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May 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. XXXIIMAY 1No. 9
A.D. 1911--A.M. 6039


CONTENTS

Good Tidings Abroad (No. 2)131
Spiritual Growth134
Keeping the Body Under136
"I Keep My Body Under and Bring It Into Subjection"136
The Apostle Had No Thought of His Coming Short136
"A Man is Tempted When He is Led Away of His Own Desires137
A God Ready to Pardon138
Christendom's Idolatrous Debauch138
Hezekiah's Great Reform139
Those Who Will Do the Lord's Will in the Next Age Shall Not Die139
The World's Hatred141
"Good Tidings" in India142
Annual Request for Visits of the Traveling Brethren143
The Western Convention Tour143

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.

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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: LONDON TABERNACLE, Lancaster Gate W. German Branch: Unterdorner Str., 76, Barmen. Australasian Branch: Flinders Building, Flinders St., Melbourne. Please address the SOCIETY in every case.


ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION PRICE, $1.00 (4s.) IN ADVANCE.
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.



ALSO FRENCH, GERMAN, SWEDISH, AND DANISH EDITIONS.
SAMPLE COPIES FREE.


ENTERED AS SECOND-CLASS MAIL MATTER AT BROOKLYN, N.Y., POSTOFFICE ENTERED AS SECOND-CLASS MATTER AT THE POSTOFFICE DEPT., OTTAWA, CANADA

INTERNATIONAL BIBLE STUDENTS ASSOCIATION MEETINGS


AT WHICH BROTHER C. T. RUSSELL WILL BE PRINCIPAL SPEAKER

FRIENDS FROM NEARBY PLACES ARE CORDIALLY INVITED.


LYNCHBURG, VA., MAY 14

Morning Rally at 10:30. Discourse for the interested at 11; Lecture for the Public at 3 p.m. All services to be in the Auditorium, Main St., between 11th and 12th Sts.

BALTIMORE, MD., MAY 21

Morning Rally at 10:30. Discourse for the interested at 11 in Lehman's Hall, 856 North Howard St. Afternoon service for the Public at 3 in the Lyric Theatre, Mount Royal and Maryland Aves.

BOSTON, MASS., MAY 28, 29, 30

Sunday, May 28, Morning Rally at 10 o'clock in Steinert Hall, 162 Boylston St. Public Lecture at 3 p.m., and evening service at 7:30, both in Boston Theatre, 539 Washington St. Monday sessions 9:30 a.m., 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. in Ford Hall, 15 Ashburton Place. Brother Russell will be present on 28th and 29th.

BROOKLYN, N.Y., JUNE 4

Morning Rally for Praise and Testimony at 10:30 in the Brooklyn Tabernacle. Discourse for the Public at 3 p.m. in the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Lafayette Ave. and St. Felix St. Evening service in Brooklyn Tabernacle, 7 p.m.

Those desiring water baptism or to present their children in consecration should notify in advance.



BROOKLYN BETHEL HYMNS FOR JUNE

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 June follow:

(1) 151; (2) 273; (3) 165; (4) 41; (5) 260; (6) Vow; (7) 145; (8) 12; (9) 47; (10) 4; (11) 307; (12) 114; (13) 313; (14) 182; (15) 93; (16) 97; (17) 119; (18) 293; (19) 7; (20) 60; (21) 27; (22) 291; (23) 49; (24) 279; (25) 333; (26) 1; (27) 19; (28) 222; (29) 29; (30) 9.



page 130

STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES

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. 6-1/2d.)

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.



[R4806 : page 131]

THE GOOD TIDINGS ABROAD

No. 2.

FROM BERLIN we journeyed northward to Copenhagen. Brother Luttichau and a deputation of Bible Students met us at the station. Soon we were in the Society's Danish headquarters, and in a little while were addressing an assembly of earnest people of God, whose beaming faces indicated that they understood and appreciated our message. Our morning address was to the interested. Amongst other things we endeavored to make clear the subject of the Covenants. The Abrahamic Covenant is the comprehensive one, which guaranteed a seed through Isaac and Rebecca, and that a blessing would come as a result to all mankind--and also an antitypical Seed which would have the first place in the blessing of the world, the two Seeds being referred to in the promise, "Thy Seed shall be as the stars of heaven, and as the sand of the seashore." This Covenant guarantees the blessing of the world, and it guarantees that that blessing shall come through the natural seed of Abraham. At the same time it guarantees the spiritual Seed--The Christ (Messiah), Head and Body, fully qualified and empowered to give the needed blessing through the earthly seed.

We pointed out that Christ and the Church constitute the spiritual Seed--"If ye be Christ's then are ye Abraham's Seed, and heirs according to the promise." (Gal. 3:29.) We pointed out that this spiritual Seed is not developed under the Law Covenant, because it was not made with us, but with the natural seed--with Israel, Moses being its mediator. We pointed out that the New Covenant is not the one under which we are developed, because it also is to be made with natural Israel, and is to be merely an enlargement of the Mosaic Law Covenant. We cited in proof of this that the New Covenant is to be made with Israel as per the Divine promise. (Jer. 31:31.) We pointed out that that New Covenant will bring blessings of Restitution to Israel (and to all mankind through Israel), taking away the stony heart of selfishness and sin and restoring a heart of flesh, of tenderness, sympathy, righteousness and Divine likeness, as was Adam's when he was created in the image and likeness of God.

We exhorted the dear friends to faithfulness to their covenant of sacrifice. We pointed out the privilege of service now granted to the Church, and urged the laying aside of every earthly weight and hindrance and pressing toward the Mark for the Prize of our High, Heavenly Calling.

The afternoon service was for the public; the topic was "The Judgment of the Great White Throne." We were surprised at so large an audience for an afternoon service on a week day. Approximately eight hundred crowded the hall, some of them standing during the entire service--over two hours. Here Brother Luttichau served us as interpreter, as Brother Koetitz had done in Germany. We had most excellent attention. It was a pleasure to watch the earnest countenances and to note how the Truth seemed to be absorbed with eagerness. Our Copenhagen visit was certainly much enjoyed. Some of the friends accompanied us to the station as we proceeded to Stockholm. The Danish friends more than ever impressed us with their warmth of heart and loving devotion to the Truth.

ONE DAY AT STOCKHOLM

Our night journey brought us in the morning to Stockholm. Brother Lundborg, the Society's representative in Sweden, boarded the train before we reached Stockholm. As we passed through the station we were greeted most cordially by about a hundred of the dear Swedish friends, with whom we shook hands. Unable to speak their language, or they to speak ours, except through the interpreter, we nevertheless exchanged very cordial greetings, and the expression of the eye told us, as truly as could the mouth, that the "fellowship of kindred minds, is like to that above."

Here our address to the friends was along the same lines as at Copenhagen. We emphasized the fact that the Church (The Christ) comes into relationship with God's Plan, not under the Law Covenant of Moses, which still continues with the Jewish people, nor under Israel's New Law Covenant, which has not yet supplanted the Old Law Covenant, and whose Mediator will be the greater Prophet, Priest and King, the spiritual Messiah, Head and Body. We pointed out that this Gospel Age is for the special purpose of developing the great Mediator--the great Messiah through whom the New Covenant of Restitution will be inaugurated with fleshly Israel for the blessing of all the families of the earth. We emphasized the fact that all those who suffer with Christ are to reign with him, and only those who now become dead with him to earthly hopes and interests will live with him as members of the Bride on the spirit plane of glory. We exhorted the dear friends [R4806 : page 132] to an earnest appreciation of this wonderful privilege, this special salvation granted to the Church in advance of the earthly salvation which God has promised to the world during the "Times of Restitution of all things, spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began."--Acts 3:19-23.

At the evening service the hall was jammed; about a thousand were present, and probably as many more were unable to gain admittance. We greatly regretted that a sufficiently large hall or auditorium could not be obtained on a week night except for a larger sum than the friends and the Society felt justified in spending. About a hundred stood in the aisles for two hours while an overflow meeting was held in another hall in the same building. To these we sent the promise that we would address them a few words later. Fulfilling our agreement, we addressed the second audience of about three hundred for over half an hour, after 10 p.m. Surely such deep interest and close attention indicates that earnest Christians amongst the Swedes are awakening to the fact that they have enjoyed only a part of the "good tidings of great joy which shall be unto all people."

ONE DAY AT OREBRO

We took an early morning train for Orebro and arrived in the Society's Swedish headquarters at about 11 o'clock. The afternoon meeting was held in a little hall generally used by the friends on Sundays. This time it was taxed to its capacity, many standing during the service or exchanging seats with each other. Here we addressed the friends along the same lines, believing that a clear understanding of the Covenants signifies a clear understanding of the Divine Plan, and the very best preparation for a life of consecration in harmony with that Plan.

We emphasized the fact that The Christ is the Vine-- that Jesus is the Root, and his faithful members branches in him. We reminded the friends that at the present time our membership in the Vine is tentative; that only those who bring forth the fruitage of the Vine will be allowed to remain in it. We quoted the Master's words, Every branch in me that beareth not fruit, my Father, the Husbandman, taketh away, and every branch which beareth fruit, he pruneth, that it may bring forth more fruit. Thus the trials and difficulties of the narrow way of self-sacrifice are seen to be the methods by which the Heavenly Father fits and prepares his holy ones, his consecrated Church, for the completion of the divine nature in the First Resurrection. Thus he fits and prepares them as members of the great Prophet, Priest, King, Mediator for the glorious work to which he has called them in the Anointed One. From this standpoint alone can the trials and difficulties and sacrifices and the drinking of the Lord's cup of suffering be appreciated. As he was, so are we in this world.

Here, as at other places, our discourse to the interested was followed by a question meeting. The questions indicated a very intelligent grasp of the Divine Plan and the interested faces showed that even the deepest features of consecration were appreciated, and that nearly all of those present were fully submitted to the Lord and anxious to know and to do his will--even unto death.

The public meeting was held in a large hall, which was crowded to the very limit. Notwithstanding the fact that a minister of the city had made an attack upon us through the public press, slandering us, and saying various evil things against us falsely, because of our faithfulness to the cause of Christ, and probably because of envy, hundreds of people were unable to gain admittance, and many in attendance stood for the entire two hours, and more, of our discourse. We have the satisfaction of believing that many of those who were present understood and appreciated our message respecting the Two Salvations, one for the Church, on the heavenly plane, and another yet to come for the world, on the earthly plane, by a Judgment and Restitution.

We pointed out the judgment or trial of the Church and the things necessary for her testing and proving as to her worthiness of the divine nature in association with her Redeemer. We also pointed out the very different judgment of the world under the Messianic Kingdom, when all mankind will be separated as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats, as described in Matthew 25:32. We pointed out that the sheep at the end of the Millennial Age will get the earthly Kingdom, Paradise restored, and that the goats will go into destruction [R4807 : page 132] in the Second Death, symbolized by fire, and that this will be everlasting punishment, from which they will not be recovered by any redemption or resurrection. We feel sure that a good impression was left at Orebro, and that some will make still further investigations. In all cases these meetings are to be followed by other meetings, in which other features of Present Truth will be set before those who have an ear to hear and an appetite for spiritual things.

ONE DAY AT CHRISTIANIA

Another night's ride brought us to Christiania, the capital of Norway, where the Society is represented by Brother Lindkvist. This dear Brother, who served as our interpreter in Norwegian, came to Stockholm to meet us, as did also two brethren from Finland, who accompanied us. Their activities in the service of the Truth were mentioned in THE WATCH TOWER not long since. The Christiania class of Bible Students, although small, seems very earnest. With them were representatives from various parts of Norway, some having come as many as six hundred miles.

Our meeting with the interested ones was a privilege and a pleasure. With them also we discussed God's Covenants. We laid special emphasis upon the fact that God's call is not to the different churches of Christendom, but to the one Church of Christ. We quoted the text, "Gather my saints together unto me [saith the Lord]; those who have made a covenant with me by sacrifice." We called special attention to the fact that the covenant of Christ is a covenant of sacrifice. We saw that Jesus, the great Captain and Forerunner of our salvation, entered into such a covenant with the Father--that he sacrificed his earthly life, all earthly hopes and interests, that he might become the great Prophet, Priest, King, Mediator, between God and man, and that as a reward he was highly exalted to the divine nature, necessary for him before he could accomplish the great work of blessing the world, as the spiritual Seed of Abraham.

We called special attention also to the fact that the Church's covenant, like that of her Lord, is a covenant of sacrifice. We are to walk in the Redeemer's footsteps. We are to take up the cross and follow him. We are to suffer with him if we would reign with him. We are to join with him in his covenant of sacrifice. This is the Apostle's exhortation, "I beseech you, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies living sacrifices, holy, acceptable unto God and your reasonable service."--Rom. 12:1.

We pointed out that thus Isaac died "in a figure"; we read the Apostle's words, "Ye, brethren, as Isaac was, [R4807 : page 133] are the children of promise," "heirs of the promise"-- "in thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." We sought to specially impress the great truth that only those who thus suffer with Christ, sacrificing earthly interests, will gain the great prize of the high calling. The dear friends gave closest attention, our little meeting room being crowded to the doors and beyond, with the aisles full and some sitting upon the platform at our feet. We were assured of the earnest desire of many to gain the great spiritual prize--obtainable through the First Resurrection--to be kings and priests unto God and unto Christ and reign with him a thousand years.--Rev. 20:4.

The leading Christiania newspaper, on the afternoon of our coming, contained a vile attack, surely instigated by the Adversary, but coming, alas! from the pen of one whom, we understand, had made profession of being a minister of Christ. Slander and false words have been the weapons of the enemies of the Truth from the beginning, and the Master has warned us that such experiences were his and must be ours if faithful. We remember, alas, that the Master and the Apostles were persecuted by the professed ministers of God--so were all the reformers. And do we not read, Whosoever will live godly in this present time shall suffer persecution, and again, "So persecuted they the prophets (teachers) which were before you." We were not, therefore, surprised, nor did we feel angry. Rather we felt sorry for those so captivated by error and used by the Adversary.

But if Satan's motive was to hinder the people from coming to hear the Good Tidings he again failed. The house was crowded, about a thousand being present, about two hundred of them standing while hundreds were turned away. Our topic was, "The sinner a hundred years old, cut off, and yet but a child." We pointed out the difference between the salvation of the Church and that of the world. We read what the Scriptures say respecting Messiah's glorious Kingdom and the blessed opportunities it will afford to all mankind, to be lifted from sin and death conditions and be brought to a knowledge of the Truth and to a full, fair opportunity for deciding either for righteousness and eternal life, its reward, or for unrighteousness and eternal death, its punishment, and that this blessed opportunity of rescue from the death penalty, the result of Adam's sin, has been secured for every member of Adam's race through our Redeemer's merit, through him who loved us and bought us with his precious blood.

The next morning we bade farewell to the friends of Christiania and vicinity as they sang to us on the station platform--"God be with you till we meet again." This was indeed a feature in connection with many of the partings.

GOTHENBURG--HALMSTAD--HELSINGBORG--HAMBURG

Our London appointment for Sunday, April 2d, required that we make the closest possible connections on the return journey. We traveled via the West Shore Line from Christiania to Copenhagen. The friends en route had been notified in advance of the train we took and the places it would make stops, so they were on the lookout for us. At one station a party of nine met us and journeyed with us for about an hour. We had pleasure in breaking to them the bread of life, and in reading their joy of heart in their shining faces.

Brother Lundborg accompanied us and served as interpreter. He advised that they had not much of this world's goods, else they would have attended one of the conventions which we addressed, and which continued after our departure. We had a happy time together in considering the gracious things of our Heavenly Father's Plan. At the next station we were met by still others who had come a distance. One of the dear friends, through the interpreter, said, "I wonder if I will ever have another day as happy as this." Truly there is a power of the Gospel of the Love of God that is unknown to those who are exercised solely by the fear of eternal torment. With the true Gospel comes the peace of God which passeth all understanding, the joy of the Lord, which the world can neither give nor take away.

"BE THOU FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH AND I WILL GIVE THEE A CROWN OF LIFE"

At Halmstad we found about twenty of the friends waiting for us on the platform. Our stay was short, but in those five minutes we congratulated the dear friends upon the blessing of the Truth which had reached their ears and hearts, and extended assurances of our Christian love for them and for all the dear household of faith. We gave to these, as to others, our parting message, the Master's words, "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life." From these dear friends also we received the assurance of their joy in the Lord and their appreciation of the Truth, of their desire to be amongst the overcomers who will inherit the Kingdom, according to the Master's promises.

Helsingborg was reached about 9 p.m. Shifting of the cars there permitted an exchange of Christian greetings, and a little address of about fifteen minutes, in which we endeavored to impress some of the prominent features of the Divine Plan, and especially the privilege of the Church in connection with the covenant of sacrifice made by our Head, thus opening the way, upon the same terms of sacrifice, for his faithful followers.

About 10:30 we reached Copenhagen, where about twenty of the class met and greeted us at the station and accompanied us to the south-bound station. As we had already addressed these dear friends in connection with the Copenhagen meeting we entered into no doctrinal particulars. We exchanged with them Christian love and good wishes for the remainder of the journey of life and for a share in the Kingdom.

The night ride of 11 hours brought us to Hamburg, Germany. Here about twenty-five met us in the station with heartiest greetings. They had provided a dinner in honor of our coming. We partook of it with great pleasure, fellowshiping with the entire company through Brother Koetitz as interpreter, and also through others who spoke English. After dinner we repaired to the usual meeting room of the class, where we received a more formal expression of welcome, following with an address of about an hour, which specially referred to the Covenants. We tried to make as clear as possible the distinction between the Old Law Covenant, established by Moses, the Mediator, by means of the sacrifice of bulls and goats, and its antitype, the New Law Covenant, to be established upon better sacrifices and by the [R4808 : page 133] better Mediator, the antitypical Moses--Christ and the Church, his Body.--Heb. 9:23.

We were pleased that the train connections gave us in all nearly three hours of fellowship with the friends at Hamburg. They gave evidence of earnestness, zeal, and informed us that their numbers had doubled within the past year. We specially rejoiced that their love and zeal had also kept pace.

We are writing this on the train speeding toward London, which, God willing, we will reach tomorrow morning, April 2d, in season for meeting with the London friends, and for the public service at Albert Hall at night.



[R4808 : page 134]

SPIRITUAL GROWTH

"If ye do these things, ye shall never fall."--2 Peter 1:10.
THERE is a philosophy in the growth and development of Christian character, just as truly as in the growth and development of vegetation; and the more thoroughly we acquaint ourselves with the natural processes and conditions of development and growth in either case, the better we shall understand how to cultivate and to secure the desirable end--maturity and luxuriant fruitfulness. The farmer who puts into practice only what he has learned by accident, in a haphazard way, and who is goaded to effort only by sheer necessity, must not expect the fruitful fields, the abundant harvests and the well-earned approbation of the enterprising, thrifty farmer who has made a study of the business and has brought knowledge, carefully gleaned, together with enterprise and energy, to his assistance in the work.

Take, for example, a fruit tree. If one, knowing nothing about the necessity for cultivation, simply plants the tree and lets it alone, its strength, instead of producing fruit, will generally go toward making wood and leaves; worms and decay may attack its roots, insects may sting and blight its scanty fruitage; and if it continues to stand, it will be only a useless, fruitless cumberer of the ground, an advertisement of the farmer's negligence and worthy only of having the axe laid to its root. Had it been pruned and trimmed and kept free from insects, etc., under the blessing of God's air and rain and sunshine, it would have been a fruitful, creditable tree; for the laws of nature are true and faithful in all their operations.

And none the less rigid are the operations of moral law in the growth and development of moral character. Under proper conditions and with proper, diligent cultivation, the character will grow and develop according to fixed laws, and will become beautiful and fruitful in blessings to self and others; or, lacking the necessary cultivation, even under favorable natural conditions, it will be deformed, worthless and fruitless.

When we presented our bodies as living sacrifices to God, holy and acceptable through the merit of our Redeemer, we there received the spirit of adoption to the spirit plane, as spiritual sons of God; and from that time the faculties and dispositions of our mortal bodies were reckoned as our new being, now under the direction and control of the Spirit of God. The faithfulness with which we cultivate this reckoned new nature, by persistently weeding out old habits of thought and action, supplanting them with new virtues, and training them to activity in the Divine service, is to prove our worthiness or unworthiness of the actual new nature to be received at the resurrection, to which perfect spirit condition our present reckoned condition stands related as embryotic; for the character and disposition of the embryo New Creature will be the disposition of the perfected New Creature, when born in the resurrection.

The Apostle affirms (Rom. 8:11) that if we really have the Spirit of God in us--unless we quench it or put it away from us--it will quicken our mortal bodies, make them alive toward God, active in growing into his likeness and fruitful in Christian graces and activities. Again he adds, "If any man have not the Spirit of Christ he is none of his," and "As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."--Rom. 8:9,14.

It is our business, therefore, to grow; to cultivate in ourselves those dispositions which are worthy of us as spiritual sons of God, called to be "heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ."

THE DEVELOPMENT OF CHRISTIAN CHARACTER IS A GRADUAL, DAILY LIFE-WORK

The Apostle Peter tells us how to proceed in the matter of cultivating Christian character, intimating that we cannot do it all in a day, nor in a few days, but that it must be a gradual, daily life-work, a process of addition --adding virtue to virtue and grace to grace, day by day and hour by hour. He says, "Giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue [fortitude]; and to virtue, knowledge; and to knowledge, temperance [self-control]; and to temperance, patience; and to patience, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, charity [love]." Then he adds, "If ye do these things ye shall never fall."--2 Pet. 1:5-7,10.

This is a very strong assurance--that if we do these things we are sure to stand approved of God. We do well, therefore, to consider them with special care. Here are eight elements which must go toward making up the Christian character, the one to be added to the other and assimilated by the spiritual germ of the new nature, until the embryo New Creature is formed; and then it must continue to grow and develop. Look at them again. They are:

1. Faith. 5. Patience.
2. Virtue [fortitude]. 6. Godliness.
3. Knowledge. 7. Brotherly kindness.
4. Temperance [self-control]. 8. Charity [love].

"A THUS, SAITH THE LORD," SHOULD BE THE END OF ALL CONTROVERSY

Now for a little self-examination. Let each ask himself: (1) Have I the faith to which the Apostle here refers; not faith in every thing or every person, but faith in God--in his Plan of redemption through the vicarious, or substitutionary sacrifice of Christ, and in all his rich promises built upon that sure foundation? Do I trust him implicitly? Is a "Thus saith the Lord" the end of all controversy, the solution of all doubts and the restful assurance in every perplexity?

(2) Am I endeavoring to lead a virtuous life? This, to the child of God, consecrated to be a living sacrifice, implies much more than merely abstaining from evil. It implies living truthfully, that is, true to his covenant, which to wilfully violate would be equivalent to swearing falsely. It is fortitude, strength of character in righteousness. It implies the cultivation of the strictest integrity in our dealings, both with God and with our fellowmen, scrupulous honesty, justice and truth being the only standards.

The Psalmist clearly defines it thus, saying, "He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbor; in whose eyes a vile person is condemned; but he honoreth them that fear the Lord. He that sweareth to his own hurt and changeth not [who will not violate a contract found to be unfavorable to himself]. He that putteth not out his money to usury [taking unjust advantage of the necessities of others], nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved." (Psa. 15:2-5.) Such a one is a virtuous man, a man of fortified or strong character. How we need to invoke Divine assistance here! and how critically to judge ourselves!

(3) Am I endeavoring day by day to gain a more thorough and complete knowledge of God, of the Plan revealed in his Word, and of the special features now in operation, that I may co-operate with him in its execution; and of his will concerning me in the particular relationships [R4808 : page 135] and conditions in which I now stand--irrespective of my own will and disposition in any matter? Am I striving to gain this knowledge of God and of his righteous will concerning us, as revealed through his Word, by the holy Spirit? Neglect of this Divinely appointed means of knowledge is equivalent to setting up our own imperfect standard of righteousness and ignoring the Divine standard. It is, therefore, important that we give all diligence to the study of the Divine Oracle, that we may be fortified in faith and works accordingly.

(4) Am I temperate, moderate, exercising self-control in all things--in eating, in drinking, in home arrangements, in conduct, in thoughts, in words, in deeds? Do I realize that self-control is one of the most important elements of good character? "He that ruleth his spirit is better than he that taketh a city," is the counsel of the Wise Man; and many a victorious general has yet to learn to conquer and control himself. Self-control has [R4809 : page 135] to do with all our sentiments, thoughts, tastes, appetites, labors, pleasures, sorrows and hopes. Its cultivation, therefore, means a high order of character-development. Self-control, accompanied by faith, fortitude, knowledge from on High, implies increased zeal and activity in Divine things, and increased moderation in earthly things. In judgment, in conduct, in the regulation of temporal affairs, etc., "Let your moderation [temperance, self-control] be known unto all men." (Phil. 4:5.) Let them see by our thoughtful (not rash and hasty), careful and considerate demeanor, in every affair of life, that we honor our profession.

(5) Am I patient under trial and discipline, keeping my feelings always under the control of enlightened reason, letting patience have its perfect work in cultivating the character, however severely the plow and the harrow may break up the sub-soil of the heart, meekly submitting to the discipline in every case? and am I submitting cheerfully under the mighty hand of God, in his work of preparing me for a place in his Kingdom soon to be established? The Greek word from which patience is here translated means cheerful endurance.

(6) Am I carefully observing and endeavoring to pattern my character and course of action after the Divine model? If a parent, or in any position of authority, am I using that authority as God uses his--not for selfish purposes, to make a boast of it, or in any way to oppress or trample upon the God-given individual rights of those under such authority, but for the blessing and advantage of those under it, even to the extent of self-denial, with patience, dignity and grace, and not with boastful imperiousness, which is the attitude of tyrants?

If a son, or one under authority to any extent, do I consider the example of loving obedience furnished us in the example of our dear Lord? His delight was to do the Father's will at any cost to himself. As a man, under the kingdoms, authorities, of this world, and as a youth, under the authority of earthly parents, he was loyal and faithful (Matt. 22:21; Luke 2:51); yet all of this earthly authority was exercised by his personal inferiors, even though they were his legal superiors. How beautifully we shall be able to grace and fill whatever station we occupy in life, if we carefully study and copy godliness (God-likeness), whether we be princes or peasants, masters or servants!

(7) Does brotherly-kindness characterize all my actions? Does it cause me to make due allowance for the inherited weaknesses and circumstantial misfortunes of others? Does brotherly-kindness deal patiently and helpfully so far as wisdom, with a view to the correction of those faults, may dictate; and even at the expense of self-interest, if necessary and prudent?

If, as I look myself squarely in the face, I recognize deformity of character, do I thankfully accept a brother's proffered aid and meekly bear reproof, determining that by the grace of God I will overcome such dispositions, and prove myself a help rather than a hindrance to others, if it should even cost my life to do it; and that I will no longer foster my old dispositions, but will plunge into activity in the service of God with those who should have my co-operation in service, instead of being a burden to them?

(8) Have I charity (love unfeigned) for the unrighteous and unlovely, as well as for the good and beautiful--a love which is ever ready to manifest itself in wise and helpful activity for saint and sinner; a love which pities, helps, comforts, cheers and blesses all within its reach; which longs for the grand opportunities and power and glory of the incoming Age, chiefly for its privileges of scattering universal blessing; and which, in harmony with that sentiment, utilizes every present opportunity wisely and in harmony with the Divine Plan for the accomplishment of the same end--thus manifesting and cultivating the disposition which must be found in every member of that glorious company which will constitute the King's Cabinet in the incoming Age? If this disposition is not begun, cultivated and developed here, we shall not be considered worthy of that office there.

Just as in a well-kept orchard pruning, trimming and cultivation are necessary to accomplish the desired end of fruitfulness, so must we be watchful and take necessary precautions to prevent blight and decay of character, and to guard against the intrusion of evil powers and influences calculated to sap the life of the New Creature. By resisting the Devil he will flee from us; and by patient continuance in well-doing an increasing measure of development will result. "If these things be in you and abound," says the Apostle Peter (that is, if you have them in some measure and keep on cultivating them, so that they abound more and more and rule in you), "they make you that ye shall be neither barren [idle] nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." The Truth is for such: "Light is sown for the righteous," and they are sure to get it. They shall not walk in darkness. If any man will do the will of God, he shall know of the doctrine. (John 7:17.) "But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins."

LET US GIVE ALL DILIGENCE IN THESE MATTERS

"Wherefore, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure; for if ye do these things [if you diligently cultivate this disposition] ye shall never fall." Being justified fully, by faith in the sacrifice of Christ for your redemption and sanctification (setting apart from the world and devotion to the service of God) by the Truth, your final selection to that position of glory, honor and immortality, to which you are called, shall be sure. For "so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."

"Wherefore," again says our beloved Brother Peter, "I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things. Yea, I think it meet so long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance....Moreover, I will endeavor that you may be able after my decease to have these things always [R4809 : page 136] in remembrance." This Peter did; and the Church to this day may profit by his brotherly counsel.

While the Apostle Peter, addressing the consecrated, thus clearly and explicitly points out the way in which we may make our calling and election sure to the chief favor of God, the Apostle Paul, addressing the same class, shows that wilful and continual neglect to develop and cultivate the Christian character, involves the loss, not only of the chief favor of the High Calling, but, eventually, of all favor. He wrote, "If ye [ye who have solemnly covenanted to sacrifice your very life in the service of God, for the eradication of evil] live after the flesh [with selfish effort, merely to gratify self] ye shall die." (Rom. 8:13.) God has no use or place for wilful covenant-breakers and covenant-despisers, after they have been brought to a knowledge of the Truth and of his will, and have covenanted to do it faithfully.

With all our striving and watchfulness, however, we shall not be able, in our present condition, to reach our ideal. Perfection is something which can only be approximated in the present life. But the measure of our effort to attain it will prove the measure of our faithfulness and earnest desire to do so. And that effort will not be unfruitful. If no fruit appears, we may be sure that little or no effort is made at cultivation, pruning, etc. The fruit will appear, not only in the development of the Christian graces of character, but also in increasing activities. We must not wait for our immortal bodies, promised us in our resurrection, before our activity in God's service begins. If we possess the spirit [the will, the disposition] of that new nature, our mortal bodies will be active in the service of God's Truth now. Our feet will be swift to run his errands, our hands prompt to do his bidding, our tongues ready to bear testimony to the Truth, our minds active in devising ways and means to do so more and more abundantly and effectively. Thus we shall be living epistles, known and read of all about us--an honor to him who called us out of darkness into his marvelous light.



[R4809 : page 136]

KEEPING THE BODY UNDER

"I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air."--I Cor. 9:26.
THE Apostle Paul had definite knowledge as to what constitutes the prize. He was not uncertain about it; it was not a question with him as to its being one thing or another. St. Paul knew that the "high calling in Christ Jesus" is that we may be heirs with him, if we suffer with him--that we shall be with him in glory. Neither was the Apostle uncertain as to the terms and conditions of the race. He knew that they were even unto death; and that if he should seek to save his life he would lose it. Neither was he uncertain as to his own determination. He knew positively that he had entered the course. He was not of those who merely say, "I hope to do so some time." He had made with the Lord his covenant of sacrifice unto death.

Nor was the Apostle uncertain as to his opportunity to gain the prize. He knew that it remained with him to will and to do in harmony with God's good pleasure. He knew that nothing impossible was required of him in this race; that the terms and conditions of the race include "grace to help in every time of need"; and that [R4810 : page 136] this grace and help would come from the Lord. Hence, the Apostle's expression that, for the runners in this race-course, there was no uncertainty, from first to last.

Thus it may be with all under the guiding eye of the Great Redeemer. We may each make our calling and election sure: "If ye do these things, ye shall never fall, for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."--2 Pet. 1:10,11.

"I KEEP MY BODY UNDER AND BRING IT INTO SUBJECTION"

The Apostle tells us that he kept his body under, lest, having preached the good tidings to others, he himself, should be a castaway. "I keep my body under, and bring it into subjection,...lest I myself should be a castaway," he declares. (I Cor. 9:27.) One translation has this, "I brow-beat my body"; that is to say, I use coercive measures upon my body.

The body originally belonged to the natural man, the natural will. When the old will gave place to the new will, the latter became the owner of the body. The new will cannot properly be served by the old body, because the new mind is perfect and the body imperfect. When the new mind, the mind of God, the mind of Christ, therefore, takes into possession the mortal body, it has more or less difficulty. The mind is not suited to the body, nor the body to the mind. It is the work, therefore, of the new will to show its obedience to the Lord, its full loyalty to the Divine will, even though the body should be, in some respects, treated shamefully, its claim, its supposed necessities, etc., being ignored.

Not only are we all thus to mortify and brow-beat the body, but, additionally, we are to bring it into subjection. We are to make it serve the New Creature. The Apostle says, "But if the spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his spirit." (Rom. 8:11.) The holy Spirit, which comes to us more and more as we feed upon the Lord, assists us to conform our lives to his will, and also quickens or makes alive our mortal bodies to the service of the Truth.

There are not two creatures, but one; we cannot be two creatures at once. It is not until the old creature submits and we are transformed, so far as the will is concerned, that we become New Creatures, so that, henceforth, we really are New Creatures. But the New Creature has not its new body as yet. In our text the Apostle evidently refers to the New Creature, the New Man. There is an outward man, which the world may think is the individual, but in proportion as the outward man is brought into subjection and service, the New Creature is growing stronger, until eventually, with the death of the human body, God will give the New Creature a new body, in the resurrection. Then the new Creature will be satisfied, when it shall be found in his likeness.

There is a tendency for the body, the flesh, to arise from its condition of reckoned deadness. Hence the New Creature needs to be continually on guard in the good fight of faith. These battlings of the new mind against the flesh are a "good fight," in the sense that they are fightings against sins and weaknesses that belong to the fallen nature. The entire course of the New Creature is the course of faith. It would be impossible for one to keep up this battle against the flesh and its propensities and desires, unless he exercise faith in the promises and in the Lord as his Helper.

THE APOSTLE HAD NO THOUGHT OF HIS COMING SHORT

There is another passage in which St. Paul says that we should "fear lest a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of [R4810 : page 137] it." (Heb. 4:1.) He had no thought of coming short of it himself, but he urged those to whom he was writing to make their "calling and election sure."

It will be a great help to the overcoming of the weaknesses of the fallen nature to have rightly made a full consecration of the will, a full enlistment of every power and talent of mind and body to the service of the Lord. He who takes this proper view of his consecration to the Lord and of his enlistment in the Lord's army, realizes that he has nothing more to give to the Lord. Hence, whatever struggle of the will he may have had, is all ended when he has finally decided to give himself to the Lord. How important it is, therefore, to realize that the service is until death, and that there is no room even to consider any suggestion to withdraw and cease to fight the good fight of faith!

We are to remember that it is not the flesh, the old creature, which has entered the School of Christ, and is under instruction and preparation for the Kingdom, for "flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God." (I Cor. 15:50.) Our acceptance of the Divine call to the spirit nature means, not only the renunciation of the earthly nature in every sense of the word, but also our begetting as New Creatures, "sons of God." The New Creature, the new mind, the new will, is in the School of Christ, to be perfected, to be brought into full accord with the Divine will, to become a copy or likeness of the Lord. We shall never succeed in bringing our flesh into absolute harmony with the Divine Law, because of its imperfections, inherited and otherwise. Hence, the necessity that it be covered with the robe of Christ's righteousness. He who looks for perfection of his flesh, and who rests his faith therein, must of necessity have a poor hope of ever attaining to the likeness of Christ-- of ever becoming one of the predestinated class--of becoming "the image of his Son."--Rom. 8:29.

"WE DO THOSE THINGS WHICH WE OUGHT NOT AND LEAVE UNDONE WHAT WE OUGHT TO DO"

In joining the Lord in faith and consecration we are proclaiming ourselves, not as graduates and heirs, but as students, disciples, who desire to be prepared to inherit "the things which God has prepared for them that love him." (I Cor. 2:9.) If this thought be kept in mind as the Divine teaching on the subject, it will tend to prevent our discouragement with ourselves when we find that, unavoidably, we do those things which we ought not to do, and leave undone those things which we ought to do; for in our flesh dwells no perfection.-- Rom. 7:15,18,19,25.

It is unnecessary for us to point out that the new mind, in proportion as it develops in likeness to the mind of Christ, will relax no efforts to keep the body under, with the motions of sin--to keep the will of the flesh dead. Surely no spirit-begotten son of God could allow sin to reign in his mortal body. Should sin to any degree control him, it will not be willingly, and hence could be but momentarily--until the new mind, the New Creature, seeing the uprising of the flesh, would conquer it, obtaining the promised grace and help in every time of need, from the heavenly storehouse of grace--Christ.

This thought, rightly entertained, will help true disciples to appreciate their own position, and not to be utterly cast down if overtaken in a fault of the flesh, so long as they realize that their hearts are not in sympathy with the sin and unrighteousness, but, on the contrary, in full sympathy with the principles and instructions of our Teacher, and longing to be cleansed and acceptable in his sight. Moreover, this thought will also help all such to exercise fervency of love amongst themselves, toward the brethren who similarly are disciples, pupils in this School--New Creatures, not according to the flesh, but according to the spirit of their mind. If, therefore, each should see blemishes in the flesh of the brethren, disapproved and striven against, he should remember that the evil which he sees is his brother's enemy, and not the brother himself, the New Creature--if so be that he gives us the assurance that his heart, his will, is in harmony with the Lord and his law of Love; and that he is daily seeking to fight a successful warfare against the weaknesses of the flesh.

"A MAN IS TEMPTED WHEN HE IS LED AWAY OF HIS OWN DESIRES"

When studying this subject we must keep two facts in mind: (1), The Scriptures ascribe no sin to the New Creature, and (2), no perfection in righteousness to our fallen flesh. The New Creature (whose flesh is reckoned dead), which is represented by the new mind, and which is begotten of God, CANNOT SIN; for in its very essence, as the seed or germ implanted by the Truth--"the spirit of the Truth"--it is opposed to sin. This New Creature is so fully in accord with righteousness, so fully imbued with the spirit of the Lord, the spirit of holiness, that it delights in holiness and not in sin; and this must be the case so long as this begotten or Holy-Spirit-condition continues. "He that is begotten of God sinneth not [willingly--neither approves of sin nor takes pleasure in it]; because his seed remaineth in him" [the holy seed of the Truth, the spirit of Truth with which he was begotten]; "and that Wicked One toucheth him not."-- I John 3:9; 5:18.

We are not to suppose that every trial or difficulty which besets us is of the Devil; but rather to remember the Apostle's words, "A man is tempted when he is led away of his own desires and enticed." (James 1:13,14.) Such temptations, then, are of the flesh, and the result of our being members of the fallen race, whose weaknesses and imperfections have been aggravated and intensified for now six thousand years. So, then, we are to recognize as among our chief foes our own inherent weaknesses and predisposition to things selfish, depraved, sinful.

The whole world, thus depraved and under the control of the spirit of selfishness, are largely, though unconsciously, the tools of Satan, "who worketh in the hearts of the children of disobedience." (Eph. 2:2.) To the children of God the world has become an enemy and a [R4811 : page 137] tempter by reason of the fact that we [the Church] have been "begotten again" to new hopes, new ambitions, new aspirations, new desires, which are along radically different lines from anything the world knows or has sympathy with.

"THE FLESH DESIRES CONTRARY TO THE SPIRIT, AND THE SPIRIT CONTRARY TO THE FLESH"

Our begetting is of the Holy Spirit, and its tendencies are heavenly and spiritual, in harmony with righteousness and love. Yet it is only our hearts that are thus changed--our flesh is much more in harmony with the world than with the new order of things established in our hearts and wills by grace and truth, through Christ. Consequently, when the world, through the words or writings or general spirit of any of its children, comes into contact with the Lord's people, immediately they-- the Lord's people--find that, although their hearts are loyal to the Lord and loyal to all the gracious things which he has promised them, and to the spirit of righteousness, love and truth, yet nevertheless, their flesh has an affinity for and an attraction toward the world, its views, its arrangements, its pleasures, etc. [R4811 : page 138]

For this reason the Christian is called upon to reckon himself dead, not only to sin, but to his own natural desires, appetites, inclinations, and also to the world, which is in harmony with sin and has perverted tastes and appetites. As the Apostle intimates, there is a constant battle between the New Creature, the new will, and the old creature, the fleshly and depraved disposition. He says, "The flesh desires contrary to the spirit, and the spirit contrary to the flesh." (Gal. 5:17.) And even though the advanced Christian has reached the place where he is enabled to reckon his flesh and will completely dead and buried, nevertheless, he has need continually to re-examine himself lest the flesh should become alive again. This was the Apostle's method. He says, "I keep my body under [dead, buried] and bring it into subjection [to the new mind]; lest having preached to others I myself should be a castaway." (I Cor. 9:27.) This keeping of the body under, this watching it lest it should become alive again, is a constant necessity to those who would be overcomers; for it is the victory of the new mind, the new will, over the old will, the will of the flesh, that constitutes us victors, by developing in us strong, holy character--character like unto that of our glorious Lord and Redeemer.



[R4811 : page 138]

A GOD READY TO PARDON
--JUNE 4.--HOSEA 14.--

"For thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger."--Neh. 9:17.
TODAY'S study is an exhortation by the Prophet Hosea to Israel, at that time distinct from Judah; but it is applicable to our own nation as well as to every nation. Israel had become debauched through idolatry. Intermarriage with the royalty of heathen nations had introduced the idolatries of heathen religions and the sensualities which constituted their attractive features to the people. With the sensuality came a lack of moral sense--a general numbness of conscience respecting impurities. The record indicates that Hosea's own wife was an adulteress, a debauchee, who finally left her husband and her false offspring. Later the Prophet took her back under his own roof, but not as his wife. He was compassionate toward her and her offspring.

No doubt the Prophet's own experiences had much to do with awakening him to a realization of the deplorable state of his own people. When the spirit of the Lord came upon him in prophecy, he could the better from his own experiences enter into sympathy with them. He had been pitiful and of tender compassion, and his message told of the still greater Divine pity and sympathy.

"RETURN UNTO THE LORD"

The Prophet, in our lesson, urges his nation to realize their fallen condition, their helplessness, and to avail themselves of God's clemency. They must not look to Asshur (Assyria) for help, nor must they trust in horses imported from Egypt; nor must they any longer rely upon idols, the work of their own hands. On the contrary, they must turn to the Lord, who is merciful even unto the fatherless. The Israelites were fatherless in the sense that they had denied the Heavenly Father; the Creator, and had become children of the Adversary; even as Jesus said to some, "Ye are of your father the Devil, for his works ye do."

In their repentance, in their return to God, they were not only to abandon false hopes and false worship and iniquity, but they were to take with them words, and say unto the Lord, "Take away our iniquity and receive us graciously, that we may render unto thee the fruit of our lips--our praise."

Then follows a prophecy which has not yet been fulfilled, but will, we believe, soon be realized. It tells of the turning away of God's anger, of his blessing upon Israel. It will have fulfilment in the beginning of Messiah's reign.

"RECEIVE US GRACIOUSLY"

Be it noted that the people of Israel to this day have not accepted the Lord's terms as stated by the Prophet. They have not asked to be received by grace--graciously. They are still hoping for Divine favor through the keeping of the Law Covenant, which neither they nor others of fallen humanity can keep in its letter and spirit. This is the great lesson to be learned by all people, kindreds, nations--that we are all fallen, imperfect, unable to meet the Divine requirements--that we all need Divine grace, mercy, forgiveness of iniquity and help out of our imperfections.

How God can be just and yet clear us was not made known in Hosea's day, but is now clearly set forth as the very essence of the "good tidings" of God's love. God himself has provided in Jesus this, the Ransom sacrifice, necessary to the satisfaction of Divine Justice, so that God can be both just and merciful, although these terms are antagonistic.

"THE WISE SHALL UNDERSTAND"

The last verse of the chapter declares, "Who is wise and he shall understand these things, prudent and he shall know them; for the ways of the Lord are right, and the just shall walk in them, but transgressors shall fall therein."

In order to have a clear understanding of God's merciful provision it is necessary, first, that the transgressor shall come to a realization of his own needs--that he shall crave a recognition by the Creator and a share in his mercy and loving provisions. Such abandoning of sin to the extent of ability will be assisted of the Lord in connection with the exercise of faith in him, which will bring rest and peace of soul and a realization that Divine mercy will make good all unintentional blemishes and cause all things to work together for good to him. But there is no place on the Highway of Holiness--the Highway of Divine mercy and love and forgiveness and peace --for transgressors, for those who knowingly and willingly go contrary to the Divine will.

CHRISTENDOM'S IDOLATROUS DEBAUCH

We are not to lose the force of this lesson by applying it wholly to the nation of Israel. There is also a nominal spiritual Israel, styled "Christendom," professing to be espoused to the Lord. Christendom is, in the Scriptures, charged with adultery, in that she lives with the world. She is charged also with idolatry--with worshiping houses and lands, banks, stocks and bonds, name and fame. Indeed the serious charge against "Christendom" is that she has lost her God. Only the comparatively few, a mere handful, know God as their Father and are known of him as his children. Their confidence is in the work of their own hands, and in lodges, unions, trusts, insurance, church membership, etc. "God is not in all their thoughts." [R4811 : page 139]

The condition of "Christendom" today is one of trust in armies and navies, soldiers and guns, aeroplanes and dynamite, great wealth and prosperity. Under the picture of Laodicea the nominal church of today is described as saying, "I am rich and increased in goods and have need of nothing." The Lord answers, "Thou knowest not that thou art poor and wretched and miserable and blind and naked. I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, and raiment, that thou mayest be clothed and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear."--Rev. 3:17,18.

THE FATHERLESS FIND MERCY

Such as are children of the Adversary--such as love iniquity and hate righteousness--have nothing to expect from the Almighty in the way of favor--"All the wicked will he destroy." But all such as renounce sin and desire to return to the Lord are fatherless in that they have neither Satan nor God as their father, but to such God proffers mercy, forgiveness, through the merit of Christ's sacrifice. Thus turning from sin they will be in proper condition to be the recipients of Divine favor and adoption as children of God. "Thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger."

While God's anger against sin has been manifested for six thousand years in the reign of sin and calamity and death, nevertheless the Scriptures clearly foretell of the especial time of trouble or Divine wrath that will come upon Christendom in the close of this Gospel Age --at the ushering in of Messiah's Kingdom. The present is the time of special opportunity for those who would escape the severity of that trouble as well as for those who, becoming saints, would make their "calling and their election sure" to a share in the "Kingdom of God's dear Son."



[R4812 : page 139]

HEZEKIAH'S GREAT REFORM
--JUNE 11.--II CHRON. 30.--

"Man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart."--1 Samuel 16:7.
KING HEZEKIAH of Judah has a wonderful record as a man of God, a reformer, a patriot, yet he was the son of a bad father, who in turn was the son of a good father, who in turn was the son of a bad father. The alternation between good and bad for four generations illustrates the fact that, although heredity has much to do with every member of our race, nevertheless, there are counter-balances in nature. We are all members of Adam's family, and as such we are all sharers in the general weakness, mental, moral and physical, which for six thousand years has descended upon us. St. Paul refers to this, saying, "By one man's disobedience sin entered into the world, and death as the result of sin; and thus death passed upon all men, because all are sinners."--Romans 5:12.

The downward or sinful tendency inbred in our very constitution is so strong that none is able fully to overcome it. The best that any of us can do is to set our wills in opposition to our inherited weaknesses and to fight courageously against them. The Apostle assures us that if it were possible for humanity to fully gain such a victory over its fallen self as to bring itself back to perfection, then doubtless God would have provided that way of salvation. But that way being impossible, God provided another method, another way, for our return to him--through the merit of Christ's death, "the Just for the unjust," and through Messiah's assistance. This assistance, in the present time, is confined to those who voluntarily seek it. They receive the blessing of peace and joy in the present life and later glory, honor and immortality with Messiah in his Kingdom.

THOSE WHO WILL DO THE LORD'S WILL IN THE NEXT AGE SHALL NOT DIE

However, many are so weakened, so "lost" through the fall, that they are, figuratively, blind and deaf to their own needs, to God's love and mercy in Christ, and to the Savior's offered assistance. These get little or none of the Redeemer's aid in the present time, yet they are not left out of the Divine provision. With the completion of the election of the saints will come the establishment of Messiah's Kingdom "under the whole heavens." By its power sin will be conquered and the blind and deaf prisoners of sin will be released, including the prisoners that have gone down into the prison-house of death--sheol, hades.

Then gracious opportunities for earthly blessings and everlasting life will be afforded to all. Then it shall no longer be a proverb, "The fathers have eaten a sour grape and the children's teeth are set on edge." (Jer. 31:29,30.) Then only those who eat the sour grape of sin will die the Second Death; and all the willing and obedient shall be lifted up to perfection and eternal life.

A lesson that all should learn is in respect to the power of the will and the necessity for having a positive or strong will rightly directed--a will to do right. King Hezekiah had a strong will, or heart. The secret of his success lay in the fact that he was not double-minded, but with his whole heart sought to do right--to do the Lord's will.

True, it is better that one should be partly right-willed rather than wholly wrong-willed; but let us settle at once that such a person will, at most, be only a partial success in life. Our little all is surely none too much to give to our God, to our Redeemer, to the cause of righteousness. A mistake made by many well-meaning people is the keeping back of a part of their heart for themselves. If we give the Lord nine-tenths of our heart and our will and reserve one-tenth, in the furthest recesses, it will but weaken and blemish our character, our lives our success in Divine service. We will find ourselves making paths for selfishness and sin, from the unconsecrated, farthest corners, all over the consecrated nine-tenths. Properly, the Lord could not accept such a consecration under his call, "My son, give me thine heart."

HEZEKIAH THE REFORMER

Shortly after his ascension to the throne, King Hezekiah took steps for the reorganization of the worship of Jehovah God. His father had introduced idolatrous worship --erecting altars and groves to the worship of Baal. God's temple was strewn with rubbish. Under the direction of the King, the Levites began a cleansing work. It required eight days to carry out the rubbish from the court, etc. Then the priests, who alone were authorized to enter into the Holy, or temple proper, were directed to cleanse the temple itself.

But as a preliminary work, before the cleansing of the court or the temple began, the King directed that the priests and the Levites sanctify themselves afresh to the Lord and his service. How appropriate! How in harmony with the words of the Prophet Isaiah, who lived at that time and who was the King's counselor--"Be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord's house!"-- Isa. 52:11. [R4812 : page 140]

It is an important thought that no one is properly ready to render service to God in any form or work until he himself has come to a sanctified condition of heart in relationship to the Lord.

Applying this feature to reforms of our day, we concede the propriety of ministers of Christ taking a prominent part in respect to all religious reforms. In proportion as such have influence with the people, good may be accomplished. But let us not forget the instruction of St. Peter upon this subject. Comparing the priesthood of Israel with the institutions of the Christian church, St. Peter gives us the thought that the priests of olden times do not find their antitypes in the clergy of today, but in God's saintly or sanctified people, whether in or out of the public ministry. And the antitypical Levites of today are in general the household of faith. Thus St. Peter says to all of the consecrated Church of Christ, "Ye are a Royal Priesthood, a Holy Nation, a peculiar people, that ye should show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light."

The great King commands his consecrated people to purify the temple of God, which is the Church, "from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the reverence of the Lord." (2 Cor. 7:1.) In proportion as this is done, a blessed influence will go forth from the temple of God, the true Church, far reaching upon all those who love righteousness and hate iniquity.

HEZEKIAH'S GREAT PASSOVER

The King, although only twenty-five years old at this time, had a broad mind--the result of his whole-hearted consecration of himself to the Lord and the Lord's guidance --possibly through the Prophet Isaiah. Having gotten the temple into readiness, the King issued a general appeal to the people to return to the worship of God, to come up to Jerusalem to keep the Passover. Not only did this message go throughout the jurisdiction of his own kingdom of Judah, but it was extended to the ten tribes of the kingdom north, the split-off portion of the same people. Messengers were sent informing all that King Hezekiah had cleansed the temple and had appointed magnificent arrangements for the celebration of the Passover, and invited all who loved God and desired to worship him to come and celebrate the feast.

Throughout the kingdom of Judah the message was well received, but in the northern kingdom, where idolatry had a stronger hold, the invitation was derided by many, pride and politics uniting in slighting the invitation and sneering at it and in denouncing the king as an up-to-date hypocrite, etc.

The Passover feast, nevertheless, was a pronounced success, and so greatly enjoyed by the people that it was prolonged for a second week--the King giving bountifully from his flocks and herds, the people appreciating and availing themselves of his bounty.

The rejoicing amongst the people was general, many of their brethren from the northern kingdom participating. We read, "So there was great joy in Jerusalem, for since the time of Solomon, the son of David, King of Israel, there was not the like in Jerusalem."

The whole world today is bent on pleasure. It is sought in various directions, in hunting, fishing, theater-going, money-making, in home, family, etc.--legitimately and illegitimately; but of the many who seek pleasure and joy, but very few find it; even the little found usually leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. The real finding of pleasure is in finding the Lord and coming into proper heart harmony with him. There is no other peace or joy or love so delicious, so soul-satisfying as that which comes from fellowship with the Creator through the Lord Jesus Christ; and this joy, as the Master said, he alone can give, and none can take it away from us. To maintain this joy we must continue to abide in his love--eating the Passover in an antitypical sense--rejoicing that we have been passed over by God's mercy and favor--that we have passed from death unto life--from sin to righteousness --from the world into "the Church which is the Body of Christ."

THE SPIRIT OF A SOUND MIND

Our study records that amongst those who came to the Passover from the northern tribes, some ate the Passover without having performed the purifyings stipulated by the Law. King Hezekiah might without impropriety have made a great ado over this fact. He might have berated the visiting brethren on their ignorance, their stupidity, their saturation with idolatry to the neglect of their God's commandments. He might have ordered them to be driven from the Holy City. But he [R4813 : page 140] did more wisely. He prayed for them, asking Divine mercy for their error. Similarly, in the Church of Christ, we at times find some who but imperfectly comprehend the sanctification of life necessary to a proper participation in the Lord's "feast of fat things." Let us be wise in our dealing with such; let us not denounce them as hypocrites nor hold up their shortcomings. Let us pray for them and assist them in the more excellent way. Let us remember the words of our text, "Man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart." Let us be less punctilious respecting forms and ceremonies, and more lovingly sympathetic with the expressions of heart of all those who seek to draw nigh unto the Lord.

THE DIVINE BLESSING

The conclusion of the feast was a Divine blessing upon all the people, through the Priests and Levites. So there goes out a Divine blessing from the Lord's sanctified people--from all the consecrated of the household of faith--to the people in general--to their neighbors, their friends and visitors from afar. Let such be our influence amongst men. In this connection let us remember the power of the tongue, of which the Apostle said, "Therewith praise we God, and therewith curse (or injure) we men." Let our tongues and all our powers be used in blessing the people as well as in praising our God.

The King wisely began his reformation at the temple and gave the priests and Levites the first share therein. It was later that the idols of the city of Jerusalem were gathered and hurled into the valley of Kedron, and it was after the fervor of the Passover occasion that the zeal of the people in general rose high, and they went forth all over the land, destroying the idols, the groves of Baal, and every symbol of disloyalty to God.

And so today: Everywhere the light of our day is showing more and more of the meanness, selfishness, corruption--some of it centuries old, and some of it bred of special privilege and opportunity in our day. The call for reform is heard on every hand, although sometimes but feeble. The proper place for reform is, as in Hezekiah's day, with the sanctification of the priests and the Levites themselves.

Let us not forget this; and after having seen to our own heart purification in harmony with God, let us proceed to the cleansing of the Sanctuary. Idols and traditions of men in the form of venerable creeds of the past are defiling the Temple of God. These must be gotten rid [R4813 : page 141] of. The vessels of the Lord's house must be cleansed of all defilements--their human traditions, heathen philosophies and superstitions. We must no longer worship a book and a cross, but must reverence the teachings of the Book and the significance of the cross.

If the Church of Christ could but faithfully perform her responsibility, under the direction of the King, it would mean a great revival of religion. It would mean the sanctifying of the people. It would mean the casting out of the idols of mammon--selfishness, filthy lucre and worldly fame, and a general bowing down of men to the Giver of every good and perfect gift.



[R4813 : page 141]

THE WORLD'S HATRED

"Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you"; "Ye know that it hated me before it hated you." --1 John 3:13; John 15:18.
HERE the great Teacher seems to show that the kind of hatred that would come to us would be the same that came to himself. Looking at his experiences we see that he was hated chiefly by the most prominent, the most influential amongst the people. The Scribes specially hated him; but the Pharisees, the Chief Priests and the Sadducees also hated him. In time their hatred extended to the common people. The lower classes are always led by the superior classes; the lesser Pharisees by the greater Pharisees; the lesser Sadducees by the greater Sadducees, etc. Probably the common people could not give an intelligent reason why they hated the Lord. Accepting the presentations of their leaders, they assumed that he was a fraud and an impostor, and hated him as such. In proportion as they esteemed their leaders, they were inclined to disesteem whomsoever these disesteemed.

So it is today. We can see that there are motives behind the hatred manifested toward the Lord's people. No prominent person poses as being wicked. Hence, there is a general disposition on the part of all to justify themselves (politically and religiously), as moved by noble sentiments, as either the supporters or originators of high standards. But we see the hypocrisy which is made manifest by the lies and the procedure of those who hate the Lord's people without a cause. When, therefore, the Truth comes to any of those who have error and pride mingled with worldly religion, it becomes a rebuke to them. As the Apostles went from one place to another it was said of them, "These that have turned the world upside down have come hither also."--Acts 17:6.

The thoughts of Jesus are so deep and touch so upon the heart that everything not fully in accord with them appears worthless in comparison. Hence, many of those who have been teachers of religion find themselves impelled, through hate and envy, to try to crush, to blacken, to defame that which is true. But these teachers are being tested; they are being proved. To the Lord, at least, their hypocrisy is manifested, whether others be deceived by it or not. It is, therefore, today as it was in our Lord's day--"The darkness hateth the light."

"WHOEVER WILL LIVE GODLY IN CHRIST JESUS SHALL SUFFER PERSECUTION"

As our Lord explained, the darkness of sin and error is in direct antagonism to the light of Truth, and consequently when his people lift up the light--"Let their light so shine as to glorify their Father which is in heaven," who has called them "out of darkness into his marvelous light"--the effect upon the darkened world is to awaken opposition, antagonism, and thus to disturb and make uncomfortable those in sympathy with darkness. Consequently, those who love darkness, those who love evil, those who love sin in its varied forms, hate the light, neither come to the light; but either publicly or secretly oppose the children of the light, the enlightened ones, the light-bearers. And even those who have gotten out of the extreme darkness of moral pollution into a kind of twilight of civilized reformation and moral reform, cannot endure the clear, searching light of the true Gospel. They much prefer a measure of darkness.--John 3:20.

In consequence of this conflict between light and darkness, our Lord suffered at the hands of those who professed to be children of the light, children of God; and who had, at least, a little light. Our Lord was not maltreated by either the Roman Governor or the Roman soldiers, of their own volition; for they were so totally blind as not to appreciate the light which he displayed. His persecutors were those who had some light, but who hated the brilliancy of the great Light shining upon them.

Similarly, all down through this Gospel Age, those who have been burning and shining lights in the world have been hated and persecuted chiefly (almost exclusively) by those who had some light, but whose light was darkness in comparison with the great light of the holy Spirit shining in and through the Lord's fully consecrated ones. Thus was fulfilled our Lord's testimony, "If they hated me they will also hate you"; "Whosoever will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." (John 15:18; I John 3:13; 2 Tim. 3:12.) The Lord's followers in the present time are called upon to suffer persecution for righteousness' sake, not because it is either reasonable or proper, but because the Lord, wishing to test, prove, and polish his people, is willing to permit the evil, opposing influences to prosper and to persecute and oppose his "members," and thus to serve his cause in the preparation of his Elect for a future work of service. Thus the persecutors of the Body, as did the persecutors of the Head, are co-operating to fulfil the Divine Plan in a manner they little suspect.

"MARVEL NOT IF THE WORLD HATE YOU"

When the Lord's followers take a firm stand for Truth and righteousness, as did their Leader, the results are the same. Satan is their implacable opponent; he will see to it that they suffer, that there will be opposition, not only by himself, but by the world, which is largely under the influence of his spirit in various ways. Having taken this stand, the Lord's people must not marvel if the world hate them and say all manner of evil against them falsely, for Christ's sake. The more prominent they may be, as in our Lord's case, the more virulent will be the attacks against them; the more interested will be the great Adversary in overcoming them.

This thought that Satan opposes us, and that we are contending not merely with flesh and blood, but with principalities and powers and wicked spirits in high positions of power (Eph. 6:12), would be appalling to us did we not, on the other hand, realize that by this same positiveness of decision for Truth and righteousness we acquire great help and assistance by other unseen powers. From the moment of our positive resistance of temptation and positive standing up for the Lord and his cause, we become stronger in the Lord and in the power of his [R4814 : page 142] might. Let us remember that "greater is he that is for us than all that can be against us."--Matt. 5:11; Eph. 6:12; I John 4:4.

The chief opposition to our Lord came from the religious leaders and professors. The union of the worldly and the semi-religious is sometimes complete, as in the union of Church and State in foreign lands; in other instances, it is incomplete, as in this country, where the Church and State are not fully united. Nevertheless, the politician desires the support of the professors and supporters of religion. These, in turn, plume themselves on their political influence and seek to use this influence for their own advantage, or, as they would say, for the "good of the cause." So, where there is no direct union between Church and State, there is an affiliation, an indirect union. The politician wishes to have the support of the moral and religious leaders of the community and others. Thus drawn together, the princes of this world, both religious and secular, uphold one another. Their interests are one. Hence, the Lord and all those who are his "members" and followers would be unsympathetically viewed, hated, persecuted; for the presentations of the Truth make manifest various errors and hypocrisies in contrast with Divine standards.



[R4814 : page 142]

"GOOD TIDINGS" IN INDIA

MY DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--

Yours dated February 11 reached me too late last week, so I was not able to send a reply then. I am very glad to hear from you; the contents of your letter give me much strength.

In Travancore the Truth is spreading rapidly; the Lord is opening the way. Everywhere people are flocking to hear the Gospel Truth! The majority of the poor people are unable to grasp the details, but a large number among them, who are the leaders of the community and can read and write their vernacular language (Malayalam) are able to understand the Plan of the Lord; and I am glad to tell you, dear Brother, that they are appreciating the Truth, and gladly preach it to others.

In my last letter I wrote the details of the work in Travancore. Before I left India, or rather Travancore, fourteen years ago, I spoke Malayalam and Tamil fluently. (These two are the languages spoken in Travancore.) But when I came back I was not able to talk either Malayalam or Tamil. But now I can talk both fluently; they have come back without much trouble. So the language difficulty in connection with the work in Travancore is no more.

Until a few weeks back the work was not systematized. From experience, the Lord has shown me that the work among that people must be carried on in a thoroughly organized form, and that no hope of material help should be given to them in any way. This is quite new to them, as all the missionary societies start their "Christian" work on the basis of "rice" Christianity. It took some time and much hardship to convince the leading men of the wisdom of the method we have adopted. The Lord has opened their eyes to see the beauty of Christianity and the principles upon which the Lord and the Apostles carried on the work. I am glad to say that they understand a great deal now of the Secret of the Lord. Their lives, their enthusiasm and zeal explain it.

Just think, these poor people going about and visiting the people at their houses and teaching them the Truth, and also making arrangements to hold meetings in several places! We have in all now sixteen congregations holding meetings regularly in fifty different places hereabout. Thirteen of the brethren are working regularly among these people. The fact that they have been doing this work for the last two months (some of them for five or six months) without receiving any financial help, shows the interest and the devotion they have for the Lord's work. We have fourteen temporary shelters for the purpose of holding meetings. In each of these places from 100 to 350 people attend the meetings regularly --not simply attend the meetings, but they have learned much during these days; and even those who were once baptized in the London Mission Church want to be immersed again since they understand the real import of baptism as set forth in the Scriptures.

As large numbers of the people are illiterate, we have to teach the Truth orally. But as there are quite a good many who are able to read and write, it is best to have some tracts printed, setting forth the main points of Present Truth.

As we have thoroughly consecrated men with us now, as far as I can judge, we would have no difficulty in entrusting the work of teaching to such. Many people have come to me to start work among them, but I have not yet seen my way clear to begin the work and carry it on effectively.

You will be greatly surprised, dear Brother, when I say that among all the "Christian" people in these parts, the Present Truth is the subject of discussion. Some are for, and others against it, even in the sectarian pulpits. Last week there was a conference of the London Mission people, where the main discussion was about the Lord's work of our Society in these parts. So there is much interest either directly or indirectly.

The elders and deacons hold two class meetings each week; about thirty are attending and studying the Lord's Word to preach to others. Some walk from twelve to fifteen miles to attend these meetings. We hold these from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. I find that this class study work is very helpful. They all have their note-books with them and take notes when I discuss each subject from the volumes and the booklets. It is wonderful how these poor ones go to the Reverends and tell them about the Truth, giving Bible references for every statement they make.

It is best to have some booklets printed for the use of these Pilgrims, Elders, etc., as well as for those who are able to understand the Truth somewhat. It will cost too much to have the volumes translated either into Malayalam or Tamil. We shall have to circulate the literature free, as the people are unable to pay. I would suggest that extracts of certain chapters of all the six volumes be printed. We must have also some tracts in Malayalam and Tamil. We can distribute these tracts among the denominational church people whom we cannot reach otherwise. These are the reasons why I put $500 for printing purposes for this year. The tracts could be used in all South India, among fifteen or twenty millions of people.

I am sorry to say that some of the teachers have to work in the fields at least a few days each week to earn their bread; the rest of the time they spend in preaching the Gospel and holding meetings. Last Sunday morning 450 people attended the service in one place, and in the evening 850.

Your brother and servant of the Lord. S. P. D.

IN REPLY

DEAR BROTHER:--

Your welcome letter of March 21 is before me. I am [R4814 : page 143] glad to have it. If you can get into right line with our ideas of the work we will be glad, and believe that a great blessing may result. We are praying for you and the work in India, and believe from the tenor of your last letter that you now understand our program better than at first, and will follow it.

Our plan is not to trust to oral instruction of teachers, but to co-operate specially with those who are able to read English, and who will take the printed matter with them in their preaching and translate to those who are unable to read. We do not mean by this that none may be accepted as teachers who cannot read English, but that those able to read English should be given preference.

You are quite right, dear Brother, in understanding us not to wish to purchase either teachers or hearers with rice. The Gospel must be hungered and thirsted for with a spirited appetite. As for the teachers being obliged to labor a part of their time, we think it the very best way, except for a very few whose entire time as overseers might be necessary, like your own and that of the pilgrims. We favor this very same course in every land. For the teachers to be so separated from the people that it would be thought a shame for them to make tents or do other work for an honest living, is neither good for themselves nor does it have the proper influence upon the people with whom they should be in close touch as "brethren."

We feel that the money sent you thus far has not been unwisely expended, and you may count on upwards of two thousand rupees for printing during the ensuing year, also an allowance not to exceed five rupees per [R4815 : page 143] week for the teachers who are giving all their time, and something less for those giving part of their time.

Please make monthly reports, which need not be lengthy, but which should contain distinct statements of amounts expended for literature and the quantity it purchased, also number of teachers and pilgrims, and briefly the work being done.

We are sending herewith L.20.

Very truly your brother and servant in the Lord.



page 143

ANNUAL REQUEST FOR VISITS OF TRAVELING BRETHREN

THE Lord's blessing continues richly with this branch of the service. During the period from May, 1910, to May, 1911, there has been a large increase in the number of public meetings held, and a corresponding increase also in the attendance. Larger auditoriums, better means of announcement, and a thorough house-to-house distribution of Everybody's have been the means through which the Lord has been pleased to specially bless this branch of the harvest work.

This wide-open door seems, by the Lord's grace, to open still more widely for the year--May, 1911, to May, 1912. If you desire to arrange for large public meetings, but feel that the expense would burden you, mention that fact; the Society may wish to assist financially.

Do not get the thought, however, that these visits are merely for the public; they are also intended to encourage Bible Students everywhere; it matters not whether the class be large or small. No charge is made for these services. The Society pays all the necessary traveling expenses, etc., and takes up no collections. The cost is borne by the general fund to which many of you are, or have been, contributors. Requests for these visits must be renewed every year in May. It is our desire to serve all who make request. We will use our best endeavor to this end.

All desirous of visits by the traveling brethren during the year from May, 1911, to May, 1912, are invited to send in postal-card replies to the following questions:

(a) Are regular meetings being held?
(b) How many are usually in attendance?
(c) Where do you meet? What time?
(d) Have the members of your class chosen leaders in accord with STUDIES,
Vol. VI, chapters V and VI? If so, give name and full address of each.
(e) Give full names and full addresses of the two [2] to whom notice re traveling brethren should be sent, and notify us as to any change or removal.
(f) If your town is not on a railroad give the name of railroad station at which to stop.
(g) How many miles from station is meeting place, and which direction from station?
(h) Would the Brother be met at station?
(i) Give writer's full name and address.
(k) Give Secretary's full name and address.



[R4815 : page 143]

THE WESTWARD CONVENTION TOUR

THE WATCH TOWER of May 1 is ready for the press as we arrive home from our European campaign. We are quite well and send greetings to all of our dear readers, promising further details later respecting our European experiences.

We take this opportunity to express our regret that so considerable an announcement of our Western Tour during June and July was inserted in these columns during our absence. We are finding no fault, however; those responsible for the insertion used their best judgment and supposed they had the Editor's mind on the subject. We would have preferred the bare announcement of the stopping-places and dates, rather than what might to some appear an advertisement and a solicitation for a large party.

We appreciate very much the interest in this Tour displayed by some of the friends, particularly by Brother Dr. Jones, the prime mover in the excursion feature. We wish, however, to have it distinctly understood that neither the Bible and Tract Society, nor the Editor has anything whatever to do with the arrangements for the excursion party. Brother Jones inquired months ago whether or not the Editor would object to company on this Convention Tour. He was assured that we would greatly enjoy the fellowship of friends accompanying, although we would not expect to be with them much, because necessities require that our work through a stenographer shall continue at every available opportunity during the two months of our absence from Brooklyn. We specified this, so that whoever would be of Brother Jones' company would know in advance not to expect very much of the Editor's time in conversation, etc.

We are stating matters thus very plainly, in order that none may join Brother Jones' excursion under any misapprehension, nor with the supposition that the Society has urged them to do so; nor should we be considered as a party in any sense of the word to any appeals for aid in connection with the excursion. We urge each one contemplating the matter to consider the subject on its own merits and to decide in respect to these matters according as his own conscience shall dictate to him the Lord's will.



page 145
May 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. XXXIIMAY 15No. 10
A.D. 1911--A.M. 6039


CONTENTS

The Good Tidings Abroad--No. 3147
The Tabernacle and the Gown149
Strength and Peace150
The Ransom and Its Application to All Mankind151
The Fall of Samaria152
Overthrow of Israel a Judgment of the Lord153
Israel's Promised Restitution153
Your Reasonable Service154
Bible Study Class-Extension155
Loosing the Four Winds of Heaven156
"The Church of the First-Borns"157
"All Things to All Men"158
"Suffer Little Children to Come"158
Thus May He Bless and Keep Thee (Poem)158
The Memorial Celebrants159
The Colporteur Work Prospering159
Western Itinerary Services159

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 146

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: LONDON TABERNACLE, Lancaster Gate W. German Branch: Unterdorner Str., 76, Barmen. Australasian Branch: Flinders Building, Flinders St., Melbourne. Please address the SOCIETY in every case.


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INTERNATIONAL BIBLE STUDENTS ASSOCIATION MEETINGS


AT WHICH BROTHER C. T. RUSSELL WILL BE PRINCIPAL SPEAKER

FRIENDS FROM NEARBY PLACES ARE CORDIALLY INVITED.


FIVE-DAYS BIBLE STUDENTS CONVENTION

Oakland, San Rafael and San Francisco brethren extend a most cordial invitation to all outside friends to attend the 5-day joint-local Convention in San Francisco--June 22, 23, 24, 25 and Oakland June 26. Brother Russell will speak twice in San Francisco--June 25--and in Oakland June 26. Pilgrim service will be arranged for all days. Opportunity for water baptism will be arranged in Oakland June 26.

Arrangements will be made for visiting friends. Rooms may be engaged in advance at 50 cents, 75 cents, $1 and up per day. Send full data and money as soon as possible to "Sec'y Hotel Committee, I.B.S.A.," 2018 Green street, San Francisco. Data should show sex, color, those that wish to room together or are willing to share room and bed to save expense, also rate desired, exact dates, etc., and hour and route of expected arrival, if known. Free sleeping accommodations will be furnished by local brethren to those that can come, but cannot afford room rent; these should also advise promptly in advance. Visitors' mail may be sent in care of above address.

Meetings and headquarters for four days in San Francisco will be at Lyric Hall, 513 Larkin street, with public lectures afternoon and evening of Sunday, June 25, at Dreamland Rink.

Meetings and headquarters in Oakland, June 26, will be at corner of Jones street and Telegraph avenue.

BROOKLYN, N.Y., JUNE 4

Morning Rally for Praise and Testimony at 10.30 in the Brooklyn Tabernacle. Discourse for the Public at 3 p.m. in the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Lafayette Ave. and St. Felix St. Evening service in Brooklyn Tabernacle, 7 p.m.

Those desiring water baptism or to present their children in consecration should notify in advance.



page 146

STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES

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 on 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. 6-1/2d.)

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.



[R4815 : page 147]

THE GOOD TIDINGS ABROAD--NO 3

TWO of our Sunday evenings in London were announced as Christian mass meetings at Royal Albert Hall; the first evening we discussed, "Which is the True Gospel?" the second, "Which is the True Church?" We had good attention on both occasions, and large audiences. No doubt the audiences would have been still larger had the subjects and announcements not limited the invitation to Christians. While we did not shun to declare the whole counsel of God on these subjects, we did, as usual, endeavor to present the Truth as sympathetically and inoffensively as possible. We trust that some seed was sown and found lodgment in earnest hearts. Other services on the same days were held in the London Tabernacle. They were not specially advertised, but the attendance was good. The edifice is rated as accommodating twelve hundred, and on some occasions the place was crowded.

At one of the public sessions our election to the pastorate of the congregation of the London Tabernacle was duly and publicly acknowledged and accepted; but of this, reports have already reached you through the public press. We promised to give Great Britain (and London particularly) as large a share of our time as possible, but reminded the dear friends of the breadths and interests of the Truth, and that much as we appreciate the openings and progress of the Harvest Message in Great Britain, the work in America must not be forgotten nor neglected.

EDINBURGH--GLASGOW--BELFAST--DUBLIN

These four cities were visited in the order named, and two meetings were held in each, one specially for the interested, the other particularly for the public. We are glad to report that the Truth has been making good progress in all of these cities and countries. Not only in numbers, but also, we believe, in spiritual development the Lord has richly blessed them all.

At Belfast the public audience numbered nearly two thousand. We had excellent attention for about two hours, and about one-half of the audience remained to a question opportunity, which served to set forth the Truth in stronger contrast with error. Although not all questioners were polite, we endeavored to give a soft answer, but a clear one; we trust with good results.

It will be remembered that on two previous occasions at Dublin, the Y.M.C.A. secretary was present as an objector and questioner--the last time accompanied by a prominent theologian and college professor. The same secretary was present this time with another minister as a mouthpiece and assistant.

Questions were unkindly put, but we trust kindly and thoroughly answered. The majority of the large audience perceived the unfairness of the attack and the Scriptural strength of the replies. Approval was frequently manifested by applause, and in conclusion an elderly gentleman of about sixty-five years moved and carried a resolution of thanks to Pastor Russell for the pleasure and profit of the evening.

BRISTOL--LONDON AND THE CONTINENT

Monday of the following week was spent at Bristol. The Truth had spread some here also, and the dear friends seemed cheered by our talk to them in the afternoon respecting the covenant of sacrifice which the Church shares with her Lord, and the difference between this and the Law Covenant made with Israel at Mt. Sinai, and the New Law Covenant shortly to be inaugurated with Israel also, and through which ultimately all the families of the earth shall be blessed. The number present, about eighty, included some from nearby places. The evening meeting for the public had a splendid audience, especially for a week night--nearly twelve hundred. Our topic was "The Great White Throne of Judgment." We had excellent attention. The audience included evidently many of the most intelligent people of the city.

Tuesday evening (April 11) we spent at London. We had a season of very special blessing and refreshment in commemorating the Memorial of our dear Redeemer's death on its anniversary, with the London congregation. The number present at the Tabernacle was about three hundred and thirty, of whom about three hundred and seventeen partook of the Memorial. About one hundred and fifty friends who reside in the outskirts of the city, and were unable to be present on account of business duties, distance, etc., kept separate celebrations; thus the London Church in its different meetings, and the Brooklyn congregation in its different meetings, represented practically the same number.

The next day we traveled to Barmen, Germany, where, on Thursday, we had three very interesting sessions. The interest of the German friends continues to grow, and the numbers also--even though, as already stated, we are disappointed in the total numbers of interested ones in the Truth in Germany--considering the large population and the considerable effort and money expenditure made. The returns seem less than in Great Britain and Sweden. [R4815 : page 148]

Friday and Saturday were devoted to meetings with the friends in the northern part of France, whom we had never before met. Our first stop was at Charleroi. We had dinner with the friends, addressed about twenty of them for about an hour, and then resumed our journey, arriving at Denain in time for supper and a two hours' talk to more than a hundred of the dear friends there. Next morning, accompanied by eight, we proceeded to Lens. There our congregation numbered about seventy interested. We had a splendid season of refreshment; then a question meeting, following which we proceeded on our journey toward London, which, by train and boat, [R4816 : page 148] we reached at 7 a.m. Sunday, ready for the services which have already been reported.

NOTTINGHAM--SHEFFIELD--BRADFORD--MIDDLESBOROUGH

The days of the next week were spent in addressing the dear friends in the four places above mentioned. The narrative of one is practically the story of all--keen interest amongst the friends and a general appreciation of the Truth. This was our first visit to Nottingham, and a very enjoyable one. The number of interested is not large, but they are very earnest. We addressed them in the afternoon along the lines of consecration and faithful obedience, both to the letter of the Divine law, the Golden Rule, and to the spirit of sacrifice. They had a large hall for the evening with a capacity of twenty-five hundred. It was comfortably filled, though not crowded. The audience was intelligent and attentive, and we trust that some good was accomplished and the Lord's name to some extent glorified.

We addressed a Sheffield audience for the first time. We were agreeably surprised to find so large a company of friends--about eighty. Like the others they had worked hard with the volunteer matter, and the public service was well received, as was also the address to the interested.

Bradford was our next stop. There also the Truth has been progressing, and there likewise, as indeed in every place, the friends had worked very hard to make the meeting well known--at the same time putting into the hands of the public two or three sermons to read. We were reminded that nearly all the cities of Great Britain had a very large distribution of PEOPLES PULPIT--forty thousand to sixty thousand in each place, or about one PEOPLES PULPIT to every six of the population. Surely all the friends got a blessing through this service, and eternity only will tell how much good seed of Truth was implanted, and how much error and superstition were at least partially broken down.

The meeting with the Bradford friends was interesting, and the one for the public both interesting and exciting. A few objectors were anxious to put questions and to entrap us in our words, and to make the Good Tidings appear false. But God was with us, and we believe that their efforts did not succeed in accomplishing much injury. We trust that they were overruled by Divine providence for good to some at least. The audience numbered about fifteen hundred.

Next came Middlesborough--another place we had never previously visited. About one hundred and twenty were present at the afternoon session for the interested, and about fifteen hundred at the public address in the evening.

Considerable interest had been aroused at this point by reason of some local preachers of the Methodist church having received the Truth. We had excellent attention during the discourse, and a very lively time at its conclusion, when questions were asked and answered. These question opportunities, to some extent, confuse the beautiful outlines of the Divine Plan of the Ages in the minds of the hearers, but possibly there are compensations also. When criticisms and objections are answered readily, freely, Scripturally, a confidence in the entire Plan is, we trust, engendered, fully off-setting the disturbing influence. From Middlesborough we proceeded to London for the next Sunday--already reported.

CARDIFF--LIVERPOOL--BIRMINGHAM--LONDON

The next week we disposed of as foregoing. Our first appointment was Cardiff, Wales--the first time we had delivered an address in Wales. Cardiff has largely an English population. The proportion of Welsh faces, both at the public address and the address to the friends, was comparatively small. The hall was crowded beyond its capacity, two thousand, and hundreds failed to gain entrance. Many ministers were present.

The so-called "Plymouth Brethren" helped to advertise the meeting by getting out a little leaflet which set forth ten points in which it was claimed that quotations from "The Plan of the Ages" contradicted the Bible. We set the audience at rest by promising to read and to answer those questions (which most of them had in their hands) at the close of the address. Our topic required nearly two hours, and then we had an interesting after-hour, in which we answered the ten questions and some other objections which were orally put to us. The friends of Cardiff rejoiced greatly with the results of their mutual efforts to glorify the Lord and his Word, and to assist the household of faith.

The Liverpool meetings were enjoyed by the friends, and we trust were profitable to all in attendance. The friends of the Truth in the afternoon numbered about one hundred and fifty, and the crowd in the evening was estimated at fifteen hundred. How much good was done, only the Lord, of course, knows. The friends of the Truth were greatly encouraged, anyway.

Birmingham was our next stop and a very enjoyable one. We noted a considerable increase, both in numbers and in interest, as compared with our previous meetings in this city. We had Priory Hall for the meeting of the friends, and an attendance of about one hundred and twenty-five. At night we had the Town Hall with an attendance of about two thousand. The chariot of the Truth is rolling on grandly in Birmingham, so far as outward indications guide our judgment.

Friday night we had a farewell meeting at the London Tabernacle. First we met with the Elders and Deacons --about thirty-eight of us in an ante-room. We discussed the interests of the work and helpful methods of service. Then we joined the congregation in the Tabernacle proper. About four hundred were present.

We outlined a little the work we hoped the congregation would feel encouraged to engage in with still greater vigor and zeal than ever before. We noted the great possibilities of the largest city in the world, and the responsibilities of the Truth upon all the dear friends there. We exhorted them to remember the great prize of our high calling--and the great privilege of serving the Lord's cause, even at the expense of weariness and self-denial in the present time. We noted the great reward sure to come to all the faithful--the Lord's love and favor, and glory, honor, and immortality; and the privilege of engaging still more fully in his service on the other side of the veil, as associates with our Redeemer, members of the great Prophet, Priest, King and Mediator, who shall bless the world of mankind and bring them Restitution privileges and finally restore the [R4816 : page 149] worthy and obedient to full fellowship with God and to eternal life. The service ended with a goodby handshake with the Elders and the congregation, the Elders standing with us as the congregation filed past.

Next day we took train for our boat at Liverpool, homeward bound. About sixty of the dear Liverpool friends greeted us on the wharf, and sang to us, as the boat receded from the shore, "Blest be the tie that binds," and "God be with you till we meet again."

BROOKLYN TABERNACLE AND BETHEL

Our homeward journey on the Cunard steamer "Lusitania" was a pleasant one, and we were able to keep our stenographer busy. The only item out of the ordinary was a conversation with the widely-known Evangelist, Rev. Wilbur Chapman, and his assistant, Mr. Norton. They were returning from a campaign in Wales. We were agreeably surprised to find both gentlemen evidently interested in the doctrine of the second coming of the Lord, and both of them professed full consecration to walk in the Master's footsteps, even unto death. We were glad of this. Our wish for them, as for all of God's true people, is a still greater study of God's Word, wholly without sectarian spectacles, with a consuming desire to know and to do God's will.

As our vessel docked we saw on the pier about a dozen of the brethren--chiefly the Elders of the Church. We received a very hearty welcome and at noon we had the pleasure of meeting the entire family at Bethel, and on the next Sunday the entire New York Ecclesia.



[R4816 : page 149]

THE TABERNACLE AND THE GOWN

LONDON TABERNACLE has a large gallery, seating nearly as many as the first floor--in all nearly 1,200. To suit this the pulpit is a high one, boxed in, so that only the head and shoulders of the speaker are in view. A plain black robe or gown, provided by the kindness of some of the friends, was worn by the Pastor (Brother Russell) in the pulpit, but not at other times. This raised from a few the query, Is Brother Russell becoming a Babylonian--preaching in a church edifice and wearing a robe?

It was thought well to explain, for the benefit of all, that the use of Church buildings was never condemned in the Bible, nor in the DAWN-STUDIES. St. Paul preached in a Synagogue whenever he had opportunity; so did the other Apostles, and so did Jesus. We do not favor the general striving for church edifices because of the expense, because the friends of the Truth are generally poor, and because what money we all can devote to the service of the Lord can be used more wisely as a rule-- to accomplish a wider spread of the glad tidings of great joy. [R4817 : page 149]

We still view the matter thus. But at London, as in New York City (Brooklyn), it is our judgment that the cause is best served by having a plain Tabernacle for general worship and also for the Society's warehouse and office of publication. We have sought to do the Master's will, and believe we have done it in both cases.

As New York City is the American center, so is London the British center, or, indeed, the European center. It is to the advantage of the entire work everywhere that Brooklyn Tabernacle and London Tabernacle, even as names alone, should lend their dignity to the cause we love to serve. Both buildings are heavily mortgaged. The Society has other uses for its income, and is making no endeavor nor appeals for money to clear these off.

As for the gown of plain black: It is simplicity itself, and very much more like what the Savior and the Apostles wore than is a frock-coat. And as for wearing an ordinary, every-day business suit of blue or gray or tan in the pulpit--surely it is a bit irreverent, unless as emergency might make it necessary.

Respect for the Lord and for his Truth seems to call for respect even in the dress of the one who, for the hour, represents the Lord as his mouthpiece, "ambassador," or "able minister of the New Covenant," calling for the joint-sacrifices necessary to be found before the New Covenant can go into effect. We should not be understood as laying down a law respecting meats or drinks or wearing of apparel. We are merely suggesting that a fancy vest, colored tie and business suit do not appeal to us as specially to be commended. Rather, we would commend to the preaching brethren, so far as possible and convenient, a preference for black and white apparel--whatever the cut.

Prejudice is a weed which may flourish in comparatively well-kept heart-gardens. But it should always be plucked up as soon as discovered, or it will do damage-- no one can tell how much--to the owner of the garden and to his neighbors.

THE GOLDEN RULE

The Golden Rule seems not to be fully understood nor appreciated by some of God's children who have gone beyond the Law which it represents and are seeking to sacrifice. The Golden Rule means--be just toward fellowmen, giving them the same liberty which you desire and claim as your right. Do not attempt to fetter them in ways you would not wish them to fetter you. All saints should remember that this is simply justice, not sacrifice. It is God's command--the very foundation of his throne, of his Government. Perhaps no other lesson is more needed to be learned by the Church than this. It is violated continually in the home and in the Church. Justice, before generosity; the Golden Rule, before sacrifice, is surely God's order, and all who would be obedient to him and well pleasing will surely take heed to watch themselves in this respect.

FALSE DOCTRINE IS BABYLON'S FAULT

As for the churches nominal being Babylon because they meet in fine or poor buildings, with or without steeples, this is foolishness, well to be gotten rid of, and which none of us ever should have had. Similarly the dress of the minister has nothing to do with Babylonishness --although we do confess to prejudice against the changing of gowns during service and the wearing of colored gowns, etc., in Catholic and High Church ceremonials, as contrary to the simplicity of Christ.

Babylon's fault is her false doctrines--the mingled wine in her cup--the "Golden Cup" of the Divine Word --wherewith she and the world are so intoxicated that they cannot understand the Truth, but persecute it.

To come out of Babylon, therefore, does not mean nevermore to worship God in a specially constructed building; nor does it mean to do nothing that Babylon does and to wear nothing which Babylon approves. This application would mean that we might neither sing nor pray nor use an organ, etc., because others use these, whom we believe have departed from the faith.

It is difficult, of course, for us to keep our poor heads well balanced by the spirit of a sound mind; but the [R4817 : page 150] Golden Rule will surely assist. One dear friend claimed that he was afraid that others would be "stumbled" by these matters--especially that those who have gone out from us would use it as a club. Our answer is that those who have gone out need not be considered for one moment; they will twist and turn everything, for evil anyway. If we stopped to heed and please them we would do nothing that would please and serve God.

On the contrary, we believe that the general sentiment of thinking and pious people is turning from the rough-and-ready preaching, once so approved, to something more refined and reverential. There are still good people who consider it a sin to wear a collar or a necktie even at Divine service, but they are becoming fewer.

But the Golden Rule leaves these children of God free to dress as they please, without others busybodying in their affairs. Let experience teach them. Let them learn in the School of Christ that the advantages and liberties of the Kingdom of God (the Church) consist not in meats and drinks and clothing, but in righteousness and true holiness, represented by the Wedding Garment, "without spot or wrinkle or any such thing."



[R4817 : page 150]

STRENGTH AND PEACE

"The Lord will give strength unto his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace."--Psa. 29:11
AS WE look back over the years that have passed since first we learned to "know the joyful sound" of the true Gospel and consecrated ourselves fully to the Lord, we view with sorrow the imperfections of even our best efforts; and as looking forward we see the difficulties that seem to obstruct our onward course, we shall greatly need to reinforce our waning courage with the special promises of Divine grace to help in every time of need. Among others, we have the blessed assurance that "The Lord will give strength unto his people"; "Call upon me in the day of trouble and I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me."--Psa. 50:15.

As soldiers under our great Captain, we have enlisted in no uncertain struggle, unless our own faint-heartedness or unfaithfulness should make it so. We are fully supplied with the whole armor of God, which will amply protect us against the fiery darts of the Adversary, if only we accept it and carefully buckle it on. We have with us the constant presence of our Captain, so long as we are closely following his leading. Above the din of battle his inspiring voice may be heard saying, "Fear not, little flock; for it is the Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom"; "Be of good cheer; I have overcome!" (Luke 12:32; John 16:33.) If we are weak and incline to faint-heartedness, we have only to remember the blessed promise, "The Lord will give strength unto his people"; and by our faithfulness we shall glorify God, who will deliver us from all our foes, both seen and unseen.

Like all others, the Lord's people need fortitude and patience, else they might soon become discouraged in the conflict with the world, the flesh, and the Adversary. They need strength; they need encouragement. In the text under consideration, the word strength means, in large measure, courage. The Lord will give courage to his people. He encourages us in a variety of ways; he encourages us through each other, as we build one another up in the most holy faith.

MILK FOR BABES--STRONG MEAT FOR THOSE MORE DEVELOPED

We, nevertheless, look to the individual, innate strength and to its importance. "Be of good courage, and he will strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord." (Psa. 31:24.) We are assured that we shall be strengthened in the "inner man" through the Spirit of the Lord. None have this particular kind of strength, that of the "inner man," except those who have become New Creatures in Christ, to whom "old things have passed away, and all things have become new." (2 Cor. 5:17.) With this particular Spirit-begotten class all of the Lord's dealings are intended to develop character.

"Desire the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby," and become strong. (I Pet. 2:2.) This milk of the Word the Lord gives at first to his children, that the new nature may grow thereby and become able to digest stronger food and thus develop in character-likeness to our Lord. To all his own he has provided nourishment--milk for babes, strong meat for those more developed. (Heb. 5:12-14.) And any who would be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might (courageous) will avail himself of the Divine provision.

Our faith, however, is the basis of both our strength and our peace. No matter how fiercely the storms of life may assail us, we must never let go of our anchor and [R4818 : page 150] allow ourselves to drift; but always remember that "The foundation of God standeth sure"; that "His truth is our shield and buckler"; that "What he has promised he is able also to perform," notwithstanding our human imperfections and frailties; that, covering these, we have the imputed righteousness of Christ, our Surety and Advocate; that "The Father himself loveth us," and that "He knoweth our frame and remembereth that we are dust," and so has compassion for the sons of his love and is very pitiful and of tender mercy. (2 Tim. 2:19; Psa. 91:4; Rom. 4:21; John 16:27; Psa. 103:14.) Indeed, "What more could he say than to us he hath said" to assure our faith and to steady and strengthen our hearts to patient endurance in the midst of the trials and conflicts in the narrow way of sacrifice?

With abounding compassion and tenderness our Lord, on the last night of his earthly life, bestowed upon his beloved disciples his parting blessing, his legacy of peace. It was the richest legacy he had to bequeath, and was of priceless value. It was the promise of that tranquility of soul, that rest and ease of mind which he himself possessed--the peace of God. It was the same peace which the Father has always enjoyed, even in the midst of all the commotion which the permission of evil has brought about; but it was not derived from the same source. In Jehovah, this peace is self-centered, because he realizes in himself omnipotence and Infinite wisdom; while the peace of Christ was centered, not in himself, but in God, through faith in his wisdom, power and grace. So also, if we would have the peace of God, the peace of Christ ("my peace"), it must, like his, be centered in God, by faith.

The peace promised is not the short-lived peace of the world, which is sometimes enjoyed for a little season; but "my peace," the peace of God which Christ himself by faith enjoyed, who, "Though he was rich, yet for our sakes became poor" (2 Cor. 8:9); who lost friend after friend, and in his last hour was forsaken by all of the few that remained--the peace that endured through loss, persecution, scorn and contempt, and even amidst the agonies of the cross. This peace is something which none [R4818 : page 151] of the vicissitudes of this life can destroy and which no enemy can wrest from us.

"MARVEL NOT IF THE WORLD HATE YOU"

"There is no peace, saith the Lord, unto the wicked." (Isa. 48:22.) "The wicked are like the troubled sea, continually casting up mire and dirt." Their hearts are not in accord with peace and righteousness, but are filled with selfishness. The wicked are self-seeking and grasping; filled with anger if they cannot always get what they want; with malice if they see some one enjoying what they cannot have. All of these things indicate a lack of peace.

To the extent that any of the Lord's people have any of these evil propensities they cannot have the "peace of God, which passeth all understanding"--which passeth all description. It is a rest of heart by faith. In this peace lies a satisfaction for all the various qualities of the mind; in proportion as the mind develops the ambition of pleasing the Lord, of communicating to others the knowledge of the Truth and the blessed opportunity of salvation, it becomes our ambition to do good, instead of evil. So ambition, being turned into a right line, the peace of God, which none can comprehend save those who possess it, comes to the mind and heart.

It is not an outward peace, however, for the Lord's people, individually and collectively, have most distressing experiences. The Church has always been persecuted, as Jesus forewarned us: "Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you"; "If ye were of the world, the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you."--I John 3:13; John 15:19.

"IN THE WORLD YE SHALL HAVE TRIBULATION"

The peace promised is not such as the world can always recognize and appreciate, for the possessor of it, like the Lord and the Apostles and Prophets, may have a stormy pathway. They did not have peace outwardly. They were beset, harassed on every hand; they were persecuted and obliged to flee from place to place; some of the saints of old were stoned to death; some were sawn asunder. Yet the peace of God, abounding in their hearts, enabled them to endure all these trials joyfully. Indeed, that it must be so with all the faithful until all the purposes of God in the permission of evil are accomplished, we are distinctly forewarned, but with the assurance that through all the storms of life this peace shall abide--"In the world ye shall have tribulation," but "in me ye shall have peace."--John 16:33.

This promise, that God will give peace to his people, seems to apply only to a peace of heart. Our Lord and the Apostles possessed it to such an extent that they enjoyed themselves much more than did their enemies. While Paul and Silas were in prison they sang praises to God, instead of berating the governments and threatening what would be done to them; instead of butting their heads against the bars and saying, "God does not care for us; we will go about our own business, hereafter." So with us. In proportion as we see matters from the Divine viewpoint and appreciate the precious promises and let them inspire our hearts, we shall rejoice in those promises, and our hearts will be blessed. Even if we have trials and difficulties that we are not able to surmount, if these are working out for us the fruits and graces of the Spirit, we may rejoice and give thanks for these evidences of God's love.

"MY PEACE I GIVE UNTO YOU"

We see that the peace of God is compatible with great commotion and with sorrow and pain of various kinds; for it is not dependent upon outward circumstances, but upon a proper balancing of the mind and the condition of a perfect heart. Such peace--the peace of God--was enjoyed by our Lord Jesus in the midst of all the turmoil and confusion of his eventful earthly life. And this brings us to the consideration of our Lord's last legacy to his disciples, when he was about to leave the world, as expressed in his own words: "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth [in stinted measure or in perishable quality], give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." --John 14:27.

The promise in our text--"The Lord will bless his people with peace"--evidently belongs to this Age, when all creation groans and travails in pain. (Rom. 8:22.) When the Millennial Age shall have been ushered in, there will be prevailing conditions of peace and thus he will give peace to all people.

Let us, then, have for our watchword, "LOYALTY" to God and to the principles of righteousness; and let each of us write upon his heart the gracious promise-- "The Lord will give strength unto his people." Let us be faithfully "his people," and let us earnestly desire and faithfully use the strength promised. "Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it"; "He is faithful that promised."--I Thess. 5:24; Heb. 10:23.

So then, if you lack the strength or the peace promised, the fault is yours, not God's. Either you have not the interests of his service closely enough at heart, or else you do not make use of the strength he provides. "The Lord will give strength unto his people (his trusting, faithful servants, those who are using to his praise the talents consecrated to their Master, however many or few those talents may be); the Lord will bless his people with peace."



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THE RANSOM AND ITS APPLICATION TO ALL MANKIND

THE word "Ransom" is used in respect to the purchase-price of humanity and also in connection with the deliverance of mankind after having been purchased by that price. As an illustration of the two uses of the word, we give two texts of Scripture: (1) "Who gave himself a Ransom for all, to be testified in due time." (I Tim. 2:6.) (2) "I will Ransom them from the power of the grave." (Hos. 13:14.) In these texts we see the two uses of the word "Ransom." The word Ransom in the Scriptures is often used in a similar manner to the word "redeem." The two words, indeed, have the thought of purchase connected with them. To redeem is to buy back; to ransom, as used in I Tim. 2:6, is to buy back, by giving a price to correspond.

The Bible sometimes speaks of the death of our Lord Jesus Christ as the giving of the price. The Scripture says that our Lord Jesus gave himself to be a Ransom-price. (Matt. 20:28; Mark 10:45.) He gave himself at Jordan; he completed the giving of himself at Calvary. In his death he laid down the ransom-price, the price necessary for redeeming Adam and all of his race from the sentence of death.

But there is a difference to be observed between the laying down of the Ransom-price and the application of that Ransom-price. The price was in our Lord Jesus himself, but he must lay it down sacrificially before the [R4819 : page 152] benefits of it could be given to others. The Scriptures show us that, after he had laid down that price, God empowered him to make use of it, permitting him to enter into the Most Holy, even heaven itself, to do so. He makes use of that price, as outlined in the Scriptures, in a two-fold offering to God:--

First, he appropriated of that life which he had laid down--the merits of that Ransom-price--to those who would constitute his Body, the Church. He himself had no sins to cleanse, but those who, according to God's arrangement, were to be the members of his Body, had sins; and for these he applies his blood as a redemption price or merit on their behalf, securing for them, not only release from condemnation, but also the opportunity of becoming sharers with him in the Ransom work. He has not applied the merit of that sacrifice as yet to Adam or his children, but merely to those who, in the type, were represented by the under-priests, and to the Levites, the brethren and servants of the priestly family.

Secondarily, Christ will make use of his sacrifice on behalf of all the people. As was shown in the type, the sprinkling of the blood on the mercy-seat at the close of the Day of Atonement, which was the second sprinkling, was for all the people. The antitype of this act will constitute a full offset to the Adamic condemnation. Another Scripture, however, shows us that while all the people are to come under the direct control of the great Messiah, they are not to be turned over perfect, but as they are found--in a dying condition, the wrath of God, because of imperfection, still being upon them. Then, under the New Covenant, of which our Lord is made the responsible Mediator, the Great Messiah will take charge of "all the people," even while they are still subject to the weaknesses resulting from the sentence of death. Under this New Covenant, as many of them as will become obedient to the laws of Messiah's Kingdom, will come into relationship to the Life-Giver, in harmony with the text which says, "He that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son shall not see life." (I John 5:12; John 3:36.) All of Adam's posterity will have an opportunity to accept Jesus, either as his brethren at the present time, or as his children in the next Age.

Coming back, then, to the words Ransom and Ransomed: They are used in respect to our Lord, to indicate, not that he completed the Ransom work when he died, but that he there provided the Ransom-price. During his Mediatorial reign the whole work of Christ will be that of delivering those for whom he gave the Ransom-price. In this last use of the word, it would be right to say that the Church shares with Christ in this Ransom work of delivering the world. This is the thought everywhere set before us in the Scriptures. But it would be wrong to say that the Church participates in the Ransom-price. The Ransom-price was the perfect Man, Jesus, who gave himself to be a Ransom-price for all. In that sacrifice there is a sufficiency of merit for all of Adam's posterity. The Church, therefore, has no participation in the work of giving the Ransom-price, though it is to participate in the work of Ransoming or recovering those for whom the Ransom-price is to be applied.

The sentence of death, passed upon Father Adam, was transmitted in a natural way to all of his children. At the end of this Gospel Age, the Great High Priest will have finished his atoning work. Then, by applying the Ransom-price on behalf of the world, he will become invested with all the rights and titles to humanity and to the earth. The full price having been paid over in behalf of mankind and their home, and having been accepted by the Almighty, the "world and the fulness thereof" will all be turned over to Christ, who will then be King of kings and Lord of lords. Justice will then have no further claim upon mankind, all of whom will have been turned over to Christ. But he will not recognize those who are in a rebellious attitude toward God's arrangements.

Such, however, will be held in restraint and will still be under Divine Justice, for the Great Mediator will be a representative of Divine Justice, as well as of Divine Mercy. During his reign it will be his duty and privilege to teach mankind a great lesson. In one of the prophecies we read, "Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths; for out of Zion shall go forth the Law, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem." (Isa. 2:3; Mic. 4:2.) And it shall come to pass that the nation that will not go up to Jerusalem will have no blessing.-- Zech. 14:17-19.

In other words, while the Millennial Kingdom will be fully established, its blessings will be operative only toward those who will seek to keep the Divine Law. But as the nations perceive that there is no blessing apart from the keeping of the Divine Law, they will doubtless be influenced to do so. In due time, the light of the knowledge of the Lord will fill the whole earth, and ignorance and superstition will be supplanted by Divine enlightenment. The Scriptures assure us that this New Covenant will be made with Israel, and with all mankind, who will become Israelites; for God will also give the heathen to Messiah, who will be Ruler of all the earth, not merely of those who accept his Government. "Ask of me and I will give thee the heathen for an inheritance." He will rule with the iron rod, to the intent that all mankind may learn the Divine Law and have the Divine blessing.-- Psa. 2:6-12.



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THE FALL OF SAMARIA
--JUNE 18.--II KINGS 17:1-18.--

"He that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy."--Proverbs 29:1.
HOSHEA, King of Israel, the central personage of this study, is paid the rather doubtful compliment of being less evil in the Lord's sight than some of his predecessors. Gradually the Assyrian kingdom had extended its control to Israel, and Hoshea maintained his throne by paying tribute. This continued for several years until the King of Israel thought himself sufficiently in league with the Egyptians on the south to refuse further tribute money. In consequence, the Assyrian army advanced and laid siege to the capital city, Samaria. It seems astounding, indeed, to learn that the city withstood the siege for three years. The end came in the ninth year of Hoshea, and signified the end of the ten-tribe kingdom, the people being transported by their captors several hundred miles to another portion of the Assyrian empire.

The decline of Israel as a nation, from the time of Solomon, had been a gradual one. The most religiously inclined had been attracted to the southern division called Judah. The latter, with the smaller tribe of Benjamin, not only had the Holy City and the temple, but gradually gained all the holy people of Israel, attracted by the worship [R4819 : page 153] of Jehovah and repelled from their own tribal homes by the prevalent idolatry.

The ten tribes must have wasted away considerably before this final removal of Hoshea and the remnant left in Samaria--in all less than twenty-eight thousand, whereas the nation had previously numbered millions.

The fact is that in previous wars captives were taken, who, having lost their religion, were Israelites in name only; and having no Father in God, nor interest in the Abrahamic promise, nor in the land of Israel, were just as much at home and just as much in fellowship with surrounding conditions and as well suited in religion in their new homes as they had been in the old. In a word, only twenty-eight thousand remained in the northern kingdom who even took pride in the name of Israel; and they, as we have seen, were in great part idolaters and out of relationship with God. When thinking of the ten tribes of Israel "scattered abroad," we should remember how few there were of them when the ten-tribe kingdom finally died. Whoever of them maintained his religious faith in God and observed circumcision in his family, thus maintained his membership as an Israelite. Others ceased entirely to be Israelites.

THE OVERTHROW OF ISRAEL A JUDGMENT OF THE LORD

Later on, when the two-tribe kingdom of Judah was also carried captive into Babylonia, the division lines were lost and the name Jews became dominant and synonymous with Israelites. Thus in our Lord's day he declared that his mission was to "the lost sheep of the House of Israel." So also the Apostle James later wrote respecting "the twelve tribes scattered abroad." Some of all the tribes were to be found loyal to God, in the surrounding nations and in the land of Israel. Those in foreign lands, we remember, came up to Jerusalem yearly to keep the feast of the Passover, and again to keep the Atonement Day celebration. These were not in any sense of the word lost, but merely scattered, as the Jews of today are scattered, in all parts of the world.

The overthrow of Israel, recounted in this study, we are directly told, was a judgment from the Lord. "Therefore [R4820 : page 153] the Lord was very angry with Israel and removed them out of his sight; there were none left but the tribe of Judah only.--2 Kings 17:18.

Sin tends to national destruction in a very natural way--by sapping the vitals of the people of the nation. But in Israel's case there was something more than this. God entered into a special Covenant with that nation by which he bound himself and they bound themselves. Israel agreed to be God's people, to serve and obey him faithfully; and God agreed that, if they would do so, he would specially favor them and look out for their interests, their flocks, their herds, their health, their prosperity; all were to be blessed so long as they were loyal and true. On the contrary, God specially pledged himself that if they as a people proved unfaithful to the Covenant, he would specially chastise them, punish them, deliver them to their enemies, etc. Thus Israel's prosperity or defeat indicated surely the Lord's favor or disfavor, in a manner not applicable to other nations.

Our lesson recounts the Lord's testimony against his people in which he points out wherein they had failed in their part of the Covenant. They had done things which they should not have done and had left undone things which they should have done. Nevertheless, the Lord testifies unto Israel and unto Judah through the prophets sent to them, "Turn ye from your evil way and keep my commandments and my statutes, according to the Law which I commanded your fathers and which I sent to you by my servants, the Prophets." God did his part, and more. Then we read, "Notwithstanding, they would not hear, but hardened their necks like the neck of their fathers, who believed not in the Lord their God." "A stiff neck" is used symbolically to represent a self-willed and rebellious attitude of heart.

DESTROYED WITHOUT REMEDY

Our text, taken from Proverbs, tells what will be the final outcome of any conflict between God and the sinner. If reproofs are not rightly received, if they do not have a corrective influence, they will have the opposite effect --the sinner will be the more obstinate and self-willed and opposed to God. The result of such a contest with the Almighty must mean their overthrow, their destruction --a destruction from which there is no recovery--no remedy. Whoever shall be remanded to the Second Death, there will be no hope for him.

But, thank God, this irremediable destruction of the Second Death will come only upon wilful evil-doers of the class mentioned in this text--often reproved and yet stiff-necked. Some of the Church might be classed in this category because of previous enlightenment, etc., enjoyed, but surely the world in general has not had such reproofs and such an intelligent understanding of the Lord as would make them properly amenable to the Second Death. And God purposes that every member of Adam's race must have this one full, complete privilege and opportunity for eternal life before he can be sentenced to the Second Death.

The philosophy of this is plain: Adamic death, which comes to all men as a result of Adam's sin and his condemnation as a sinner, is to be entirely wiped out, and Adam and all of his race are to be fully released from it. The right to set men free from that sentence was secured by the great Redeemer, Jesus, who offered up himself a corresponding price for all, to be testified in due time. This great fact has been testified to a comparatively small number during this Gospel Age--to such only as have an ear to hear and the seeing eye of faith. These only are set free from Adamic death now --and that not actually, but by faith, in order to permit them to become sanctified followers of Jesus.

An important fact, heretofore very generally overlooked, is that God's provision through the death of Jesus embraces every member of Adam's family as well as himself, and is the guarantee, to each and every member, of another chance or opportunity for harmony with God, aside from the one which Adam had and lost. Those of us who, as the Spirit-begotten Church, enjoy this favor in the present time, must not expect any further favor along this line in the future, for Christ dieth no more; and only one share in his redemptive work is provided for every member of the race. But so many as do not now hear and see and understand the grace of God, must be brought to a knowledge of this great truth. This includes the heathen as well as many residing in civilized lands, the eyes and ears of whose hearts have not seen nor heard the true message of Divine grace in Christ Jesus, and who, therefore, could not refuse him nor be refused by him thus far.

ISRAEL'S PROMISED RESTITUTION

When in the future all these people are brought to a knowledge of the Truth, the grace of God will be to them "a savor of life unto life, or of death unto death," as it is now to the Church.

The Israelites suffered the penalty for their failure as a nation; they were destroyed, but not without remedy. [R4820 : page 154] Indeed, the Bible tells us that in the end of this Age, as soon as the election of the Church shall have been completed and the First Resurrection accomplished, God's favor will return to Israel, the twelve tribes, and their regathering will be the first blessing to humanity under Messiah's glorious reign. The Lord's special promise is that he will gather them from the North Country, and from all the lands whithersoever he has scattered them, and that he will bring them into their own land.

St. Paul brings this matter to our attention very explicitly in his letter to the Romans. (11:25-32.) The logic of his argument should be carefully noted, including the fact that Natural Israel will receive mercy at the hands of Spiritual Israel--in the Kingdom.--Vs. 32.

The nation of Israel transgressed Divine commands, and was therefore worthy of punishment--but this did not signify that that nation would become alienated from the Divine mercy which God had already intended and had already promised through Abraham. The time for the beginning of that mercy did not arrive until seven centuries after the narrative of this lesson--not until Jesus came to die, the Just for the unjust, to bring us back to God as a race--to open up "a new and living way." Thus we read, "Christ brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel."

Neither Israel, in the days of Hoshea nor at any other time, nor any other nation, knew anything about the life and immortality which God purposed to proffer to mankind through the Redeemer in due time. As the Apostle again says, "This great salvation began to be spoken by our Lord and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him." --Heb. 2:3.

It is well for us to keep in memory that God's punishment for sin is death; that this punishment came upon Father Adam and his entire family because of sin; and that thus far all mankind have died because of Adam's sin. It is well for us to remember that it is because we were all thus dead in trespasses and in sins through Adam's disobedience that God provided the Savior and his redemptive work. It is well for us to remember that this work must be efficacious for every member of our race; and that only by having enjoyed his share in the Redeemer's sacrificial merit could anybody be consigned to the Second Death; and then it will be only on account of wilful, deliberate, intentional wrong doing. It is well for us to remember that the Second Death is the extreme penalty of the Divine Law, and not eternal torment, as many of us were mistaught to believe. "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."--Rom. 6:23.



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YOUR REASONABLE SERVICE
--JUNE 25.--

"What doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with thy God?"--Micah 6:8.
WHO could find fault with these requirements? Who could say that in setting such a standard for his creatures the Almighty required too much? On the other hand, how could we imagine a just and loving Heavenly Father requiring less than is here stipulated. God's law, variously stated, always amounts to the same thing. The statement of it, as given to the Jews at Mt. Sinai, embodied in the Decalogue, corresponds with this statement, as does also the presentation of it set forth by the great Teacher, saying, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy mind, soul and strength; and thy neighbor as thyself."

Many of us, after confessing with St. Paul that the Divine Law is holy and just and good, have been surprised to find that that which our minds heartily approve, we are unable to obey--to the full. For thirty-five hundred years the Jews have sought to keep that Divine Law, under the promise of eternal life for so doing, but none [R4821 : page 154] of them have been able to gain the prize. When as a nation they realize their inability, and not sooner, they will be ready to receive at God's hands, as a free gift through the Redeemer, the forgiveness of their violations of the Divine Law. And then, under their New Covenant (Jer. 31:31; Heb. 8:8-13), they will have Messiah's assistance in regaining that perfection of mind and body and a "new heart," which will enable them to obey in every particular the Divine Law, which all our minds recognize as just and true, but which, because of heredity, we are unable to perfectly obey in the flesh.

That blessing, which is soon to come to natural Israel, under Messiah's Kingdom and the New Covenant, will be extended through them, as the natural seed of Abraham, to every nation, kindred and tongue, in harmony with the Divine promise made to Abraham.

A different, although a corresponding favor, is now, in advance, bestowed upon a small class gathered from Jews and Gentiles, and Scripturally known as the "Church of the First-Borns, whose names are written in Heaven." These, in advance, realize their inability to keep the Divine Law, and by faith lay hold upon the Redeemer's merit and consecrate their all to God through him. In the Redeemer they are accepted of the Father; their heart endeavors for righteousness are recognized, and the flesh and its imperfections are renounced and counted as dead and are offset by the merit of the Redeemer. These are Scripturally classed as members of the Great Prophet, Priest, King and Mediator between God and men. The thought of our text will be completed when all the faithful, as members of the Messiah, "the little flock," shall be made joint-heirs with him, as "the Bride, the Lamb's Wife."

ANALYZING OUR SUBJECT

We may demonstrate to ourselves the truthfulness of the foregoing: What is it to do justly? It means much more than not to overcharge our neighbor for the goods he may purchase of us. It means much more than not to defraud him in the making of change. To deal justly means justice between servant and master, mistress and maid, buyer and seller--that we should do to others as we would that they should do to us; it means the strict following of the Golden Rule enjoined by the Great Teacher.

Applying this principle of justice to our words, it means that we should not speak evil of either friend or foe; that we should not even insinuate evil. It means that we should not tell unnecessarily what we know to be the truth, if it would harm our neighbor, disparage him and discredit him in the eyes of others. It means that we should love our neighbor and his interests as we love our own, and should defend his interests and guard them as carefully as we would our own.

Justice, in order to thus operate in our words and deeds, must operate in our hearts--in our minds. "As [R4821 : page 155] a man thinketh, so is he." If he thinks unkindly, ungenerously, unjustly, he will find it impossible always to avoid unkind, unjust, unloving words or actions. "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." It follows, then, that to do justly signifies absolute righteousness in thought, in word, in conduct. Of this none of us is capable. The nearest approach to this is the perfect or just intention of the heart, covenanted by all those who become followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. The intentions and good endeavors of these are accepted of the Father. As for the world, it will require long years of assistance and uplifting out of weaknesses and imperfections of the flesh to bring them to where their thoughts, words and deeds will be absolutely just and in full accordance with the Golden Rule. Their attainment of this will mean their getting rid of all the imperfections of the flesh and, by full restitution, returning to the image and likeness of God lost in Adam.

TO LOVE MERCY

All recognize mercy as a very proper, a very desirable quality. All realize their need of Divine mercy. All should know that the Divine purpose is that only those who show mercy to others will themselves receive mercy at the Lord's hands. Many, however, while admitting all this and while seeking to practice mercy, do not love it. Rather, they love vengeance, and are merely constrained to mercy by the laws of the land, public sentiment and the Word of God. Time and again this has been shown in the case of lynchings. Mobs have gathered for the infliction of punishment, glad of an opportunity for setting aside mercy and letting loose justice, as they might express it. And in those mobs have been many guilty of perhaps as great crimes as the one who was mobbed. "O, consistency, thou art a jewel!"

WALK HUMBLY WITH THY GOD

By a strange perversity of our fallen nature, those most able and willing to follow the first two requirements are apt to be the most delinquent in this third requirement. In a word, the just and merciful are very apt to find themselves possessed of a spirit of pride, a feeling of superiority to their fellows, a hindrance to their having a humble walk with God. Those most humble toward the Almighty are frequently those who have had great sins and great weaknesses, which have helped to humble them. Thus the great Apostle, St. Paul, was allowed to retain a measure of visual weakness as a reminder of the time when he was a persecutor of Christ--of the "Church which is his Body"--as a reminder of how the grace of God apprehended him on the way to Damascus, and that without the Divine interposition he might have continued hopelessly blind.

The Apostle refers to his weakness of eyes as a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan permitted to buffet him. The Lord declined to remove the affliction, doubtless because it would keep the Apostle humble enough to attend properly to the great work God had for him to do without being puffed up to his own injury. The Divine message was, "My grace is sufficient for thee; my strength is made perfect in weakness." Realizing the import of this the Apostle cried out, "Rather, therefore, will I glory in mine infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon me."

And so may all God's people, while realizing their inability to live up to these Divine requirements, rejoice in the Divine provision on their behalf that God's grace is sufficient for them, where their weakness is recognized and confessed and abhorred, and his mercy appreciated, sought and accepted.



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BIBLE STUDY CLASS-EXTENSION

AS WE have recognized the growth of grace and knowledge amongst the Brethren in the various Bible Study Classes we have thought and prayed over the matter of their usefulness as laborers in the Vineyard. At first the Society encouraged and assisted several of the Brethren in outside work. However, as others made application for similar recognition we soon saw that the Society would be in danger of getting into trouble, either by endorsing and assisting some not worthy, or in failing to assist some who were worthy. And anyway, the attempt of the Society has always been to follow the Apostolic injunction, "Without partiality and without hypocrisy."--James 3:17.

We therefore withdrew all special co-operation outside the regular Pilgrim force, whose names appear on the last page of THE WATCH TOWER or are specially announced. We cannot shirk responsibility for these, and, without wishing to cultivate a captious or critical or fault-finding spirit, we now say that we earnestly request that the dear members of the Society everywhere shall report anything in the conduct or teachings of the Pilgrims which to them may appear contrary to the instructions of the Word--at variance with the "faith once delivered to the saints." Do not discuss such matters slanderously, but report them kindly and lovingly to the Head Office at Brooklyn-- "Pilgrim Department." It does not follow that we will agree with you and censure the Pilgrim. But as the Pilgrims represent the Society it is proper that we should know the influence of their lives and any peculiarity of their teachings. This would not be in the nature of slander unless the narrator attempted to color the facts and to make out a case of condemnation.

THE NEW EXTENSION PLAN

About six months ago a plan developed by which we believe the Society will be able to co-operate with hundreds of dear Brethren in the exercise of their talents in the spread of the Truth. This plan, so far as we can see, is as free from objection of every kind as any human plan could be. It will make the different classes responsible for the Extension Work, and the Society will thus be working through and in conjunction with the classes. It is not a plan by which one class will undertake to shepherd another or several classes indefinitely. It is our thought that we expect Divine Providence gradually to raise up in each class Elder Brothers who would be thoroughly competent to care for the local interests, and before long be able also to engage in the Extension Work. The plan we suggest relates only to Extension, as follows:

(1) Any class is invited to join in this Extension movement provided it has amongst its regularly chosen [R4822 : page 155] Elders a sufficient amount of talent available for outside work, without jeopardizing the welfare and prosperity of the class.

(2) If a class have a superfluity of ability amongst its Elders, more than is necessary for its own proper prosperity, it should consider its own surrounding territory in which there are no classes, and should select several fields for active service. The class should designate which of its Elders it believes to be well qualified for the giving of three Chart Talks, and which of its Elders [R4822 : page 156] would be qualified to give three Talks afterward on the Day of Judgment, Ransom and Restitution, and the Manner of the Lord's Coming. The Society is prepared to supply Charts for such use, and also a little pamphlet for such speakers, giving outlines for three Chart Discourses --the same to be filled out by the speaker. The three succeeding Talks could be given very much along the lines of the presentation in STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, or those Chapters might be read after thorough study and practice, if that prove the most advantageous method.

At the conclusion of each discourse the following one should be announced and the hearers and their friends cordially invited. At the closing of the third Chart Talk, the speaker should announce the name and topic of the Brother who would speak on the following Sunday, making such interesting and voluntary comments as the situation would permit. At the close of the second speaker's three meetings it would be well to inquire how many of the audience felt sufficient interest in Bible Study along dispensational lines to come together regularly as a class of Bible Students. The speaker should explain the Berean Study Classes and should counsel as respects the most suitable time and place for such classes, and should promise that, if desired, the class sending him would send some one of their number to assist them until they should get started in these Berean Studies and be able to make progress by themselves, etc.

(3) The getting up of these Extension Classes would involve labor and expense. Sometimes court-houses, sometimes the school-room, sometimes the Church lecture-room, sometimes an unused chapel, sometimes a picture theatre, sometimes a conservatory of music--as the case may be--is obtainable. Quite frequently those in charge--learning that the meetings are for Bible Study, and that no admission fee is charged, and that no collection is lifted--are willing to give the premises free, or with a nominal charge for the janitor's service or light or heat, etc. Sometimes a small price must be paid. But in any event it should be thoroughly understood that from three to six meetings are purposed and are to be advertised for successive Sundays. And payment should be made in advance and a receipt secured, so that there might be no misunderstanding before the advertising matter would be prepared for circulation.

(4) In connection with all such meetings the Society is glad to co-operate. It will furnish free copies of Everybody's Paper, on the back of which will be an announcement of the Chart Talks for each of the first three Sundays. Everything will be complete except the name of the meeting-place and the dates. These could be printed in by a local printer at a very small cost, or could be stamped on with a rubber stamp. The circulation of these papers will mean the distribution of many sermons, which may do good work, aside from those who will be drawn to the public gathering. We will supply these in proportion of one to every six of the English-speaking population of any town, district or city, upon application. The population figures include children, and one in six would generally represent the number of families.

The expenses for the meetings the classes are usually able to bear, and the traveling expenses for close-by towns is small. However, the Society will be pleased to co-operate with any classes not prepared to bear the full expenses of these meetings, provided the report sent in seems to justify the expenditure. In making such a report the class, through its Secretary, should give us particulars and say what proportion of expense the class is prepared to bear and how much money it would be necessary for the Society to contribute, in order to carry out the programme.

(5) The Society does not wish to deal with the speakers directly, but prefers that they should be responsible to the Ecclesia which sends them forth, even as Paul and Barnabas were sent forth, first by the Church at Corinth, and made their reports directly thereto. The Society prefers to have reports monthly, on the printed blank which we supply, through the duly elected Secretary of the Class.

(6) All correspondence (except such as is strictly personal and could be attended to only by Brother Russell) should be addressed International Bible Students Association, care of Extension Dep't. All correspondence on this subject should be addressed in America to the Brooklyn Tabernacle; in Great Britain to the London Tabernacle; in Australia to Melbourne, and in the Scandinavian and German countries to their respective offices.

(7) What we have said foregoing in respect to English meetings may be applied equally in respect to services in other languages in proportion as opportunities permit.

THIS WORK ALREADY COMMENCED

We have already made a trial along the above lines. Some seem not to have gotten our thought fully on some points. Nevertheless the good work has already commenced. We have already reports from 145 classes. And already 512 meetings have been held, with 16,392 in attendance, as shown by reports up to April 1. Let the good work go on wisely, moderately, lovingly, zealously! The harvest is great; the laborers are few in comparison to the great field to be reaped.

Let us emphasize again in respect to all communications on every subject--that the Society, and not individuals, should be addressed, and, if convenient, the Department should be indicated on the envelope. Letters otherwise addressed will be more or less likely to fail of prompt attention; individuals may be sick or absent, but the Departments remain, and always give prompt attention.



[R4822 : page 156]

LOOSING THE FOUR WINDS OF HEAVEN

OUR recent visit to Europe revealed no more unrest amongst the people than our previous one. Indeed, we were surprised to find so many evidences of prosperity everywhere and so few manifestations of violent discontent. Some residents confirmed this view, while others thought that there is a deep undercurrent of discontent not manifest on the surface. Our readers know that for some years we have been expecting this Age to close with an awful time of trouble, and we expect it to break out with suddenness and force not long after October, 1914, which, so far as we can understand the Scriptures, is the date at which the Times of the Gentiles --the lease of earth's dominions to the Gentiles--will expire; the time, therefore, when Messiah's Kingdom will be due to begin its exercise of power, which the Scriptures declare will dash the nations in pieces as a potter's vessel. By that time we think the Scriptures indicate that the Church will be complete and will have passed beyond the second veil into the "most holy" and to perfection of spirit nature by a share in the First Resurrection. Nevertheless, how this is all to come about, as we have heretofore declared, is not plain to us--how it will be that all of the Church class will die before that date, changed in the moment of their dying, "in the twinkling of an eye."

But while considering these perplexities, and considering [R4822 : page 157] also the fact that we have no fault to find with the chronological features of the Bible, our mind is directed to an old Scripture which suddenly seems to have a new importance. We refer to the statement, "I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree....Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads."--Rev. 7:1-3.

We have long seen that these symbolic winds represent strife, anarchy, the great time of trouble which is held in check by Divine power until the completion of the harvest work--the sealing of the living members of the elect class with Present Truth. We long ago pointed out that these four winds, let loose, coming together, will constitute a whirlwind, which is the symbolical figure used in the Bible to represent the great time of trouble approaching. And this whirlwind corresponds to the typical one by which Elijah, the prototype of the Church, was taken away. Winds also represent false doctrines.-- Ephesians 4:14.

"THE PRINCE OF THE POWER OF THE AIR"

Nothing that we see further contradicts any of the foregoing, but rather, corroborating it, throws a light upon it. The additional thought is that these winds or powers of the air, held in restraint, represent the fallen angels, whose Prince is Satan, "the Prince of the power of the air." Our thought is that the evil angels would long ago have done injury to the symbolical earth, sea and trees, had it not been for the restraint of Divine power. Symbolically, the earth represents organized society; the sea represents the disorganized masses, and the trees [R4823 : page 157] represent the household of faith. The letting loose suddenly of the fallen angels will account well for the suddenness of the coming trouble, which everywhere in the Scriptures is one of its particular features--"in one hour"; "suddenly as travail upon a woman"; "as it was in the days of Noah," and "as it was in the days of Lot."

Again there is a resemblance between the days of Noah and the days of Lot, not merely in respect to the suddenness of the calamity which came, but also in regard to the violence and licentiousness of those periods. Already human prejudice and passions are manifesting a heat such as never before was known--and this, notwithstanding the much greater provision of army and police regulations for the control of society. If discontent, selfishness, passion, frenzy, can sway mankind under present conditions, what may we expect when the "powers of the air" shall be allowed to gain a temporary liberty for the very purpose of manifesting the evil tendencies of the unregenerate heart; for the very purpose of demonstrating that no liberty can bring true happiness, except that which is in full accord with the Divine requirement?



[R4823 : page 157]

"THE CHURCH OF THE FIRST-BORNS"

"The General Assembly of the Church of the First-borns."--Heb. 12:22,23.
THE Church of the First-borns" is not to be confounded with the Church of the First Resurrection. The word first, in the phrase First Resurrection, signifies better, superior. The First Resurrection includes only the Lord and "the Church, which is his Body"; in other words, the Bride Class. But in this glorified Church of the First-borns are included all those who are born of the Spirit. Those who are to be of the spirit nature will be those who have been developed throughout the Gospel Age--before God's favor goes to the world. This Church of the First-borns includes all who come into covenant relationship with God before the New Covenant is put into force. Some will have part (an inferior part, however, to that of the Church) with the great "High Priest of our Profession" in instituting the New Covenant. They will all have some share with him in dispensing the blessings of the New Covenant to all the families of the earth--to Israel first, and then to all nations.

"YE ARE COME UNTO MT. ZION, THE HEAVENLY JERUSALEM"

This Church of the First-borns is prophetically pictured in the Old Testament in connection with the Passover. In that night when all the first-born of Egypt were slain, all of the first-born of Israel were passed over. These escaped because of the blood on the lintels of their houses and because of their partaking of the lamb within. We know that afterward all of the first-born of Israel were exchanged for the one tribe of Levi; and that this tribe was separated or divided into two parts--one a priestly class and the other a servant class. The former were called Priests; the latter Levites; though, of course, all were Levites. These two classes were types of the Church of the Gospel Age.

"But ye are come unto Mount Zion, and unto the City of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem; to the General Assembly of the Church of the First-borns." (Heb. 12:22,23.) More properly we understand this to signify that we have approached--this is that to which we are coming--it is in sight. Some have already reached it. Our Lord has reached the goal. And some others of the First-borns have also reached the goal; and some of us have not yet reached it. But this is what we are approaching. We shall all have come into power and into our place in the Divine Plan, at the close of this Gospel Age. Thereupon will follow the "time of trouble" with which this Age will end, typified by the trembling of the mountain of Sinai. Then, in the same connection, we read that we are approaching an innumerable company of angels.

The Apostle seems to be here setting before us the glories of the future. Not only shall we see our Heavenly Father and our Heavenly Lord, and be ushered into the Assembly of the Church of the First-borns, but we shall be ushered into the presence of an innumerable company of angels. These are the angels who encamp around about those that fear the Lord and deliver them. (Psa. 34:7.) They are sent to be ministers for those who shall be heirs of salvation. (Heb. 1:14.) They have been with us here overseeing our interests; and it will be part of our joy on the spirit plane to make their acquaintance. If the Apostle had neglected to mention these, we would think it strange; for he is enumerating the things to which we are approaching.

Thus we see that the Church of the First-borns includes the "Great Company" of the Levites as thoroughly as it includes the smaller company of the Priests. As the Levites had no inheritance in the land, so not only the "Little Flock" but also the "Great Company," the servant class, the companions of the Bride, have no share in the earthly inheritance, but will have a share in the heavenly inheritance.



[R4824 : page 158]

ALL THINGS TO ALL MEN--WINNING SOME

WE ARE well aware how our foes seek to put an evil construction upon everything the Editor says and does. The Adversary is continually on the alert to take advantage of human weaknesses, prejudices, etc., and to slander, malign and suggest evil in respect to everything. Our Lord called attention to this in his own case. He says that when John the Baptist came living an abstemious life the people said, "He hath a devil and is mad." And when the Son of Man came eating and drinking, they said, "Behold a gluttonous person, a wine-bibber." In a word, there is nothing that either God or his people can do that the Adversary, "the accuser of the Brethren," and those who have his fault-finding spirit, cannot use as an occasion for fault-finding. "As he was, so are we in the world."

Those out of harmony with the Gospel we preach, and those of a jealous spirit are grieved to note the blessing of the Lord connected with the Harvest work. The very blessing for which we have been striving for forty years, and the very blessing which we know from the Scriptures can last but a brief time, excites our foes to envy, anger, hatred, slander. They convince themselves that everything we may do to co-operate with the Lord in the attainment of the wide publicity of the Truth must be evil. Thus we are charged with pride and ambition, etc., because we are making use of business methods to promulgate the "good tidings."

We quote St. Paul's words, "It is a light thing that I should be judged of you or of any man; yea, I judge not mine own self. There is one that judgeth me, even God." We think it not worth while to give explanations to our foes respecting our reasons for permitting our portrait in the newspapers, on the bill-boards, etc.; nor need we explain to them why we wear a silk hat. It is none of their business. And if they were as decent as worldly people in the matter of minding their own business, it would be to their advantage, both for the present and for the future life. They should remember St. Paul's advice, "Study to be quiet and to mind your own business."--I Thess. 4:11.

To our friends we say, We have changed in no particular. Our decided preference would be for a very quiet life. It is painfully annoying to us to be so prominently in the public eye. We could easily end it all and drop back again into obscurity. Why do we not do so? Because, to our understanding, that would not be God's arrangement. We believe that it is of him that the Truth has a flare-up of popularity at this time--to be followed very shortly, we believe, with an apparently disastrous climax, which will be all the more hard to bear because of the wide-spread publicity. As it was only five days between the time when the people cried, "Hosanna," before our Lord, until they crucified him, so we expect no real popularity from the world, nor from the chief priests, scribes and Pharisees of our day, without its reaction.

Although thus expecting we are using the present opportunity for all that it is worth and are not shunning to declare the whole counsel of God as wisely and as lovingly, yet as faithfully, as we know how. We leave our case and that of our traducers in the hands of the Lord and will be satisfied with his decision.

When God's time shall come to say, "It is enough!" we will be glad to experience the promised "change." But meantime we will count our afflictions as light as possible and rejoice in them and in all of our experiences. Neither the slander nor other oppositions of our enemies shall swerve us from the path which we believe is marked out for us by our Lord.--Matthew 5:11,12; 11:18,19.



[R4823 : page 158]

"SUFFER LITTLE CHILDREN TO COME"

PARENTS HAVE INQUIRED on several occasions respecting their children and how they should in some manner indicate that they had dedicated them to the Lord. We, of course, declined to baptize the infants, because such a course would have been contrary to the Word of God--because baptism is therein stated to be for believers-- an outward expression or symbolization of their consecration to the service of the Lord, even unto death, and of their faith that, so doing, they would be sharers with the Lord in the likeness of his resurrection.

However, we remembered how Samuel in childhood had been presented to the Lord in consecration, and of how our own parents had told us that they had devoted us to the Lord and his service in infancy, and of how all Jewish boys were, in a sense, set apart to holiness, in harmony with the Lord's will. We remembered also how children were brought to Jesus by their parents, that he should bless them or pray a blessing upon them. We remember that the disciples thought this too insignificant a work for the Master and were sending them away, when Jesus called to them, saying, "Suffer (permit) the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not; for of such is the Kingdom of God." (Mark 10:14.) We gave notice that hereafter we will have a Child-Blessing Service in the evening of each Sunday we are in Brooklyn. And we see no reason why we may not extend this opportunity to any who desire it on the occasion of our visit to any of the classes--in conjunction with the less public meeting.

It is our opinion that the influence of this service upon the parents and upon the children will be favorable, impressing upon the former their responsibilities. The fact that the children have been formally devoted to God in public may assist the parents in fulfilling their obligations and later assist the children as they shall come to a knowledge of the fact that they were thus committed to Divine care by their parents.

Nothing in this, however, should be understood as signifying a law, or even an obligation or custom. It is arranged merely for the convenience of those who desire it. Nor need such a service be performed merely by one person. Anyone serving as a minister of the Truth would, at the request of the parents of an infant, be fully justified in thus publicly stating the matter and asking the Divine blessing.


THUS MAY HE BLESS AND KEEP THEE

NUMBERS 6:24.

The Lord bless thee!
How shall he bless thee?
With the gladness that knoweth no decay;
With the riches that cannot pass away;
With the sunshine that makes an endless day--
Thus may he bless thee!

And keep thee!
How shall he keep thee?
With the all-covering shadow of his wings;
With the strong love that guards from evil things;
With the sure power that safe to glory brings--
Thus may he keep thee!



[R4824 : page 159]

THE MEMORIAL CELEBRANTS

THE reports of the celebration of the Memorial Supper this year have come in much more satisfactorily than on any previous occasion. The total number celebrating the Memorial reported up to this writing is ten thousand five hundred and seventy. We will probably hear later from a sufficient number to run this total to twelve thousand.

Many will be interested to know how the different Ecclesias stand numerically. For their satisfaction we append the numbers from fifty upward. These numbers, as a whole, of course, are very small, as compared with the large organizations of Christendom, but we believe that they represent such as have really made quite full and intelligent consecration of their lives to God, such as are able to give a reason for the hope that is in them, in meekness and reverence. We must assume that of our thirty to fifty thousand WATCH TOWER readers more than the aforementioned number partook of the Memorial Bread and Cup, but why they failed to report we cannot understand. So far as we have knowledge the Lord's people have never had, in late years at least, a celebration of deeper spiritual significance, nor one more thoroughly appreciated, both as respects the merit of our Lord's death and our pledge to partake of his cup.

PARTICIPANTS IN LARGER ECCLESIAS

Brooklyn, N.Y., 461; Chicago, Ill., 390; Pittsburg, Pa., 330; Boston, Mass., 280; Philadelphia, Pa., 175; Los Angeles, Cal., 175; Cleveland, Ohio, 145; Washington, D.C., 133; St. Paul, Minn., 120; St. Louis, Mo., 114; Seattle, Wash., 110; Toronto, Ont., 110; Providence, R.I., 105; Dayton, Ohio, 97; Indianapolis, Ind., 96; Buffalo, N.Y., 85; Detroit, Mich., 83; Bristol, Eng., 80; Cincinnati, Ohio, 77; Oakland, Cal., 76; Sheffield, Eng., 73; Orebro, Sweden, 72; Stockholm, Sweden, 72; Lancaster, Pa., 71; Columbus, Ohio, 70; Lynn, Mass., 68; Toledo, Ohio, 65; Kingston, Jamaica, 63; Portland, Ore., 62; San Antonio, Tex., 61; Baltimore, Md., 60; Springfield, Mass., 58; Kansas City, Mo., 58; Pasadena, Cal., 56; Binghamton, N.Y., 55; Houston, Texas, 55; Richmond, Va., 55; Camberwell, Jamaica, 53; Spokane, Wash., 53; Atlanta, Ga., 51; Birmingham, Ala., 50.

Additional reports from England have just been received and are as follows: London Tabernacle and suburban districts, 515; Manchester, Eng., 140; Liverpool, Eng., 67. The report from Glasgow, Scotland, is delayed. It should be in the neighborhood of 300. If matters progress as we hope, there will probably be over 500 next year reporting from Travancore District, India. We will hope also for some reports from Africa. Meantime we remark that two of the above reports are from Jamaica, the classes being composed almost exclusively of negroes. The Lord be praised for the encouragement of numbers, but specially for the evidences of spiritual prosperity!



[R4824 : page 159]

THE COLPORTEUR WORK PROSPERING

GLAD ARE WE to report that the Colporteur Work is showing a considerable improvement this year in America. The dear laborers in this part of the Harvest field are taking fresh courage, as we hoped they would. The Swedish field is also yielding good results. We are hoping for fresh enthusiasm in Norway, Denmark, Germany and Great Britain, where there seems to have been a slacking of the hands and a weariness in well-doing and a fainting by the way.

We have every reason to believe that the present year may be one of the best ever known in the harvest work. The religious public are becoming more and more awake to the necessity for some clearer light upon God's Word, and prejudice seems to be giving way to reason, except with a bigoted few, with whom the Lord will have, doubtless, some other way of dealing in his own due time.

The field in Great Britain appears to us as most fertile. We find that the printing and binding there can be done more cheaply still than here. And this means that the British, where times appear to be stringent, can be supplied with cloth-bound Volumes at One Shilling per copy, and the Colporteurs can have them at one-half of this, plus carriage. This extremely low price should greatly augment the circulation of STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES in Great Britain. And the financial stringency there should make the people the more anxious for the reading matter, which will explain to them why creation groans at present and also of the glorious arrangement of the Divine Plan for its relief.

We know of no more important part of the harvest work than that served by the dear Colporteurs. A very large proportion of those now enjoying "Present Truth" have had it thus brought to their notice. In this way many can be reached who could never be reached through the public platform; many who never attend religious services, and yet are hungering for the Truth, have it thus brought to their attention. The wide publication of the sermons seems to be helping to pave the way for the Colporteurs. Many of the unprejudiced purchase at once upon learning that Pastor Russell is the Author of the Books.



[R4825 : page 159]

WESTERN ITINERARY SERVICES
Date.                  City.
Friday,   June  9, Cleveland, O.............................
Saturday,   "  10, Indianapolis, Ind........................
Sunday,     "  11, St. Louis, Mo............................
Tuesday,    "  13, Kansas City, Mo..........................
Thursday,   "  15, Wichita, Kans............................
Friday,     "  16, Pueblo, Colo.............................
Saturday,   "  17, Colorado Springs, Colo...................
Sunday,     "  18, Denver, Colo.............................
Wednesday,  "  21, Salt Lake City, Utah.....................
Friday,     "  23, Los Angeles, Cal.........................
Saturday,   "  24, Santa Cruz, Cal..........................
Sunday,     "  25, San Francisco, Cal.......................
Monday,     "  26, Oakland, Cal.............................
Tuesday,    "  27, Sacramento, Cal..........................
Thursday,   "  29, Portland, Ore............................
Saturday, July  1, Tacoma, Wash.............................
Sunday,     "   2, Seattle, Wash............................
Tuesday,    "   4, Victoria, B.C............................
Wednesday,  "   5, Vancouver, B.C...........................
Friday,     "   7, Calgary, Alta............................
Sunday,     "   9, Winnipeg, Man............................
Tuesday,    "  11, Duluth, Minn.............................
Sunday,     "  16, Toronto, Ont.............................

--FOR THE INTERESTED--
Time.         Place.
............................................................
2:30 p.m., K. of P. Auditorium..............................
9:30 a.m., The Odeon, Grand & Finney Aves...................
2:30 p.m., Evanston Hall, 1013 Holmes St....................
10:00 a.m., Crawford Theater, Topeka & William..............
3:00 p.m., Grand Opera House, 47 Main.......................
2:30 p.m., Temple Theatre, Nevada & Kiowa...................
10:00 a.m., Woodman Hall, 1715 Cal. St......................
10:30 a.m., Knights Columbus Hall, E. 1st So. St............
10:30 a.m., Elks' Old Hall, 231 Spring St...................
10:00 a.m., Hackley Hall....................................
10:00 a.m., Lyric Hall, 513 Larkin St.......................
10:00 a.m. & 2:00 p.m., First Baptist Church, Telegraph Ave.
2:00 p.m., Redman's Hall., 10th St., bet. I & J.............
10:30 a.m., & 2:30 p.m., I.O.O.F. Hall, E. 6th & E. Alder...
10:00 a.m., & 3:00 p.m., Masonic Temple, 736 St. Helens Ave.
10:00 a.m., Faurot's Assembly Hall, East Pine...............
10:00 a.m., Broad St. Hall..................................
9:30 a.m., I.O.O.F. Hall, Pender & Hamilton.................
10:00 a.m. & 2:00 p.m., Eagle Hall, 1st St. W...............
10:30 a.m., Odd Fellows' Temple, Kennedy St.................
9:30 a.m., The Auditorium, 3d Ave. E. & 1st St..............
10:00 a.m., Broadway Hall, 450 Spadina Ave..................

--FOR THE PUBLIC--
Time.                     Place.

7:30 p.m., B. of L. E. Audit'm, St. Clair & Ont.
8:00 p.m., K. of P. Auditorium.
3:00 p.m., The Odeon, Grand & Finney.
7:30 p.m., Convention Hall, 13th & Central Sts.
7:30 p.m., Crawford Theatre, Topeka & William.
7:30 p.m., Grand Opera House, 4th & Main Sts.
7:45 p.m., Temple Theatre, Nevada & Kiowa.
3:00 p.m., Auditorium Theatre, 14th & Curtis Sts.
7:30 p.m., Salt Lake Theatre, State & 1st So. Sts.
7:30 p.m., Auditorium, 5th & Olive Sts.
3:00 p.m., Casino Theatre.
3:00 p.m., Dreamland Rink, Steiner St.
7:30 p.m., First Baptist Church, Telegraph Av.
7:30 p.m., Clunie Theatre, K St., bet. 8th & 9th.
7:30 p.m., Armory, 10th, 11th, Couch & Davis.
7:30 p.m., Tacoma Theatre, 9th & C Sts.
3:00 p.m., Dreamland Pavilion, 7th Ave. & Union.
8:00 p.m., A.O.U.W. Hall, Blanchard & Yates.
7:30 p.m., Vancouver Horse Show Bldg.
8:00 p.m., Al Azhar Temple, 506 17th Ave. West.
3:00 p.m., Walker Theatre.
7:30 p.m., The Auditorium.
3:00 p.m., Massey Hall, Shuter & Victoria Sts.



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