page 353
December 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

VOL. XXXVIDECEMBER 1No. 23

A. D. 1915--A.M. 6044


CONTENTS

View From The Watch Tower355
War May End in Exhaustion355
Proper Mortification of the Body356
Improper Mortification of the Flesh356
No Second Probation for the Church357
Editor's Answers to Interesting Questions358
Two Ordinations--One of God, One of Man358
Decorum in the House of God360
Consideration of Rights of Others361
Punctuality a Mark of Character361
God's Love for Israel361
A Little Talk by the Way362
The Apostle's Loving Counsel362
Looking on the Things of Others363
Interesting Letters364
"Before Afflicted, I Went Astray"364
The Progress of Three Months364
Your Good Hopes for 1916365
"Watch Tower" Subscriptions366

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 354

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 AND TRACT SOCIETY
CHARLES T. RUSSELL, PRESIDENT
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BETHEL HYMNS FOR JANUARY

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 January follow:

(1) 34; (2) 302; (3) 303; (4) 84; (5) 67; (6) 6; (7) 105; (8) 102; (9) 155; (10) 15; (11) 280; (12) 188; (13) 332; (14) 113; (15) 153; (16) 10; (17) 19; (18) 144; (19) 130; (20) 95; (21) 194; (22) 267; (23) 196; (24) 249; (25) 229; (26) 283; (27) 4; (28) 145; (29) 28; (30) 8; (31) 207.



A POPULAR BOOKLET ON HELL


No other booklet is so much in demand as the one entitled, "WHAT SAY THE SCRIPTURES ABOUT HELL?" We have these now in good supply at 5 cents each. By the dozen, in booklet, 50 cents; in TOWER form, 40 cents per dozen, 25 for 75 cents, $2.00 per hundred, postpaid.



[R5805 : page 355]

VIEW FROM THE WATCH TOWER

WAR MAY END IN EXHAUSTION

THE renowned German Socialist paper Vorwaerts calls on warring nations to announce their aims and makes the following stirring appeal:

"Premier Asquith's exposition of the objects of the war last Fall was lacking in clearness and full of phrases, but at any rate, it was more specific than his assurance now that England is determined to continue the war to a successful end and to exhaust all her resources to attain the common highest goal. Less hazy is France's new man, Briand, in stating the object of driving the enemy out of the occupied provinces, including Alsace-Lorraine; but Briand, too, soon loses himself in clouds of rhetoric when he says that France will not make peace till justice is reestablished by victory and all the guarantees of a lasting peace obtained.

"One would think that after fifteen months of the world's most terrible war, statesmen would be able to give a more specific answer to the question, and make it clearer to the peoples for what purpose they are shedding their blood--what goal has been set, and for what prize they are struggling. The defense of the Fatherland, freedom, justice, kultur--all that no longer suffices today. These are words which each may interpret as he likes, and it is really high time to speak more intelligently and to the point.

"It seems almost as though both parties to the war feared to betray their plans to each other, for it is not only France and England that shroud their war goal and peace conditions in fog; the German Government is no less reticent; and still more, whenever expressing itself as to the purposes of the war, confines itself to generalities which may be in place in firing soldiers with courage before a charge, but which do not serve to disseminate the necessary clarity as to Germany's final intentions, either at home or abroad.

"Stories about peace wishes and peace efforts of the German Government are being officially branded as false. Von Bulow is in Switzerland for rest and recreation, and Solf [the Colonial Secretary] only wants to visit his dear friends in Holland and once again eat good white bread. It isn't true, either, that the imperial Chancellor, in presence of Tom, Dick, or Harry, named the acquisition of Belgium to the Meuse line, the annexation of Courland, and 30,000,000,000 marks indemnity as peace conditions. Well, for the past twelve months we have heard what isn't true; can they take it badly of us if we would like for once to hear what is true, what the German Government really does consider its object in the war game?

"It cannot be the case forever that battle after battle is fought, that great armies are led against one another in new theatres of war, without the people learning what has been attained, and what still must be achieved in order that the peace bells may ring.

"The others, they tell us, must sue for peace, for we are the victors; but unfortunately the others don't consider themselves vanquished, and no result is reached. The war continues indefinitely because both parties fear to place limits to their demands and speak them out for fear that the announcement of the object for which they are fighting will be interpreted as a sign of weakness. It may go so far that this war will end with the complete exhaustion of all parties, because no one cared to say under what specific conditions it was prepared to end it. If this is to be prevented, then all the Governments must at least leave the realm of rhetorical generalities, and confess their concrete programs, and if, confused by the changing fortunes of war, they are not able any longer to picture to themselves clearly the objects of the war, let them open up the floodgates of public discussion. Then we shall soon have clarity and, we hope, peace."


***

Too much courage, too much pride, is surely leading those in control of the world's affairs--in harmony with the Divine prediction--on to exhaustion. We behold the ripe manhood, the flower of Europe, going down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat--the Valley of Death--the cemetery valley of Jerusalem. (Joel 3:2,12.) And while we see the wealth of the world being wasted, our hearts would be so very, very sick if we did not have the assurance of God's Word respecting the grand outcome of universal blessing through Messiah's Kingdom, which is to follow the great turmoil of Armageddon! Well did Jesus predict that men's hearts would be failing them for fear and for looking after the things approaching! Well did He say to us as His followers, "When ye see these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your deliverance draweth nigh!" (Luke 21:25-28.) We rejoice not in the trouble, which surely saddens every tender heart. But we do rejoice that, since the world will be prepared for the grand change of government in no other way than through "a Time of Trouble such as never was since there was a nation" (Daniel 12:1; Matthew 24:21), Messiah is about to stand forth, clothed with Divine power, to take to Himself His great power and reign for the blessing of all the families of the earth.



PROPER MORTIFICATION OF THE BODY

"For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die; but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live."-- Romans 8:13.
MANY times have the children of the Lord read these words of the Apostle. Many times have His true saints pondered over their solemn import. Many times, too, have those less saintly read them, and instead of taking the lesson to themselves, have applied it to their worldly neighbors and allowed the lesson to lose its force upon themselves. But the most saintly of God's people need, as the Prophet declared of Israel of old, "precept upon precept, line upon line, here a little and there a little." (Isaiah 28:10,13.) Our poor earthen vessels are very leaky and fragile, and need constant replenishment from the great Fountain of Truth and Life.

So let us again ponder over these gracious words of the Lord's mouthpiece and have their lesson impressed more deeply upon our minds. St. Paul is here addressing the Church of Christ only. He is not addressing the world. The Church have entered into a solemn Covenant with the Lord to lay down in sacrifice earthly things, the earthly nature. The Apostle assures us that if we succeed in faithfully laying down our earthly life with all its hopes and prospects, we shall live. It is not merely that we shall covenant at the beginning of our Christian course to do this, but we must carry out to its completion this mortification of our body--the deeds of the body.

The body with its deeds represents all the human interests--not merely the weaknesses and infirmities of our fallen condition, and our sinful tendencies. Those, of course, we are to mortify. We are to deaden these at once, as far as is possible. But we are also to sacrifice the earthly interests which are not sinful, but which [R5806 : page 356] would prevent our attainment of the glorious hope set before us, which would in any degree handicap us in the Heavenly race. Are we all doing this day by day? As we mingle with others and come into contact with the world and its influences, as we engage in the affairs of life, are we continually mortifying the deeds of the body? Are we crucifying the flesh? Are we dying daily to the things of earth? Are we living more and more fully each day as New Creatures in Christ?

IMPROPER MORTIFICATION OF THE FLESH

Day by day we shall find opportunities to mortify the deeds of our flesh; and this we must do, if we would live and grow as New Creatures. Some very mistaken notions are held by many in the world as to the proper mortification of the body. Some of our Catholic friends make a mistake in their zeal to do what they consider mortifying the flesh. For instance, many of them lie on a stone floor instead of on a bed; some will lie down to be walked upon and to be made a mat for others to wipe their feet upon; some will whip themselves until they have lacerated their flesh and then wear a hair jacket, with all the torture that means. These have certain sins in their minds of which they have been guilty, and for which they think they should do penance. With others this penance is not voluntary, but of compulsion by those who are in authority over them. The difficulty with these individuals is that their heads are wrong; they lack the spirit of a sound mind. They mean right; but they have been mistaught, and their consciences are perverted and falsely trained.

The heathen also practise such mortification of body. Some of the zealots among them will hold up their hands for hours at a time, or sit or lie down upon spikes to mortify their flesh. Some imprison themselves for years in a cramped position in a box, being fed through an aperture. This they do to show that they are very holy, and they think thus to appease their god, or to bring themselves into a condition where their individuality and sensibilities will become lost and that they may in this manner be absorbed into the Diety--a condition of Nirvana, as it is called. They want to be pleasing to their deities; but we know that the true God is not pleased with any such sufferings and tortures. He is not a God of that kind. What manner of God would it be who would delight in seeing His children lying upon spikes or doing any other such senseless thing? Such is not the God of the Bible. Such a disposition could belong only to a demon, and practises of this nature are actuated by demons or are the vagaries of a disordered, untutored or misdirected brain.

SELF DISCIPLINE FOR A PURPOSE

The God of the Bible has, during the Age now closing, been calling out of the world a very special class of mankind. We have faith in this God because the instructions of His Word are reasonable, and because the results of following these instructions are in every way most satisfactory and gratifying. The wonderful fulfilments of its prophecies in the past and in the present are most convincing. The manifestations of His providences and His guidance in the lives of those who have served Him --this God of the Bible--are likewise so marked as to be unassailable. He has given to these "exceeding great and precious promises," which relate to the life which now is and also to that which is to come, and which sustain and strengthen the children of God in all their pilgrimage through this vale of tears to the Heavenly City, "whose Builder and Maker is God."

We are assured in the Holy Word that if we are faithful to our God under present unfavorable conditions and environments, if we are loyal to the principles of Truth and righteousness and to our Covenant of Sacrifice made with Him, we shall have quite a conflict with ourselves and with the sins that are entrenched in our mortal bodies. He tells us, too, that such loyalty to Him will bring persecution and misunderstanding, because of the condition of darkness which now envelops the world of mankind. Yes, we well know that our faithful endeavor to serve the Lord and His Truth will now bring opposition from the world, from our own flesh, and from the great Adversary and all his hosts of darkness; for all these are leagued against us as followers of Christ-- our Savior, our leader, our Pattern.

We are to mortify the deeds of the body, but not the body itself without a purpose. There must be a reason, a Scriptural reason for so doing, a definite and worthy object before us in all our work of mortification. We might just as well go out and commit suicide at once, drink some poisonous acid, and think, "Now I have mortified my body," as to inflict torture upon ourselves, thinking through it to correct our sins or weaknesses. Only a greatly perverted mind and conscience could entertain such a wild idea. Whatever mortification is practised by the child of God should be actuated by the Spirit of God, the mind of God. "If ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live."

There is today a meaning in the word mortification as ordinarily used, which is altogether different from the sense of the word as used by the Apostle. We sometimes say in speaking of a certain experience, "I was greatly [R5806 : page 357] mortified"; meaning that the experience produced humiliating or embarrassing results. But the deeds of the body are not thus dealt with. We are to mortify in the sense of putting to death the deeds of the flesh. This is the primary meaning of the word.

We are striving day by day to develop the fruits of the Holy Spirit--fortitude, meekness, gentleness, patience, self-control, long-suffering, brotherly-kindness, love. It is while endeavoring to put these qualities of character into practise, to increase this blessed fruitage in our hearts and lives, that the mortification, the killing, of the deeds of the body is accomplished; for all the conditions about us are unfavorable. If conditions were favorable, if every one about us should encourage us in the good way and commend us for our course, the mortification of our flesh could not so well be brought about. It is in struggling against adverse influences, in encountering opposition and by conquering its power over us, that we gain strength and development as New Creatures in Christ. There will be no mortification of the flesh in the Millennial Age. But there is now. And it is this mortification of the deeds of the body, the crucifying of the flesh with all its earthward tendencies, that will, if persevered in, bring us the eternal life--the glory, honor, immortality --promised to the overcoming saints of the Gospel Dispensation. But if we take any other course we shall not gain the prize which has been offered to us in this Age.

NO SECOND PROBATION FOR THE CHURCH

There is in our text no intimation of a second probation for any of those addressed. These words were spoken to those who in the present existence are on trial for life. The Apostle does not say, If ye live after the flesh ye will lose the prize now offered, but you will have another trial for life later on. Neither does he say, If ye live after the flesh ye shall suffer endless torment. But his words speak of a present probation, the issue of which will be life or death, an eternity of existence in bliss and happiness or an endless cessation of existence. Nor is the Apostle here discussing the terms of salvation by the exercise of faith in the atoning blood of Christ. All this is taken for granted. He is speaking here, not of what we believe, but solely of how we are to live.

Shall we, because of this, spring to the conclusion which many take, that it is immaterial what we believe, so long as we live well? By no means; and those who would so construe these words of the Apostle take but a very shallow view of his teachings, one which would rob them of all their import. But noticing that his words were addressed to those who have already exercised saving faith in Christ, and not to the world in any manner, we can get a proper understanding of what he meant. The heedless Christian who applies this warning to everybody, allows it to lose all its force upon himself. This is the very reverse of the Apostle's intention. He is talking to the saints, to consecrated believers in the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, those who have been begotten of the Holy Spirit of God to a new nature, even the Divine. It is for this reason that he says nothing here about the Ransom nor about the Millennial Age of trial for the world. Those who are addressed here are having their trial now, and the decision in their cases will be rendered before the world comes into judgment.

The Apostle's warning, therefore, is not at all applicable to the world, but is full of solemn import to the Church. These, having presented their bodies a living sacrifice with Christ, acceptable through Him, having made a sacred covenant with God to live henceforth after the Spirit and to seek those things which are Above, are not at liberty to annul or ignore that covenant. They can never again claim the human nature which they have laid down, for to this they have relinquished all claim and title. If they make any such endeavor, either by ignoring or despising their covenant with God, they forfeit all right and claim to the spiritual nature and reward, which can be attained only by faithfulness to our Covenant of Sacrifice even unto death.

It is therefore logically manifest, even if the Apostle had not so declared, that if we, consecrated believers, turn back again to live after the flesh, we shall die; that for us to be carnally minded is death, while to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Our Master's words in Matthew 16:24,25 are to the same effect--"Whosoever [of My disciples] will save his life shall lose it; and whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it." [R5807 : page 357]

THE WORKS OF THE FLESH

An important question then is, What is it to live after the flesh? Our reply is, to live after the flesh is to live in gratification of even the legitimate cravings of the human mind and the human body, when such gratification will prevent our necessary progress in the narrow way and take time which we should use in our development as New Creatures or in the laying down of our lives for the brethren. And this is a very easy thing to do. Let us just cease our efforts to crucify the flesh, to mortify the deeds of the body, and listlessly abandon ourselves to the natural inclinations of the flesh; and at once we begin to gravitate downward, and soon we find resistance more and more difficult, and the path more and more slippery. Then, unless we make heroic and prayerful efforts to regain our lost position, we shall continue to go downward; and the end will be death.

St. Paul defines the works of the flesh thus: "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings and such like." (Galatians 5:19-21.) What moral filth and pollution this describes! But such is the tendency of fallen human nature. Just cease to strive against the old nature, and presently some of these noxious weeds will be flourishing and crowding out the good that remains.

"Ah, well," says one, "I have not all those mean qualities." Well, we are very glad you have not; very few have them all. But, beware, you may not know what manner of spirit you are of, naturally. Be sure that your old nature is not free from inherited, and perhaps a formerly cultivated, tendency in some of these directions. The only safe way is to watch and pray against them, to fill the mind with the things of the Spirit of God, lest ye enter into temptation.

Consider the blessed fruits of the Spirit--love, joy, peace, long-suffering, meekness, gentleness, goodness, faith, self-control. "Against such there is no law." To live in the cultivation of these fruits and graces is to "live in the Spirit," and to "walk in the Spirit." Thus do we not only possess our souls in safety, but we constantly progress in the development of the character of Christ. Indeed, we are only safe while we are growing; there is no safety in standing still. If we cease to grow, we begin at once to retrograde.

THE USES OF DISCIPLINE

We see, therefore, that the Christian life is of necessity a warfare, a battle, between our new nature and the tendencies of the flesh, supplemented by the attacks from the outside, from the world and the Adversary with his [R5807 : page 358] hosts. It is a conflict which we dare not relinquish; for not only is the prize of our High Calling dependent upon it, but also the issues of life and of death are in it. How solemn a thing it is, therefore, to live under these circumstances; for daily and hourly we are standing before the bar of judgment! "If we live after the flesh, we shall die; but if we through the Spirit, do mortify [put to death, refuse to gratify] the deeds of the body, we shall live." All true sons of God will so live; for, says the Apostle Paul, "As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."--Romans 8:14.

If we wilfully refuse the leading of God's Holy Spirit, we forfeit the blessed relationship of sons. If we listlessly disregard this leading, we greatly endanger that relationship; and as surely as we are sons we shall receive chastisement for our correction and discipline. But while we should be grateful for such a restraining hand, for this rod of correction, if we need it, yet we should be very careful to require as little of it as possible. "If we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged" of the Lord. (1 Corinthians 11:31.) However, with the most careful and prayerful watching against the uprisings of the old will and of the flesh, we will doubtless make many mistakes and need some chastening experience from the Lord; "for what son is he whom the Father chasteneth not?"--Hebrews 12:5-12.

Let us, then, remember the exhortation, "My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of Him. For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth." (Hebrews 12:5,6.) In the difficult course before us, and in view of all the dangers that beset us, the pitfalls laid for our feet, the weakness of our own unaided efforts, how blessed is the promise of our Father in Heaven to give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him; how precious the assurance that if we are filled with the Spirit we shall not fulfil the desires of the flesh, but shall be enabled to mortify the deeds of the body that we may live! How necessary it is to live very near to the Fountain of all grace, to pray without ceasing and to watch with perseverance!

If at times we know not whether to turn to the right or to the left, know not wherein to walk, let us lift our hearts to the Lord, and wait before Him, remembering the Divine assurance, "Delight thyself in the Lord; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass." "In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths." (Psalm 37:4,5; Proverbs 3:6.) Thus His dear voice brings comfort, strength, rest, in the midst of all the cares and perplexities of the way. "As many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God!"--Galatians 6:16.



[R5807 : page 358]

EDITOR'S ANSWERS TO INTERESTING QUESTIONS

TWO ORDINATIONS--ONE OF GOD, ONE OF MAN

QUESTION.--When, by whom and how were you ordained a minister of the Gospel?

Answer.--Before answering this question, I would call attention to the Scriptural teaching on the subject of ordination. From what we believe to be the Bible standpoint, there are two ordinations proper. One is of God; one of men. The ordination of God is the begetting of the Holy Spirit. Without this no one is authorized to preach the Gospel. If any are preaching without this ordination they are, to our understanding, preaching without Divine ordination. They are doing something that they are not authorized to do.

Our Lord told how He was ordained to be a preacher; and the Scriptures tell us that we are to walk in His steps and to have experiences similar to His own in many respects. As ministers of the Cross, we are to copy our Lord Jesus Christ as fully as we are able to do. But He was perfect, and we are imperfect. Consequently we are to have the forgiveness of our sins, while he had no sins. He, therefore, constitutes the basis of forgiveness of all who come unto the Father through faith in His blood. He mentions His own ordination, saying, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me; because He hath anointed Me to preach good tidings to the meek." (Isaiah 61:1.) As that ordination came upon Jesus, it still later came upon the disciples at Pentecost; and all down the Gospel Age it has come upon the followers of Christ, anointing them to preach the Gospel.--Luke 4:17-21; 1 John 2:27.

All who have received the ordination of God have the authority to preach according to their opportunities and abilities. Some of them may be deaf mutes and cannot preach audibly. Others may be limited by sex; sisters cannot preach as do the brethren; but they can preach, nevertheless, in "showing forth the praises of Him who hath called them out of darkness into His marvelous light." (1 Peter 2:9.) Moreover, they are fully ordained to make known the good tidings, but, according to the Apostle Paul's statement, not in a public way. There are some men who cannot preach publicly on account of lack of talent or opportunity, but all men, by their lives and conversation, can proclaim the glory and honor of the great and loving God who lifted them out of darkness into light, out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and placed their feet upon a Rock and established their goings.--Psalm 40:2.

There comes, however, another special ordination of those who are called ministers of the Gospel, in which class I count myself. This is ordination by the Church, and is recognized by all denominations everywhere. By some it is considered a mere form, by some it is performed with great ceremony, by others with less ceremony. But to our understanding, each congregation should have those whom it has chosen ordained in a Scriptural way--by the stretching forth of hands--by a vote.

The form of the statement in Acts 14:23, with other frequent references to elders in connection with all churches, justifies the inference that ordination was the invariable custom in the early Church. The term "elders," as seen in this text, includes evangelists, pastors, teachers, and prophets--public exponents. Hence it is important that we learn what is meant by the word "ordained."

At the present time the word ordination is generally used in reference to a ceremony of installation; but this is not the significance of the Greek word cheirotoneo, used in this text. It means "to elect by stretching out the hand," still the usual form of voting. This definition is given in Professor Young's "Analytical Concordance to the Bible." As this may be considered a Presbyterian authority, we give also the definition set forth in Strong's "Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible," which may be considered a Methodist authority. The latter defines the root of the word--"A hand-reacher, or voter (by raising the hand)." [R5808 : page 359]

The Scriptural method of ordaining elders in all the churches is by congregational election--by stretching forth the hand in a vote. To insist upon such an election before serving is to follow Scriptural order; it fortifies the elder, and, additionally, reminds the congregation of its duties and responsibilities as appointees of the elders in the Lord's name and Spirit--as expressing God's choice, God's will. Additionally, the Scriptural arrangement interests the members of the congregation in all the words and deeds of the elders, as their servants and representatives. It opposes the too prevalent idea that the elders own and rule the congregation, and puts an end to their thinking of them as "my people"--rather than as "the Lord's people, whom I serve."

Whoever has not been ordained in these two ways is not an ordained minister of the Gospel in the Scriptural sense. First, the Divine ordination is necessary; second, the earthly ordination is necessary. By the grace of God I have both of these.

In the case of those who are doing a public work in the name of the WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY, they are ordained as a whole. They are sent forth by the officers of the Society; and as a majority of the classes everywhere are recognized by the Society, and as they in turn recognize the Society, they therefore recognize this ordination through the Society.


Question.--Where did the Society get the authority for sending out preachers?

Answer.--It gets its authority primarily from the Lord, who authorizes all His people, who receive the Holy Spirit, to go forth. Secondly, the Society is a business organization for religious work in the service of the Lord, by printing books, pamphlets, charts, etc., and by sending out its representatives to preach--by word of mouth and by printed page. This is its only business. It is acting in the same way as did the Church at Antioch, who especially chose Paul and Barnabas to do a missionary work, and who voted these to be representatives of that Church.--Acts 13:2,3.

When Paul and Barnabas went forth, they did not say, "We preach in our own name." They would have had a right to go in the name of the Lord and preach; but, in addition, they had the financial backing, we understand, of the Antioch congregation, just as today our representatives have the backing of the Society. When they go to a place, they can say, "Here is a letter which shows that we are acting for the Society." So they do not go simply in the name of Christ, but they go as representatives of this Society, which is known to be doing an evangelizing work.


Question.--As to the name of the Association: Is it the WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY? or the INTERNATIONAL BIBLE STUDENTS ASSOCIATION?

Answer.--It is both. They are virtually the same thing. The INTERNATIONAL BIBLE STUDENTS ASSOCIATION, the WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY and the PEOPLES PULPIT ASSOCIATION are in many respects identical. Why have three names? For the same reason that there are in the various churches different Societies --the Home Missionary Society, the Christian Endeavor Society and the Epworth League, etc., etc. Are they not all doing the same work and trying to help people to live a Christian life, etc.? Yes. Why have different Societies? For the reason that each has a different branch of the work to which to attend.

So it is with us. The parent Association is the WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY, chartered under the laws of the State of Pennsylvania. Its purpose is to publish the Truth, to send forth missionaries, etc., etc. The property that was necessary to transact business, etc., was in its name; for no other was necessary in the State of Pennsylvania.

When we moved here to New York, we were informed that the WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY could not hold title to property here. We were told, "You can do business in a personal way, but not as a Society. So if you want to do any business here, you must be chartered as an Association." "Very well, then," we said, "we will organize the PEOPLES PULPIT ASSOCIATION." This is merely another name for the WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY, for New York business.

Later on, in Great Britain, we were informed, "Your American Charter does not count for anything here." Consequently we took out a Charter there for the INTERNATIONAL BIBLE STUDENTS ASSOCIATION. This reads practically the same as the Charter of the WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY.

These three different Societies were made necessary by the law of different states and countries. For some things the WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY is the preferable name. It is the parent Society and the one to which contributions are made. Whoever makes a donation is expected, if he will, to make it in the name of the WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY.

The PEOPLES PULPIT ASSOCIATION is the only one of the three that can do business here in New York, and the WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY deals with the PEOPLES PULPIT ASSOCIATION as though they were two independent organizations. Nevertheless they are the same--just as with the different Societies of the nominal churches, which would have, perhaps, the same treasurer.

Thus the whole management is by the WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY, and these auxiliary organizations merely help in carrying on its work. We sometimes use one name and sometimes another, just as any one would have the right to use any names appropriate to his work. It is equally appropriate to say that we are the INTERNATIONAL BIBLE STUDENTS ASSOCIATION. We are Bible students, and are helping Bible students in all parts of the world, by the printed page, by financial assistance and in other ways. It is also appropriate to use the name PEOPLES PULPIT ASSOCIATION in connection with persons who are engaged in preaching and are acting under guidance of the WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY.

In other words, the PEOPLES PULPIT ASSOCIATION cannot transact business except through the WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY. The WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY has the management, and the PEOPLES PULPIT ASSOCIATION does the work--absolutely.

The INTERNATIONAL BIBLE STUDENTS ASSOCIATION has no legal status except in Great Britain; the PEOPLES PULPIT ASSOCIATION has none except in New York State.

We keep the "WATCH TOWER" prominent in letterheads, etc., so that the friends would not misunderstand us and think that the "WATCH TOWER" has gone out of the work. We use one name or another, as would seem to be most convenient in the work. For instance, we now have on the title page of the STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES the name INTERNATIONAL BIBLE STUDENTS ASSOCIATION, instead of WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY, as formerly. Here we have a distinctive name, different from others. There are Bible Teachers Associations, Tract Societies, etc., etc.; but here we have a name especially appropriate to put on our publications, [R5808 : page 360] because it represents exactly the thought which we desire to express.


Question.--From what School of Theology were you graduated?

Answer.--I am still in the School of Christ and have not yet been graduated. We get our theology from the BIBLE. Some of our friends have taken their theology otherwise, have taken it from human instructors, and have afterwards found that they had wasted their time. Some things which they were taught were Scriptural, and some things were sectarian. We are simply trying to find out what the BIBLE teaches. As the Apostle Paul said to Timothy, so we desire to do: "Study to show thyself approved unto GOD, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth."-- 2 Timothy 2:15.

The Apostle did not tell Timothy to go to some Theological School, or tell him which would be the proper one to attend if he wished to get confused. He merely told the young man to rightly divide the WORD OF TRUTH --to see which portions refer to Natural Israel and which refer to Spiritual Israel; which are earthly promises, belonging to the natural man, and which are spiritual promises, belonging to the Christian; which belong to the present time, and which to the future.

Some of our number have been graduated from a theological seminary. At the time of their graduation they thought that their school was the best there was. But since they entered into the School of Christ, they find that really they would have been much better off if they had not gone to the seminary at all; for it took many months and years to get out of their heads the errors which were there drilled in.


Question.--How should we understand the Apostle's advice to Timothy to "Lay hands suddenly on no man"? Does not this imply a formal ordination? [R5809 : page 360]

Answer.--The Apostle Paul's words to Timothy might be variously understood. If we should read in tomorrow morning's paper that some one suddenly laid hands on a man we would understand that he had been assaulted. We are to remember that this is not the way the expression would be understood in the Greek, but that the translators gave us what they thought the proper meaning. The early Church had a ceremony of formally laying hands on the heads of their elders, deacons, etc. When the Apostles did this, it was the indication of the impartation of the Holy Spirit. None but the Apostles could bestow this. The Churches may have had some custom amongst themselves in the way of appointing ministers, however, that in thus doing they might indicate that they approved of such persons.

There would be nothing improper in a similar ceremony, if a Pilgrim were sent forth by the WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY for a special service of some kind. The officers of the Society might step forward, lay their hands on the Pilgrim's head and say, "You are the representative of the Society." The priests in olden time laid their hands upon the head of the animal that was to be offered--to show that it represented them. So some one might be sent forth by the Society; but a ceremonial laying on of hands would be merely an appeal to the eye, carrying with it no other authority than the words, "You are appointed for such and such service," etc.

This leaves each little company of the Lord's people to use whatever ceremony they choose. Episcopalians and Catholics use a great deal of ceremony; other denominations use less. We believe that we also have the right to use as much or as little ceremony as we choose. The meaning of the word ordination is to authorize. True ordination is, first, of the Holy Spirit; second, of the association sending forth its servant with the Gospel Message.



[R5809 : page 360]

DECORUM IN THE HOUSE OF GOD

[REPUBLISHED BY REQUEST.]

"Keep thy foot when thou goest to the House of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools; for they consider not that they do evil."--Ecclesiastes 5:1.
THE WISE MAN was undoubtedly not talking about literal feet or literal steps, but giving some wise counsel, which his hearers might appropriate, just as we do. They understood him to mean that they must be circumspect in their daily lives.

"Keep thy foot." Notice where you are going. Do not go to the House of God as you would go to the market-place or to some place of amusement. Go as to the place where God will meet with His people. The wise man goes on to assume what would be heard in the House of God. Be not ready "to give the sacrifice of fools," he says. This would seem to refer to laughter, levity, foolish talk and jesting.

This Scripture is one which may very properly be taken to heart by all of God's people at the present time. Reverence is very becoming. We have lost the fear that God will cast us into eternal torment. We know our Heavenly Father better than to suppose that He would have any such evil intention toward any of His creatures. But we should not go to the House of God as we would go to the market-place. Many of the Lord's people do not appreciate the fact that decorum is necessary in every place where God is worshiped.

It is for us to realize that we have God in the Church today in a sense that He never was in the typical temple. Wherever there is a meeting of the members of the Church, the Lord has declared that He will be there. The living stones constituting the Temple of God should be as fully reverenced as temples made of literal stones.

Whether we meet in a parlor or in a church or in an opera house, the fact that God's people are there makes that building, whatever it may be, a holy place. Therefore whoever approaches it should do so with a watchfulness of his feet. When he arrives, he should be appreciative of the place where he is, and should be ready to "hear"--listen--not full of mirth. All conversation should be of a kind that would edify--build up--along spiritual lines. If we cannot talk along such lines, it would be better for us to hear the discourse, join in the singing, and then withdraw.

Whatever conversation be carried on, it should be with reverence, not merely for the place, but for the occasion. There should be no turning about and saying, "Here comes Brother So-and-so, Sister So-and-so. We shall hear them sing." Such conduct is very improper.

We do not know any lesson the Lord's people need to learn more than that of reverence. The Lord will not call any one devoid of reverence, and He wants that quality to grow strong. But when fear is banished, the tendency is to less reverence. Special care in this respect is to be observed when we go to the House of God, or to any place where Divine service is to be held. [R5809 : page 361]

CONSIDERATION OF RIGHTS OF OTHERS

Not only should we watch our feet in going to the House of God, but we should watch what we take with us. We should see that we go there clean; that we take no vermin in our clothing; that we have no bad odors about us. We should also see that we do not take children who are not properly trained. Thus we shall not be in danger of annoying others.

There may be occasions when children may be left alone at home. When this is impossible, it would be better for the parents to take turns in coming to the meetings. No one has a right to take children to the meeting, when their presence would be detrimental to the spiritual interests of others. We believe, however, that a way could be devised whereby the child could be left at home until of such an age as not to disturb the Class. The majority of parents become so accustomed to the ways of their children that they do not realize that others are being annoyed-- when probably every motion of the child is disturbing others. The others have their own trials to tax their patience without additional ones from us.

PUNCTUALITY A MARK OF CHARACTER

It would seem that some need to watch, not only their feet, but also their watches. To come into the meeting late is out of harmony with the principles of both justice and love. All who attend ought, in justice to others, to see that they arrive in time. They ought so to arrange their affairs that they can be at the meeting promptly at the hour appointed.

Doubtless the Lord would view our efforts to be punctual and not to annoy others as marks of Christian character-development, which would have His approval, and which would help to prepare us for the Kingdom. He who is indifferent to the rights of others manifests that he is lacking in the spirit of love, the spirit of Christ. And whoever has not the spirit of Christ, well developed, will not have a place in the Kingdom.

Hence these matters--unruly children, tardiness at meeting, etc.--will have to do with our fitness for a place in the Kingdom. By this we do not mean that we are being judged according to our work, or that we have any right to judge others according to their work. The Lord said, "Judge not." We should show that our endeavors to do the Lord's will are equal to the desires of our hearts. If we exercise determination in trying to live up to these, we shall be glad when we experience our change in the Resurrection.



[R5809 : page 361]

GOD'S LOVE FOR ISRAEL
--DECEMBER 12.--HOSEA 11:1-11.--

ISRAEL TREATED AS A SON BY GOD--REBELLIOUS, SELF-WILLED, UNFAITHFUL--GOD'S MERCIES PURSUED THEM FOR CENTURIES--ISRAEL'S CAPTIVITY IN BABYLON--RETURN TO GOD'S FAVOR FORETOLD.

"I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love."--Verse 4.
HOSEA prophesied in Israel--the ten-tribe kingdom--prior to the Babylonian Captivity, dying about the time that Samaria capitulated. The name Hosea signifies salvation and corresponds well with the prophecy. The Lord through Hosea made plain to Israel that their national destruction and captivity was at hand; that it was a punishment for sin; but that it also told the people of God's sympathy for them, of His many loving forbearances, etc., and assured them that He would continue to love them to the end, and eventually bless them and recover them from the land of the enemy.

Hosea's own experiences in life in some degree pictured the Lord's experiences with Israel. Hosea's wife was unfaithful to him, as Israel had been unfaithful to the Lord. Following the Lord's direction, Hosea took back his wife, reclaiming her; and his message to Israel was of God's continued love for that people--that although they had been unfaithful to the Lord, He would nevertheless loyally receive them again when they should have learned their lesson and be glad to come back as a bird from Egypt and a trembling dove from Babylonia.

"THE LORD LOVED THEE"

Love is the keynote of the Bible, notwithstanding the fact that it contains threatenings as well as promises, and declarations and manifestations of justice as well as of mercy. If God's character were devoid of Justice--if His Love should override His Justice--it would be a terrible calamity for all those dependent upon Him. It would testify weakness of character instead of strength. It is the fact that God's Wisdom, Justice, Love and Power operate in full harmony--in coordination--that gives us admiration for Him, confidence in Him, love for Him; and all these appreciations are intensified as we realize His unchangeableness.

From the beginning God foreknew His Plan as we see it gradually ripening. He foreknew that man, allowed to take his course, would fall deeply into sin and be overwhelmed in its penalty, death. He foreknew His own purpose to provide in due time the Lamb of God as a Ransom-Sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. He foreknew the ultimate blessing of all the families of the earth, purposing that the glorified Redeemer should be the Deliverer of mankind. He foreknew and arranged a thousand years of restitution work, when under Messiah's glorious Kingdom all mankind should be brought to a full knowledge of God and a full opportunity for returning to all that was lost in Eden, all that was redeemed at Calvary; and when the ultimately rebellious should be destroyed. He foresaw from the beginning the glorious result when every knee would be bowing and every tongue confessing the glorious work of Messiah's Kingdom. This entire Program was to be of the Father and through the Son.--1 Corinthians 8:6.

It was incidental to this great Plan that God foresaw the wisdom of having a saintly company associated with Jesus in the great work of His Millennial Kingdom, which is to govern and bless thousands of millions. God determined to have two saintly companies. One class was to be of the earth, earthy, samples of what mankind might all eventually attain to through the assistance of the Kingdom. The other class of saints, still more highly exalted, were to be the Bride of Messiah and His Joint-heir in the Kingdom on the spirit plane. God could have filled these honorable positions with angels, who would have been glad of the opportunity of thus serving. However, instead, He chose to gather these companies from amongst men--from amongst the sinners themselves.

CALLING ABRAHAM'S POSTERITY

Many ways were open before the Lord for the gathering of the Elect for the future service. The one which He chose and has been carrying out was undoubtedly the [R5809 : page 362] wisest, the best. First of all, God called Abraham--a sinner like others, but one whose heart was full of trust in God and who delighted in the right ways of the Lord to the extent of his ability. God's Promise to Abraham was that his seed should constitute the Elect, and that through that seed all nations would receive a Divine blessing.

The period of nearly four thousand years since God's Covenant with Abraham has been devoted to the development of Abraham's seed--a natural seed and a Spiritual Seed. The two were mentioned to Abraham indirectly when the Lord said, "Thy seed shall be as the stars of heaven and as the sand of the seashore." (Genesis 22:17.) The stars of heaven thus are used to represent the Spiritual Seed of Abraham; the sand of the seashore, the natural seed.

For more than eighteen centuries God dealt with the natural seed of Abraham. His promises to them and the Law Covenant made with them were great blessings, inspirations, assistances. For although the Israelites, like others, were unable to keep the Law Covenant, being imperfect, sinners, nevertheless the endeavor to obey was helpful. The various chastisements of Israel, including their Babylonian captivity, were lessons intended for their good, and eventually made that nation, at the time when Jesus came to be the Redeemer, the most holy people in all the world--the only people recognized of God.

"HE CAME UNTO HIS OWN"

Nevertheless, much of the holiness of Israel in Jesus' day was merely a form of godliness, which did not stand the test. Only Israelites indeed--pure in heart, in motive --were enabled to appreciate the Gift of God and to become Jesus' disciples--probably 25,000 in all. Then the door of opportunity to become fellow-heirs with the Jewish saints was thrown open to the Gentiles; and God's Message was given them, inviting them also to joint-heirship with Christ. The gathering of this class has proceeded for eighteen centuries, while the nation of Israel has been rejected from God's favor. Now we are entering the great Time of Trouble which is to inaugurate Messiah's Kingdom. During this trouble the Church is to be glorified in the First Resurrection. Then the thousand years of Messiah's Reign with the elect, spiritual Bride, drawn from both Jews and Gentiles, will begin.

Still God's favor will pursue the natural seed of Abraham. Their lessons and chastisements will fit and prepare them more quickly than others of the world to receive the Messianic blessing. The earthly phase of Messiah's Kingdom will be Israelitish, in that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the Prophets and saintly ones down to John the Baptist are to be made "princes in all [R5810 : page 362] the earth" (Psalm 45:16)--the earthly representatives in human perfection of the spiritual Kingdom of Messiah.

Naturally enough, Israel will then in a natural way come first into harmony with the Divine arrangement and be the first to get the blessing. However, during the thousand years of the Kingdom, as the Scriptures declare, all nations shall bless themselves in becoming Abraham's seed--in coming into relationship with the Kingdom, which will have an Israelitish basis. (Jeremiah 4:2; Isaiah 65:16; Genesis 12:3.) Eventually, all will be destroyed who do not thus become true Israelites. Thus Abraham's seed will eventually include all the families of the earth--all for whom God has provided life eternal. As for Gentiles--strangers from God--none will remain.



[R5810 : page 362]

A LITTLE TALK BY THE WAY

"Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus."--Philippians 2:2-5.
THE CHURCH at Philippi, as is well known, was the first Ecclesia established in Europe. It had a very small and humble beginning. Philippi was one of the principal cities of Macedonia. (Acts 16:9-14,20,21.) In seeking an opportunity for service for the Lord in this place, the Apostle went on the Sabbath day down to a river bank, where a few women habitually resorted for prayer; and he spoke to them the Word of God. Dr. McLaren, commenting upon the small beginning of the Church at Philippi, says: "Not blowing of trumpets, not beating of drums of any sort; a few women and some worn-out travelers talking together by the banks of the rushing river. How scornfully the great folk of Philippi would have smiled, if they had been told that the chief title of their city to be remembered at all would be the presence in it of that one insignificant Jew, and his letter to the Church founded on that morning!"

The general character of the Philippian Church is revealed in St. Paul's Epistle, written to them at a later period. We find in it nothing like correction or reproof, as we note in most of the Epistles written by the Apostle to other Churches. His Philippian letter is a particularly beautiful and loving one, and indicates a very close bond of sympathy between him and this Church. On four different occasions that are recorded, this Church rendered practical sympathy and service to St. Paul, by financial assistance, as well as by words of comfort and cheer. Twice he received gifts from them for his support while he was at Thessalonica. Again, while he was at Corinth, they ministered to him. When he was a prisoner at Rome this loving Church did not forget the Apostle. It was their messenger, Epaphroditus, who brought to him the last touching memorial of their love.

Epaphroditus, it will be remembered, was the brother who was brought "nigh unto death," for the Gospel's sake --because of his faithful service in the assistance of the Apostle in the work of the Lord when there seemed little help coming from other sources. Upon his recovery from this severe illness, the Apostle Paul sent by him to the Church at Philippi this beautiful letter known to us as the Epistle to the Philippians. See Philippians 2:25-28; 4:14-19; 2 Corinthians 11:9.

THE APOSTLE'S LOVING COUNSEL

The other Churches may possibly have ministered to the Apostle also; and we know that this was true in the case of certain individuals, among whom were Aquila and Priscilla. But we have no record of any Church that ministered to St. Paul as did the Church at Philippi. Apparently other Churches missed a great opportunity. We may be sure that while the Apostle urged the Churches to contribute to the relief of the poor saints at Jerusalem, etc., he made no request for personal assistance, however much he may have been in need, or however much he might have appreciated any small manifestation of their love for him and the cause of the Lord whom he served.

The lesson respecting love and humility which we find in the passage of Scripture under consideration does not intimate that these graces were lacking among the Philippians; [R5810 : page 363] but it indicates that the Apostle recognized the great importance of these fruits of the Spirit, and the need for their continual cultivation, in order to a continued growth in the likeness of Christ. The opening words of the chapter are an exhortation to brotherly love and affection among themselves. He says, "If there be any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any bowels and mercies." The bowels were formerly considered the seat of the tender emotions, pity, compassion of heart. It would seem that the Apostle would put the Church at Philippi to the test, would let them answer as to whether these graces appertain to all who are New Creatures in Christ--as if he would say, "If you have found these blessed fruits to be a part of the character-likeness of Christ, let these be more and more developed in you all."

Then, as though they had assented to this proposition, had conceded that there is comfort, love, fellowship, sympathy, consolation, in Christ toward one another, he adds: You can fill my joy to the full by being thus minded toward each other, by having love one toward another, by having one mind, or purpose, or will, as a Church--the Lord's will. How grand an expression this is! His joy would be full; not by knowing of their mere professions, but by knowing that they loved, sympathized with, and consoled one another, that they had the proper fellowship as members of the Body of Christ. These things filled his joy more full than anything else that he could know concerning them. And he knew that these conditions would be most pleasing in the sight of their Lord and Master. The Apostle John emphasizes the same thought saying, "He that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?"--1 John 4:20.

LOOKING ON THE THINGS OF OTHERS

To this end--that such a spirit of perfect unity and fellowship might obtain amongst the disciples at Philippi --the Apostle exhorts that each one cultivate the grace of humility; that in every matter each shall take heed that "nothing be done through strife or vainglory," that self-laudation and strivings for preeminence be thoroughly put away as the greatest enemies to the Spirit of the Lord and to the attainment of His blessing. He urged that each should have that lowliness of mind which could see the good qualities and talents of the fellow members of the Body; and that they should appreciate these qualities as, in some respects at least, superior to their own.

Lowliness of mind does not necessarily signify an ignorance of any talents or graces which we may ourselves possess; but so long as the Church is in the present imperfect, or tabernacle, condition, we may never expect to find all the abilities, all the talents, all the graces of the Holy Spirit in their highest development, in any one person. So, then, each may, if he be lowly of mind, see in others of the brethren certain desirable qualities or graces superior to his own; and these he should delight to recognize and to esteem their possessors accordingly.

For each to look merely on his own things, his own interest or welfare or comfort, or his own talents, and to ignore or forget the interests and comfort or talents of others, would be a manifestation of selfishness and a dearth of the Spirit of Christ, which is a spirit of love, consideration and generosity. In proportion as we are filled with the Holy Spirit of love, we shall find ourselves interested in the welfare and happiness of others. This was the mind, the disposition, which was in our dear Redeemer when He walked the earth, a disposition which He so wonderfully manifested; and we are sure that He has not since changed. And if we would be like Him we must develop in our characters these traits. If we are to be ultimately of the Bride class in glory, we must become copies of "God's dear Son."

The Apostle Paul not only holds up the Lord Jesus before us as the great Example of proper humility, self-abnegation and love, of a forgetfulness of self in the interests of others, but he also holds up before our vision the result, the reward, of our Lord. He reminds us of the high exaltation of the Master by the Father, that we also may be encouraged, and may realize that, if we are faithful in following the footsteps of our Redeemer, in sacrificing the advantages of the present, in crucifying self, in laboring as far as we are able in the advancement of the Cause of God and His Truth, in developing the fruits of the Holy Spirit, we may expect also to be glorified with Him, to share His name and His Throne of glory and His great work throughout the eternal future, as His Body, His Bride, His joint-heir.

A CLOSING WORD OF EXHORTATION

In verses 12-17, following our text, the Apostle pays a beautiful tribute to the Church at Philippi, and expresses his great love for them. How he reveals his confidence in their loyalty! And how glad he was to pour out his [R5811 : page 363] own life on their behalf (see margin v. 17) that they might attain unto the fulness of the likeness of Christ! He lovingly exhorts, "Do all things without murmurings and disputings." In following the Master in the narrow way, we are not to murmur as we go, finding fault with its difficulties and its narrowness; nor are we to dispute respecting it, nor to seek to have any other way than that which Divine providence marks out before us. On the contrary, we are to realize and believe that the Lord knows exactly what experiences are necessary to our development in the School of Christ; that He is supervising our experiences for our highest good and His glory; that He is not forgetful of His promises to those who are His, but will, as He has promised, cause "all things [that come to us in the line of faithfulness] to work together for good" to us. And even our blunders or stumblings, if properly received, will be overruled for our blessing.

We are glad to see this disposition of trust and loyalty in so many of the Lord's dear saints. Thus following the Master, dearly beloved, we shall "be sons of God without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom we shine as lights in the world, holding forth the Word of life." Thus shall those who are over you in the Lord "rejoice in the Day of Christ [when our 'change' shall come] that we have not run in vain, neither labored in vain."


THE SECRET OF HIS PRESENCE
"In the secret of His presence
How my soul delights to hide;
Oh, how precious are the lessons
Which I learn at Jesus' side.
Earthly cares can only vex me,
Trials never lay me low,
And when Satan comes to tempt me,
To the secret place I go.

"Would you like to know the sweetness
Of this secret of the Lord?
Go and hide beneath His shadow,
This shall then be your reward.
And whene'er you leave the silence
Of that happy meeting place,
You must mind and bear the image
Of the Master in your face."



[R5811 : page 364]

INTERESTING LETTERS

"BEFORE AFFLICTED, I WENT ASTRAY"

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--

I am happy this day to be able to address you as a brother by the grace of God. I am trying to write you, dear Brother, under much difficulty; but I want to let you know what a great blessing you have been to me. First of all, dear Pastor, if you will kindly excuse me for taking up a few minutes of your time, I would like to tell you a little about myself.

Six years ago I met with an accident in the coal mine, receiving a fractured spine, which left me with extreme paralysis; and for six years I have never been one moment free from pain. I lie on a water-bed, and almost everything has to be done for me. I am terribly crippled, even to my fingers, in which I have no grip. I hold my pen by means of an elastic band around my fingers and the pen-holder. I have a wife and a child eight years old; and by the guidance of our Heavenly Father we keep our home going, on a little compensation from the colliery.

Well, dear Brother, I have lived through a lot of pain, but I feel handsomely rewarded by being spared to see the Divine Plan of our loving Father. Soon after my accident I got converted, as I then understood conversion; and as the Methodists were very kind to me, I became a member of their Society. I have striven hard to live a life pleasing to God; and for five years I have studied religion, being a lover of books and my Bible, which was my greatest comfort; not because I understood much of it, but because in it I found sweet, comforting promises of a better life to come.

As I read after great religious leaders and endeavored to take a deep interest in the nominal Church, I soon discovered that there was a terrible confusion being made of God's Word. Everybody seemed to believe anything and nothing at the same time; and the only difference I could see between most of those around me who professed Christianity and those who did not, was that the former lived for the lust of the flesh under a cloak, while the latter did not care who saw how they lived.

I thought at that time that the Churches were the representatives of Christianity on earth, and that ministers must be right because they had been to college; and besides, didn't they often tell me when I asked for explanations that I was not learned, and so could not expect to understand God's mysteries in the Bible?

But after the war broke out, and I saw how the nominal Church completely threw over the chief principles of Jesus to support their earthly gods, I began to doubt whether there was really anything in religion after all. After having learned of the meek and lowly Jesus, and then to hear men from the church which bore His name, crying out from its pulpit for revenge and the blood of their fellows, I felt at a loss what to think. In the end I became very skeptical in my thoughts and began to feel that all my hopes were shattered; and I knew so little of the Gospel and felt so helpless for the want of a teacher! But where was I to find one? So I thought to throw up all and believe nothing.

At this point, dear Brother, your STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES were introduced to me by an old friend who used to call with a book on health, once a month. He was a Seventh Day Adventist, who had been to see the PHOTO-DRAMA and had read some of the STUDIES. As he told me of this grand light which had come upon him, I was astonished. Eventually he made me a present of the first volume. I thought I was going to find gold galore. But it was not until my friend had given me the second book, and I had partly read it, that my mind opened as it were all at once and I prayed God to lead me and teach me in His Holy Word.

I cannot tell you, dear Brother, how I seemed to fill with joy and gladness as the Word of God was unraveled before my mind. Sometimes as I read I had to put down the book a few minutes to pray the Father to keep me calm in my joy. I did not then know who had written the books; but I loved him and thanked my God as I read and feasted upon the good things the Father had permitted him to set before me.

After I had read the second book, I longed to have the rest of them; and as my friend had no more to part with and had no means with which to buy them, he advised me to write the good people at our London Office and state my case. I did not like to do that; for I could not believe, all at once, that there were people so kind in London as all that. But when my friend came again, he persuaded me to try them. Eventually, half-heartedly, I did so; and to my great joy and comfort, three days afterwards I received the other four volumes, and I should like them to know what joy their gift has brought to my painful life.

I am the only I.B.S. in this town; but the dear brothers and sisters from several towns round about have visited my home and have not forgotten to bring food of both kinds with them. I also receive THE WATCH TOWER from Brooklyn. It comes as a message of love to me. As I read it, dear Brother, I feel that you are in my room and all the brethren. "Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love!"

After the Heavenly Father accepted me as a son, I soon met with opposition; and eventually I felt obliged politely, but in a right spirit, to withdraw from the "Nominal." Some of my dearest friends said that Pastor Russell had turned my brain. To that I quite agreed, only I said that God had turned my brain through Pastor Russell, and had turned it in the right way, too.

I wish to thank you, dear Brother, and all the dear brethren through whom I receive THE WATCH TOWER--gratis. I would be glad to receive THE TOWERS so as not to be a burden to the brethren. But our Heavenly Father has willed it that He Himself shall provide for my every need. So be it. I go over our beautiful Vow each day, and I pray the Father to keep and guide you and our dear brethren. Will you please pray for me that I may go on by His grace to make my calling and election "sure?"

I hope, dear Brother, that I have not taken up too much of your valuable time by asking you to read this letter, which after all only partly expresses the joy and gratitude that is within me. If I am not asking too much I should love to have a line of comfort by your own hand. I close thanking God for preserving me long enough to become

Your Brother in the Lord,
A. W. JENNINGS.


[R5812 : page 364]

THE PROGRESS OF THREE MONTHS

DEAR PASTOR RUSSELL:--

I am writing to ask your advice on a few questions. I was brought up a Catholic and attended church till I was married, thirteen years ago. My husband was a Methodist, although he never attended church until two years ago, when an evangelist came here. He then joined the Methodist church. He often asked me to go, but I did not care to. He took our three little girls to church. I prayed God night after night to direct me so that I could see which was really the right church.

A year ago I found a tract under the door of our home which I believe was an answer to my prayer. The tract was, "End of the World in 1914--Not the View of Pastor Russell," and oh, how happy I was after reading it! I also read it to my husband and he thought it grand. I then took his Bible to find out if those things were so.

My mother had then been dead about a year. I often wondered why God had taken her away from us and oh, that little tract did set my mind free and at rest! My husband thought it so grand he had to tell the Methodist minister and his friends about it.

A little later the PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION came to our community and we attended it. I commenced attending the meetings for Bible study and my husband did not object. About a month later his minister handed him two books about you for me to read. I had gotten just enough of the Truth to know that these books were lies they were telling about you. One item was that Pastor Russell did not believe in Jesus Christ!

The minister came for the books and I told him we do not deny Jesus Christ; that "To us there is one God and one Lord Jesus Christ"--two separate Persons; that it was he who was denying Jesus Christ, by the little book he had given my daughter. He asked me to explain and I showed him where it said, "Jesus is the God-man; He was truly man and also truly God;" they deny Him by calling Him God.

I told him God was from everlasting to everlasting and had no beginning; that Jesus was "the First-born of every creature," that He said, "My Father is greater than I." The minister replied, "That is a mystery to me and we ought to leave anything we don't understand to God." But I replied that God directs us to "Search the Scriptures" and find out if the things told us are true.

Five months ago my husband moved us to a farm four miles from the city, telling me if I attended any more of those meetings against his wishes I would be sorry; but I would not stop attending. He refused me the horse; recently I took the horse and he ran away with me, breaking my foot. I am now recovering and long to go again to the meetings. What would you advise me to do? My husband wants me to go to church with him.

Your Sister in the Truth,
__________.

[LETTERS CONTINUED ON PAGE 367.]


[R5812 : page 367]

INTERESTING LETTERS

[CONTINUED FROM PAGE 364]

THE BLESSING OF A FAMILY ALTAR

DEAR BROTHER:--

I desire to write you how much I appreciate your work of love for us and tell you of the blessing we are receiving from our family altar.

As soon as breakfast is over we read the Vow, the Morning Resolve, the prayer meeting topic and comment, then the text for the day with comment. Then either Brother White or myself leads in prayer, followed by all joining in "the Lord's Prayer;" then we sing the Bethel hymn.

We have two daughters, of thirteen and eight years, respectively. We do not insist on their being present at the early service, though they almost always are present, and are as quiet as if they were in regular church service.

It is of the special service that I have with the children alone that I wish to tell you: Just before schooltime I have them take their turn to have their hair combed. One sits on a low stool before me, and while I comb her hair she reads a Bible story while the other listens, and then the other one does the same. Then we three kneel and I put them into the Hands of the Lord, asking His blessing upon them and their teachers for the day. Then I kiss them good bye and send them to school.

This is proving a great blessing to us all and I am surprised at the amount of reading they accomplish. The older girl has read the PHOTO-DRAMA SCENARIO through twice. I think she will be ready for the first volume of STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES soon. She also voluntarily goes several squares from home every week to read to a dear old Sister who is nearly blind. She generally reads your sermons from the newspapers and never forgets to go, always asking me, "Mama, what shall I read to Sister H.?"

The other daughter reads more simple stories and talks about the pictures. We certainly have blessed times together. I am not telling this boastfully, but it has come to my mind several times to write it to you, thinking it might be of comfort to you as well as to us.

I often wonder if parents realize the blessing they miss in not instructing their children in the Scriptures and I have found this a most helpful way. On Sunday mornings we go over the Sunday School lesson with them. I certainly wish to thank you, and praise the dear Lord that He is using you to help us understand His Word.

Yours in His love and service,
MRS. F. D. WHITE.--Ohio.


CONDITIONS NOW VERY DIFFERENT

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--

Greetings in our dear Redeemer's name. Knowing your time to be filled with the Lord's work, I hesitate to infringe upon it; but I would appreciate it very much if you would make it plainer as to what you see to be the Lord's will in regard to the Lord's poor. Some time ago there was an article in THE WATCH TOWER regarding friends availing themselves of public institutions. Would that mean that you considered it the Lord's will for an Ecclesia to permit an aged sister to go to the poor-farm [where she has no fellowship] when by just a little self-denial some, if not all, could put by a little each week to care for her?

In the early Church they brought what they had, and no one went without. I would like if you would either answer my letter personally or put an answer in the TOWER.

The STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES have been a great blessing to me, and I know that God will continue to bless and strengthen you.

Your sister in Him,
__________.

EDITOR'S REPLY

Conditions have greatly changed since the times of our Lord and the Apostles. The teachings of Jesus have greatly broadened the world's sympathies. Now it is considered a disgrace for any community to fail to make provisions for its poor, its aged, its imbecile, its sick. The provision made for these through public taxation is much better than the provision that was made in the early Church, and much better than the majority of people have at the present time. Visit your own County Homes for the poor, etc. See how clean they are, how reasonably comfortable, and how, in a majority of cases, the inmates are better off than they were at their own homes. Applying the Golden Rule to himself on this subject, the Editor would be quite willing to go to such public institutions as he knows of, if the Lord's providence so arranged. He would prefer so to do rather than be burdensome to others.

The child of God, on the alert to serve His King, would probably find many more opportunities for service in a public institution than if he were shut up in a private home. Who knows but that there are hungry hearts needing the bread of life, and that the Lord's providence might guide some of us to the feeding of these, and thus furnish opportunities for their blessing through association with them?


A WORD TO THE WISE

MY DEAR PASTOR:--

Grace and peace be multiplied unto you! About two years ago this past summer, there appeared an article in THE WATCH TOWER, the title of which was something like this: "Proper Decorum in the Church of God."* It seemed to me at that time to be just what was needed. Since then large numbers have been added to all the classes and a reprinting of this same article might prove very helpful.

*The article will be found elsewhere in the columns of this issue.

My reason for thinking so is this: At a Sunday afternoon service of a large class of Associated Bible Students which I attended recently, the confusion before the service was so great that the leader, in order to make himself heard in announcing the first hymn, had to resort to the undignified means of pounding the Hymnal with his fist.

After the service, a newly interested lady was overheard to remark--"Yes; I enjoyed the sermon very much; but the people here have not the reverence for God that they have in the churches. There, they enter quietly, and wait on the Lord until the service begins, and thus prepare themselves for the blessing of the hour." One cannot help but deeply regret that thoughtlessness on the part of the friends is permitted to cast a reflection on the cause they love to serve.

It always has seemed difficult for the dear friends to realize that the same reverence and dignity should characterize their words and actions in a Hall as in a Church building.

In writing this, dear Brother, I am voicing the sentiments which I have heard expressed by others; and I trust it will [R5813 : page 367] not seem like a complaint, but instead, a service in behalf of the cause we all love so well. With warmest love in the Lord,

Yours in His service,
__________.


TIME ENOUGH FOR PROTEST

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--

In reading and rereading the first article of Sept. 1st TOWER; i.e. "Christian Duty and the War," we have been greatly helped and encouraged. We especially wish to speak of the last part of the article and the advice given therein. We gladly accept and appreciate this advice. You seem to have said just what was in our hearts and minds.

We are desirous, however, of asking a further question. Would you think it proper and wise to place before the government at this time, before they become involved in the war, our determination in case they do? "Be it known unto thee, O King, we will not serve thy (War) gods." Would not a perfectly frank and honest position on our part require such action? As for instance, the sending of a resolution to this effect signed by all who wished, to President Wilson and the public press.

Greatly thanking you for your continued labors of love and praying the Master's richest blessing upon you and the glorious work you are doing, we remain,

Yours faithfully in the Anointed, __________.

We advise that no protest be made until there is some demand; and then only a quiet, modest, declaration of our consciences on the subject.
EDITOR.


"LIFT UP YOUR HEADS AND REJOICE!"

Question.--Should the Lord's people be grieved, or should they rejoice, over this present great international war?

Answer.--Our Master said, "When ye see these things begin to come to pass, then lift up your heads and rejoice!" We cannot think that the Lord meant that we should rejoice in the sufferings of those engaged in this war, nor in the sufferings of the wives and children, the bereaved ones, nor in the loss of those whose homes are destroyed, nor in the sorrows of millions here who are without homes in consequence of the war. We cannot think that he meant this! He says that we are to sympathize with those who are in trouble, to rejoice with those who rejoice and to weep with those who weep. The reason why we rejoice is that we know what the outcome of this trouble upon the nations will be, as foreshown in the Scriptures. We rejoice not in the sorrows, the difficulties, not in the war, and what is to follow in its wake, but in the fact that all these things prefigure the end of the reign of Sin and Death and the inauguration of Messiah's glorious Empire!



page 365

YOUR "GOOD HOPES" FOR 1916

[The plan here proposed we designate "GOOD HOPES," because nothing is actually promised--only your generous hopes expressed, based upon your future prospects as they now appear to you. The plan has proved not only so beneficial to the cause of Truth, but also so blessed to the hopers, for some years past, that we again commend it to all as Scriptural and good. Those who desire to make use of this plan can fill out both of these memoranda. One should be kept for the refreshment of your memory; the other mail to us.]

--TO THE--
"WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY."

Dear Friends:--I have read with interest of the openings for the STUDIES and Tract work in foreign lands and here at home. I need not tell you that I am deeply interested in the spread of the Glad Tidings of the lengths and breadths, the heights and depths of redeeming love expressed for us in God's great Plan of the Ages.

I am anxious to use myself--every power, every talent, voice, time, money, influence, all--to give to others this knowledge, which has so greatly blessed, cheered and comforted my own heart and placed my feet firmly upon the Rock of Ages.

I have been considering carefully, and praying to be instructed, how to use my various talents more to my Redeemer's glory and for the service of His people--those blinded by human tradition who are, nevertheless, hungering for "the good Word of God," and those also who are naked, not having on the wedding garment of Christ's imputed righteousness, the unjustified, who stand, at best, in the filthy rags of their own righteousness. I have decided that so far as my "money talent" goes, I will follow the rule so clearly laid down for us by the great Apostle Paul (1 Cor. 16:2), and will lay aside on the first day of each week, according to my thankful appreciation of the Lord's blessings during the preceding week. Out of this fund I wish to contribute to the several parts of the Lord's work specified on the back of this letter. Of course, I cannot in advance judge or state particularly what the Lord's bounty may enable me to set apart weekly, and hence you will understand the sum indicated to be merely my conjecture or hope, based upon present prospects. I will endeavor to contribute more than I here specify; and should I not succeed in doing as well, the Lord will know my heart, and you, also, will know of my endeavors.

My only object in specifying in advance what I hope to be able to do in this cause is to enable those in charge of the work of publishing and circulating the Tracts, etc., to form estimates, lay plans, make contracts, etc., with some idea of what I will at least try to do in the exercise of this, my highly appreciated privilege.

My present judgment is that during the coming year, by self-denial and cross-bearing, I shall be able to lay aside on the first day of each week for Home and Foreign Mission Work (to assist in circulating SCRIPTURE STUDIES in foreign languages, and in publishing the BIBLE STUDENTS MONTHLY in various languages, and in supplying these gratuitously to brethren who have the heart and opportunity to circulate them widely, and in meeting the expenses of brethren sent out as Lecturers to preach the Divine Plan of Salvation, and in general to be expended as the officers of the Society may deem best), the amount of..........per week.

To comply with United States Postal Laws, all or any portion of my donation may be applied as subscription price for WATCH TOWER sent to the Lord's poor or others, as the Society's officers may deem advisable.

That the work be not hindered, I will endeavor to send you what I shall have laid aside for this cause at the close of each quarter. I will secure a Bank Draft, Express Order or Postal Money Order as I may find most convenient, and will address the letter to

WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY, BROOKLYN TABERNACLE, 13-17 HICKS ST., BROOKLYN, N.Y., or, London Tabernacle, Lancaster Gate W., England; or, Flinders Building, Flinders St., Melbourne, Australia.

(Name).................................................

(Post Office)......................(State).............
page 366

WATCH TOWER SUBSCRIPTIONS

ON "GOOD HOPES" ACCOUNT.

The friends who contribute to the "Good Hopes" (described on the reverse of this sheet) at times desire to send THE WATCH TOWER to friends who are not yet interested enough to subscribe for themselves, or to deeply interested friends who are too poor to subscribe and backward about accepting our Lord's Poor offer. They are invited to give us such addresses below--the expense to be deducted from their donations. Give full name and address, and write very plainly, please, mentioning the length of the subscriptions:


WATCH TOWER SUBSCRIPTION RENEWALS

Most of our subscriptions end with the year, so we take this opportunity to remark that we shall be glad to hear promptly from such as desire the visits of THE WATCH TOWER continued. The Lord's Poor friends have been requested to send their applications in May. When names are dropped and afterward renewed it makes us unnecessary trouble. When desiring to know date of expiration look on your TOWER wrapper. Date is given in lower left-hand corner.

A PRIVILEGE AND A SERVICE

We are convinced that THE WATCH TOWER lists do not contain the names of one-half of those deeply interested in its teachings. The total is small enough surely, and we are not content that the name of any should be missing. We believe that all such will be stimulated and encouraged on the "narrow way" by its semi-monthly appearance on their table, reminding them afresh of spiritual matters which the world, the flesh and the Devil continually tend to crowd out of mind and heart.

We have at times required that all desiring THE WATCH TOWER on credit, or free, as "the Lord's Poor," should make personal application; now we request every subscriber to inquire among those whom he knows to be interested in Present Truth, and to obtain the consent of all such to send in their subscriptions either on credit or free, as their circumstances may necessitate. Any getting it on credit may at any future time request that the debt be canceled, and we will cheerfully comply. We desire that as nearly as possible THE WATCH TOWER lists shall represent all deeply interested in its message.

Our object is not the gain of "filthy lucre," but "the perfecting of the saints for the work of ministry"--present and to come. (Eph. 4:12.) We offer no premiums, desiring the cooperation of such only as appreciate the privilege of being coworkers with us in this ministry.

CREATION DRAMA SCENARIO

This is a condensed statement of the Divine Plan of the Ages--profusely illustrated--much information in little space. The ninety-six short, pithy lectures of the CREATION DRAMA can be supplied in print as follows:

IN ENGLISH:
    *De Luxe, gold edges, embossed, 400 illustrations
      .................................................. $1.00 postpaid
    Cloth, burnished edges, embossed, 400 illustrations
      ..................................................   .50     "
    *Paper in three booklets, complete; per set.........   .25     "
    A Newspaper edition in 4 Parts......................  FREE
IN SPANISH, ITALIAN, GREEK, POLISH, ARMENIAN
      AND GERMAN:+
    Cloth bound, complete...............................   .25 postpaid
    Paper   "       "  .................................   .15     "
    Newspaper edition, 3 Parts, 2c ea.; per set.........   .05     "
IN FINNISH (glossed paper, embossed like English
      Ed.):
    De Luxe, gold edge..................................  1.00     "
    Cloth, red edge.....................................   .50     "
    Paper, 3 Parts; per set.............................   .25     "
    Newspaper edition, 4 Parts, 2c ea.; per set.........   .05     "
IN SWEDISH: Newspaper ed. only, 2c ea.; per set.........   .05     "
   Colporteurs and Class Secretaries may deduct one-half
from above prices if shipment is ordered charges collect.

*On the De Luxe and Paper Editions of the English SCENARIO we now offer to all, Class Secretaries or otherwise, two copies for the price of one, and ten sets of the paper edition (30 Parts) for $1 postpaid. Get them into the hands of the public.

+The German SCENARIOS are temporarily out of stock. They are now being printed here and will be ready for delivery about Jan. 1.


CHOICE MOTTO CARDS--1915-1916

We have, as usual, very choice sorts. These cards are made in Europe, hence subject to heavy expenses for freight and duty, especially since the war began. Nevertheless, we can supply them in the United States and Canada at less than retail European prices, because we supply them at about cost price--that is to say, about one-half the usual American prices. Besides this, we prepay postage or express charges. Our object is to encourage the embellishment of the homes of the Lord's people with faith-stimulating and courage-inspiring texts tastefully prepared. To facilitate the handling of these motto cards we assort them in packets, carefully packed, at the following prepaid rates:

Packet Ma--Ten mottoes, small and medium, postpaid 50c.

Number Mb--Eight medium-sized cards, $1.

Number Mc--Two large, and two medium cards, $1.

Where $5 worth of these are sent to one address the saving in packing and expressage would be 50c., making the price $4.50. Order by number only.

DAILY HEAVENLY MANNA

Those who use this book as we recommend are surely being blessed. It should be on your breakfast table regularly. Its daily text should be read and commented on freely by all. Then the MANNA comment should be read. This book contains the same texts and comments as all former editions. Every alternate leaf is blank-ruled for use as an autograph and birthday record. Its value increases as additional autographs of friends are secured. It is printed on fine bond paper.

The following wholesale rates postpaid are granted to all WATCH TOWER subscribers:

Purple cloth, gold embossed, gilt edges.............. $0.35
Dark blue cloth, silver embossed, German.............   .35
Leatherette, blue edges, Swedish and Norwegian.......   .35
Leatherette, gold edges, Swedish and Norwegian.......   .65
Genuine Morocco, gold edges, English and Norwegian...  1.10

MISCELLANEOUS
Bible Students Manual (Berean Helps), karatol, 50c; full
    leather.......................................... $1.00
Hymns of Dawn, with music (cloth)....................   .35
Hymns of Dawn, without music (flexible)..............   .06
Poems of Dawn, leather, 50c; karatol, 35c; cloth.....   .25
CHARTS (Blue Prints, soft cloth):
    Plan of the Ages, 5 ft., $1; 8 ft................  1.50
    Chronology of the Bible, 8 ft....................  1.50
    Tabernacle of the Wilderness, 8 ft...............  1.50
BINDERS for THE WATCH TOWER; Spring Back (holds
    1 year)..........................................   .50
CROSS AND CROWN PINS (Gold, with Red Enamel):
    5/8"--No. 1 Ladies' Style, No. 2 Gents', each....  1.15
    1/2"--No. 3 Gents' Style, No. 4 Ladies', each....  1.00
    5/8"--Celluloid, per dozen, 25c; each............   .03
Missionary Envelopes, per hundred, 25c; per M........  2.00
Vow Bookmarks (paper), 25c per 100; (silk) each......   .05
"Dove" Poem and Vow Bookmarks (celluloid), 5c; per
    dozen............................................   .50
Booklets (on Hell, Spiritism, Evolution, Tabernacle
    Shadows, Our Lord's Return), also Berean Question
    Booklets on each volume of SCRIPTURE STUDIES and on
    The Tabernacle, each 5c; per dozen...............   .50
Report on Foreign Missions, each.....................   .05
Judge Rutherford's Defense of Pastor Russell (illus.),
    10c.; 25 for.....................................  2.00
Tracts in all languages..............................  FREE



page 368

International Bible Students Association Classes

STUDIES AND LECTURES BY MEMBERS OF THE PEOPLES PULPIT ASSOCIATION



page 369
December 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

VOL. XXXVIDECEMBER 15No. 24

A. D. 1915--A.M. 6044


CONTENTS

W.T.B. & T. Society Annual Report371
The Colporteur Work371
Creation Photo-Drama371
Eureka Drama Successful372
The Newspaper Work372
Free Literature in Many Languages373
Financial Sinews of War373
The Carol of the "Bride" (Poem)373
Upheld in the "Evil Day"374
Subtle Testings374
The Glorious Proclamation376
Logic of the Message377
From Glory to a Manger379
God's Mercy to Israel and to Others379
God's New Nation380
Labor of Love to Be Rewarded380
Perseverance in This Ministry381
Some Interesting Letters382
Harvest Workers Successful382
Index to "The Watch Tower"--1915384

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 370

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 AND 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, London, 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.

[R5819 : page 370]

OPPORTUNITIES FOR SERVICE BY COMPETENTS


By competents we mean Brethren and Sisters who have the proper qualifications, namely, good address, clear knowledge of the Truth, and ability to present it wisely and interestingly.

We have lists from all over the country of people who have sent in their cards requesting literature, thus manifesting more or less interest in Present Truth. Our suggestion is that these all be called upon by the competents of the Brethren and Sisters, with a view to seeing whether they have been side-tracked, or whether their interest continues and grows--and to help them. If they have not the STUDIES in the Scriptures they can be supplied them at the very low prices at which they are sold in any language. If they have no money the books can be loaned to them. Those who have purchased often need merely a wise call and an invitation to attend the Class of Bible Students. Thus their interest in Present Truth is fanned into a flame--a zeal for God and for the Truth.

We are carrying on such a work here in New York with excellent results. We suggest it to all the dear friends who have the necessary qualifications. It is better, in our judgment, than too frequent Volunteering. The Volunteering four times a year we believe enough.

Classes willing to undertake this campaign of visitings will be supplied with cards showing the addresses of their fellow-citizens who have written or who have purchased books within a year or two. Drop a postal card to THE WATCH TOWER Office, Brooklyn, requesting the addresses in your town or city and giving us the names of those who will participate, with assurances that they will be discreet and not seek to bore the people to buy the books if they do not wish them when brought to their attention.


[R5820 : page 370]

VOLUNTEER LITERATURE READY

Our first Volunteer literature for 1916 is now ready, B.S.M. No. 7-7. The principal articles are "A Great Prophecy Nearing Fulfilment"--"The First Resurrection"--"Consumption and the Good Tidings"--"Fatal Ambition vs. Noble Ambition" --"The Outward and the Inward Man."

We believe that this will be a very acceptable number for general circulation. Classes and individuals where there are no Classes are invited to place their orders immediately--for not more than they will be sure to distribute promptly, faithfully. In estimating the quantity do not exceed one paper to each family; that is, a total of one-fifth of the English-speaking population.

Volunteer numbers are supplied free of charge and sent by freight, collect. After receiving it in good order send us the receipt and we will promptly reimburse you. We find that sometimes we have had difficulty when we prepaid. Sometimes deliveries were less prompt and sometimes freight charges were collected at both ends.

We remind the dear friends everywhere that we pay the freight on Volunteer matter only. These alone are supplied in large quantities. Other numbers, for use amongst your friends and neighbors, but not in general Volunteering, we supply free, but you are expected to pay the postage or expressage. We do not keep these outside numbers in large quantities. Where not more than eight copies are ordered by mail we pay the postage, making no charge.


I.B.S.A. BEREAN BIBLE STUDIES
FOR THE MONTH OF JANUARY
Questions from Manual on Series Third of
"STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES"
STUDIES II.-III.
Week of January  2..Q. 51 to 57  Week of January 16...Q.  1 to  7
Week of January  9..Q. 58 to 64  Week of January 23...Q.  8 to 14
Week of January 30..Q. 15 to 20.

Question Manuals on Vol. III., STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, 5c. each; or 50c. per dozen, postpaid.



[R5813 : page 371]

WATCH TOWER, BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY ANNUAL REPORT FOR FISCAL YEAR--1915

ALTHOUGH the year 1915 falls considerably short of previous years in respect to the Society's activities in the promulgation of Truth; nevertheless, this is one of the best reports the Society has ever been privileged to render. It so impresses us because many of the dear friends who have been active supporters of the work in the past have been so generous, so fervent, so zealous, that they left themselves with merely enough of this world's goods to properly maintain themselves and those for whom they had responsibility. Our expectations that the Lord's consecrated people might be taken beyond the veil by October, 1914, had much to do with these previous activities; leading the friends to spend and be spent in the most marvelous way in the interest of the King and the brethren, heirs of the Kingdom.

True, for two years preceding the date mentioned, THE WATCH TOWER pointed out that the grand climax of our hopes seemed not likely to be fulfilled at that time. Nevertheless, the fervent zeal of the brethren led many of them to serve to their limit. And during the year preceding, the PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION so greatly appealed to the brethren as a providential arrangement of the Lord for the scattering of the Truth that it quite made up for any loss of expectancy in regard to the time. We therefore consider it very remarkable that in the face of these circumstances the work has gone on, practically uninterrupted--some features of it even increasing, notwithstanding the financial depression of the earlier half of the fiscal year.

First of all, we note the beautiful spirit manifested by the Lord's people in every part of the Harvest field. A deep work of grace in the hearts and minds of the brethren is everywhere manifest. Their possession of the Holy Spirit in increasing measure is manifested, as the Apostle declared it should be, in the fruits of the Spirit; i.e., meekness, gentleness, patience, long-suffering, brotherly kindness, love. We know of these prevailing conditions, not merely through the dear brethren who represent the Pilgrim work and by whom reports are continually sent in in respect to every Class visited; but we have information of the same thing from every part of the world, through the Correspondence Department.

As an illustration of how the work goes grandly on, we note the fact that in the New York City Congregation the number immersed during the year--208--exceeded those of the preceding years. We have similar reports from all over the world, witnessing to an increasing number, coming under the influence of the Truth, and "presenting their bodies, living sacrifices," in consecration to the Lord and His service.

THE COLPORTEUR WORK

The financial strain of the early part of the year discouraged many of the Colporteurs, and led them to leave the Harvest work temporarily and enter business pursuits--it being impossible for them, for a time, to meet their expenses. Now, however, the great improvement in business everywhere, resulting from the manufacture of munitions of war for Europe, is encouraging many of these brethren to return to the Harvest work. There surely never was a more encouraging time for engaging in this blessed service.

Not only are the STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES supplemented by the CREATION SCENARIO; but additionally and especially, the minds of the people are open as never before, to know something about the meaning of the war, and to consider the relationship of God and the Divine Plan to the terrible war now in progress. We have the thing they need, the thing they crave; and no one else has it. We are hoping that many of the dear friends who became temporarily discouraged will perceive the hand of the Lord beckoning forward for a further gleaning in the Harvest field before "the night cometh when no man can work." The circumstances mentioned will account for the decrease in the output of the STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, as shown in this report.

THE PILGRIM WORK

While various circumstances and conditions have seemed to make it advisable that some of the Pilgrim brethren be dropped from the active service, others have been brought into the work, and still others are expected to enter it in the near future. The results of the year, as shown in the tabulation, certainly compare very favorably with the year 1914. We consider this one of the most important branches of the service, and continue to commend to the love and special consideration of all the Lord's people the Pilgrims whom the Society sends forth. A special blessing seems to be going with this feature of the work at the present time. The public have an ear to hear, and the Lord seems to be giving His faithful ones more and more of wisdom and grace in the presentation of the Message. The results are gratifying.

CREATION PHOTO-DRAMA

This branch of the work, having been pushed for a year most persistently at great expense, yielded such [R5813 : page 372] bountiful results that we were loth to see the great activity in this direction curtailed. Nevertheless, it was the only wise and possible thing under the circumstances--the financial stringency. For a time, all but three of the DRAMAS in the United States were discontinued; and these were not run as continuously as before. Various endeavors were made to put the DRAMA on a financial footing to yield its own expenses. It was found, however, that in order to make it attractive to the Theater people, the DRAMA was so shortened that the main object was largely frustrated. The Society, on the contrary, had the special interest in the slides and records, because by these the great Gospel Message was delivered--the moving pictures merely being introduced to draw the audience and to hold their attention. All such exhibitions of the DRAMA have been discontinued. Hereafter it is to be shown only in its full four parts, without any curtailment. And the Lord's blessing seems to be returning to the DRAMA on the free basis.

We have now, practically, all of our DRAMA sets in operation, though not showing usually, except Sundays, in the Theaters. And the friends can usually obtain the Theaters at a very low price. In cities where ordinary Photo-Drama entertainments are not permitted by law, [R5814 : page 372] CREATION is welcomed by the Theater managers at about the cost of janitor service and lights; and we are finding that in cities where moving pictures are permitted, the Theater people are willing to give Sunday forenoon, 10:30 to 12:30, to the DRAMA, at practically no cost, except that of janitor service and light. This does not indicate the interest of the managers in the DRAMA, but merely their desire to have something which will help to give moral tone to the Theaters.

THE EUREKA DRAMA SUCCESSFUL

We have been very pleasantly surprised to note the splendid results secured by the EUREKA DRAMA outfit-- tinted slides, phonograph, records, scenarios, etc. These of course meet with their greatest success in suburban places, where the people are not so satiated with moving picture exhibits. Although the pictures are not so fine as in the PHOTO-DRAMA, they are nevertheless good, and highly appreciated. It is freely recognized that we have the largest variety of religious pictures ever exhibited; and these are introduced in a chronological and historical arrangement, which adds to their value.

To our surprise, it is found that the people really seem to give closer attention to the EUREKA DRAMA than to the PHOTO-DRAMA. Our wonderful records, so clear, so distinct, are a special attraction. Never before, we believe, have such records been put forth, giving the human voice in its full power, and so distinctly that many people have inquired why the speaker did not come forward on the platform to be seen and receive applause, some even refusing to believe that the records were those of the phonograph, insisting that no phonograph ever produced such a result.

There are 86 of these EUREKA DRAMA outfits in the hands of the Brethren in various parts, and we trust that they are all being used at least every Sunday. Many of them, we note, are used almost constantly, every night in the week. We regret that we do not have an accurate report on these. We are deeply interested in knowing that they are all actively engaged and noting the results. Only fourteen Classes are giving regular reports; seventy-two we know nothing about. And yet we do know, that thus far we have had 5,560 exhibitions reported, with a total of 1,012,268 in attendance. The interest aroused by these may be indicated to some extent by requests for literature other than that which was freely distributed-- the number of card requests for literature being 30,645.

Surely with such amount of interest manifested, with the people sitting listening to every word of the Message, while viewing the pictures illustrating the same, we would hardly ask for better opportunities for presenting the Truth--the Gospel Message. We trust that each of the DRAMAS is being kept busy; and we again express the hope that we may be informed of the activities and results.

THE WATCH TOWER

We continue to consider THE WATCH TOWER lists our best criterion in respect to the general progress of the Harvest work. The brethren will all be gratified to know that we are now printing an average of 55,000 copies of each issue. This indicates a deeper and larger interest in the Truth than ever before. Besides this, there are issues of the journal in the German, Swedish, Dano-Norwegian and Polish languages.

While we have reached and passed the mark that we some time ago set for the list--fifty thousand--we are not yet content. We have every reason to believe that our list should be double what it now is, if all the interested knew fully about THE WATCH TOWER and realized their need of its regular visits. We are dependent upon the zeal and loyalty of the brethren everywhere to make known to the interested ones, just what THE WATCH TOWER is, and to recommend to them that they send in their subscription. We believe that many are missing the blessing, and would therefore stir up into active cooperation the pure minds of all the dear brethren to this Department of activity in the Master's Cause-- to the intent that the brethren may be "built up in the most Holy Faith"--into Christ, their living Head.

THE NEWSPAPER WORK

The financial stringency has interfered more with the newspaper work than with any other branch of the service. Had we the money, we would have representatives traveling continuously, visiting the newspapers, showing the publishers the difference between the Sermon reports furnished by the Pastor Russell Lecture Bureau and all other Sermon reports. Editors and publishers believe that very little interest is taken in the Sermons by the majority of their readers. They need to be made aware of the fact that these Sermons are different, and that they appeal to the public where others do not. But financial conditions have not permitted activities along this line. Hence, there has been quite a falling off in the list of papers publishing the Sermons regularly. Nevertheless, there is still a goodly number of these.

Anybody desiring to obtain the Sermons weekly can be accommodated by addressing the Society's Office. Not many now are publishing the three-column service. Nevertheless, we can supply these to those who desire them at any price they may choose to pay. Some publishers give to the Society as low a rate as 15c per year; others 25c; others 50c; others $1. Such subscriptions sent in to us are distributed between the different papers, according to your desires, and according to the reasonable proportions that would go to each paper.

VOLUNTEERING ACTIVITIES INCREASED

The term Volunteering we apply to the voluntary distribution, by the friends, of special issues of THE BIBLE STUDENTS' MONTHLY--systematically distributed by Classes cooperating or sometimes by individuals. Where there is a Class, a Volunteer Captain is chosen, by whom the home town is districted, a portion of service being given to each one of the Class able, and desirous of participating, the shipments being made to said Captains. These activities are usually extended gradually to the suburbs of the town or city, and in some instances to [R5814 : page 373] neighboring towns or cities where there may be no Classes. The Society provides this volunteer literature without charge, and with the promise of repayment of the freight charges.

In the past, the charges were sometimes prepaid and afterwards demanded upon delivery. Now, all are to be paid on delivery and the receipt to be sent to THE WATCH TOWER Office, that the amount of the freight charges may be reimbursed to the Captain of the volunteers. In addition to this regular volunteering, we supply in limited quantities, any number of the "B.S.M."--not for promiscuous circulation, but rather that the Class may have these on hand to be given to visitors, or to those who make inquiry for answers to certain questions. We do not keep these in very large quantities. While we desire to supply them freely, we do not consider them the volunteer matter for general distribution. They are sent free, but with charges collect.

We are sure that it will surprise many of you, as it did us, to find that the zeal of the dear brethren was unabated; that the demand for this free literature for 1915 exceeded that of any previous year. In the report, this might not seem to be true, because the figures are less than those of last year. We call attention, however, to the fact that the figures include the free SCENARIOS of the PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION and that this free literature practically stopped with the stopping of the DRAMA. So far as the BIBLE STUDENTS' MONTHLY is concerned, the year 1915 stands at the very top of the list. The total amount, including distributions in Great Britain and in foreign lands, reaches to about 50,000,000 copies.

FREE LITERATURE IN MANY LANGUAGES

Have in mind, dear friends, that the Society is publishing free literature in nearly every language, and that the SCRIPTURE STUDIES are now to be had in twenty different languages. We cannot undertake to enumerate all of these, nor is it necessary. Whatever you have use for, write to us, explaining your needs.

Under this heading we mention the work for the blind. We have the first Volume of STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, and many Sermons and WATCH TOWER articles prepared for the blind in raised characters--the American Braille--the English Braille--the New York Point. If you know of any blind people who desire to read, they can be supplied without charge--books being loaned, subject to return, postage free. Such orders may be sent direct to this Office, or addressed to "Gould Free Library," South Boston, Mass.

FINANCIAL SINEWS OF WAR

To a certain extent, the Christian soldiers are engaged in a great warfare against sin, against error, against superstition--against the Adversary of men who is specially the Adversary of the light and of the Lord and the faithful followers of Jesus. All of the Society's activities are opposed by the Adversary, and are necessarily in opposition to him and his course, and in favor of the Lord and His Message.

The Lord has very wonderfully, through His people, supplied the sinews of war--money--and that without solicitation on our part. Those who receive the Truth into good and honest hearts seem to be so impressed by it that many of them are in danger of giving more than they might reasonably afford to give, to send the Good Tidings to others. We believe that the Lord is very appreciative of such loving zeal; and that in due time those who are supporting the work financially, as well as those who are supporting the cause with their other talents, will all meet with a share in the great reward: "Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joys of your Lord." [R5815 : page 373]

We are sure the financial conditions, all being taken into consideration, our readers will agree that the report shown in this issue is an excellent one--even though being far short of last year's. A summary of the work follows:

SUMMARY OF SOCIETY'S ACTIVITIES IN UNITED STATES AND CANADA
Letters received..................................   181,834
Letters sent out..................................   332,773

           LITERATURE SUPPLIED AT COST

Output of SCRIPTURE STUDIES--Vols.................   362,344
   "   "  Bibles and other books..................    53,355
   "   "  Booklets................................    88,447
   "   "  DRAMA SCENARIOS (bound).................    55,630
   "   "  WATCH TOWERS............................ 1,406,000

            LITERATURE SUPPLIED FREE

Free SCENARIOS--output............................ 1,528,000
Free BIBLE STUDENTS' MONTHLY......................39,289,000
Sermons in newspapers............................214,777,060

              PILGRIM SERVICE FREE

Number of Pilgrims................................        65
Miles traveled....................................   505,957
Towns visited.....................................     6,233
Public meetings held..............................     1,843
Semi-public meetings held.........................     2,735
Parlor meetings held..............................     8,971
Total attendance..................................   833,522

        FINANCIAL REPORT FOR FISCAL YEAR

Pilgrims' Expenses................................$22,675.58
Free Literature, Sermons, etc.....................180,823.69
Assistance to Foreign Branches and helpers........ 30,841.85
DRAMA Expense in forepart of year................. 53,788.65
                                                 -----------
Total Expenditure................................$288,129.77
Cash balance from 1914.......... $1,677.12
Good Hopes, Tract Fund, etc.....185,739.56
Special donation to balance.....100,713.09
                                ----------       $288,129.77


THE CAROL OF THE "BRIDE"
Cant. 4:12-16.
The North Wind blows cold o'er my Garden today--
Its fierce blasts rush mad on their pitiless path;
The trees bend and sway in their giant grasp,
And cower and shrink from their furious wrath.

They plant their roots deep, and still deeper; their arms
Take on sinews of strength as they writhe in the blast.
O bitter North Wind, thy fury is vain!
For strength born of need brings the victory at last!


***


Today o'er my Garden the South Wind plays,
And gently it kisses the blossoms fair;
Their soft petals tremble in glad response,
And their perfume flows out on the quivering air.

The soft breeze caresses each glistening leaf,
It whispers a message to each blushing rose;
And sweet, timid violets look up at its touch--
The touch that only the South Wind knows.

It sings to the trees a low, murm'ring refrain,
And steals thro' the branches with tremulous sigh;
They clap their soft hands as they dance in their glee,
For old Winter has fled and the Summer is nigh.


***


O South Wind, O North Wind, ye both brought rich gifts!
My fair flowers are sheltered, my trees great and strong!
And sweeter my blossoms, and richer my fruits;
To North Wind and South Wind I carol my song!

My Beloved has come to His Garden--and lo,
Sweet spices and perfumes and blossoms most fair,
And ripe, golden fruitage I lay at His feet!
What joy could be greater! What priv'lege so rare!

October 21, 1915.
ALICE G. JAMES.



[R5815 : page 374]

UPHELD IN THE "EVIL DAY"

"He shall give His angels [messengers] charge concerning thee, to guard thee in all thy ways; they shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone."--Psalm 91:11,12.
THE introduction of this Psalm seems clearly to indicate that it applies exclusively to the consecrated people of God during the Gospel Age, the spirit-begotten ones--those who abide under the shadow of the Almighty, in the secret place of Jehovah. This same thought is represented symbolically in the typical Tabernacle. The secret place where the saints abide is the Holy. None were allowed to enter the typical Holy and Most Holy except the high priest and the under priests. All of the people of Israel, so far as they were living in close harmony with this arrangement, were blessed. But the secret place, the Holy, is the one referred to in this Psalm.

Coming down to Jesus' day, we see that He was the first to enter the antitypical Holy and the Most Holy. He entered the first of the Holies when He offered up Himself at Jordan. When He made His consecration at baptism, instantly He was in the Holy, instead of being outside in the Court. If He would abide in the Holy and continue under the Shadow of the Almighty, all of God's providences would be favorable to Him and all things would work together for His good. So when Jesus had finished His course victoriously, He passed beyond the Second Veil, and entered into Heaven itself--the Most Holy. (Hebrews 6:19,20; 9:24.) While in the flesh He was kept in all His ways; He was guarded of God, and not suffered to be tempted above that which He was able to bear. In the Garden of Gethsemane, the Father revealed Himself in some manner not specifically stated, except that we are told that angels came and ministered unto the Master. God "maketh His angels spirits; His ministers a flaming fire."--Psalm 104:4.

God can use anything or anybody as His agency, His messenger. But there were very few of the human family in Jesus' day capable of being used as God's comforting angels to our Lord. Mary of Bethany was one of these, who, just prior to the Master's crucifixion, anointed His feet with a fragrant, costly perfume, and wiped them with her hair. She was one who gave Him consolation when His mind was agitated with the thought that five days thence He would be crucified. He realized that none of the people understood, that none of them were able to enter into His feelings. But Mary's service was very precious to the Lord--very encouraging to Him.

SUBTLE TESTINGS PECULIAR TO OUR DAY

So the Lord has also used spirits--angels--and at times various other agencies, human beings and even the powers of nature, as His ministers. If the Father were wishing to send some message to us, His children, He could use the electric power that we are learning to use in wireless telegraphy and telephony. But He has not chosen to use this power as His messenger to speak to us directly. Our text gives us the thought, however, that the Lord's special supervision is over all His saints, the class which He has been selecting since Pentecost, with a view to their preparation for the Heavenly Kingdom through growth in the graces of the Spirit. But we see that this Psalm as a whole has a special application to our day, when "a thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand," and when the pestilence shall be abroad. When pestilence is in the air, it inoculates a person without his being conscious of the fact, and it is thus that we, "the feet" members of the Body of Christ, are exposed to special trials and dangers--spiritual pestilence.

This is the time to which all the prophets pointed as a time of special persecution. In the past there have been times of persecution to the professed people of God; but they were times when the right was more manifest, when a sharp line was drawn between the right and the wrong. When the question was raised, "Will you serve the Lord, or will you serve Baal?" it was not difficult to see the right and decide, "I will be on the Lord's side." In the days of the early Church, the question was, "Will you curry favor with the Roman power, or will you suffer persecution by following Christ?" It was Christ or the Emperor. Still later down, when the question was as to one's choice between one denomination or another, the issue was clearly drawn: "Am I on God's side, or am I on the side of the Adversary?" But during the past forty years the differences between the denominations have been practically ignored.

Sometimes those who were being persecuted were somewhat to blame for their persecution; for they held errors that were more or less atrocious. But all the way down, the trials and temptations were, it would appear, less subtle than they are at the present time. Today these [R5816 : page 374] great denominations that formerly fought one another are trying to be one body. It would seem on the surface as though the Millennium had come, and that the lion and the lamb were lying down together. In general there seems to be among Christian people a feeling of amity and a desire to do good rather than evil. The cases in which violent persecution is indulged are far between, and not appreciated by the masses.

For the past forty years, then, there has been a condition that is constituting a crucial test to all Christian people. The subtle doctrines of Spiritism, of Christian Science, of Theosophy, and of New Thought of different kinds, are prevalent. Likewise the theory of Evolution is widely proclaimed. Learned men formulated the theory of Evolution, and then the Higher Critics began to pull the Bible to pieces, because of "the oppositions of science, falsely so-called." (1 Timothy 6:20.) These false theories have constituted a miasma that has spread in every direction. There are four hundred millions of Christians, according to some; seven or eight hundred millions, according to other authorities. These include all the infants, the feeble-minded and the insane. Whether they are one minute old or fifty years old, they are reckoned members of the Church, if they have had certain drops of water sprinkled on their heads and certain words said over them.

But amongst the most intelligent of those who name the name of Jesus there has been a great falling away from the Word of God. This testing has been the most insidious, the more injurious, because it has come from the theological seminaries. Thousands have fallen. They are not about to fall, they have fallen. They have lost all anchorage to the Word of the Lord. Out of the two hundred thousand professed ministers of Christ, probably not more than ten per cent. believe in the Bible as the inspired Word of God. Ten per cent. would be twenty thousand, leaving one hundred and eighty thousand who have fallen from faith. If they have fallen from faith in the inspiration of the Bible, we may be sure that they have in a measure fallen from relationship to God. Some probably never were in relationship with the Lord in any sense.

UNFOUNDED HOPES OF THE MANY TODAY

What revelation has God made except that given in the Bible? "Having no hope and without God in the world," represents the condition of the many. They have hopes of their own, but not a Bible hope. The Theosophists have [R5816 : page 375] a hope, the Spiritualists have a hope, the Christian Scientists have a hope, and so have the Evolutionists; but the hope of all these is without foundation and will surely fail them in this testing time.

The hope of the Evolutionist is not that he can himself survive everlastingly; but that, as he learns more day by day, he may be able to beget better children, who will be more noble of character and more wise of head than he has been. In turn, these children may be able to live longer and have children yet more wise and strong. These Evolutionists believe the time will come in the distant future when their children will be so wise as to be able to take advantage of all the circumstances of life, and may continue to live forever. From our viewpoint these people are without God, without hope.

It is true that these ministers speak of Jesus, but the message that they give is not the Bible Message. They say, indeed, that there was a great deal of good in the life of Jesus worthy to be copied, that He was a good Example, etc. We think that they speak after this manner simply for its moral effect upon the people. If these men lived such a life as Jesus lived, they would reprove the people and tell them that they are living very foolishly, that they are living for self and neglecting the Word of God. These same ministers who hold Jesus up as an Example know very well that it is because of the way that He lived that He died at thirty-three years of age--died instead of living everlastingly. They admit that He was a very fine character, but the majority of them have no place in their scheme for His Ransom-sacrifice. And in urging their people in respect to following the example of Jesus, this class apparently do not urge them to lay down their lives for the Truth and in the service of God.

They tell their people not to go to war, unless their country calls them, and not until the ministers preach it; but that if it ever becomes popular to go to war, then go to war and make all the cannon possible. Meantime the preachers will train the little boys, and form of them Boys' Brigades and Boy Scouts. When war comes, then let the boys be noble Boy Scouts, shoulder their rifles and do their best to kill. Let them help uphold the war, and fight on their own side. Let their people care for and help to heal the wounded--all who have not been killed outright. Let them bind up their wounds, and get them ready as quickly as possible to go out to the trenches and fight again, and perhaps be killed.

SKEPTICISM NOW RIFE EVERYWHERE

All this is a confusion of religious instruction. It comes because these people are fallen from faith in the Bible. Some of them, seeking to hedge when inquired of on the subject of their faith, will say, "Well, we believe all the words of Jesus." And some publishers, following along the line of this growing sentiment, have published New Testaments with the words of Jesus printed in red text, so that those who wish to read His words alone have there before them these words lettered in red. But if asked whether they believe in the words of Jesus in regard to Jonah and the great fish, and in His words about the Flood in Noah's day, they will retrench and answer, "No; we believe as much as our minds tell us is reasonable, and we think the rest is all nonsense." The truth is that they have no real faith in Jesus, nor in what He declared His life in the flesh was for. They do not believe that He was a sacrifice for sin, and say so freely. They have fallen from the position of faith.

Now if the teachers of the people have fallen, what shall we say for the people themselves, the four hundred millions or the eight hundred millions? Some have been in one denomination and some in another, but in general the whole procedure has been to keep them in ignorance. That may not seem to be strictly true when we think of how many schools and colleges there are. But the fact is that only a small portion of the people ever get as far as a collegiate course, or even a high school course. Before that time they are supposed to be on the side of the deceived ones. Many of our great universities today are hotbeds of infidelity. Bible Truth is being kept from the people. With the colleges endowed with millions of money and with learned professors, and the whole Christian world, so called, under the tutelage of the two hundred thousand ministers of the nominal church, the wonder is that the people are not all infidels.

With this view, then, of the past forty years, we see a fulfilment of this Psalm. We see that thousands and tens of thousands have fallen. We see where they have fallen. We see why they have fallen. We see that the few are standing--"the feet" of Christ. As we look out over the world and see these thousands, we perceive that the few who have come into covenant relationship with the Lord are the only ones who are standing. But many even of these, because of having been overcharged with the cares of this life and the deceitfulness of riches, and false teachings, are in a trembling condition and are quite unable to stand firmly. These need our immediate help.

URGENT NEED OF THE WHOLE ARMOR

The Apostle Paul urges all the Lord's people to "put on the whole armor of God." Some of them have not had on much of the armor of God, but that of the creeds of the Dark Ages. Some of them, under the false teachings of modern Higher Criticism, Evolution, etc., have only a wavering faith. They are weak, instead of being "strong in the Lord and in the power of His might," as they should be. Now is the time for all these to be strong, in order that they may "be able to stand in the evil day," now upon us. They need to have on "the breastplate of righteousness," to be "shod with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace," to have "the shield of faith," and "the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God."-- Ephesians 6:10-17.

We who have put on "the whole armor of God," who have become measurably skilful in the handling of the Sword of the Spirit--the truths now due from God's Word--need to use this now in the interest of all who may be succored. They need to be assisted to put on the whole armor quickly, that they may be protected from the darts of the Adversary now flying thick and fast, that they may be saved from the errors now abounding on every hand, that they may be uplifted from their temporary fall and made strong in the Lord.

MINISTERING ANGELS

This 91st Psalm, then, seems to be a picture of the present time; and we are to strive to be the angels mentioned in our text. These angels, or ministers, are preeminently the children of God. They are to minister to the brethren. This is the high honor God has given to His people throughout the Gospel Age. In our Lord's case angels, spirit beings, ministered to Him; and in the cases of some of the Apostles the angels appeared and ministered to them at certain times. The Scriptures declare, indeed, that the angels are "all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation." But we have very little reason to expect that God will use any of the spirit beings to do a service that may be done by His people.

According to this Psalm we see that now is the time when the "feet" members are in special danger of [R5817 : page 376] stumbling, and hence require special assistance. After the various snares of this day have been described with particularity, we read, in the words of our text, "He shall give His angels charge concerning thee,...lest thou dash thy foot against a stone." Our Lord spoke of Himself at the First Advent as the Stone of Stumbling to the House of Israel, foretold by the Prophet Isaiah. (Matthew 21:42-45.) The Apostle Paul refers to this prophecy that Jesus would be a Stone of Stumbling to both the Houses of Israel.--Isaiah 8:14; Romans 9:32,33.

Our Lord was a Stone of Stumbling to the Natural House of Israel in their forty years of Harvest. Similarly, we see that He has been, as foretold, the Stone of Stumbling in this Harvest, during these past forty years. His presence and His work were neither understood nor appreciated in the Jewish Harvest; and so here, the fact of our Lord's parousia, presence, is disbelieved and His Ransom-sacrifice repudiated. The events of today are manifestations of His presence. These things and the vital truths of Scripture, now more clear and luminous than ever, are stumbling-stones to the world, but are blessings to the faithful, watching ones. The true people of God, mounting on this Stepping-Stone, are lifted up to a higher view-point and kept from stumbling. The doctrine of the Ransom and the evidences of the Master's Second Presence at this time are unspeakable advantages to the saints of the Lord.

PRESENT FULFILMENT OF OUR TEXT

We see that the "stone" of our text is a symbolic stone. Satan tried to apply it literally in His temptation of Jesus, when he urged Him to cast Himself down from the pinnacle of the Temple. But Jesus said, "Get thee hence, Satan," and refused to make any such application of the Scripture. But we see the fulfilment of it in this our day. We believe that the Lord has raised up messengers, agencies, which have been very helpful to all of the "feet" class. These agencies have been various. The printed page with its Message of Present Truth has gone in many languages to all parts of the earth, to seek out and to sustain the members of "the feet" of Christ. Thousands are writing us continually that they have been recovered when they have been in great danger. Some of these had already gone into infidelity; many had lost all faith in the Bible as the Word of God. But they are strong in the Lord and in the power of His might today.

God has used these agencies, then; and these have been His ministering spirits, which have ministered to His people. We do not say that there have not been invisible agencies also, but we know the agencies that we have seen. So our text has a good message for us all. "He shall give His angels charge over thee, to guard thee in all thy ways." Whatever may be the difficulties of the Lord's children in the near future, there will be a special comfort in remembering that the Lord is able to make full provision for all His true-hearted ones, and that He will do so. He will continue to use these agencies, and there will be the strengthening of His people to the end of the way. If there are any who will not be thus led, it must be because there is something wrong in themselves. We should each see to it that we are of the "thee" class. "No evil shall come nigh thee." (Psalm 91:10.) That will mean Divine protection to the very end of our course.



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THE GLORIOUS PROCLAMATION
--DECEMBER 19.--LUKE 2:1-20.--

THE ANGELIC MESSAGE OF THE FIRST CHRISTMAS DAY--"GOOD TIDINGS OF GREAT JOY"--TO BE ACCOMPLISHED DURING THE MILLENNIUM--THE BLESSING TO COME FIRST TO THE CHURCH AND THEN TO THE WORLD--THEN "PEACE ON EARTH, GOOD WILL TO MEN" FOREVERMORE--"GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST!"

"For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord."--Verse 11.
THE Message of the angels to the shepherds on the plains of Bethlehem becomes more and more precious to each child of God in proportion as he grows in grace and knowledge. As his ears and eyes of understanding open more widely to the lengths and breadths of God's great Plan of the Ages, that prophetic Message is the more highly esteemed as an epitome of the entire Gospel. Nor can our attention be called too frequently to the great event which lies at the foundation of that Message--the Savior's birth.

It matters not that December 25th is not the real anniversary of the Savior's birth, but probably the anniversary of the annunciation by the angel Gabriel, the anniversary of the Virgin Mary's conception, our Lord being born nine months later on the calendar, or about October 1. One so great, whose birth, death and resurrection from the dead mean so much to the human family, may be remembered and celebrated any day, every day, by all who appreciate what He has done for our race. Since, then, the majority of Christian people have become habituated to the celebration of December 25th as our Lord's birthday, we need make no protest, but join with all in celebrating that day with rejoicing of heart, giving gifts and remembrances one to another, thus copying Divine favor, which gave to mankind the Son of God as a gift of mercy and love for our redemption.

For more than four thousand years the promises of God, clothed in more or less obscurity, had been given to mankind, intimating that ultimately the great curse of sin and death that had come upon the world through Father Adam's disobedience in Eden would be rolled away, and instead of a curse, a blight, would come a blessing of the Lord with life-giving refreshment. In various types, figures and shadowy promises this lesson had come down through the ages to the time of our Lord's birth, especially amongst the Jews, who were the Divinely favored and covenanted people.

Since the Jews were a people of commercial spirit, many of them were to be found in all parts of the civilized world. Thus amongst every people the faith in the one God and the hope of Israel through a Messiah were more or less made known, so that at the time of our Savior's birth, we read, "all men were in expectation" of a coming Messiah. Doubtless this expectation was based upon the interpretation of Daniel's prophecy, which we now see clearly marked the year of our Lord's majority, when He was thirty years of age and made His consecration to His work and received the begetting of the Holy Spirit, His anointing as the great antitypical Priest and as the great antitypical King over Israel and the world.--Daniel 9:24-27.

FROM BETHLEHEM TO NAZARETH

In olden times there were honorable cities and mean cities. Nazareth was generally recognized as one of the latter, while Bethlehem was distinctly one of the former --the City of David, Israel's beloved king. The Scriptures explain that Mary, our Lord's mother, and her husband Joseph were both of the lineage of David, and [R5819 : page 377] that in a seemingly accidental manner the prophecy was fulfilled which foretold that Messiah would be born in Bethlehem.--Micah 5:2.

At that time the Roman Empire bore rule over the whole world, the Jews being subject to it, but waiting expectantly, restlessly, for the coming Messiah, who would deliver them from being a subject people and make of them the ruling caste in His Kingdom, which would have dominion over the whole world. The great Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus was in power at this time, and had sent forth his decree for a polling or census, of the whole world for the purpose of taxation, etc.

St. Luke informs us that it was in response to this royal decree that Joseph and Mary went up to their native city to be enrolled; that thus it was that Jesus was born in Bethlehem; that on account of the great concourse of people at the same time and for the same purpose, accommodations were scarce and the stable of the khan or inn, was used by some as a lodging; and that Joseph and Mary, being late comers, were forced to occupy these humble quarters. Thus it was that the King of Glory, whose Kingdom is by and by to rule the world, was in the time of His flesh born in a stable and cradled in a manger.

THE ANGELS AND THE SHEPHERDS

Noble shepherds those must have been to whom the Almighty sent the angelic Message respecting the birth of Jesus, the Messiah--the Message which has rung down the ages and reached our ears, the Message which thrills us the more in proportion as we are able to grasp its meaning. First, an angel appeared to the shepherds and allayed their fears, saying, "Fear not; behold, I bring you good tidings." It would appear that fear is one of the dominating impulses of the human mind, especially in conjunction with Divine revelations.

Men realize--even the best of the race--that they are imperfect, and that the Almighty and His laws are perfect. Instinctively the world seems to realize that a curse, or condemnation of the Almighty, rests upon it; and instinctively it fears a further curse, a further condemnation, realizing its continual and increasing sinfulness. The same is true today with all except the comparatively few who are well informed respecting the Divine Plan. Thus the subject is generally obnoxious to the world--a subject which they prefer to avoid, because of a feeling of guilt and a dread of further knowledge and condemnation.

It is for the true children of God today, as it was for the angels at that time, to assure the world that God is better than all their fears--that God so loved the world as to redeem mankind from the just sentence of death, the curse that came upon all as inheritors of Adam's imperfection and sentence.

"Good tidings" is another translation of our word Gospel. How beautiful is the thought that the Gospel is really and truly good tidings! Alas, for the misrepresentations of God's Plan, because of which so many of His professed people misrepresent His character and His Word, and apply the term Gospel to their various messages from the Dark Ages, teaching purgatory and eternal torment as the portion of the race!

Let us get away from this false thought and get the truth that the Gospel is good tidings. The angel elaborated, saying that his Message was "good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people." Ah, thank God, His Plan is wider, deeper, higher and grander than anything which we had ever conceived! The Gospel Message is not merely to be good tidings to the comparatively few that now have ears to hear and eyes to see its beauties, but in God's due time it is to be good tidings of great joy to all people the world over.

As every member of Adam's race shared in his fall and in the curse of death which came upon him as a result of his disobedience, so every member of the race was included in the great redemptive sacrifice which our Lord Jesus offered and which was finished at Calvary. God's Plan in Christ, as it is being worked out and shall ultimately be accomplished, will mean great joy for all people; and the tidings of this fact were given at the very moment of our Lord's birth, because He was the One through whom all the glorious things of the Divine Purpose and Plan shall ultimately be accomplished.

THE LOGIC OF THE MESSAGE

The Message took cognizance of the fact that it was to reasonable people, who would wish to know why the unchangeable God, who had once pronounced a curse upon the race, should at any time so amend and alter matters as to supplant the curse with a blessing. The messenger stated the philosophy of the Divine Plan-- "Unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, who is Christ [Messiah] the Lord." There we have the key to the entire Gospel statement of how God could be just and yet be the Justifier of sinners who accept Jesus. --Romans 3:26.

The word Savior here signifies Life-giver. How beautiful is the thought that as death is the wage of sin, the curse upon the race, this Messiah who was born is to be the One who will rescue the race from the sentence by giving them life again! The explanation of how He would give them life was not made, nor was it necessary at that time. But now, in the light of the developments and with the explanations furnished through the Holy Spirit in the New Testament, we see that our Lord's voluntary sacrifice of His life, dying "the Just for the unjust," settles the claims of Divine Justice against Adam, and thus incidentally against all who share his death sentence, namely, all mankind.

Truly, the more we see of the Divine Plan for our salvation, which began to take shape in the birth of Jesus, the more we feel like shouting with the angelic choir praises to the God of Heaven, thankfulness for His mercy to the children of men! It mattered not that the babe born in Bethlehem was the Savior only in prospect, that He could not even be anointed to do His work until He reached manhood's estate thirty years later. It mattered not that even then it would be necessary for Him to lay down His life gradually during the three and a half years of His earthly ministry, to be finished at Calvary. Nor did it matter that His resurrection was still three days after His death, and His ascension forty days later; and that the blessing in general would be deferred for nearly nineteen centuries thereafter. As the angels could sing and rejoice at the first budding of the Divine Plan of Salvation, so also can all who have faith in the ultimate outcome rejoice with joy unspeakable and give praise to God in the highest and to His Son our Lord.

"SAVED BY HOPE"

Although nearly nineteen centuries have rolled away since that angelic Message was delivered, it has not yet been fulfilled except in a limited measure by faith to those who have the eye and the ear of faith--in all, a "little flock." But the bad tidings of great misery for nearly all people have been spread abroad in the name of Christ, much to the discredit of the Divine Plan and to the dishonor of the Divine character. Instead of [R5819 : page 378] carrying joy, the message has very generally carried grief and sorrow, especially to the kind-hearted and more generously disposed. Indeed we may say that no message of the Lord Jesus has ever reached all people. Even today, after nineteen centuries of propaganda, only a comparatively small portion of the human family have ever heard of the only name given under Heaven and amongst men whereby we must be saved--"nor is there salvation in any other."--Acts 4:12.

What, then, shall we say of the salvation which has come to those who have truly accepted Christ as their Savior, who are today rejoicing in Him as such, and who by faith are seeing the salvation of God begun in their own hearts and yet to be fully accomplished under the whole heavens? This the Apostle calls the salvation by hope. His words are, "We are saved by hope."-- Romans 8:24.

We are not saved actually; we are still surrounded by sin, pain, sighing, crying and dying; the curse is not yet rolled away. All that the best of the Lord's people have yet received is salvation by hope, by faith. Yet this anticipation of the future salvation, of the resurrection from the dead, of a participation in the glory, honor and immortality of the Divine nature promised to the faithful, is so strong, so clear, that those who possess it are enabled to rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory, even in the midst of trials, difficulties, weaknesses and unfavorable conditions incident to the curse which still rests upon the world of mankind.

A PROPHECY OF GOOD THINGS

The angelic Message was a prophecy of good things to be accomplished for the Church and the world during the Millennial Age. The Church is to have the first blessing. The First Resurrection is to be composed only of the blessed and holy who shall live and reign with Christ during the thousand years. Then Satan shall be bound, and the good influences of truth and righteousness shall enlighten the whole earth. (Revelation 20:1-6.) The declaration of the Scriptures is that the deliverance of the Church will come early in the morning of the Millennial Day. As the prophet declares, "God will help her early in the morning."--Psalm 46:5, margin.

But much as we rejoice in the glorious hopes of the Gospel set before us who now see, who now rejoice with joy unspeakable, we are glad that the Divine mercy and love are of such lengths and breadths and heights and depths as to encompass the whole world of mankind, and to provide a blessing for every member of Adam's race through Him who loved us and bought us with His own precious blood.

During the Millennium this prophecy will have fulfilment. The great Savior who has already redeemed us by His sacrifice will stand forth as the King, the glorified Messiah, and establish His dominion of righteousness in the world for the blessing and uplifting of every member of the race. In harmony with the words of the Apostle, those will be Times of Refreshing, "Times of Restitution of all things spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began." (Acts 3:19-21.) If the Lord had based the hope of the world upon some works of merit or righteousness of the world's doing, then indeed we might have feared--indeed, the more we know of the world, the less hope we would have. But, on the contrary, the Lord has based the entire proposition for the future blessing, not upon our worthiness, but upon the worthiness and sacrifice of His Son. To you is born a Life-giver, which is Messiah the Lord.

How it adds to our enjoyment of the blessings of the coming Age to know that the trials and difficulties of the present Gospel Age are subject to the Divine supervision in the interest of the Little Flock that is now being gathered in advance from amongst men--the Elect, the Church! We see how the present trials and difficulties are the chiselings and polishings necessary to our development in the fruits and graces of the Holy Spirit in character-likeness of God's dear Son, our Lord, our Hope, our Bridegroom. How joyful the thought that soon the elect number called from the world to be "the Bride, the Lamb's Wife," will be completed and enter into her glory! How precious the thought that then they shall be privileged with their Lord and Master to extend the Divine favor of blessing and uplift to the world! What higher honor or privilege or blessing could possibly come to any one?

THE ANGELS' SONG

It was after the giving of the Message of good tidings of great joy by the Heavenly one that a host of angels appeared to the shepherds, saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will to men." This, too, is a prophecy. It is not yet true, but will be fulfilled in every particular in God's due time, which we believe is now nigh, even at the door. Not yet does God receive glory in the highest. Not yet is there peace amongst men. Quite to the contrary. God's name is blasphemed, not only by those who vulgarly and in ribald jest take the Divine name in vain, not merely by the heathen who worship devils and think that these are gods, but even by Christian people. Every day God's name is blasphemed by those who profess to be His people, who profess to uphold the Holy Name.

For be it known that blasphemy is any dishonorable misrepresentation of another. God be merciful to us! for at some time or other doubtless every one of us has blasphemed His holy name in this manner--by misrepresenting the Divine character and the Divine Plan, by picturing the God of Love, of Mercy, of Justice and of Truth as the originator, the planner, the perpetrator of the eternal torment of the great mass of His human creatures, born in sin, misshapen in iniquity, prone to sin as the sparks to fly upward!

But the Lord had mercy upon us because we did it ignorantly. Therefore we should have compassion upon others who still ignorantly misrepresent our God; and our energies should be continually bent to their assistance, that the eyes of their understanding might open more widely to perceive the lengths and breadths and heights and depths, and to know the love of God, which passeth understanding.

Noting that peace on earth and good will to men have not followed the Savior's birth thus far, and not discerning that this is a prophecy of what is to be accomplished during the Millennium, many have been inclined to change the translation of this verse so as to have it read, "On earth peace amongst men in whom He is well pleased." However, by this change the statement would not be true; for even the Lord's people have no peace upon earth. Whatever peace they have is in their hearts, and is based upon their faith in God and in the glorious things which He has promised. Our Lord Himself and the Apostles testified to this, assuring us that whosoever in this present time would live godly should suffer persecution, and that a man's foes should be they of his own household.--2 Timothy 3:12; Matthew 10:36.

Let us not confuse ourselves nor abridge the testimony of the Word, but with the eye of faith look forward to the Day of Christ, in which all these glorious [R5819 : page 379] prophecies will have their fulfilment, in which peace shall indeed fill the whole earth with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, bringing Divine favor and rolling away the curse from the entire groaning creation, as pointed out by the Apostle.--Romans 8:22.

FULFILLED IN GOD'S DUE TIME

Not even with the inauguration of the Millennium will this prophecy be fulfilled. Not until its close, when the human family shall have been lifted by the Kingdom regulations out of sin, sickness, pain, sorrow and death, up, up to all that was lost in Adam--not until then will there indeed be glory to God in the highest, not until then will there be peace amongst men. Nor are we to understand that the entire race will be appreciative of the Divine love and favor even after they have fully seen the righteousness of God in Christ manifested. On the contrary, the Scriptures seem to teach clearly that there will be a class who will then prove unfit for life eternal, unappreciative of the Divine favor. And it is with satisfaction that we learn that all such shall be destroyed from amongst the people in the Second Death.

Thus eventually, by the close of the Millennium, Satan and all wilful wrongdoers having been destroyed, the time will come, as declared in the Scriptures, when all voices in Heaven and in earth and under the earth shall be heard praising God and the Lamb forever. Hosanna! Glory to God in the highest! Peace and good will to men! This will be the final shout of a redeemed race when the great Plan of Salvation shall have been fully outworked according to the Divine Purpose from the beginning, as set forth in the Scriptures.

FROM GLORY TO A MANGER

The time of our Lord's birth is quite clearly fixed. In STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, Vol. II., we have gone into the subject in detail, and will not here repeat our deductions. The notable census made by order of Caesar Augustus included the civilized world of that day; and according to Jewish custom each family and tribe had their names enrolled therein.

Both Joseph and Mary, being of the Davidic line, went to the City of David--Bethlehem--to be enrolled. The city is a small one, located on a hillside. The inns or hotels of that land are very different from ours. They are neither hotels nor drinking saloons, but are entered from a court-yard. Various large, unfurnished rooms are at the service of the traveler, who carries with him his wraps, in which he sleeps, and also his food and utensils for such light housekeeping as he may choose to do. Stalls for horses, camels, etc., are provided on the ground floor; and in the event of a crowd, as on such an occasion, it is no uncommon thing for people, finding the upper rooms crowded full, to make themselves nearly as comfortable in the stabling department.

Thus it came that our Savior was ushered in a most humble manner into the world which, as the Logos, He had made. (John 1:10.) It was there in the stable of the overcrowded inn that the shepherds found the babe, as predicted by the angels, and went forth proclaiming the fact. Mary made no boasts, however, but waited for God's due time.



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GOD'S MERCY TO ISRAEL AND TO OTHERS
--DECEMBER 26.--QUARTERLY REVIEW.--

ISRAEL A FAVORED NATION--GOD'S MERCY IN THE LAW COVENANT--SPIRITUAL ISRAEL A NEW NATION--THE ROYAL PRIESTHOOD--OTHER NATIONS UNRECOGNIZED BY GOD--HOW DIVINE MERCY WILL EVENTUALLY REACH ALL PEOPLE.

"Jehovah is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abundant in loving-kindness."--Psalm 103:8.--R.V.
ONE difficulty with us as Bible students has been that in the past we took too narrow a view of the Divine character and of the Bible. For more than twelve centuries the Bible was not studied. Instead, certain Bishops, thinking themselves to be Apostles of equal authority with The Twelve whom our Lord Jesus appointed (St. Paul taking the place of Judas), thought that they had full right, as Apostles, to make up a substitute for the Bible. These substitutes were styled creeds --Confessions of Faith. These were studied, and the Bible was neglected.

Under these circumstances it is not surprising that God's people got far away from the true teaching of His Word. Even when the Bible began to come back to the people in Reformation times, their poor heads were so badly clogged and confused with the false doctrines of twelve centuries of human theorizing that they were not prepared to see the Bible in its own light, but rather in the light of these creeds. Besides, they had been long taught that to doubt the creeds would constitute them heretics, and that the punishment for heresy is eternal torment. Hence the endeavor to keep in line with the creeds in all subsequent Bible study.

Now Bible students see that this was all a mistake-- that the Bible should have been studied in its own light. They see that the creeds are full of confusing errors, which really make the Word of God of none effect where they are recognized. Now our Bible studies are different, because of our clearer knowledge of these matters, as well as because we are living in the dawning of the New Age--at the time when God promised that His people should understand His Word--"The wise shall understand." --Daniel 12:10.

GOD'S DEALINGS WITH ISRAEL

Our Text was addressed, primarily, to the nation of Israel. On account of disobedience, God cut off Father Adam, Mother Eve and all their children from special fellowship with Him, sentencing them to death--as not worthy of everlasting life--"Dying, thou shalt die." (Genesis 2:17, margin.) But even this sentence God did not hasten. The sinners might live as they could.

God's Mercy was manifested toward the posterity of Abraham--Isaac, Jacob, and then all of Jacob's children. God made the twelve tribes into one nation, cementing them together by His promises to them in connection with the Law Covenant instituted by Moses at Mount Sinai. If they would keep God's Law, they would live forever-- not die at all. Moreover, they were to be blessed in all of their affairs--their health, their flocks, their herds, their cattle. Everything would be blessed.

But they could not keep this Law Covenant, because of having been born in sin, like the remainder of the race. Nevertheless God purposed that through endeavoring to keep the Law that nation should be greatly blessed. And it was so. True, He chastened them for their wrongdoings and shortcomings, but always with loving interest and care, never wholly casting them off. Their national distresses and captivities were in the nature of chastisements, [R5817 : page 380] with a view to teaching them necessary lessons.

Thus God's favor continued with that one nation--and with no other nation--from the death of Jacob down to the death of Jesus, a period of 1845 years. Even then, in casting off the nation when they rejected Jesus and crucified Him, the Lord made provision for all of the Jews who were spiritually inclined, that they might not only be retained in His favor, but might come into still greater favor at Pentecost and onward, being there begotten of the Holy Spirit--no longer to be a House of Servants, under Moses, but the House of Sons, under Jesus. (Hebrews 3:5,6.) Even when rejecting the nation, God intimated clearly that the time would come when His favor would return to them--after the establishment of Messiah's Kingdom--Amos 9:11,12; Acts 15:13-17.

GOD'S NEW NATION

Meantime, the saintly Jews who were "Israelites indeed" became the nucleus, or start, of Spiritual Israel. Of this Spiritual Israel St. Peter says, "Ye are a Royal Priesthood, a holy nation, a people for a peculiar purpose--that ye might show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light."

We see, then, that the Church is God's New Creation, the new nation with which He has been dealing exclusively during the Gospel Age. He is dealing with these with a view to their education and development, that they may be associated with our Lord Jesus in His great Millennial Kingdom. Then for a thousand years He and His saintly company, gathered from every nation under heaven, will bless Natural Israel and all the nations of the world with light, with knowledge, with assistance and uplifting, for the purpose of delivering them from the bondage of sin and death, back to the likeness of God, lost by Adam and redeemed on Calvary.

It is because of this special work that God has for the Church that He has made her trials fiery ones, declaring, "Through much tribulation ye must enter into the Kingdom of God." (Acts 14:22.) This class of fully consecrated ones, regardless of sectarian lines, have all been begotten of the Holy Spirit. None others are recognized of God. This Church have their names written in the Lamb's Book of Life--in Heaven--and are in the present life demonstrating their faithfulness, their loyalty to God. When the foreordained number shall have taken the step [R5818 : page 380] and shall have demonstrated their loyalty even unto death, then this holy nation will be complete.

It is the Spiritual Seed of Abraham to whom belong the great promises of God. Of this class St. Paul says, "If ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's Seed, and heirs according to the Promise." (Galatians 3:8,16,29.) The Promise was made to Abraham, and declares, "In thy Seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed." (Genesis 22:18.) We have St. Paul's word for it that Christ and His Church are this Spiritual Seed, whose mission it will be, in God's due time, to bless all mankind --"all the families of the earth"--not only those who are alive and remaining at the time of the establishment of the Kingdom, but all who have ever lived. God's mercy referred to in our Text is especially toward this Spiritual Israel--even more so than toward Natural Israel.

THE BREADTH OF DIVINE MERCY

Now we come to the grand climax of God's mercy and grace. The Jewish nation was small. The Church, the Spiritual Israel, is small. But God's grace and mercy are to extend to the whole world of mankind--every creature for whom Christ died. The time for dealing with the world and giving them their opportunity of sharing in God's grace and mercy has already been appointed by the Father. It will be during the Millennium--the thousand years of Christ's Reign. He will be the great spiritual King of the earth; and His Church will be associated with Him as His joint-heirs and assistant rulers, teachers, healers, uplifters, rewarders and punishers of mankind during the Millennium. All this service of the world will be with a view to bestowing upon them, if they will, the grace of God, the mercy of God, which He purposed from the beginning, and which is to be brought to mankind through Messiah's Kingdom of Glory.

For a thousand years the rising Sun of Righteousness will bless the world, flooding the earth with the light of the knowledge of God. For the same thousand years Satan shall be bound, that he may deceive the people no more. For the same thousand years the work of blessing and restitution will progress--Times (or years) of Restitution the entire Millennium will be. Every creature will have his eyes of understanding opened to see, to know and to understand the Love of God, His tender Mercy and His Wisdom, all centered in and manifested through our Lord Jesus Christ. God's Mercy will be exercised toward the world with a view to its release from the bondage of sin and death to the full liberty of the sons of God--the same that Adam enjoyed before he sinned.-- Romans 8:19-23.

Thus we see "a wideness in God's Mercy, like the wideness of the sea." Thus we see that His grace, while limited first to one earthly nation, then later to an elect company from all nations, is finally to be extended to every human being the world around, bringing all to the fullest privileges and opportunities of knowledge, love, obedience and blessing.



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THE LABOR OF LOVE TO BE REWARDED

"God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love which ye have showed toward His name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister."--Hebrews 6:10.
DISCOURAGEMENT is a hindrance to growth in grace; St. Paul was seeking to encourage his readers. The context implies that they had experienced some setback, some discouragement. He intimates that while they had begun well, their zeal had cooled to some extent. In this chapter and on to the tenth inclusive, he points out the danger of falling back and away after we have become Christians. And to those who are likely to become discouraged he gives the exhortation of our text, "God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love." We might inquire, What great work, or labor of love, could they do that would constitute it unrighteous for God to forget to reward it? Are not good works the proper course for all mankind? How would it be unrighteous for God to forget these good works?

The answer of Scripture would seem to be that the world cannot do any good works that God could acknowledge-- "There is none righteous, no, not one." But "God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love," writes the Apostle. What does he mean? We reply, He is addressing Christians, those who have become God's children by entering into a covenant with Him. They were children of wrath, even as others; and still, according to the flesh, they are imperfect. But God is not dealing [R5818 : page 381] with these according to the flesh. He has received them into His family under a special arrangement, a Covenant of Sacrifice. In that Covenant He agreed that through Christ He would make allowance for their weaknesses, and deal with them according to the intentions of their hearts and minds, according as they would seek to please Him as His children. God has thus bound Himself of His own free will by entering into a Covenant with His people. He is bound to them, on the one side, and they are bound to Him, on the other side. Neither can escape the conditions of that Covenant.

DANGER OF LOSING THE REWARD

These Covenanters were members of Adam's fallen race, condemned to death. Ah, yes! but this is the race for whom Christ died, and who will be recovered from death and from the condemnation of sin that came through Adam's disobedience. And this merit of Christ's death was applied first for a choice class who during the Gospel Age should long after God and gladly accept His arrangement through Christ. This being so, when these heard of Christ as the Redeemer, they believed on Him, they sacrificed their earthly hopes, aims, ambitions--all--in order that they might enter into this Covenant with the Lord. The thought which inspired them to take this step was the hope that they might attain to the spiritual inheritance, to be joint-inheritors with Christ in the Kingdom to be set up on the earth. This was something to which God had opened up the way, through His provision in Christ. They gave up the earthly things for the grander, the Heavenly. They voluntarily sacrificed all earthly rights and interests. They bound themselves irrevocably to the Lord.

Now if they should make a failure in this matter, they would lose absolutely everything. The Apostle is pointing out this fact. They have acknowledged God's arrangement, and there is a great reward coming to them under their Covenant with Him. Do not, he urges, forfeit this reward by turning away from the Lord and becoming cold or lukewarm, which condition might lead on to entire rejection of God. Rather go on, and be of good courage; and the Lord, Jehovah Himself, shall strengthen your hearts; wait expectantly on Him.

In the 10th Chapter, the Apostle tells them of how some of them had in the past endured a great fight of afflictions, and of how others had suffered with those in affliction in that they had been sympathizers and companions of those who had been so persecuted. All this was endured for the Lord's sake, for love of the brethren, and in harmony with God's arrangement. Therefore they should have confidence in God, that He loved them and appreciated all they had borne for Him. The Apostle exhorts them again not to turn back, not to be discouraged, but to be encouraged; and again he assures them of his confidence that they would persevere to the end.

THE BLESSEDNESS OF MINISTERING TO THE SAINTS

St. Paul declares that their labors of love were shown toward God's name. This honor toward God's name consisted in their ministering to the saints. This was a proof of their love for the Lord. This ministry, too, had been kept up. The saints represent God in the world. Whatever is done for the saints is, therefore, done for God. There is a distinction to be noted in the Bible as respects those who are in covenant relationship with God and those who are not in covenant relationship with Him. We have certain duties toward the world. We have responsibilities toward them. The Golden Rule is to operate always and toward all men. But we have not the same obligation toward the world that we have toward the saints. Whoever honors the saints and serves them, honors and serves God. This seems to be the Apostle's thought in the matter.

We are not to understand that the Lord would be displeased that we should do good to all men. Rather the Apostle urges, "Let us do good unto all men as we have opportunity." Be generous, be kind to everybody, but especially to the saints. (Galatians 6:10.) This is what is particularly pleasing to God. Every service lovingly and gladly rendered to the saints is rendered unto His glory. This is true in a very special sense; for there are people in the world who might be naturally more admirable in character, and it might be more pleasing to serve them than to serve many of the saints, who might be ruder, cruder, in some respects. But in the service to the saints there is a special blessing from the Lord. We are to have this in mind when meeting and fellowshiping with those who have become children of God, and when we have opportunities to assist or comfort them. They must have our love, our cooperation, our sympathy, our aid. There may be more or less option in respect to others, but not in respect to our brethren in Christ.

This same principle, to some extent, holds good amongst worldly people. For instance, an Odd Fellow would show favors toward an Odd Fellow, whether rich or poor, learned or unlearned, that he would not show to [R5819 : page 381] others. And the same with Masons. A Mason would show favor to a Mason the world over, whether he be rich or poor, black or white. If these are the human standards, much more so should it be thus with those who have become children of the Lord. The fact that they are disciples of Christ makes it incumbent on whoever is a follower of the same Master to do a brother's or a sister's part. "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, ye have done it unto Me." This does not apply now to the world, but it does apply to the Church, the Lord's faithful followers.

PERSEVERANCE IN THIS MINISTRY

The Apostle says, "In that ye have ministered unto the saints, and do minister." This signifies that they were still in this proper attitude. Although somewhat discouraged in the good way, they were still helpful to one another. Another thought--it was not merely the amount of good works that they did that counted; for many good works are done by many people which would not in any sense be recognized by God or be bound to be rewarded. The works of the world are works of sinners. The world are not in covenant relationship with God. If any one does a good work, he by an unwritten law gets more or less blessing out of it. Whoever does a good work with a worthy motive will receive some reward, some blessing. It will ennoble his character and help to fit him for the blessings of the next Age, when all the world will be on trial for life before the Judgment Seat of God. The nobler the character in that Day, the fewer corrective stripes will be necessary. But in order to get the present blessing of the Lord, His special blessing, he must be in covenant relationship with Him.

The work now being done by those in such relationship with God will be worthy of His notice and reward. In the 13th Chapter of 1st Corinthians, the Apostle points out that, with the Body of Christ good works alone are not sufficient to indicate God's favor. He declared that if he should give his body to be burned, and should give all his goods to feed the poor, there would be no real merit in it unless it was done from the motive of love. "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal," was his further declaration. One might [R5819 : page 382] do these good works to have the honor of men. If they were done for any such reason, God would not consider them good works to be rewarded. The works that God recognizes as good works and worthy of His approval and reward are those done by His faithful people, who are justified and sanctified, and who serve from love to Him, to His people and to His cause.

And so St. Paul says here to these, "God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love." This is important to have in mind. It is important for us to see to it that our motives are those of love toward the Lord and His Cause and His brethren. Such good works, if persevered in according to our ability and opportunity, will not fail of a blessed reward.



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SOME INTERESTING LETTERS

HARVEST WORKERS SUCCESSFUL

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--

We want to thank you very much for fixing the price of the cloth-bound SCENARIO at 68c. It is really wonderful what a difference the increased price makes in our sales. It was very hard to sell them for 50c, but the people bite quite readily at 68c. How they love a bargain, even if it does cost them 18c more to secure it! The very fish that would probably be scared at the mere sight of a hook baited with a half dollar, now gather around waiting their turn to bite at the 68c morsel. We want to please the people. We are convinced that Mr. Barnum was right when he said "The public should be pleased." So if it pleases them to pay 18c more, we are glad to work in harmony with their wishes! Yesterday we tried the SCENARIOS exclusively in the afternoon for about 3-1/4 hours, and sold 21 copies--7 for cash (we fill our pockets with them), and 14 for later delivery. It is very easy to sell them; and the Colporteurs and friends should be able to put them out in enormous quantities, especially with the whole world open territory. It seems as if all the Colporteurs could handle them as a side-line, at least.

Have just received reports from several others who are trying the SCENARIOS at the increased price. One brother who was having a hard struggle to make ends meet for himself and wife and child (at 50c) is now averaging 14 per day, and is catching up fine. Another reports 20 to 25 copies in a morning's work. This is the average of a married sister, working in territory where work is booming--war materials. Another reports 100 orders in four days.

Apart from the fact that the increased price is enabling some to make out so well financially, we might mention that we are seeing some results from the SCENARIOS. One sister immersed during our recent Convention had her interest aroused chiefly through reading a SCENARIO some months ago. Yesterday we found a lady who said her husband was very much interested in the three books they got from us three years ago, and she ordered the last three as well as the SCENARIO. A man told us his wife had three books she was enjoying very much. But we must not tire you. Evidently there is work for all in the Harvest field yet.

We continue to have many opportunities for service here in connection with the local and neighboring classes, and appreciate our privileges in this connection. But we always feel that the Colporteur work is our work, and that the holding of meetings is incidental. Still, the latter sometimes help to get out the books. It is our delight to have the books up on the stand, and tell the people where we get all these things which so refresh and cheer our hearts even in the midst of the present troublous conditions. Have put out quite a few in this way, and in some instances, we trust, into the hands of those who have appreciated them.

In joyful service,
J. & L. HUTCHINSON.


TWO GOOD TRUTH TESTIMONIES

MOST DEARLY BELOVED BROTHER IN THE ANOINTED:--

I am constrained to inform you that in God's hand you have been the means of blessing me and my late beloved wife. I have been intending to write you several times to let you know that the Lord has led me step by step, and also of the love and blessings He has bestowed upon me.

I was brought up in the doctrine of Swedenborgianism and was not satisfied with the life I was leading. Having no time for the creeds, I kept away from them and was at a loss to know what to do. Asking the Lord for guidance in the matter, I started to read my Bible as an ordinary book although believing that no man could understand the same on this side of the Veil.

In the Lord's providence, I saw an advertisement announcing an address by Brother R. R. Hollister--"Where Are the Dead?"--which I went to hear, but did not understand much about it. When he mentioned the STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES as being "Keys" to the Bible, I straightway ordered the six volumes; and when I had read the first of these, did not my heart burn? Yes it did, and with great joy. So happy was I that I ordered several copies of Volume I., to let all my friends have one, and told them of the blessings and joy received. But they told me that I had gone mad and that I had an evil spirit about me. I did not then believe in such a being as Satan; so this troubled me a great deal, and I really thought I was going mad. Every one turned against me; but still asking the Lord to help me, I fully made up my mind to read all the STUDIES through. When I had about finished the fifth volume, my dear wife, seeing the change it had made in me and in all my affairs of life, got inquisitive and also desired to read the volumes. The reading had the same effect upon her as it had had upon me, and we both grew in grace and in knowledge, and our home soon became a new home.

We desired to consecrate ourselves to the Lord, and were both immersed and took the Vow, etc. I feel sure such testimony will gladden your dear heart.

About a year later my dear wife became ill, and was ordered to undergo an operation, from the effects of which she never recovered. All through her illness the dear Lord gave her all the necessary grace as promised, and so wonderfully did she keep up that it was a big blessing to me and to all of our friends. On Sunday, July 4th, she realized that the Lord had decided to call her Home. Yes; she said that the Lord had done most of His healing on the Sabbath day, and that being "Testimony Sunday," she said: "This is my testimony to the Lord, 'All the way my Savior leads me.'"-- Hymn 12. After singing this hymn through, she said: "I am dying, and oh, I feel so happy; oh, it is so glorious to die! Oh, I feel so happy! 'Perfect peace to me is promised in my Father's House above!'" Then she called each one of us by name and said, "Give me the last kiss. Good bye!" and passed beyond the Veil.

To witness such a death as this, dear Brother, has so increased my faith that it is almost impossible to express my love and feeling to my Heavenly Father for the strength He gave me. My praise went up to the Lord then and ever since, thanking Him from the bottom of my heart for the light and grace He gave me at such a time.

My wife's relations, and even the nurse in attendance, not seeing as I do, could not understand it. It was such a blessing to them all; and I had so many inquiries as to what faith I believed in, and was asked for copies of "that beautiful hymn" she sang at her death.

Your brother in Christ,
FRANK O'C. FITZGERALD.--West Australia.


WOULD REVOLUTIONIZE THE WORLD--IF

DEAR BRETHREN:--

We had a grand meeting here on the occasion of Brother Russell's recent visit, and are so thankful for having had the privilege of hearing our dear Pastor again.

The newspapers announced, after Brother Russell was here, that Dr. J. Wilbur Chapman, the great Evangelist, would tell his audience, at his Monday evening meeting, some things about Pastor Russell.

There were about 5,000 present to hear what Dr. Chapman had to say. This was in substance as follows:

"I wish that every minister in Atlanta had as much zeal as Pastor Russell. I wish that every minister was as untiring in his efforts as Pastor Russell. I wish that every member was as loyal to his church as the followers of Pastor Russell are to the teachings he proclaims. If all the ministers were as zealous as Pastor Russell, and if all the church members were as liberal in the support of the church as Pastor Russell's followers are of the support of his teachings, we would revolutionize the world within a year's time."

Thus we can see from the above remarks that even our enemies are taking note of the wonderful work that is being accomplished.

Yours in fellowship and service,
W. E. HOPKINS.--Ga.



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INTERNATIONAL BIBLE STUDENTS ASSOCIATION CLASSES

STUDIES AND LECTURES BY MEMBERS OF THE PEOPLES PULPIT ASSOCIATION



page 384

INDEX TO "WATCH TOWER"
VOLUME XXXVI., 1915

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