The New York American January 1, 1911


Brooklyn, N Y, Jan. 1 Pastor Russell of Brooklyn Tabernacle, addressed a large congregation in the Brooklyn Academy of Music this afternoon on the importance of good courage for the New Year, from the following text: "Fear not, for I have redeemed thee; I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine." Isa. 43:1

Fear is a great calamity. It is closely related to all the sorrows of life, closely linked to all the crimes of the world. One of the blessings of true Christianity is the release it gives from fear. But alas! true Christianity, true Christian faith, and the present rewards of these are not very common even in Christendom.

Few know the meaning of the Master's words, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Few appreciate the assurance, "If the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." Matt. 11:28; John 8:36.

Fear has its foundation in sin. We may be sure that the angels in heaven know no fear. After Adam had disobeyed the Divine command in Eden, he feared his Maker and hid from him. Similarly, fear affects all of Adam's posterity, because of the general realization that "all are sinners." God and his righteousness are, figuratively, light, and the sinner and his sins are, figuratively, darkness. There is no compromise the darkness hateth (opposeth) the light, the light scattereth the darkness. Love and reverence go hand in hand, but love and fear are opposite; we cannot love that which we fear, we do not fear that which we love.


Hope, pride and ambition encourage the business man and the laborer, the king and the peasant, the housewife and the maid, the leaders of the social set, and the patient mother. Nevertheless, all of these have a drag-anchor of fear, which in the stress of life produces worry; worry produces indigestion; indigestion produces insomnia and nervousness, which lead on to every form of disease and unhappiness. To the extent, therefore, that fear is removed, health and happiness are encouraged and aided.

All physicians recognize the fact that fear is closely related to disease. Hence the wise physician always counsels cheerful surroundings for the sick, cheerful conversation, diversion of the mind, the avoidance of thought along worrisome lines the rest cure, etc. It may be asked, Why is it that the Master's cure is little considered today? Why are so few pointed to Christ, the Great Physician, for the rest and peace and comfort and [HGL452] joy which he promised to his followers eighteen centuries ago? Have his words proven untrue? Are His professed followers amongst the most anxious and troubled and overcharged and sick and sorrowing and fearful of our poor, groaning creation? We must concede the inference. We must admit that the four hundred millions of professed Christians are much more unhappy, much more fearful, much more nervous, peevish and sickly than the twelve hundred millions outside of Christendom.

The explanation of this peculiar situation is that Christendom is not Christian; that the name Christendom is a misnomer! Christ's Kingdom does not prevail amongst the civilized one-fourth of humanity. For centuries now Christendom has deceived itself, and has seriously misrepresented Christ, his teachings and his promised Kingdom of Righteousness for which still we are praying, "Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth." Our standing armies, prepared to destroy each other, and our dreadnaught navies, prepared to blow each other to atoms, and our submarines and our flying machines, our great cannons and torpedoes all prove the mistake of calling human civilization, Christ's Kingdom.

Similarly, the worry, fear, strife, nervousness, etc., of Christendom all prove that the Great Teacher's antidote for fear and worry has not been taken by the masses of Christendom. We hold that the Good Physician's remedy for sin, corroding care, worry, fear, is just as effective today as it was eighteen and a half centuries ago; we hold that the real difficulty is that his prescription has not been faithfully followed. We urge that those who now have "an ear to hear" His message should accept it faithfully, and that they should not accept at the hands of anybody another prescription said to be "just as good." We should make sure that we get the remedy which bears the indorsement of the Lord's Word, and which has the seal of "the precious blood."


During the Dark Ages superstitious fear was encouraged, all will concede. The attempt was made to drive humanity to God. Atrocious doctrines were promulgated in the name of God, Christ and His Apostles. St. Paul denominates these, "doctrines of demons." (1 Tim. 4:1) These, primarily, taught a purgatory, to be mitigated by prayers and masses. Under the impulse of fear, millions accepted Christ and professed discipleship, in total ignorance of his real teachings, and yet were no more his followers than when they were heathen. Later on the Adversary partially side tracked the Reformation movement by leading zealous people to renounce purgatory as unscriptural and to accept in its stead, for the world at large, eternal torment a still more unscriptural proposition a still more God-dishonoring doctrine of demons.

Fortunately for ourselves, we Protestants do not take our own doctrine seriously. However much all Protestant creeds assert that only baptized saints will reach heaven, and, contrariwise, that all the unsaintly will suffer eternal torture; nevertheless, not one in a hundred believes this. The most saintly, the most conscientious of them are troubled by their fears, tormented by their sympathies, perplexed to understand God's dealings, hindered from having the peace and joy which the Master promised his followers. The less conscientious of them stifle conscience to their own injury, gradually losing faith in the Word of God because of this error. They thus escape some of the torments of fear, but they do not attain the love, joy, contentment and peace which the Master promised his faithful ones.


There is only the one Divine remedy for this harmful fear. That remedy is associated with the Gospel of Christ; but there are numerous subterfuges. Some drown their fears, disappointments and sorrows with alcohol or various narcotics. Some seek to drown them with sensuous pleasures, some with business activity, some with church activity, some with "devil-may-care" unreason. Of late a considerable degree of subterfuge success has come along the lines of deceit denying the existence of sin, denying the facts of pain and sorrow and death, and, contrariwise, affirming that everything is good, regardless of the untruthfulness of this proposition.

The result of this self-deception indeed relieves from a considerable measure of fear. To this extent it proves a solace and satisfaction, but it is a subterfuge and not the true remedy. As a proposition its influence upon the mind, upon all the reasoning faculties, is injurious. The twisting of reason necessary to this philosophy which calls black white, and pain pleasure, and sin righteousness, is destructive of sound reasoning ability. The habit of perversion necessary to the calling of bad good, and wrong right, not only injures the mind, but, in attempting to sustain itself from the Scriptures, perverts the entire Word of God. With reason perverted and the Scriptures perverted, the true message of the Scriptures cannot be enjoyed. Unless fear be measurably eliminated, the proper faith, hope, joy and spirit of a sound mind are impossible.


God's message, through the Law and the Prophets, to Israel, as interpreted by Jesus and His Apostles, gives us the true antidote for fear. It does not deny sin, sickness, sorrow, death; it denies no fact, but it does hold out a remedy for all of these, an antidote, "the balm of Gilead." Moreover, it informs us that this antidote can be received only through the co-operation of our heads and hearts.

It informs us that this healing is obtainable by only a comparatively few at this time, but, eventually, the Divine blessings, world-wide, shall operate toward all humanity as fully as have the penalties of sin. It applies now (in full degree) only to such as have the hearing ear, the eye of faith and the appreciative, responsive heart. Others may obtain a measure only of this consolation. The Great Teacher gave us the key to this deliverance from fear, saying, "Ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free. If the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed," John 8:32, 36.

The first step toward having the Truth make us free is to have the coating of ignorance and superstition removed, and this is a different matter. For instance, the Catholic superstition of purgatory and the Protestant superstition of eternal torment, for practically all mankind, have been so [HGL453] thoroughly riveted upon their faithful that to break their bonds and get free is a difficult task. Only those who hunger and thirst after the Lord and his righteousness are in any likelihood of ever being properly freed.

Others getting free from one error are merely steered by the Adversary into another as bad or worse. God seeketh not these at the present time; He will deal with them by and by under Messiah's glorious Kingdom, when Satan shall be bound. Now, as the Apostle declares, "God seeketh such to worship Him as worship him in spirit and truth;" "The secret of the Lord is with them that reverence him and he will show them his Covenant" he will set them free now from the bondage of superstition and fear and by and by, in the "First Resurrection," he will free them from the body of corruption.

In other words, at the present time, all humanity may receive a blessing of heart consolation in proportion as they can come to the knowledge of Divine Truth, and each will be helped to the knowledge of the Truth in proportion to his hunger and thirst after righteousness his honesty of soul. The dishonest-hearted are not worthy of being set free from fear. Liberty and freedom from fear for these would not be favorable to them nor to others under present conditions.


To attain the highest blessing which God has to offer at the present time certain difficult requirements must be complied with. Sin must be repented of heartily, and, so far as possible, restitution must be made, which means that sin must be forsaken to the extent of ability. Faith must then recognize the "Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world" that the sacrifice for sins was necessary, and that God himself provided it in the death of Jesus. Faith and knowledge must go further and not only see and acknowledge the death of the Redeemer, but also that God raised him from the dead and highly exalted him to spirit-being again, to the intent that eventually he may accomplish for all mankind the wonderful blessings foretold in the Law and the Prophets.

Additionally, to such will be revealed the great "Mystery" of this Gospel Age, lasting from the death of Jesus to the manifestation of Messiah in power and great glory as Michael the "god-like One" (Dan. 12:1). The Mystery is that Jesus is the Head, Chief, Lord, over the Church which is His Body, and that the "Body" members will eventually be glorified with the Head on the spirit plane, and that then Head and Body will constitute the great Messiah whose spiritual reign of a thousand years will result in the blessing and uplifting of mankind.


To properly understand our text and, indeed, to understand the Bible as a whole, it is necessary to discern that God has foreordained two Israels the earthly and the heavenly. Both are precious, both are "elect," both are to be used of the Lord during Messiah's Kingdom reign the one on the heavenly plane and the other on the earthly. A mistake has been made by some in recognizing the earthly Israel and not recognizing the heavenly or spiritual Israel. Others have made the mistake of recognizing the heavenly or spiritual Israel and not recognizing the earthly Israel. The promise of God is to be sure to both the seeds of Abraham to that which is according to the promise, the oath the Spiritual Seed and also to that which is, according to the Law, the natural seed. Rom. 4:16

The Spiritual Seed must be developed first, because the blessing will proceed from the Heavenly Seed to the earthly seed, then from the earthly seed to all nations. The blessing upon all nations will consist of the opportunity that will be offered them of becoming members of the earthly seed which, ultimately, as the sands of the seashore, will include the saved of all nations all found worthy of everlasting life. "I have constituted thee a father of many nations." Rom. 4:17


All who will come into this blessed experience of relationship to God are described in our text, "Fear not, for I have redeemed thee; I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine." The faithful few of this Gospel Age, who have passed through the deep waters of tribulation and walked through fiery trials, have not only come off uninjured, but have been blessed; yea, and will be abundantly blessed in the rewards of the coming Kingdom. They have naught to fear.

Similarly Natural Israel as a people was specially favored from the days of Abraham down to the rejection of Messiah particularly the saintly few of that people whose sure reward will be their privilege of being made Princes in all the earth by the great King of Glory. Psa. 95:1-6

Even during the Gospel Age when the nation of Israel, "Jacob" has been obliged to pass through trying experiences, "waters of affliction" and "fiery trials," the Lord has not forsaken them. He has kept them together as a people. He has not permitted them to be destroyed by their enemies. Their persistency for thirty-five centuries is of itself a miracle of Divine supervision. Without afflictions they would have disappeared as a distinct people.

As the Gospel Age (for the selection of Spiritual Israel) draws to a close, the voice of God is calling natural Israel and pointing them to the Land of Promise and reviving their hearts with the messages of their Prophets.

All are to share God's blessings eventually, and then all may be without fear. Now is the time for those who know their God, to fear not. Now, those whose eyes of faith and understanding can discern God's stately steppings among the children of men in the directing of the Divine Program may fearlessly rejoice. Now is the time for those to be of good courage; to fear not; to overcome the world; to be valiant for righteousness and truth. Their blessings of the Lord will be in proportion to their faithfulness and courage. There is no other route to the true rest and peace to which Jesus invites. And there never can be a better time than now to accept the Lord's offer. "Come unto Me!"

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