their city?"

WHAT SPIRIT ARE YE OF?

We listen with keen interest for the Master's response. As we once viewed the matter of the Divine program it would have seemed right for the Great Teacher to have said to the Apostles, Never mind, my dear disciples; wait just a little while and all those Samaritans will die and my Heavenly Father will deliver them over to the devils for an eternity of torture. In comparison with eternal [R4702 : page 330] torture that which you propose in the way of burning up their city and incidentally burning them for a few minutes would be as nothing. I appreciate, my dear disciples, your spirit, that it is God-like; that you desire to do all the roasting and burning within your power, and I commend you for it. Continue to thus copy your God and to cause suffering to as many as possible of your fellow-creatures who do not think exactly as you do.

Was this the answer of the Great Teacher? Thank God, No! His teaching was the very reverse--sympathetic, loving, kind. And he had the Father's Spirit and understood it and followed it perfectly. In answer to their query, we read, "Jesus turned and rebuked them" and said, "Ye know not what spirit ye are of! The Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them!"

"A SAVIOR AND A GREAT ONE"

The language spoken in Palestine in Jesus' day was the Syriac. One of the Great Teacher's titles is The Savior. And this, in the Syriac language, signifies, "The Life-Giver." The whole world was damned enough before Jesus came. He came not to damn (condemn) them more, but that they through him, might have life!--John 10:10; 3:17.

Life! Did they not have life? No. All human life [R4702 : page 331] was forfeited through father Adam's disobedience. All mankind are dying as a result. A Life-Giver, a Savior from death (and not from eternal torment), was what was needed.

The first work of the Savior is the redemptive work of Calvary. His second work is the selection of his Church to be his joint-heirs in the Kingdom. His third work will be the saving of Adam and all of his race from sin and death--from all the mental, moral and physical degradation which came through father Adam's disobedience and through his children being born in sin and shapen in iniquity and in sin conceived by their mothers.

The saving of the Church is a great work! How faithful we should be if we have heard, if our eyes have seen, if our hearts have tasted of the grace of God in this wonderful privilege of becoming members of the Bride of Christ. However, we cannot suppose that the saving of merely a handful of select ones is the purpose of God in the creation of the world and the redeeming of the world. On the contrary, this elect "Little Flock" is spoken of as a "first-fruits unto God of his creatures." (Jas. 1:18; Rev. 14:4.) This implies an after-fruitage much more numerous. While God does not propose to save anyone out of death and to life eternal contrary to the individual will, he does propose that every creature lost in Adam and redeemed by Jesus shall be brought to a clear knowledge of the Truth, that they may be saved. He does propose that only the willingly obdurate shall be lost; and their loss will be the loss of life--as the Apostle declares, "everlasting destruction."



[R4702 : page 331]

TOLD FOR A MEMORIAL OF HER
--MATTHEW 26:1-16.--OCTOBER 30.--

Golden Text:--"She hath done what she could."--Mark 14:8.

IN a previous study we considered the Great Teacher's triumphal entry into Jerusalem on an ass, and his tender of himself to the Nation of Israel as their King, in fulfillment of the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9-12. That was five days before the Passover. For several days Jesus taught in the temple, going at night to the home of Lazarus, Martha and Mary at Bethany. He knew what to expect --that his hour was come. He knew that even then the chief priests and elders of the people were considering his destruction and hesitating only lest it should cause tumult. Their indignation against the Great Teacher was that he did not teach as they taught and that his teachings had much more power with the masses than all their teachings combined. Anger, envy, hatred, united in branding him as an impostor and in sending him to his death, "for the good of the cause."

The feast at Bethany referred to in this study may have been on the night before our Lord's betrayal, two days before the feast of Passover. But the concensus of opinion seems to be that it occurred on the Sabbath evening preceding the triumphal ride to Jerusalem. It matters not, however. There was such a feast. Jesus and his disciples were present. During the feast a woman approached with an alabaster flask of very precious perfume. She poured it upon his head and the entire room was sweet with the odor. The woman was Mary, the Sister of Lazarus and Martha.

Another account shows that the protest made by the disciples against this as a waste was instigated by Judas, the treasurer of the little company of the Lord's disciples. John remarked that he was a thief and carried the bag and intimated that he was more interested in the money than in the poor and that his mention of the poor was merely a subterfuge. But the Great Teacher rebuked his disciples, saying, "Why trouble ye the woman; for she hath wrought a good work upon me; in that she hath poured this ointment upon my body she did it to prepare me for burial. Truly I say unto you, Wheresoever this Gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this which this woman hath done be told for a memorial of her." (Matt. 26:10-13.) How considerate was the Great Teacher! How sympathetic! How appreciative of everything done for him!

"SHE HATH DONE WHAT SHE COULD"

The Lord, in line with all the Scripture teachings and usages, declines to recognize woman as a teacher of religion in the Church amongst his followers. No woman was given a place amongst the twelve Apostles--nor even when the seventy evangelists were sent forth with the simple message, which any woman could have given, surely as glibly as any man, or more so; even on this mission he did not send women, nor even a representative of the sex. The man, in Scriptural usage, is the figure of the Lord; the woman, the figure of the Church. It would be out of harmony with the figure that the Church should be the instructor and the Lord the pupil. Consistently, therefore, it would have been improper for woman to have been commissioned to represent the Lord. Hence, women as teachers in the Church have no authority in the Bible for the position. We read that the serpent beguiled Mother Eve and made of her a teacher of error to her husband. We read that the evil spirits used a certain young woman as a medium to announce the Apostles. But we find no Divine sanction of woman as a teacher in the Church, but that the young woman who acted under the spirit of divination and attempted to preach Christ and the Apostles was rebuked by the Apostle Paul and the spirit of divination dispossessed.

All this, however, does not indicate that either Jesus or the Apostles were either rude toward women or unappreciative of their qualities of heart and mind. Quite the contrary. Amongst the Lord's followers were many "honorable women" and his special love for this Mary and her sister Martha is particularly recorded. Let us learn the lesson from the Book and not attempt to teach the Book.

"THE POOR ALWAYS WITH YOU"

Our Lord, in reply to the argument of Judas, that the ointment should have been sold for a large sum for the benefit of the poor, answered, The poor ye have always with you. Whensoever ye will ye may do them good; but me ye have not always. Poverty is sure to be a factor in the social order during the present time, because, in our fallen condition as a race, some are more brilliant of mind than others and selfishness is the general rule. Hence, until the end of the reign of sin and death the poor will be here. And there is a blessing attached to every good deed, every noble endeavor to help any member of the race to higher and better conditions, mentally, morally, physically. By and by there will be no poor, for, under the Kingdom condition, love will be the ruling principle, instead of selfishness. Under the Messianic rule righteousness will soon become universal; God's will is eventually to be done on earth as it is done in heaven. [R4702 : page 332]

"BUT ME YE HAVE NOT ALWAYS"

This was true of the Master. A little while and he was gone from them, ascended to the Father's right hand. The same principle prevails in respect to the Lord's followers styled, "The members of his Body." Whatever we can do for these members, the great Head will consider as though done unto himself. While, therefore, it will always be in order to do good unto all men as we have opportunity, it will always be in order also to do good "especially unto the household of faith." These should always be first in our thoughts.

The spirit of selfishness in Judas led on from one degree to another of covetousness until he was willing to sell his Master to his enemies. Alas, what a terrible power for evil is selfishness! How many are willing to barter the Truth for the sake of worldly ease or prosperity! Such as have the spirit of the Truth to a considerable extent should beware of where selfishness leads if followed--to the Second Death.



[R4703 : page 332]

"THIS DO IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME"
--MATTHEW 26:17-30.--NOVEMBER 6.--

THESE studies are selected for us in advance. Otherwise our preference would have been to consider the incident connected with our Lord's closing of earth life in the Spring of the year about the season at which that occurred. But Truth is always precious to us and has always profitable lessons.

Jesus was a Jew and was, therefore, obligated to every feature of the Mosaic Law. He came not to destroy the Law, but to fulfill it. Today's study points us to the fulfillment of one feature of the Law--the Passover; not that it is already entirely fulfilled, but that the type has for more than eighteen centuries been in process of fulfillment and the complete fulfillment, sure to come, is, we believe, near at hand. To appreciate this study we must have clearly in mind the type:--

Approximately 3,500 years ago God delivered the people of Israel from the despotic power of Pharaoh, King of Egypt. Time after time Pharaoh had refused to let the people go, preferring to hold them as chattels, slaves. Time after time God had sent plagues upon Egypt as chastisements. Under the influence of each plague Pharaoh repented and through Moses entreated God for mercy upon himself, and for the people relief from the plague. Nevertheless, every manifestation of Divine mercy tended only to harden his heart until finally the tenth plague, the severest of all, was necessary. That plague consisted in the execution of the death sentence against all the first-born of Egypt. But the Israelites in Egypt were exempt from its provisions under certain conditions. Each family was required to have its own lamb, not a bone of which was to be broken. Its blood was sprinkled upon the door-posts of the house and the family, assembled within, partook of its flesh with unleavened bread and bitter herbs, pilgrim-like, with staff in hand, ready for departure out of Egypt in the morning.

ISRAEL'S FIRST-BORNS PASSED OVER

When that night the Divine sentence slew all of Egypt's first-borns, the first-borns of Israel were passed over or spared; hence the name--Passover. And this ceremony, as a reminder of the great blessing of the Lord upon Israel, was commanded to be observed yearly as a memorial of God's goodness and because it typed, or illustrated, a still greater mercy and blessing yet to come.

A little later on those spared first-borns were exchanged for one of the tribes--Levi. Thereafter the Levites were the passed-over first-borns and were specially devoted to God and his service.

THE ANTITYPICAL FULFILLMENT

Those experiences of the Israelites and their first-born ones were very real and properly very interesting to them; but they are still more interesting to Christians, who themselves are antitypes now being passed over. By Christians we do not mean all who merely make profession, nor all who attend Church, however regularly. We mean merely the saintly few who are now being called and being tested as to faithfulness to the Lord and by faith being passed over--from death unto life. These are Scripturally styled, "The Church of the first-borns, whose names are written in heaven." (Heb. 12:23.) As the deliverance of the nation of Israel from Egypt took place after the sparing or passing over of the first-born, so, correspondingly, the Divine blessing will come upon the world of mankind directly after the completion of "the Church of the first-born"--directly after their passing from death into life, by the power of the First Resurrection. If there is a first-born class it implies that there will be an after-born class. Thus the Scriptures everywhere distinctly teach that the present call, trial, testing, proving and final rewarding of the Church will not be the end of Divine mercy toward humanity, but, on the contrary, will be only its beginning; for since the saintly are spoken of as the "Church of the first-born," or as the Apostle declares, "the first-fruits unto God of his creatures," we are assured thereby that after-fruits are equally part of the Divine Program.

Amongst the Levites were several divisions representing different ranks and grades of the Church of Christ. But the principal division or section of the Levites was the priestly family of Aaron, just as there is a special class amongst the antitypical Levites, the faithful few, known in the Scriptures as the Royal Priesthood.

THE ANTITYPICAL LAMB AND HIS BLOOD

In Jesus' day the time had come for the fulfillment of the antitype of the Passover. Jesus himself was to be the Passover Lamb. By faith the merit of his sacrifice, his blood, was to be sprinkled upon the door-posts of his people's hearts, and his flesh, the merit of his earthly perfection, was to be eaten or appropriated by them in their minds. With it they were to eat the unleavened bread of the Divine promises and the bitter herbs of trials and adversities, and withal they were to drink wine, the blood of the grape, symbolically implying their participation with the Lamb in his ignominy and sufferings.

The Lamb of God, Jesus, the antitypical Passover Lamb, was slain nearly nineteen centuries ago on the exact anniversary of the killing of the typical lambs. The sacrifice of Jesus needs not to be repeated, for by faith we all sprinkle this same blood today, and in our hearts feed upon the merit of the same earthly sacrifice, and have plenty of bitter herbs of persecution and drink of the blood--share the Master's spirit and its reward of suffering for righteousness' sake. [R4703 : page 333]

Not many have appreciated these privileges during all these nineteen centuries--in all but a "little flock." Nor are there many who envy them their present experiences; nor are there many who appreciate how great will be their reward and blessings in the life to come. Then, instead of suffering with Christ, they shall reign with him in glory, honor and immortality.

"THIS DO IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME"

Jesus, about to begin the fulfillment of this type by dying as the antitypical Passover Lamb (Christ our Passover is slain for us--I Cor. 5:7), instituted for his followers an annual remembrancer which, in their minds, would take the place of the type and continually remind them of the great Antitype. Instead of the literal flesh of the lamb, the Master used bread, and instead of the blood, the fruit of the vine, and instead of a further commemoration of the type, he directed that this be done in remembrance of the antitype--"the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world," and the passover coming to the Church of the first-born, as precedent to the great blessings to result for Israel and all the families of the earth.

Our Lord as a Jew was obligated to keep the typical passover, eating of the literal lamb, etc., first; but subsequently, after that passover supper, he instituted with the bread and the fruit of the vine his substitutionary memorial of himself, saying, "Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup; and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them; and they all drank of it. And he said, ...Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new in the Kingdom of God"--until his second coming in power and great glory to receive the Church as his elect Bride and Joint-Heir in his Kingdom and to shower blessings richly upon Israel and through Israel upon the whole world of mankind.

JUDAS, THE SELFISH BETRAYER

The hour for the betrayal was drawing near. The Master knew by some power unknown to us who would betray him, etc. Breaking the matter to the twelve, he said, "One of you will betray me." Each asked, "Is it I?" Even Judas brazenly challenged the Master's knowledge of his deceitful course and said, "Is it I?" The answer was, It is as you have said--you are the betrayer. The Divine programme was carried out by the traitor, and the Scriptures were fulfilled which declare that he should be sold for thirty pieces of silver; but the coincidence marks the Divine fore-knowledge without implying that God in any manner instigated the traitorous conduct, hence the statement, "Woe unto that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed!" From this standpoint we are to understand that there is no hope for Judas in a future life. His sorrow and anguish before his death were such as found no compensation in any happiness he had enjoyed in previous days.

IN MY FATHER'S KINGDOM

In giving the disciples the bread, which represented his flesh, and the cup, which represented his blood, the Master pictorially offered them justification and sanctification, and, as St. Paul explained, he did more than this --he offered them a participation with himself in the sufferings of the present and in the glories of the future (I Cor. 10,16,17; Matt. 26:29.) The antitype of the cup in its higher sense will be the new joys of the Kingdom which all the faithful in Christ will share with the great King of glory, when he shall take unto himself his great power and reign.



[R4703 : page 333]

GOD'S ESTIMATION DIFFERENT FROM THE WORLD'S

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--

I request your opinion upon the correctness of a thought found in one of the Convention Reports in the following language:--

"When the holy Jesus died, it was as a victim of Sin, which, for the moment, seemed to have the victory. Indeed, he could not have died had sin not been imputed to him; for all the promises of health, prosperity and life which were by the Law were his. The Law said--"The [R4704 : page 333] man which doeth those things shall live by them." (Rom. 10:5.) Thus came a necessity for our Lord to be accounted a sinner, in order that he might die for the people. For this reason we do not see that it is possible for the members of the Church to die unless, like him, they are accounted sinners."

I am well aware that the Lord Jesus would not have died (the Report says, "could not have died") if there had been no sin to be atoned for. But if our Lord died, as above suggested, it seems to me that his death must have been a penal death and not a sacrificial one. Could he die both a penal and a sacrificial death? It seems not so to me. If the Lord Jesus died a penal death it would appear to me that he could have no life rights left to his credit to bestow upon either the Church or the world.

I anxiously await your reply, for if the foregoing expression is correct, I have seriously misunderstood both the Scriptures and the DAWNS.

Your loving brother in our dear Redeemer,
W. W. M.--, Suffolk, Va.

IN REPLY

DEAR BROTHER M.:--I am glad to note your careful discrimination in your Scripture studies. This is one lesson that all of the dear friends in the Truth need to learn--not to accept implicitly everything that they read in a Convention Report, nor everything that even a regular Pilgrim may express. The same principle, of course, holds true with respect to our own presentations, oral and printed. All that we receive as spiritual food should be thoroughly masticated before assimilation. We have great confidence in all of the dear Brethren engaged in the Pilgrim service; otherwise they would not represent the Society. However, we must not be held responsible for their every expression. We believe them to be thoroughly well-intentioned, but perfection alone will be reached beyond the vail. We come now to your question.

We cannot quite endorse the phraseology of the statement you quote. All of the Church die as the victims of sin, in the sense that sin and death are mentioned in a personified way in the Scriptures. Sin has actuated all those who oppose the Truth and persecute the Lord and his consecrated footstep followers. But we cannot agree with the thought that our Lord's death was a penal one. One Scripture might be considered as supporting this thought, namely, the words, "He was made sin for us who knew no sin." But this Scripture we understand to signify that our Lord, who knew no sin, was made a sin-offering on our behalf. We remember also the Scripture which declares that "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up." The serpent, indeed, is the symbol for sin. But we can think of only one way that our Lord was viewed as a serpent --in the sense that he underwent all the experiences which a sinner could have been required to undergo. Thus he suffered as a sinner, and for the sinner, the same [R4704 : page 334] penalty that might have been required of any sinner. But while, in the eyes of men, he was a malefactor, a sinner, etc., he was the reverse of all this in the eyes of his true followers and in the Father's sight.

What Jesus did he plainly stated:--He laid down or surrendered his life because thus he could best serve the Father's purposes. He did not give away his life, nor did he die under condemnation as a sinner, nor did he forfeit his life; nor did the Jews or Roman soldiers take his life from him contrary to his permission. He laid it down of himself. Had he died a sinner in God's sight, with sin imputed to him by the Father, he would have had nothing to give for the redemption of Adam and his race;--he would have been unable to become their regenerator in the "times of restitution."

We submit that the only proper view of the Lord's death is that it was a manifestation of his absolute obedience to the Father's will. That extreme of obedience was rewarded with the divine nature and glorious exaltation in his resurrection. The risen glorious Redeemer made no satisfaction of Justice and paid nothing over on behalf of anybody until after he had ascended up on high. Then he appropriated of his merit to all who, during this age, will accept the Father's call and drawing to become members of his Body. To these he imputed enough of his own merit to make good the deficiencies of their flesh, in order that they, like himself, might present to God sacrifices holy and acceptable and thereupon be begotten to the spirit plane. Later on our Lord's human life, unforfeited, not yet given away, will be given away on behalf of Israel and the world, canceling the sins of all the people and securing the Mediatorial Throne of the Millennial Age for the blessing of Israel, through its Mediator, and also for all the families of the earth through Israel and under Israel's New (Law) Covenant.

We note your second question relative to our statement in March 1st WATCH TOWER, page 88, second column, where we set forth that Satan's "little season" will be after Messiah shall have delivered up the Kingdom to the Father. It is true that some years ago we were not so clear on this as now--less positive. The great Mediator will indeed "destroy from amongst the people" all who will not obey him throughout the Millennial Age, so that at the transfer of his Kingdom, at the time of his vacating of his Mediatorship, the world of mankind will be perfect. The Mediator will step from between God and man, and Divine tests will be applied to prove, to demonstrate the heart-faithful. The sentence upon the disloyal will be, "There will come down fire from God out of heaven and destroy them." This indicates a testing and punishing by Divine Justice similar to that which came upon father Adam. This would not be possible so long as the Mediatorial Kingdom held sway. However, we understand that our Lord will be the Father's representative in connection with that exhibition of Divine Justice, which will follow his Mediatorship, just as he was the Father's representative and agent before he came into the world to be our Redeemer.



[R4704 : page 334]

SOME INTERESTING LETTERS

FROM THE SALVATION ARMY

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--

I have often wanted to tell you something of what the knowledge of Present Truth has meant to me, but I find it very difficult to put it into words.

From my earliest recollections I have been "feeling after God," lending an eager ear to any who seemed to know something of him and his ways, and who sought to conform their lives in accordance with their belief. When but twelve years of age I was "confirmed" in the Church of England. I looked forward to that ceremony with happy anticipations, thinking that it would surely work a great change in me for the better. My disappointment was bitter when the expected "change" did not take place, but resulted in the decision, for the time, that such things were not for me; that I must be more depraved than the rest of humanity, and that, therefore, it was of no use for me to try to "be good."

A few years later I was "converted" in a Methodist Church revival, and a year later joined the Salvation Army. My reason for becoming a Salvationist was that they were the most earnest Christians I had ever met, and, too, I had a great desire to work for the Lord in return for his wonderful goodness to me. For sixteen years I remained in the Army, fourteen years as an officer, devoting all my time to the work. The last seven of those years were spent in New York City, where I was working in the Editorial Department at National Headquarters. For six years I was Assistant Editor of The War Cry and Editor of the children's paper known as The Young Soldier. This brought me into close touch with the young people, of whom I became very fond, and among whom I was known as "Cousin Sunshine," they writing many letters to me under that nom de plume, which letters were printed in The Young Soldier, together with one from myself addressed to the young people.

But while I enjoyed my work my heart was not satisfied on doctrinal points. My Bible told me that God was love; the creeds of the Salvation Army and other sects depicted him as a fiend, torturing millions of human beings eternally, while I would not torture a kitten for one moment. Jesus said, "I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me," yet I saw that not only were all men not drawn to him, but that very few of them were, and fewer still were consecrated footstep followers of the Lord. Surely he desired that all men should be drawn to him, but since they were not, the only logical conclusion must be that Satan was the stronger, and that God was not the Almighty God the Bible proclaimed him to be. The creeds could not help me in this matter, for they explicitly declared that the majority of the race would not be drawn to the Lord Jesus and be saved, and some even went so far as to say that God had never intended that all men should be so "drawn."

These and other questions caused me great distress of mind and heart, and I prayed earnestly that God would send me the key that would unlock the Scriptures and smooth out the seeming contradictions in his Word and show me what was Truth. You can understand, then, dear Pastor, with what great joy I examined, with my Bible, "The Divine Plan of the Ages," the "Hell" pamphlet, and others, as put into my hands by a dear Brother whom the Lord used as his messenger. I knew it was the Truth; it stamped itself so by the very [R4705 : page 334] Word of God. And oh, how I thanked him that at last I had the key that unlocked the wonderful treasures in his Word. In a few months I had left the Salvation Army. Few among its members, even my close friends, understand my position, but grieve over me as one who has been deceived by a "strong delusion." I rejoice that the light will so soon come to them. Many of the young people do not know what has become of me, but in answer to their earnest inquiries have merely been told that "Cousin Sunshine is no more." I am sorry to have grieved their young hearts, but must leave that, too, with the Lord.

My testimony up-to-date is that the Lord and his Truth are more precious to me than ever, and the pathway truly "shineth more and more." The Vow, the Covenants, etc., have been wonderful sources of strength and joy to me, and I praise him more and more for having granted me the great privilege of understanding as much as I do of the wondrous things that are written in his Word--"written for our admonition." (I Cor. 10:11; 2 Tim. 3:16,17.) Truly "He hath brought me into a large place," and my heart rejoices daily in his goodness to even me.

Pray for me, dear Pastor, that I may be faithful, and that even I may be "counted worthy to stand before the Son of Man."--Luke 21:36.

I remember you daily in my prayers, praising God for your faithfulness to the present time, and praying that you may so continue to the end of the way.

Your sister in the hope of immortality,
MRS. A. I. RITCHIE.

(Formerly Staff-Captain Nina Maitland.) [R4705 : page 335]

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--

About a year ago a paper, issued not far from my home, began publication of your sermons. Of course, I was delighted that so many of my neighbors and friends would thus be brought within touch of the Truth, which I so dearly love. Recently the sermon feature was discontinued. Then I bethought me that I had not specially encouraged the publishers, nor told them of my deep interest in the matter. I supposed, however, that others had been more faithful than myself in this respect. I concluded that, although late, I would endeavor to retrieve my opportunity. I wrote to the publisher on the subject and felt vexed with myself and others that it was possible for the publisher to write to me as follows:--

"I do not know how many of our readers care for the sermons, but no one has complained of their discontinuance so far but you. This leads us to believe that they were not very popular with our readers. We never heard from anybody who did take pains to say that he cared for them."

I trust that this will be a lesson to me that I should not only pray for God's blessing upon the work, but also be on the alert to do my part to help forward his glorious message-- however others may care to do their parts. With Christian regards,

Your brother and servant in the Lord,
__________.

IN REPLY

We sympathize with this case. There are others just like it, and probably will be more. Brethren and sisters, particularly those possessed of the talents of penmanship and of good expression, have a glorious opportunity for serving the Truth, which many of them, we fear, do not properly appreciate until after it has passed them by. It is apt to be thus with all of God's blessings.

Incidentally, let us remark that some dear friends send us newspaper subscriptions for friends and neighbors, without inquiring of them whether or not the gift of the paper would be acceptable. This is a serious mistake. The intended kindness becomes an injury if the favored one writes to the newspaper refusing it and declaring that he never ordered it. We have sent papers to some of the Lord's poor at the Society's expense--newspapers never do this, and thanks to them is wholly improper.

We would not reflect upon all of the dear friends. Some are very thoughtful and are continually, every month or so, noting to the publishers some appreciated features of certain sermons and expressing their gladness that the Gospel is reaching the many who rarely attend Church services. We might remark, however, that dear friends who are poor writers and very ungrammatical would serve the Truth better by not writing much. It is the work of the gifted, who can serve the Truth best along the lines of encouraging newspaper publishers, to do so. If they neglect the opportunity they will surely regret the matter sometime. Large weekly newspapers do not need special encouragement in the way of subscriptions: it is your nearby daily or smaller weekly that needs your subscriptions and those of your friends.


BRETHREN:--

I have seen the first number of your periodical (P.P. Spanish), and have pondered the contents in my heart. Glory be to God! In my position as preacher of the Gospel (30 years), I have not encountered such brilliant truths as I now see in the four pages of your blessed little paper. My mind, stupefied by human theories, has hindered perfect reasoning on the plan of God. Now all I see is clear, logical and true.

The article, "Where Are the Dead?" was for me a celestial light which let me see a glorious eternity. I am conducting amongst this people a Mexican Mission, attended by thirty to forty individuals; we keep no accurate account. I preach the Gospel to them and their characters have been modified so that they are now good men. Although I am an ordained minister of the Baptist Church, I do not work in connection with them nor with any denomination. Last Sunday I preached a sermon on the theme of "Where Are the Dead?" and the congregation received this new light with great joy.

I have here a good friend, a Mr. John R__________, with whom I conversed on this subject, and he told me more particularly about these things, so new to me, and which have helped us here so much. Glory be forever to the blessed God and Father of our Lord Jesus!

From your brother in the faith,
C. TEZEDA Y VALDIVIA.

(Translated from the Spanish.)

DEAR BRETHREN IN CHRIST JESUS:--

I advise you that I have received a copy of the PEOPLES PULPIT (Italian), which treats on the subject of "Where Are the Dead?" and I read the same with pleasure. I desire that you do me the kindness of sending me other discourses along Scripture lines, because I aspire to be a helper in the Lord's work in the Italian field.

Your brother in Christ,
DEN ANTANACCI.

(Translated from the Italian.)


"SOW BESIDE ALL WATERS!"

EDITOR OF PEOPLES PULPIT:--

Through a friend there has come to my hands a copy of your PEOPLES PULPIT, which has interested me exceedingly to the very end, for I see that you invite inquirers to send for additional literature. I hope I may be favored with some--"The Thieves in Paradise," "The Rich Man in Hell" and "Lazarus in Abraham's Bosom." I also wish to know more fully about the book entitled "THE PLAN OF THE AGES." Anticipating the kindness, I am,

Yours very truly,
MANUEL R. LANUZA.

(Translated from the Spanish.) Philippine Islands. page 335


"FORSAKE NOT THE ASSEMBLING"

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--

In my pilgrimage, especially of late, I find numerous Truth friends unmindful of Paul's admonition, "Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together, as the manner of some is, and the more so as ye see the day approaching" (or drawing on). And to my query, "Why not have a meeting of the friends regularly, as do the Truth friends in other places?" I am almost invariably given the excuse, not a real or valid reason, "there is so much prejudice in this community," or, "our people are scattered," or "there are so few of us here," etc.

The dear friends do not realize that all this is true of every locality, and in view of all the circumstances the conditions could not well be otherwise. In several places I have brought the friends to a realization of the necessity of meeting regularly for testimony and Berean Bible study, irrespective of all seemingly adverse conditions or unfavorable circumstances. I find much more Christian warmth and fellowship amongst those who do assemble regularly than amongst those who neglect to avail themselves of this blessed privilege. If there were no other incentive for meeting than this, it should be sufficient for Truth friends everywhere to assemble themselves, even though there be but three or four who could regularly come together.

The great Apostle surely gave wise counsel when he unconditionally admonished us to assemble ourselves, as others are doing, irrespective of convenience or inconvenience to ourselves. We owe to others spiritual refreshment and Christian fellowship, and we need the polishing derivable only by coming in contact with one another.

Some of the Truth people deplore their inability to serve the Lord, as well as their lack of opportunity for so doing. Bless their hearts, here is just the very best kind of a chance to serve the Master. Their attendance at a meeting is in itself a testimony of love and faith in God and his saints.

Where the Friends meet regularly, too, the class is growing in numbers as well as in spirituality, I find.

It seems to me that a TOWER article right along this line would be timely and helpful. I wonder if the other pilgrims have a similar experience? There is much to be said in favor of regular services amongst the brethren and not one thing I can think of that would be a valid argument to the contrary. There is no good reason for not having meetings regularly anywhere that I have ever been.

Your brother in Christ,
J. A. BOHNET.



BROOKLYN BETHEL HYMNS FOR NOVEMBER

After the close of the hymn the Bethel Family listens to the reading of "My Vow Unto the Lord," then joins in prayer. At the breakfast table the MANNA text is considered. Hymns for November follow:

(1) 259; (2) Vow; (3) 301; (4) 75; (5) 60; (6) 135; (7) 129; (8) 333; (9) 176; (10) 238; (11) 38; (12) 105; (13) 293; (14) 170; (15) 172; (16) 245; (17) 313; (18) 8; (19) 279; (20) 145; (21) 229; (22) 256; (23) 98; (24) 164; (25) 162; (26) 160; (27) 208; (28) 303; (29) 222; (30) 267.



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