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. XXXI SEPTEMBER 1 No. 17 A.D. 1910--A.M. 6038 CONTENTS
Int. Bible Students Assn. Special Meetings 274 Views From The Watch Tower 275 Rich Man Prophesies Panic 275 Secretary Knox Sees Millennium 276 The Chautauqua Lake Convention 277 Largest and Finest Convention Ever Held on the Lake 277 Six Receptions at the Mayville Inn 278 Restitution Work Begun 279 What Heaven Is Like 281 "The General Assembly of the Church of the First-Borns" 282 The First-Borns Passed Over 283 Bible Students in Palestine 284 Misimproved Opportunities Taken Away 285 "Many Are Called But Few Are Chosen" 286 Without a Wedding Garment 286 Berean Questions in Scripture Studies 287 Some Interesting Letters 287
“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.
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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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
It is considered desirable that the general public be not invited to these meetings--except to the public one, addressed by Brother Russell.
PORTLAND, ME., SEPT. 10-12.
Portland has been substituted for "Old Orchard." Brother Russell's address on "WHERE ARE THE DEAD?" will be delivered in Jefferson Theatre, Sunday, Sept. 11, at 3 p.m.
Other meetings have been arranged for in Hoegg's Hall, Deering Centre, Portland. There will be three services daily and six or eight speakers. Opportunity for Baptism will be afforded. Quite reasonably priced accommodations will be obtainable.
The Maine Central Railroad Company announces a rate of one fare and one-third for the round trip. Tickets will be on sale Sept. 10, 11 and 12, return limit, Sept. 14.
NORRISTOWN, PA., AUGUST 28
Morning Rally for Praise, Prayer and Testimony at 10 o'clock in Historical Hall, Penn St. and Public Square. Discourse for the public at 2.30 o'clock by Brother Russell in Grand Opera House, Main St., above De Kalb St. Topic, "Hereafter." Visiting friends heartily welcomed.
BROOKLYN, N.Y., SEPT. 4
Morning Rally for Praise and Testimony at 10:30 o'clock, in the Brooklyn Tabernacle, 13-17 Hicks St. The evening meeting at 7:30 o'clock will also be in the Tabernacle. Discourse for the Public at 3 p.m. in the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Lafayette Ave. and St. Felix St. Topic, "Messiah's Coming Kingdom."
DETROIT, MICH., SEPT. 18
Morning Rally, 9:30 o'clock at Vermont Hall, Grand River and Trumbull avenues. Discourse for the Public by Brother Russell at Light Guard Armory 2:30 p.m. Topic "Hereafter."
KNOXVILLE, TENN., SEPT. 24, 25, 26.
Railroads have granted the very low rate of one cent per mile during the Appalachian Exposition now being held in Knoxville. This rate is open to all and good for the dates of the convention.
Many of the friends throughout the South who could not go to Jamestown because of the great distance, will rejoice to know of a convention so much nearer home. For particulars as to lodging, meals, etc., address Brother R. A. Parham, 5 Maloney avenue, S. Knoxville, Tenn.
Brother Russell's topic for the Public discourse will be "Hereafter." It is expected that Brothers Stevens, Bohnet, Raymond and Rutherford will also be speakers.
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.
VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER RICH MAN PROPHESIES PANIC
A MULTI-MILLIONAIRE sugar manufacturer of California, Mr. Rudolph Spreckels, recently returned from a European trip. In New York City he was interviewed by a newspaper reporter and is quoted as having made the statements below. Without endorsing his conclusions, we state them. His large wealth gives him opportunity for information respecting monetary affairs, which would not be open to ordinary men of small capital and lesser influence. We quote the interview from the Springfield Union of July 31st, as follows:--
TERRIBLE TIMES BEFORE US
"The financial control of the country is today centered in the hands of two great interests. When the two men in control of these interests engage in battle with each other for the supremacy a revolution, the most destructive the world has ever seen, will follow--a revolution that will not only paralyze or wreck many of our great industries and overthrow unnumbered financial institutions, but will imperil the safety of the Government itself. The only force that can prevent such a disaster is the people themselves, whose good sense and patriotism on many occasions heretofore have rescued the country from threatened destruction.
"I have been engaged in business since I was 17, and have noticed year by year a gradual reduction in the number of firms handling large industries or engaged in banking, until today the reduction must excite alarm. It is a significant commentary on business conditions that two men have it in their power to embarrass the United States Government. The concentration of wealth is the great evil of modern times, for it places in a few hands the power to precipitate panics and control legislation.
"Each time one of these panics has occurred certain interests have come forward to relieve the situation by the releasing of large amounts of money. If men can break a panic by bringing forward their hoarded millions, it is evident they can cause a panic by withdrawing from circulation a few hundred millions of dollars. From observations made in the last few months I am convinced that certain great financial interests now are perfecting plans for the precipitation of one of these business upheavals this fall.
"The panic of 1907 was 'organized,' if I may use the term, for the purpose of discrediting Theodore Roosevelt and his administration. The panic of 1910 is being hatched to furnish material for the approaching political campaigns. Those who are engineering it do not care how many enterprises may be wrecked, how many men may be thrown out of employment, or how many suicides may follow, so long as they succeed in their purposes. If stocks are hammered down to the bottom, they stand ready to make millions out of the necessities of those who are driven to sacrifice their holdings."
Spreckels announced that he proposed to devote the rest of his life to the reform of "conditions that already are intolerable," in order to head off, if possible, the impending revolution. Asked as to the remedy for the evils complained of, he said:--
"The elimination of dishonesty in corporate matters, the quickening of business conscience, the banishment of graft, the readjustment of capitalization by the squeezing out of water and the adoption of the Golden Rule as a fundamental principle of business. How these reforms can be effected is the important question of the times. What is needed today is a quickening of the conscience of the great wealth holders. One trouble with the trusts is that the men whose capital is invested in them are not sufficiently concerned to take an active interest in their management. So long as they continue to receive large dividends they wink at practises in a corporation that they would not countenance in their own personal business."
Without endorsing Mr. Spreckels' prophecy we can say that it is well-known amongst financial institutions of the country that all our banking interests are practically in the hands of a very few wealthy men. It is not, however, generally believed that the interests of these men would be better served by panics. On the contrary, the general estimation of business people is that these capitalists are conservative and that in seeking to guard their own interests against catastrophe they are really protecting others from financial disaster. Some of these very people have boasted of late that their hold upon the financial situation is so strong that panics will henceforth be impossible. [R4671 : page 276]
Nevertheless selfishness and ambition are the foundation of the present structure of society. And Mr. Spreckels may be right in his assumption of a great financial duel between our financial potentates. It was just such a duel that produced our last panic. One combination of capitalists attempted to take by the throat another combination, but failed and was crushed. The public was not made to suffer more than was necessary in the matter; but, so powerful were the antagonists, that the entire financial world received a shock which brought loss to many far removed from the principals and the scene of their conflict.
But aside from Mr. Spreckels' prophecy respecting a panic this year our readers know from the STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES to expect ere long the fulfillment of the great Redeemer's words, "There shall be a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation--no, nor ever shall be after." (Dan. 12:1; Matt. 24:21.) That awful trouble, however, we do not expect before October, 1914. Whatever may come in the interim will be but the rumblings preceding the great climacteric shock, before which will fall all earthly institutions; as St. Paul declares, Everything that can be shaken will be shaken. And the only thing that cannot be shaken will be the Kingdom which God's faithful ones will receive about that time.-- Heb. 12:27,28.
Meantime we advise that no attempt be made by any of our readers to alarm the world. Humanity will be alarmed enough in due time. Rather it should be our aim to console, to comfort, to bind up the broken-hearted, to pour in the oil and the wine, to show the good things which God has in reservation for the saints and the restitution blessings which then will begin to be dispensed to Israel and to all the families of the earth through Israel.
Mr. Spreckels is to be admired for his courage. He fully demonstrated it some years ago in his attack upon financial corruption and graft in the politics of San Francisco. The above interview shows the man's fearless courage as he looks into the future. He hopes to be able to stem the tide of political and financial corruption. He hopes for the establishment of the Golden Rule in business and in politics. We admire his courage and hopefulness, even while we know that his expectations will all fail. The world is not getting nearer to the Golden Rule. Our great institutions of learning are turning out infidels by the thousands--turning them into influential and predominant strata and currents of life--financial, political and religious. They fear neither God nor the devil. They scorn the Bible and its precepts as "old wives' fables." They have a standing of honor and a business integrity, but it is not of the Golden Rule kind. It is of the kind that merely keeps within the lines of legal requirement, and not always that, as was evidenced by the court exposures of illegalities in connection with some of the great insurance companies a few years ago and railroad mismanagement and land frauds and bribery by bankers, etc.
Nor should we be harsh in our judgment of millionaires as a whole, nor even of those who have been convicted of financial briberies. Rather our moderation should be known to all men. As peacemakers we should sympathetically point out on proper occasions that much of the difficulty arises from the fact that individual responsibility is overwhelmed by corporation associations--by the seeming necessity of an unlawful act to accomplish an end believed to be wise, benevolent or just. In other words, we are living in the day controlled by systems, of which individuals are merely atoms, even when they occupy influential positions in the systems.
How glad we are that, as Bible Students, we are obtaining from the Divine Word "meat in due season," which not only nourishes us, but makes us strong in the Lord to know and to do his will and to be assistful to all with whom we are in contact. Let us not forget that if we belong to the Lord we are of the "royal priesthood" and that now is the time, in the dawning of the great antitypical Jubilee, when all the priests are to blow upon the silver trumpets, making known to the world the riches of God's grace about to be revealed in Messiah's Kingdom, for which still we pray, "Thy Kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven."
SECRETARY KNOX SEES MILLENNIUM
P. C. Knox, Secretary of State in President Taft's Cabinet, in concluding a stirring address before the graduating students of the University of Pennsylvania, speaks as follows:
"We have reached a point where it is evident that the future holds in store a time when wars shall cease; when the nations of the world shall realize a federation as real and vital as that now subsisting between the component parts of a single state; when by deliberate international conjunction the strong shall universally help the weak, and when the corporate righteousness of the world shall compel unrighteousness to disappear and shall destroy the habitations of cruelty still lingering in the dark places of [R4672 : page 276] the earth. This is 'the spirit of the wide world brooding on things to come.' That day will be the Millennium, of course; but in some sense and degree it will surely be realized in this dispensation of mortal time."
Shocking reports are coming from Russia about the expulsion of the Jews in masses. As lightning out of a clear sky, thousands of Jewish families are being turned unexpectedly out of their homes, and as often brought to the beggar's staff. From a suburb of Kiev there have been banished Jews who have lived there for decades. This, however, does not hinder a part of the Jewish "upper-crust" from holding its hand over Russian bonds with a view of protecting themselves. If all the rich Jewish financiers in Germany and France possessed enough feeling of honor to oppose this Jewish persecution in Russia by a campaign against Russian stocks, then the Barbaric vassals of the Czar would soon be brought to fear in this, their "religious fervor." By this it is not intended to be said that every respectable person has not a duty to boycott Russian bonds, until Russia has adapted herself to the ways of civilization. But we do mean to say that Jewish capitalists should be in the lead with their good example. They are certainly, in the end, the closest to the situation.--From the German Press.
NEED FOR THE KINGDOM
Doctor MacGillvary, Professor of Etymology in Cornell University, lecturing recently, said, "Insects at the moment have an enormous influence on the life and health of mankind. The number of species of insects which are known to science at the present time is estimated at one hundred millions. Knowledge of the place of insects in disease is of recent acquisition. Not until 1880 was it known that malaria was produced by a parasite. Not until fifteen years later was the part which mosquitos play in its spread discovered. Not until 1890 was yellow fever known to be an insect-carried disease."
THE CHAUTAUQUA LAKE CONVENTION
THERE has just been concluded, under the title of International Bible Students Association Convention, a most interesting and profitable meeting of the Lord's people. Not only were there one thousand more in attendance than ever before, but the sweet Spirit of the Lord was more abundantly manifest than ever--which is saying a great deal, for all of our conventions have been excellent in this very particular. It is but what we should expect, however, that each year would develop the Lord's people more fully in the fruits and graces of his holy Spirit--in meekness, gentleness, long suffering, brotherly kindness, love. The attendance was surely in excess of four thousand, but how many more it is difficult to determine, as not all could be present at one time. The Bible Students crowded the accommodations along both sides of the lake from Jamestown to Mayville--twenty-five miles. The boat rides were found very restful and very advantageous for Christian fellowship and a more intimate acquaintance amongst the friends. An opportunity was afforded also for witnessing to the truth in the Chautauqua Lake region.
The friends in general preached an appreciated sermon in their deportment, tone of voice, kindness, patience, helpfulness. The people took knowledge of them that they had been with Jesus and learned of him. We have friends all around that lake now. Before our arrival some ministers, in disregard of the Word and Spirit of the Master, slandered us--falsified in their endeavor to awaken opposition amongst their people. Things resulted, however, to the contrary. One lady who had contracted to entertain six of our friends was visited by her minister and told that she should have nothing to do with these Bible Students, etc. In perplexity she counseled with her husband how she could get rid of them, seeing she had accepted in advance payment on account of their entertainment. He replied, "Wait a little while; I will run up to the Auditorium and mingle with the people and let you know." He returned shortly, saying that he had heard our opening address of welcome and mingled some with those attending, and wished his wife could get forty into the house, instead of six.
The Chief of Police of Celoron remarked to one of the brethren that if everyone in the world were like the people who were attending the convention there would be no need of a police department, and that saloonmen would have to look for another job. He remarked that he had not noticed even one of the conventioners using tobacco. The policeman stationed at the front of the Auditorium said that his wife was a Christian, but that he had never taken much interest in religion, thinking it mostly a profession. He said, "I am forcibly impressed that the people attending this convention live their Christianity. My wife is away on a vacation, to be back in about two weeks, but I have sent her word to come immediately, as I am sure she will want to get acquainted with these people."
LARGEST AND FINEST CONVENTION EVER HELD ON THE LAKE
Celoron, where the Auditorium is located, is a worldly place, of course, a small "White City." Its inhabitants are composed chiefly of those who purvey to worldly tastes and appetites. They were disappointed that so large a throng of people should bring so little patronage to their merry-go-rounds, shooting galleries, etc. They all acknowledged, however, that the conventioners were kind, considerate, and minded their own business, and that that business evidently was to hear the speakers of the Convention. One of the showmen, never before interested in religion, attended services on the first Sunday. He was deeply impressed, and said that the message appealed to him as reasonable. He is reading the books. The principal owner of the place was very considerate of our interests and quieted the music in the vicinity of the Auditorium while our services were in progress. Altogether we had a glorious season of spiritual refreshment and have reason to believe that the Truth, through its representatives, made an indelible impression along the shores of Lake Chautauqua. We are most earnestly urged to come again next year, and the suggestion was made that, if we would do so, an auditorium away from the amusement section would be erected for our use.
The Jamestown newspapers devoted much of their space to the Convention, declaring it the largest that had ever visited them. On the Saturday before the Convention closed, one journal gave about two columns of space and another nearly three pages. Those attending the Convention bought many copies of the newspapers and mailed them to their friends in every direction. We understand that one paper sold more than 25,000 extra copies. Those papers in turn will carry considerable of the good tidings to people all over the United States and Canada.
Our arrangements for baptismal services were not all that could have been desired; nevertheless we had much to be thankful for. Doubtless the accommodations were much better than those of our Lord's day. We had two baptism discourses and two opportunities for symbolical immersion, at which, according to official account, 354 adults were immersed.
In our petitions the dear ones at home were earnestly remembered--that they might have an equal share in the blessing. And we believe that many will get the blessing: (1) Those who submissively bowed to the Divine Providence which hindered their attending the Convention, are sure to learn the lesson of patience and faith. (2) Those who attended the Convention will surely carry back to the stay-at-homes a share of our rich feast, which will overflow in all directions.
Many "poor" attended; some assisted in part or in whole by "better-off" brethren and sisters. Some stayed at home and earned money to permit others to come to the Convention and get a spiritual feast. Surely all thus earnest were richly blessed by the great Shepherd.
We have already remarked that some of the dear friends, on arrival, were not kindly received by those who had contracted to entertain them, and to whom money on account had been paid. This was vexatious and quite a test of patience, and faith in Divine Providence, and brotherly love. Yet we believe that the friends conquered through the Spirit of the Lord. Should we ever return to Chautauqua Lake we would have the very best and kindest of attention from every quarter. Here is one case as an illustration: The man of the house met the visitors at the door, and, in a challenging manner, said, "We are United Brethren," intimating that he did not want any conversation on religious subjects, and that it was questionable if he would receive the friends, even with this assurance. They accepted the situation graciously, determined not to talk religion where it was not wanted. However, in the house a little boy lay dying and unable to eat. One of the friends told the child about the glorious restitution, how he would come back from death in the resurrection, and how the entire world would then be Edenic. Next the child was presented with a copy of the Heavenly Manna, with the suggestion that [R4673 : page 278] that kind of food he could always take with a relish. Before we left all were fast friends, and the guests were urged to come again.
Although we tried to make the matter plain, some of the dear friends, we fear, did not fully grasp the financial part of the arrangement for their comfort. The committee on arrangements undertook to furnish all in attendance at uniform prices, although the cost of entertainment would necessarily vary a great deal. To illustrate: The friends lodged at the upper part would have been obliged to pay $1.00 a day on the electric car or fifty cents on the boat to reach the Convention and return. Those lodged in the Chautauqua grounds would have had the same boat fare and eighty cents on the street car, and the boats do not stop there on Sunday. Additionally the Chautauqua Association charges 40 cents per day admission fee to their grounds, which for the ten days amounts to $4. We secured a concession, but paid $2 a head for all who lodged within their gates. Those lodged at Jamestown, of course, had less expense--5 cents each way daily. Our committee averaged the matter and charged all alike, including a noon luncheon.
It was our intention to serve the friends without profit, and our accounts show a shortage of $3,000. This, however, includes the transportation and entertainment of the Bethel family of more than 76. A little idea of the cost of the noon luncheon may be had from a statement of the daily food supply--fresh milk, 1,000 quarts; lemonade, 600 quarts; sandwiches, 4,000; buns, 4,000; sweet cakes and crackers, 6,000; ice, 2,000 pounds; bananas, 3,300; cheese, 135 pounds. This was our daily provision. It was served by 120 volunteer brethren at each meal. Fourteen dear friends spent nearly three weeks in securing the accommodations, while others labored day and night in making the assignments.
While we paid a uniform rate for all rooms, they were not all alike. They were graded A, B, C and D by those who examined and engaged them. Then those who made the assignments gave the A grade to the $14 orders, the B grade to the $11, and the C and D grades to the $9 orders. They may not all have been correctly graded, but we feel sure that all got excellent value for their money; for those who paid $14 for nine days, paid only about $1.50 per day for food, lodging and transportation.
We assure all who attended that whatever was lacking of perfection came short through imperfection of judgment or matters beyond the control of those looking after their interests. We can certainly say that had 4,000 people arrived there without previous arrangements for their comfort they would have been a sorry lot, and would have paid all kinds of prices for entertainment or would have wandered around the streets tired and hungry. Nevertheless, should we return to the same place another time we could do much better for all, because open opposition has disappeared. As several gentlemen of Jamestown remarked, "The only people here who do not seem to have enjoyed your Convention are the preachers and saloonkeepers."
The Convention was every way an interesting one. The presence of Brother Hemery of the British Branch, Brother Lundborg of the Swedish Branch, Brother Luttichau of the Danish Branch, and Brother Lindqvist of the Norwegian Branch, added materially to the interest of the occasion. The list of speakers, as shown on the programme, which many of you have, numbered twenty-four, besides about twelve who took part in the symposium at the last session. On account of the large crowds it seemed unadvisable to attempt to have a Love Feast of the usual type. We therefore arranged that twelve of the Pilgrim brethren should be stationed at the outlets of the various aisles, both on the lower floor and in the gallery of the Auditorium. The friends greeted these as they passed from the Convention Hall on the last Sunday night. At the conclusion all declared, "It has been our very best Convention."
LODGED AT THE MAYVILLE INN
We knew that, on account of the Convention, the letters and orders coming to the Brooklyn office would be fewer than usual. We therefore took practically the entire office force to the Convention, there to continue the necessary features of the work in all departments. The Editor, as President of the I.B.S.A., felt it proper that he should be in attendance throughout the entire Convention.
Nevertheless, as it was necessary for him to keep up his literary duties, it was advisable to isolate himself to some extent from the glad hands and loving hearts of the 4,000 plus, each of whom desired a few minutes' conversation and to shake hands every time they came within reach. Isolation seemed cruel, but necessary, in the interest of the King's Business. Accordingly we rented the Mayville Inn, which was vacant but furnished. There about fifty of the friends were entertained, with the understanding that Brother Russell must not be intruded upon, and could be visited only at meal times and at the evening Receptions. We spoke at the Auditorium five times:--
(1) At the opening session.
(2) On Sunday morning, July 31.
(3) A special address to the Pilgrim brethren and to Elders and Deacons from everywhere on Thursday evening, Aug. 4.
(4) To Colporteurs on Saturday morning, Aug. 6.
(5) To the Convention and to the public on Sunday, Aug. 7.
On the latter occasion the house was crowded and an overflow meeting of about 700 was held in the adjoining theater, addressed by Brother John Kuehn.
SIX RECEPTIONS AT THE INN
In view of the impossibility of personal contact with any but a very few at the Auditorium, we arranged for six Receptions at the Mayville Inn, with admission only by cards. We had 3,600 of these cards printed, and additional permits were granted for the last Reception on Saturday evening, Aug. 6. The tickets were good only for the date they bore, so that the chartered steamer which took the friends twenty miles to the Inn and back might not be overcrowded. We desired that all should have a view of the beautiful lake and the opportunity for fellowship enroute. We are assured that the arrangements were enjoyed to the full and were seasons of refreshing fellowship and praise.
At the Inn the crowds each evening were received in the large parlors and halls and verandas and spacious lawns. We used a corner of one veranda for a pulpit, and, after greeting the dear friends, spoke a few words along spiritual lines to assist in making the occasion one to be remembered from the standpoint of spiritual refreshment. Then, while hundreds sang some of our sweet hymns, other hundreds were invited into the large dining room, where with zeal they were served by loving brethren and sisters (recruits chiefly from the Colporteur ranks) with a little ice cream, cake, etc., soon exchanging places with the singers. We feel sure that these six receptions added to the comfort and joy and spiritual refreshment of all who participated. The numbers attending furnished [R4673 : page 279] a good gauge of the total number attending the Convention. Yet there were probably nearly 1,000 who, for one reason or another, did not get to the receptions--some of them refrained from attending, fearing that there would not be room, and that they would crowd out others. There was, however, room for all, and more could have been entertained.
Reports of the Receptions were published in the Jamestown papers. Thinking that they may be of interest we include them in this report:--
THE GREATER AND ETERNAL EDEN GOD'S FOOTSTOOL TO BE MADE GLORIOUS PASTOR RUSSELL'S RECEPTION AT THE MAYVILLE INN
August 3.--Last evening the second installment from the Bible Students Convention, numbering nearly six hundred, visited Pastor Russell and were addressed by him on the lawn and porches of Peacock Inn. The twenty miles' ride on our beautiful Lake Chautauqua feasted their eyes. Their hymns of praise wafted to the cottages on the shores led many to surname these International Bible Students--"The Happy People." Pastor Russell spoke briefly and informally. Referring to the beautiful scenery of the lake, he remarked:--
"It turned my mind back to the Garden of Eden, reminding me of the Divine provision for our first parents before sin came to mar the Divine likeness in which Adam and Eve were created. Then my mind went forward into the future, guided by the Divine lamp--the Word of God. In its light there arose before my mental vision Paradise restored--not a garden merely, but the entire earth made beautiful, gorgeous, fruitful, sinless, happy.
"I called to mind the inspired promise so familiar to us all--There shall be no more sighing, no more crying, no more dying--for the former things of sin and death will have passed away, and the great King of Glory shall announce, 'Behold, I renew all things.' (Rev. 21:5.) I recalled also St. Peter's words of assurance respecting these glorious 'times of restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began.' (Acts 3:20,21.) St. Peter adds that this restitution of earth to its designed perfection-- typed in Eden--and of man's restitution to God's likeness, delays until the second advent of the Redeemer. And other Scriptures, dear Brethren, assure us that the coming of our Master as the King of Glory is timed by God to take place as soon as the elect Church shall have been called and chosen and tested and found faithful.
RESTITUTION WORK BEGUN
"The Divine purpose will not be thwarted by the permission of sin to mar the original. The sacrificial death of Jesus is the complete offset to the penalty pronounced on Adam and his race. Restitution to perfection and Divine favor will result in God's 'due time.' And we believe that time near at hand.
"Do we not see the promised blessing coming? What are our vast irrigation schemes by artesian wells and by aqueducts but fulfillments of the prophecies pertaining to the reign of Messiah and the blessing of the earth? Hark to the message: Streams shall break forth in the [R4674 : page 279] desert; and the wilderness shall bloom as the rose.-- Isaiah 35.
"Burbank and others are under Divine guidance working miracles in horticulture, just as Edison and others have been the instruments of Providence to give us electrical devices. What beautiful fruits and flowers are the result! It is difficult to imagine greater perfection either in Eden of old or in the world-wide Eden to be restored!
"Referring to the 'times of restitution' of Messiah's reign the Prophet declares, 'The earth shall yield her increase.' (Ezek. 34:27.) Behold preparations for the fulfillment of this promise: About three years ago a Virginia farmer found one abnormal bunch of 120 stalks of wheat from one root--the offspring of one grain of wheat. Under the name of 'miracle wheat' it is now being developed slowly in various parts--the average yield appears to be about 1,200 grains from one kernel. And this very year the same peculiarity in oats has been found--a bunch growing wild by the roadside.
"Additionally the same Divine providence is guiding our chemists to economical methods of extracting nitrogen from the atmosphere for the feeding of the soil and thus to the 'increase' of earth's blessings and in fulfillment of God's promise that he will make the earth (his footstool) glorious.
DELIVERING THE CAPTIVES
"But, my friends, the most important piece of restitution work relates to man. The hard, stony selfishness of heart which is world-wide is not God's likeness nor to God's glory."'Man's inhumanity to man
Makes countless thousands mourn.'
"Nineteen centuries of preaching shows that the cure of this malady is not in our power, and that only the few even desire or seek for the Lord's spirit of gentleness and tender-heartedness. The great King of Glory is also the Good Physician. He only can cure the disease of sin and its results. Through him God's promise to Israel will be fulfilled: 'I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.' (Jeremiah 31:31.) And this work will proceed from Israel to all the families of the earth--uplifting all the willing and obedient out of sin and death to all that was lost in Adam and redeemed at Calvary. And, thank God, the unwilling and disobedient will not be consigned to endless torture, but to 'the Second Death'--'everlasting destruction.'
"After some light refreshments the 'happy people' departed on the boat for their lodgings along the Lake and at Jamestown, singing enroute."
INTERNATIONAL BIBLE STUDENTS CALL UPON PASTOR RUSSELL Nearly 600 Addressed on the Lawn of the Late Judge Peacock's Residence.
A third detachment of Bible Students, after the day's services, took steamer for the upper end of the Lake to attend Pastor Russell's reception. The Lake journey was an enjoyable one along spiritual lines. The students, rendering various well-known hymns effectively, discussed the Convention topics of the day. They were as happy a crowd as ever passed over our beautiful Lake.
At Peacock Inn the visitors crowded the lower floor of the house and the extensive lawn. Pastor Russell, after greeting each visitor, addressed them as a whole. He welcomed those already well known to him, as well as others whom he had not met previously. He congratulated them upon the wonderful day in which we are living; upon the wonderful Bibles from which we may study concerning [R4674 : page 280] the great Divine Plan of the Ages. With an Oxford Bible in his extended hand he remarked, "I fear that even we fail to appreciate the value of this great Book which has exerted more influence in the world than all other books combined." He remarked that few preachers realize that the Bible has been in the hands of the public for only about one century. "Our oldest Bible societies are this very year celebrating their centennial. When they were organized Bibles were possessed only by the rich. Now they are to be found in the homes of all--obtainable free by the destitute. Many are learning the value of Bible references and the usefulness of Bible Concordances in Scripture studies.
"Furthermore, we are too apt to forget that general education has only now reached the masses. It is not yet thirty years since free schools were established in Great Britain. It is only about ten years since education has been made compulsory in all the most civilized lands. Thus God has favored our day in a two-fold manner, not only by giving us the Bible, but by giving the masses the intelligence necessary to its study.
"But, alas, just as these precious opportunities are in the hands of the masses; just as these blessings were given to humanity; just as Christendom was prepared for Bible study, the Lord allowed the Adversary to bring forward a most subtle influence in opposition to it. The foul-mouthed infidelity of the past has been supplanted by a far more dangerous enemy to Christian faith--the infidelity known as Higher Criticism. It is dangerous because of its insidious character. It has entrenched itself in all the colleges and in all the theological seminaries. While all of our churches of all denominations ostensibly stand as defenders of the Bible, the citadel of faith is being captured by the great Adversary of God and the Truth--Satan--who is deceiving, estranging and misleading the hosts of Christendom through the very theological professors and D.D.'s to whom they have been led to look for spiritual light and direction and whom they had supposed to be staunch defenders of the Bible as the inspired Word of God. This is a severe arraignment, but it is a generally truthful one, as each may demonstrate to himself. Most regretfully I am persuaded that four out of every five of all the ministers and Sunday-School superintendents of Christendom have ceased to believe in the Bible as the Divinely inspired revelation of the Will and Purposes of the Almighty. Some of these, nevertheless, claim to be earnest followers of Jesus as the Son of God, and of Divine origin. Yet how weak is their position! If Moses did not write the Law and if it was not inspired, nor the prophecies inspired, what could we think of Jesus and his Apostles accepting those prophecies as inspired and founding all of their teachings thereupon? Most evidently, Higher Critics who still believe in Jesus as the Divine Son of God have not thought logically on the proposition, and will reject everything pertaining to the Scriptures upon further reflection.
"I congratulate you, my friends, that while sorrowfully we behold the fulfilling of the Scriptures in the falling away of these, our friends, we are not compelled by anything in reason nor in the Scriptures to suppose that their fate for such infidelity will be eternal torment. I congratulate you that, as Bible Students, we are growing stronger in our faith day by day while, in fulfillment of the Scriptures, a thousand fall at our side and ten thousand at our right hand. (Psa. 91:7.) I congratulate you that the study of the Bible, with the assistance which God is now providing, is clearing up the mysteries which have perplexed us all our lives and is bringing to us greater appreciation of his glorious purposes and greater loyalty to him and more earnest desire to serve his Cause of Righteousness and to lift up the standard of the Cross of Christ.
"Truly, as the Lord through the Prophet expressed it, 'Our feet have been kept from stumbling,' and instead the stumbling-stone of greater intelligence of our day has lifted us to a higher plane of devotion and appreciation of 'the heights and depths and lengths and breadths of the Love of God which passeth all understanding.'
"Do not misunderstand me to be speaking harshly or unkindly of our dear friends who are stumbling over the educational opportunities of our day. On the contrary, I sympathize with them. Once I stood exactly where they stand. Once I, too, repudiated the Bible as the Word of God. I was as honest then as I am today, and feel bound to give credit for equal honesty. They are blinded by the dazzling glare of the earthly science of our day. If they ever knew, they have forgotten and dropped the light, the science which comes only from above. Some of them may be recovered from the snare of the Adversary, as I was. There is this difference, however: The majority of them seem to exult in their unbelief and to pride themselves and plume themselves on their opposition to the Bible; but my position was the very contrary of this. I deplored the necessity for abandoning the Bible. I considered it the rational thing to expect from the Supreme Creator some Revelation of his purposes respecting mankind--the object of our creation; the purpose to be attained; and how and why.
"I have no doubt that many of you have had experiences similar to my own. Many of you have told me so. Let us hope that, as we have been recovered from the snare of the Fowler, so also may others be. Let us be prompt to lend the helping hand and an encouraging word. Let us realize that to the honest-hearted the loss of the Bible must be a disaster to faith and hope, as it was in our own cases. Let us trust that there are many others honest as ourselves who will yet be recovered. Let us be encouraged to help them by a remembrance of how great a blessing came to us through the proper understanding of the Word of God."
"SOME BETTER THING FOR US" "OUR HEAVENLY CALLING" PASTOR RUSSELL'S RECEPTION NO. 4.
The Mayville Inn and its spacious lawns, with Pastor Russell of Brooklyn Tabernacle as host, entertained the fourth contingent of Bible Students, about six hundred, last night. The numbers each night are regulated by cards of invitation. Like its predecessors, the occasion was an enjoyable one long to be remembered with pleasure and profit. Again the songs of "The Happy People" of the International Bible Students, coming and going, gladdened and cheered the dwellers at the Lake-side [R4675 : page 280] homes, who will not soon forget this Convention. In connection with his greetings Pastor Russell said:--
"To the gathering of Bible Students who visited me here last evening I remarked the increasing beauties of nature as foregleams of the great 'restitution' promised in the Bible and which we believe is now nigh at hand. We then considered the world's hope, based on the great sacrifice at Calvary and the Bible's testimony respecting its far-reaching results. Tonight let us consider briefly the future of the Church's hope.
"Like many of our Christian friends, for a long time we did not understand how to 'rightly divide the Word of Truth.' (2 Tim. 2:15.) We did not comprehend that God's Plan provides first a heavenly salvation for [R4675 : page 281] the Church and then an earthly salvation for mankind in general. The study of our Bibles along dispensational lines clears away all of our difficulties. It shows us that the promise that the redeemed shall sit every man under his own vine and fig tree and long enjoy the work of their hands (Isa. 36:16) is God's provision for Israel restored to Divine favor, and for all the families of the earth; but not for the Church. Of the true Church, the Bride of Christ, it is declared that her members shall in the resurrection be like unto the angels--heavenly or spiritual beings.
"St. Paul distinctly says of these, 'Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God.' (I Cor. 15:50.) Jesus tells these that he has gone to prepare them a place in the Father's house on high. But the place for man, the earth, already provided from the foundation of the world, is a very different one from ours, of which we read, 'Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath in reservation for them that love him.'--Isa. 64:4.
THE SPIRITUAL CALL
"Now we understand why it is that from Genesis to Malachi there is not one suggestion of a heavenly or spiritual hope for anyone. Every promise is earthly. In Abraham's case, for instance, we read, 'Lift up now thine eyes and look to the East, West, North, and South; for all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy Seed after thee.'
"St. Paul refers to this difference between the hopes of the spirit-begotten Church founded at Pentecost and the hopes of all others. Pointing to the faithful of the past he declares that although they had God's testimony to their faithfulness, nevertheless they received not the promises, 'God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.'-- Hebrews 11:38-40.
"As soon as we get our 'better thing,' our higher reward of 'glory, honor and immortality' in joint-heirship with our Lord as figuratively his Bride, then the worthy ones of ancient times will get their reward of resurrection to human perfection. Then, under Messiah's Kingdom, those perfect men will be the 'princes in all the earth.' Then from the spiritual to the perfected earthly ones, the blessings and instructions for the world will descend to the poor, ignorant, selfish and superstitious world--to help them; to uplift the obedient to the perfections illustrated by the perfected worthies.
WHAT HEAVEN IS LIKE
"We have all heard of the Sunday-School teacher who told her class about heaven--about its pianos, harps, organs, horses and carriages, fruits and flowers, etc. We see that she was merely thinking of the blessings God has provided for the faithful and obedient of the world, 'in due time.' She had no conception of the heaven of heavens promised to the faithful followers of Jesus in the narrow way.
"The great Teacher explains that it is impossible to describe heaven and its beauties and charms. He said to Nicodemus, 'If I have told you of earthly things and ye believed not, how would you believe if I should tell you of heavenly things?'--John 3:12.
"In line with this the Bible makes no attempt to describe heaven itself, nor its inhabitants. We are merely told that God is a Spirit 'dwelling in light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can ever see' personally. Man must discern God in his works, the noblest of which is the perfect man, made in Jehovah's moral likeness on the earthly plane--a little lower than the angels on the spirit plane. The most that the Word declares of our heavenly inheritance is that 'Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath in reservation for them that love him.'--I Cor. 2:9.
"But while refusing to inform us of the heavenly conditions, God does give us a soul-satisfying portion. Through the Apostle he declares, 'It doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he (the glorified Jesus) shall be revealed (at his Second Advent, in power and great glory) we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is,' while others not thus 'changed' from human to spirit nature by the 'First Resurrection' power will not see him as he is, but only as he shall be revealed in his providences and judgments, which every eye shall recognize.
"How satisfactory! How far beyond all that we could have asked or thought! 'Like Him.' What more could we ask? 'Like him,' whom 'God hath highly exalted, far above angels, principalities and powers'! We stand amazed at such grace! Moreover, we can realize that he who called us to become 'partakers of the divine nature' and joint-heirs with the Redeemer in his Mediatorial Kingdom has provided for our every comfort and joy in that heavenly state, the details of which we may not now grasp. Prophetically of these it is written, 'I shall be satisfied when I awake in thy likeness.'--Psa. 17:15."
ALL BIBLE STUDENTS SHOULD BE BURNING AND SHINING LIGHTS PASTOR RUSSELL'S ADDRESS TO THE FIFTH DIVISION OF CONVENTIONISTS Nearly six hundred more Bible Students from the Convention visited Pastor Russell at The Mayville Inn.-- More "happy people".--More hymns of praise.--Another delightful ride on our beautiful Lake going and returning. --Pastor Russell welcomed all most heartily.--In the course of the evening he gave a little address as on previous occasions.--He said in part:
"One of old was declared to be a burning and shining light. There is force in this expression. Some lights are cold, austere, unsympathetic; but the kind approved by the Master was the burning kind--warm, glowing, sympathetic, helpful, intensive. The Master himself furnishes the best of all illustrations of the principle enunciated. He was the light which came down from heaven--undimmed, resplendent, shining forth to the utmost the light of Divine Truth. Not a cold, forbidding recluse was he, holding himself aloof from the people with a haughty and disdainful spirit, telling coldly 'wonderful words of life.'
"On the contrary, his entire life was sympathetic, whole-souled. One of the charges brought against him by the cold Pharisees was, He receiveth sinners and eateth with them. Even his disciples were shocked that he should converse with a woman of Samaria. But the common people heard him gladly. While recognizing that he was far above their plane--while beholding in him the glories of an only-begotten of the Father, they nevertheless were drawn to him because he was the burning as well as the shining light. And they declared of him, 'Never man spake like this man.'-- John 7:46. [R4675 : page 282]
"LET YOUR LIGHT SO SHINE"
"Bible Students are all Christians, though, alas, all Christians are not Bible Students. True, God's Book may even be read through by some who are unbelievers. And it may be scanned critically by opponents who seek to find fault with it and to entrap it, as they sought to find fault with the Master. But these are not Bible Students in the proper sense of the word. Only those who have made a consecration of their lives to the Lord and who are anxious to know the Divine will, that they may conform their lives to it, and who, to attain this end, have entered the School of Christ to be taught of him--only these are Bible Students from our standpoint--searchers after the secrets of the Lord, because they love him and are appreciative of his glorious plans and desirous of understanding them fully. Such Bible Students--including you, dear friends, and myself, I trust--should be burning and shining lights in the world and amongst our fellow-Christians of all denominations, many of whom, alas, have much of the spirit of the world and are lacking in the spirit of the Truth because of insufficient knowledge of the Truth itself--because they are not sufficiently Bible Students.
"'Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.' We are not enjoined to make a show of carrying our Bibles everywhere in an ostentatious manner. We are exhorted to show forth in our daily lives the lessons we learn from its precious pages. As the Bible is our lamp provided by the Lord to all those who walk in his footsteps, so each of these in turn is a lamp which should shed forth upon others the light, the knowledge, the spirit of Truth for their edification. In other words, the holy Spirit is not poured out upon the world of mankind, but merely upon the Lord's servants and handmaidens. It is an anointing for these and upon these, evidencing to them that they have been begotten again to the new nature and making of them light-bearers for the benefit of others--burning and shining lights, sympathetic and helpful lights, 'that they might show forth the praises of him who hath called us out of darkness into his marvelous light.'
"THE LIGHT SHINETH IN THE DARKNESS"
"While keeping the lamp trimmed and burning, while seeking to glorify God as burning and shining lights in the world, we must not forget that the Bible assures us that we will be no more successful in converting the [R4677 : page 282] world than was our Master. His great light shone in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not. And the religionists of his day instigated his crucifixion. The Master's prophecy respecting his followers will prove true to the end of the Age: 'The darkness hateth the light'; 'Marvel not if the world hate you. Ye know that it hated me before it hated you.' (I John 3:13.) It is altogether a mistake, therefore, to suppose that you or I or any other person or all of the Lord's consecrated people, letting their lights shine faithfully before men, could convert the world. Such was not God's intention. It is the Church, and not the world, that is being tested at the present time. The opposition of the world and all the powers of darkness serve to test us as New Creatures-- to test our loyalty to God and to his Truth. Whosoever receives the light of Truth intelligently must rejoice in it, and, rejoicing in it, he must let it shine out upon others, or, by covering his light with a bushel, he will demonstrate his lack of courage, lack of appreciation, lack of zeal, which the Lord is now specially seeking for amongst those whom he has invited to be sharers with Jesus in the glories of the Mediatorial Kingdom about to be established amongst men. It is important, therefore, that we let our light shine before men. It is important that we be willing, nay, glad if need be, to suffer for our loyalty to the Lord and to his message. And we have his word for it that he that is ashamed of him or of his Word now, of such he will be ashamed by and by and not own them as members of his Bride class, not accept them as assistants with him in his glorious Throne.
"THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD IS JESUS"
"'This is the light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.' (John 1:9.) Thus far Jesus has not been dealing with the world, but merely with the blessed ones who have the eye of faith and ear of faith. 'Blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears for they hear.' (Matt. 13:16.) The time for the enlightenment of the world will be after the special call of the elect. Then the Church, as the Bride, will be with the heavenly Bridegroom in his Throne. Then all now found faithful in the matter of letting their light shine will be associated with the great Light, Jesus, as members of his Body. Altogether they will constitute the great Sun of Righteousness which will then arise with healing in its beams for the blessing of all the families of the earth. 'Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. He that hath an ear to hear, let him hear.' (Matt. 13:43.) He that hath a desire of heart, let him be obedient, and thus make his calling and election sure to this glorious chief salvation."
PASTOR RUSSELL'S RECEPTIONS CONCLUDED SATURDAY NIGHT The Sixth Section of the Convention Hosts, About Six Hundred, Visited the Mayville Inn Saturday Night. PASTOR RUSSELL'S ADDRESS
In order not to crowd the chartered boat, no more than six hundred were permitted to attend Pastor Russell's reception on any one evening. The restriction was effected by means of visitation cards, not more than six hundred of which were issued for any one of the six evenings. Last evening marked the conclusion of the receptions. The steamer was crowded, but "The Happy People" maintained their equilibrium of spirit and let their songs abound, giving good evidence that they were singing and making melody in their hearts unto the Lord. They evidently enjoyed the scenery of the Lake, but the eyes of their understanding seemed to take in still more beautiful Elysian fields. It was the same on the return journey.
The Mayville Inn was illuminated throughout, as were also its verandas and lawns, the Chinese lanterns giving a gala effect.
The crowd was welcomed by Pastor Russell, who greeted each one personally. He subsequently addressed them from the veranda, following which a light collation was partaken of. The address in part was as follows:--
"THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE CHURCH OF THE FIRST-BORNS"
"My dear friends, our Convention nears its close. To me it has been a very enjoyable one. So far as I can discern, it has been the same to all in attendance. It is a delightful and blessed experience that so many of the Lord's people, by his Providence, have been permitted to turn aside from the busy cares of life to spend ten days in Bible study and in fellowship with each other in spiritual things. We have thus been remembering the inspired [R4677 : page 283] exhortation, 'Forget not the assembling of yourselves together,...and so much the more as ye see The Day draw nigh.' The nearer we come to the great Day of the Lord, in which the Church will be glorified with the Bridegroom, and in which the great work of blessing the world at large will begin, the more precious are our opportunities for Christian fellowship. And more than this; they daily become more important to us for our strengthening and upbuilding in the faith once delivered to the saints.
"As we think of the closing of this Convention, let our minds go out toward the Great Convention promised in God's Word. At it will be gathered all of God's people --all 'Israelites indeed, in whom is no guile.' That Convention, like this one, will be unsectarian, interdenominational. Presbyterians, Methodists, Congregationalists, Baptists--the holy, the saintly out of each and all of these will be at that Great Convention. St. Paul styles it the 'General Assembly of the Church of the First-born ones.' How grand to think of such a reunion, without a creedal fence between any of the participants and all of them surrounded and safeguarded by the
'Love Divine, all Love excelling,' and the Wisdom and Power Divine! Do you desire to be present at that Convention? The question is an unnecessary one. It is the hope, the desire, the aim of every one of us to be there--to make our calling and our election sure; to so run that we may obtain that great prize of participation in the 'First Resurrection.' Of that resurrection we read, 'Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the First (chief) Resurrection; on such the Second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years'! (Rev. 20:6.) Let us have this in mind, dear friends, that our participation with our Lord in the glories of his Kingdom is dependent upon our faithfulness here in following him through evil report and through good report, through honor and through dishonor in the bearing of the cross along the narrow way of self-denial.
THE FIRST-BORNS PASSED OVER
"I remind you that when God brought typical Israel out of Egypt, the first-borns had a peculiar salvation or preservation first. The night before the deliverance all the first-borns were in danger of death, and were saved only when under the blood of the Passover Lamb. We see, dear friends, the significance of this beautiful type. St. Paul tells us that Christ is our Passover Lamb, slain for us. We each have appropriated his flesh, his human nature, which he sacrificed on our behalf. We recognize his sacrifice, the blood of atonement. We see that this entire Gospel Age is the antitype of that night. We are hoping to belong to the first-borns begotten of the holy Spirit who, during this night time of sin and death, will be passed over and, on account of the blood without and the Lamb within, be accounted worthy of being passed over--accounted worthy of eternal life on the spirit plane as members of the 'Church of the First-born'--participants in the 'First Resurrection' to glory, honor and immortality with our Lord--like him.
PRIESTS AND LEVITES--WHICH?
"I remind you that all of these first-borns, passed over, typified all of the Lord's people of all denominations and outside of all denominations who are now passing from death unto life. I remind you, however, that in the type, the first-borns of every tribe were exchanged for the one tribe of Levi--the priestly tribe, which thereafter typified the 'Church of the First-borns'--the 'household of faith.' But I remind you further that the Lord divided that tribe into two classes. A little handful were made priests and occupied a special position of favor and relationship and nearness to God, and the remainder of that tribe were honored in being used as the assistants or servants of the priests. This is an allegory or type. 'The Church of the First-borns' will consist of two classes, a 'little flock' of priests and a 'great company' of the 'household of faith' and typical Levites who will serve. I remind you that the 'little flock' of priests do their sacrificing now and, if faithful, will shortly be made a Royal Priesthood, a reigning priesthood, joint-heirs with the great King of Glory and High Priest of our profession--Jesus. I remind you that the 'great company,' typed in the ordinary Levites, will not be in the Throne, but serve before the Throne. They will not be living stones of the Temple, but serve God in the Temple. They will not wear crowns of glory, though they will be granted palms of victory.
"What places will you and I occupy in the resurrection, in the General Assembly of the Church of the First-borns? Will we be of the Royal Priesthood, or of the less honorable, but still blessed, servants? Will we be of the Bride class or of the less honored virgins, her companions that follow her? It is for us, dear friends, now to make our calling and our election sure by our zeal, our earnestness, our devotion to the great King and his Cause. He has called us to the highest place. It rests with us, under his wonderful and gracious arrangements, to determine whether we will be passed over or not passed over, and, if passed over, to determine whether we will accept the place to which we are all called or the inferior place which will be granted to those who do not keep their garments unspotted from the world and who, therefore, [R4678 : page 283] must come through great tribulation to enter into the Kingdom at all.
ENCOURAGED TO LEAVE BEHIND A SWEET FRAGRANCE OF THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD
"I exhort you, dear friends, that we strive to be present at the Great Convention, 'the General Assembly of the Church of the First-borns,' and that we strive to make our calling and election sure, that we may be of the Bride class, the Royal Priesthood class, the members of the Body of the great Prophet, Priest and King of Glory! It is to this end that we have come to this Convention-- that we might encourage each other and be encouraged to maintain the good fight of faith and to gain the victory, so far as our hearts are concerned, over the world, the flesh and the Adversary. I trust that we shall all go away from this Convention strengthened by Divine might in the inner man. I trust that we shall leave behind us a sweet fragrance of the Spirit of the Lord in every cottage and hotel in which we have been lodged. I trust that we shall go to our homes so filled with the Spirit of the Truth, the spirit of meekness, gentleness, patience, long-suffering, brotherly kindness and love that we shall carry a blessing to those of our homes, that they may take knowledge that we have been with Jesus and have learned of him and that the blessing may thus overflow and abound to many hearts. I doubt not that such will be the blessed results and that this Celoron Convention of Bible Students will be a marked epoch in the Christian careers of many, marked with blessings from on high and mutual refreshment of spirit amongst all those who have participated.""Chosen in Christ ere the dawn of creation;
Chosen for Christ to be filled with his grace;
Chosen to carry the streams of salvation
Into each thirsty and desolate place."
BIBLE STUDENTS IN PALESTINE This photograph was taken April 24th, 1910,on the slope of the Mount of Olives, facing Jerusalem, near the Garden of Gethsemane. Behind the group is the Valley of Jehoshaphat and the brook Kedron, beyond which on the top of the farther slope is the wall of Jerusalem. Behind the wall is seen the City.
MISIMPROVED OPPORTUNITIES TAKEN AWAY --MATTHEW 21:23-46.--SEPTEMBER 4-- Golden Text:--"Therefore say I unto you, The Kingdom of God shall be taken from you."
IN this Study the Great Teacher in two parables portrays the mistake made by the religionists of his day. The understanding of these parables gives a clearer insight into the cause which led to the rejection of Israel for a time from Divine favor. Incidentally, too, we are to remember that nominal fleshly Israel was a prototype of nominal Christendom. Hence we may look for somewhat similar conditions and dealings now in the "harvest" time of this Christian Age.
To get the force of the Lord's teachings here and everywhere it is necessary to remember that the Jewish people had been promised the Kingdom of God, of which David's Kingdom was a type on a small scale. For centuries they had been expecting a great King, Messiah, whose coming would exalt them and bring them into prominence as God's Kingdom. John the Baptist, when he came to introduce Messiah, told the Jews that unless they would repent and come back, to the extent of their ability, into harmony with God and the Law they need not expect to share in the Messianic Kingdom. Jesus told the people that unless their righteousness should exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, they should in no wise enter into or become members of the long-waited-for Kingdom. (Matthew 5:20.) The two parables of this Study illustrate what stood in the way of the majority.
WORK TODAY IN MY VINEYARD
The Jewish people professed to be God's people, willing to do him service. They were treated, not as mere slaves, but, rather, like sons. All were told to go and work in God's vineyard; but they divided into two classes, represented by the two sons, in our first parable. One of these sons represented the outwardly religious, pious, who said, Yes, we will serve God. However, they did not really seek the Divine service, but rather the service of their sects and parties and their own personal aims, honor, influence and preferment. The other class of Israelites, represented by the other son of the parable, made no pretense of serving God, and were branded as publicans, sinners, harlots. Nevertheless, when Jesus appeared, when John's message went forth, and afterwards the teachings of Jesus and the Apostles, these same publicans, sinners, harlots, were the ones ready to receive him, while the religious, finding that his message was in conflict with their teachings, repudiated him. Thus one of the charges against Jesus was, "He receiveth publicans and sinners and eateth with them."
"Friend of Sinners was his Name"
The second parable represents God as the owner of a great Vineyard, in all respects well appointed and furnished for his purpose. This Vineyard represents the Jewish nation and the Divine promises made to that people-- the Law and all the arrangements of the Law Covenant, for their development. This Vineyard the owner let out to husbandmen, whose duty it was to care for the vines and the fruitage and to render to the owner the results, except a portion which they might keep for themselves. These husbandmen were the prominent religionists, of whom Jesus said, "The scribes and Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. All, therefore, whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do." (Matt. 23:2,3.) The owner properly required returns on his property and sent servants to receive his share of the fruitage. But the husbandmen, instead of giving them what was due their Master, abused them by beating, killing and stoning them.
These servants were the prophets of old, sent to Israel. They should have received the kindest treatment and an abundance of fruits of meekness, gentleness, patience, etc., but, instead, they were treated as intruders by the leaders of Israel. Some of them were stoned, some beaten, some murdered, some sawn asunder. Some wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins and dwelt in dens and caves of the earth, because not appreciated. They were not treated as representatives of the owner of the vineyard. Finally the owner sent his Son, saying, "They will reverence my Son." But these same husbandmen, the religionists of our Lord's day, took counsel to kill him and to seize his inheritance. They somehow got the impression that they could lord it over God's heritage and that anybody reproving them or showing up their hypocrisies or liberating the people from subservience to them, whoever he might be-- even the heir--they were at liberty to kill. They crucified him.
What may we presume the owner of that Vineyard would do to those wicked husbandmen who, forgetting the ownership of the vineyard, were using it as their own, mistreating his servants and crucifying his Son? The Great Teacher put the question to his hearers, and the answer promptly came that the owner would destroy those wicked men and let out his Vineyard to others who would render him its fruitage.
This is just what happened. The scribes and Pharisees and Doctors of the Law who were using God's promises and blessings and their opportunities selfishly and in disregard of the Almighty--these were dispossessed. Their government was destroyed and Divine favor and privileges as God's mouthpieces, which they once enjoyed, were taken from them and given to others--to the Apostles and their associates, during this Gospel Age.
However, as fleshly Israel was a type or picture of nominal Spiritual Israel, we may not have to look far to find a very similar condition of things today. Today also we see some high in official position as representatives of God and his Word using their positions to entrench themselves, to hold power over the people, to carry out their own schemes. These are inclined to speak harshly, yea, to "murder" any who come amongst them meekly, humbly, in the name of the Lord. They do not literally kill them nor "shoot them full of arrows," but they do behead them in the sense of ostracism. And they do shoot out at them the arrows of bitter words, slanders, etc.
What will the Husbandman do with such servants? The answer is again that the opportunities which they have enjoyed will be taken away from them. Thank God that the next step in the programme will be that the King's Son and all of the misused servants associated with him will constitute the new "Kingdom of God's dear Son" "under the whole heavens." Matters will be no longer entrusted to any but the tried, proven, faithful.
Jesus, the rejected, "is become the chief corner-stone" of the great Temple of God, which is the Church. As the privilege of being God's embryotic Kingdom was taken from the Jews and given to Christ and the Church, so presently his embryotic Kingdom will be taken from earth entirely--his faithful will be received to the heavenly plane and power and great glory.
Whoever stumbled over Jesus suffered loss in the sense of being broken, but not beyond possibility of repair. "But upon whomsoever this stone (Messiah) shall fall, it will grind him to powder" in the Second Death.--Matt. 21:44.
"MANY ARE CALLED BUT FEW ARE CHOSEN" --MATT. 22:1-14.--SEPTEMBER 11.--
MANY of us have not in the past sufficiently discerned that none of the lessons of the Great Teacher were given in literal language --that they were all symbolical; as we read, "Without a parable spake he not unto them." --Matt. 13:34.
In today's Study we have another beautiful parabolic lesson respecting the Kingdom. We might inquire why the Bible is so full of these lessons concerning the Kingdom? Is it not because the Kingdom of God is the only hope of the world? Are we not learning this more and more? Faith in the coming Kingdom of God under the whole heavens began to grow dim within less than two centuries after the death of the Apostles. Instead of longing, hoping, to become the Bride of Christ, to be associated with him in his glorious Kingdom for the overthrow of Sin and Satan and Death, and for the uplifting of mankind during a reign of a thousand years, a new faith and a new hope came in, contrary to the Scriptures. This unscriptural hope instructed Christians that they should expect an earthly Kingdom of their own establishment, in which the popes would reign as representatives of Jesus and the cardinals and bishops as representatives of the apostles and the "little flock," to whom the approaching Kingdom is promised.
Thenceforth the work of the Church, to "build one another up in the most holy faith," gave place to the unscriptural course of neglecting the Church and laboring for the world, under the unwarranted assumption that it is the duty of the Church to convert the world. As to how much injury has thus been done it is difficult to estimate. For the sake of numbers standards have been lowered and worldliness has been recognized, until today Christendom is in a sad plight as respects true doctrines and high moral standards.
THE MARRIAGE FESTIVAL
As Messiah is to be the Great King of earth during the period of his Mediatorial reign, it is the Father's good pleasure that he should have a "Bride." And this Gospel Age is set apart for the finding and development of this Bride class of many members. The Kingdom is the great prize which the Father is to bestow upon his Son--to be shared by the Church, the Bride of Christ. The parable of today's Study outlines the call of this Bride class or Kingdom class from Jesus' day down to the completion and glorification of this company. Nowhere is Jesus represented as calling his own Bride. This is foreshown in Abraham, who typified the Father, and Isaac, who typified Jesus; and Abraham's servant, sent to call Rebecca to be the Bride of Isaac, typified the holy Spirit, whose work during this Gospel Age is bringing to Christ the Bride class--"the very elect."
So this parable shows that the King sent forth the call to the Marriage. The Jewish people, the children of Abraham, according to the flesh, had been invited to this high honor from the time of the giving of the Law Covenant at Sinai. Century after century they waited for the announcement to be made to them, that the nuptial feast was ready. Finally, when Jesus came, the announcement went to them, All things are now ready! Come to the feast! Meantime, they had become overcharged with the cares of this life--business, politics and religious schemes of their own concocting. They manifested no interest in the announcement and even beat some of the servants, the Apostles and others, who sought to help them, and to draw their attention to the Great Feast, which was their special privilege.
GO YE THEREFORE INTO THE HIGHWAYS AND BRING THEM TO THE MARRIAGE
The Almighty was wroth and sent the Roman armies and "destroyed those murderers and burned up their City," Jerusalem, in A.D. 70. Then the King said to his servants, The wedding must take place even though those who were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways and as many as ye find bring to the marriage feast. As the city represented the Jewish nation, so the highways represented the world in general--the Gentiles --to whom the message of the Kingdom was sent after fleshly Israel had first enjoyed the offer and but partially improved it. Another statement of the parable shows three different classes:--
(1) The Jewish rulers who rejected him.
(2) Those called from among the streets and lanes of their city and gathered to the spirit plane by Jesus and the Apostles.
(3) Then the report was given, "We have done as thou hast commanded and yet there is room." Then the message went forth to go everywhere among the Gentiles and urge them to come in, until the house should be filled --until the elect number for whom the feast was provided should be found. Our Study states that the wedding was furnished with guests--good and bad. In other words, the offer of a share with Christ in his Kingdom has attracted some naturally very fallen, as well as some better favored by nature. But the arrangements of the Great King are such that the "wedding garment" covers all the blemishes of the most imperfect as well as those of the least imperfect.
WITHOUT A WEDDING GARMENT
The latter part of our Study shows a discrimination and judgment ultimately to take place amongst those invited to the wedding and accepted. As none were permitted to enter in without a wedding garment--without an acknowledgment of the merit of Christ's sacrifice--so none will be permitted to remain and participate in the wedding festival except those who maintain their standing of confidence in Christ.
Any who take off the "wedding garment" will be sure to be expelled from the privileges enjoyed and will go out from the light and blessings afforded to this favored class, into the "outer darkness" of the world and of nominal Christianity, in which shortly there will be a great time of trouble, symbolically represented by the "weeping and gnashing of teeth."
Are we not even now in the time of this inspection of the guests? And are not all Christian people who cast away their confidence in the sacrifice of Christ and who accept Evolutionary theories and Higher Criticism taking off "the wedding garment," and will they not all eventually find themselves in outer darkness, in confusion, in bewilderment? And will they not be sadly distressed in the great time of trouble which the Scriptures declare to be near?--Daniel 12:1."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 open again."
BEREAN QUESTIONS IN SCRIPTURE STUDIES Series VI., Study III.--The Call of The New Creation OCTOBER 2
(31) When the Lord comes in the close of this age, who only will be accepted as his Bride? P. 75, par. 1.
(32) Quote several comforting and encouraging Scriptures which declare the Divine supervision over even the humblest member of the New Creation. P. 75, par. 2.
(33) Explain in detail the illustration of natural birth in its relation to the spiritual birth of the New Creation. P. 76, par. 1.
(34) Show briefly how the Scriptures clearly distinguish between the New Creatures and the human family in general, especially with respect to (1) the Atonement Sacrifice, and (2) to the trials and difficulties of life. P. 77, par. 1.
(35) What will be the test of membership in the New Creation? P. 78, par. 1.
(36) In order to abide in Christ, what more than the mere making of a consecration is necessary? Explain fully. P. 78, par. 2.
(37) Why are the five senses of humanity in general not sufficient for the New Creation in matters of judgment? P. 79, par. 1.
(38) Explain the so-called "sixth sense," or complete set of additional spiritual senses, granted these New Creatures. P. 80, par. 1.
(39) By what name should the New Creation be known? P. 80, par. 2.
(40) What manner of spirit has prompted Christians to take sectarian names in the past, and when did it first manifest itself? P. 81, par. 1.
(41) To whom especially belong the chief praise and honor for the blessings that have come to us through the Apostles and other servants of the Lord? P. 82, top.
(42) What should be our attitude toward the present division into various denominations? Pp. 82, 83.
(43) In conclusion, what names should we avoid, and why? P. 83, par. 2, first part.
(44) What names should we recognize and answer to, as consecrated Christians? P. 83, par. 2, last part.
(1) Was the opportunity to become members of the New Creation offered to mankind in general? P. 85.
(2) Was the "calling" of the natural Israelites a "high" or "heavenly calling"? If not, to what were they called? P. 85.
(3) Where are the terms of the High Calling set forth? P. 86, top.
(4) Why could the Ancient Worthies have no part or lot in this New Creation? P. 86, par. 1.
(5) Give another reason why this High Calling could not begin before the death of our Lord Jesus. P. 86, par. 2, first part.
(6) What was the standing of the Apostles before the death and resurrection of Christ? P. 87, top.
(7) Explain the difference between calling men to repentance and inviting them to the High Calling. P. 87, top.
(8) Do the introductions to the various Epistles emphasize the exclusiveness of the Heavenly Call? P. 87.
(9) Upon what conditions shall we be made joint-heirs with Christ? P. 87, par. 2.
(10) Why are not many great, wise or learned called? P. 88.
(11) Why are the conditions of acceptance more attractive to the more fallen members of the human family? P. 89, par. 1.
(12) Upon what two graces of character is God especially placing a premium in connection with the New Creation? P. 90, par. 1.