The National Labor Tribune, June 6, 1909


Mid Ocean, S. S. Mauretania, June 6 – Pastor C. T. Russell of Brooklyn Tabernacle and associates are on board returning from London Bible Students' Convention.

He took for his text the following: "Master, carest thou not that we perish?" Mark 4:38

In our text we have the despairing cry of the apostles to the Lord, in the midst of what must have been a remarkably severe storm on the Sea of Galilee. Some of the disciples, at least, were experienced fishermen, accustomed to the sudden squalls for which that sea is noted. For such courageous men as Peter, James and John to appeal to Jesus for superhuman aid implies that the conditions were critical. It seems rather astonishing indeed that our Lord could have slept under such strenuous conditions, but he was extremely exhausted from speaking to large multitudes and the journey was made in considerable measure to get away from the people, in order that he might have necessary rest. But again, it is possible that our Lord feigned sleep for the very purpose of permitting his disciples to reach the point of extremity which led them to call for his aid; because man's extremity is God's opportunity. The Master arose and rebuked the wind, saying, "Peace, be still."

And there was a great calm. And he said to the disciples, Why are ye so fearful? Have ye not yet faith? This expression constitutes one of the great lessons of the Master to his pupils, his disciples, and it has come ringing down the centuries, speaking peace to his followers ever since. The message it brings is that he who is able to control the storms and the sea is likewise able to govern all the affairs of life in the interests of those who are his consecrated followers, his disciples. Whether we have had so remarkable an escape from a storm at sea or not, I am sure that some of us have had the Master's supervision and intervention for our protection from the storms of life.

To some of our hearts he has spoken these same words, "Peace, be still. Have ye not yet faith?" And with the message came a great calm, a great serenity, a great rest in the Lord and his superabundant care. If for a time the Master seemed unconscious of our condition and asleep to the dangers about us, it was only seemingly so. His care and his power were equally with us, and none could really harm our interests as New Creatures. He whose eye never slumbers nor sleeps keeps watch over the interests of those who are truly his; and he is pledged that all things shall work together for good to them; because they love him; because they have been called according to his purpose; because they are seeking to make that calling and election sure by loving, self sacrificing obedience.


In our judgment the Lord was not specially condemning the apostles for fearing the storm and awakening him to quell it. Indeed, their action indicates that they had faith; that they believed that the Master had the power which could save them. The Lord would have them exercise a still broader faith than this. He would have them realize the Father's care as he had taught them, saying, "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing, and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father? Fear ye not, therefore; ye are of more value than many sparrows." (Matt. 10:29-31)

The lesson sought to be inculcated was this: "The Father has called you to be my disciples and co-laborers. You with myself, therefore, are specially under Divine guidance and supervision. And he who has begun the good work in you, and who purposes to use you as his mouthpieces in the proclaiming of his message and grace, is able to care for all your interests, both temporal and spiritual. Do you suppose that, after calling you to the ministry of his grace, he would permit you to perish? To so fear, implies that you do not realize your calling to have been of God, or do not realize the Divine power, or that you doubt Divine wisdom and supervision – being of insufficient faith."

Shall we not similarly judge ourselves, scrutinize our own hearts, inquire within, if in the midst of the storms and tempests of life we become terrified? Would not this imply that we doubt the Divine providences in our own cases in the past and that we are uncertain as respects our calling of the Lord to be followers of the Lamb, sharers in the sufferings of Christ now and heirs of the glory that shall follow? Or would it mean that we lacked faith, lacked confidence in God? Perhaps no other lesson is more important for God's children to learn in the present time than this – to have absolute confidence in their Father's Justice, Wisdom, Love and Power.


The Apostle remarks of the Church of this age, "We walk by faith and not by sight."

In this respect the Gospel Church is different from the Jewish Church of the preceding age and different from the Millennial Church of the oncoming age. The latter will walk by [NS660] sight. The Sun of Righteousness will shine forth, we are assured, and scatter all the darkness of ignorance, superstition and prejudice, and flood the world with the "light of the knowledge of the glory of God."

There will be no more walking by the light of the lamp, the Bible, so precious to us now, so necessary to us now as a lamp to our feet and as a light to our footsteps to assist us in walking in the "narrow way" by faith and not by sight. The Jewish church of the preceding age was privileged to walk considerably by sight, not so clear and distinct a light as that which will illuminate the world in the Millennium, but, nevertheless, they walked by sight, because the Divine terms were that if they obeyed God's Word and walked in his statutes he would bless them in basket and store and flock and herd and in their families and in their hearts. And the assurance was that if there was any calamity it would be because of their departure from the Lord and would mark his disfavor. But during this Gospel Age how different!

Whoever would be God's child, a follower of Jesus, in the present time must walk by faith and not by sight. He must believe what he cannot see. He must learn that the cost of discipleship in this age, the cost of sonship in the Divine family in this present time means self-sacrifice, a narrow way, opposition and persecution. "Yea, whoever will live godly in this present world will suffer persecution."

Instead of being blessed above other men in their temporal affairs the consecrated, the sanctified, have the Scriptural assurance that they must expect the reverse. Instead of being kept in perfect health many of the Lord's followers have had sad experiences on beds of sickness and pain. Instead of being wealthy it was foretold that there would be not many rich amongst them, not many great, not many wise according to the course of this world, but that the riches they must esteem are the riches of God's grace associated with the exceeding great and precious promises of God's Word. Instead of being surrounded by conditions of affluence, wealth and ease their circumstances are generally the reverse of these. And why is this so? Because the Lord is now choosing or selecting from amongst mankind a little flock of "peculiar people" who he designs shall eventually be joint-heirs with his Son in the Heavenly kingdom.


The Lord's people are peculiar in their dress – not as respects their outward clothing, but as respects their robe of Christ's Righteousness – theirs by imputation, because of faith in the blood of Christ, faith in his sacrifice for sins. They are peculiar also in that they have a "wedding garment" which they wear continually and which they seek to keep "unspotted from the world" and which they trust by and by will admit their entrance with their Lord to the great Marriage Supper when they, as members of the Bride-Elect, shall become the Queen of Glory, Joint-Heirs with the Bridegroom.

These are peculiar also in that they love Righteousness and hate iniquity, whereas the majority of people love iniquity and are ready to indulge in it to the extent that they would not be caught or seriously injured. These, on the contrary, love Righteousness because they have come to esteem it as the character of their Heavenly Father and his will respecting them, and they have come to hate iniquity because they have learned of its injuriousness and that the Heavenly Father is not pleased with iniquity, injustice, wrong in any form.

These peculiar people are so desirous of pleasing the Heavenly Father that they are quite willing to be thought peculiar or strange to the world in general that they may hear by and by the words, "Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things." Matt. 25:23


All the circumstances and affairs of life, its storms and its calms, its joys and its sorrows, its ups and its downs, its pleasures and its pains, are so ordered of the Father's providence as to give these "peculiar people" the lessons they most need, primarily to develop in them this quality of faith, and secondly the various graces of the Lord's spirit, which can be built only upon this faith, this trust, this confidence.

And as f he members of this class learn to take the proper view of the Lord's dealings, learn to have faith in him, learn to note his providences and to trust his promises; proportionately it is their privilege to have peace and rest in every time of storm and distress. As the Master declares, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you. Let not your heart be troubled neither let it be afraid." (John 14:27)

Whoever, therefore, would be most pleasing to the Lord; whoever would be most ready for the graduating exercises at the end of the age; whoever hopes to hear the Master's "Well done, good and faithful servant," must give diligence to the cultivation of this quality of faith, a "faith which firmly trusts him come what may."


What we have applied individually to the Lord's people may also be applied to them as a whole. Looking back over the nearly nineteen centuries since the institution of this Church by our Lord at his First Advent, particularly since Pentecost, and marking the [NS661] varied experiences of these centuries, we perceive that the Church has passed over a tempestuous route in her journey to the heavenly home. Storms and calms mark the entire course, and the evidences are thickening all about us that the severest and darkest hour, the most stormy period of her entire career, is just ahead of her – just upon her, we might say. The sea, the world, is all about her and seeking to enter into her, seeking to swamp her, seeking to swallow her up. Many of the Lord's followers already are crying to him in terror, "Master, carest thou not that we perish?"

Seest thou not how agnosticism, under a new name of Higher Criticism, is seeking to capsize us, to overwhelm us, to break the cable of faith by which we are anchored to the sure promises of thy Word! Master, seest thou not that the very mention of thy precious blood as the Ransom Price for sinners, the purchase price of our release from sin and death is reviled, is belittled, is esteemed a common thing, is repudiated by those who name Thy Name! Master, carest thou not that thy Word has been so misrepresented during the dark ages of the past that today the intellectuals of the world disdain it as the teaching of doctrines unworthy of a noble intellect! Master, carest thou not that these have no reverence for thy Book and for thine own Holy Name? Master, carest thou not that thy people, thy saintly ones, are perishing in infidelity, in agnosticism; that they are losing their faith in the precious blood and in all the wonderful promises of the word, because they see not, neither do they understand the height and length, the breadth and depth of the love of God which passeth all understanding! Master, carest thou not that those who have had a glimpse at the teachings of thy Word and who have there beheld that as the heavens are higher than the earth so are thy ways higher ways and thy purpose and plans higher than man's plans! And carest thou not that these find it so difficult to present the glorious message of thy Grace to such as have the hearing ear and understanding heart! "Master, save or we perish!" Master, thy Church is about to be swallowed up in the overwhelming tide of worldliness, of sin, superstition and ignorance and deception of evil spirits!


To all such appeals the Master's reply is, "Have ye not yet faith?" Do ye not know that the Word that goeth from my mouth shall prosper in the thing whereto it was sent? Do you not realize that he who began the work of selecting the Church will accomplish it? Do you not know that naught could come to pass without your Father's knowledge and permission? Do you not remember the words of the Lord, "Thou couldest have not power at all against me, except it were given thee from above," except it were permitted thee of my Father. (John 19:11)

Our difficulty has been to some extent the same that our Lord mentioned to the Sadducees saying, "Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God." Matt. 22:29

But what say the Scriptures on the subject? We answer that they foretell the present condition of things and give us an outlook future. They call our attention to the fact that there is a nominal Church, as well as the real one, an outward class of considerable numbers which have a form of godliness, but without the power, and a "little flock" which has the Truth and is in heart relationship with the Lord, begotten of the holy Spirit.

They tell us that we have been mistaken in the past in supposing that it is a part of the Heavenly Father's plan to convert the world during this present Gospel Age; that that part of his plan belongs to the next age; that his present work is the gathering of the "elect," the "little flock," to be associated with the Redeemer as his Bride in the glorious Kingdom, for which we pray, "Thy Kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven."

They assure us that the storm of Higher Criticism, infidelity and Evolution and general godlessness and faithlessness which we see coming, which is already upon us, will indeed be a terrible storm, the like of which was permitted in the time of trouble which closed the Jewish Age, and again in the close of the eighteenth century in the French Revolution. The Scriptures show us that the Lord intends to make a separation between merely nominal Christians and the saints – the pure in heart, the full of faith, the full of zeal, the lovers of Righteousness, the haters of iniquity. And his testing and sifting of the true wheat and its separation from the tares will be a thorough and complete work. But we say, if the Church goes down, if the storm shall wreck the Church of Christ, will not the entire social fabric be wrecked? Shall not we all perish?

But the Lord answers, Nay, verily, "a thousand shall fall at thy side, ten thousand at thy right hand, but it shall not come nigh thee" (to injure thee). The shaking of the social, political and financial fabric, which is closely interwoven with the religious, will be something awful, according to the Scriptural pictures, "A time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation, nor ever shall be afterward," said our Lord. (Dan. 12:1)

For a time fierce anarchy will follow the destruction of faith in God and in his Word – quite contrary to the expectations of the Higher Critics. Then, in due time to save the fabric, our Lord will stand forth in power, majesty and great glory and will say to the raging waves of human passion in that tempestuous storm, "Peace, be [NS662] still!" And there will be a great calm, and that calm will extend throughout the Millennial period and give favorable opportunity for the living nations to see, to comprehend, and to accept the Lord's righteous arrangements and to accept, if they will, his gracious provisions. And it will give opportunity also for all mankind, including those who have gone down into the great prison-house of death, to come under those gracious provisions.


To many of the Lord's people it must seem as though the Lord were asleep, because he has allowed so long a reign of sin and death to be upon the world and has not the sooner rebuked the great Adversary and caused him to be bound, that he might deceive the nations no more. To many it has seemed as though the Lord were heedless or careless of his own dear people who have faith in him and cry unto him day and night as they battle with the world, the flesh and the Adversary. But no, the Lord knoweth the end from the beginning. He is working all things according to the counsel of his own will. He will yet make the wrath of man to praise him, and the remainder will he restrain.

Only in the light of the Divine Plan of the Ages do we find the mystery solved and realize that God is working his great Plan according to system and order, and that the trials and difficulties, the darkness and clouds upon the pathway of his people, which he has permitted are but necessary disciplinings for their preparation for the glorious blessings and services of the future, to which he has called them with a "high calling," a heavenly calling, and for which he is preparing them by these chiseling and polishing experiences. Let us then have faith in God, remembering our Master's words, "Thy Father himself loveth you."

Nothing doubting, let us rely upon the sure foundation of the exceeding great and precious promises of his Word and make these more and more our own each day! Let us learn how to understand our Bible! Let us purge our minds from the hymn-book theology of the dark ages and come back to the words of divine inspiration and learn how to rightly divide them and to appreciate those which apply to the past and those which apply to the present and those which apply to the future!

The sooner we attain this glorious position, the sooner we may rejoice in the fulness of our Master's grace and peace and blessing and the sooner we may have his love and joy shed abroad in our hearts and the sooner we shall be able to rejoice also in tribulation and to know that "all things are working together for good" to us, because we are his called ones, according to his purpose!

The Cincinnati Weekly Enquirer, June 10, 1909


London, England, Pastor Russell, of Brooklyn Tabernacle, addressed a large convention of Bible students from all parts of the kingdom here. We report one of his discourses from Acts; Chapter 2.

Christians to-day celebrate one of the most epoch-making events of history – the Pentecostal blessing, by which the Heavenly Father indicated the acceptance of the Redeemer to glory, and the application of the merit of his sacrifice on behalf of the "household of faith," for the covering of their sins.

Because of this blotting out of the condemnation of sin as respects believers, the consecrated ones, waiting for a cancellation of their sins, were accepted of the Lord and granted an anointing and benediction of the holy Spirit. Jews condemned by the law, which they were unable to keep perfectly, had been unfit for divine acceptance as sons, and at the very most were permitted to be members of the House of Servants under Moses and the law. The impartation of the holy Spirit signified to these that they were transferred from the House of Servants to the House of Sons: "For Moses verily was faithful in all his house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; but Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end." (Heb. 3:5, 6)

The Scriptures very consistently show that God could accept none to be members of his House of Sons until first of all the sacrifice for sins had been offered; more than this, not until it had been presented to the Father and accepted by him. Adam, indeed, is called in the Scriptures the Son of God, because he was created in God's image and likeness; but so soon as he had sinned he forfeited this relationship, and none of his posterity was counted worthy to resume this relationship until redeemed by the precious blood. Abraham, noble and grand that he was, might merely be styled"the friend of God," and others could boast merely of being his mouthpieces and servants. He who came from above and assumed our nature and became a [NS663] member of our race through his mother, was the Son of God, "the only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."

But we read that "To as many as received him he gave the power (privilege) to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name; which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." (John 1:12, 13)

This is in full accord with St. Paul's record in Heb. 11:38-40. There, after recounting the worthies of the past, he declares, "These all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise; God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us (the Gospel Church) should not be made perfect."

In other words, they cannot get the earthly blessings and privileges and honors which God is pleased to give them until first Christ the head and the church His body shall have been developed and glorified. Then, through the glorified Christ, God's blessing shall extend to the ancient worthies and through them to Israel and to all the families of the earth. This is in full accord also with what our Lord said of John the Baptist, the last of the prophets. His words were, "Verily I say unto you, among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist; notwithstanding, he that is least in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he." (Matt. 11:11)

In other words, the humblest one in the glorified church on the spirit plane, as a member of the body of Christ and a member of the glorified kingdom class, will be greater and occupy a more honorable position than the greatest of the prophets. So, then, from this standpoint we perceive that Pentecost distinctly marked a new dispensation, the dispensation of the holy Spirit, the period for the development of the sons of God. We do not wish to be understood that God never exercised His spirit or power previously. Quite to the contrary; the Scriptures tell us that it was the holy Spirit, the holy power of God, that constituted the active principle in the creation. Again they tell us that throughout the past holy men of old spake and wrote as they were moved by the holy Spirit. But they were not moved by the holy Spirit in the same way that the church is moved and controlled and guided. They were controlled mechanically. They spoke and wrote, but they did not understand; as St. Peter distinctly tells us in the same connection, that "not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things now freely reported unto you through the holy Spirit sent down from heaven."

In other words, the prophets of old were merely the pen and tongue which the Lord used and that chiefly, in preparing statements to be understood by us, his people of this gospel age. For instance, the Prophet David, when he declared, "Thou wilt not leave my soul in sheol; neither wilt thou suffer thine holy one to see corruption" (Psalm 16:10), had no knowledge that he was writing prophecy of Jesus, nor any knowledge of how it would be fulfilled. But St. Peter, after he had received the holy Spirit at Pentecost, was able to point out that it was spoken of Jesus and not of David, whose sepulcher is with us unto this day – "No man hath ascended up to heaven." (John 3:13)


The Pentecostal blessing of the holy Spirit was pictured in the anointing of Israel's high priest, Aaron, whose sons represented his body, the under-priesthood, the church. The holy anointing oil poured upon Aaron's head symbolized the holy Spirit poured upon our Lord Jesus and the members of His body. In Aaron s case the anointing oil descended upon the body, and the prophet declares that it was poured upon "his head, even Aaron's head, and ran down unto the skirts of his garments."

Thus the anointing of our Lord, which he received of the Father at the time of his baptism at Jordan, descended upon His members and has been with the church ever since – upon the church accepted of the Lord as "members of the body of the Christ."

A similar type was instituted in connection with the Kings, who were all anointed in the name of the Lord. These two offices of the Priest and King were both typical of the Christ – Jesus the head and the church his members. As a sacrificing priest, first His own person was sacrificed, and secondly the flesh of the church, the justified bodies of those accepted to membership in Him. These are called a royal priesthood because their service extends to a work of glory in the future, typified by Melchisedec, who was both priest and King. So the Christ of glory will be priest upon His throne.

As the priestly office represents the instructions and uplifting influences which will be a part of that millennial kingdom work, so His kingly office will represent the authority and power and government of that epoch. The gospel of the kingdom was the theme of the preaching, both of Jesus and the Apostles. It is a great loss to the church that this feature, once too prominent, has been lost sight of. Instead, the prevailing idea today is that civilized peoples of the world constitute God's Kingdom, and it is for this cause that the word Christendom came into vogue as signifying Christ's kingdom. Alas, the most civilized of these kingdoms are no more than what the Scriptures term "kingdoms of this world," more or less under the power or dominion of the Prince of this world, Satan. It is for this reason that they are spending millions of money on armies [NS664] and navies, guns, explosives and torpedoes that they may blow one another off the face of the earth – "because they so love one another!" The Scriptural proposition is that God is now selecting those who, in the close of this age, shall be glorified, and constitute His royal priesthood to administer righteousness, truth and corrections to the world in the name of the Lord and along the lines of his righteousness.

This will be with a view to the world's uplifting out of sin-and-death conditions. So many of God's dear people as obtain this view of matters are thereby prepared for a great blessing. It will take from them unnecessary distress on account of the heathen, for it will show them that God is not neglectful of the heathen, but ultimately, when his plan matures, when his kingdom shall be established under the whole heavens, all who have not had a full opportunity for reconciliation with him in the present life shall have such an opportunity there – during the millennial age – under the ministrations of Christ's kingdom of righteousness. Not only those living at that time will receive a great blessing, but also those who have gone down into the great prison house of death.

"All that are in their graves shall hear the voice of the Son of Man and come forth," the faithful to their reward of everlasting life; the ignorant and the undeveloped to trial or judgment, that they may prove themselves to God. Restitution to original perfection and eternal life, will be the reward of the willing and obedient; but those refusing God's grace will demonstrate their unworthiness of eternal life and bring upon themselves the eternal penalty of second death. (Acts 3:23)


It will be noticed that St. Peter referred to Joel's prophecy in connection with the Pentecostal blessing, declaring that what was witnessed and experienced was in fulfillment of that prophecy of Joel. (Joel 2:29)

But the prophecy was not all fulfilled – merely a portion of it. Another portion of that prophecy remains to be fulfilled after the glorification of the church with Christ, after the establishment of the heavenly kingdom, for which we pray "Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven."

St. Peter merely refers to the part of the prophecy fulfilled in his day and, in so doing, followed the custom of his illustrious Master. The Pentecostal blessing came only upon the "servants and handmaids" of the Lord – only upon the consecrated. And so it has been all down through this age. None others have received the Spirit, the unction from the Holy One. It is the spirit of begetting, and only those who receive it can ever hope to be born again – "born from the dead."

It is written that our Lord was "the first-born amongst many brethren."

The faithful ones of the spirit-begotten class will be those members who will be born from the dead in the first resurrection. Subsequently, however, the other part of Joel's prophecy will be fulfilled – God will pour out His holy Spirit upon all flesh, upon everybody. The power, the energy of God, will operate during the millennium upon all mankind to the opening of blind eyes and the unstopping of deaf ears, to the awakening from the sleep of death of all those who are in the great prison-house. And in proportion as each shall respond to the influences of the holy Spirit upon his will, so will be the rapidity of his progress upward to harmony with God, though not the path which leads to the heavenly glory. It will be altogether different from the one now open. Joel's prophecy is stated in a hidden manner, yet it is perfectly plain if the eyes of our understanding are properly focused upon it. One of these outpourings of the holy Spirit was to be "in those days" and the other was to be "after those days."

In those days the Lord would pour out His Spirit upon His servants and hand-maids. After those days He would pour it out upon all flesh and the rising generation (your young men) would see the vision which the ancients (your old men) had seen obscurely – dreamed about. We are living, dear friends, at the culminating point between these two. outpourings.

The Pentecostal blessings has almost accomplished its designed purpose, the sanctifying to God of a "peculiar people," a "little flock," out of every nation, people, kindred and tongue, to constitute the body of Christ and be his joint-heirs in the kingdom. Just as soon as this shall be finished the great time of trouble which the Lord has foretold will come. "A time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation, nor ever shall be afterward," shall break upon the world, not for its destruction, but that, as a plowshare, it may break up the fallow ground and prepare the hearts of mankind. Then will come the great divine blessing of truth and grace through the glorified church and through the earthly ancient worthies, the representatives of the spiritual kingdom.


When our Lord said unto Peter, I give unto you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, it was a dark saying which St. Peter could not understand. Some dear Christian people think that the Lord meant that St. Peter should have the right or authority to determine who might go through the gate into the New Jerusalem; and some think that perhaps it meant that to him would be entrusted the keeping of purgatory and the letting out of purgatory into heaven such as would be prepared for eternal life by its sufferings. With both of these views we must disagree. In our judgment the [NS665] Lord's words had a fulfillment that may be plainly discerned from the standpoint of His Word. While it is true that the church is only now called to be a kingdom and is not yet a kingdom in the particular sense, nevertheless, for convenience, our Lord refers at times to the church as the kingdom in embryo – in some of the parables, for instance. It is composed of the class which, after being proven and found faithful, will constitute the kingdom.

When on the day of Pentecost St. Peter, after receiving the holy Spirit, stood up and acted as the chief spokesman and explained the purport of the power of the holy Spirit as manifested, he threw open the door, as it were, to the Jews, who came together and through that doorway several thousand came into that embryo kingdom. Thus did St. Peter use the first key in opening the way to the Jews. But it was "keys" in the plural that he was to use. And so we find that when three and a half years later God's due time came for granting similar privileges to the Gentiles, St. Peter again was the Lord's servant who used the key and threw open the door to the Gentiles, in connection with the bestowment of the holy Spirit upon Cornelius, the first Gentile convert. These doors still stand ajar, because the full number of the "elect" have not yet been accepted of the Lord and fully tested and found worthy. We have numerous reasons, however, for believing that the selecting work is nearly at an end; that soon the last member of the body of Christ will have finished his course with joy and will have passed beyond the veil to join the church triumphant, the Christ, the great King, the great Prophet, the great Priest, the great Judge, the great Mediator, through whose ministrations Divine blessings and glorious opportunities are to come to all mankind.

Question, dear friends, what is it worth to attain such glory, honor and immortality, and to share with the Redeemer in His great work of dispensing Divine favor to all families of the earth? That is just the question the Lord is putting to consecrated believers to-day. According to their answer they will be esteemed worthy or unworthy of a place in that kingdom. The only answer that would be satisfactory to the Lord, the only attitude on our part that will bring us to a desired place among the "elect," is to give our all to the Lord and to his service. "If ye do these things ye shall never fall, but so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."

The National Labor Tribune, June 13, 1909


Brooklyn, N. Y., June 13 After a month abroad Pastor Russell returned home, and was welcomed by large audiences twice today, at the Brooklyn Tabernacle. We report one of his discourses, taken from the text: "Stand fast, therefore, in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage." Gal. 5:1

Although the Christian recognizes his special allegiance to the Heavenly King and sets his affections chiefly upon the heavenly home and feels a broad kinship with the entire groaning creation of every nation, people, kindred and tongue, he, nevertheless, returning from a visit abroad and passing the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor, is bound to feel grateful to God for America and the torch of enlightenment which it has lifted before the masses of humanity. Let us not go to the unwarranted extreme of some; let us not call this land of the free the Kingdom of God established on earth; but let us on the contrary realize that with all of America's blessings and enlightenment and advantages everyway for both the poor and the rich, she is far from perfect!

Let us, while appreciating our glorious land, and our wonderful blessings therein, rejoice that a still better Government and still more favorable conditions are parts of the heavenly promise to the world of mankind! Let us rejoicingly continue to pray to the Lord, "Thy Kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven."

"LET US THINK SOBERLY" St. Paul urged believers, "Let us think soberly," according as God has granted to each a measure of his grace. Hence the Christian's rejoicing is not boastful, but tempered with moderation. He sympathizes with the groaning creation in other parts of the world and does not ignore the faults of his native land, even while he does not unduly magnify and parade them. In all soberness, however, Bartholdi's statute of Liberty Enlightening [NS666] the World is true to the facts of the case. He would be blind indeed who failed to recognize the great influences which the principle of liberty established here exercises all over the world. When Liberty was born on these shores, rocked in the cradle of the Revolution, it had no kith or kin in any part of the world. Europe alone had civilization, but not even had it Liberty. Everywhere the barons ruled and the masses, comparatively ignorant, rejoiced to submit. Liberty and equality and manhood were almost unrecognized. As Liberty emerged from its cradle a stalwart youth, its influence and example shook Europe and threatened to overthrow it with Revolution as accomplished in France. And when finally better counsels prevailed, aristocracy realized that its days were numbered, unless concessions were made to the liberties of the people. It yielded with good grace, with the result that the monarchs of Europe are no longer despotic, but limited, Parliamentary; the people have a vote and voice in their own government.

The blessings of liberty came to Europeans so slowly that few of them probably today recognize how very different were the conditions a century ago, and how gradually the change has come about. The most advanced nations of Europe have only quite recently granted suffrage to the people and even yet it is under restrictions, limitations. Nowhere is the standard of manhood recognized as in this land. All the reforms of Europe of the past century, directly or indirectly, owe their impulse to the example of America. As the sons and daughters of Europe by the thousands and the millions have come to these shores they have learned the blessings of liberty and the meaning of manhood. And their letters to their brethren at home, filled with their new conception of human rights, have had a leavening influence upon the bureaucratic and monarchial theories and institutions of the old world. Yes, Bartholdi had it right! Liberty has been enlightening the world during the past century!


It is not for us to boast, but to think soberly. Whence came the light of liberty's torch? We answer that the spark was divine. In a certain sense and degree this spark and torch was given to Abraham's natural seed, the Hebrew nation, in the Divine Law, at the hand of Moses. Later the antitype of Moses, "Christ, brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel" message. Of our Lord it is written, "He is the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world."

Our assertion, therefore, is that whatever blessing there is in the light which shines from Liberty's torch is the light of the Gospel. Notice the language of our text, "The liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free."

Of course, man originally made in the Divine likeness, must have had the love of liberty in his very constitution; but thousands of years of experience in slavery to sin and death have considerably crushed out the proper conception of liberty – Godlike liberty. It is to these sinners or perverts from the Divine likeness that the Lord Jesus offers the true liberty. Note the effect that this Gospel message had upon the early Church. It made them a "peculiar people."

It broke from them the shackles of superstition which firmly held their fellowmen. It gave them higher, broader, deeper views of human rights and human responsibilities. It taught them that all men are sinners and that the king and the peasant, the learned and the ignorant, are all responsible to the one God and that he is no respecter of persons. As a consequence, Christians came to be generally recognized because of the influence of Christ's message of liberty which affected their every interest with its enlightening influences. We read that the people took knowledge of them that they had been with Jesus and had learned of him. They learned of Jesus no lessons of anarchy or strife, but those which taught the proper relationship between man and man. They were also taught to live peaceably, to endure, to suffer, to wait for justice, until God's time would come when, at the Second Advent of Christ, his Kingdom would be established and 'justice would be laid to the line and righteousness to the plummet."

Of the Apostles we remember that it is written that the rulers were astonished at their courage in standing up for principle in faithfulness to the Divine Word. They marveled at such courage in men whom they perceived to be "ignorant and unlearned."

The fact is that having learned in the School of Christ the real principles of righteousness and the relationship of the things of the present time to the things eternal, these were transformed men, whose balance of mind, of judgment, was in accord with their knowledge – lessons in the School of Christ.


St. Paul, and indeed all of the apostles, prophetically declared that before the Second Coming of Christ a great falling away would occur in the Church, which would affect the whole world. These declarations came true in the period known as the "dark ages," when the Word of God was inaccessible to the people and when the teachers of the Church turned aside from waiting for the Son of God to establish the Millennial Kingdom, and co-labored with earthly princes to use the name of Christ interwoven with ignorance and superstition and a chain of slavery, whereby the people would be restrained of their religious liberties, in order [NS667] that they might not appreciate their political liberties. The School of Christ and its enlightening power belongs by right merely to the fully consecrated, "The sanctified in Christ Jesus."

But others, their relatives, neighbors and friends in large numbers partook of the spirit of liberty without the spirit of consecration. The result of this spirit under present conditions, it may easily be seen, would be anarchy. Hence the princes, kings and emperors were glad to have the ministers of Christ come to their aid in binding and restraining the people. Nevertheless, nothing has occurred that God did not foresee, and that he is not able to overrule eventually for the advantage, the blessing of such as are truly his.


Evolutionists tell us that the liberty and attendant blessings of our day, are because of Evolution, but they do not explain why or how Evolution should so suddenly lift the veil of ignorance and superstition from the race; why it should so suddenly bring to us the blessings of invention, skill through machinery ministering to our comforts in ten thousand ways undreamed of a generation ago. The Bible answer to the question is that God's due time has come, and therefore these blessings, which are a part of and leading up to the Millennial Age conditions, are ours.

The great clock of the Universe, under Divine regulation, has been keeping perfect time. At the proper stroke of the hour the Jewish Age began, at the death of Jacob, in the close of the Patriarchal Age. Again, at the proper stroke of the hour the Gospel Age began, at the close of the Jewish Age, at the death and resurrection of Jesus. And now likewise at the dawning of the Millennial Age and the close of the Gospel Age – coming at exactly on time, all the events properly connected and rightly understood show that our great Creator is working all things according to the counsel of his own will and that the world's present experiences are wholly of Divine prearrangement.

Looking from this standpoint we notice that in Divine providence America was hidden from the world until God's due time for its discovery. It was opened for settlement at a time when religious persecution was rife in Europe, when a man had no liberty even to think for himself – no liberty to worship his God according to the dictates of his own conscience. It was under Divine providence, doubtless, that the Pilgrim fathers reached these shores and cast their influence with that of others in bringing forth the child of liberty. In God's providence various religious sentiments were at that time so evenly balanced that all the colonies gladly arranged for religious freedom, which really meant a higher standard, a more Christlike standard than had been known in the world since the days of the apostles.

It is this spirit of liberty in which there has mingled a considerable measure of the light of the cross, the light of the world – this liberty has had the blessing and enlightening effect upon this land and upon the world. And with it, in God's providence, has come a mental enlightenment born partly of that liberty and partly of avarice.


God has not granted us prophetic vision whereby to declare the future of this goodly land, which has so much of his blessing thus far; yet he does in the Scriptures portray in a general way what we may expect. And alas, it is a sad picture from one standpoint. The Scriptures show a very dark cloud overhanging liberty and the world. But, thank God, they show a silver lining to that cloud to those who have the eyes to see it – the spiritual perception. The Bible teaches us that the inventions of our day and its enlightenment will, under the operation of avarice prove to be the upper and the nether millstone which will crush humanity terribly.

How can these things come about, do you ask? We reply that the inventions of our day, which are bringing so many blessings to the whole people at so little cost., are gradually drifting into "strong hands," the hands of trusts and capital. Some of these, indeed, have been and are yet blessings helpful in many ways. Yet the concentration of power into the hands of a few is too strong a temptation to be long resisted. The day is not distant when the leverage will be used gradually to draw the coveted wealth more and more to the coffers of the trusts.

Meantime liberty and enlightenment have been doing more than merely giving us mechanical inventions and helpful contrivances and comforts. They have given us thought, intelligence, compulsory education, breadth of mind and general information. They have lifted the poor man out of the dunghill and have given him thought, and have recognized his liberties and rights theoretically, even more than he has yet realized them actually. The masses cannot be said to be asleep and needing to be awakened. They are awake, as evidenced by their thorough organization, extending to every avenue of business. But although awake the giant has not learned his power.

He knows not how to coordinate his force and to use them at the polls. We cannot doubt that men will learn this lesson very soon. Then will come the time of trouble, when the giant of Labor will strike against his master, Capital, and when the wonderful resources of both will be used with frenzy. The result will be what the Scriptures graphically portray as a "Time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation." Dan. 12:1 [NS668]


Yes, we answer, God will interfere, but not in the time and manner nor for the purpose generally expected. The same great Creator, who through the past has supervised, and who latterly has caused the development of liberty and the preparation of the mechanical arrangements for the Millennial Age – this same God has purposed the time of trouble which he declares, and which we understand is nigh, even at the door.

He purposes it because through it better than in any other manner the world can be taught great lessons and be prepared for the Millennial Kingdom of Christ. In that time of trouble, according to the Scriptures, the rich, the proud, the great, the mighty, shall weep bitterly and have sore distress. Likewise the poor. Yes, the Word of God declares that there shall be no peace to anyone – the trouble will be general.

There will be no way of escape from it. The Scriptures imply that in that time of trouble the rich and the great will receive a lesson; likewise the masses a different lesson – but both evidently to their mutual advantage. The rich will learn that the possession of riches means a responsibility to God and to fellowmen – greater, perhaps than the majority of them have ever yet appreciated. The masses will learn that their share of the trouble will come because they did not trust the Lord to bring about his salvation in his own way, but ignorantly attempted to do his work for him without authorization.


Thank God, the Scriptures give us a view of the silver lining behind the clouds of trouble, assuring us that at its conclusion the whole world will have learned a most valuable lesson in the furnace of its affliction. Both parties to the strife, humbled by their utter failure, will be ready to acknowledge Messiah King of kings and Lord of Lords. Many nations shall go and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths; for out of Zion shall go forth the Law, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem." (Isa. 2:3)

Of the glories and blessings of that Millennial day the prophecies of old are replete with testimony. But the chief blessing then to be brought to mankind under the reign of Messiah's Kingdom will be the knowledge of the glory of the Lord. All men shall come to appreciate the Divine character and its principles of Righteousness – Justice, Love, Wisdom and Power – that all men might, after experiencing the bitter and the sweet, the evil and the good, know how thereafter to choose the good, in harmony with the Divine Law, and, by obedience, come to everlasting life and joy and blessing.

It is of that happy time, we remember, that St. Peter assures us, saying, "Times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began."

The Apostle additionally informs us that whoever will not accept the righteous regulations of that Government shall perish in the Second Death. "And it shall come to pass that every soul which will not hear that prophet shall be destroyed from among the people." Acts 3:19-23


We read, "If the Son, therefor, shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." (John 8:36)

This evidently applies not to the world nor to nominal Christians, but merely to those who come into special relationship to Christ by faith and consecration during this age. While we have applied our text in a general way, strictly speaking it belongs only to the saints. None can stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ makes free until first he has been made free and only upon conditions can anyone have this freedom now. The conditions are:

(1) A realization of sin and a desire for reconciliation with God;

(2) The renouncement of sin and acceptance of forgiveness;

(3) A consecration of heart and life and all to the service of God and Christ and the Truth. Only such are accepted – New Creatures to whom "old things have passed away and all things have become new."

These, once the slaves of sin and under condemnation of sin, are henceforth, upon God's assurance, freed from sin and reckoned through Christ worthy of life eternal. Even then their standing is dependent upon certain conditions – if they abide in Christ and his Word abide in them. By so doing they make their calling and election sure to the heavenly reward promised to the faithful. If anyone, freed from sin and from condemnation to death, by faith shall willingly, knowingly, intentionally return to sin wilfully and persistently, he loses the liberty wherewith he was made free by Christ: he becomes again a slave to sin and a subject to death – Second Death!

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