Convention Report Sermons


THE text before my mind on this occasion is our Master's words, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in Heaven is perfect." That to my mind is a very wonderful text; it states such a wonderful thought. And there is another like unto it, "Be ye holy; for I am holy." And there is another one like that: "Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God."

As we find those statements in God's Word, and then realize our own littleness and imperfection, we say to ourselves, What does the Lord mean when He says for us to be perfect as our Father in Heaven is perfect? How could we imperfect beings be like our God? Like many of our dear Savior's expressions, it is a dark saying; as when he said, "Except ye eat of the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you." It is a dark saying, it needs something to illuminate it, something to enlighten us as to what he does mean. As Saint Paul declares, the natural man receives not the things of the spirit of God, neither can He know them, because they are spiritually discerned, so when our Lord used these words to our disciples they were still natural men and of course they did not fully comprehend what He meant, just as we ourselves did not at one time comprehend. It seemed like a rather exaggerated statement, hyperbole, poetic license as we would say – something said and not meant. But as we receive the Lord's spirit, this becomes our instructor. The Apostle says that God has given us the spirit that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. That is to say, that we might be able to comprehend the deep things of God's character and plan.

So as New Creatures in Christ we begin to receive nourishment in our hearts and minds and feed upon the things of God. With our first knowledge of the Lord we find more and more of our own imperfection; but we did not know at first how imperfect we were; the imperfections of the flesh grew upon us; that is to say, our appreciation of them increased. At one time we thought we were models in every way, and that perhaps no people in the world were more upright in character and more honest than we, more anxious to do the right or square thing; and yet after we came to know the Lord and to understand more and more of His Word, we began to see that there were imperfections of character we did not know of at first. And this was part of the leading of the Lord's spirit, to show us our own selves and to cause us to more and more aspire to the perfections that He would set before us. Gradually as we came to hearken to the Master's Word, and as we were guided by the Holy Spirit, and that was in proportion as we gave heed, in proportion as we surrendered ourselves to know the Lord's will and to do it, – in that same proportion we began to see a little more and a little more the reason and the logic connected with these statements. They become plain to us now. These admonitions are not given to us as natural men, but apply only to those who become New Creatures in Christ. The Lord knows that your flesh could not be perfect like unto your Heavenly Father. He knows we are all born in sin and misshaped in iniquity, that we are as disposed to sin as the sparks fly upward, as the Bible assures us.

And here comes in a remarkable thing: that we must become New Creatures before we can have any of these new experiences. How do we become New Creatures? As human beings we are not worthy of Divine acceptance; we are informed that we are under the sentence of death, and our only hope of life is by becoming associated with the Life-giver; and if the Son shall make us free from the bondage of sin and death we will be free indeed; if the Son shall give light then we will have light indeed, for [CR392] in Him is the light of the world, and God brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel. What is this message, then, we have through Him? It is that being sinners we are part of the whole world of sinners, part of the whole world that He died to redeem. And, furthermore, that while He is not yet ready to deal with the world he is prepared to deal with a certain special class; namely, with the class that desires to forsake sin and to turn their whole heart to God; and turning to God to fully submit themselves to Him to do His will at any cost. In other words, to sacrifice themselves, to sacrifice their wills. This, then, is the message that comes to us, that God is calling for a special class to be heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ our Lord to the Heavenly inheritance. An inheritance implies a gift or a promise. God has promised a Heavenly inheritance. He did not promise it in the vague way He promised Abraham, that some of his seed would become as stars of Heaven, the special seed, the Abrahamic seed, the Messiah seed. In the New Testament He brought to light this immortality which is the gift of God to the Church, as well as everlasting life for the world; and so the Apostle, explaining God's plan, tells us that ours is a high calling, a Heavenly calling, a calling to the Heavenly nature.

Now things begin to shape before our minds, and we begin to see that before God deals with humanity in general He is dealing with a special class, and this special class is to become a new nature, and that new nature is of a higher nature. We are now of the human nature, which is the highest of all earthly natures, and He invites us to the Divine Nature which is the highest of all Heavenly or spiritual natures. What a wonderful proposition! Can it be true that God would invite us who are so imperfect, and so little, members of the fallen race, to become members of the Divine Nature, far above the Angelic nature, above Cherubim and Seraphim! Yes, even so, as the Apostle says, God hath given unto us exceeding great and precious promises that by these we might become partakers of the Divine Nature. It takes us a little while to recover from our breathless astonishment – astonishment that God should have such a wonderful, broad, comprehensive and benevolent plan for those who were once enemies through wicked works, once under the condemnation of death. Our minds were indeed illuminated when we learned that he had a plan of salvation for the world, that God so loved the world that He gave His Son that whosoever believeth might not perish; but to hear that not only we were not to perish but if we would become associated with our Savior in the present time and under the present call we might attain to that highest of all natures, seems too wonderful to believe. It staggers our faith, it is so much more than we would have dreamed of. But gradually as we get to know our Heavenly Father these things become more reasonable to us, and we see that he is operating along the lines of certain principles and what He is especially seeking for is obedience and loyalty. He has plenty of room, and plenty of work to do, and He would just as soon take us if we are loyal of heart as to take the Angels, and He would rather take us than the Angels because if we pass through the experiences that He has mapped out then indeed it will prove us and develop in us character, and we will have had experiences such as no Angel ever had. And therefore He extends to the Church, the followers in the footsteps of Jesus, these wonderful blessings beyond anything he has ever offered to the Angelic Hosts – to become sharers with Messiah in His glorious reign, heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ our Lord, to an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, that fadeth not away, reserved in Heaven for you – you who are kept by the power of God unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the end of this age.

When once we get our minds illuminated to this degree, and see that it is the offer of God to us to become New Creatures we say, Were these words of Jesus addressed to the New Creature or to the Old Creature? Did He mean to say that as men and women in the flesh we should be like unto our Father in Heaven? Or did He mean that we as New Creatures who have been begotten of his Holy Spirit should become like unto our Father in Heaven? Oh, the latter, surely. The human being with its imperfections could never be like God, and we feel that continually. We have these imperfections day by day. Each and all of God's children know or ought to know of their own blemishes by nature and that they could be nothing in God's sight except through the covering merit of our Savior's sacrifice applied to us as his Bride class. But when we come to understand and appreciate the matter it is this: That He looked first of all to those who would respond to the invitation, to the call. What was the call? The call, or otherwise as the Scriptures speak of it, drawing, came to us before we came to Jesus. As the Lord said, No man can come unto me except the Father which sent me draw him. The Father did the drawing but He would not receive us; when we responded to the drawing He pointed us to the Son – the way, the truth and the life – saying that no man could come unto Him except through the Son. But what was the drawing? The drawing was that desire of our heart before we came to God at all, for righteousness, for God. How could that be, if it was natural to us? How could that be a drawing of God? We answer that in God's arrangement when He created our first parents they were very good, in his own image, they had a desire for harmony with God; that was part of their perfection; the human brain was so constructed that it was the very life of our first parents to be in fellowship with their God. The very essence of their joy and pleasure would be to be in accord with him, and when sin came in and they were cut off from fellowship with the Father that must have been one of their most grievous troubles. Just as it was you remember in the case of our Lord Jesus, who in His dying moments cried, My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken Me? That was the most terrible moment of all His experiences. The perfect man Christ Jesus had always been in fellowship with His Father but now at the very last moment, for one moment at least, He must bear the full penalty of sin and must be treated exactly as the sinner was treated; He must be thoroughly separated or cut off from that fellowship with God; and that was His severest moment as we see. So our race, cut off from fellowship with God, nevertheless would have the hungering soul's Divine care, the Divine love and goodness. Father Adam and Mother Eve must have greatly desired this; otherwise they could not have been in the perfect image of God. But as the centuries of sin and death rolled on, and the race became more and more depraved and demoralized, this hungering of soul after God, this feeling after God, was more or less lost, and the character-likeness of God became more and more blurred, faint and indistinct, and so in some more and in some less this desire for God still remains, but in some it is so feeble that they care little and are easily satisfied by the pleasures of this life, or by the sensualities of life, and sometimes they are separated from God through ignorance and the doctrines of demons, as the Bible declares. Misunderstanding God, they are thus driven away from Him instead of being drawn to him. Whatever of natural drawing they might have had, the great Adversary intervenes and seeks to thwart; as Saint Paul declares, The God of this world hath blinded the minds of all those who believe not lest the light should shine unto them, should be seen of them, lest God should draw them, lest the light of the knowledge of God as it shines in the face of Jesus Christ our Lord should shine in their hearts and scatter the darkness, and make known to them more and more the true character of God and thus they should be drawn of Him.

But with some of us the Adversary's powers have not prevailed; with some of us the drawing influence of desire for God and righteousness has prevailed above this stupefying influence of the world, the flesh and the Devil, and these are the ones that thus are drawn by the natural inclinations of their mind Godward – desiring right, desiring truth, desiring to be in harmony with God. Some of us who were not born of religious parents and who as sinners in the fullest sense of the word, had our experience as sinners in alienation from God. On the other hand, some of us were born in a measure of justification; as children of believing parents we had a measure of fellowship with God always, and this constituted a drawing power with us, and we were near to God even from childhood. And I assume I am speaking the sentiments and experience of many here present. I find it more and more to be the case that very many of those who become God's consecrated people have had a goodly heritage upon them, and have been born with a measure [CR393] of relationship with the Lord and in favorable conditions to be drawn of Him and understand His Word, to hear the voice of God speaking peace and pointing them to Jesus Christ as the way, the truth and the life.

After we were drawn and after we were called, after we had thus responded and came to Jesus, what did we say to Him and He to us? The language of our soul to the Master would be, Lord, we would see the Father. And His answer to us would be, Whoever sees Me gets the best glimpse possible for him to have of the Father. You can not see God who is a Spirit. If you can see Me in the sense of seeing the history of My life and character, you get that which you can best understand and appreciate of God; I am the Father's express image; I was His perfect image in the flesh and now in Glory I am the express image of the Father's person on the spirit plane. You cannot see Me now, but in your mind you can see Me as I was, and as I was seen by My Apostles in this world, and you can approach from that standpoint and you may have fellowship to that degree.

We say, Lord, we appreciate this. We see your character was a beautiful one; we see your loyalty to the Father. We understand you came into the world and died for our sin, and our hearts respond with great gratitude to our Savior, and to the Heavenly Father whose plan you are carrying forward. But now if we have found favor in Thy sight, tell us what thing we shall do whereby we may become more and more in fellowship with God, become children of God, and be recognized by Him as members of His family.

And Jesus answers us, and says: If you draw near to the Father you will become my disciples, and whoever will walk in My steps will not only have a better glimpse of the Father as He goes onward in the good way, but eventually he shall see the Father in the fulness of Heavenly glory. He will share My glory and see the Father. "Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God."

Then we say, Lord, we are very glad, but we do not quite understand the way.

And His answer would be, as paraphrased from the Scriptures in general: It is not necessary that you should see all the way; it is only necessary that you should see in a general way the grand outcome of the plan, and in a particular way that you should see the particular step of each day and each hour.

And we say, Lord, what is the first step we should take?

And His answer is, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ if you would be saved. You are to believe that I am the Redeemer; you are to recognize that you are sinners; you are to realize the sentence against you is a death sentence and you could never be freed except in this way which the Heavenly Father has appointed; you are to accept therefore My death on your behalf as being the Divine arrangement for the cancellation of your sins, and if by faith you accept this you are ready then to take the next step.

We say, Lord, by faith we do accept, we believe that you are the Anointed of God, that you are the one mentioned by the Law and the Prophets that should come into the world to be the Redeemer of men; we recognize you as being the Son of God, the one whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world to be the Redeemer of the world. We perceive that your death at Calvary was not for any sin on your part either in the sight of God or men, but that your death was a sacrificial one, that you laid down your life, that you permitted men to take your life from you when you might indeed have resisted them either by calling on the Heavenly Father for defense or by using your own powers of eloquence and logic by which you would have turned the minds of the people from being your assailants to become your friends and defenders. And we hear your word assuring us that the grand outcome of the ransom sacrifice is that the Kingdom of God will be established in the earth, and you will be the great King in that day, and then you will bestow upon mankind the great blessings of God for their uplifting out of sin and death, and out of condemnation and up to the full image of God in the flesh. Do we believe properly?

Yes, you believe properly.

Are our sins then forgiven since we thus believe?

No, my beloved, your sins are not yet forgiven: you have merely taken the step of faith; you are merely now come to the place where you may know the next step to be taken, and if you take that next step your sins will be forgiven, and at the same time you will be ushered into a new nature.

Lord, what is the next step, that we may take it?

The answer is, You are to know now that my present call and invitation is to a class who desire to accept the terms that they may become my joint-heirs in that glorious Kingdom that is to bless the world.

Why, Lord, is it possible that you would like to have us associated with you in that great honor, and blessing, and work?

I would be pleased to have you if you are of the right kind – if you have My spirit.

Lord, what is Your spirit?

My spirit is a spirit of humility, a spirit of obedience to the Father, a spirit willing to abrogate yourself and to glorify the Father in your body and spirit which are His, And if you desire to become of the same spirit, of the same mind, if you desire to become My disciples and walk in My steps, then indeed you will be with Me and share My glory on the spirit plane.

The proposition is so astounding at first we say, Oh, Lord, what will be the cost? Surely there will be great cost attaching to such a great invitation as that. We see that a place in the Heavenly Throne and to be the great Messiah has cost you so much, you left the Heavenly glory and manifested your devotion to the Father's will, and you as the man Christ Jesus gave yourself unreservedly even unto death – what would be the terms and conditions upon which we who are so much inferior might become your joint associates in that Kingdom?

And the Master answers, You would not be worthy at all except for what I have told you of My willingness to impute to you of my merit. I have died for the sins of the whole world and you are members of the world, and if you wish to have it so you may have a share of that forgiveness of sins now in advance of the world upon certain conditions; namely, first the exercise of faith, which you say you have; and, secondly, upon your making a consecration of your lives as I made a consecration of mine.

But we say, Lord, you had something to give; no wonder that the Father would accept yourself. You had a blameless life when you were in that Heavenly glory, and when you were made flesh you still were blameless, holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, while we were born in sin and imperfection. How can the Father accept us and give us a share with you?

Leave that to me. If you wish to be my disciples your faith must accept the fact that I assure you I will make good for all your blemishes. You may not understand it in full now, but as you will grow in grace and knowledge I will show you these things more and more clearly, and the entire plan of God will appear more and more logical to you as you progress.

And we answer, Oh, Lord, it is enough; we are completely satisfied – more than satisfied; we rejoice to think that what little we may have of earthly time, talent, wealth, name, fame, opportunities, that these little things not really worth a cent, and which we do not know that we will have the control of for a single hour – that we may be privileged to lay these at the Father's feet through you, and that we should thus be accepted to such great honors.

And the Lord says, It is even so; sit down and count the cost.

And our souls answer the Lord, We do not need to count the cost, it is so little when we contrast it with the blessings, honors and favors of God which we are seeking for and which you have promised us, that there is nothing to count. Lord, we have nothing to give; it is not worthy of any consideration. We estimate the matter from the view-point of Saint Paul who declared, I count that all of these things of an earthly kind are but loss and dross in comparison to the excellency even of the knowledge of God; the knowledge of God is worth so much, just to know Him, just to get a glimpse of the Divine justice, love, wisdom and power, is worth the sacrifice of all the little we have, for we have nothing of any value. And as we thus begin to get the proper focus on the matter we say, Lord we give ourselves to Thee, it is all we can do; [CR394] we simply give our little all and accept whatever you have to give.

And the Lord says, That is the right spirit, and immediately he imputes to us individually His merit, which makes us holy and acceptable in the sight of the Father, and the same minute that we are thus holy the Father accepts us as New Creatures and the begetting of the Holy Spirit is there, and from thenceforth old things pass away and all things become new. We are now counted as members of His glorious Church which is in the making, in the preparation, in the washing, in the cleansing, in the polishing, in the getting ready. The sins that are past are all cleansed, and the New Creature has no defilement of its own, but there are certain imperfections attaching to the flesh still, and although the flesh be covered with the imputed robe of Christ's righteousness, nevertheless these weaknesses may from time to time crop out, and the New Creature is to be prompt to notice them, because the New Creature is this new mind, this new will, that henceforth regulates, rules, controls, this mortal body.

I have found some of God's dear people who did not realize how much of a contract they have on hand, and they were very careless about watching the things specially given to them to watch; they were continually watching other people and telling other people about their weaknesses and forgetting about themselves – a great danger. It is for us to realize our first obligation is in respect to our own flesh. God did not make me accountable for your flesh nor you for mine. He does indeed say we may help one another, and counsel one another, and build one another up, and we can indeed help one another to put on the robe of Christ's righteousness and to keep it properly; as we read in the Scriptures. The Bride makes herself ready. We can give each other valuable suggestions, but the responsibility really rests with you as a New Creature for your body, and with me as a New Creature for my body. And here we have the task of our lives, because in our flesh, as the Apostle says, dwells no perfection. Not all alike have imperfection, some have one degree, some another, and some are more imperfect and blemished in one way and others in another way; but as the Scriptures continually assure us, there is none righteous, none perfect, no not one. We all come short, and need to realize these shortcomings, and we are to fight the good fight against them.

But, Brother Russell, if God knows that our flesh is weak, and if He is dealing with us as New Creatures and not intending to judge us according to the flesh, what has the flesh to do with it, anyway? Surely it makes no difference to God what the flesh may be if my heart is right, if my heart is pure and sincere.

Yes, it makes a difference. God has given you your flesh to practice on, and you as a New Creature will grow in grace or not grow in grace in proportion as you practice on this mortal body, or fail to practice on it, and on these difficulties that you are to overcome, and it is as you show your loyalty as a New Creature in fighting down everything in your flesh that is contrary to you and the Father, that you show your loyalty to righteousness, to truth, to God and the Brethren, in that proportion you are growing in grace and in that character which God can approve.

So you and I before we would be prepared to be of the class that God has called us to, must of necessity be developed; therefore whoever God calls and accepts in Christ and who has the begetting of the Holy Spirit, are in the School of Christ. Then begins the lesson they must learn; they must grow in grace, and grow in knowledge, and grow in love, and as the Apostle explains, be transformed. What does that mean? It means to be formed over again. Suppose a man accepts Christ: could he be formed over again? Yes, my dear brother; if he is not formed over again he will not be ready for the Kingdom. But this transforming is not a transforming of the flesh. Indeed it may affect your flesh, and I have seen many homely faces transformed into very beaming ones by reason of the spirit of the Lord within; but this is not the thought here; that is a secondary matter. The transforming, as the Apostle says, is the renewing of your minds, new minds, minds made over. Think of that! How can we make our minds over? You know how you sometimes speak of making up your mind. You balance a thing, weigh it, then decide so and so. You know how you used to decide according to your own preferences, now you must make up your mind not according to your own preferences, but according to certain principles, certain lines of righteousness, and principles of justice and love, so that the New Creatures in Christ have a new set of rules, altogether different from what they ever had in the world. The world has no such regulations and rules as are applicable to the New Creatures in Christ. Everything you do must be squared by the rule of justice. You dare not do as a New Creature anything that would be unjust to a neighbor, to a brother, or to anybody. You are bound at least to be just: to the very extent of your ability you must not be lacking in justice. I think there are many of the Lord's people who have not fully realized this part of the lesson, that the new nature and obedience to its rules means absolutely the Golden Rule on their part toward all others. They must not do to others what they would not have others do to them. Because of this, sometimes the way of the Lord is evil spoken of. Sometimes one may fail to pay his debts, sometimes he may be careless as to how he involves himself in debt; the principle of justice is not standing out prominently enough before the mind of such a one. He has been in the habit, perhaps, as an old creature of not respecting the rules and lines of justice but sliding through here and there as he or she might be able and leaving others in the lurch. That will not do for the New Creature: the New Creature has come under new rules and no matter how much the old creature might seek to shirk, the New Creature's duty is to bring the body into subjection, and that justice shall rule in every act and word, and as far as possible in every thought. So that with these principles of justice in our minds, we have that much of God's character likeness. How would you and I as New Creatures be like unto the Father in Heaven if we did not have the principle of justice? The cultivation of the principle of justice in your life and mine, and in all our actions and dealings, in all our words, in all our thoughts – how close it comes to us! It may be comparatively easy to be just in our dealings so far as money is concerned, and say, I would not owe anybody a penny, I would pay to the very last mite, and I would rather live on the plainest of food than to be in debt and be under obligation or be unjust to another, but it is not so easy to be thoroughly just in our minds and words. To be unjust in our words is so easy. The New Creature is to sit in judgment against every word the mouth may utter. No wonder the Apostle says, If any man sin not with his mouth, the same is a perfect man. It is for the New Creature, then, to be on guard that it may be developed along this line; and if it fails time and time again the New Creature must prosecute the matter, it must thoroughly show the Lord that it has no sympathy with injustice. You have to be just in your thoughts before you can be properly just in your dealings. The man who thinks unjustly in spite of himself will act unjustly: therefore it comes down to the very matter of controlling our thoughts. How shall I think of that man, or that woman? Never with a prejudiced mind, but always with calm judgment, seeking to give them the benefit of the doubt if there is any doubt whatever. Besides that, the Lord counsels great mercy on our part, telling us that He would rather we would err in the sense of being too lenient than in the sense of being just merely.

Then beyond justice comes love, the very highest of all the attributes of God. God is love. God is just, but He is love also, which is still higher in the sense that it implies something more than justice. He will do all of justice to everybody, then He will do a little more, He will do something of love; He shows us this in His dealings with our race. He was only just toward us when He condemned our race as unfit for everlasting life. And He might have remained just and never provided any redemption or any opportunity for us whatever. But God was more than just, and so in due time He provided the Redeemer. This was grace, this was mercy, this was love. And this love has been working all through God's great plan for our race, providing first the Savior, now providing the Church, and making provision for you and for me in His mercy that we might come from the ranks of sinners and up to the ranks of glory, and forgiving all of our past for us and giving us all the encouragement of the way, and the assurance of His love and favor, and making all things work together for good to us. This is the love of God, and if we would be children of our Heavenly Father we must as New Creatures have this character likeness, we must have love. What will that mean? That will mean sympathy and assistance, and not merely justice. There is nothing of grace in the giving of justice: [CR395] it is right; anything less than justice is wrong; but we are to be more than just, we are to be kindly affectioned one to another, forgiving one another even as God for Christ's sake forgave us. He is wishing that you shall see that quality in His character and shall copy it in your life, and that I shall see it and copy it in my life. We see then what Jesus meant when He said, "Be ye perfect, as your Father in Heaven is perfect!" That is what He meant, to copy Him. Not that you can ever get your mortal body to that perfection where it would be perfect as God is perfect, or all your actions perfect as God is perfect, but He did mean that you were to have your mind in full sympathy and accord with God and His arrangement, striving to the best of your ability to practice on this mortal body so as to bring it more and more into accord with God. Why? Jesus said the Father is kind, even to the unthankful. It is comparatively easy to be generous toward those who are kind to us – to those who have done something for us and we would like to do something for them in return. It would be a mean disposition that would not want to do that. But that is not what God is inculcating. It is not merely to have kindness and be as good to another as he is to you, but more than that, to be kind to the unthankful, to those who are ungrateful, to those who despise you, and hate you, and persecute you. See how our poor world in its blindness has been misrepresenting the Heavenly Father, picturing Him as worse than the devil, and He is kind nevertheless. The poor world in its blindness has gone far off in wicked works, in every way opposed to Him, but in His kindness He is pursuing, and He is providing the blessings necessary – first the Redeemer, then the Church which is now being developed.

But as the Bible says, we are in the School of Christ, we are being taught of God, we are His workmanship; He has been working in us by His providence and Word, working in us by our experiences which He has made for us, and the opportunities He gives to us – all of these things are designed by the Lord to bless us and develop us in His own character likeness, that, as Jesus said, we should be like unto our Father in Heaven, so that we should be holy, even as He is holy, that our intentions, our aims, our desires, should be of exactly the kind God has.

If, therefore, you find you have in your heart a feeling of bitterness and envy, or strife, beware; that is a dangerous condition; that is not of the Holy Spirit at all; you are not holy as He is holy if you have these elements of character, because the Apostle explains that all of these qualities of character are works of the flesh and the devil, and if you have them it is that much of the flesh and devil working in you. And if, on the contrary, you have holiness, and a completeness of desire to know and to do God's will, and if this is an increasing power in your heart, then indeed you are being sealed of the spirit, and the character likeness of God is being impressed upon you, you are getting more and more day by day to see things as God sees them, to sympathize with the things God sympathizes with, and to be opposed to the things God is opposed to. That means that we shall love righteousness and hate iniquity. So you remember it was written of our Lord, and that was the grand climax of His character, "Thou lovest righteousness and hatest wickedness; therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows" – above angels, above the Church, making Him head over all things to the Church, and saying that all the angels shall worship Him. How much did He love righteousness? You want to see, because you want to copy Him. He hated wickedness so that He would in every way avoid iniquity, injustice, unrighteousness, sin, and He loved righteousness to the extent that He would rather die even the death of the cross than resist the will of God. This, dear friends, is the great test of character that is going on with you and with me, and according to these lines God is dealing with us. And it is not merely that we are fighting the good fight and trying to accomplish something in our flesh; because you may never succeed as a New Creature in getting as good control of your flesh as somebody else may have of His flesh at the very beginning of the way; but what you do want to see, and what God wishes to see in you and in me is that our whole hearts are set for righteousness, and that we love the right and hate the wrong and that we are striving to the best of our ability to put down the wrong and to uphold the right, especially in ourselves, in our own characters and in our actions, words and thoughts. So shall we be the children of the Highest, and so when our great Redeemer in the end shall examine us for graduation He shall be ready to say to us, as He is represented as doing in the parable, Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things – not very much, you did not have much to be faithful over, but you have shown the right spirit – I will make you ruler over many things. If you would fight so loyally against sin in your bodies, if you would be so loyal to the principles of righteousness under conditions as you had them, I know that with the perfect bodies that I will give you in the resurrection you will be able and perfectly willing then to do the will of the Father perfectly. And so the Father will be glad to have you fully His and to have you glorified with the Savior at His right hand.

Press Report – "Pastor Russell Comes to Edmonton"

Pastor Russell, in company with a special train party of about 200 International Bible student delegates will arrive in Edmonton on Wednesday morning from Calgary. He will give a lecture in the Empire auditorium, Second street in the evening, beginning at eight o'clock, upon the theme "Beyond the Grave."

The special party first assembled in Chicago under Dr. L. W. Jones, a well known Bible class leader. Twenty-six states and five Canadian provinces are represented in the gathering, which left Chicago on June 2, to attend the Los Angeles and the Seattle Pacific coast conventions, going via Hot Springs, San Antonio, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Portland, Tacoma, Seattle, Victoria and Vancouver.


Much work has been done en route. Pastor Russell is an ever busy editor, author and preacher. He is accompanied on this trip by his secretary, who is kept busy between cities in connection with Pastor Russell's literary work. Additionally Pastor Russell has delivered at least one public lecture in nearly every important city en route. He spoke in Portland's new Arena Rink to an immense crowd, and is scheduled to deliver his now famous lecture on "Beyond the Grave" in Edmonton.

John T. Read, basso, of the American Conservatory of Music, Chicago, is in the party and is to direct the musical program of the evening.

The enormous number of people regularly reading after Pastor Russell reaches a marvelous figure. His weekly sermons are now published in nearly 2,000 newspapers, reaching approximately fifteen million subscribers. This, figured upon a basis of only five readers for every paper, brings Pastor Russell's weekly congregation up to 75 million. Additionally, he is well known through his books and many special articles published in a religious press.


Pastor Russell is the duly elected pastor of the London Tabernacle, the Brooklyn Tabernacle and the Washington Temple congregations, and is president of the International Bible Students' Association and the Watch Tower Bible Society. [CR396] He accepts his maintenance from the latter society and accepts no salary or fee from any of his congregations, nor for delivering any public address. In harmony with this policy, he speaks only in public halls where Catholics, Jews, Christians, skeptics and all, can meet together to consider the Bible on its merit.

The party goes to Winnipeg on Wednesday night, and will then visit St. Paul and Minneapolis, winding up their trip at the International Bible Students' mid-summer convention at Madison, Wisconsin, arriving there on July 2. This trans-continental tour covers over 8,000 miles in a period of 30 days.


Pastor Russell is scheduled to go to Great Britain July 25, to conduct a series of meetings in the Royal Albert hall in connection with his London Tabernacle work. He will speak in the leading cities of Europe and the provincial cities of Great Britain on week day nights, returning to London for three or four big Sunday meetings.

Those looking after arrangements for the Edmonton meeting anticipate that an immense throng will assemble to hear the famous international preacher. They lay stress upon the points that all are invited, that seats are free and that no appeal of any kind will be made for financial assistance.

Press Comment – "Beyond the Grave"

Clergyman Says He Has Preached More Hell Than Anyone Else, But Not the Fire, Brimstone and Pitchfork Variety

The special train carrying Pastor Russell and party of 225 Bible students, now touring the western provinces, arrived in the city this morning at 9 o'clock.

When asked about the charge that he is a "no hell" preacher, Pastor Russell replied:

"There is no minister in the world that preaches more hell than I do, but the hell that I preach is the hell of the Bible and not the hell of the fire, brimstone, pitchfork and sandpaper-slide variety. The hell of the Bible is a most reasonable interpretation of the original Greek and Hebrew terms – Hades and Sheol – which means the death state, the tomb."

A meeting was held in the Empire theatre auditorium this morning for the benefit of Bible students. It took the form of a prayer, praise and testimony meeting. Short addresses were given by several of the ministers accompanying the party.


Another meeting is being held this afternoon in the Empire auditorium. Pastor Russell addresses the Bible students on "The Body of Christ and the Import of True Christian Living." There are about 350 of these students now in the city.

Tonight at 8 o'clock the pastor will deliver his celebrated lecture on "Beyond the Grave." He is meeting with great success in this lecture, drawing crowds that test the capacity of the auditoriums, hundreds and sometimes thousands having been turned away. In Calgary last night an audience of 2,500 listened with rapt attention throughout this discourse.

Pastor Russell is an independent Bible exegete, whose commentaries on the Bible called "Scripture Studies" have reached an enormous circulation being now in the eighth million. About 2,000 newspapers carry the pastor's sermons weekly.

When asked regarding the origin of these Bible students the pastor said:

"I find in the world today a hunger for the Bible such as is unprecedented in past history. These Bible students have sprung out of all denominations and, in harmony with the spirit of our times, are seeking information from the Bible in its own light rather than from the creeds formulated in the dark ages.


This growth of Bible students is a spontaneous effort on the part of all Christians everywhere to investigate the Bible in the light of the Divine plan of the ages."

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

FROM Calgary we made a side trip of about two hundred miles farther north – the most northern point of our tour – reaching Edmonton about 9 o'clock in the morning. None of train party had ever been to this city, and it was also Brother Russell's first visit. The class there is but a few years old, nevertheless they are wide-awake and had made excellent provisions for the meetings and entertainment of the touring party. Many friends in the Truth came long distances and experienced considerable difficulty reaching Edmonton. One old brother, about seventy-five years of age, came sixty-five miles, driving the entire distance in a little buggy. We felt that our visit to Edmonton well repaid us for the entire tour. The following discourse by Brother Russell was greatly enjoyed by all, but especially by the Edmonton friends, as it was the first time many of them had seen or heard him:

Discourse by Pastor Russell.


THIS is my first visit to Edmonton, and I want to say in advance of my discourse that I am very much pleased to meet with you and to note that the same Heavenly Father who has been blessing His people elsewhere has His glory to shine into your hearts also; and thus we recognize that all who belong to Him caused some of the light and knowledge of are members of the one family of which He is the Head; of which our Lord and Savior is the elder Brother, and of which we are all members in particular by the Grace of God through Christ. I greet you all, then, dear friends, in the name of our glorious Savior, and in the name of the one common salvation which we all have through Him, and in the hope of that glorious attainment to which He has called us by His grace; namely, joint heirship with our Savior in the Kingdom. I wish you all as a little class here at Edmonton, and those at other places who are meeting with you here, very much of the Lord's blessing, and assure you that our Heavenly Father's arrangements are such that all the sheep of His flock may have His blessing, and care, and protection, and oversight, here as well as in Brooklyn and everywhere else. How wonderful it is that we find the provision of our time is such as to give meat in due season to the household of faith everywhere! Just a little while ago we could not have believed it possible that way off in this north country, and way in the south country, too – in South Africa, and in India, China, Japan, Australia, and [CR397] everywhere, all the world over, the same message of God's grace and truth could go, and that all of God's people could think, and feel, and sing, in harmony, and have the same Manna text every day, and the same lessons in general every week. It seems very wonderful. Then you, know, I visit you twice here every month in the Watch Tower, and we have good long talks together. All of these things are of the Lord, evidently; He made them all for us; we are living in this happy time, this wonderful day of privilege and blessing more than ever known in the world's history before. I trust, then, that this little convention tour and our coming to Edmonton, and your meeting with so many of the friends from 34 states of the Union, will bring cheer to your hearts and great encouragement in the way, and that we will all depart this evening in the same joy of the Lord.

My text for this afternoon is the words of the Apostle, "Be filled with the spirit" (Eph. 5:18). This word "spirit" has given a great many of the Lord's people perplexity of mind. We read of spirit and spiritual things in so many different ways that people are confused, especially in view of the fact that for some centuries the doctrine of the Trinity has been very prominent before all our minds, and according to that doctrine we were taught that the Holy Spirit is a third person, a third God as it were: one God the Father, another God the Son, and another God the Holy Spirit. Then we were told that these three would make one God, and we did not understand how the three could be one. Then we were told there was only one God after all, but there were three manifestations of the one God. And the more we were told the more we were perplexed; and the more we inquired the more we were told that this was a great mystery which nobody understood. Now we find, dear friends, that the mystery is mostly in the fact that we have been believing what is largely mystical and not what is real, not what is in the Bible. If we take the Bible for it the mystery clears away and everything becomes very simple and clear.

First of all, we should know the meaning of this word "spirit." The word spirit in the Hebrew language is used in a general way as covering anything of influence or power that is invisible. Any invisible power is spirit power. Any invisible influence is spirit influence. The thought of invisibility goes with the word spirit – that which is not seen, not tangible, cannot be handled. So that a thought upon the mind is called the spirit; as we read in the Scripture, Who knoweth the mind of a man, or the spirit of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? That is to say, your own mind knows your own mind. I cannot know your mind, and you cannot know my mind except as I express myself. So no one knoweth the spirit of man except a man's spirit, and likewise the Apostle says that no one knows God's mind, or God's spirit, except God. God only knows His own mind, His own purpose, His own intention. There is a general way in the use of the word spirit; it stands for the mind, the will, the purpose. It also stands at times for power; as, for instance, the spirit of God moved upon the waters. It was not God's mind that moved on the waters, it was not His thought; it was the spirit of power or energy from God that moved upon the waters and caused them to bring forth.

Then, again, we use the word spirit in connection with all life. When we say a dog has a spirit of life we do not mean the dog has a ghost in him; we mean the dog has that quality or principle which we call life. We call it the spirit of life because you cannot see life. You know how you could kill the dog, stop him from living, but you do not know how you could put the life back again. When you kill a dog you do not see the life going away. That principle of life came from the dog's parents all the way back. The spirit of life in a horse or other animal comes down from the parent. So with humanity. You received your spirit of life from your father, and he received it from his father, and so on all the way back to Adam. God gave that power of spirit of life to Father Adam. Nobody but God can give the spirit or power of life, but as long as you have it yourself, even a little spark of it, it is possible for you to give it to another; just so in the ordinary way God has arranged the power of procreation. Every father has the power to give life to his child; he gives some of that spark which he received; he cannot give any more that he received or possesses. What he gives may be under more favorable circumstances and his child may live longer because of more favorable environment, but it cannot get more life than its father possesses. So this is called the spirit of life, or the opportunity of living, this spark of vitality which God gave. Now, what the spark of vitality is nobody knows; it is merely the power to live. You see the same thing in a tree; that little bud on the tree has life in it, and if you break off that bud you will kill the whole matter, but there may be life enough in the root to send out another bud. Each bud would, therefore, be a child from the root, but it is the same spark of life. If you freeze the seed or roast it you destroy the germ of life in the seed and it will not germinate because there is no power of life there.

Now, God is back of all of this life and it is an invisible thing; you can tell when a thing is alive but you cannot give the life. God declares that He gave life to father Adam on condition that he would use that life in harmony with his Creator's will, and if he would not use it in harmony with His will He would recall it. Now, recalling it would not mean that it would be a thing that would have ears and be able to walk. For instance, I give you permission to go some place and to get something that is mine; suppose I had a valise and I would give you permission to go and get that valise and you can have it. The permission is what I give you, and while you are on the way I may recall that permission and say, "Stop, I will change that, I have recalled it." It does not mean the permission had ears to hear, and that the permission walked back to me, does it? Just so when God recalls the power of life it does not mean something goes back to God in a literal sense; it is a permission to live. He gave the permission to live and then He recalled it. So the Bible says that the dust returns to the earth as it was, but the spirit, the spirit of life, the power to live, returns to God who gave it – returns in just the same way the permission I gave you to get my valise returns to me. I had the right to give you permission to do that, and I had the power to prohibit your doing that. God has a right to give us the power to live and He has the right to countermand that and say, "No, you are not using that life as I intended, therefore I recall the privilege of living." It is not a thing: it is merely the privilege of living; and the spark of life which God started keeps on going except as unfavorable circumstances might stop it here and there. You can start it in your children and they may go on for a certain distance and something unfavorable stops it with them. But before it stops with them they may have given a spark of it to their children; and so it may continue on, but it is merely the privilege of living, and it is called the spirit of life because life is a thing that is not tangible, that you could handle or see. It is not a thing at all; it is a principle, a right, a privilege.

So much, then, for the meaning of the word spirit. We are not going into it more in detail now, but coming back to our text we read, "Be filled with the spirit." What spirit are we to be filled with? Is it the spirit of life we are speaking of? Oh, no, because it is addressed to people who already have the spirit of life from their fathers else they could never hear or understand anything. It is addressed not merely to natural men, it is addressed to New Creatures; hence it does not refer to the natural life at all. It is speaking of another spirit of life. Is there more than one spirit of life? Yes, we answer, there are two spirits of life. How is that? This way: When God gave to our human earthly parents the right to live that was the earthly spirit of life, or the right to earthly life, that He gave to them, and with that right to earthly life went certain powers. As soon as that life came into the body of Adam he became a living soul – not that he got a living soul, not that a living soul entered into him, but he became a living soul. Well, says somebody, I do not see any difference whether he became a living soul or whether a living soul was within him, or whether he had a living soul. There is a difference; there would be the same difference as whether you have a dog or whether you are a dog. You say, I have a soul, or, I am a soul. Do you see the difference? You have a dog, or, you are a dog. A soul is a being, a thinking person. You cannot be a thinking person without that spark of life, and you cannot be a thinking person without the body; and the kind of a person you will be depends upon the kind of a body you have. If you have a body like a dog, we know what a dog can do. We see from the shape of the dog and his head just what he can think and do. We see a horse and a cow and we know what they can do. But we look at a man and [CR398] say, that man has a higher intellectuality than a dog, and therefore the spark of life which the man gets enables his thinking apparatus to think far higher than the dog could think, but it is the same kind of life; it is the same spirit of life in a beast that is in the man: it is not a different kind of life. It is the same kind of life in a lily that is in an oak, but in an oak it leads to a great strong tree, and in a lily it leads to a tall, slender stick with a flower on it; that is vegetable life. In a dog, or horse, or cow, or man, it is all animal life, the spirit of life animating animal bodies or physical bodies, and the kind of thoughts and personalities will depend upon the shape of the body; so that you as a soul are different from me as a soul. The difference in your disposition and mine is exactly the same as is manifested in the shape of your head and mine, and the shape of your face and mine, and as there are no two faces exactly alike so there are no two souls exactly alike; they could not think exactly the same. Now we can train our thoughts, we can bend our thoughts, so to speak, and bring them into the same channels, but naturally, without any such bending or training you are according to what you were born, and according to what your environment and circumstances have made of you. Suppose you have twins, who are very much alike, can hardly tell them apart, but you train the one in college and under certain conditions, and you train the other one under different conditions, and there will be considerable difference because of their environment. Suppose one gets no education and the other gets a college education, you can see that the one would be very different from the other. Now their souls, their personalities, were practically the same to start with as twins, but the different circumstances made one much nobler and developed him much more, and left the other one in a very undeveloped condition; he did not bring out all the possibilities of his organism.

So much then for the spirit of man that is in him – the human life of a man. And then we use that same word life, or spirit, when we speak of the mentality of a man; for we speak of God being a spirit, and the will of God, and the mind of God, and the mind of Christ, and so the spirit of man, and mind of man, and will of man. You may will this, or will that, you may think this or that; it is the will of man, it is the mind of man; you think on your own plane, according to your own development. We get now to the highest thought of spirit – "God is a spirit." What does that mean? God is a spirit being. That means God is a being that is invisible to men, that is mighty and powerful and influential, and we cannot see Him because He is a spirit. He is an intelligent power. We see various things respecting this great power. As Jesus said, God is a spirit and they that worship must worship Him in spirit and truth. It is only with your mind that you can worship God in a way He will be pleased with. In order to give worship to God that He would be pleased with we must raise up to Him and recognize Him as a spirit, and in our hearts and minds we must do Him reverence. Many people worship God in an outward form and their hearts are far from Him. He does not pay any attention to their forms at all.

God who is a spirit has made other spirits. He has made Cherubim and Seraphim, and the angels, different orders of spirit beings. They are all higher than man; they are all spirits; you cannot see them; they are all intangible. We merely know about them through the Bible. The Bible tells us there are such and we believe that God made these spirit beings. They are more like God in this respect, that He being a spirit or invisible person, and they, being spirits or invisible persons, are that much higher than man who is a material being. Now what a spirit being is you and I do not know; the Bible does not tell. It is not a spirit nothing, it is a spirit being; and the Bible tells us there is a spirit body. We are not to think of spirit as being merely some gas, etc.; that is not the thought; but it is merely so different from our body that it is not possible to understand because the Bible does not attempt to make it clear or to explain to us. The Apostle says we do not know what we shall be, but we do know when the change shall come the Church shall be made like her Lord, see Him as He is, and share His glory.

We now have before our minds the spirit beings, the earthly beings, and the difference between these, the difference between the mind of the spirit being, which is the spirit of a spirit, and the mind of a human being which is the spirit of a human being. God's mind, God's spirit, would be the spirit of a spirit; man's mind would be the spirit of a man. Then we would say of Satan that he is a spirit being also, and the mind or spirit of Satan would be a different mind or spirit from the mind or spirit of God; because Satan, as the Bible explains to us, is in antagonism to God; his mind therefore is operating in opposition to the mind of God. So the Bible explains to us that the will of God is that which is in harmony with all the things that are right, and just, and loving, and good, and true; this is the spirit of God the Holy Spirit. Mark now! God's mind, God's disposition, is holy. We see then what it is for God to be a spirit and what it is for Satan to be a spirit. God is a holy spirit, one that is perfect, one that has these grand qualities of character, and all the angels of God who are in harmony with Him are holy angels because they are holy spirits, or those spirits which are in conformity to God's standard of righteousness, justice, love, wisdom and power, co-operating with the holy God, the great Spirit, the Father of Spirits as the Bible says. Then, on the other hand, we have Satan the antagonist, the rebel, opposing God. He is not only a spirit being but he has the mind or spirit of Satan, is in antagonism to righteousness, the foe of God and the foe of all those who are in sympathy with God, and then he has under him, as the Bible explains, a whole corps of fallen spirits, fallen angels, and they have his spirit, and disposition, and mind, and they do in harmony with him, he being the head over them. He is the prince of demons; they are demons, evil ones, and he is their leader. This princedom of Satan is not of divine authority, but, as the Bible says, he was one of the higher order of the angels when he fell, and being of a higher type of nature he naturally became superior to and the commander of these other inferior fallen angels. Now here are these great forces that are in opposition to God and the spirit of holiness and all who are in sympathy with that spirit, and Satan and his spirit, or mind, will, of unholiness, in opposition to all who are in sympathy with Him. Now mankind may take sides with either God or Satan, and so the Scriptures speak of some as being the children of the devil because his works they do; that is, they have received his spirit, they are exercised by the mind of Satan and the same spirit of opposition that Satan had; therefore they are called the children of the devil. Has Satan really begotten any children? No, not in the full sense of the word, but his spirit has been contagious and he has more or less blinded and confused the human family; and he has put light for darkness and darkness for light until, deluded by him, they have taken the same antagonistic view that he has, and are manifesting his spirit.

Father Adam as a perfect man had a perfect mind; not like yours, not like mine; he had perfect judgment; he was well balanced and there was nothing of peculiarity about his mental makeup. He was not peculiar in the sense of being unreasoning and lacking power of mind of some kind, just as liable to go into error as into right; his mind was so balanced that he would always know the right from the wrong, and in that consisted his perfection. Just so if you and I had perfect brains we would know right from wrong without anybody telling us; but because of our fallen condition we find people who do not know right from wrong, and some know better than others know. For instance, some people have thought it just all right to burn each other at the stake because they did not know any better. Their brains were unbalanced, they were deluded and thought amiss. They were not necessarily bad people, but they got the wrong view of things and with their poor, imperfect heads did what they would not have done if they had had sound heads. So the Apostle, speaking of the Church, tells us that when we become the Lord's people we receive the spirit or disposition of a sound mind. Naturally we are insane; some are more insane and some are less insane; some have better judgment and some have poorer judgment. But just as soon as we become members of the special class, begotten of the Holy Spirit, and the transformation of character begins, it tends to make us more and more sound in our reasoning. Even with poorer brains, directed rightly with the Lord's Word and the spirit of righteousness, we could do better than we would have done otherwise. And that is the spirit of a sound mind, the disposition that belongs to a sound mind, that we have. We do not have a sound brain, but God's brain is sound, and if we have His mind, His spirit, dwelling in us and directing us then we are regulated more and more by the spirit of a sound mind. [CR399]

Father Adam in his perfection had a perfect mind and it was so in harmony with God that God could talk with him as to a friend, a son. He called Adam His son and talked with our first parents in the Garden of Eden, and in every way they were able to appreciate Him and to commune with Him because He had made them so much higher than the cattle and other creatures. He made them purposely in His own image. We are not to suppose God has fingers and nails, and toes, etc., as we have, although sometimes these figures of speech are used. We do not know what God's person is like because the Bible does not explain, but we do know the sense in which man is in God's image is that he has these mental qualities like his Creator's, so that he can reason as God reasons. Now you see the dog cannot do that; the dog has not the image of God; the dog cannot reason on higher things. A dog can reason a good deal and understand a good deal, and the Bible speaks of a dog as being a soul, and a fish as a soul – everything that has intelligence the Bible calls a soul or being – but these different souls, or beings, fishes, beasts, etc., have souls that are more or less intelligent, though none of them at all anything near the intelligence of humanity. For instance, you can speak to your dog and say, "Go bring in the sheep." and there are dogs that have so much intelligence and knowledge that they can count and know every sheep in a large flock, remembering probably 100 or more, and would not miss a single one of them but bring them all in. You could tell the dog to go outside and the dog would know what you meant and go outside; or, Come and lie under the table, and he would know what you meant. He has a certain kind of intelligence and reasoning power, and that intelligence constitutes a dog, a soul – not that the dog has a soul, but the dog is a soul, and because he is a soul he is able to think and reason; and any being that is not able to think and reason is not a soul. Any being that is able to think is a soul.

When we come to man, we find that Adam as a perfect man, a perfect soul, had a good mind based upon a good bodily organism that God was pleased with, which enabled him to think, and study, and reflect, upon justice and wisdom and the relation of things to right and to wrong and to everything else. So in that respect he was like his God. Suppose you say to the dog, "Now you know how to count the sheep, I will tell you something about astronomy;" and the dog merely wags his tail and looks at you; he does not know anything about astronomy. You might try to teach him all your life and he would not know a thing more when you would be dead than before, because he has not any brains to take in astronomy, although he has brain power for some other things. You and I as human beings have these qualities the dog has; he loves to eat and has an organ of the brain that says, This tastes good, go and eat some more, and you have that same organ which is called Alimentiveness, in the human brain which says, I want to eat, I like to eat, it tastes good. Then some dogs have more Acquisitiveness and some less. Some dogs when they have more bones than they can eat will go and bury them and keep them for the future. They have economy. They have Secretiveness and various other qualities which are the same as human beings have. On many of these things they reason just the way we do, because they have these organs of thought and reason just as humanity has. They have love and sympathy. Many dogs and horses have been known to die from sympathy when a mate would die. The horse or dog would be so attached in his sympathies that he would die of grief. There are many cases of that kind which you have all heard about. They could not take any pleasure at all in life, and simply died from grief. But they lack other qualities; they lack God-likeness; the image of God is lacking. It is these qualities in us that constitute us the image of God – the ability to think along these higher lines that the dog cannot.

We would say then that father Adam had the spirit of God in the sense that his mind being perfect would be in harmony and accord with God's mind or spirit; he had the spirit of God not in the sense that you and I may get the spirit of God; he had it in the sense that he thought as God thought, and viewed matters as God viewed them because he was made so that he would think of things from that standpoint. So God tells us in the future He will pour out His spirit upon all flesh and they will all then come back again. That is to say, as they receive of His spirit it will mean they will be coming back to this soundness of mind; all through the Millennial Age they will be raising up, receiving more of God's spirit, their brains will be coming more nearly to the perfect standard; more and more they will have the right mind, the mind of God, on every subject, until when they shall have reached perfection, and their heads are perfect in every sense of the word, they will be back again as Adam was in the image or likeness of God. In that sense of the word God's promise will be fulfilled that He will pour out His spirit upon all flesh. It will be poured out in a different way from what comes to the Church. The way in which it will be poured out to mankind will be that they will be instructed in what they should do, and as their minds respond and they are obedient to the laws of the Kingdom they will gradually grow to physical, mental and moral perfection. And they will thus be coming back into the spirit of God, into His likeness, into His image, as Adam was at first.

But now we are coming to the most important point we wish to make – how you and I are to apply this text, namely, "Be filled with the spirit." God does not intend that the world should have His spirit; the fallen man could not have God's spirit! and so just as soon as man became a transgressor, and took an attitude of opposition to God, he was thrust out of the Garden of Eden. God withdrew Himself, and left the man, the sinner, alone. Now he could have no communion with God; he could merely think along his own lines; he had no further guidance from the Lord and his mind began to operate lower and lower and the higher qualities of his mind began to dwarf more and more. I was not there when they were put out, but I fancy I know just how they got along after they got out. While they were in the Garden it was all nice between father Adam and mother Eve; they would say, "Have some more of these nice fruits, they are plentiful, take plenty," and they would eat all they wanted and when they wanted to, and had everything very nice; but after they were thrust out into the unprepared earth where the thorns and thistles were, and where they must earn their bread in the sweat of face it was a different proposition. Father Adam grubbed the earth with its weeds and thorns, and he would say, "Now, Eve, you be more careful how you use those potatoes, because I tell you I put in a lot of sweat and work getting those potatoes ready." And she would say, "Adam, you have become very stingy; you used to be generous in the Garden." "Yes, but they were plenty, and we could get nice things then and we only had to pull them off the trees." So you see this quality of selfishness would come in very naturally, and I am sure it was not a week before they had a scrap. Adam loved his wife enough to be disobedient to God that he might have her company and fellowship, but I am sure it was not long before they had a scrap, because the conditions had changed. And so it is now, my dear friends: plenty of people would be nice people if conditions were changed. Just change the conditions to what they will be during the Millennium and the people who are living would be ever so much nicer people; they would not have to tramp all over each other, and would not have to fight and cheat each other to get the best of everything. This was the condition of things when they had their first son, and Cain naturally enough was marked before he was born. There was some kind of a mark set on him after he became the murderer of his brother, but he was marked in his birth. You can see that from his character and the disposition he had. Where did he get the character? I presume that at the time of his conception and development father Adam and mother Eve were feeling very, very cross, very much disappointed that they had gotten out of the Garden – why was God so cruel to them anyway? Why should He not overlook that first transgression? Why should He not be more generous with them? – and in their feeling of envy, and jealousy, and hatred, poor Cain got his birthmark, and he was envious and jealous, too. I used to wonder how the race could deteriorate so quickly that the first son of perfect Adam and Eve could be a murderer, and have that bitter spirit, but I see it now; he was marked from his birth; and the fall came in rapidly in his moral qualities – much more rapidly than in his physical qualities. He was still strong and vigorous in his physical qualities, but he had the marks of hatred and selfishness; the meanness and quarrelsome disposition were there because he was born that way. Sin had entered into the world and all the things of God's spirit were not there. God had withdrawn Himself. He would not deal with Adam and his race at all; He would not call them sons any longer; they were rebels, they were under sentence of death – "Dying thou shalt die." Even when God [CR400] dealt with the children of Israel and made them His special servant people for a time He would not call them His sons, would not give them His spirit, would not beget in them His spirit. Why? Because His law required satisfaction of the penalty first before this would be proper, and He had a wise reason for putting it so; it would be the best way in the end. It was not that God was feeling jealous, and feeling as though He wanted to be particular to a hair's breadth as to the formality of the matter, but He fixed it so that it would require a redeemer to die for our sins before the forgiveness of sins would come, so He might thus illustrate the dealings of His Kingdom, the principles of His government. The first we could know of any return to God's spirit was when Jesus came. God did put His spirit on the prophets of olden times – not in the same way that it was upon father Adam in that they would be in His image, for they were imperfect men like the rest of the world; nor in the same way He gives His spirit to the Church – not the spirit of adoption; they were not adopted into His family and the prophets did not become sons of God; but God's spirit operated on the prophets in a mechanical way, just as you would go to the piano there and strike the keys and bring forth certain sounds. The piano has no knowledge of the matter at all; it merely responds to the touch that you give it. So the Scriptures tell us the prophets of olden times spake and wrote as they were moved – that is to say, the piano would make a sound as it would be moved, and the one moving it would be the player. So God was the One who moved these prophets to speak and write things they themselves did not comprehend. They knew the words they were saying, but they did not know their meaning. Neither did other people know the meaning, and neither could the meaning be known until God's time for it to be known. When God's time came for it to be known then His spirit would give His people an understanding of that which had been written long, long ago.

John, the forerunner of Jesus, was the last of the series of prophets, the Bible tells us, and he was filled with the spirit from his birth. That is to say, God's power began to operate upon him at his birth, and even before his birth, as we have the record that John leaped in his mother's womb – showing the power of God's spirit operating on him there. The spirit of the Lord was upon him from his mother's womb, is the record. And he continued under the special guidance of God to be a very special prophet because he was the one who was to introduce Jesus. But this did not make him a son of God for he was not begotten to a new nature at all; he was merely acted upon by the Lord and guided. He was a very good man undoubtedly, and was guided of the Lord's spirit in what he said and did, and was used of the Lord in announcing the Master. Then came Jesus. Jesus had been in the Father's likeness in His prehuman condition. The Bible tells us He was the very first of all the spirit beings, the only one indeed that God directly created – the beginning of the creation of God, the firstborn of all creation, that in all things He might have the pre-eminence, might be first, highest. Then this Logos, our Lord in His prehuman condition, was with the Father, and all things were made by Him, and without Him was not one thing made that was made. He had God's spirit in the sense He was in God's likeness and image, in His own perfection of character, and His mind would be in full accord and sympathy with God's mind, just as Adam's mind was in full accord and sympathy with God. Then He had God's spirit in the miraculous sense that God's power came on Him to do all of this creative work. He had it both ways; not only that He had the mind or spirit of the Father, but He had the energy or power of the Father operating through Him. Then when the time came for God to provide a redeemer for the world, His arrangement was that the one who would be the redeemer should be the great one who would be the restorer. He could not be the restorer unless he would be the redeemer, and God fixed it so that in order to be the redeemer it would mean a test of His humility, and obedience, and loyalty to the very last degree – faithful unto death, even the death of the cross. And He was faithful. This opportunity was given to Him instead of to some of the others, the Cherubim or Seraphim – given to Him as an honor, as a privilege. Why? Because the one who would do this, the one who would be thus obedient, the one who would thus be man's redeemer in God's plan was to be highly exalted far above all other beings; and it was God's will that this one, the Logos, who had always been first in the Divine order, should continue to be first, should continue to be Head over all; therefore to Him first of all came the privilege, the opportunity, that He might come into the world and be the redeemer, and by becoming the redeemer to become also the Lord of Glory, a partaker of the Divine nature and a joint-heir in all the realm of the Father's universe. And He was faithful, and He attained. When He was the perfect man He had the spirit of God in the same sense that father Adam had the spirit of God, and He maintained that spirit, or mind, or likeness, of God as the man; and instead of doing as father Adam did, saying, I give up, I will not be in accord with the Father, He took the very opposite course, and when the time came and He was 30 years of age He sacrificed all of His earthly rights. "Lo, I have come to do Thy will, O My God." That is the reason I came into the world that I might do your will; I am here for that very purpose – everything written in the Book. What book? The book of the Law and the prophets. What is written in the book? The Law was written in the book. But that was not what Jesus referred to. He must keep the Law. That was compulsory. There was no sacrifice about keeping the Law; He must not do otherwise. If I come into your city of Edmonton, and say, I am going to sacrifice my rights and keep your law, you would say, Brother Russell, you are not sacrificing any rights, it is your duty to keep the law of Edmonton while you are here. So with our Lord Jesus; He was obliged to keep the law, otherwise He would have been a sinner and lost His life. What He did do was everything written in the book. There was more in the book than the Law. The book told about what God's will would be respecting the one who would be the great Messiah. The book told about how this one who would afterwards be so highly glorified would be led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is dumb, so He would not open His mouth to defend Himself, or to sway His audience with His eloquence and turn them away from crucifying Him, but allow them to take their course and crucify Him. It was also written in the book in the types of the Law that on the Day of Atonement He would be the great anti-typical bullock; and as the bullock was led to the slaughter for the sins of the people, so He, in order to fulfill that part written in the book, would be slain. It was written in the book that Moses lifted up the serpent on a pole and the people looked at the serpent and were healed. This was written in the book as foreshadowing or illustrating what He would be. "Even so must the Son of Man be lifted up." Now these things written in the book God did not command Him to do. No, God is so very exact that He never commands you to do more than justice. It would be unjust for God to ask more than justice and He will never be unjust. If He had commanded Jesus to be the sacrifice it would have been Law and would not have been any sacrifice at all. The moment you make a law of a thing it ceases to be a sacrifice. So when Jesus came He must keep the Law, because He was a Jew born under the Law, and it was right to keep the Law and wrong to do anything else, and His life would have been forfeited if He had done anything else; but He was not bound to do anything more. And that was what He sacrificed then, all of these earthly rights of His over and above the Law, all that belonged to Him as one who would keep the Law – every privilege and right He had. I have come to do Your will, O, God; to lay every [CR401] privilege and right I have at Your feet; do with Me as seemeth best; fill up whatever cup Your wisdom sees best to give. I know not all that is written in the book; I see some of the things and other things I may not see, but whatever you have caused to be written in the book, whatever you have prophetically declared respecting your requirements and tests of the one who would be the Messiah, I am ready to do anything and everything, do all; I give Myself away.

And when Jesus did that at 30 years of age He symbolized it by baptism. John did not know what He was doing. John was there symbolizing the reformation of the Jews, telling them to come and wash their sins away and start afresh, and when Jesus came John knew He was not a sinner, and said, Why do You come to me? If either one of us needs to be baptized and wash away his sins, it is I, not you! Jesus said, Never mind, John, permit it to be this way now; I know what I am doing. But it was not proper for Him to tell John, and John would not have understood anyway. It was not something for John to understand. John was not of the spirit-begotten ones. He was doing something John could not understand, and that others of that time could not understand, but you and I understand. He was symbolically representing His death, the full laying down of all His earthly rights and interests, and His resurrection from the dead a New Creature. When He did that God sent upon Him the Holy Spirit. John saw it. No one else saw it. John bare record, He that sent me said, upon whom thou seest the spirit descending and resting on Him, it is He, you can tell the people. So John says, I bare record that I saw the spirit of God descending on Him as a dove and it abode with Him.

What was that? one asks. That was God's spirit in a very special way, called in the Scriptures the begetting of the Holy Spirit. Now what does begetting mean? Begetting is the start of life. "But, Brother Russell, Jesus had not lost His life, how could He have life started in Him?" The life He had before was the life that had come down from Heaven and it was an earthly life, because while He did have life as a spirit being He had laid aside the glory, honor and higher nature and was made flesh, and He was merely the perfect man at that moment, and there as the perfect man He gave it all up, surrendered it all and reckoned Himself dead, gave up these earthly interests to death, and that was the particular moment in which God started a new life in Him – the begetting of the Holy Spirit to a new life. Now what kind of life was that? That new life that was started in Him was the beginning of a life as a spirit being. The begetting continued with Him, and during the three and a half years of His ministry that spirit abode with Him; He was filled full of the spirit, much more than any of His followers ever could be because having a perfect head and all His powers perfect He had room to receive the spirit. He had no opposition from imperfect flesh to interfere and hinder; He could receive the full mind, the full spirit of God, the full power of God in the way that none others could receive it. Just as you see some people today who are naturally born with better bodies and better heads than others, and some are of a less cantankerous disposition than others and can receive the spirit of the Lord in larger measure or more quickly than others – not necessarily meaning that they are going to be any more faithful in the end, but they can receive a larger measure of the spirit. But Jesus being perfect, the Bible says God gave not the Holy Spirit to Him by measure. There was no limitation; the fulness of the spirit came upon Him. Being a perfect man with a perfect brain He was able to receive of the mind or spirit of God perfectly, and could operate it. He did not have a battle with sinful and depraved flesh; He had no craving appetites for things that were of a degrading kind. He was perfectly balanced, and the spirit of God enabled Him in this all right condition to be more filled, and guided, and directed, by God in that perfect way than any one else could have been.

When did He get the spirit perfecting? It came at His birth. You see how the Bible pictures it: begetting is one thought, birth is another, and the period between His begetting and His birth was three and one-half years – three and a half years of spiritual gestation. He was begotten to a new nature, then for three and a half years the developing and testing of His character was going on, making Him stronger and stronger in every way, then He reached the completion at three and a half years and finished His course on Calvary, dying in obedience to His Father's will, laying down everything. Then on the third day God raised Him from the dead. He was the first-born from the dead; it was His birth to a new nature. The New Creature had been in a condition of gestation in a mortal body. The New Creature had been growing all the time and now it was ready for birth, and the old body that had died was succeeded by the new body which God gave Him in His resurrection.

We will not take time now to talk particularly about the way in which Jesus manifested Himself during the forty days He was with His disciples when He appeared as a man, though He was not a man any longer. He took different forms, but they were not His own form. He appeared in this way and that way; it was not His real appearance, but as He manifested Himself. We will speak of what He was. He was a spirit being, and as a spirit being during those forty days He was invisible nearly all the time. Only a few minutes at a time did He appear, and only about seven times in all. Then He ascended on high to the presence of God. How? As a spirit being. Did He not take His flesh along? Oh, no, He said He gave His flesh for the life of the world. Now if He gave it for the life of the world He would not be taking it along, would He? If He would take it along, He would be taking it back again. He does not need a body of flesh in Heaven; He got along up there previously without a flesh body, and all the Angels get along better without a flesh body. Most all humanity talk about when they will "shuffle off this mortal coil" and feel as though they will be glad to get rid of it, and yet somehow or other, they always fancy if they get rid of it for awhile they will have to be imprisoned in it again, such is the confusion of thought. But we see from the Apostle's language very clearly that God gives the New Creature a body as it pleases Him. He has been pleased to give it a spirit body – sown in weakness, raised in power, sown in dishonor, raised in glory; sown an animal body, raised a spiritual body. There is an animal body and there is a spiritual body. They are not the same, they are totally different; one is earthly, the other is Heavenly. He was our earthly Lord when He was in the flesh, and He is our Heavenly Lord now that He is a spirit being, "Now the Lord is that Spirit," as the Apostle says, As a spirit, then, He is highly exalted; and you remember how the Bible speaks of Him – "when He bringeth in the first begotten into the world, He saith, And let all the Angels of God worship Him." He was highly exalted to the right hand of the Majesty on High. What does that mean? Not merely He has a seat there He must sit on, and that the Father sits on another seat continuously and forever, but the right hand position, as we often use the word. He is always to be at God's right hand. He will never be anywhere else than next to the Father in the Chief position.

Now coming to the Church; as our Master was begotten of the Holy Spirit to become a Son of God on the spirit plane, so He opened up the way that we might become His brethren and that He might become our instructor and our forerunner. That is one picture. Another picture is, He is the Captain of our salvation and we are under-soldiers marching under His guidance. Another picture is, He is the High Priest of our profession and we are the under-priests. Another picture is, He is the Bridegroom and we are the betrothed ones, waiting for the time to come when the one who betrothed us will say, Come unto the Heavenly Home. He has gone to prepare a place for us. If I go to prepare a place for you on the Heavenly plane, I will not forget to come again and receive you unto Myself, and take you to that Heavenly condition. This will be the second advent. And He will take us to that Heavenly condition by giving us a change of nature from the earthly to the Heavenly by a resurrection – the same kind of a resurrection He enjoyed Himself. The Apostle explains that it is a part of His resurrection, because it will be of the same kind as His, and we will really as His members be sharing in the same resurrection. Part of our resurrection took place 1800 years ago when Jesus arose from the dead, and part of our resurrection is taking place now, when you and I and all the faithful of God's people are changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, and shall enter into that which is beyond the vail. This will all be the one resurrection, because it is all one body. The head [CR402] was born first and the body is to be born afterwards. That is the picture the Prophet gives us, saying, "Shall I bring to the birth (the Head) and not cause to bring forth? (the body)." And the Apostle says that He who brought again from the dead the Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the flock, will He not with Him also bring us from the dead? Yes, He will bring us; it will be part of the same resurrection. So the Apostle speaks of desiring to be a sharer in Christ's death that he might also share His resurrection.

Now when and how do we get the spirit? Just the same as with the Master; we must walk in His steps; He has set us an example that we should walk in His steps. What did He do? He consecrated Himself, and we must consecrate ourselves. He gave up all His earthly rights, and we must give up all our earthly rights. Does that include restitution in the future? It includes everything, not only what you have now, but all you are an heir of. If you had one dollar in your pocket today and gave yourself to the Lord, and tomorrow you become the heir of a million, it takes in your million just as much as your one dollar; and if you have few powers today and by education these powers become ten-fold more in ten years, then it includes all those powers; they all belong to the Lord. Everything we have is consecrated, present and future. You had prospects as a member of the human family; so had I; we all were redeemed by Jesus and we would have the right under God's arrangement to accept the restitution. We have the right by nature to restitution, because God provided it, and Jesus died for that very thing, that restitution might come to all. Very well, then, He invites us to give up what we have, and we give up all and there the restitution privilege comes in. That restitution will make good all your blemishes. All that restitution part Christ makes up to you. Say you are one-tenth of a man, – you say, Brother Russell that is too small an estimate. I don't know, brother, I am not sure whether we are more than one-tenth of a man or not. But we will say a quarter of a man – three-quarters imperfect, dying, dead. I doubt the quarter though. I think a tenth would be better, but we will say a quarter, and there are three-quarters that would come to you additionally in restitution to make you a perfect man. Where would you get it? Why that is what Jesus would give us by and by in restitution times, and now if you become His disciple and come in under this present arrangement, He will not need to give you that three-quarters of manhood by and by, but He imputes it or reckons it to you now, the very moment you consecrate all you had – this one-quarter. You say, God would not receive my one-quarter? No, but Jesus is going to be the Redeemer and Restorer of the world and He will impute to you that three-quarters He was going to give you in restitution, and as He gives you that you stand now complete in Him, in the arrangement God made through Him. Now you are a whole man when He imputes the three-quarters and you have your own one-quarter. Then your sacrifice is complete when you give up all your restitution rights and you lay down your life, everything. That is a complete sacrifice from God's standpoint – not that you have completeness to give but Jesus makes up all our deficiency and reckons it to us, and thus we stand complete, and as complete ones consecrated to God we are acceptable to Him. How acceptable? Why exactly in the same way He was acceptable – acceptable as a sacrifice under this special call God extended. I remind you that God proposes to make a covenant. A law covenant? No, the Jews had a law covenant, and they failed to keep it. Is it the New Covenant? No, the New Covenant is to be applied and introduced in the next age. Jesus and the Church are to be the Mediator of that covenant between God and man. What covenant is it, then? It is the covenant that is mentioned in the Bible – "Gather My Saints unto Me, saith the Lord." Who are your saints, Lord? "Those who have made a covenant with Me." What covenant? A covenant by "sacrifice." There we have it – a covenant by sacrifice. With whom did God make it? With the Christ. This was His arrangement from before the foundation of the world. He proposed to have a Messianic company, and the Apostle says He not only foreknew Jesus, the head of the Church, but us also who are the members of His body, and He purposed that everyone who would be in that company should come in by a covenant of sacrifice. Sacrificing what? Sacrificing all. Now you and I could not be accepted at all except the Lord would impute to us and take us under His covering as members of His body. We were members of the fallen race for whom He died, and a share of restitution belonged to us in His arrangement, therefore He thus covers us and lets us come in as sacrificers. Imperfect sacrifices could not come in and you and I are imperfect, but by the imputation of His merit we are perfect, holy, and acceptable to God. That is the way the Apostle puts it. He says, "I beseech you, brethren, by the mercies of God." You did not do it by yourself, it is not something you can do unless God's mercy had been manifested in the redemptive work which He accomplished in Christ. But, says the Apostle, I beseech you through that sacrifice of Christ, and the mercy there, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, your reasonable service. When we have done that we have done just what Jesus did; only we did it with our little part and He helped us out. But we are doing exactly the same that He did, and the Father deals with us just as He did with Jesus; only when the Father gives to you His Holy Spirit you can not receive it without measure, because you are only one-tenth of a man, or one-quarter of a man, and you could only receive a limited measure of the spirit on account of your imperfect flesh.

What does the text mean, then? The thought is this: that as the spirit of the Lord comes in there is first of all a little time perhaps in which you will be dormant, practically doing nothing, but the spirit will be operating in you. There was such a period in Jesus' life. After Jesus received the Holy Spirit He did not go out immediately after He came up out of the water and begin to preach.

He was led of the spirit into the wilderness. What for? That new spirit, that new mind, was going to do some thinking and some studying. What was He studying? He was thinking about the plan of God. Having been begotten of the Holy Spirit it became an illumination to Him; as the Bible says, the Heavens were opened to Him and He began to see things in a different light – much light came to Him on everything. Just so with you and me: when we received the spirit there was not such an effulgence of light because we did not receive so much of the spirit, but a little light came in just in proportion as we were able to receive it. If you had a small capacity it was less and if you had a large capacity it was more. This limitation the Apostle speaks of; He says, "After that ye were illuminated." Just as sure as you were begotten of the Lord's spirit you got this illumination and this illumination meant an enlightening of your mind and you began to think, Now I have consecrated all to God, what shall I do? And for a little time you were not prepared to go out and preach and talk, and it was better that you should not do so, for you wanted to know what you were going to do. It is right to be taught first yourself; you could not teach another person until you had learned something. So Jesus wanted to know what to do. He took this 40 days in the wilderness away from everybody in order to think, and study, and commune with the Father. He had waited until He was 30 years of age and that was the time for the change; no more carpenter shop for Him – at least that was not to be the main business after that; He was to start in under the influence of the Holy Spirit and become a preacher of the Gospel. Just so in my experience, I instinctively knew it should make a change some way, but I did not have the knowledge. Nobody around me knew what to tell me. We are just finding out that we have all been asleep and have been waking up to see now. We have been begotten of the Holy Spirit and what does that mean? That means God has accepted us as His children, and if children then heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ our Lord. What more does it mean? It means that being a child you will now be treated differently than what you were before. How so? You will go to school. All the children of the family have to go to school. Others outside may be neglected, but just as sure as we belong to the family we will have to begin to learn lessons to qualify us for the work of cooperation in the Father's family and in the great things the Father has arranged through His Son and joint-heir, so that the begetting of the Holy Spirit was the starting in you of this mind consecrated to God, this disposition Jesus had – "Let this same mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus." What was that? It was the spirit of humility and obedience to God. No matter what the Father's [CR403] will might be, He would gladly do it. It was the spirit of service. No matter what the service – anything at any cost. It means the spirit of love, because God is love. If we become His children and receive His spirit we must be loving. You cannot be anything else but a child of love if you are begotten of the spirit of the Lord. So the spirit is to work in us, and it is a gradual development. You say, What am I to do, for the spirit is upon me? What is it for? For your own instruction, to build you up, to control you, and you are to be under the Father's care. You are not to do it all yourself. What you are to do is to watch yourself and to see what your part is. You are not to watch the whole Universe, and you are not to tell God how to rule the heathen, etc. We used to pray that way, you know, and tell God with mighty power to convert so many at this meeting. I do not know whether people here ever prayed that way or not, but they used to tell God just what He should do. Some of us used to pray about the heathen and what should be done with them, and what to do with the Jews. You could nearly always tell by the long prayer when it was coming around to the end – it got around to the Jew. The long prayer was a regular thing in the Churches in the past. That is not what the spirit was given to us for, to tell God what to do. Our part is to have humility and to say, Lord we are your children, tell us what your will is, and we are going to hearken to Your Word, we are going to be instructed and guided; guide us, Oh, Lord, and we will try to be so attentive and obedient that you will not need to guide us with a whip, or a bit and bridle, as a horse and mule, but you will guide us with your eye that we may see your pleasure or displeasure with this or with that, and seeing your pleasure or displeasure will be sufficient for us; we delight to do your will; Thy law is within our hearts.

Press Report – "Old Earth Will Go On Rolling"

About 250 Bible students gathered from all parts of the United States came into the city yesterday with Pastor Russell, traveling by special train. It was the longest train that has been over the high level bridge so far. These students of the Bible of all ages and all positions in life, are paying their own traveling expenses. Pastor Russell addressed an audience of students in the Empire auditorium and at eight o'clock this evening will lecture in the same place on "Beyond the Grave."

"I see people in Edmonton are very busy making money," said Pastor Russell, who talked with a Bulletin reporter shortly after his arrival in the city yesterday. The pastor with his secretary, was in his room in the King Edward Hotel, looking over the manuscript of one of the weekly sermons which will be read by some 20,000,000 people in all parts of the world. Pastor Russell, whose sermons are printed in thousands of newspapers every week, has the largest congregation of any preacher or writer now living, and reaches more people than do all the publications of the Hearst syndicate.


Pastor Russell at once attacked the doctrine that the world will some day be consumed in fire and come to an end. All the predictions which have been made, he said, concerning the end of the world are founded on mistaken impressions of what is contained in the Bible. When St. Paul wrote that the earth was to be burned up with fire, he meant, said Pastor Russell, not that the world was to come to an end, but that the nations of the world were to pass through a period of trial and suffering from which they would emerge a better people, inhabiting God's kingdom upon earth.


"You people are interested, it seems, primarily in making money. My mission here concerns not money but Heaven, but I have something to tell you about the earth, too. It says in the Bible that the earth is God's footstool and the place of His feet He will make beautiful. His people are sent out to inherit all the earth. If anything more were needed to contradict the belief that the earth may soon come to an end it is the saying that God sent His people into the earth to inherit it. There are thousands of miles of territory where man has never trod. How then can the earth come to an end before that which is written is fulfilled?


"Do I believe in the literal inspiration of the Bible? Most certainly I do. How else could a book be written which meets the needs of all time and all peoples? Yes, the Bible is inspired in a way that no other book ever was. Of course, there are some things in the Bible which are written in parables and which must not be taken as the recounting of facts. That is one of the things which I endeavor to impress upon Bible students.


"I do not preach any creed. We have enough creeds and too many and they are passing away. The differences between the creeds are being eliminated and people are coming to see – through all the means of enlightenment that this century affords – that there has been too much gloom and darkness. People want light and they are getting it. All the creeds have got away from the Bible and I am teaching that we ought to get back to it.


"There is not one intelligent person or minister of religion in your city who would dare to defend all the points in the creed of the Church to which he belongs. The barriers placed between the sects are being burned because people find that they hinder and don't help.

"In Canada you have all races and all creeds. Some of them come from lands where they have not the same opportunities of enlightenment, but they soon learn. I don't think that the immigration into this country is going to produce the social problems that some people foresee – at least not to the extent that they imagine. America has been and is one of the greatest melting-pots the world has ever seen, and it is surprising what advances are made by the second generation of immigrants. I think there is a great future before Canada. It is part of the promised land, and the promised land was destined for all the peoples of the earth. I would not desire to see any excluded, for we can all learn something from the humblest immigrant who comes to your shores."


Press Report – "Stirring Sermon by Pastor Russell"


Reformation Movement Had Blessing, He Says to Both Catholics and Protestants

Before an immense audience, Pastor Russell, known throughout the English speaking world as one of the greatest ecclesiastics of the day, delivered his address, "Beyond the Grave," in the Empire Auditorium last night. The subject is taken from the text: "God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying; neither shall there be any more pain."

"What a glorious vista of the future our text opens before us," said Pastor Russell. "Remember, too, that these words do not apply merely to the saintly few who would gain the great prize of the Heavenly, Divine nature, and joint-heirship with Jesus in His Kingdom. We have always expected much for this class. "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him." We have always known that whoever would inherit the Kingdom would be like unto the Angels, and superior – "partakers of the Divine nature." "Beyond the Grave" has always had a silver lining of hope and joy and blessing to the saintly – for the elect, the Bride of Christ, the Church, the Body of Christ, of which He is the Head.

"But the context shows us that the blessing of our text for the world in general – for the non-elect. This is the surprising feature, so different from anything presented to us in any of the creeds, either in or since the 'dark ages.' For this glorious view, for this hope beyond the grave for mankind in general, we must go clear back to the words of Jesus and His twelve inspired Apostles."


"But I fancy some saying, Give us a proof of this astounding statement!

"This is exactly my purpose, dear hearers – to give the proofs, the Bible proofs, that you call for, that all thinking minds and loving hearts are hungering for and crying for. Our mistake of the past has been that we have attempted to reason out problems on the Divine Revelation and to receive the Divine Message in simplicity, and, as Jesus said, as little children. "The meek will He guide in judgment, and the meek will He teach His way."

The pastor traced the origin of the creeds, declaring that when the Apostles had fallen asleep in death in various quarters there arose bishops who claimed to be successors of the Apostles with similar authority and Divine inspiration. Bibles were scarce and very costly. Bible study was, therefore impossible. The bishop-apostles told the people what to believe. When gradually their teaching clashed apostolic councils were called and the bishops in council formulated the creeds. Gradually truth was lost sight of and error took its place on many subjects.

"The reformation movement," he said, "had been a blessing to both Catholics and Protestants – to the entire civilized world – as shown in the fact that our heads and hearts are more just and more loving than were those of our forefathers in the "dark ages" – evidenced by the fact that we no longer tolerate burning at the stake, or the rack, or thumbscrew, or cutting out the tongue by the root, etc. The nearly six hundred Protestant sects represent just that many endeavors to get back to the light of the First Century. We must receive the light of God's Word into pure hearts if we would appreciate it. If any passage seems dark we must seek the light upon it, not from the "dark ages," but from another portion of the Bible itself. This, my dear fellow-Bible-students, we are endeavoring to do.

"The effect of all this will be exactly what is stated in our text. Messiah as the representative of the Father will shower Divine blessings upon our race. And this in our text is figuratively spoken of as God wiping all tears from off all faces. By the close of Messiah's reign all imperfection will be gone – all sin will be gone. God's will be done on earth even as it is done in Heaven now.


"All these blessings coming to the world, according to the scriptures, wait for the establishment of God's Kingdom. And the Church, the saintly little company out of all sects and parties and nations now being selected or elected, is to complete the Kingdom when glorified. Hence the Kingdom of God cannot come nor its reign of righteousness begin, until the Kingdom class shall have been elected. Then God's Tabernacle will be with men for a thousand years – Messiah's Kingdom is called a Tabernacle because it is not to be a permanent or eternal condition of things, but merely to serve its purpose during a thousand years in putting down sin and in raising up humanity to the original God-likeness."

The discourse lasted nearly two hours. The interest of the audience was intense, many leaning forward in their seats as if fearful of losing a single word.

O LOVE, our refuge in earth's wildest storm!
O Service, life-breath of a heart that's warm!
A dual-unity, of heaven born;
For love is service in its highest form.
Flame-tints that shimmer on the desert air!
Love-lights that make Life's sands a garden fair,
Where joy and pain sing softly to the soul,
That God in man is Love in human care.



Famous Preacher and Writer, Delivered a Lecture This Morning at the Sherman Theatre on "Beyond the Grave"


Pastor Russell and Nearly Two Hundred and Fifty Delegates to Bible Students' Convention, Spent Several Hours Here Today – Preaches Doctrine of No Literal Hell Fire Hereafter

Pastor Russell the famous preacher, of Brooklyn Tabernacle, known throughout the world as the "Non-Sectarian Defender of the Bible," accompanied by nearly two hundred and fifty delegates of the International Bible Students' Association, arrived in Brandon today by a special train from the west and after a stay here of a few hours left again for the east. Pastor Russell and his party are returning from Los Angeles, Cal., where they have been attending a great convention held there recently. During his stay in this city Pastor Russell delivered a lecture in the Sherman theatre on the subject for which he has become famous: "Beyond the Grave," the chief point of which is a strong argument against a literal hell fire.

The present tour was started from Chicago on June 2nd and before they break up at the International Bible Students' mid-summer convention at Madison, Wis., on July 6th the party will have covered over 8,000 miles in thirty days. Pastor Russell has spoken at practically every city of importance along the route.

In the party of delegates twenty-six states and five Canadian provinces are represented under the leadership of Dr. L. W. Jones, a well known Chicago class leader. Mr. J. T. Read, of the American Conservatory of Music, Chicago, is in the party and directs the musical program at each meeting.

At the gathering here this morning about five hundred people listened to the famous speaker's remarks on the subject which has always succeeded in drawing great crowds wherever it has been discussed. The speaker handled his subject in a free and easy and withal convincing manner, and from beginning to end was accorded rapt attention by all present.

Pastor Russell said in part:

"The grave marks the dividing line between the known and the unknown. All beyond the grave is held by faith, not by knowledge. How important then that we accept only Divine testimony on a subject regarding which none but the Almighty could enlighten us. We admit that our own guessing on this subject would be unsatisfactory. Why then prefer the guesses of other men who know no more on the subject than we do?

"I know that spiritism claims to have communications from the dead and that thus it has proofs. I admit that some learned men have become psychists and corroborate spiritists. I prefer, however, to follow the Bible's teachings and to believe those men deceived. The Bible tells us that the intelligencies which communicate through mediums are not dead humans but the fallen angels. The Bible tells us that these evil spirits, 'demons,' purposely strive to deceive humanity, and to misrepresent God's plans; and that God will not fully restrain them until an appointed time, but meantime permits them to test our loyalty and faith Godward.

Of course I am aware that the learned college professors and ministers of our day are opposed to the Bible, and believe it the greatest deception the world has ever known. Of course I know that they build their faith in a life beyond the grave not on the Divine promise of a resurrection of the dead, but upon Plato's philosophy; older than the Gospel of Christ and contradicted by it. I agree with the poet –

'Each heart will seek and love its own,
My goal is Christ and Christ alone!'

"Others may be able to rejoice in their own and other men's guesses, but I cannot. I want as an anchor to my soul, as a fountain to my faith, a message from the One who knows – a message from God's word. I am here to address others of a like precious faith in an infallible Guide.

"I will not stop to dispute regarding the history of the Bible. Its inspiration is proven to me by its contents. However, I sympathize with those who have been turned away from God and the Bible because of the inconsistency of its supposed teachings. Ah, yes, I had my experience there. When I assumed that all taught by the hundreds of Christian creeds came from the Bible I held it responsible for all their nonsense. Now I see better – that the Bible has been misrepresented in the house of its friends.


"When I say that the Bible's teaching regarding 'Beyond the Grave' is logical, some will scoff. But hear me for my cause. Hear the Bible's own testimony – not what the creeds say it teaches.

"It teaches that the dead are not alive anywhere – that a dead person cannot experience either joy or sorrow. It teaches that all hope of a future life by Divine appointment is vested in Jesus, who died that we might as a race be released from the death sentence inherited from Father Adam; and that thus Jesus might become the life-giver or Savior to as many as will return to God through Him.

"The promise of the Bible is not that the dead are not dead, but that 'thy dead men shall live.' Because of the proposed resurrection of the dead they are figuratively said to 'sleep.' Thus the hope set before us is: 'Many that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, they that have done good (that passed Divine approval, the saintly), shall come forth to shine as the stars of Heaven. They that have not been approved shall awake to shame and lasting contempt. Their shame will last until they reform – their contempt until they shall cease to be contemptible and learn and obey the will of God under Messiah's Kingdom.


"Death with its attendant mental, physical and moral weaknesses is God's curse or penalty for Adam's sin of disobedience. Resurrection uplifting from all this, is God's remedy – the lifting of the curse. The Redeemer's death was necessary as man's redemption price. Next in order will be His Messianic Kingdom. He must reign 1,000 years to fully overthrow the power of sin and death and to uplift or resurrect the willing and obedient, thousands of millions of Adam's family for whom he died – 'every man.'

"The perfect man, Adam, and his perfect, happy, Eden home were a picture, a prophesy of what all may attain, if they will, through the Redeemer's Kingdom. What a glorious outlook 'beyond the Grave' we find in the Bible for the world! Those refusing to progress, the Bible declares, will be cut off from life in the second death. It will be like the first or Adamic death except that there will be no redemption – no resurrection from it. All consigned to it will, St. Peter declares, perish 'like natural brute beasts, in everlasting destruction.'

"Note the beautifully sympathetic description of God's work for men through Messiah's Kingdom: 'God shall wipe [CR406] away all tears from all faces; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain' there. – Revelation 21:4; Isaiah 25:8.

"The explanation is: He that sitteth upon the Throne saith, Behold, I make all things new. (Rev. 21:5.) A new Heaven or spiritual power will have supervision of earth's affairs, and a new earth or social order will obtain amongst men. These are the glad 'Times of Restitution' which St. Peter tells us will begin at the second advent of Jesus. – Acts 3:19-21.


"It is more than eighteen centuries since Jesus died for the sins of the whole world. Why so long a delay in bringing in the restitution times? If God is compassionate, why delay resurrection work – the uplifting work?

"The Bible tells us why! And the answer is soul-satisfying. We rejoice in the delay – that the Kingdom has not yet been set up and the restitution work begun. God even tells us that He kept these matters a 'mystery,' a 'secret,' because this was wise, so as not to interfere with His purposes outworking. Now, in the dawning of the new day, with its showering of blessings of every kind, the 'wise' of His people may understand – 'The mystery shall be finished.' – Daniel 12:10; Revelation 10:7.


"The 'mystery' is that the Church, as well as her Lord, and in association with Him will be the world's restorer – Regenerator. Not any of the nominal Churches of Christ is meant, but the one true Church, composed only of saints. These have been in process of selection for more than eighteen centuries. These are Scripturally styled 'the elect.' All others are non-elect. The elect, through the Messianic Kingdom will bless the non-elect by the resurrection of that thousand years.


"The elect, chosen from Jews and Gentiles, from every nation and sect, will all be Christ-like in character, in heart all saintly. They will have a different reward, a different resurrection or uplift from that of the world. Theirs is styled the first or chief resurrection or uplift. It begins when first they surrender themselves to the Lord. To them "old things pass away and all things become new." As these gain moral victories over their fallen flesh, they rise higher and higher as new creatures. They have Divine aid in mortifying the old nature and in becoming more and more alive towards God as new creatures in Christ. Their resurrection or uplift out of death will be completed with a 'change' which will give them new bodies of the 'Divine nature' instantly. Then they will not only be superior to humans, but superior to Angels, 'far above Angels,' and like their Lord Jesus.

"Can we wonder that for so high a glory, honor and immortality God requires special tests of loyalty to Him, to His Word and to the principles of righteousness? Surely not. It would be strange indeed if God were to accept to the plane of Divine sonship any not first tested and found faithful even unto death.


"All except those now spirit-begotten will share in the general resurrection or uplifting of Messiah's Kingdom during His reign of 1,000 years. Some are more and some less dead, morally, mentally and physically, than others. Hence some will need more and some less uplifting or resurrection. But all need it greatly. Without Messiah's aid they could never get free from death and into perfection of earthly life. It will require all of the 1,000 years to uplift or resurrect the world. Hence only the Church class, changed to Heavenly nature, will really live again fully until the one thousand years shall be finished, although the willing of the world will be gradually rising, gradually experiencing restitution or resurrection, throughout that thousand years.

"If 'Beyond the Grave' means Paradise restored, and human perfection to mankind in general, it means still more to the saintly Church of Christ – His Bride. Let us all live Godly, but let as many as will become foot-step followers of Jesus and thus gain with Him glory, honor and immortality.

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

WE reached Winnipeg the same afternoon, in ample time for the evening public service, which Brother Russell addressed, there being present about 3,000 people who gave close attention, and 314 requested further information.

We also had the next morning and afternoon with the Winnipeg friends whom Brother Russell addressed on the combined topic of Consecration and Baptism. Quite a large number presented themselves for symbolic immersion, but when the time came it was found that every church door and place where there was a Baptistry was closed to us. The result was that the friends postponed the water immersion, and we learned that later it was performed. Surely the hireling shepherds care little for God's true heritage.

Consecration and Baptism

There is a gate that stands ajar,
And thro' its portals gleaming,
A radiance from the cross afar
O'er all the earth is streaming.
O depth of Mercy! can it be
That gate was left ajar for me?
For me, for me?
Was left ajar for me?

Beyond the river's brink we'll lay
The cross that here is given,
And bear the crown of life away.
And praise the King of Heaven.
O height of glory! yes, I see
A crown of life reserved for me:
For me, for me,
A crown reserved for me."

THE "crown of glory" that is reserved for us, my dear friends, is conditional. It is not ours for sure; it is ours – IF – and that little word "if" is very important; as the Apostle says, If so be we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together.

My text on this occasion is the Apostle's words in Romans 12:1, "I beseech you, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, your reasonable service."

What mercy of God is there that appeals to us in this way? Why should the Apostle say, I beseech you by the mercies of God. What mercies? The Bible answers that the mercy comes to us first of all in making the provision for our sins, in making provision for our redemption, and thus making provision for our restitution as a race, [CR407] and that comes to everybody unsolicited. God did not wait until we should ask Him for it. In His love and mercy He provided everything from the beginning. He knew when he created our first parents what all the results would be, and He did not begin His great work until first of all He had made ample provision for the redemption of the whole race. And this is undoubtedly the mercy of God to which St. Paul referred. He is appealing to those who have heard. The great mass have not heard; the world in general has not heard. The god of this world is blinding the minds of all those who believe not. The Apostle is not addressing unbelievers at all. He is addressing those who believe that God has sent His Son; those who realize that Christ has died for our sins; those who realize there is forgiveness of sins through faith in His blood; those who have taken the step of trusting in Christ. To these the Apostle appeals. He beseeches these brethren, not as sinners, not as aliens or foreigners. His words may be applied to us from two standpoints, either before we become consecrated people, or afterwards; as, for instance, it would be only those who have attained the standpoint of justification, and had presented themselves in consecration. It is not for the aliens and sinners at all. Blessed are your ears for they have heard. Blessed are your eyes for they have seen.

After we become the Lord's people in the sense of having made a consecration, it would be proper to think of what we had done, and every day to encourage ourselves, and to hear the Apostle's words encouraging us, saying, You have already received God's blessing of forgiveness, you have already made your consecration to God, and it is proper for you to present your body every day. But we are now considering the matter chiefly from the standpoint of the original contract, and how we came to make that contract. There would have been no opportunity for us to make a contract to present our bodies unless first we had received the Lord's grace in the forgiveness of our sins. He indicated this clearly in the type when he would not allow any sacrifice to be brought to His altar except it were perfect. Any animal brought to the Lord's altar must be without blemish; The Lord thus indicating that no one would be acceptable to God in a blemished condition. And before you and I could be without blemish in the sight of God something needed to be done for us to cover the blemishes we had by nature; for we were by nature children of wrath, even as others. The thing done for us was the forgiveness of our sins. And this is represented in various ways. It is represented as covering the weaknesses of the flesh with the robe of Christ's righteousness. The forgiveness of our sins, which comes in first of all, brings us first into relationship with the Father.


Tracing the matter, then, as we have it before our minds, let us picture the Tabernacle of old before our minds. God gave it to be a picture of the great plan that He had, and you and I are represented as being in the attitude of believers, belonging to the camp of believers, but we want to come near to God in a more than ordinary way – not merely to be believers that there is a God, but we want to leave the camp of general belief and draw nigh unto God, and the picture would be of the individual going out from the camp toward the Tabernacle. You remember the picture of the Tabernacle. It stood on the plain, and all around it was a curtain of white, and in front of it was the altar of sacrifice and the gate, and the one who desired to draw near to God would approach that gate. As he would come to the gate he would see there that which was represented as a sacrifice for sin – the sin-offering on the altar, and he could not pass through that gate without seeing it. This implying that we must recognize Christ and the sufficiency of His sacrifice before we can in any sense of the word draw near to God.

Now when we see the sacrifice we are not justified in full, but we are more justified than we were before; just as Jesus said of those two Jews, the one a pharisee and the other a publican. They both went to the Temple to pray because they were Jews and under the Law Covenant they had the privilege of praying. One said, I thank Thee that I am not a sinner. The other said, Lord, be merciful to me a sinner. And Jesus said the poor publican who was a sinner and who confessed it went down to his home justified rather than the other – more than the other one. That is to say, he was in a more justified attitude of mind and heart. Neither one of them was fully justified, because none of the Jews were ever justified to the full. All any Jew ever had was a typical justification, and typical relationship with God. There could be no actual justification until the real sacrifice for sin had been offered by our Lord, and had been presented to the Father when he ascended up on high and appeared in the presence of God for us. But all of us can appreciate this matter of being justified more in one condition than in another; that is, we are more nearly justified. So each one of these as he approaches God at all is in a justified condition; he has come more and more into that condition which is right. So when he is getting back to God, he is getting back to what is right. Every step we take toward God of faith and obedience and desire to please Him is a step in the right direction of complete justification. So every Israelite then coming toward the Tabernacle and passing toward the altar was getting more justified. He now sees the basis of this reconciliation to God. He perceives the sacrifice there offered was the basis. Then he went on and saw the laver with the water, and the opportunity of there washing away some of the filth of the flesh, and he did so. That is a further preparation. Then he went on still further, clear up to the door of the Tabernacle. His desire was to enter in and be one of the Royal Priesthood, and he could go no further now, unless the High Priest would come and do something for him.

In the type, all of God's people thus coming are represented as the Lord's goat class. They are either the Lord's goat class or the scape-goat class. If they take up this position and go forward, when they come up to the door of the Tabernacle, passing through the court, pass the altar, pass the laver and come right up to the gate, here they are tied. You remember both goats were tied to the door of the Tabernacle. That means both were consecrated. You tied up your goat when you said to the Lord, Here Lord, I give myself away. Tied up for what? Waiting for the High Priest to do something. How long would it take the High Priest to decide? Oh, in a moment he appeared, and what he did was to kill that goat; and as soon as it was thus killed that represented God's acceptance of your consecration in your case, and my consecration in my case – "ye are dead." There is your dead goat. Your life is henceforth hid with Christ in God. From that moment on the goat no longer represented you, no longer represented me; it represented merely the old nature and the flesh, and the New Creature was represented in the High Priest's body; we became a member of that High Priest. "Ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God." As underpriests we were represented as thereafter passing under that first vail, and once inside there we were in the presence of the light of the golden candlestick, the shewbread, the golden altar of incense – all of those blessings. Or, as the Apostle says, we are seated with Him in the heavenlies. We have not gone into Heaven itself beyond the second vail, but we are in the first of these heavenlies; and it is a heavenly condition we have come into. Old things are passed away. We passed out of the court condition, away from the camp, and into this blessed condition of the light of the presence of the Lord, and in the presence of the heavenly bread, and the presence of the incense, and all of this fellowship with God through Christ. This was our blessed state. [CR408]


Now the Apostle's argument in Romans 12 relates primarily to this point, the tying of your goat, the presenting of your bodies. He does not say, Sacrifice your bodies. Nobody but the High Priest could offer a sacrifice; and before you could be acceptable to God at all the High Priest has to do the offering; you can merely do the presenting. You present the living sacrifice and the Lord takes it in hand, accepts it, and thenceforth with His acceptance it is reckoned a dead sacrifice and you a New Creature in Christ, begotten of the Holy Spirit.

Each one of these different pictures that the Bible gives us has its place, and each one helps us to see the great things God has done for us, and is doing for us, because the more clearly we see them and the more clearly we can tell them to others, the more blessing we are going to have. The better you can tell a thing, the better you understand it yourself. If you do not understand it yourself, you are not prepared to present it to another. We were anointed to preach the message as we understand it, and in proportion as you understand God's message you are authorized to preach it according to your opportunities.


This matter, then, of coming into the Body of Christ is the all-important thing. From that standpoint, how erroneous was the thought some of us had when we thought religion was like this dollar: We said, did you get religion? And if you said you got religion, it was like putting the dollar into your pocket – you got religion and put it down somewhere; now you had religion. So people talked about religion they got so many years ago. One says, I got religion twenty years ago. Another, I got religion a year ago. That was a wrong thought; at least many got the wrong thought out of it, I am sure. The thought is that the religion we get is the religion we are getting more of every day we live; we are to grow in grace, grow in knowledge. It is not merely like a piece of money or something of that kind that we put in our pockets and say, I have got it, here it is. It is something you have to keep getting every day, just the same as you need to be eating every day and studying every day.

Suppose you were a child and were going to become a school teacher, and you undertook to enter the grades for education. It would not be merely entering and putting your name down, enrolling yourself as one who is to be prepared for school teaching; that would not be enough; it requires patient education and training until you graduate before you are ready to be a teacher. That is exactly the picture God gives us in respect to the church. He wants to have a lot of teachers to instruct the world, and He has invited you and me and all of His people during this Gospel age to come out from the world and become associated with Jesus, that He may make of us the Royal Priesthood. The word "priesthood" stands for teacher, because under the Jewish arrangement all the priests were teachers, instructors of the people, helping them in every way in respect to morals and education. Then the kingship comes in with the ruling power. These priests are to have the authority to rule. God can trust this particular class, because He will get such a special class from the world that they can be entrusted with this great power. The great work is not only to use power to rule the world for its good, but to instruct and uplift the world.


I was much impressed along this line when in the Philippine Islands and beheld there the condition of things, so changed in such a short time, from the time the United States government took possession of those islands. It seemed almost miraculous that there could be such a wonderful change in so short a time. I inquired of the general in charge there, General Bell, "Do you have compulsory education?"

"Oh, no," he said, "we do not need compulsory education here; these people are all so anxious to get an education. We first of all," he said, "imported a thousand American teachers and that started the matter. Now we have 6,000 native teachers, and the whole people are just hungry for an education."

It is indeed a beautiful thing to see. I addressed a congregation of probably 2,000, nearly all young men of from 18 to 30, all understanding English as well as you and I do, and all well capable of thinking everything in the English, and there had not been any of them who understood our language a short time before; they were all deep in degradation, ignorance and superstition just a little while before. It was the grandest exhibition of restitution work I have ever seen anywhere in the world. It seemed as though the government of the United States had treated them so generously, so kindly – just the way a good elder brother ought to treat his younger brothers. I was proud to think that we were living in a time when selfishness seemed for once to have forgotten to try to "skin" somebody, and take advantage of them. It seemed as though it was a very noble example of how all the heathen nations ought to have been treated, or ought to be treated now.

This matter of the teachers going there reminded me of the great work God intends to do by and by for the whole world. They all need instruction, don't they? How blind our eyes were! And how others were still more blind than we! Now God purposes that all the blind eyes shall be opened. He could do it in a miraculous way; He could send the angels to do it; or He could do it in some other way by working a miracle; there are a thousand ways I presume our Heavenly Father could take, but I believe He intends to do it in a very practical, reasonable way, very much the same as the Philippines have had their instruction in natural ways. And now God's arrangement for the whole world is that He is first getting ready these teachers – or call them missionaries if you prefer, because I do not know any missionaries that have done a greater work than that thousand American teachers who went out there along the lines of secular employment, in a civilizing way – who will not only give them civilizing ideas, and uplifting things, but who will give them the proper religious information. The Lord says He will turn to the people a pure language that they may call upon the name of the Lord and serve Him with one consent. That will be a grand time. What they need is this pure language, this pure message of God, of His love, and justice, and mercy, told in a pure way. We are in the School of Christ. What are we here for? We are getting ready for exaltation. What is the exaltation going to bring? It is going to bring us wonderful opportunities. What are they? Why, our great Redeemer is to be King of the world, and He wants us to be His associate kings, and missionaries, and teachers of the world, to instruct them, to lift them up and help them out of their degradation. Is not that enough to inspire angels and men? Surely it is. So we see the particular way in which God is dealing with us, in calling us out of darkness and into light, and giving us trials and difficulties and faith testings in various ways, so that we may be built up in the most holy faith, and have genuine character.


Now this is what Jesus has invited us for. He is not going to accept one of these royal priests unless he will bring his entire being as a sacrifice to God. That, you know, is very extreme. If you become a real follower of the Lord, people will say you are a very extreme man, or woman. The terms of our call are extreme. Wasn't Jesus an extremist? Wasn't St. Paul an extremist? Were not all the apostles extremists? Yes. In that sense of the word, all the followers of Jesus have been peculiar people. But in the sense of merely wearing a peculiar-shaped hat, or bonnet, or coat, that is not our peculiarity. We are to be peculiar people in that we are zealous of good works, zealous for that which is right, loving the right, the truth, and loving God's way so that we will be glad at any cost to serve His cause. Are there many of that kind? Not very many. God says not many great, nor many wise, not many rich, not many learned. Those who are of that spirit of mind are not being called, not being drawn, not being prepared, and will not be in the Kingdom. The majority of those who will be in the Kingdom will be the poor of this world, but all rich in faith. They must have this quality of great faith in God, or they will never be able to overcome the trials of the present time. And they must have that great faith and trust in God so they will never wish to depart from God's way in the future; so when they are made kings and priests in the world they will not think as Satan thought, when he had a little position, Well, now, I could do better than God. God is not going to have any of that kind. He will have them all tested beforehand, and they will be submissive to God, so glad to know His will, and so full of faith in Him, that they will say, as Jesus said, Not my will, but Thine, be done. We cannot improve on the Master. If Jesus with His perfection could not think of anything better than the Father's plan, and would not think of anything else, that is exactly the lesson for you and for me to learn. Not, could [CR409] I have a better way, or another way just as good, or might I not twist it a little bit. God is testing us that way sometimes now in respect to the work, and in respect to our dealings with each other in the classes, to see whether we are absolutely loyal to Him and His Word. If you are of any other mind or disposition than that of absolute loyalty, you are very apt to be sidetracked right now. I tell you the Lord is not making a bungle of this educational process He has adopted, and that He is carrying out. It is going to be done to the very last notch – it will be thoroughgoing; there will not be a single one in that company that will not be worthy. Not only worthy is the Lamb that He should receive the highest honor, but all of those who are with Him we are told will walk with Him in white, for they are worthy. That is the way it reads. Jesus, telling about the first resurrection class, says, they will be blessed ones, holy ones. Blessed and holy are all those who have part in the first (chief) resurrection. That is the only class that will be in the Kingdom – the blessed, the holy, the fully consecrated; their faith in God fully submitted to Him, doing His will in every particular.

Now, then, the first step is the one we have mentioned. After you have taken all the steps of progress toward God, desiring to be near Him, you will finally come right up to the question, Now I have approached and see all of these things; I see Christ's sacrifice, and I have washed at the laver, now what shall I do? Can I go no farther?

You can go no farther unless you pass this first vail.

What does the first vail mean?

That first vail signifies death.

Death in what sense?

Death in the sense that it signifies the giving up of your present life.

But you say, Brother Russell, I do not have much life. The doctor says I cannot live more than a couple of years at the very most. Would that be worth offering to the Lord?

Or, another one says, Brother Russell, if I were wealthy you know I might think there would be something I have to offer, but you know I am very poor.

Another one says, Brother Russell, if I were talented, I presume that would be something all right, and God would accept the sacrifice of my talents. But I haven't very much talent. Now what should be done, Brother Russell?

My dear brother, what the Lord proposes is, not how much you have, but the willingness you have. How willing are you? If you give it with all your heart, if it is only one penny, would it be acceptable? No, that is true, God would not accept one penny, and He would not accept only a little bit of your character, and He would not accept all you have.

Well, why then do you tell it?

This is the thought: God will accept only that which is perfect, and you are imperfect. God's provision in Christ is, however, that when you come to the place where you say, 'Lord, would that I could give Thee my little all, but I know it is not worthy of Your acceptance; but I do give it to You, please accept it, do anything with it," then Jesus imputes His merit to it. Suppose, now, the value of it were a thousand dollars – perfect – and that by reason of the fallen and battered condition in which it is, it is only worth ten cents – a great depreciation. Then you would need how much? You would need $999.90 to be imputed by Jesus' merit to make it acceptable.

We are not all that bad, are we, Brother Russell?

Well, I am glad to think that not all are so depraved; I am glad to suppose that there is something of value in every human being. If not, what could you present? You cannot present something you do not have. All God could mean is that you should present what you have. So when He invites you to present your body a living sacrifice, He does not say, If you have so much money, or talent, or so many bonds; He merely says, Just give what you have to give, and see that you give it with a whole heart and with good desire, and that is the condition upon which it will be accepted – no other condition. You cannot give half, or three-quarters, or nine-tenths; you have to give everything you have, or else it will not be accepted. And you must give it with a willing heart. With a grudging heart the Lord would not appreciate it at all; He seeketh such to worship Him as worship in spirit and in truth. And then the merit of Jesus makes that sacrifice acceptable, because He does not present it as your sacrifice; He presents it as His own sacrifice; He merely accepts you.

You say, Lord, here I am, one of those that You bought with Your precious blood.


Lord, I understand You are going to give the world of mankind an opportunity for everlasting life?


There is going to be restitution to human nature?


Would I have a right to that, too?


Now, Lord, I hear there is some other way, earlier than the restitution time?


What is that?

Well, you will have to become My disciple.

What are the terms of discipleship?

Oh, everything you have. If any man will be My disciple, let him deny himself completely, lay aside all self-will, everything, and take up his cross and follow Me; only in that way can one be My disciple; only such can be where I will be – where I am there will My disciple be.

So, then, we understand the terms, and we say, Lord, you surely know that we have nothing very much?

Oh, I know all about you; I have made all the arrangements.

But would you prefer to take someone else?

That is not for you to decide. If you wish to present your body now while the opportunity is open, you are not to query about what I prefer, or what I would do if you do not present yourself. Mind your own business, here is the invitation to you. In view of the mercies provided for you, the Apostle says, I beseech you to present your body a living sacrifice. It is the grandest opportunity you ever heard of; there never was such a wonderful thing before. God never before made such an offer to anybody, at any time. None of the holy angels ever had such a proposition from God. No other class of the world ever had such an offer, that they should be lifted from degradation and sin, and not merely be brought back to perfect human nature, but get the Divine nature, the highest of all natures. Most wonderful!

And what about the price?

The price might be viewed from two standpoints. Jesus said we should sit down and count the cost – not do anything rashly. Jesus did not work along the lines of modern evangelists, and get people to say things they do not mean. He says, I will tell you the terms plainly; sit down and count the cost, then if you decide on the matter, see that it is with a full heart and loyalty to the last, and then press forward.

When we look at the matter of what it is going to cost, there are two different views to take – God's view and man's view. From the standpoint of man's view you would be saying, Well, what is it going to mean? Well, says one, You won't be able to go to the theater any more, and you cannot play cards, you cannot drink any more, and cannot carouse; you cannot do other sins any more; these will all be over for you, and you will have to do thus and so; you will have a hard time this way and that; and you will have to give your whole life to God; to be a kind of slave to Him, and not have your own will about anything; you cannot even do what you want to do, or drink what you wish, or wear the clothing you wish; you have got to think about what Jesus would have you do in everything. That is a terrible slavery to get into. Don't you go into that. Why, He would not even allow you to think for yourself. There is no slavery in the world like being a child of God and an associate of Jesus. You do not have a single thing of your own, everything is given up – you cannot eat, or sleep, or think, or do anything as you choose, you have to ask what the Lord would have you do about everything – no will of your own. Any other slave would be allowed to eat what he chose, practically, or to think what he wished to at least, but you cannot even do that; you must say, Not my thoughts, not my will, not my choice, but simply the Lord's. Now that is the world's view; it seems hard; some will say, that is too much.

The other way, God's viewpoint – or rather your view and mine from God's standpoint – is like this: We say, What have we? We have practically nothing. We are dying creatures, and we have very little wealth, very little strength; it takes nearly all of our life to provide for our own necessities and shelter. How much time could we give to the Lord, [CR410] anyway? I do not see why He should accept our sacrifice at all. And then when we do anything, quite likely because of our imperfections of mind and body we would bungle the matter; we would likely do just as much harm as good. Why should God want us to preach the Gospel? He knows we are so incapable we would botch things right along. So from God's standpoint we are practically beggars, and haven't anything to give Him. St. Paul gives that thought when he says, speaking of himself, I do count that all things are but loss and dross for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord. Do you remember how many things St. Paul had? He had more than most of us. He had a good education, and a good position in everything as the son of a very noble family. He was a Roman citizen by birth, and that of itself was worth a fortune. He had good powers of speech and reason. You may see that in all the epistles he wrote. He could have made his mark anywhere. Anyone who will read his epistle to the Romans can see there was a master mind behind that writing. The person who wrote that book of Romans could handle a case at law anywhere. He was logical in all his reasonings. This was the Apostle, then, who said, after summing up all he had left and looking at it, I count that all these things I have given up are just so much of loss, and dross, and dung, that I might win Christ; all that they could bring me in the present life are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us. He got the right standpoint. That is our standpoint, my dear brethren – not the world's standpoint. They can never understand you; as the Scriptures say, the world knoweth us not, even as it knew Him not.

I have no doubt that with many of the world it is like it was with two Germans who were with me in a passenger train in Germany. As we were riding along they noticed that I did not swear, and did not chew any tobacco, did not smoke any cigars, did not get out and get some beer at the different stops the train made. They make regular stops in Germany and there is always beer, and they think it is always the right thing to do to get another glass of beer. They noticed I had not any of these things, so one of them leaned over, and using the best English he could command, said, "What pleasure have you in life?"

Well, I thought that was a very good illustration. He could not think of a single pleasure I had. The world knoweth us not. They do not know what pleasures we have. We have pleasures that the world cannot understand. We have pleasures even in walking in the narrow way. As the Apostle says, All of these light afflictions which are but for a moment, we do not count them very great, they cannot last very long, and they are working out for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we look not at the things that are seen, but at the things that are unseen. We are looking with the eye of faith, the eyes of our understanding. Whenever anything begins to feel rather hard, you must be looking at the things that are seen. Whenever you think you are having an awful time – Oh, my, it will crush me! – then just say, I must be looking at the things that are seen, and must be forgetting to look at the things that are unseen as yet. Then just shut your eyes to the things that are seen and ask the Lord to help you set your affections and your eyes of understanding on the things not seen as yet, the things that God has in reservation for them that love Him; the things that eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man; those things which God has revealed to us by His spirit; that the natural man cannot understand, because they are foolish unto him; but to us they are the most wonderful realities, and bring the greatest blessings.

The whole world today, everywhere, is rushing for something of pleasure; they are out to hunt or to fish, or something, always hunting for pleasure – and did you ever see any of them who have caught up with the pleasure? No, they are just hunting for the pleasure. We have got it. Don't you see the difference? We have the pleasure – the peace of God which passeth all understanding ruling in our hearts. We have the joy that the world knows nothing about. Let us rejoice in what we have, and all the more rejoice because we know that the world, blind as it is at the present time, will see better by and by. Their eyes will open by and by, and, Oh, then we will have the pleasure of giving them the blessings they have been running after now and could not understand about! We will have the opportunity of retaliating then. If they have said anything bad about us now, we will do something good to them in return. Will that be good retaliation? How glad we will be to heap coals of fire on the heads of some, in the proper sense that the Lord meant!


Now all of this is viewed from another standpoint, and I should speak of that on this occasion, because the subject of baptism comes up before us, and some are thinking of being immersed to symbolize their consecration. That which we have spoken of from the standpoint of presenting our bodies a living sacrifice is all pictured in baptism. It is the very same lesson.

I was very sorry to hear that our dear Baptist friends in this city feel very harshly toward us. You would not think that. Our Baptist friends practically hold that unless you are immersed you are not in the Church at all; and unless you are in the Church you are not saved at all; and to be unsaved means to go into hell – and they would not even allow water that some should be kept out of hell! That is pretty harsh. Did you suppose anybody in this city of Winnipeg would feel so harshly toward fellow creatures that they would refuse some water to keep them out of hell, according to their own doctrine? Well, I am surprised. We will retaliate on our Baptist friends some day; we will have heaps of "water" on them! They will see better what baptism means, some day. We do not want to feel harshly at all. We have known of times when just such experiences as that refusal has worked out good. I will tell you of one case. A Presbyterian minister and an evangelist were holding some meetings, and the evangelist thought he would stir up things a little, so he asked the congregation, Have any of you those books called Millennial Dawn or Studies in the Scriptures?

About thirty hands went up.

He then told them they should bring all of those books and burn them, that they were terribly bad books. He read over in the book of Acts where St. Paul spoke of some who had books of black art, and he said, This is a similar case, this is of the devil, bring those books.

So they went out into an alley-way. It was a small town, and the alley was near the church, and they had a big bonfire and burned 23, I think it was, of the books. And they had a hymn and prayer while they were doing it. While this was going on a gentleman went past there who was a member of the same church, the Presbyterian church, and he happened to be a doctor and druggist.

He said, What are you doing? What does all of this mean?

Oh, they said, we are burning some of those books, they are terribly bad books.

The man said, Well, that reminds me of the dark ages.

Oh, doctor, those are very bad books, I will tell you they are, it is the right thing to do; undoubtedly we will agree on that.

So the doctor managed to get one of the books, and read it, and then he sent the preacher a letter of resignation, and said, All I ever knew about God and the Bible I got out of that book. I never knew anything about God and the Bible compared to what is in that book. What a class of people you are indeed! I do not want to have anything more to do with you in any sense of the word. Take my name off of that roll, I would not have it enrolled there for anything.

And the Presbyterian preacher said afterwards, That is the worst day's work we ever did in this world; we lost the best paying member we had by it.

That was the sore spot. If it had been some poor man I am afraid it would not have made much difference, but it was the best paying member of his church. I guess, my dear friends, that some of the best paying members have been fooled.

I think of a brother in the city of Victoria who told me he gave $2,500 to help build a Y.M.C.A. building, and after they had built it he got a knowledge of the Truth, and he thought he would like to have some little use of it, thought he could go there as a Christian and make some use of it, but no, sir, he could not have any use of it. He found it made a difference what he believed.

Now, I believe that all of these things will react; sometimes they will react in the present life, sometimes in the future. We will leave it all with God. We are not wise enough to know how to manage the Universe. I trust we have all gotten over praying as we used to – telling God how to run Heaven and earth and everything else, and that we [CR411] have concluded that He knows so much better how to do it that we dare not attempt to tell Him how, but merely ask Him how it is going, and study His Word to see what answer He gives. We are finding that the better way, and rejoicing in it.

Coming back to this matter of baptism – It does not mean as our Disciple friends say, the washing away of sins. I will assume that nearly all of you have in mind the chapter in the sixth volume which deals with baptism. I will merely remind you that baptism is a figure, a symbolical picture – a moving picture, if you please – which the Lord arranged should be kept moving all down this age, exhibiting in form the great lesson of burial with Jesus – the old man dead, buried, the human will buried; that which is raised up is the New Creature, to walk in newness of life. There is great danger of our treating the matter in a formal way, but this picture is showing us, as the Apostle explains, that from the time we gave our heart to the Lord we were dead, and that as New Creatures we should walk in newness of life – our daily course should be altogether different from that of the world. It will not be that after this you should say, Well, the business custom is thus and so. You are not like the world. The business customs are fixed for the unregenerate, for those who would be thieves and robbers if they could. These laws are all framed for thieves and robbers, and people who do not recognize God at all; but you and I are under still higher law than any human law made in the world. We are glad to see human laws gradually lifted up to a very high standard. We are glad that you and I as New Creatures always have our standard at the very top. Ours is the highest standard there is. What is our standard? In what way do we rise to walk in newness of life? Old things have passed away – old ambitions, old motives, the thought of making a great name, and own the earth, or accomplishing something of a worldly kind – and all has given place to the higher ambition, that we might have favor with God, and be His dear children, anxious to know His will and to do it. The first general laws given to these is the Golden Rule.

Oh, you say, Brother Russell, that is a very high law.

Yes, the Lord has no lower law than that, nothing less than Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, and, Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. That is the lowest law there is for Christians. You might keep out of jail and be a very decent citizen, and walk on a very much lower plane; but to be the Lord's representative, His child, the plane He sets forth for us to walk on is to love your neighbor and deal with him as kindly and generously as you would have him deal with you.

A pretty high law, you say?

Well, that is not all; it is still higher than that. Jesus did more than keep the Golden Rule, did He not? If He had not done more than that you and I would not have been redeemed by the precious blood, because He might have done as much for us as He would ask anyone to do for Him, and never have died for us at all. His sacrifice was all of that, and much more than the Golden Rule. He was bound by the Jewish Law to do to His neighbor as He would His neighbor should do to Him. The Golden Rule is the Jewish Law that the Jews could not keep because of their fallen condition. St. Paul says that you and I can keep that law, not that our flesh is more perfect than their flesh, but that in dealing with the Church God is scrutinizing and judging them according to the heart and not according to the flesh. Therefore, God says that if in your heart you are striving to love your neighbor as yourself, and to do to others as you wish they should do to you, if you do sometimes come short, He has made arrangements by which you may still be of His family, because you can go to Him with the matter and say, Lord, I am sorry; I failed; I came short of the Divine rule, but I will strive again; forgive me, for Jesus' sake, cover me again; take away the spot from my robe, that I may be perfect and acceptable to you, and that there should be no earth-born cloud between Thee and my soul.

So God has made a provision for us He did not make for the Jews. The Jews were under a typical law, with a typical Mediator, and he could not come in and offer atonement for any of their weaknesses, and have them judged according to the mind. But God through Christ does make that arrangement for us, and we are judged according to our intentions, according to our will. So that when you and I are living to the best of our ability up to this Golden Rule, the righteousness of the law is fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit, even though we can never fully catch up with the spirit of that law which we are walking after; and the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us and keeps us clean while we are thus striving to walk after the spirit.

But that is not enough. After doing that which it is our duty to do, then we have agreed to do more; we have agreed to give up all our earthly interests.

And let people tramp on me? one says.

Yes, sir, that is it, if you understand it to be the will of God. You have agreed to do God's will, and to drink the cup He pours for you. You remember what Jesus said in His own case? When He was approaching His dying time on Calvary the thought came to Him, What about these things? Would you ask for the legions of angels? Would you try to be delivered? Would you use your tongue to deliver you? Would He have an oration to stir the whole multitude until they would turn against the chief priests and scribes, or perhaps the chief priests and scribes themselves would turn on His side, and say, We bow before You, we fall at your feet? For never man spake like this man. Did Jesus do that? Oh, no, here He would suffer Himself to be led as a lamb to the slaughter, and would not open His mouth in self-defense. Why? Because He saw that to be God's will. And so whatever you see, as far as you are able to understand is God's will respecting you, you are to drink that cup; whatever I see, as far as I am able to understand God's will, I am to drink that cup – drinking it with as much pleasure as possible, delighting to do the Father's will, even though it be a bitter cup.

You remember the two disciples who came to Him. They thought the Kingdom was very near, and they said, Lord, we have a request to make, before anybody else has spoken for the place. We would like to ask that we might sit next to you, one on your right and the other on your left hand, in this glorious Kingdom you are going to establish.

Jesus, I presume, appreciated their love for Him, and their desire to be near Him. I do not think it was merely selfishness that they wanted to be nearer than the others, but I think they specially delighted to be near the Lord. They were of a very zealous turn of mind, as you remember James and John were called the Sons of Thunder, they were so zealous, so earnest in everything they did. It was these two, you remember, that when somebody refused to sell Jesus and the disciples some bread, said, Lord, shall we command fire to come down from Heaven and destroy these men and their city? They were ready for anything, you see. They were of that go-ahead kind. The Lord loves all of that kind, dear friends. I believe He loves them a great deal more than He does those who are cold and indifferent, and who say, "I don't care; I don't care." I believe the Lord liked to have those two disciples want to get near Him; He did not reprove them for it, anyway. He said, My disciples, do you understand what it will mean to be with Me in that throne at all? Do you understand what it will cost you? They did not know, of course; the Holy Spirit had not yet come. He then said to them, Are you able to drink of the cup of suffering, ignominy, and shame, that I shall drink of? There is the condition. You cannot be in the throne unless you drink My cup.

Well, that is more than the Golden Rule, you see. The Golden Rule does not call for any sacrifices; it merely calls for even-handed justice; but now here is something sacrificial, something more than right, submitting to wrong for Christ's sake, for the sake of the Truth and the brethren and the Lord's cause. Are you willing to drink of My cup, and to thus ignore self and its preferences? And are you willing to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? Well, now, that was not water baptism. The baptism He was to be baptized with He said would be finished the next day. He was straitened until that baptism should be accomplished; and the next day His baptism into death was finished when He cried on the cross, "It is finished." And He said we would have to be baptized with His baptism. The water was a symbol of His baptism, but the real baptism of Christ was His immersion into death – fully, completely, giving up His life into the Father's will. If you and I wish to be with the Master in His throne, the only way is such a full consecration as that, such a readiness to drink His cup, whatever He may pour for us. We are not to go out and pour a cup for ourselves, and say, We are going to be in here. We are not to bury ourselves. Do you see the [CR412] picture? When you give yourself into the hands of the administrator of baptism, you do not bury yourself, you merely submit your will. You say, Here, take me, bury me. Just so we say to Christ, our Lord and Head: Lord, into Thy hands we commit ourselves; bury us in whatever way you please, our life is given up. And then He lets us down figuratively into death, and it is of His power that we will be raised up again to the perfect life beyond the vail, to glory, honor, immortality, sharing His resurrection, the first resurrection; and unless we have the burial into His death, we will never be raised in His likeness.

This picture of baptism corresponds exactly to our text in Romans 12:1.

The importance of the symbol I should mention here. The symbol is important. I do not know whether Brother John Wesley was immersed or understood baptism, or not, but I feel sure he was fully consecrated, and had the real immersion. If he had known about the symbol, then held back because of what his brother Charles or somebody else would say, I think he would be proving that he was not fully dead to his own will. But suppose he never saw it was a symbol, never caught that thought, then I presume Brother Wesley had no obligations for water baptism at all, and he did not need to have it. So I think our Episcopalian and Methodist and Presbyterian friends, and all good people of the past. But when you and I come to see the matter, we are responsible according to our knowledge.

I remember what a fight I had on the subject of water baptism; and my point is, if I had refused to be obedient in that matter, it would have meant the stoppage of my progress in the way of the Lord. I do not believe the Lord would have allowed me to go on if I had stopped right at that barrier. I think I needed to take that step to prove that my heart was correct. I said, I see what baptism is now; I didn't see before. I am told that I was sprinkled when an infant and I said, I accept that, I will count that as my baptism.

But why don't you go and get immersed?

Well, in my case – you see this peculiarity, in my case, I think it would be better not; as if my case were different from anybody else's case. Do we all have different cases? The Lord laid down one law for His people – no peculiarity of case at all, if you know it.

And so in my own mind I said, Now in my case I believe the Lord would be more glorified – we are always going to do something for the Lord, whereas He is really the one who is doing something all the time for us; but we are in the habit of thinking of it as, I am going to do something for the Lord; and because it is the Lord and His interests, I must not jeopardize His interests.

I said to myself, Why, some people will say you are merely a turncoat, and you are just afraid you are going to hell, and want a little more water insurance, etc. That is the way I reasoned on the subject. I put it off that way for awhile, but every now and then it would come up again – What about water baptism?

Why, I settled that.

Then it would come up again.

Well, I did settle that.

Then it would come up again.

Oh, I am done with that; I settled that.

But I hadn't settled it, my dear friends, and there was something way back in my heart that told me all the time I had not settled it. So one day I said, Now make a good settlement of this. And I backed myself up in a corner, so to speak, and said, You are not going to get out of this corner until you settle this matter; settle it now, here, just before you leave this corner. And the argument I put up with myself then trying to see how much better it would be for me to do according to my own will and not bring any ignominy on the Lord – you know that was it; I was going to save the Lord ignominy, etc. I finally said to myself, Now suppose the Lord had made some very severe conditions, and had said, Are you my disciple?


Do you love me?

Yes, I do, Lord.

Have you made a consecration of your life to me?

Yes, Lord, I have given you all I have, and hope you have accepted it.

Now suppose I put some hard thing on you: suppose I say you must walk on your hands and knees up the main street of your city, and stop at every step and shout my name aloud. Will you do it?

Sure, Lord, if I knew you said it, I would certainly do it.

Well, now, because I have given you something easy to do, that has a beautiful picture in it, is that the reason you are balking?

And I said, I see the point, Lord; it is easy enough, and I guess there is no way out of it. Lord, I am sorry I halted on this subject at all. I see it now.

If I had not come to that point, I do not believe the Lord's favor would have continued with me. He would not have sent me into the second death, but I do not think I would have been in the Little Flock at all unless I had passed that point. I have nothing in the Bible to say so, but that is the way I reason on the subject. Why? Because that would have proved I was not wholly dead, wouldn't it? I got that view of it and said, Why you are not wholly dead. Were you not buried? Well, I thought I was, but there is something still sticking on there. So I went and got completely beheaded; I gave all the headship to the Lord, and my self-will and all desire to rule myself, and I said, Lord, now you do what you please.

I am telling you this because I know a good many of the Lord's people who are stumbling just in the same way. I am not making it out that water is the important thing, for I am pointing out that saintly people without the water are going to be in the Kingdom, because they did the best they knew, and gave up their minds and all according to what God showed them; but if he has shown you and I something more, then the responsibility of that greater knowledge is here, and there is not any way that you can escape if your will is fully submitted to the Lord. Now it is for you to decide.

Saturday evening, when we were leaving, many of the local Bible Students crowded about the Convention Train of eleven cars, singing hymns to us and we to them respecting the precious tie that binds our hearts in Christian love, and praying in song, "God be with you till we meet again!"

The Twin Cities – Minneapolis and St. Paul

ANOTHER night's ride brought us to Minneapolis in time for a morning service with the large number of interested friends, whom Brother Russell addressed as follows on the subject of "The Ten Lepers." The afternoon service was for the public of Minneapolis, while the evening service was for the public of St. Paul. At both services large audiences attended, and many requests were handed in for literature. From St. Paul we proceeded on to the eight day General Convention at Madison, Wis.


The Ten Lepers

I AM GLAD to be with you all, and to greet the Minneapolis and St. Paul and nearby friends.

I have before my mind this morning the words of Jesus respecting the ten lepers that he met and healed. "Were there not ten cleansed? but where are nine? Only one hath returned to give glory to God." – Luke 17:17,18.

Leprosy has long been regarded as incurable, and, therefore, is used as an illustration of sin, which is also incurable. As only the Master's word could heal the lepers, so nothing short of a Divine remedy can cure the leprosy of sin. Lepers in olden times were obliged to separate themselves from others, and whenever approached were required to cry, "Unclean! Unclean!" Cut off thus from association with others, the condition of the poor creatures was far from enviable. So sinners by Divine decree are isolated, separated from the pure, the holy, the righteous.

Though all humanity are sinners by heredity, we must not forget that they constitute but a small proportion of God's great family, amongst whom are angels, cherubim, seraphim, etc., who always have fellowship with God and with each other. But while the Scriptures declare of humanity that all are sinners, that none are righteous, no, not one, yet all do not appreciate their condition, nor cry aloud, Unclean! Indeed, there are various degrees of uncleanness; some are more and some less sinful.

The two extremes of sin are represented in our Lord's parable of the two men who went up to the Temple to pray, the one a publican, the other a Pharisee. The publican realized his sin and smote his breast, saying, "God be merciful to me a sinner!" The Pharisee, on the contrary, felt himself so superior to the publican that he did not realize himself a sinner at all; he thanked God that he was not a sinner. Jesus declares that, because of his acknowledgment of sin, the publican was more acceptable than the Pharisee.

In other words, the Creator wishes that each one of Adam's race should realize his imperfection – that he comes short of the Divine standard of perfection – short of that standard which God would be pleased to bless with everlasting life. While the Bible thus declares that all are sinners, it does not unreasonably say that there is no difference. What it does say is that the slightest degree of sin would mean that we are sinners, and that hence the person with the least taint of sin upon him would need the Savior, the Deliverer – would need to be cleansed. And, in order to realize his need of assistance, he must see his sin and cry unto the Lord, Unclean! Lord, save, or I perish!

Here again many of us have made a serious mistake in the study of our Bibles. When reading that the sinner would perish, we forgot the meaning of the word perish, that it signifies to die, to lose life. There is nothing in the word perish that signifies to be tortured to all eternity. "The wages of sin is death," destruction – annihilation, if you please. And if God had not made some provision for man's recovery, there would be no future life for Adam nor for any of his race. Death would indeed have been a hopeless state; just as leprosy, whether in a small or greater degree, signified the presence of a hopeless disease, from which there is no recovery.


Jesus is the only physician who can heal this leprosy of sin; nothing that the sinner himself can do would cancel the sentence. God purposely so arranged the matter. The Good Physician heals humanity at a great cost to Himself. As the wage, or penalty, or sin upon Father Adam and his race means death, so whoever would redeem Adam must be prepared to pay his penalty before he could assist the sinner legally, justly. None of Adam's race could serve as a redeemer, because each and all were born in sin and therefore as subject to the penalty as Father Adam himself. Nor could any of them be born without sin, because the life of the race came from its father.

Whoever, therefore, would be the savior of man must have a life separate and apart from that of Adam, and must be willing to sacrifice it on Adam's behalf.

All of the angels had such a life – separate and apart from Adam's life – and any of them, therefore would have been capable of being man's redeemer if the Heavenly Father had made them the proposition and they had chosen to accept it. But Jehovah God gave the first offer to become man's redeemer to the very highest of all His creatures – His Only Begotten Son, the Logos, of whom we read that He was the Beginning of the creation of God, the First-Born of every creature, the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last.


It was not within the province of even Jehovah Himself to demand that one holy creature should die to rescue, to redeem, humanity. The matter, therefore, was optional with the Logos; and if He had not chosen to accept the proposition, it doubtless would have been extended to others. But such was the love and loyalty of God's Only Begotten that to know the Father's pleasure in the matter was to cheerfully obey. It was a joy to Him to serve in any manner and to further God's will.

No doubt the Son would have done this without any suggestion of a reward, but the Apostle suggests that a great reward was proffered Him. He says, "Who for the joy that was set before Him endured." His joyful obedience began when He exchanged the higher nature for the human. The same joy continued when, as the Man Christ Jesus, He offered up Himself, and faithfully obedient to the Father's will to the very last, saying, "The cup which My Father hath poured for Me, shall I not drink it?"

St. Paul further explains that it was the Redeemer's faithfulness and loyalty to the Father, in doing His will to the extent of laying down the human life, that became the basis of His still higher exaltation – above His prehuman condition. The Apostle says, "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven and things in earth." Thus, as the Apostle explains, He has been exalted and qualified to be made a Prince and a Savior and able to grant forgiveness of sins to as many as will come unto the Father through Him.


Forgiveness of sin has two aspects: (1) the cancellation of the legal condemnation; and (2) the recovery of the sinner from his loss, his imperfection. Jesus came into the world to accomplish both of these results. By His death He would legally satisfy the Divine Justice, giving His life as instead of Adam's life, which was forfeited by sin. Then, according to the Father's promise, being raised from the death state to a glorious state, with plenitude of power, He would use that power and opportunity for the release, or recovery, of mankind from the mental, moral and physical degradation brought about by sin.

Thus we read that Jesus died that God might be just and yet be the Justifier of all those who believe in Jesus – of all who shall become His disciples and follow His leading and direction. Again, we read that He came to seek and to save, to recover, that which was lost.


It was just like our great Heavenly Father to take advantage of the opportunity of human salvation from sin to illustrate different characters amongst men and different degrees of His favor toward these. He foresaw that the great necessity of the world would be the Messianic Kingdom, the powerful Reign of the Redeemer forcefully putting down sin and all unrighteousness, scattering ignorance, darkness, superstition, etc. [CR414]

He foresaw that some of the human family would need to have stripes, punishments, corrections in righteousness, in order to teach them the great lesson that all unrighteousness is sin; and that all sin brings degradation, sorrow, pain, death, according to Divine arrangement. Messiah's Kingdom would be necessary to show how obedience to God would, on the contrary, bring a gradual uplifting and recovery out of sin, sorrow, tears and death, eventually back to perfection.

But while the great mass of mankind would need the severe lessons of the Millennium, the Reign of Christ, a certain few would be able now to develop an eye of faith and an ear of faith by virtue of their desire to do God's will. These would be doubly precious in God's sight; for "without faith it is impossible to please Him," and those who could exercise faith under adverse conditions would be His peculiar treasure. Therefore God has arranged to gather out this special class in advance, and these He calls His Elect, the Church of the Gospel Age.

This call, to which these respond, is not so forceful as will be the call of the future; they must have hearing ears and attentive hearts to hear the voice of God in the present time at all. Additionally, they must be both able and willing to walk by faith, their path lighted only by the Lamp of God's Word. "Thy Word is a lamp to my feet, a lantern to my footsteps." Furthermore, they must walk in a narrow way, a difficult path of separation from the world. Not only must they strive to live separate and apart from sin, but after the pattern of their Redeemer they must present their bodies living sacrifices, holy, acceptable to God, through the merit of Jesus' sacrifice.

These are scripturally styled the justified by faith, the sanctified, or set apart to the service of God. These, under the typical arrangement of God with Israel of old, were pictured in the tribe of Levi, who were set apart from the remaining tribes to be God's special servants, and ultimately to be the instructors and guides of their brethren of the other tribes. So the elect class in process of selection since the ascension of Jesus since Pentecost – are to be God's special servants by and by in the blessing of the world in general; for they are to be joint-heirs with Jesus, their Redeemer, in all the great work of His Millennial Kingdom, designed, arranged, prepared, for the blessing and uplifting of all humanity, and for the destruction of the wilfully, intelligently, sinful and rebellious.


The Lord used crimson and scarlet as indicative of the most flagrant sins, and then declared that His arrangement for the forgiveness of sins through the Redeemer is effective even for the very worst sins. "Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson they shall be as wool." (Isaiah 1:18.) This is an assurance for us. God knows that all of Adam's children were born with the hereditary taint of sin, "prone to sin as are the sparks to fly upward." He is not expecting perfection of any under such conditions; all must have help, and the Savior whom God has prepared is qualified to give help to all.

The help given to the special class that is in process of selection during this Gospel Age is in the Scriptures figuratively represented as the Robe of Christ's righteousness, covering each of the sinners, and thus hiding the actual blemishes of his flesh. In other words, the Lord declares of this class that He will judge them, not according to their flesh, but according to the spirit of their minds, the intentions of their hearts and the efforts which they will put forth in resisting sin and doing God's will. This Robe of Righteousness will cover sins of every kind and degree, except wilful sins.

"O blessed thought!
O words with Heavenly comfort fraught!"

The arrangement for the sins of the world, to be carried out in the future, will similarly be ample, though different. The world's sins will not be covered, nor will the world be dealt with merely according to their minds and hearts. The world's salvation is spoken of as being one of works. Each sinner will be encouraged and assisted back to perfection along the lines of good works.

Assistance and strength of character will come to them day by day and year by year until, before the Millennium will have ended, all the willing and obedient will have become perfect, mentally, morally and physically. They will have attained the image and likeness of God, lost by Father Adam in Eden; and with this perfection will come their right to human life, forfeited by Adam and redeemed by Jesus.

But some one may say, If mankind are to have an opportunity during the Millennial Age, will that not be a second chance? We reply, No. None will have a second chance for everlasting life. By nature we are all sinners, condemned to death. Our chance for life at all is through the Redeemer's sacrifice. He died for all. But only when we accept the fact and come under His direction as His disciples, do we obtain our share?

Since Jesus accepts as His disciples during this Age only such as consecrate, or sacrifice, their lives to the doing of God's will, only they get the benefit of the Redeemer's sacrifice during the present life. Those who do not get that benefit now still have it assured them by Jesus' death, according to the Divine promise. Those who do not get their chance of everlasting life now will get it during the Millennium.


Human laws are not always the same as the Divine, though properly intended so to be. Thus the Lord informs us that some who are highly esteemed among men, and approved by human standards, are an abomination in the sight of God. Contrariwise, sometimes things disapproved by man are in accord with the Divine Law. God seems to put justice in the very highest place in His estimation of sin, while poor human judgment sometimes gives it a very low place. For instance, some will cry out vigorously and vengefully against immoral dances and petty thievery, who would not hesitate to join in a Trust intended to deprive thousands of fellow-creatures of their share of the blessings of our day. In the eyes of human judgment, these would be esteemed noble examples; while in the sight of Divine Justice, we believe, they would rank as very vicious and criminal.


When ten lepers came to our Lord praying for healing and were granted their request, only one of them returned to thank the Savior; and Jesus called attention to the fact. It well illustrates the difference between the two classes of the saved. The entire ten lepers would well represent the world of mankind in sin. All would be glad to be relieved of the leprosy of sin and to be holy and happy.

But as only one of the ten was so appreciative as to come back and worship the Redeemer and offer Him his services, it represents the fact that only a small proportion of humanity is properly appreciative of the blessings of forgiveness of sins and healing therefrom. The only one who was thankful would well represent the class of sinners who now constitute the true Church, and who, realizing the Divine arrangement for the forgiveness of sins, come thankfully and offer the Lord their little all to be used in His service.

The "exceeding great and precious promises" of God's Word are given only to the thankful and consecrated, who have already presented themselves living sacrifices to God. "To you it is given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom." "God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit," which is granted only to the consecrated. These promises are to strengthen and nerve the consecrated and to enable them to overcome, in fulfilment of their covenant of consecration.


Concluding Remarks – 1913 Transcontinental Tour

WHEN it is remembered that the majority of the meetings here noted were held on week-days, the attendance surely indicated that the people had not lost their interest in the Bible and in religion, and that the falling off in the general Church attendance is therefore properly chargeable to another cause. We believe that the decrease in Church attendance, of which we hear so much, is chargeable to the fact that the public have lost their faith, as well they might, in the creeds of the Dark Ages. They are receiving no spiritual food. When the ministers preach to them along the lines of sociology, or astronomy, or science, the pews, as well educated and as well informed along these lines as are the pulpiteers, care little for the minister's dissertation.

Oh, that the ministers of today, instead of feeling angry against the Truth and fighting it, would investigate it thoughtfully and prayerfully! Then indeed they would be a power in the earth, in this, our wonderful day, in which God is sending out His Light and Truth to be the guide of His people, to guide them to His Holy Hill – the Kingdom of Messiah! What a power these ministers might be, if backed by the truth of God's Word!

How pitiable it seems that men so well equipped would be not only useless as respects the advancement of Christ's cause, but be really the leaders of the opposition thereto – ignorantly serving the Prince of Darkness! All the more, however, the Truth must be spoken. The shackles of the creeds of error must be broken. The beauty of the Truth must be exhibited; for it is the Power of God for the calling and electing and perfecting of the Bride class to be the Lamb's wife.

But while we must oppose the error, and must uncover its very foundations in our efforts to "show forth the praises of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light," nevertheless, let us all the more speak the Truth in love, without harshness, without personalities. Our dear brethren are deluded, deceived, not intentionally opposing the Truth, we believe. How glad we shall be for the day when the great Adversary, who deceived us all and is still deceiving so many, will be bound for a thousand years, as promised! – Rev. 20:1-3.


This may be as good an opportunity as any for a few words of caution. We are all in danger of going to extremes, and all should remember the Apostle's words, "Let your moderation be known unto all." At one place we found that a spirit of antagonism had been aroused by means of immoderate statements on the part of a few. They had suggested that Brother Russell and his writings are divinely inspired, as were the Apostles of old. What a great mistake! No wonder such statements were resented! When asked if such were our opinion, we promptly assured the dear friends to the contrary.

The view we have always presented, and still hold, is that the Lord Jesus appointed only twelve Apostles, St. Paul being the one to take Judas' place. The words of these would be so supervised by Divine Power that whatsoever they would declare binding on earth, the Church would know would be bound in Heaven, and whatsoever they would declare on earth to be loosed or not binding, they might know would not be obligatory in the sight of Heaven. In other words, those twelve Apostles were the special mouthpieces of the Lord to His Church. They still speak to us. We need no others; we expect no others.

The most we have ever claimed for our own presentations, written or oral, is that they are in line with the words of the Apostles, that they harmonize with them – that we keep so close to the words of the Apostles and the words of our Lord that our Message may be said to be their Message, except in respect to the particular words used and the arrangement of them. In the Studies in the Scriptures we have classified the various presentations of Jesus, the Apostles and Prophets into different studies or topics; and this is what we meant when we declared in an old Watch Tower that, on this account, whoever reads the Studies in the Scriptures is really reading the Bible in an arranged form – topically. In no case have we ever presented anything as of ourself. In every instance we have fastened our presentations to the Scriptures on which they depend and rest.

Our claim has been, and is, that because we are living in the dawn of the New Dispensation, it is the Divine will that the Mystery of God should now be finished, in the sense of reaching a completion, or unfolding. This we hold comes to us, not through special inspiration to speak or to write new things, but by the promised guidance of the Holy Spirit, enlightening us and directing us to the Lord's Word, and assisting us to see the proper application of the same. The wonderful light of our day upon every subject undoubtedly inures to these ends.

Because it is due time, the Lord would send the light to His people, and as usual, would send it through some earthly instrumentality. If, in the Divine providence, we have been used or shall be used of the Lord, it will be in making clear the sayings of inspiration already written, and not in making any new revelations or prophecies.

We take this opportunity, also, to guard the dear friends against the report that we are making any different presentations by letter than we have made in The Watch Tower and the Studies in the Scriptures. If any claim to have such letter, ask to see the letter, and refuse to receive as from me anything contradictory to the Studies in the Scriptures and The Watch Tower. If we ever see the necessity to make changes, we will preferably do this in public print rather than in private letters or in private conversation. Let us stick to the written word in the Scriptures as well as The Watch Tower publications.

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

"O! watch, and fight, and pray
The battle ne'er give o'er;
Renew it boldly every day,
And help Divine implore.

"Ne'er think the vict'ry won,
Nor once at ease sit down;
Thine arduous work will not be done,
Till thou hast gained thy crown."




JUNE 29 – JULY 6, 1913

Full Assurance of Faith

I AM PLEASED, dear friends, to meet with you at this convention. I have had a very enjoyable time, indeed, in visiting many of the dear friends at little conventions for a month. You already have some record of this in the Watch Tower. Passing from Michigan down through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas, then across some of the southern states – Arizona, New Mexico, California, and around the circuit. You will be glad to know that everywhere the Lord's people seemed to have the same spirit – the spirit of the Master, the spirit of the Truth; and as our topic for today is "Full Assurance of Faith" you will be glad to know that I have found good evidence of full assurance of faith all the way around. That is very helpful; it is what the Apostle says we should have; and yet as we come to our day we are all sadly aware that not very many have the full assurance of faith. The great majority of people seem to be losing their faith; and, worse than that, they are losing the foundation, or basis, of faith. The great colleges of our land have for years been undermining the faith by undermining the Bible. They do not make any attack on faith itself; they all admit that faith might have its place, and be a grand and glorious quality, and that the Bible instructs for faith, but they did proceed to do the same work that Robert Ingersoll and Thomas Paine tried to do; they proceeded to undermine confidence in the Bible; and confidence in the Bible, we hold, is the very basis of all faith. After we have lost our confidence in the Bible, what have we left?

We would have merely what the higher critics would give – what they call higher criticism and evolution, and this would mean that after a little process of reasoning to conclude that the Bible is all a forgery and a fraud made up by people who know less than ourselves. The result of that process of reasoning is that there is no foundation for any faith except what this man, or that man, or yourself, might guess? And how much confidence have we in what we guess? Not very much, and not much reason to have. We have no confidence in the flesh, no confidence in humanity; we know that all men are imperfect in every sense of the word; we are imperfect in our judgments. If men were to picture God, there would be as many different styles of God as there are different persons. We see that as we look into the past and note how many different creeds have been made and the different kinds of Gods that those different creeds have explained. We see what the noblest minds of the time might come to in the way of image worship, and worshiping the worst kind of images that could be made. You can do more of black representation by pen and ink, or by printing with the press, than you can by making all the idols of all the heathen lands. And while the heathen were carving their ugly idols out of stone and wood, and fashioning them out of clay or metal, we Christians were printing descriptions of God the like of which you could not mold in clay and you could not fashion with anything else. We have the worst of the whole universe. And great men made these images – men of noble minds. It just shows us how little confidence we would have in anything that men would do, and how we may be sure that if we had been in their place we would not have done any better. We are not finding fault with them; we are finding fault with the real foundation of the whole matter. The Apostle states it; he tells how the god of this world has been responsible for all of this misleading. He tells how the god of this world blinded the eyes of humanity and keeps them blind, lest they should see the glorious light of God's goodness. He explains also that Christians' eyes are not very widely open for the same reason – the god of this world has gotten the bandages so tight and the influence so strong upon us that it is with difficulty we get our eyes of understanding open. So I remind you of the Apostle's prayer for us, the Church, that the eyes of our understanding may be opened – wider and wider – that we may be able to know what is the hope of our calling, and what is the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints. You remember the Apostle tells us that in the end of this age many shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons; that is what has been going on. I will not take time now to go into that fully; that is not my subject for this afternoon; perhaps on Sunday we will consider that matter. But the fact is there centered. We have come to the time when many have denied the faith and are denying the faith – good people, intelligent people, ministers of the Gospel in the various pulpits, professors and theologians, presidents of colleges, confessing that they have lost the basis of their faith.

I heard recently of a number of young men who after being in college a little while signed, with a great deal of regret, a certain paper in which they unitedly said they had been Christians when they entered the college, and they were Christians no longer, and they felt their loss. The text of Scripture they used was, "They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid Him." They lost their Lord by going to college. I think it is safe to say that 99 out of every 100 of the young men and young women who go to the higher schools of learning, colleges and high schools, lose all their faith in the Bible and thus become on a par with the ministers of many of the churches, who still may be preaching but have not their faith. They have lost their faith. Now it is not for us to suppose for a moment that these people are wicked people. On the contrary, I believe they are well-intentioned people, many of them fine people; I appreciate them; but they have gotten under this delusion. And the delusions of the past coming up now to the full blaze of our new dispensation, there is a conflict between the light of our day – and there is light today – and the darkness of the past. There is a conflict between these two as they meet, and there is such a clash between the light and the darkness of the creeds of today that everybody "sees stars," [CR417] so to speak, and are astonished, and don't know what to think. The people in general who are still holding onto the Bible seem to be holding on in a sort of blind way, hoping against hope that they will not have to lose their faith. They are afraid to think and afraid to read, lest they lose all the little bit of faith they have. And the fact is that they, as we all know from our own experiences, had not enough faith to worry about, ever. They had faith in a sense, but they did not have a well-established faith; they did not have an assurance of faith; they had what we all had in a measure – a kind of credulity, a kind of blind faith that would say, Well, I trust I am one of the elect. That is all you could say – you trusted you were one of the elect; the chances were against you, but have faith, brother, hold on, trust you are one of the elect. That is very poor, in the light of today; in the light of today we see that is foolishness; we are seeing how many of these great creeds, and how many features of the creeds, are crumbling to pieces. As, for instance, if any Presbyterian two months ago were rejoicing that his child were an elect child, now all of his faith is dashed, because our Presbyterian friends meeting in Atlanta, Ga., have decided that there are no more non-elect infants going to hell. Now we are glad for the non-elect infants, but how do you know yours is elect, anyway? They are all at sea, nobody knows what to think – just perplexity.

And yet at this very time when higher criticism is undermining the foundation of all thinking people, and they are losing faith and are afraid to think, how gracious God has been to us! The eyes of our understanding are opening, and we are getting to see His book to be the most wonderful book in the world. You never saw the Bible as beautiful as you do today. You never understood so much of God's plan before as just now in the midst of all the turmoil of all denominations and all the college men and all the learning of the world.

"How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said?
You, who unto Jesus for refuge have fled."

Is not that comforting? Did not the writer of that beautiful hymn have the right thought in the matter? Indeed I have wondered if God did not partially inspire some of those hymns, for they seem so wonderfully to fit our times and conditions, and seem to have been so misty at the time they were written. It looks to me as though they were partly prophetic; or I presume the poets used what is termed "poetic license" and felt they were permitted to use language stronger than they really thought was true, since it was poetry. The very strongest language anybody can use would not be strong enough today to express the faith, the confidence, the trust, we have in our God through seeing His real character and His real plan as outlined in His Word. Full assurance of faith? Yes, indeed; and there is a great deal of difference between having a full assurance of faith and a full assurance of credulity. Credulity means to be just ready to swallow and believe everything. That is what most people used to do. It is what none of us are able to do now. We say, How do you know? When you know the person does not know, but is merely guessing, you say, Well, that is your guess. And then you ask yourself, Do you know? And then you find you do not know, then you say that is your guess. And that is credulity – believing something without evidence, without proof. We do not want to be credulous; there is no advantage in that; that is not faith. We have been making a great mistake as to what faith is. Faith must have a basis, and the basis must have some intelligent presentation. Why do you believe in a God? Well, you say, I see evidences. Very well; now without the evidences your faith would amount to nothing. Suppose you would have no evidence; then it is mere credulity to say you believe in a God.

And so about the Bible. Why do you believe it? Well, my mother believed it; my father believed it, and their parents believed it, and of course I believe it. That is not faith at all; that is merely credulity. Heathen people could do just as well as that. Their parents believed their heathen books, and their grandparents believed the same. To understand God's Word, that which gives us faith in the Bible, is to have the proof that it is of God.

But, one says, Brother Russell, these higher critics are busy proving to us all that if we read what they write, the Bible has no foundation. They will prove to you that Isaiah never wrote the Book of Isaiah, but that different people wrote that book. They will prove to you that Jesus was mistaken when He said Isaiah the prophet said so and so. They will prove to you that St. Paul was mistaken when he quoted from Isaiah and said. Thus saith the prophet Isaiah. They will prove to you that Daniel did not write his book – or if he did that it is fulfilled. They will prove to you that Moses never saw the books of the Pentateuch.

My dear brother, I am not going by what they prove; they are trying to prove something by the outside of the Bible. I do not know enough to dispute with them, and they do not know enough to dispute with themselves. It is a matter of guesswork as far as they are concerned, and some of them are pretty bright people and can put up a strong argument in some things.

But what is your reliance, Brother Russell?

Why, just the same as yours.

What is ours, then?

Our reliance is that the Bible itself contains a great Divine plan that is superior to anything any mortal man could have produced. That is our confidence in the Bible. Find me a watch before anyone ever made a watch! Show me a watch with the wheels going round with precision and perfect relationship to each other, that keeps correct time, that 24 hours on that watch means 24 hours by the sun, and I will say that somebody made that watch; that watch never happened to come that way. Those wheels did not fall into place like that. Those hands did not get on by accident; nor do they go round and keep that kind of time by some kind of psychomancy. No, there is some intelligent power behind it.

So with the Bible. When we find those prophecies of the Bible and the teachings of the Apostles and prophets interlocking, and based and depending on one another in the most marvelous way, all the way from Genesis to Revelation, and the Apostle bringing out his proof here, and Jesus bringing in His prophecies there, and these all co-ordinating and fitting together and making up the great plan of the ages – tell me who made that, my dear brother? You cannot convince me that any human being ever made it. The very conditions of today furnish one of the strongest proofs of the inspiration of the Bible.

I remember an argument I had with an infidel when I was quite young. He said, Do you believe in the Bible?

I said, Yes. Don't you believe in the Bible?


Where do you believe the Bible came from?

Oh, he said, priests and knaves!

Well, I said, which set of priests and knaves do you think made it up?

He hadn't expected that question and he thought a little while. [CR418]

Do you think the Presbyterian priests and knaves made it?

He hesitated a little.

Perhaps they are too recent: you want to go back further? And the Methodists, and Baptists and Lutherans the same way?


Perhaps you mean the Catholics, they claim to be the oldest?

Yes, that is it, it was the Catholics.

I said, Now, my dear friend, let us reason a little on that subject. If the Catholic priests and knaves made the Bible, they were fools also, because they made a Bible that does not suit them. They would not want to make the Bible the way it is now; it does not fit the Catholic doctrine. They would like to have various things in it that are not there. They would put in a whole lot about the Virgin Mary being the Mother of God, and about the Virgin Mary having had a miraculous conception, and that is not in the Bible. And they would tell about the mass, and that is not there. They would tell about purgatory, and they would like to have in it about St. Peter being the first pope. They would like to have something to intimate that we ought to use images and beads in worship. They would like to put in a whole lot about hell-fire and eternal torment. And they would like to put in about the trinity, because even the word trinity is not there. Now, do you not think that if the Catholic priests and knaves made the Bible they made a poor fist of it? They not only did not put in the things they wanted there, but left out a whole lot of things they would like to have. For instance, they do not know what to do with the doctrine of the resurrection; they would like to have it out. They have the theory that people go to Heaven, hell or purgatory immediately, no need of a resurrection: yet they know it is in the Bible. If they ever come across it in their reading it is only a "thorn in the flesh," so to speak; it merely disturbs their peace. Why should they need a resurrection when people are in Heaven, hell and purgatory, just where they want them? Then they run into something about a future Day of Judgment, and they don't know what to do with that. They think the judgment must be past or they would not be in hell, Heaven or purgatory. So you see our Catholic friends never made the Bible – surely not.

And I could just say the same about Presbyterians, Methodists, etc. – none of them would make the Bible as it is today. They would all put in a whole lot more about going to hell – well, I am not sure about that today; perhaps they have cooled off a good deal by this time. I am glad of it. Oh, yes, we are glad to see every step of progress. I am glad those little infants are not going to eternal torment now by foreordination and predestination – the non-elect infants. Think how many are now saved from that by changing the Presbyterian creed – 40,000 every day saved! That is the way to get them to Heaven. If they had thought of that some time ago they might have had a good many in Heaven by now.

But our Presbyterian friends would not make the Bible the way it is today. Neither would our Methodist friends. They would leave out all of those texts about election and making your calling and election sure, and the very elect; they don't know what to do with them, and wish they were not there. And our Calvanistic friends would leave out some of the texts about free grace, and "The spirit and the Bride say come, and whosoever will may come and take of the water of life freely." That does not fit with their idea of election, and the free grace does not fit the other way. Of course they would all put in about the trinity, because they all hold that as the very essence of all faith. The more unbelievable a thing is, and the more you do not understand it. Oh, that is the thing to believe! That thing you cannot understand, and which is the most mysterious, is the most important thing!

But, my dear friends, from our standpoint of the Bible how simple it all is, and the whole matter throughout thoroughly explained. What is there that is not explained? I will tell you that we have reason for strong consolation!

These dear people of God I think mean well, and I love all who mean well and are striving for the right, and I love such of our dear friends of all the denominations. If I make any fun, it is of the creed and not of the people. I remember how I was deceived by these same creeds, and horribly injured; and I look out and see the whole world today is greatly injured. I believe many people are going after sin today who, if they had a right knowledge of God, would be following after righteousness.

A lady said to me not long ago, Before I got the truth I used to be in society, and I had a belief in the Bible – that is, I thought I believed the Bible. I believed all about hell and the devils: I thoroughly believed that, and I was just afraid I would go there; I didn't know how I could make sure that I was one of the elect, I couldn't say for sure; it was a point I longed to know, and I didn't know it. And, she said, I used to try to drown the subject in my mind; I would go to parties and balls, and try to keep up a general whirligig of experiences and excitement in my life, and they were all empty to me; I knew they were not soul-satisfying. And then I got the Truth, and Oh, it was satisfying! I knew then why I had never been satisfied before. It was this wrong conception of God, this thought that God had made that great hell and was bent on having it filled full, and had left only a little corner in Heaven for the saintly handful, and it was doubtful if there would be room for me to get in. That was a horrible thought, and to think that we should have any dealings with such a God at all!

I believe that many men have been led to drinking and debauchery and all sorts of sin simply by reason of not seeing the real God, because for anyone to see the real God is to love Him. We are made on that basis. There is no human being I know of that was made without the organ of Veneration, and notwithstanding 6,000 years of the fall, there is in every man's head, unless he be an idiot or in some way deformed, that quality of reverence for a Supreme Being and a desire to render worship. When they had this wrong conception of God before their minds they did not wish to retain God in their minds. That is the way it reads in Romans. St. Paul is describing how men at first were not willing to retain God in their minds, and he gave them over to reprobate minds, and to do things that were improper, and the doctrines of devils got in and misrepresented God, so as to keep men in ignorance, darkness and superstition. The god of this world blinds the minds of all those who believe not. Blinds them by these various doctrines that you and I had something to do with for awhile. You and I, by some process we did not understand, in one side of our minds thought of God as being the great representative of Satanic energy, opposed to everything good, everything that was fair and right, and bent upon destroying the creatures He brought into the world. On the other side of our minds, we somehow got the thought that God was loving, kind and merciful. We never could get the two sides of our head to balance. We never knew which side to look at, but fortunately for us, as Christians, we got the devilish idea subordinated, and got the thought of God as loving, and going to Him daily in prayer we tried to forget the devilish part. And the others, on the other hand, remembered the devilish part and never had the good part about God to appreciate. And that is the condition the whole world has been in. Oh, thank God for the morning light! Thank God we are in the time when the path of the just is shining more and more unto the perfect day! Thank God that the perfect day is so near we can almost see the dawning of it, and almost realize that we are right there! A little while and our change will come! A little while and the Church will all be completed and gathered out of every nation, people, kindred and tongue, out of all denominations – the one Church.

*                         *                         *

How full is your faith? I trust that it is very full; that you have a good assurance. What kind of an assurance have you? You have the assurance that you have taken the various steps God directs. He explains the whole matter to us. He tells us we are sinners, children of wrath even as others, and He tells us Christ tasted death for the whole world, and that by and by He is going to give human life, restitution life, to all the world who will receive it, and that now the call is for those who desire to come out of the world and separate themselves from the world, and be a peculiar people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, zealous of good works – zealous of everything that is God's will, and ready to lay down our lives in doing it. We have a good basis for faith, a good basis for assurance. Did you forsake sin?


Did you trust in the Lord Jesus as your redeemer?


Did you make a consecration of yourself?

Yes. [CR419]

Did you say, O, Lord, I give myself away?


Did you realize that when you thus gave yourself to the Lord you were still imperfect?


Did you realize that thus He gave to you or imputed to you those blessings which He would otherwise be giving you actually in the next age, so that now you get all of these things reckoned to you which the race of mankind will get for themselves during the thousand years of Christ's reign?


Then did the Father fulfill His promise by giving you a measure of His spirit?

Oh, says one, I am not sure whether he did or not.

Well, now see if He did. The Holy Spirit is not manifested now in the same way it was in the early Church; at that time the Holy Spirit was given in a miraculous way – outward evidences, tongues, miracles, etc., attesting that these persons were accepted by God as members of His Church, and had been begotten of the Holy Spirit. But all of that ceased with the early Church; it was not necessary afterwards; it was merely for the establishment of the Church.

Have we no way of knowing whether we belong to the Lord's family? What proof have I that I received the Holy Spirit?

Have I the Holy Spirit in the sense of full consecration to God?


Is my spirit, my mind, my will, a holy will?


And is this holy will bearing any fruitage?


What kind of fruitage is this holy will bearing?

Oh, directed through the Word of God, this holy will is bearing fruitage in my daily life.

Can people see it?

Yes, to some extent.

What kind of fruitage is it?

Well, the fruit of the spirit is manifest, or can be seen. It is this: meekness. Has it made you more meek?

Gentleness. Has it made you more gentle?

Patience. Have you become more patient?

Brotherly kindness. Is it making your heart broader, deeper and more sympathetic?

Godliness. Are you becoming more and more a pattern of your God, the real God, the God of love, mercy, kindness? The whole thing is comprehended in the one word love, the Apostle says. Here is how we will see whether or not we have the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said that every tree shall be known by its fruits. On a good tree you will find good fruits, and on a bad tree you will find bad fruits. He said all His people should bear fruit. "Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit." Are we bearing good fruit? Are we becoming more and more like the Lord? Are we having more and more fellowship with God and with our Lord? Are we getting a deeper and broader sympathy with all of the household of faith? And are we getting into broader sympathy with the poor world in its fallen condition, and in sympathy with every good move to help them out of their fallen condition? If so, we have all of these evidences not merely that we believed the right book, and we have believed in the right God, and that book has the right plan in it, but we have evidence that we are the children of God; and if children then heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ our Lord; and if so be we are willing to suffer with Him that we may also be glorified together. He may test us as to our willingness to suffer – not merely to suffer, as St. Peter says, for wrong-doing, for Peter reminds us that if any man suffer as a busybody in other men's matters, let him not think he is suffering for Christ's sake. To suffer as a busy-body in other men's matters means about one-half of the suffering of the world. I guess I am safe in saying that one-half of the suffering in the Church is because of busy-bodying in other men's affairs. But the Apostle goes on to say that neither should we suffer as evil doers. God forbid! We might be misrepresented as evil doers, but that would not be suffering for evil doing. We might be called to suffer and be blamed as if we were evil doers; but if any man suffer, let him suffer as a Christian. Jesus was accused of being an evil doer, a blasphemer, an injurious person, and so were the apostles. It was on that score that they were all persecuted. But what the Apostle says is, that if you suffer let it be as a Christian – because of something you have done that is right, in harmony with your covenant with God, in harmony with God's Word and will. And if you suffer as a Christian, rejoice therein, for the spirit of glory and of God resteth on you. And then you may have, in view of all these things, full assurance of faith.

Praise Day

I AM very glad to be present with you at this convention, dear friends. I am very glad to hear that the Lord's blessing has been manifest, and trust it will continue to be a season of refreshing to the close. That we may all depart to our homes invigorated for further duties and privileges, as the Lord may bring these to us; that everyone here may carry home a blessing, that thus the blessing of the Lord poured out here may extend to other hearts and lives.

In connection with Praise Day, it occurs to me that one of the most blessed praises we can render to the Lord is that of thanksgiving in prayer. In fact the whole matter of prayer seems to be one very largely of praise to God. We have, indeed, things to ask God for, but we are becoming more and more convinced that He has thought out and planned for us so abundantly, so fully, that we have little to do except conform to the conditions He has laid down, and thus receive by obedience the blessings we need. The more advanced Christian people become, the more their prayers resolve themselves into opportunities for praise and thanksgiving to God, and the less they have to give the Lord instructions.

I remember in my younger days I was often surprised to think how fully the Lord was instructed by so many people in prayer. They told Him what to do here and there, how many to convert at this meeting, and what to do in general. They took more time in telling Him what He should do than in studying the Word to find out what He wanted them to do. We are learning to reverse this, and while we still go to God in prayer, we no longer tell Him when He shall convert [CR420] the heathen, and how many to convert at this or that meeting, realizing He knows far better than we do what is best; that He has His fixed arrangements, in line with which we and others may have His blessings, and out of line with which He does not dispense these blessings.

My text will be the Master's words while looking at the Jewish Temple. "My house shall be called the house of prayer for all nations."

We remember that the Jewish nation, their temple and priesthood, were all typical of better things to come. I remind you that according to the Apostle Peter the temple then was merely a figure of a greater temple which is now in preparation. The Apostle tells us that the true temple of God is the church, and that we are all living stones in that temple. The time has not yet come for bringing these stones all together as a temple, but the living stones are being fitted, polished and prepared by present experiences for that glorious condition. He proceeds to tell us that Jesus is the chief corner stone, and we are living stones to be built up under Him; that the Holy Spirit operating in us as new creatures in Christ, in His providence, and with the instruction of His Word, and the co-operation of our wills, is working in us to will and to do His good pleasure. This work in us is God's work, as the Apostle declares, "we are God's workmanship."

What a wonderful thought, that the great Creator is now making a new creation, and He is working in us that we may constitute that new creation. The new creation is not complete in you or me. It is complete in the Lord, who has passed beyond the vail, and so it will be with every one of the church as they pass beyond the vail. The grand completion will be in the first resurrection, of which the Apostle says, "It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power; it is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory; it is sown an animal body, it is raised a spiritual body." Then, when the work of fitting is completed, we shall be made like our Master, see Him as He is, and share with Him in immortality.

In connection with the construction of Solomon's temple we remember that the stones were chiseled and prepared before they were brought to the temple, or the building was begun at all. So every one of these living stones will be completed before the construction of the great temple. As in the type the stones were so perfectly prepared that they were brought together without the sound of a hammer, so it will be in this grander temple. There is no purgatory experience for the church. The change from earthly nature to the heavenly, the divine, will be instantaneous. There will be no other hearts perfect. Not that these will be perfect in the flesh. In our flesh dwells no perfection. It is God's purpose that they shall be perfect in their spirits, their minds, their intentions, their wills, and they must be tested and proved in every way to determine whether they will be loyal to God to the last degree. All such will have an abundant entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, says Saint Peter.

To our understanding the construction of the greater temple is already in process, while some stones are still being finished in the quarry, the construction proceeding as each one passes beyond the vail. After the temple is completed, then what? It will be the house of prayer for all people. How so? We remember that Solomon's temple was merely a picture. As that temple was completed before the glory of the Lord filled it, so the church will be completed before the glory of the Lord will fill the church. That filling with glory will be our acceptance to the fullness of His favor and blessing for evermore at His right hand, with our Great Redeemer. Then will be in the church, the temple of God, the shekinah glory of the Divine presence. It will not be merely for the blessing of the church, as the glory in Solomon's temple was not merely for the glory of the temple. The church will represent God for all desiring to draw near in the future time. The presence of God in the church will be that toward which mankind will be drawn during Christ's reign, and all approach to Him will be through this temple, the church.

The pictures presented in the tabernacle belong to the present time; those of the temple to the future. We are now in the tabernacle condition. We have many illustrations now of the temple condition of the future. All who are of the royal priesthood now are privileged to partake of the shew bread and to enjoy the light of the golden candlestick. All of these belong to us now in an anticipatory sense, but we will have them in the fullest sense by and by. Then all who desire to approach God will approach the church, which will be his representative in the world. The great mediator between God and man will be the high priest and the under priests. The sacrifices of the Christ constitute the basis of these blessings coming to mankind. What a glorious prospect, not only to the priesthood, but also to the world, all of whom may then draw near to Him.

Let us consider this matter of prayer at the present time. Perhaps some of us have not been careful enough in the presentation of the matter to others. According to the Bible the privilege of prayer is restricted; according to the thought of the world the reverse is true. Christian people generally would say God wants everyone to pray; sinners and moralists, those acknowledging Christ and such as do not acknowledge Him; everybody is exhorted to pray. Does the Bible say so? It says nothing of that kind. The Bible indicates that God is not pining away with the desire to have men pray to Him; nor is He sad because they will not occasionally bow the knee. No, we have a great God. He is not pining for mock worship of anybody. On the contrary, as with earthly potentates, so with this great potentate of the universe, certain restrictions are placed upon approach to Him. An earthly king would require a proper introduction by a responsible person, and perhaps it would be necessary to make an appointment a month beforehand. If this is true of the earthly rulers, how much less would we think that the potentate of the universe would be intruded upon at any moment by any sinner. It is a great privilege to pray to God. The Bible shows that many people pray whose prayers are not accepted.

There is absolutely but one way; there is but one person who can introduce us to God, and any who lack that introduction have no right to pray. We have no doubt that God has a sympathetic interest in everyone who has a desire to draw near to Him. As the Scriptures say, "Draw near to Me and I will draw near to you," but God would not come into communication with that heart. "No man cometh unto the Father but by Me," said the Saviour. There is no other way to come. Those who have not made their arrangement with the Great Advocate have made no arrangement at all. There is no other name given under Heaven or among men whereby we can be saved. This is the only name. Through Him we may come; without Him we may not come.

The heathen may pray, but like Cornelius of old, their prayers would only come up before God as a remembrance. He was a good man, but God's favors were covenanted to Israel exclusively up to that time. The Israelites had typical sacrifices and a mediator, and enjoyed typical privileges of prayer. It was not so with the Gentiles. Cornelius was a just man, who gave alms to the people, and prayed always. Would not God hear his prayers? No, he did not hear them up to a certain time, even though he was doing the best he could. When the Jewish Age had ended, and the time came for throwing open the doors to the Gentiles, this good man who reverenced God was the first to receive the privileges of prayer and relationship with the Father as a son. But it was not without certain formality. God sent an angel to him to say "Thy prayers have come up before Me; I have not yet received them. I am taking notice that you have prayed. Now the embargo is lifted, Cornelius, and your prayers have come up, but I can not receive them yet. Send now to Joppa and call for one Simon whose surname is Peter, who lodgeth with one Simon a tanner; when he is come he will tell you words that will be for the saving of yourself and your house. This will give you the opportunity. If you believe his words and act upon them you may come into relationship with Me [CR421] and your prayers will be received." Peter came and told Cornelius how Jesus had died, and that those believing might come unto God through Him as their Advocate. He believed. Immediately God recognized him, he accepted of the provision through the Advocate, and became the recipient of the Holy Spirit as a mark of his sonship. He now had a full right to pray to God as his Father. Only those who are sons of God can say "Our Father which art in heaven." All of this idea of the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man is worldly reasoning, trying to climb up to God's favor by some other way than the one prescribed. If we have anything to say to anybody as servants of God, in the way of explaining the Word, we are to point to the Bible and say that there is no other name, and no other way to pass from the ranks of sinners into the rank of sons.

If we come will the Lord surely receive us? You say will not Jesus receive everybody? No, only the sincere ones. Not only does the Word inform us that God heareth not sinners, but we remember that Jesus would not stand good for everyone that came to Him. We remind you of a certain young man who came. He was of good moral character and Jesus loved him. He loved righteousness and hated iniquity, and beholding him loved him. Did he become his advocate? Not at that time. He told the young man, however, just as He tells you and me and every other person, the terms of discipleship. If he chose to become His disciple, then Jesus would act as his advocate, but not otherwise. Why? Because God is not calling the world now. He is merely dealing with a special class who desire to come unto Him; whose hearts hunger and thirst after righteousness. Such only will He receive now. As there is a system by which the cream is taken from the milk, so God is now taking from among men the cream, as it were, and leaving the skim milk. God has His way of separating the milk and taking out the cream class. Not that the skim milk has no value, but the cream has special value. Through this class He will pour out His blessings upon others in due time. How glad we are to see the lengths and breadths and heights and depths of God's great plan, and how glad we are to conform ourselves to it.

The Saviour said, "If ye abide in Me and My words abide in you ye shall ask what ye will and it shall be done unto you." At one time we thought that gave us liberty to ask for anything, but the more we study and grow in grace and knowledge, the more clearly do we discern certain restrictions. First we must get into Him before we can abide in Him; and secondly we must abide before we can continue to grow in grace and knowledge; and finally, after these qualifications are fulfilled in us we must have His Word abide in us. We must not only have an interest in doing His will, but we are to have such a love for His will that we will study His Word. After we have the Word and His spirit dwelling in us we may ask everything we choose, because we would not ask for anything contrary to His Word and will.

Even as we come to grow in grace and knowledge we have a restriction as to the amount of liberty we would have in prayer. We would only wish what would be His will. As Jesus said, He came to do the will of the Father. If any matter is proper in His sight it should be proper to you and to me. Our judgment is faulty, therefore we must ask, not in accordance with our desire, but as He may please. His will is expressed to us in His Word. How important that we grow in knowledge and in His spirit, and thus our prayers will become more and more filled with thanksgiving and praise to God. When I say praise to God I include our hymns of praise, which are prayers in poetic form, being set to music.


I SOMETIMES feel so passionate a yearning
For spiritual perfection here below,
This vigorous frame with healthful fervor burning,
Seems my determined foe.

So actively it makes a stern resistance,
So cruelly it sometimes wages war
Against the higher spiritual existence,
Which I am striving for.

It interrupts my soul's intense devotions;
Some hope it strangles at its very birth
With a swift rush of violent emotions
Which link me to the earth.

It is as if two mortal foes contended
Within my bosom in a deadly strife;
One for the loftier aims Jesus intended,
One for the "Mammon" life.

And yet I know this very war within me,
Which brings out all my will-power and control;
This very conflict yet through Christ shall win me
The loved and longed-for goal.

And when in the immortal ranks enlisted,
Sometimes I wonder if we shall not find
That not for deeds alone, but also what's resisted,
Our places were assigned.

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