Number 1

The Scriptures Clearly Teach the Old Theology that
and not Eternal Torment

This article is the same material as No. 53, April, 1901. The first thirteen pages can be found in Reprint R1085-R1087, entitled "The Old Theology, The Wages of Sin." The remainder can be found in Reprint R2612-R2614 – April 1, 1900, entitled, 'Forgivable and Unpardonable Sins.'"

Number 2

The Scripture Teaching on
and why God permits them

This article is the same material as No. 57, April, 1902, and No. 73, April, 1906.

It can be partly found in Reprint R1123-R1127 'July, 1889, entitled, "Calamities Why Permitted." The entire article is reprinted below.


"There were present at that season some who told him of the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galileans were sinners above all the Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay; but except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

"Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower of Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay; but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." Luke 13:1-5

Noble and good in the sight of both God and man are the generous impulses of charity and sympathy, awakened by great calamities in recent years. And when this is said, it leaves little more of good to be said favorable to calamities or their influence.

While these charities should not be misconstrued to signify that God's consecrated saints are rapidly multiplying, for many of the charitable are not the consecrated, and some are even infidels, yet they are an evidence that at least some of the original God-likeness of our race remains; that it has not been wholly obliterated by the degradation of the fall, nor wholly poisoned by the bad theology of the dark ages. While we live in a period, perhaps as selfish and money-loving as any known to history, yet millions of dollars are generously poured forth to aid suffering humanity. And yet many who in times of calamitous distress show that they have a tender spot somewhere in their hearts, would and do at other times lend time and brain and skill to the arts of war, and in designing the most horrible implements of warfare; and on occasions when bitter passions are aroused would relentlessly and pitilessly slaughter a thousand times as many as meet death by the accidents of nature. Yet, for all this showing of the two elements in the same men, we rejoice that the God-like element of sympathy exists, as a partial offset to the devilish qualities of [HG290] selfishness and heartlessness, which, under the degrading influence of man's fallen state, have grown strong during the past six thousand years.

Preparatory to looking carefully, reasonably and Scripturally at the question, Why does God permit calamities? let us note some of the absurd views of some Christian people, who should know God's Word and character much better than they seem to know them. Some, whose hearts in the presence of great calamities overflow with sympathy and God-like love (which proves their hearts better and more sound than their theology), declare that God is the director and cause of all disasters and troubles. Hence, whatever men may do to alleviate such distresses would, according to this false view, be so much done in opposition to God; and whatever love and sympathy they feel, is so much sentiment opposed to God's sentiments, which are thus made to appear malicious.

But it seems a very slight thing to charge the Almighty with causing earth's calamities, in comparison with the general thought of Christendom, that God has premeditated, planned, from before the foundation of the world, their everlasting torture; the direst calamity imaginable. A tornado, an earthquake, an epidemic of disease, would be mercies and kindnesses in comparison to such diabolical schemes and preparations as are accredited to the Lord by the vast majority of his children, who suffer still from the superstition, ignorance and blindness of the "dark ages," and its creeds. Alas, that such false conceptions of the justice and love of our Creator should ever have gained a foothold in our minds, to distort our every conception of every right and good quality. O Lord, grant thy people a great opening of the eyes of their understanding, that we may be able to comprehend with all saints, the lengths and the breadths, the heights and the depths of thy love and mercy toward thy creatures, through Christ Jesus our Lord!

The difficulty is that men have been led to consider the very Bible which declares God's true character of love and justice as authority for these devilish doctrines; and these false interpretations were originated in the "dark ages" by those who instigated or assisted in burning, and otherwise tormenting, real Bible believers.


When we declare that whatever there is of love and sympathy in man is only the remnant of the original divine likeness in which Adam was created, not wholly effaced by six thousand years of degradation in sin, it at once raises the question: In what way does God manifest his sympathy and love in such emergencies, when even the hearts of fallen human beings are touched, with sympathy and love, to acts of kindness and succor?

A correct answer is, that God is represented in every act of kindness done, whether by his children or by the world; because their actions under such circumstances are the result of their possession of some measure of his character and disposition. This answer is not full enough to be satisfactory; but, thank God, a fuller investigation, in the light of his Word, reveals a boundless sympathy on his part, providing an abundant succor, which is shortly to be revealed.

But why does not God immediately succor his creatures from calamities? Or, to go still further back, why does he, who has all wisdom to know and all power to prevent, permit calamities, cyclones, earthquakes, tidal-waves, destructive floods, pestilences, etc.? And while we are about it, we may as well include all the evils which God could prevent, if he would, all the forms of sickness and pain and death; every manner of destruction, wars, murders, etc.; every thing which causes pain or trouble to those willing to do and to be in harmony with God? The answer to one of these questions will be the answer to every question on the subject; for all human evils are related and have a common source or cause.

To comprehend this cause fully, we must go far back, to the very beginning of sickness, pain, death and sorrow, to the Garden of Eden, where neither famine, pestilence, cyclone, earthquake, nor death in any form was permitted; where man and his surroundings and conditions were pronounced "very good," even by God himself, and must certainly have been greatly appreciated by man, who had to be driven out and prevented from returning by the fiery sword which kept the way of access to the life sustaining fruits of the trees of the garden.

And this Creator, who so graciously provided for the life and comfort of his creatures, and who communed with them and gave them his blessing and the promise of everlasting life upon the sole condition of continued obedience, how came it that he should so change in his attitude toward his creatures as to drive them from the enjoyments of those Eden comforts and blessings, out into the unprepared earth, to toil and weariness and insufficient sustenance, and thus to death?

We must remember that the Creator specially or miraculously "prepared" in advance the Garden of Eden, only, for man's comfortable enjoyment of the favors of life, and a fitting place for his trial. God foresaw the fall of his creature, and provided that the penalty of sin, "dying thou shalt die," instead of being [HG291] suddenly inflicted, as by a lightning stroke or other speedy method, should be served out gradually by conflict with the unfavorable conditions (of climate, sterility of soil, storms, miasma, thorns, weeds, etc.) of the unprepared earth; the preparation of which would require seven thousand years more to entirely fit it for the habitation of perfect, obedient, human children of God.


Adam and Eve, therefore, went forth from Eden convicts, under sentence of death; self-convicted under the most just of all judges, their Creator and friend.

The convicts esteemed it a mercy to be let die gradually rather than suddenly; while to the Creator and Judge this was expedient because of his plan for their future, in which such experience with imperfect conditions would be of great value; a plan for the increase of the race, and for its discipline and final redemption and restoration.

The death penalty, inflicted in this manner, God foresaw would, through experience, furnish man such a lesson on the exceeding sinfulness of sin and its baneful results as would never need to be repeated; a lesson, therefore, which would profit all who learn it to all eternity; especially when Christ's Millennial reign of righteousness shall manifest in contrast the fruits of righteousness. God also designed that the exercise of man's mental faculties in coping with the disturbances and imperfections of his surroundings and in inventing reliefs, and the exercise of his moral faculties in combating his own weaknesses, and the calls upon his sympathy, should prove beneficial.

Had the sentence of God (in addition to a loss of Eden's comforts and experience with sin and death) condemned his creatures to an eternity of torment and anguish, as so many now believe and teach, who could defend such a sentence, or call the Judge just, or loving, or in any sense good? Surely no one of a sound mind!

But when it is seen that the Scriptures teach that death (extinction), and not life in torment, was the penalty pronounced and inflicted, all is reasonable. God has a right to demand perfect obedience from his perfect creature when placed under perfect conditions, as in Adam's case. And the decree that none shall live everlastingly except the perfect, is both a wise and a just provision for the everlasting welfare of all God's creatures.

There is a depth of meaning in the Creator's words, as he sent forth his fairly tried and justly condemned creatures, among the thorns and briars, to labor and pain, and sorrow, and disease, and to be subject to the causalities and calamities of nature's unfinished work.

He said: "Cursed is the ground FOR THY SAKE:" i. e., The earth in general is in its present imperfect condition for your profit and experience; even though you may not esteem it so. Adam would have sought to retain continual access to the garden fruits, to avoid severe labor and to enable him to fully sustain his vital powers and live forever; but in loving consideration for man's ultimate good, no less than in justice, and in respect for his own sentence of death, God prevented this and guarded the way back to the garden, in order that the death sentence should not fait of execution, in order that sinners should not live forever and thus perpetuate sin.

The children of the condemned pair inherited their fall, imperfections and weaknesses, and also the penalties of these; for "who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean?" The whole race, therefore, as convict laborers, have not only been learning what sin and evil are, and their undesirable results, but by their labor and skill they are serving to prepare the earth and bring it as a whole to the full perfection designed for it, and illustrated in the condition of Eden, ready for a further purpose of God of which none but his children (and not all of them) are made aware through the Scriptures.

We can see, then, that labor and toil were prescribed for man's good. They have kept him so employed that he could not plan and consummate evil to the same extent that he otherwise would have done. And as the earth becomes more fertile, approaching perfection, man's vitality becomes less; so that now, with greater leisure to plot and scheme and grow wise in evil, the period of life in which to do so is shorter. What a mercy in disguise is present shortness of life, under present circumstances! Were some of our "shrewd business men" who accumulate millions of money, and grasp great power in a few short years, to live 930 years, as Adam did, what might we expect but that one man, or at most a syndicate or trust, would own every foot of land, control every drop of water and every breath of air, and have the rest of the race for their dupes and slaves?

God's action, then, in exposing his creatures to death, pain and various calamities, it must be seen was, first of all, one which related only to his present life on earth, and to no other; for of any continuance of life, in any other locality, God did not give him the slightest intimation. On the contrary, the words of the penalty were: "Dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return ,"'" dying thou shalt die." Gen. 3:9; 2:7, margin.

True, God gave promise that, somehow and at some time, a son of the woman should accomplish a [HG292] deliverance. But it was then vague and indefinite, merely a glimmer of hope, to show them that though God dealt severely with them, and on lines of law and justice, yet he sympathized with them, and would, ultimately, without violating justice or ignoring his own righteous sentence of death, bring them succor.


Paul tells us that God adopted a method for the recovery of man from that original sentence of death that came upon all as the result of Adam's fall, which would show the justice of his sentence and the unchangeableness of his decrees, and yet permit such as are sick of sin to use their experience wisely, and to return to harmony and obedience to their Creator and his just and reasonable laws and regulations.

This divine plan, by which God could remain just and unchangeable in his attitude toward sin and sinners, and yet release the well-disposed from the penalty of sin (death and disfavor), is stated by the Apostle in Rom. 3:24-26.

In brief, this plan provided that another man who, by obedience to the law of God, should prove his worthiness of eternal life, might, by the willing sacrifice of the life to which he was thus proved worthy, redeem the forfeited life of Adam and of his posterity who lost life through him; for it is written, "In Adam all die," and "By the offence of one, sentence of condemnation came on all men." 1 Cor. 15:22; Rom. 5:12, 18


Since the condemnation to death was thus upon all men, and since another man newly created and inexperienced as Adam was, though just as favorably situated, would have been similarly liable to fall, God devised the marvelous plan of transferring his only begotten Son from the spiritual to the human nature, and thus provided a man fit for sacrifice'" the man Christ Jesus who gave himself a ransom for all;" "who, though he was rich [though he was possessed of glory and honor and riches of wisdom and power above both angels and men], nevertheless for our sakes became poor [humbling himself to a lower nature, even as a man, becoming obedient even unto death] that we through his poverty might be made rich." 1 Tim. 2:5; 2 Cor. 8:9 Thus the one first created, "the first-born of all creation" (Col 1:15) "the beginning of the creation of God" (Rev. 3:14) the one who had known God's character longer, more fully and more intimately than any other being, the one in fact who had been Jehovah's chief and honored, intelligent and active agent in the creation of angels as well as of men, the one by whom all things were made, and aside from whom not anything was made (John 1:3; Col 1:16, 17)'this great being, Jehovah's Prime Minister, and next to himself in dignity, the Almighty entrusted with the great work of redeeming and restoring mankind.

To redeem them would cost the sacrifice of the Son's own life as their ransom-price, with all that that implied of suffering and self-denial. To restore them (such of them as should prove worthy, whosoever wills) would require the exercise of divine power to open the prison-house of death, and to break the fetters of sin and prejudice and superstition, and give to all the redeemed the fullest opportunity to decide whether they love good or evil, righteousness or sin, truth or error, to destroy all who love and work iniquity, and to develop and perfect again all who love and choose life upon its only condition, righteousness.

To know the Father's plan and his privilege of cooperation in its execution, was to appreciate it and joyfully engage therein. Willingly our Lord Jesus laid aside the glory of the higher nature which he had had with the Father from before the creation of man. (John 17:5; 2 Cor. 8:9) He was "made flesh "(John 1:14; Heb. 2:14), became a man at thirty years of age, and then began the great work of sacrifice, the sacrifice of himself, for the cancelation of the sin of the first man, to recover Adam and his race by dying on their behalf, as their Redeemer. By giving to Justice the price of their liberty from divine condemnation, he secured the legal right to cancel the sentence of condemnation to death against them, and hence the right to resurrect or restore to life and to all, the lost estate and blessings, "whomsoever he wills." (John 5:21) And he wills to restore all who shall prove worthy. And to prove who are worthy of everlasting life will be the object of the Millennial reign. 1 Tim. 2:4; 2 Pet. 3:9 This fact that our Lord's mission to earth at the first advent was to undo for the race, legally, the results of Adam's transgression, and to secure the right to resurrect them and restore them, is clearly stated by the Apostle. See Rom. 5:6-12, 16-19, 21; 1 Cor. 15:21-24.


Though tempted in all points like as we (his "brethren") are, he ignored his own will (Luke 22:42; John 4:34; 5:30) and all suggestions from others contrary to God's plan (Matt. 16:23; Luke 4:4, 8, 12) and obeyed God implicitly. And therein lay the secret of his success. Temptations did not overcome him, as they did even the perfect man Adam, because of the fullness of his consecration to the divine will and plan; and this fullness of consecration and trust was the result [HG293] of his intimate knowledge of the Father and his unbounded confidence in his wisdom, love and power. He had recollection of his previous existence as a spirit being with the Father. (John 17:5; 3:12, 13) Our Lord's success, then, was the result of being rightly exercised by his knowledge of God; as it is written: "By his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many, while bearing their iniquities." Isa. 53:11 The suggestive thoughts here are two: First, that even a perfect man failed in trial because of the lack of full appreciation of God's greatness, goodness and resources. Secondly, the knowledge (as in Satan's case) would be valueless, if unaccompanied by sincere love and consecration to God's will. A lesson further, to Christ's "brethren," is, that knowledge and consecration are both essential to their following in the Master's footsteps.

Among men he and his mission were not really known; even his most ardent followers and admirers at first supposed that his mission was merely to heal some of the sick Jews, and to advance their nation to the rulership of a dying world, and to be a teacher of morals; they saw not at first that his mission was to lay the foundation of a world-wide empire, which should include not only the living, but also the dead, of Adam's race, and which should insure everlastingly peace and joy to all the worthy, by eradicating, forever, sin and all who love it after fully comprehending its character in contrast with righteousness. Even his friends and disciples were slow to realize these grand dimensions of his work, though he continually repeated them, and bore witness, saying: "The Son of Man came to give his life a ransom for many;" "Verily, verily, the hour is coming* when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear [heed] shall live."

"The Lord hath sent me to preach deliverance to the captives [of death] and recovering of sight to the [mentally, morally and physically] blind; to set at liberty them that are bruised" 'injured by the Adamic fall. Matt. 20:28; John 5:25; Luke 4:18 The sacrifice of the Redeemer's all, as man's ransom price, was offered at the time he was thirty years old, at his baptism. And there the offering was accepted by Jehovah, as marked by his anointing with the spirit. Thenceforth, he spent the three and a half years of his ministry in using up the consecrated life already offered; and this he completed at Calvary. There the price of our liberty was paid in full. "It is finished;" It holds good; it is acceptable by the grace of God, as the offset and covering for every weakness and sin of the first man, and his posterity, resulting either (*Sinaitic MS. omits the words "and now is.") directly, or indirectly, from the first disobedience and its fall. All that is necessary since, for a full return to divine favor and communion, and to an inheritance in the Paradise of God, which the great Redeemer in due time has promised to establish in the entire earth, as at first in the Garden of Eden, is, a recognition of sin, full repentance, and a turning from sin to righteousness. Christ will establish righteousness in the earth by the Kingdom of God, which he has promised shall be established, and for which he has bidden us wait and hope, and for which he taught us to pray, "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth even as it is done in heaven."


Death, in whatever form it may come, is perishing, ceasing to exist. All mankind, through Adam's transgression, came under condemnation to loss of life, to "perish," "to be as though they had not been." And only one way of escape from that condemnation has been provided. (Acts 4:12) Because of Christ's redemptive work all may escape perishing by accepting the conditions of life. During Christ's Millennial reign those whom Pilate slew, and those upon whom the tower of Siloam fell, and all others of the race, sharers in the death penalty now upon all, will be released from the tomb, brought to a knowledge of Christ, his ransom work, and their privilege of repentance and full restitution to divine favor, life, etc. Thus seen, the Adamic death penalty was, to perish; but it has been canceled by Christ's Ransom, so far as it relates to those who, when brought to know the Redeemer, shall forsake sin. No longer should it be regarded as a perished condition, but as a "sleep" John 11:11-14; Matt. 9:24; 1 Thess. 4:14; 5:10), from which the Redeemer will awaken all, to give each who did not have it before being overtaken by Adamic death, a full, individual opportunity to escape perishing and live forever. Yet, finally, all who shall fail to repent and lay hold upon the gracious Life-giver shall perish ; they will fail to obtain the full restitution provided; they shall never see (perfect) life (full restitution) for the wrath or condemnation of God will abide on them, condemning them to death as unworthy of life. As this will be their second condemnation, and an individual one, so the penalty will be the Second Death which will not be general to the race, but only upon such individuals as refuse God's favor of reconciliation and life.

Under that blessed and wise rule of Christ as King of nations,* all the evil, depraved tendencies inherited [HG294] from the fall and from the six thousand years of degradation, will be restrained, held in check, by superhuman wisdom, love and power; and all being brought to a clear knowledge of the truth in its every phase, all will be fairly and fully tested. The lovers of righteousness will be perfected and given control of the perfected earth, while those loving unrighteousness under the clear light of knowledge and experience will, as followers of Satan's example, be utterly destroyed in the Second Death. The first death is the destruction to which all were subjected by Adam's sin, but from which all were redeemed by the Lord Jesus' sacrifice; and the Second Death is that destruction which will overtake those who, though redeemed by Christ from the first death, shall, by their own willful conduct, merit and receive death again. This Second Death means utter destruction, without hope of another redemption or resurrection; for Christ dieth no more. Nor could any good reason for their further trial be assigned; for the trial granted during the Millennial age under Christ, as Judge, will be a thorough and fair and individual and final trial. 1 Cor. 15:25

* Not visible in flesh, however, for he is no longer flesh, having been highly exalted again after he had finished the flesh-life by giving it as our ransom price.

See, "The Time is at Hand," Chap. V.

As our Lord Jesus used the calamities of his time as illustrating the just penalty against all who do not flee sin and lay hold upon the Redeemer and Life-giver, so we use them. We declare that destruction, perishing, is the just penalty of sin taught in the Scriptures. We denounce as unscriptural the eternal torment theory, so generally believed by God's children, as one of Satan's blasphemous slanders against God's character. And we proclaim that only by faith in the Redeemer, repentance and reformation, can the gift of God, eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord, be obtained. Whoever hears the offer of life is responsible to the extent that he understands it; and according to God's promise and plan all mankind shall, at some time, either during the Gospel age, or during the coming Millennial age, be brought to a full, clear appreciation of these conditions and opportunities, with fullest opportunities for repentance and life.

Calamities, then, are to be regarded, generally, as accidents, attributable to human imperfection and lack of experience, or to disturbances incidental to the preparation of the earth for its more quiet and perfect condition during the Sabbath, or Seventh Thousand years (the Millennium), and for its state of absolute perfection forever after the Millennium, during which under Christ's direction, it shall be given its finishing touches and be made fully ready for the redeemed race, which his reign shall prepare also to rightly use and enjoy and rule the perfected earth. And man is exposed to these calamities and accidents, and not defended from them by his Almighty Creator, because, first, man is a sinner condemned to death anyway, and is not to be spared from it, but must be allowed to pass through it; and secondly, by the present experiences with trouble and sorrow and pain, all of which are but elements of death, mankind is learning a lesson and laying up in store an experience with sin and its awful concomitants, sorrow, pain and death, which will be valuable in that Millennial age, when each shall be required to choose between good and evil. The evil they now learn first, the good and its blessed results and rewards, but dimly seen now, will be fully displayed then, during the Millennium.


But some one inquires, If this be God's plan for redeeming the world by the death of his Son, and justifying and restoring all who believe in and accept of him, and obey and love righteousness, why did not the Millennial reign of Christ, with its favorable conditions and powerful restraints, begin at once, as soon as Christ had given the ransom price at Calvary; instead of compelling those who would follow righteousness to sail through bloody seas and suffer for righteousness' sake? Or else, why not have postponed the giving of the ransom until the close of the six thousand years of evil and the inauguration of the Millennial reign? Or at least, if the present order of events is best in the divine wisdom, why does not God specially protect from calamities, accidents, sorrow, pain, death, etc., those who have fully accepted of Christ and who have sacrificed and are using their all in the service of righteousness?

Ah, yes! The subject would be incomplete were this point left untouched. The consecrated saints, the Church of the Gospel age, are a "peculiar people," different from the rest of the redeemed race; and God's dealings with them are peculiar and different also. Calamities, great and small, continually involve God's saints as well as the worldly, and seemingly as much by accident. But herein the Lord provides a test for our faith; intended either to turn us back, if we have not sufficient faith to permit further progress, or to develop and strengthen and increase our faith if we have it, and will exercise it under divine direction.

The Lord's assurance to his truly consecrated spirit begotten children is, that all things shall work together for good to them. (Rom. 8:28) God assures them that having entered into a new relationship with him, all of their affairs are henceforth his affairs and concern. Consequently, they may realize, fully, that however the world may be subject to accidents, incidental to present imperfect conditions under the curse, God's "little ones" are his peculiar care. Not a hair of their heads may suffer injury without his knowledge and consent. (Matt. 10:30; Luke 12:7) How wonderful! [HG295] And yet how reasonable when we recall the assurance that, "Like as a father [earthly] pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that reverence him." Psa. 103:13


Surely! That is the query that naturally arises and that is answerable only from one standpoint: and its answer can be appreciated only by the saints; and by them in proportion to their faith, and their knowledge of God and his Word. The answer is twofold; that is to say, there are two reasons why God's people are not exempted from the ills of life common to the world.

(1) Such exemption would attract all kinds of characters into the Church, for selfish motives. And, although God purposes offering his blessings freely to all in due time, he is working according to a plan, in which the present age is intended for the selection of a special class, for a special purpose, to be used as divine agents, as joint-heirs with the Lord and Savior in blessing and enlightening the whole world in the coming age. Contrary to the general understanding, therefore, God is as careful to exclude some from his Church as to draw others. His preferences are not according to color or sex or learning or nationality, however, but according to faith and obedience and Christ-likeness of heart, or will. "Whom he did foreknow he also did predestinate [all who shall be accepted as members of the glorified Church, the Royal Priesthood] to be conformed to the image [Character-likeness] of his Son." Rom. 8:29

(2) It is a part of the necessary schooling of the Church, that they shall learn to trust the Lord implicitly; not merely in matters which they can see clearly and understand fully, but in everything. Those who cannot learn this as one of their lessons (and it is one of the most important of all) cannot pass the examination; but will be deemed "unfit for the Kingdom," whatever else they may be fitted for.

True, faith is not the only qualification for a share in the Kingdom; but it is the most important of all, because without it we cannot so well cultivate the other elements of character; and because without faith the other elements of character would not be acceptable to God, even if we had them in perfection.

Only from the instructions of God's Word can we see matters from this standpoint; and only when viewed from this standpoint can the trials, difficulties, perplexities, persecutions, etc., which come to God's people, be appreciated so that they can "rejoice in tribulation and in everything give thanks." They rejoice by faith, even as they see by faith, and walk by faith. Such only can realize that present trials are designed by the Lord, and intended to work out for those properly exercised thereby a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; for they look not at the things that are seen and temporal; but, with the eye of faith, at the things promised, unseen and eternal. 2 Cor. 4:18 While we trust that this and others of our publications may be helpful to many, enlightening and encouraging, it is not improper for us to say that their special mission is not to the worldly and the satisfied; but to the meek and humble who hunger and thirst, for righteousness, for God, for his truth, desiring to know and to love and to serve him, and to the saints, those who already know the Lord to a considerable extent, for now, in this time of growing skepticism, along lines of "higher criticism" and "evolution," such need the "meat in due season" which the Lord has prepared for them, realizing their needs long in advance. We specially inform all such that our Society is devoted to the Lord and his Word and his people. We publish a twice-a-month journal (16 pages), and various Bible-study helps, not for gain, not for profit, but for the edification of the Lord's people and the upbuilding in the knowledge of the Lord, and as assistances to the Bride class in making ready for union with the Bridegroom, that each may make his calling and his election sure. We urge you to join with us in the study of the Father's Word, in the light now shining upon it; whether you can contribute toward the expense of the publications or not. The majority of God's saints are as poor in this world's goods as they are rich in faith. We gladly offer all such hungry ones any and all of our publications free. Write to us fully at once. "Come with us, and we will do you good; for the Lord hath spoken good concerning Israel."

"THE Lord be with you!" steals the benediction With solemn splendor like a falling star; In morns of joy and midnights of affliction, It breathes its echoed sweetness near and far.

"The Lord be with you!" when the shadows hold you; And prove His loving power to soothe and bless; When dangers darken and when fears enfold you, "The Lord be with you!" in His tenderness. [HG296]

Number 3

The Spirit of the Great Reformation Dying How Priestcraft now Operates


This article is the same material as No. 61, April, 1903. It can be found in Reprint R1134-R1138 August, 1889, entitled, "Protestants, Awake!"

Special Issue Booklet, Number 11, 1908


This booklet was reprinted in its entirety from the "Tabernacle Shadows," Copyright 1889, First Edition 1881.

Number 12 January, 1892

Showing the Harmonious Cooperation of the Creator's Justice, Wisdom, Love and Power


Why Evil was Permitted This article is the same material as No. 62, July, 1903, and No. 74, July, 1906. It is an epitomized summary of main points from

The Divine Plan of the Ages.

A recent writer has truly said: "The summary want of the age is that last philosophy into which shall have been sifted all other philosophy, which shall be at once catholic and eclectic, which shall be the joint growth and fruit of reason and faith, and which shall shed forth through every walk of research the blended light of discovery and revelation."

Many who admit that such a philosophy can emanate from God only, and that the Bible should reveal it, nevertheless fail to find it there, because they do not seek it in an orderly or philosophical manner. Such we advise to read a book of 350 pages entitled "The Plan of the Ages," which presents the soul satisfying outlines of the divine plan of human redemption in a form that is acceptable to humble and consecrated reason. This little tract is a crumb of its teachings.

The careful and reverent student of the sacred Scriptures will find, in the light now due to the household of faith, that the Word of God presents a complete and systematic plan for the salvation and development of the human race, which for ages has been in operation, which, up to the present time, has been a success in its gradual development, and which in due time will be gloriously completed. The past six thousand years of human history have been necessary to work out that plan to its present degree of development, and one thousand years more will witness its full consummation in the restitution of every willing member of the race to the original [HG297] likeness of God, and their establishment in righteousness, with the eternal ages of glory and blessing before them.

Such is the scope of God's plan which he formed before the foundation of the world, to be wrought out in Christ, who is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the Ending, the First and the Last of Jehovah's direct creation – his only begotten Son – Rev. 1:8,10; John 1:14,18; Col 1:13. "By him were all things made, and without him was not anything made that was made." "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature. By him were all things created that are in heaven and that are in earth, visible and invisible; whether they be thrones or dominions, or principalities or powers; all things were created by him and for him; and he is before all things, and by him all things consist." (John 1:3; Col 1:15,17) In him also "we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins." Col 1:14.

God, having thus honored his Son by making him his instrument or agent for the accomplishment of all his grand designs, declared to men: "This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him." He "hath exalted him to be a Prince and a Saviour," and "would have all men honor the Son [as the Father's agent and representative] even as they honor the Father." (Matt. 17:5; Acts 5:31; John 5:23) Nor does the Son claim higher honor than to be the Father's agent and messenger, "the messenger of the [Jehovah's] covenant" (Mal. 5:1); for he says, "I came not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me," and "My Father is greater than I." John 6:38; 5:30; 4:34; 14:28) To us, as to the apostle, "there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things; and we by him." 1 Cor. 8:6 After the creation of angels came the creation of man, a being adapted to live on the earth and to be its lord and king. Man, as well as the angels, was created in the divine image, that is, with faculties of reason, conscience etc., capable of discerning right and wrong. Man, as a king of earth and perfect, as created, was only "a little lower than the angels" (Heb. 2:7, 9), and that little consisted in his being limited by his nature to the earth, while the angelic nature, being spiritual, has a wider range for observation and hence a broader plane for reasoning. To be an image of God implies freedom of choice or will with respect to one's own conduct. With such freedom man was originally endowed by his Creator, and the alternatives of good and evil were placed before him as a necessity to his trial for lasting life, though not without warning on God's part as to the blessed results of righteousness and the baneful results of evil. On account of man's inexperience, implicit obedience to God's will was required of him for his safety and protection, as well as for a test of his loyalty to his rightful Lord and Sovereign. Nevertheless, God, by divine intuition, foresaw the course that Adam would take and the fall of the whole race with him into death, and also the lessons which that experience with sin and death might be overruled to teach them when, in due time, through the merit of Christ's sacrifice, he would grant them remission of sins upon their repentance and turn to righteousness. He therefore determined to let man take his chosen course, and to inflict on him its just penalty, and then in due time to deliver him from it with a great salvation.

God foresaw that, even with good intentions, man's limited knowledge and experience would continually offer temptations to doubt the wisdom of divine arrangements, if not to disobey them; he therefore embraced this opportunity to convey to all of his creatures, as well as to man, a fuller conception of himself, in order that they might the more fully and heartily worship and obey him. As a revelation and illustration of his attributes, Justice, Wisdom, Power and Love, God placed his human son in his own image, perfect though inexperienced, and but slightly informed respecting his Creator's attributes, on trial, in order that he might gain a valuable experience, yet foreknowing that, although in every respect fairly tried, he would, in the use of his own free will, fall into sin. But God did not purpose to abandon his disobedient and death-deserving creature to eternal ruin, but provided a way of redemption whereby he might be just and yet the justifier of the truly penitent and believing (Rom. 3:26), so that the painful experience gained under the reign of sin and death might eventually, under this overruling influence of divine providence, serve the more firmly to establish them in righteousness and willing loyalty to God.

The trial in Eden was merely a test of obedience, or loyalty to God. The fruit of the forbidden tree was good (for all the trees of the garden were good) and was desirable to make one wise; and had they proved their loyalty to God by obedience, probably the restriction would in due time have been removed.

Knowledge is a blessing only to those who are subject to the divine will. This, God had arranged that man should acquire by experience, and angels by example: The penalty of man's disobedience was death'" In the day that thou eatest thereof, dying thou shalt die." The penalty was fulfilled to the letter: the dying began as soon as the penalty was pronounced, when they were cast out of Eden and restrained from eating its life-sustaining fruits; and it was completed within the [HG298] thousand-year day, as predicted. (2 Pet. 3:8) The penalty, death, being gradually and not suddenly inflicted left the condemned pair free to propagate their species, yet subject to the weakness and all the penalty under which they themselves groaned.

Thus, by one man's disobedience, sin entered into the world, and death by (as a result of) sin; and thus death passed upon all men, because all are sinners and imperfect by heredity. Rom. 5:12 Sin, and death its penalty, by thus gaining control of Adam, controlled the world, and reigned from Adam to Moses, with but few divine promises, even, to illuminate the dark way. Then "the law came by Moses," offering lasting life to any one who would observe it in every particular. But in their fallen condition none of the condemned race was able to obey it, and by it to gain the reward of life. As God had designed, however, the law did serve a purpose: it served to show the helplessness of man for his own justification; and it served to point out, as from another than the corrupt and condemned seed of Adam, the holy, harmless, undefiled Lamb of God, whose sacrifice, as Adam's substitute or Redeemer, satisfied the claims of justice, bought the world from the slavery of sin and death, and made possible the gospel offer of forgiveness and lasting life, not through our righteousness in keeping God's law (which is impossible by reason of the weakness of the flesh), but by our acceptance of Christ as our Master, and of his ransom-sacrifice as the satisfaction for our sins before God.

It might be supposed that the work of blessing the world should have begun at once when the sacrifice for sin was accepted by the Father, as signified by the giving of the spirit of adoption at Pentecost; but not so. Another feature of the divine plan had first to be accomplished, viz.: the selection and development of the Church to be joint-heirs with Christ in his glory and kingdom and work of blessing the world. This was from the beginning a part of the divine plan; and therefore the glorious reign and work of blessing the world could not begin at Christ's resurrection, nor at Pentecost, but had to be delayed until the selection of all its tried and faithful members could be accomplished. Or, to state it otherwise, the Father's appointed time for blessing the world is during the seventh thousand years, and had it not been for his purpose to select the Church, the "bride" or "body" of Christ, to share with him in the work of blessing the race, there need not have been two advents of our Lord. One would have been sufficient; for he could have come now, in the end of the sixth thousand years, could have redeemed all and at once begun the great work of blessing and restoring mankind.

He came to redeem the world eighteen centuries previous to the appointed time of blessing, so as to leave time, before that day, for the selection of his bride from among the redeemed race.

As the occasion of man's fall became God's opportunity for exhibiting to all his creatures his wonderful character from every standpoint, his justice, his wisdom, his power and his love, so it also became an opportunity for the testing in all points of his only begotten Son, preparatory to his yet higher exaltation (Philip. 2:8-10) to the divine nature, with all which that implies of glory, honor and immortality, and of position next to the Father, that all men should honor the Son even as they honor the Father. And the same occasion, as pre-arranged of God, also makes possible the calling, selection and trial of the Gospel Church, now soon to be completed and made joint-inheritors, with our Lord and Savior, of glory, honor and immortality, and like him to be exalted far above men and angels, even to the divine nature. 2 Pet. 1:14 Only the justice of God's character has yet been made manifest to the world, and much of its glory is sadly beclouded by human tradition, which falsely declares the wages of sin to be eternal torment instead of "everlasting destruction." God's love for his creatures, the wisdom of his plan of salvation, and his power to save, are as yet but partially revealed, and even distortedly seen by but few indeed.

God's justice has been revealed to all for the past six thousand years in the reign of death, the penalty which he prescribed for sin. God's love began to be revealed eighteen hundred years ago, but not seeing all of the plan, few rightly appreciate the love. Nevertheless, "In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world that we might live through him." (1 John 4:9) The wisdom of the Lord's plan will not be appreciated until the Millennial Sun of Righteousness has arisen, revealing those features of his plan which then will bring blessings to all the billions which his justice condemned, and which his love redeemed. But the power of God will not be seen in its fulness until well on in that Millennial Day. Although partially revealed in the work of creation, the grandest and fullest exhibition remains to be shown in the resurrection from death of those redeemed ones, who, accepting of the gracious provisions of his love, bow in glad submission to all his just requirements.

It is a mistake made by many to suppose that Jehovah's justice and his love are ever in conflict with each other. Both are perfect, his love never desires or [HG299] attempts what his justice does not endorse: his justice and his love must both approve every act for which his power is exercised. With men, because of lack of wisdom and power, love and justice often conflict. Man's love often has gracious designs which he has not the wisdom or power to accomplish except by violating justice. We must gauge our views by the infinite and stay close to the revelation he makes of his plans, not seeking to make plans of our own for God. God's plan, when clearly seen, fully vindicates his justice as well as his love. The plan of redemption devised by divine wisdom is the essence of unfathomable love based upon uncompromising justice, and will be fully accomplished by divine power.

The first act of God's love was to provide a ransom for Adam, and thus for all his race, since it was by his transgression that all fell into sin and death. Until the ransom was given nothing was done in the way of saving the world: promises and types of coming salvation were made, but nothing more could be done. God had rendered a just sentence, and the penalty could not be set aside: it had to be met.

Before Adam and his family could be released from the death sentence by a resurrection, the life of another man not under the sentence had to be paid as its corresponding price, that God might be just in justifying and accepting back to harmony and life all who believe in Jesus and turn unto God in his name. (Acts 4:12) And having accepted Christ as the ransom of all such, the apostle assures us that now "he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9

Thus we see, from God's own declaration, that since Christ died for our sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, or rather, since he ascended up on high, and there appearing in the presence of God on our behalf presented the price of our redemption and became Lord of all, of both the living and the dead, there is no longer any legal hindrance in the way of the return of all mankind to fellowship with God, and to all the blessings and privileges lost under the penalty of the first transgression. The only difficulties remaining are on man's part. In his fallen condition his mind is sick as well as his body. He inclines to believe falsely and is disinclined to believe in so great a salvation, such "good tidings of great joy which shall be unto all people." Besides, he is weak through the fall, and does those things which he often does not at heart approve and leaves undone much that at heart he really desires to do, and there is no help in himself. Some assistance in overcoming sinward tendencies must reach him or else the cancellation of past sin and the opportunity for reconciliation will be a valueless offer.

This necessity, which we recognize, is fully met in those features of the divine plan which are yet to be fulfilled. He who redeemed all is appointed to be both king and judge of all; for God "hath appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness by that Man whom he hath ordained," Jesus Christ. (Acts 17:31) That is, he will righteously grant the world a new, individual trial for eternal life, having cancelled the sentence of the first trial by the propitiatory sacrifice of his Son.

And the redeemed, tried and glorified Church, the faithful bride of Christ, is to share with her Lord in this great work, as kings and priests and judges. (Rev. 5:10; 1 Cor. 6:2,3) As kings they will rule the world in righteousness, enforcing and establishing order and justice and truth; as priests they will teach the people, and through the merit of the one sacrifice for sins forgive the penitent, and cleanse and help them out of their weaknesses, mental, moral and physical; as judges they will judge of the measure of the guilt of all in respect to their course in the future as well as in their past lives, judging not by the hearing of the ear, nor by the sight of the eye, but by an infallible judgment for which they will be abundantly qualified by their exaltation to the divine nature.

While the promise of God to the Church is a change of nature from human to divine, to be effected at the second advent of her Lord, as the completion of his resurrection, the first resurrection (2 Pet. 1:4; 1 Cor. 15:50-53; Philip. 3:10-11; Rev. 20:6)'the provision of God's plans for the world at large is quite different, viz.: a "restitution" or restoration to all the grand qualities and powers of the human nature (an earthly likeness of the divine), now so sadly blurred and defaced by the six thousand years of slavery to sin and death.

Rightly to appreciate human restitution, it must be remembered that every excellent quality exhibited among men is but an imperfect exhibition of what belongs to each perfect man, whether it be logical acuteness, mathematical precision, aesthetic taste, art, wit, eloquence, poetic imagination, music, or any other intellectual grace or moral refinement; and that these, to a higher degree than we have ever seen them exhibited by any fallen men, will, in the process of restitution, become, as at first designed by the Creator, the endowments of each obedient member of the human family. With the restitution of perfect mental and moral balance to man, the original king of earth, will come also a blessing through man to all his subjects, the beasts of the field, the fowl of heaven, and the fish of the sea (Psa. 8:6,8); and the ordering of the earth itself is likewise promised.

The "times of restitution of all things which God [HG300] hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began" (Acts 3:19-21) are, we believe the Scriptures to teach, just at the door. Soon the last members of the body of Christ will have finished their course, and then, with their glorious Head and all the other members of the body, they will shine forth as the sun for the blessing of the entire redeemed race.

"See the mystic Weaver sitting
High in heaven – His loom below.
Up and down the treadles go.
Takes, for web, the world's dark ages,
Takes, for woof, the kings and sages.
Takes the nobles and their pages,
Takes all stations and all stages.
Thrones are bobbins in His shuttle.
Armies make them scud and scuttle –
Web into the woof must flow:
Up and down the nations go!
At the Weaver's will they go!
"Calmly see the mystic Weaver
Throw His shuttle to and fro;
'Mid the noise and wild confusion,
Well the Weaver seems to know
What each motion and commotion,
What each fusion and confusion,
In the grand result will show!
"Glorious wonder! What a weaving!
To the dull, beyond believing.
Such no fabled ages know.
Only faith can see the mystery,
How, along the aisles of history,
Where the feet of sages go,
Loveliest to the fairest eyes,
Grand the mystic tapeta lies!
Soft and smooth, and ever spreading,
As if made for angels' treading –
Tufted circles touching ever:
Every figure has its plaidings,
Brighter forms and softer shadings,
Each illumined – what a riddle! –
From a cross that gems the middle
"Tis a saying – some reject it –
That its light is all reflected;
That the tapet's lines are given
By a Sun that shines in heaven!
'Tis believed – by all believing –
That great God, Himself, is weaving,
Bringing out the world's dark mystery,
In the light of faith and history;
And, as web and woof diminish,
Comes the grand and glorious finish,
When begin the Golden Ages,
Long foretold by seers and sages."

"It is impossible to read this book without loving the writer and pondering his wonderful solution of the great mysteries that have troubled us all our lives. There is hardly a family to be found that has not lost some loved one who died outside the church, outside the plan of salvation, and, if Calvinism be true, outside of all hope and inside of eternal torment and despair. We smother our feelings and turn away from the horrible picture. We dare not deny the faith of our fathers, and yet can it be possible that the good mother and the wandering child are forever separated? forever and forever?

"I believe it is the rigidity of these teachings that makes atheists and infidels and skeptics, makes Christians unhappy and brings their gray hairs down in sorrow to the grave, a lost child, a lost soul!

"This wonderful book makes no assertions that are not well sustained by the Scriptures. It is built up stone by stone, and upon every stone is the text, and it becomes a pyramid of God's love, and mercy, and wisdom. There is nothing in the Bible that the author denies or doubts, but there are many texts upon which he throws a flood of light that dispels many dark and gloomy forebodings. I see that editors of leading joumals, and many orthodox ministers of different denominations, have endorsed it and have confessed to this new and comforting light that has dawned upon the interpretation of God's book. Then let every man read and ponder and take comfort, for we are all prisoners of hope. This is an age of advanced thought, and more thinking is done than ever before, men dare to think now. Light, more light, is the watchword."

C. T. Smith (" B. Arp.")


John G Whittier This article is the same material as No. 27 and No. 54, July, 1901.

"I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be unto all people." [Luke 2:10] "There is one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time." [1 Tim. 2:5-6]

In the Minister's morning sermon He told of the primal fall, And how, henceforth, the wrath of God Rested on each and all; And how, of His will and pleasure, All souls, save a chosen few, Were doomed to eternal torture, And held in the way thereto.

Yet never, by Faith's unreason, A saintlier soul was tried, And never the harsh old lesson A tenderer heart belied.

And after the painful service, On that pleasant, bright first day, He walked with his little daughter Thro' the apple bloom of May.

Sweet in the fresh green meadow Sparrow and blackbird sung; Above him its tinted petals The blossoming orchard hung.

Around, on the wonderful glory, The minister looked and smiled: "How good is the Lord, who gives us These gifts from His hand, my child.

"Behold in the bloom of apples, And violets in the sward, A hint of the old lost beauty Of the garden of the Lord."

Then upspake the little maiden, Treading on snow and pink, "O father! these pretty blossoms Are very wicked I think.

"Had there been no Garden of Eden, There never had been a fall; And if never a tree had blossomed God would have loved us all."

"Hush, child!" the Father answered, "By His decree men fell; His ways are in clouds and darkness, But He doeth all things well.

"And whether by his ordaining To us cometh good or ill, Joy or pain, or light or shadow, We must fear and love Him still."

"Oh, I fear Him!" said the daughter, "And I try to love Him, too; But I wish He were kind and gentle – Kind and loving as you."

The minister groaned in spirit, As the tremulous lips of pain, And wide, wet eyes, uplifted, Questioned his own in vain.

Bowing his head, he pondered The words of his little one.

Had he erred in his life-long teachings, And wrong to his Master done?

To what grim and dreadful idol Had he lent the holiest name?

Did his own heart, loving and human, The God of his worship shame?

And lot from the bloom and greenness, From the tender skies above, And the face of his little daughter, He read a lesson of love. [HG302] And as when, in the clefts of Horeb, Of old was his presence known, The dread, ineffable glory Was infinite goodness alone.

No more as the cloudy terror Of Sinai's mount of law, But as Christ in the Syrian lilies The vision of God he saw.

Thereafter his hearers noted In his prayers a tenderer strain, And never the message of hatred Burned on his lips again.

And the scoffing tongue was prayerful, And the blinded eyes found sight, And hearts, as flint aforetime, Grew soft in his warmth and light.


The poet has graphically pictured the darkness which has so long oppressed God's people; but the same God who is now lifting the curtain and bringing to light labor-saving conveniences, preparatory to the great reign of righteousness, peace and blessing, called the Millennium, is also bringing to light certain teachings in his Word bearing upon the same period, showing that he has yet in store for that time great spiritual blessings for men. And this is only what we should expect, according to God's promise (Dan. 12:4,9; 1 Thess. 5:4-6; Luke 8:10), and according to our prayer, "Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as in heaven."

In the light of this further unfolding of the Scriptures it appears that we and many of God's people have been right in urging that God's character would yet be cleared of the charges of injustice and cruelty so long urged against him by scoffers, and supported not only by the creeds of Christendom, but seemingly also by some dark looking passages in the Bible.

But we can only give you a mere hint of the blessing and encouragement now obtainable by those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, truth, etc. The light has come through studying God's plan dispensationally 'recognizing the various ages as connected in one great, good, loving plan which God had purposed in himself before the creation of our race, which began to be accomplished when Christ our Lord died for our sins, and which is to be fully accomplished by Christ and his Church glorified, during an age just dawning, whose light is even now waking up the world. The key to the understanding of God's gracious plan has long lain hidden in six words in our text'" a ransom for all ," and the assurance that this favor for all shall reach them in God's "due time ."

Thus we introduce to you a book which, in the name of God and for the blessing of his Church, we are circulating everywhere, at the unremunerative price of 25 cents, and loaning it freely to those too poor to purchase' "The Plan of the Ages," Millennial Dawn

Number 15 October, 1890


An Answer to Robert Ingersoll's Charges Against Christianity

This article is the same material as No. 16, January, 1893, and No. 71, October, 1905.

In Mr. Robert Ingersoll's now celebrated "Christmas Sermon" he took Christianity severely to task, and awakened considerable excitement in religious circles. The Rev. Buckley, D. D., of the Methodist Episcopal Church, New York City, declares that the pith of Mr. Ingersoll's "Christmas Sermon" is found in three charges which he makes against Christianity, and which Dr. Buckley denominates "three gigantic falsehoods." They are as follows: First'" Christianity did not come with tidings of great joy, but with a message of eternal grief."

Second'" It [Christianity] has filled the future with fear and flame, and made God the keeper of an eternal penitentiary destined to be the home of nearly all the sons of men."

Third'" Not satisfied with that, it [Christianity] has deprived God of the pardoning power."

Some of the friends of Christ, of the Bible and of [HG303] true Christianity urge that this modern Goliath be answered by some pebbles of truth from our sling, directed not against a great and seemingly honest man, but at the system of errors which he, no doubt honestly, supports; and in defense of the Truth and of the timid and doubting children of Zion'" Israelites indeed."


We reply to the first charge, that, whilst the name Christianity stands for much that is spurious both in doctrine and in practice today, Mr. Ingersoll's arraignment relieves us from the necessity of examining these; for his remarks apply only to the inception of the Christian system, the message with which it came. The issue is a fair one: Christianity could not be judged more fairly than by the doctrines of its founders.

Reversing the order of the statement, we will demonstrate

(1) that Christianity did not come with a message of eternal grief, and

(2) that it did come with good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people. Luke 2:10 The New Testament embodies a statement of all the doctrines and teachings of primitive Christianity, and neither the term "eternal grief" nor any equivalent term is to be found therein. Grief is indeed implied in the statements which predict some serious disappointments among church people in the end of the present age (Matt. 8:18; 25:30; Luke 13:28), but none of these say one word about an eternity of grief and pain. It is true also that a certain parable (Luke 16:19) represents the downfall of the Jewish polity from divine favor, and that, as a "Rich Man faring sumptuously," etc., represented that system, so the trouble into which that people then passed (and in which they confess that they have since been) is represented by the symbols of fire and torment; and the simultaneous acceptance to divine favor of the humble of the poor Gentiles, previously outcasts from special divine favor, is represented by the carrying of Lazarus to Abraham's bosom, the bringing of those hitherto aliens into the family of God as children and heirs of the Abrahamic promises and blessings. The fire and the torment are as truly symbolic as the other features of the parable. And even then, there is no threat that the Rich Man's grief and torment shall be "eternal." On the contrary, the Apostle Paul shows most pointedly that the heart blindness to the truth which led to the rejection of that nation, and which has ever since stood more or less related to all their trouble, is to pass away, shortly, during the period of the second presence of our Lord. (See Rom. 11:25-33) The Apostle concludes the subject in any but a mournful and grievous strain, saying, "O the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his righteous acts and his plans past [man's] conception."

We do not forget, either, that other parable of the Sheep and the Goats, and the concluding sentence relative to the goat class'" These shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life eternal ," and we acknowledge freely that the words everlasting and eternal here used are translations of the same Greek word, and that they evidently mean without end. But we call attention to the fact that the penalty named upon even the wilfully wicked does not read fried without end, nor torment without end, as many seem to suppose; but punishment without end. It is a mistake to suppose, as some do, that punishment necessarily implies pain, torture, or any conscious suffering. On the contrary, "capital punishment" among civilized nations means death inflicted in as painless a manner as may be.

True, everlasting torment by burning or by freezing would be an everlasting punishment as truly as everlasting death would be; and vice versa, an everlasting death wherein is no consciousness of either pain or pleasure would also be an everlasting punishment. Hence we see that the mere statement "everlasting punishment" proves nothing as to the kind of the punishment. But other Scriptures make the subject quite plain, by telling us in just what the punishment, which will be everlasting, will consist, saying: The wages or punishment of sin is death (Rom. 6:23): hence the everlasting punishment declared to be the just merit of wilful sin will be everlasting death, or a death which will never end; from which there will be no resurrection, and consequently not endless torment and grief.

But let us look closer at this text'" These shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life everlasting." We note that "life" is put as the opposite or antithesis of the word "punishment," as though the inference should be that the punishment is death. Let us look at the Greek word rendered "punishment." If it were intended to represent torment it would be basanos, but no, it is kolasin, the primary significance of which, according to the best Greek scholarship, is To cut off 'as when useless or dead branches are cut off or pruned off from a tree or vine. Here, then, the antithesis is seen: the righteous at the end of the trial referred to in this parable (which trial will last during the Millennial age) will enter upon a state of everlasting life, while the wicked will be cut off (from life) everlastingly.

Nor need we pass by the statement of verse 4l: "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his servants." Here the fire [HG304] is as much a symbol as the sheep and goats of the preceding verses are symbols.

As sheep represent an obedient class and goats a wayward class, so fire represents something. It never represents preservation, but always represents destruction to whatever comes under its power. And, elsewhere, the same New Testament writers declare, both with and without symbols, that the devil is to be destroyed.

See Heb. 2:14; Rom. 16:20.

Next we examine briefly our Lord's references to Gehenna-fire, in which he mentions the worm that dieth not and the fire that is not quenched. But even here not a word about endless grief or endless torment. Indeed, the reference is clearly not to fire and worms in some other world, but to fire and worms which the people addressed knew of and could see. Outside the south wall of Jerusalem is the Valley of Hinnom or Gehenna, once quite deep but now much filled with debris and soil. In the days of our Lord this valley was used as a place for destroying the garbage of the city and the dead carcasses of animals; and to insure quick destruction and thorough disinfection brimstone is said to have been freely used. No one quenched those fires; and those carcasses which lodged upon rocks, and did not reach the fire, the worms consumed without hindrance. But no living thing was ever cast into this valley, the Jewish laws governing even the lower animals being most humane. And our Lord's remarks furnish no suggestion of casting living beings into this or any similar place, or of torment at all. A similar expression, doubtless based on the same facts, is used by the Prophet Isaiah; and he specifies that the fire and worms feed not upon living creatures, but upon "carcasses." Isa. 66:24 The Jews had a custom, however, of refusing the usual burial to some of the very vilest criminals; and instead, they cast their dead bodies into this valley with the filth of the city, thus implying that such a one should be esteemed as of the offscourings of society, and that his memory should rot; and furthermore that in their estimation he had no hope of a resurrection, a tomb being to them an emblem of a resurrection, of a hope of future life. Our Lord expounded the Law of God in a much more full and heart-searching manner than the ordinary teachers, and illustrated by his teaching (Matt. 5:21-35) that the thoughts are to be considered as well as the deeds. The Law said, Thou shalt not kill, and Thou shalt not commit adultery, and prescribed penalties for these misdeeds; but said the Great Teacher'" magnifying the Law" and making it still more to be reverenced (Matt. 5:21-28) 'I put the matter more searchingly, and assure you that to have murder or adultery in the heart is to be a murderer or an adulterer, a violator of the Law whose violation forfeited all right to life under the Jewish Covenant.

It is while thus emphasizing the Law that our Lord says, Whosoever shall be angry with his brother and call him apostate wretch shall be in danger of, or liable to, Gehenna. Just as we might say today: the person who gets passionately angry with his brother or neighbor, and speaks and acts violently, is in danger or liable to yet end his life on the gallows; for he has a murderous disposition in his heart.

Probably only the leading features of this great discourse are given; but following on in this train of thought the Teacher passes from the literal Gehenna and its destruction of offal and filth, to represent by it the ultimate end of wilful sin before the higher tribunal, the Judge of all the earth. He urges all who would have everlasting life that although a pleasure or habit contrary to God's law be as precious to them as a right eye or a right hand, they should gladly part with it and submit themselves to God's plan of holiness. Then he reasons on the matter thus: would it not be more profitable to cut off these depraved pleasures of the present brief life, and be accounted worthy of an endless life of felicity and perfection which God has prepared for those who love him, than to hold and enjoy all the sinful pleasures for the present brief life and be accounted of God as the filth and offscouring of his universe, to be disposed of in an antitypical Gehenna, the Second Death?

Admitting, as all scholars must, that the literal valley of Gehenna formed the basis of our Lord's remarks, it must be admitted also that that which it was used to typify was somewhat like it. And as the literal Gehenna was not a place of torment or grief, but represented the utter destruction and hopelessness of those (already dead) cast into it, so must its antitype teach the same lesson. And so it does: the Second Death is brought to our attention (Rev. 21:8) as the hopeless destruction of all the finally impenitent, the wilfully wicked, who, in spite of the knowledge and grace to be abundantly supplied to all "in due time," will still choose sin and spurn God's righteous way.

Now not only have we seen that the expression eternal grief is not used in the Scriptures, nor any equivalent expression, but we have examined every text of the New Testament outside the symbols of the book of Revelation in which some such thought might be supposed to lie concealed, and find that Mr. Ingersoll is mistaken in his assumption. And if we now glance at a few isolated verses in the Book of Revelation, supposed by many to teach everlasting torment, and hence everlasting grief, we shall find these to be symbols, like all the other features of that book of symbols.

Rev. 20:9,10. These verses represent a scene at the close of the Millennial age, when, under the reign of the glorified Redeemer and his glorified bride, the Church, all the world shall have been blessed with full release from error and superstition; when all shall have been brought to an accurate knowledge of the truth and ability to obey it; when the final test as to love and loyalty to God shall have been applied to all the world, then as numerous as the sand of the sea shore; and when this test shall have separated the unfaithful, wilful "goats" from the trusting, obedient "sheep." Verse 9 shows the destruction of all the disobedient, the "goats," just as did Matt. 25:46. Verse 10 speaks of the devil, and whether it refers to a system of evil, a form of sin, or whether to the literal devil, matters not to our argument. (We are not specially called upon to discuss whether or not the devil will have some torment, although assured plainly that he shall be destroyed .) We notice, however, that the verse is highly symbolic; for "the beast and the false prophet" mentioned are symbols, and hence the torment of those symbols must be figurative or symbolic torments. And at all events it has nothing whatever to do with men, the evilly disposed of whom, verse 9 distinctly states, are to be destroyed.

Verse 15 of the same chapter, foretelling of the same judgment at the end of the Millennium of favor, declares, "Whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." This might indeed imply torment, were it not that the preceding clause distinctly explains that the lake of fire signifies the second death, as also does verse 7 of the next chapter, speaking of the same class.

Rev. 19:3 speaks of symbolic Babylon, her "smoke [remembrance] rose up forever." But it is to a symbolic woman and not a literal one that this statement applies. The symbol refers to a great system whose fall from vast power misused is graphically portrayed in symbol in chapter 18. We will not here identify this "woman," "Babylon," as it is not pertinent to this discussion.

Rev. 14:8-11 is the only remaining passage to examine, and it is by far the most difficult to make plain; because the average reader has no adequate conception of the signification of the connecting symbols, the beast and his image of the preceding chapter. These represent great religious systems which already exist and have millions of devotees among Christian peoples; and one of these, the "Image," will yet, by closer federation of smaller religious systems, become much more influential and arbitrary.

This will be in the end or "harvest" of this age and the dawn of the new, Millennial age, which the Scriptures declare will be introduced, not by peace, [HG305] but by a time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation. It will be in the presence of the Lamb, i. e., "in the days of the Son of Man" (Luke 17:26)'in the parousia ( presence) of the Son of Man (a spirit being, unseen by natural sight) while the world in general is proceeding with its usual affairs, eating, drinking, planting, building, etc. (Matt. 24:37, 38) The thought here is beclouded to the English reader by the mistranslation of parousia, which is rendered coming, instead of presence.

It will be during this period of the Lord's presence, and before he shall have put down all opposing authority and power, and while intelligence will be spreading over the world, that the great religious systems referred to in Rev. 13 will exercise their power and authority to hinder the increasing light; and by them the doctrine of eternal torment will be enunciated afresh and impressed; and all who reverence these systems will be tormented by their doctrines of fire and brimstone and by fear for their friends whose eyes become opened so that they deny the reasonableness of such a belief. (Compare Isa. 29:13,14) Thus these will be in torment so long as they worship (reverence) these human institutions and their doctrines more than and instead of the Word of the Lord. But that this torment will be in the present life is as evident as that it will come as a natural result of disregarding the Lord's way and following instead the traditions of men; for the "beast and image" and their worship surely belong to this world; and that it will be before the present age is fully ended is shown by the succeeding verses, 12 and 13.

Before leaving this side of this question it will strengthen it if we will notice that the Apostles Peter, Paul, James and John, aside from the founder of Christianity, certainly the greatest theologians of the Christian Church, and the only ones whose teachings can be recognized as of plenary inspiration, have not one word to say relative to the punishment for sin being eternal grief or eternal torment. On the contrary, they every one declare in unequivocal terms that life everlasting will be the reward of all who will return through Christ to acceptance and fellowship with God; and that destruction everlasting will be the ultimate fate of all who, after full knowledge and blessing under Christ's kingdom, willfully reject righteousness and practice sin. For these testimonies as to the reward being life, see John 3:16; 5:24; 6:54; 10:28; Rom. 2:7; 6:23; Jas. 1:12; 1 Tim. 1:16; Acts 11:18; 1 Pet. 1:4,5,9; 1 John 2:25. For their testimonies as to the penalty of willful sin being death, destruction, see Philip. 3:10; 2 Thess. 1:9; 2 Pet. 2:1; Acts 3:23; Jas. 4:12; 1:15; l John 5:16; John 3:36; Matt. 10:28. And if the scope of investigation be extended to the Old [HG306] Testament, the same will be found to be the testimony of all the holy prophets since the world began.

The word hell in our common version of the Bible is very misleading in this connection, implying, as it does, to the majority of the readers, a place of consciousness, of fire and pain. Nothing could be further from the real meaning of the word hell, as may be seen by consulting Webster's Unabridged Dictionary, where the primary meaning is shown to be "The place of the dead"' or the grave; called in Hebrew sheol, and by the Greeks hades. "Webster tells us further that this word hell comes from the old word "hele – to hide, to conceal, to cover, to roof." And so we find it used in old English literature in referring to the putting of potatoes into pits and in speaking of thatching or covering a house.

Turning to the Hebrew and Greek of the original Scriptures, we find the corresponding words sheol and hades to have a corresponding meaning, as Webster avers. These original Hebrew and Greek words occur in all seventy-six times in the common version English Bible, and are forty-one times translated hell, three times translated pit and thirty-two times translated grave. The difficulty is not so much in the translation, if the word hell be given its primary meaning: "the place of the dead," "the grave"'but in the fact that for several centuries past a theological, secondary definition has been attached to the word hell which makes it mean a place of torment for the living, the very reverse of the original or primary meaning of the word, as all scholars know or should know.

We, therefore, call upon Mr. Ingersoll to concede that he erred in saying that Christianity came with a message of eternal grief, or else that he specify, giving chapter and verse, not overlooking our citations and explanations above.

(2) Let us now examine the other side of this first charge, and see if Mr. Ingersoll was correct in claiming that Christianity did not come with tidings of great joy.

It was when the babe Jesus was born that the multitude of angels, inspired from above, sang, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men!" It was the angel sent to tell the shepherds of the same great event who said unto them, "Fear not; for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people" ' "for unto you is born a Savior." Luke 2:8-14 This is the message with which Christianity came, and this, not what it now variously declares, is our topic. Men realized that they were dying and they desired life. God had offered life to the Jewish nation if they would keep perfectly the Law given on Sinai. God well knew that fallen, imperfect men could not keep that Law, and therefore could not secure everlasting life under it; and the Israelites soon found how true this was as one by one they died, and thus proved that by the deeds of the Law none of them were justified in God's sight. (Rom. 3:20) But God's plan was to teach them, and through them to teach all men, the need of a Savior 'a Life-giver, who should redeem all from the original sentence of death and restore, to perfection of life and being, all who would accept his covenant of life. Long centuries had faithful Jews waiting and looking for the promised Messiah who should be their Redeemer and Life-giver. And no wonder, then, that his birth was announced as good tidings.

True, the Jews overlooked the part which said that these good tidings should yet be unto all people, and supposed that it would be only to the Jews. True, also, the civilized few who have yet heard the message of God's favor to men through this Life-giver have framed creeds and theories which virtually declare this angelic message a falsehood by teaching that all hope of hearing about and believing on Jesus is limited to the few years and accidental circumstances of this present life.

Let us nevertheless stick to our text and acknowledge that, whatever be the tidings of today, Christianity did come with a message of "good tidings of great joy which shall be [made known] unto all people "'not only to those who since His birth and death have died in ignorance of the only name whereby we must be saved, but also to the billions who had died before God's salvation was brought to light in the Gospel. Does this imply the awakening of the dead? Even so: it is provided that "all that are in their graves shall hear [obey] the voice of the Son of Man and come forth;" and then, as the testimony of these glad tidings shall reach all people, the message further is that "they that hear [obey] shall LIVE"'live everlastingly, while such as will not obey will be destroyed from among his people. John 5:25; Acts 3:22, 23 When it is remembered that the Apostle Paul was a most logical and truthful writer, that his writings cover all subjects connected with the gospel and constitute a large portion of the New Testament, and when we hear him say, "I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God" (Acts 20:27), and yet withal find not one syllable about eternal grief, we begin to understand why he could so heroically defend the gospel which he preached. And we can then appreciate his exclamation, "I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth." Ah, yes! The reason that so many Christian ministers today are ashamed of the gospel they preach is that to a great extent they preach another gospel, a gospel of eternal [HG307] grief, which Paul did not believe and did not preach. But, examining the evidences, we are fully assured that Christianity did not come with the message of grief, but with tidings of great joy which shall be (made known) unto all people.

Ah, yes! exclaims Brother Paul, quoting from the Prophet Isaiah, "How beautiful, those proclaiming good tidings of good things." Rom. 10:15; Isa. 52:7 Hear the Apostle Paul again, preaching this message even when his life was threatened. He says: "And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise [of a Messiah, a Life-giver] which was made unto the fathers, God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children... Be it known unto you, therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you [not a message of eternal grief, but] forgiveness of sin; and by him all that believe are justified [cleared, freed] from all things."

This would indeed be glad tidings to all who understand the message. Indeed, the objection urged against that early gospel was, that it was too good to be true. They could not conceive of any better message than their Law, which offered everlasting life to all who would obey it perfectly. (Rom. 10:5; Gal. 3:12) But this gospel with which Christianity came to them declared that they could never merit everlasting life under the covenant of works, because all are fallen from perfection and hence from ability to do perfect works. And the glad tidings of the gospel of Christ consisted in showing that, in Christ, God had provided a way of obtaining everlasting life – for all men; that as all mankind fell under condemnation to death (not to eternal torment and grief), and into mental, moral and physical imperfection, by Adam's disobedience (they, being in his loins, inherited in a most natural way all the effects of his fall), and thus lost with him all right to life, so God had provided that Christ should purchase the life of Adam (and of the race which lost life through him) by the sacrifice of his own life as a sin-offering on their behalf. This provision was made in order that through this Redeemer (in due time) the offer of life-everlasting might be granted to each member of the race upon condition of obedience to his laws. And, better than the Jewish law (which really justified none'Heb. 10:4; Gal. 2:16; Acts 13:39), the proposal under this new covenant, in Christ, was that the obedience of each should be judged, not by his actual works, but by his intentions and efforts, the sin-offering of Christ compensating for all unintentional weaknesses and errors, to every one that believeth. The Jews thought these tidings too good to be true, and clung to the Law.

Who can read the New Testament epistles and not be struck with the joyous spirit of the writers, even [HG307] while they were enduring afflictions for the preaching of these good tidings of which they were not and had no need to be ashamed. Judge of the contrast: How many thousand dollars a year would it take to hire a man of the Apostle Paul's ability to preach the message of eternal grief one hour each week? But note that Brother Paul was so enthusiastic with his message of the grace of God through Christ, the "good tidings of great joy which shall [yet] be [made known] unto all people," that he forsook an honorable, influential and lucrative position among men and spent his life in the service of these good tidings, often suffering imprisonment and stripes, and even with a lacerated back in prison singing praise to God, because he was accounted worthy to suffer in the service of such a Master and such a gospel of which he was not ashamed. But his gospel had no element of eternal grief in it.

So, then, it is not true that Christianity came with a message of eternal grief; but the contrary is proven: it brought good tidings of great joy of which no sensible man needed to be ashamed.


Doctor Buckley points out, as the second gigantic falsehood of Mr. Ingersoll's discourse, his statement that, "It [Christianity] has filled the future with fear and flame, and made God the keeper of an eternal penitentiary destined to be the home of nearly all the sons of men."

We presume that Dr. Buckley's objection is that not Christianity, but God, has filled the future with fear and flame. But on this point we must agree with Mr. Ingersoll. The fact cannot be disputed that the future is full of fear to the civilized world, either fear for themselves or for their friends. And after examining the Scriptures, as above, we find that God is not responsible for this fear, nor did Christianity come with a message to produce such fears. And the pages of history clearly show that the doctrines which produce these fears began to be introduced in the third century, when the Church (nominal) began to fall away from the simplicity of the faith of Christ and the Apostles, giving heed to the seducing influences of Pagan philosophy and to "doctrines of devils," devilish doctrines, indeed, blasphemies upon the divine plan and character. (This fall was clearly predicted by the Apostle. See 1 Tim. 4:1; 2 Thess. 2:3) And the Bible, in so many words, asserts that these fearful doctrines are of human fabrication, saying, "Their fear toward me is taught by the precepts of men." Isa. 29:13 We see but one exception that can be justly taken to Mr. Ingersoll's statement in this case: namely, his [HG308] charge that Christianity makes God the keeper of an eternal penitentiary. We object to the word penitentiary. A penitentiary is a reformatory institution, more nearly corresponding to the "purgatory" of Roman Catholicism; but the "hell" claimed by both Romanists and Protestants, but which we have found to be without authorization in God's Word, and taught only "by the precepts of men," is not a penitentiary, but a hopeless prison of despair, described by that admired, but greatly mistaken, good man, Dr. Isaac Watts, thus: "Tempests of angry fire shall roll To blast the rebel worm, And beat upon the naked soul In one eternal storm."

There could be no objection made to a penitentiary with just restraints and retributions for sin. And indeed the Bible does teach that the entire earth will shortly be turned into a vast penitentiary (during the Millennial reign of Christ) in which not only will all mankind be under the restraint of an iron rule, with righteousness laid to the line and justice to the plummet, but that then all shall also be brought to an accurate knowledge of the truth, that they may be saved.

(See 1 Tim. 2:4) But this divinely arranged penitentiary of the next age is not to be an eternal one. No, thank God, it shall accomplish its designed object by bringing to perfection and harmony with God all who, after full knowledge, shall demonstrate their love of righteousness and truth; and by cutting off from life and hope, in the Second Death, all those who, after full knowledge, love sin. (Rev. 21:7,8) Then will come the time when God will have a clean universe, free from sin and free from penitentiaries. And then there shall be no more pain: neither sorrow, nor crying; for the former things [associated with sin] shall then have passed away (Rev. 21:4), and heaven and earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord.


The statement of Mr. Ingersoll, charged by Doctor Buckley as his third gigantic falsehood, reads as follows: "Not satisfied with that, it [Christianity] has deprived God of the pardoning power."

We object to Mr. Ingersoll's position on this subject. The growing tendency of current Christian thought is to consider God on a parity with imperfect, human beings in this respect of pardoning transgression. As imperfect human parents make imperfect laws for their imperfect children, and frequently find it necessary to excuse or pardon their violation, so, more and more, they are learning to measure God by themselves, and to think of him as in duty bound to admit that his laws were imperfect or illy adapted, and hence their violation properly excusable or pardonable.

Since human beings are all imperfect, and human laws and penalties therefore also imperfect, there is evident propriety in the liberal exercise of forgiveness or pardon among men. Nevertheless, God, being perfect in justice as well as in other qualities, wisdom, love, etc.'cannot pardon apart from the arrangement which he has made for all men through the willing sin-offering of his Son, our Redeemer.

Therefore, while instructing us to love our enemies and to do good to them, God does not declare that this is strict justice always, but explains the reason, we are not fit to be judges of what would be the just penalties for sins, being imperfect ourselves, we are, therefore, to leave to God the full punishment of sin' "Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, for it is written, vengeance is mine: I will repay [a just recompense], saith the Lord."

God, who is perfectly just as well as wise, cannot clear or acquit the guilty, and distinctly tells us so. (Exod. 23:7, 21; 34:7; Num. 14:18; Nah. 1:3) He has, however, provided a way by which he can be just and yet justify and release justly condemned sinners who desire to return to his favor. And this one just way is through Christ. And no man cometh unto the Father but by him. God is the great Emperor of the Universe; and the vast majority of his creatures are in full loyalty to his government. The fallen, human race is but one province of his empire. His laws, which are confessed to be holy and just and good, must be upheld for the government and blessing of all his creatures. Pardon signifies, according to Webster, "To refrain from exacting a penalty"'" To suffer to pass without punishment." God has nowhere proposed to do this. The original sentence, death'" dying thou shalt die," has been carried out to the letter, all in Adam die. Instead of pardoning that first wilful sin or refraining from exacting the penalty, death, or letting us go without the punishment, God has sustained the justice of his law and the honor of his court, and yet in love has provided, through Christ, "eternal life for all those who obey him." To pardon sin would be an admission, on the part of the Judge, that his own laws and penalties were unjust, imperfect or unadapted to his creatures. God cannot and need not admit this.

It may be urged that man's inability to keep God's law perfectly implies that it is unjust toward him. God's answer is, that he never made an imperfect creature; that "all his work is perfect;" that the man whom he created (Adam) was capable of obedience to his law, and that by wilful disobedience he forfeited his right to the blessing of obedience, life everlasting; [HG309] that his children received their imperfect minds and bodies, and dying rather than living abilities, by natural process from their father Adam; and that he (God) could not justly set aside his law, that only perfect and holy beings shall have his favor and blessings, and consequently could not pardon the sin and receive the sinners into fellowship with the holy.

And if we could conceive of a way in which God could pardon man without violating his own just laws, we can see, too, that it would be contrary to the interests of his empire so to do; because, if man were pardoned for one sin, or for many sins, it would be establishing a precedent, an injurious precedent: for if one class of God's creatures might sin and be pardoned without infracting strict justice, so could two sins or many sins. And thus would the righteousness and peace of the divine empire be forever assailed, because of a conflict between God's justice and his love. Therefore God has made and declared Justice the foundation of his government. Psa. 89:14; 97:2 That sympathy and love which in man would lead to the disregard of justice and the pardon of the sinner are not less in God than in man, but greater; but in God (by divine wisdom) they are exercised differently, lead to better results, and leave his laws, his justice and his empire strengthened, by the exhibition of his Love bowing to his Justice while blessing the culprit.

Instead, therefore, of trampling upon his own laws and pardoning the sinners, and instead of changing his laws and making new codes of imperfect laws adapted to the various and changing degrees of human sin and degradation, God took another and wiser as well as a juster course. He set before his only begotten Son, our Redeemer, a proposition to highly honor and exalt him even to the divine nature if he would carry out his plan for human redemption. (Philip. 2:7-10) And this one, "for the joy that was set before him," joyfully accepted the commission, with its attaching suffering and honor. Heb. 12:2 According to this plan, this Savior was to take the place of Adam and to suffer, the just one for the unjust, thus to redeem Adam and all his rights forfeited by sin.

Since Adam was not a spirit being, but a man, the Redeemer had to become a man in order to "give himself a ransom [a corresponding price] for all." Having sacrificed his all, his manhood, all future life was dependent upon God's promise that he would raise him from death a spirit being with exalted powers and honors.

And it was so: the man Christ Jesus gave himself a ransom for all; and according to promise God did raise him from death (not again to human nature, which was taken merely for the purpose of paying our ransom, but) a spirit being.

This risen Lord now owns the world, which, by the plan of God, he bought with his own precious blood, his life given, his death. Under the divine plan, he bought all for the very purpose of blessing all. And the Scriptures assure us that soon, during the Millennium, he will take his great power and rule the world with an iron rule of justice, backed by the heart which so loved men that he gave himself as their sin-sacrifice. His reign, it is declared, shall be glorious, and the poor and him that has no helper shall there find justice and help; and in his day all the righteous shall flourish and the meek shall inherit the earth, while the evil doer shall be cut off. Times of refreshing and restitution shall then begin on earth, and will eventuate in that blessing of every creature with a full knowledge of God and with a full opportunity for an everlasting life of happiness. Acts 3:19-21 The end of his reign will witness the fullest subjection of all things to the will and plan of God. "He must reign until he hath put all enemies under his feet." (1 Cor. 15:25) This will include physical evils, such as sickness, pain and death; and all things inharmonious with perfection, as well as mental imperfections and moral evil, sin. And the destruction of moral evil will not only include such causes of sin as weaknesses and ignorance, but eventually, as all are freed from these blemishes, the destruction under his feet will include Satan and all who have his spirit of wilful insubordination to God's beneficent laws. Thus will our prayer be fully realized, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it as done in heaven!" Amen! So let it be! God's gracious will be done!

Thus, even a hasty glance at the questions involved shows, Scripturally and logically, that Mr. Ingersoll has erred in respect to the first and third of his charges, while he is right and Doctor Buckley in error respecting the second charge.

In respect to the latter point, however, it is but just to remember that the term "Christianity" stands for and represents all who are nominally Christians, the vast majority of whom, now and at all times, have misconceived the spirit as well as misunderstood the letter of God's Word. The true Church of God, not only at the first, but ever since, has been a "little flock" and a "peculiar people." The world has never recognized the true Church, but has always mistaken the mass, the nominal Church. And in writing church history the real Church of God, the true saints, the little flock, has gone unnoticed, while the Nominal Mass has been given the sacred name of Christianity and credited with all the good influences (to which really the little flock contributed chiefly), while it properly stands charged with all the horrible list of crimes of the "dark ages" done in the name of [HG310] Christianity, but contrary to the Word of God and opposed by the hearts and heads of the true Church of Christ, his "little flock."

We suggest, to all interested in this discussion, that they send a postal card to the Tower Bible & Tract Society, Allegheny, Pa., requesting, free, a tract entitled "An Epitome of the Divine Plan for Human Salvation, Why Evil Was Permitted."


Whilst Colonel Ingersoll is thundering against the Bible and its inconsistencies, because he misinterprets it in the light of the conflicting creeds of Christendom, professed Bible expounders in some of the leading pulpits are exerting a ten-fold greater influence toward infidelity. They are handing stones and serpents to those who look to them for food. Under the name of The Findings of the Higher Criticism, they assure their confiding supporters that the Bible is not reliable; that, for instance, the finding of shells upon the tops of mountains was probably the origin of the story of the deluge in Noah's day, and that now these are known to have resulted from the upheaval of the mountains; that it has been discovered that although a whale has an enormous mouth it has a small throat, and that consequently the story of Jonah must be a fable; they proceed to deny that God created man in his own likeness and that he fell into sin and thereby lost almost all of that likeness, and insist that this and other accounts of Genesis are wholly unreliable and contrary to reason. They then claim that reason teaches evolution; that only a beginning of man's creation took place in Eden; and that, so far from falling from divine favor into sin and degradation, man has gradually been growing into God's likeness and favor for the past six thousand years.

They proceed to say that "higher criticism" shows that the canon of the Old Testament Scriptures was not completed until after the return of Israel from the Babylonian captivity, and that in that compilation serious errors were made, for instance, that the collection of Psalms was merely a collection of Hebrew poetry and ascribed to David because he had written a few of them, and because of his reputation; and that the other psalms were written by various parties and are therefore to be considered as uninspired. Similar claims are made regarding others of the Old Testament books: for instance, that not more than the first twenty-eight chapters of Isaiah are really the writings of that prophet; that the remainder of the book bearing his name has distinctive peculiarities indicating that it was written by two or three other parties than wrote the first twenty-eight chapters.

We reply to this "higher criticism" that it is altogether too high 'that it takes the standpoint of unbelief and therefore not the standpoint proper for the child of God, who reasonably expects that his Heavenly Father has given a revelation, and who, finding in the Bible that which commends it to his heart and head as being that revelation, seeks to prove rather than to disprove its authenticity and its truthfulness. Higher worldly wisdom ignores God's supervision of His Book, but the higher heavenly wisdom recognizes that supervision and therefore studies it reverently and expectantly.

The truly higher criticism would reason that as the olden time prophets generally used scribes, to whom they dictated, so probably did Isaiah; and that as Isaiah's prophecy covered a number of years, he probably had several scribes, and while each scribe may have had his own peculiarities, the same God who was able and willing to give a revelation of his will through his prophet, Isaiah, was willing and able to overrule the scribes provided, so that the revelation should reach his people as he designed to give it.

The truly higher criticism, instead of being surprised that all the psalms of the Book of Psalms were not indited by King David, should remember that the book does not claim to be a Book of David's Psalms, but a Book of Psalms. It should notice, too, that whilst a majority of the psalms particularly claim that David was their author, some do not name their authors. One at least (Psalm 90) claims Moses as its writer. And although twelve are credited to Asaph, a Levite whom King David made Musical Director in the services of the Sanctuary, it is by no means certain that their dedication should not read as some scholars claim'" A Psalm for Asaph"' to set to music.

But no matter: suppose it could be proved conclusively that one fourth or one half or all of the Psalms had been written by some one else than David, would that invalidate their divine censorship? It is nowhere stated that David alone of all the prophets was permitted to put his messages into poetic form. The Jews recognized the Book of Psalms, as a whole, as sacred scripture, as a holy or inspired writing.

And our Lord and the apostles (the highest possible critics, in the estimation of God's people) made no objection to that popular thought of their day, but, on the contrary, they quoted directly or by allusion from sixty-one of the psalms, some of them repeatedly. Our Lord himself quoted from nineteen of them. And these quotations embrace, not only some of those definitely ascribed to David, but equally those whose authorship is not definitely stated. And in one case (John 10:34,35), our Lord, quoting from Psalm 82:6 ("A Psalm of Asaph") distinctly terms it a part of the "Scriptures" which "cannot be broken." This, the highest possible criticism, makes the Book of Psalms [HG311] entirely satisfactory to God's humble "little ones," whether or not it be hid from the wise and prudent according to the course of this world, whom the god of this world hath blinded with the brilliancy of their own earthly learning and with their love of honor of men. Compare Matt. 11:25-30; 1 Cor. 1:19-31; 2 Cor. 4:4.

The arguments against the story of Jonah and the whale and against the story of the flood are fully met by the reminder that the Scriptures do not say that a whale swallowed Jonah, but that the Lord specially prepared a great fish for the purpose, and that our Lord and the apostles refer to both of these narratives without in any degree modifying or correcting them. If they were deceived upon such points we could place no reliance upon their superior guidance and inspiration upon other points. The "meek" will recognize that there is much more likelihood that the error lies with the modern critics. See Isa. 29:10-14.

But these worldly-wise teachers who put light for darkness and darkness for light go farther and farther into the "outer darkness" in their efforts to justify their theories and still be logical. They openly claim that the apostles were not inspired; that their belief in the inspiration of the prophets misled them; and that, although they were good-intentioned men, their writings are very misleading. Indeed, one of these preachers has attempted to prove from their own words that the New Testament writers did not claim infallibility, or a divine supervision of their writing. He quotes the preface to the Gospel according to Luke, saying: "No Biblical writer shows any consciousness of such supernatural influences upon him in his work as insured infallibility." We answer that it should not require a special inspiration to enable an honest man to set forth in historical form facts known to himself or testified to by his honorable friends who had been eyewitnesses of the facts recorded. The first five books of the New Testament are merely histories, good histories, reliable histories, histories written by men who gave their lives in devotion to the matters concerning which they here bear witness. The only superhuman influence that could be desired in this would be that the Lord should facilitate their work by bringing important matters clearly and forcibly to the attention of these historians, and guarding them against misunderstandings. This our Lord promised to do (John 14:26); and this we have every reason to believe he has done. But this "higher critic" declares that the Apostle Paul, the greatest of the New Testament writers, did not claim divine direction, or more than ordinary knowledge or authority for his teachings. In proof of this statement he cites us to 1 Cor. 7:10,12,25,40. He argues from these citations that the Apostle was quite uncertain about his own teaching. We reason, contrariwise, that the man who thus carefully marked off his own judgment or opinion and clearly specified that these particular items were his, and not of divine inspiration, not only implies that the remainder of his teachings are of divine authorization, and very positively so, but that his candid admission that some things here taught were without divine authorization proves that if his teachings had all been merely his own judgment, he had the courage which would have told the truth, the honesty which love of human approbation could not affect.

Let us hear what the Apostle has to say relative to the divine authority for his teachings aside from what is implied and stated in the citations already mentioned. 1 Cor. 7:12,25,40 He declares that "God hath set" first or chief in the Church the Apostles, as rulers and teachers of all. (And that the early Church so recognized the apostles is very evident.) He declares that he is one of the apostles, the last; points to the evidences of his apostleship, how the Lord used him, not only in imparting to others through him a knowledge of the truth, but also in communicating the gifts of the spirit, which at that time outwardly witnessed the acceptance of all true believers, but also witnessed who were apostles, since only apostles could impart those gifts. 1 Cor. 12:28; 2 Cor. 1:1; 1 Cor. 9:1,2; 15:8-10; 2 Tim. 1:6 Every time, therefore, that Paul announced himself an apostle, he declared (to those who appreciate the meaning of that office) that he was one of those twelve specially commissioned of God and recognized of the Church as God's representatives, through whom he would promulgate and establish in the world the truths concerning the New Covenant which had just been sealed with the precious blood (sacrificial death) of Christ. Every time he referred to his apostleship he announced himself one of those specially commissioned "by the holy spirit sent down from heaven" to preach and to establish the Gospel. See 1 Pet. 1:12.

His writings are toned not only with meekness, but also with that authority which should mark one who knows what he teaches to be the truth, unlike the uncertain "scribes." Not only so, but he affirms, 'I have not shunned to declare unto you [not my own opinions, but] all the counsel of God." Acts 20:27 Hear the Apostle: "I certify unto you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ." "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel than that we have preached unto you, let him be accursed." (Gal. 1:8,11,12) "For my gospel [message [HG312] of good tidings] came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the holy spirit, and in much assurance." "As we were permitted of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God." "We preached unto you the gospel of God" – exhorting "that ye would walk worthy of God who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory;" and we thank God that "when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but, as it is in truth, the word of God." (1 Thess. 1:5; 2:4,9,12,13) "God... hath chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the spirit and belief of the truth: whereunto he called you by our gospel." 2 Thess. 2:13,14 But the most forcible element of this attack upon the Bible is that which claims that there are discrepancies of statements between the books of Chronicles and the books of Kings; and that the Old Testament contains narratives too indecent for promiscuous reading. The argument is that the former prove the Bible to be uninspired and unreliable, and that the latter is a reason for believing it to have been written by men of impure minds, and gives the book an impure influence, and hence proves that it is not of God and is unfit for use by the pure-minded and the young.

We answer that the Old Testament Scriptures comprise three classes of writings, viz.: History, Prophecy and Law. The history neither needed nor claimed any special inspiration, though we believe that God's supervision of the historical writings was exerted to the extent of seeing that such items were recorded by the historians as would be of special value in connection with the revelation of the divine plan of the ages. And so also we believe that God's supervision has to some extent been over modern history, by means of which we are enabled to read, upon reliable authority, the fulfillments of many ancient prophecies.

The errors or chronological differences between the books of Kings and Chronicles are, therefore, not to be considered errors of inspiration, but merely such slight discrepancies as we might expect to find in any history, and which God permitted for a purpose, while he supplied this deficiency in the Old Testament chronology by a fuller record on these obscure points in the New Testament. Thus we are assured of his supervision of the historical features of the Bible as a whole. At the same time, the Lord thus hid the exact chronology of events, and hence the knowledge of his times and seasons, both from Israel and from "the wise and prudent" of today, whose pride in human philosophies impels them more toward adverse criticism of the Bible than toward a reverent study of its hidden treasures of truth and grace.

We claim and have shown (MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. II, pages B44-B49) that upon those very points where, by the historian's error or our misunderstanding, our faith in the chronology would be influenced, God has supplied the needed evidence through the apostles, thus cultivating the confidence of "the meek" in his supervision of the entire matter, and emphasizing his special use of the apostles.

In his eternal purpose God had designed not only the sending of his Son to be man's Redeemer and Deliverer, but also that when made flesh it should be in the line of the seed of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and David. He designed also that every item of his plan should be accomplished "in due time," "in the fulness of the times appointed," and he desired that his reverent children should, in due time, know of his good purposes and their times and seasons. For these reasons it was expedient that records be clearly kept, including family genealogies. And it is in keeping a clear record of these necessary genealogies, the showing of who was the father and who the mother, that most of the unchaste narratives are introduced, none of which cases are approved, but many of them reproved.

The reasons for mentioning these features of history are not always apparent without study. For instance, the narrative of King David's relations with Bathsheba were necessary, because her son Solomon succeeded to the throne, and his title to it depended on his relationship to David. Then the account of Absalom's estrangement from his father David made necessary the statement of his relationship to Tamar; and the account of Absalom's conduct toward his father's concubines was necessary as an item of history to prove that the Lord's penalty against David for his injustice toward Uriah was fulfilled. Another account of base wickedness in detail is made necessary as an item of Jewish history to account for the almost complete annihilation of the tribe of Benjamin.

And so with other cases: if the reason for the account is not on the surface, let us look deeper, assured that in every instance there is a good reason.

Furthermore, the fact that our Lord's ancestors, according to the flesh, were far from perfect beings, proves that his perfection did not result from evolution, but, as the Scriptures declare, from his divine origin and his miraculous conception and birth. But even its enemies must concede that these unchaste elements of Bible history are told briefly, and evidently without desire to awaken morbid sentiments, or to do more than the historian's simple duty of keeping the lines of history free from obscurity. This was specially needful because the line of our Lord's descent was to be traced, and because for a part of the course that [HG313] was Israel's royal line or family. And it seems to have been a peculiarity of the Jewish historian to tell the story fearlessly, regardless of whether it related to king or peasant.

All familiar with ancient history know that the Jewish social system was much purer than that of other nations, and few are not aware that today the history of any large city of the world, for one week, if written as boldly as Scripture history, would record more unchastity than the Bible account of an entire nation covering centuries.

We do not urge a promiscuous reading of these unchaste portions of ancient history (either from the Bible or other works) before the family or to the young.

The Bible is not a child's book, but a book for "believers."

And while the New Testament might be freely given into the hands of children, only selections from the Old Testament should be read to those of immature mind.

Such was the custom in the days of the apostles: selections from the Law or from the Prophets were read to the people by the scribes; and the historical books were open for reference, to any who had use for them.

As for persons of matured minds, the unchaste elements of Bible history can work no injury: the morbid and impure mind can find, alas! far more attractive tales upon the counter of every book-store and upon the shelves of every public library.

The true Christian can trust himself to read and get a lesson from every department of God's Book, and it is for such only, and not for the worldly, nor for children; "that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto every good work."

While exposing the infidelity which these "great teachers" are publishing from pulpits dedicated to God, we are far from accusing them of any desire to do evil.

On the contrary, we believe them to be conscientious, but so misled by their own and other men's supposed wisdom that they can now see nothing of God in the Bible, and have therefore come to reverence it merely as an ancient and curious document, a relic of the remote past upon which these, its critics, could improve amazingly. They tolerate it as a book of texts from which to preach sermons (generally in direct opposition to the contexts) merely because the common people still reverence it and can as yet be better appealed to thus than in any other way. They tolerate the Bible only because of what they believe is the superstitious reverence of the people for it.

Of course it is true that some superstitions do attach to the popular reverence for the Bible, as for all sacred things. For instance, some keep a Family Bible upon the table, unused, as a sort of "charm," just as some hang an old horseshoe above their door. Others use it as an "oracle" and after prayer upon any perplexing point open their Bible and accept the verse upon which the eye first lights as an inspired answer to their petition, often torturing the words out of all proper sense and connection to obtain the desired answer. And some ignorantly presume that the English and some that the German translation is the original Bible, and that every word in these imperfect, uninspired translations is inspired. For this the Protestant ministers are responsible: they should have taught the people by expounding God's Word, instead of tickling their ears with pleasing essays upon other topics.

And it is upon this degree of superstition which they helped to inculcate that these "wise men" are now placing their levers and exerting the whole weight of their influence and learning to overthrow entirely the faith of many, their own faith having first perished in their culpable negligence of the prayerful study of God's Word and their pride in human philosophies and speculations.

As a further element of this discussion the reader is referred to Chapters 2, 3, and 10 of MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. I. And thus we rest our argument for the present: urging all who have "laid hold upon the hope set before us in the gospel" to hold fast the confidence of their rejoicing firm unto the end – to hold fast to the Book. And how much more easy it is and will be for those who have learned the real plan of God and seen its beauty to stand firm upon the Bible, than for others.

To many, alas! as at present misunderstood, it is a jumbled mass of doctrinal contradictions. So grandly clear and symmetrical is the wonderful plan that all who see it are convinced that only God could have been its author, and that the book whose teachings it harmonizes must indeed be God's revelation.

"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints." Psa. 116:15.

"So may it be with all those consecrated to walk in the footsteps of their Redeemer. Covered with His robe of righteousness they are all precious to the Father, and their death under whatever circumstances will really not be accidental, but a kiss of Divine approval and seal of the coming blessing in the First Resurrection." R4054, c. 2, p. 1. [HG314] Number 16, January, 1893


An Answer to Robert Ingersoll's Charges Against Christianity

See Old Theology Quarterly, No. 15.


This article is the same material as No. 58, July, 1902. It can be found in Reprint R1468 – R1471 November 1892, entitled, "Purgatory."

Number 21 Matters of Interest and Importance to All Thinking People, Especially to Christians


This article is the same material as No. 66, July, 1904. Bracketed Scriptures are from an undated tract of the same content as Old Theology Quarterly, No. 21.

DO YOU KNOW that the Lord more than two thousand years ago gave, through the Prophet Daniel, a clear description of the times in which we are now living?

DO YOU KNOW that the Bible, in referring to this present time as "the time of the end," does not signify the destruction of the earth, but the end of the present dispensation, after which a new age will be introduced, the Millennium? "The earth abideth forever." Eccl. 1:4

DO YOU KNOW, or have you specially noticed, the several propositions in Daniel's prophecy concerning "the time of the end"? They read thus: In the time of the end

(1) many shall run to and fro;

(2) and knowledge shall be increased;

(3) and the wise [virgins] shall understand;

(4) but none of the wicked shall understand.

(5) And at that time Michael [Christ] shall stand up [begin his reign];

(6) and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation Dan. 12:9,4,10,1.

DO YOU KNOW that according to the Scriptures "the time of the end" above mentioned began in A. D. 1799, and will continue until the A. D. 1915?

DO YOU KNOW that the most rapid means of communication in 1799, the beginning of "the time of the end," was on horseback, while now telephones and telegraphs unite cities, nations and continents?

DO YOU KNOW that the first effective steamboat was built A. D. 1806? and that the first effective locomotive, the Ironsides, was built A. D. 1831?

DO YOU KNOW that Sir Isaac Newton, the great Christian philosopher, who died A. D. 1727, studying this very prophecy said, on the strength of it, "I should not wonder if some day men will travel at the rate of fifty miles an hour?"

DO YOU KNOW that Voltaire, the great infidel philosopher, who died A. D. 1778, when much more was known of the power of steam, despising this prophecy of God's Word, declared that it had made a fool of Sir Isaac Newton when it led him to make the above statement?

DO YOU KNOW that the predicted "running to and fro" is being fulfilled by yourself and others as you travel everywhere by steamboats, steam and electric cars, etc.?

DO YOU KNOW that knowledge is greatly increased, in harmony with the prophecy? And can you not discern such plain signs of the times in which we [HG315] are now living?

DO YOU KNOW that less than four centuries ago illiteracy was so general that the English Parliament passed a law providing for those of its members who were unable to read; while now ability to read and write is general, even amongst the poorest classes?

DO YOU KNOW that free schools were started as Sunday Schools in 1784, and hence that knowledge began to increase greatly with "the time of the end," 1799?

DO YOU KNOW that not a single one of the now many large Bible Societies or Tract Societies was started until 1804, because only then was there much use for reading matter for the masses?

DO YOU KNOW that a right understanding of God's Word not only adds to the wisdom of the wise, but also "maketh wise the simple?" Psa. 19:7

DO YOU KNOW that God promised that in this "time of the end," in which we are living, the wise (toward God, not the worldly-wise) should understand the hitherto secret things of his plan and Word? And do you wish to be one of God's humble "wise virgins?" 1 Cor. 3:18-20. [Matt. 25:2]

DO YOU KNOW that the present social order is not thoroughly satisfactory to any good men, rich or poor, although no human instrumentality is able to arrange for and introduce a better one?

DO YOU KNOW that Christ will introduce a better, a perfect, social arrangement during the Millennium; and that he taught us to expect, watch for, and pray for that Kingdom; saying, "Pray ye, thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven?" If you have sincerely joined in that prayer, you will rejoice in the evidences that its fulfillment is at hand.

DO YOU KNOW that the blessings of the Millennial age are the theme of "all the holy prophets?"

DO YOU KNOW that the Millennial age was specially preached about by the Apostles as "The Day of Christ," "The Kingdom of God," etc.? and that it was the earnest faith of the early Church? Philip. 1:6; Mark 1:14

DO YOU KNOW of the Apostle Peter's reference to it, in Acts 3:19,21, where he calls it "the times of restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets?"

DO YOU KNOW that St. Peter there declares that these times of blessing will not precede, but will follow, the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus?

DO YOU KNOW that the prophecies and signs which now herald the second advent of Christ are much more distinct than were those signs and prophecies which marked his first advent?

DO YOU KNOW that the driving of the Jews out of all nations and the resettlement of many of them in Palestine, now in progress, is another sign of the close of the Gospel age and the dawn of the Millennium? Jer. 16:15; Rom. 11:25-32

DO YOU KNOW that the Second Coming of Christ will be as different from human expectation as was his first advent? and that his day will come upon the world unawares, that they will be "in his days" and that only the wise will know it? [Luke 21:34,35] DO YOU KNOW that the object of the Second Coming of Christ, as well as its manner, is generally misunderstood?'that his coming, according to the Scriptures, means the blessing of all the families of the earth? [Psa. 96:10-13]

DO YOU KNOW that the Church which God is electing or selecting during this Gospel age is promised a spiritual or heavenly reward?'to be "made partakers of the divine nature" (2 Pet. 1:4), and to share with Christ the work of blessing the world during the Millennium, but that the Lord's provision for those who accept his grace during the Millennial age is a restitution or restoration of the perfections of human nature (lost by sin), in Paradise restored, the new earth? Acts 3:19-21; Rev. 21:1-4

DO YOU KNOW that the Day of Judgment will be a thousand-year day, and not a twenty-four hour day? and that the word judgment implies, not merely a sentence, but also a trial? [2 Pet. 3:7,8]

DO YOU KNOW that during the world's great day of trial or judgment (the Millennium) the Church now being selected from among men will be, with Christ, the Judges of the world? (1 Cor. 6:2)'that to prepare them for that service they themselves are now severely tried in all points, that they may be able to sympathize with those whom they will then judge?'and that they shall be kings and priests of God and, as Abraham's seed, bless all the families of the earth?

Rev. 20:4; Gal. 3:16,29; Gen. 22:18

DO YOU KNOW that not all who worship and say, "Lord, Lord," shall enter into or be members of that elect Church? (Matt. 7:21-23), and that not all who have their names upon earthly Church rolls, but only those "whose names are written in heaven," and whose names will not be blotted out because of unfaithfulness, will constitute the one Church of the living God, in all a "little flock?" Heb. 12:23; Rev. 3:5; 1 Tim. 3:15; Luke 12:32

DO YOU KNOW that all the members of the Church are now only probationary members, waiting and striving and hoping for full membership in the Church triumphant at the first resurrection? Rev. 20:4 [HG316]

DO YOU KNOW that the large majority of humanity has never had any trial, because they died in total ignorance of the only name given whereby they can be saved?

DO YOU KNOW that the Apostle Paul declares that there is "one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus who gave himself a ransom for all [men], to be testified [to all men] in due time?" 1 Tim. 2:6

DO YOU KNOW that while to many of us the "due time" to learn of this grace of God is during the present life, yet to the vast majority this "due time" must be in a future life; because less than one-third of the human family have ever heard of, so that they could believe on, the only name "under heaven given among men, whereby we may be saved?" Acts 4:12

DO YOU KNOW that the Millennial age is for the very purpose of causing the knowledge of the Lord to fill the whole earth as the waters cover the sea, and to open the eyes of men's understanding and to unstop their ears that they may hear God's message of mercy, and see "the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world ?"Isa. 11:9; 35:5; John 1:9

DO YOU KNOW that some living in civilized lands have never had a full knowledge of the gospel with a full opportunity to show whether they would choose righteousness or sin; because they have had comparatively little knowledge of righteousness, by either experience or observation, and great experience only with sin, within and without?

DO YOU KNOW that our Lord Jesus paid the great price for all ; to secure for all a FULL OPPORTUNITY to gain everlasting life by faith and obedience? 1 Tim. 2:6; Acts 3:22,23

DO YOU KNOW that Christ "is the propitiation [satisfaction] for our sins, and not for ours [the Church's sins] only, but also for the sins of the whole world?" 1 John 2:2

DO YOU KNOW that the Bible teaches both the doctrine of Election and the doctrine of Free Grace? the election of the Church during this age, and free grace for the world in general in the Millennial age? and that this harmony, of these two doctrines so long supposed to be in conflict, can be clearly shown from the Scriptures? [Rom. 8:29; Rev. 22:17]

DO YOU KNOW that 6,000 years of Earth's history is past, according to Bible Chronology? and that the seventh thousand is the Millennium of Christ's reign? and that the present time, from 1875 to 1915, is the lapping period styled in Scripture the "harvest" of the age, in which the number of the elect Church will be completed? and that then the Millennial age will be ushered in by a "great time of trouble" (anarchy, etc., mentioned repeatedly in Scripture), which will level society, humble pride and prepare the way for Immanuel's long promised Kingdom'" under the whole heavens"? Dan. 2:28,44; 7:13,14,18,22,27

DO YOU KNOW that "in that day" [now come] there will be wise virgins as well as foolish virgins (Matt. 25:1' virgin signified pure), but that only the wise (the obedient) shall understand?

DO YOU KNOW that the "wise virgins" who shall enter in with the Bridegroom will have oil in their vessels (the spirit of the truth in their hearts and lives) as well as in their lamps (the Scriptures)? and that it is declared that "none of the wicked shall understand" (Dan. 12:10; 1 Cor. 2:14), but only the humble and consecrated, the wise? And do you wish to be one of the "wise virgins?"

DO YOU KNOW that the Apostle tells us that although the "day of the Lord" shall come as a thief and a snare upon the whole world, yet the brethren of Christ will not be in darkness? 1 Thess. 5:4. Note also our Lord's word in Luke 21:34,35.

DO YOU KNOW that "the time is short" in which the consecrated may "make their calling and election sure" and "so run as to obtain" the great prize of this gospel age, viz., joint-heirship with Christ in his Kingdom? [1 Cor. 9:24]

DO YOU KNOW that the powers of the heavens (the nominal Church) are being shaken, and that soon there will be a great union or "confederacy" of all denominations of nominal Christians (See Isa. 8:10-16), in fulfillment of the statement that "the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll"'while men's hearts are failing them for fear and for looking forward to those things coming upon the earth? Luke 21:26; Rev. 6:14; Isa. 34:4

DO YOU KNOW whether or not you have put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand in this evil day already upon us? Eph. 6:13

DO YOU KNOW that to be able to stand against the wiles of the devil in this evil day you need the whole armor of God, the helmet (an intellectual protection from the assaults of error), as well as a substantial shield of faith and ability to wield "the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God"?

DO YOU KNOW that God has provided this armor complete, and special food'" meat in due season" for the household of faith in the present time, things new as well as old (Matt. 13:52; 24:45) and that riches of grace and knowledge relative to the divine plan, never possible before this "harvest," may now be enjoyed by you, if you are wholly the Lord's?

DO YOU KNOW that the same prophet, Daniel, predicted that, after the running to and fro had [HG317] generally increased knowledge amongst men, discontent would become general and that there would be "a time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation?" Dan. 12:1

DO YOU KNOW that this trouble will be socialistic and eventually anarchistic, and, according to the Scriptures, result in the downfall of all the kingdoms of the world and thus make ready for Christ's Millennial Kingdom? See MILLENNIAL DAWN, VOL. 1, Chaps. xiii-xv.

DO YOU KNOW that MILLENNIAL DAWN, VOL. 1, is reclaiming more Infidels, helping more Skeptics and establishing more Christians than any other book in the world? It is indeed a "Bible Key" and "A Helping Hand for Bible Students."

DO YOU KNOW that we can supply you helpful literature on all these subjects which will in every case cite you, not to the creeds and opinions of fallible men, however good, but to the words of our Lord, the apostles and prophets? "That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God." 1 Cor. 2:5,9-14

DO YOU KNOW that many of the most prominent ministers of the various denominations are preaching on every other subject than the gospel, while some of them are denying the fall, the redemption and a coming restitution, so clearly taught in the Bible, and teaching, instead, Evolution? yea, and even denying the inspiration of the Bible?

DO YOU KNOW that meanwhile a famine prevails, not a famine for bread, nor for water, but for the hearing (understanding) of the word of the Lord? See Amos 8:11

DO YOU KNOW that the Lord is raising up many who are voluntarily giving their time and going from house to house to call attention to these matters and that if "one of the least of these," the Lord's "little ones," an angel or messenger of the truth, should at any time call upon you, and be received in a spirit of meekness and love, he will show you, free of charge, the Chart of the Ages, the examination of which will help you to rightly divide the word of truth and to apply and understand all Scriptures, and thus prove a great and lasting blessing to you?

DO YOU KNOW that we are the friends of all who are trusting in the precious blood of Christ, and who are consecrated to his service? and that we will be glad to have such (and honest skeptics as well) write to us upon these subjects? and that if you are poor we will gladly supply you spiritual food and drink, free ?

Address us as follows: WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOC'Y Bible House, Arch Street ALLEGHENY, PA., U. S. A.


Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness [truth in thought, word and deed]; for they shall be filled.

Overcharged, as many Christian people are, with the cares of this life, and intoxicated, as some others are, with its fleeting pleasures, it is quite possible that a very large majority fail to discern the peculiar signs of these times, which the Scriptures show to be a transition period, closing the gospel age and ushering in the Millennium.

We live in a day when many, even in the pulpit, as well as out of it, are boldly contradicting the Bible and denying its divine authorship, in whole or in part; and never in the history of the Church have so many conflicting voices confused the truths of the Gospel. We are told that the prophets and apostles, though honest, were mistaken or fanatical men who made serious errors in what they said and wrote: that even our Lord Jesus was mistaken in much that he said, as, for instance, in his references to Jonah and the great fish, to Noah and the deluge, etc. (Matt. 12:40; 24:37-39; Luke 17:26,27) What is termed the higher criticism of the Bible rejects all such statements, including miracles and prophecies, as generally absurdities, unworthy of the credence of thinking men; and it accepts merely the moral precepts, whatever of the historical portions suits its convenience, etc., as from any other book. This great "falling away" was predicted for the end of this age, and it therefore becomes another sign of the times. Note carefully the following Scriptures, which indicate that a thousand will thus fall (into unbelief), to one who will stand faithful. Let all who would stand seek quickly and put on "the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day." Psa. 91:7,11,12; Luke 18:8; 2 Tim. 3:1; Eph. 6:13 Yet, in the midst of all the confusing voices of this "evil day," the Lord's sheep will hear the voice of the Good Shepherd, and, following him, will not be left in the outer darkness of doubt and unbelief, but will be guided into all the truth now due to the household of faith. Such was his promise; and such should be the expectation of his people, especially now, when "the whole armor of God," the full understanding and clear appreciation of the divine plan, is needed as never before.

Write to us at once, if you feel a hunger and thirst for the bread of life and the living water; for Luke 12:37 is now being fulfilled. We send sample tracts and papers free to applicants.

We earnestly commend to God's people the careful and prayerful reading of a work which we publish at cost price in order to bring it within the reach of even [HG318] the poorest. It is entitled THE DIVINE PLAN OF THE AGES. 1,000,000 copies are already in circulation in various languages, and a blessing is going out therefrom to God's consecrated people.

Number 22

THE WORLD'S HOPE "The Desire of All Nations"

This article is the same material as No. 59, October, 1902. With the exception of some slight variations in sentence structure, this can be found in Reprint R1091-R1095, February, 1889, entitled "The Desire of All Nations."

Number 25, January, 1895 THE ONLY NAME

A Criticism of Bishop Foster's New Gospel This article can be found in Reprint R1709 – R1710, September, 1894, entitled, "Bishop Foster's New Gospel" and Reprint R1716 – R1719, October, 1894, entitled, "Bishop Foster's New Gospel, No. 2."

Special Issue Booklet, Number 32, 1896 WHAT SAY THE SCRIPTURES ABOUT HELL?

With the exception of paragraphs 1-4, printed below, this material can be found in Reprint R2597 – R2605, April, 1900, entitled, "What Say the Scriptures Concerning Hell?," Reprint R2606 – R2607, entitled, "Parable of the Sheep and the Goats," and Reprint R2607 – R2612 entitled, "Everlasting Punishment." [Other Sentences altered slightly] [HG319]


"Oh," says one, on receiving this tract, "that is a horrid theme: it has been like a night-mare to me all my life long; do not mention it; let me forget it!" "Yes," says another, "let me forget it and think and talk of the love of God; for when I consider how strait is the gate and narrow is the way that leadeth unto life and how prone we all are to sin, I exceedingly fear, and can never come to that 'full assurance of faith' which I so much desire."

Still another adds, "Oh, do not mention it: I have children, or a husband, or a wife, or a friend yet unsaved, and my soul is overwhelmed with a burden of fear and anxiety for them." And another, with streaming eyes and faltering voice, adds, "O sir, if that doctrine be true, and it must be, else all Christendom would not teach it, then some of my dear ones are past all hope, and are now amidst the agonies of that awful place."

Yes, we admit that the theme as generally represented and accepted is a horrid one, shutting out to a very large extent the glorious vision of the love and power and wisdom of God, which his holy Word presents. But, nevertheless, let us hear what say the Scriptures; for "therein is the righteousness of God revealed." (Rom. 1:17) True, therein "the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who hold the truth in unrighteousness" (Rom. 1:18), and "Though hand join in hand [saying, 'In union there is strength'], the wicked shall not be unpunished" (Prov. 11:21); but the wrath of God is always just, and tempered with mercy. "His mercy endureth forever." Psa. 106:1; 107:1; 118:1-4; 136 That there is something radically wrong with the generally accepted view of the doctrine of the punishment of the wicked is very manifest from the standpoint of reason, in that, instead of revealing the righteousness of God, it greatly misrepresents his glorious character of love and justice, wisdom and power. And from a Scriptural standpoint we have no hesitancy in affirming what we are abundantly prepared to prove, that it is far astray from the truth, and that the position of its advocates is wholly untenable.


From everlasting thou art God! The "high and lofty one." For thou alone did'st live before Creation was begun.

Thy wisdom, justice, love and power As yet had not been known, For in a realm of endless space, There thou did'st dwell alone.

Thy glory and thy majesty Did'st thou desire to share, And so thou did'st create thy Son, None with him could compare.

Then by thy power and thru thy Son All things created came, And with one breath they glorified Thy great and holy name.

We worship thee our Father, God, And thy beloved Son Who at thy word fulfills thy plan, In purpose thou art one.