The Titusville Evening Courier, Monday, October 24, 1910


"Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she hath received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins. "Isaiah 40: 1, 2 London, October 23 – Pastor Russell of Brooklyn Tabernacle today addressed an immense audience in the world's greatest Auditorium, the Royal Albert Hall.

Many of his audience were Jews, attracted by the liberal extracts from Pastor Russell's sermons which have been appearing in the Jewish papers all over the world. The discourse was full of comforting assurances (both to Jew and Gentile) of the glorious outcome of the Divine Plan, as respects our world and its inhabitants.

We report the address only in part, as follows: There can be no doubt that the words of our text apply, not to Spiritual Israel and the heavenly Jerusalem, but to the Seed of Jacob, for many centuries travailing in pain – a nation without a land, people possessing most wonderful promises, yet enjoying none of them – a people scattered amongst all other peoples; yet, in harmony with the Divine promise made at the beginning of their organization, they have been preserved separate and distinct from all other nations!

The Jews are a miracle in themselves. They witness to the civilized world God's promises and the power thereof in the human mind. As foretold in the Scriptures, for long centuries they have had no Prophet, no Priest, no ephod, no vision from God, no revelation. The people to whom at one time belonged the honor of being the only people to whom the Divine purposes were revealed have for more than eighteen centuries been left destitute of any evidence of Divine favor, except in this one fact, that their solidarity as a people is preserved. We are not of those who rail against the Jew; who cry out, "Christ-killers; the vengeance of God is upon you, and what you have suffered is only a foretaste of more awful sufferings for all eternity!"

Thank God, No! We have no such evil sentiment in our heart. We have nothing for the Jew but sympathy, even while in him, as in others of Adam's children, we may see much to reprehend; nevertheless, we also see his commendable qualities. Among others, we see the quality which God so greatly appreciated in Abraham; namely, faith in his God and in the Divine promises. Such a faith has inspired "God's Chosen People" to wait for his promised Messianic Kingdom, lo, these many centuries – through all kinds of discouragements, disappointments and persecutions.

The long-promised time of Israel's exaltation as the channel of Messianic blessing to mankind is near – it hasteth greatly. What though there shall be another and great spasm of tribulation in conjunction with the birth of the New Order of things! Beyond the sighing and the crying, the morning dawns – the glorious day in which the Sun of Righteousness shall chase from the world all the shadows of death and despair, which sin and its penalty have brought upon mankind! What though the Scriptures tell us that Israel is yet to have "The time of Jacob's trouble" in connection with the world's great time of trouble impending. None of these things shall hinder us from rejoicing in the New Heavens and the New Earth, which God declares he is about to create and put into control of our world – "Be ye glad and rejoice forever in that which I create." (Isa. 45:18)

The New Heavens and the New Earth are but symbolical terms for the consideration of that New Era, in which there will be a new social order, as well as a new ecclesiastical system, eternal in the heavens. The time has come when our text is having its fulfillment.

The shining of the lamp of Truth upon the prophetic page shows us that the great clock of the Universe is marking the hour when he whose right it is shall take to himself his great power and reign. Ah, yes! We remember that it is written that then the nations shall be angry, and God's wrath shall be manifest, and then the time shall come for the judgment of the dead and the reward of all, both small and great. But we are glad, nevertheless, that the "times of the Gentiles" are nearly at an end and the time of Messiah's theocratic government is at hand – For he must reign until he shall have put down all unrighteousness and insubordination, until he shall have caused every knee to bow and every tongue to confess to the glory of God the Father. First in order of the Kingdom work will be the binding of Satan – the work of a heavenly, and not of an earthly king. Gradually, in the judgments, decrees, rewards, punishments of mankind and the banishing [NS850] of sin and death will the great King of Glory reveal his own gracious character and the Father's righteousness to the children of men. Gradually all will have the eyes of their understanding opened to see, not only the Father of all in his true character, but also the Son in his glorious majesty – the Conqueror, "who, for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame," and hence is at the right hand of Divine majesty and entrusted with the pouring out of the Divine blessing upon Israel, and, through Israel, extending that blessing to every nation.


It has escaped Christendom in general until now that the Divine promise to Abraham is to be fulfilled through two Seeds – one a heavenly class, the other an earthly class, with Messiah the Head over all. For eighteen centuries God favored the Seed of Abraham, the nation of Israel. Chastisements they had, reproofs in righteousness; yet in all that time they had also Divine favor, as represented in their Law and in the Prophecies and in the privileges which came to them under the Law Covenant, in that they had an annual Atonement Day, which continued to them Divine favor.

That period of favor, explain it how we may, began to wane about the time of Jesus' death. It was completely removed from them in the desolation of their land by the Roman army A. D. 70.

Now a parallel time has been reached, as stated in our text. Hence it is time for the return of God's favor, as herein mentioned. The favor already is returning. The Jew has not been so comfortable, nor so favorably fixed as he is today, in more than eighteen centuries. But his blessing is only beginning. Shortly Divine favor, in God's due time, will accomplish for his Chosen People all the precious promises of the Law and of the Prophets.

Already the Jew is awakening to a realization of this great Truth. Zionism, which started as a political movement, is about to bud and blossom into a religious movement and the blessing of Divine Providence will so order their affairs. The words of the Book, the words of Divine promise, so long read ignorantly and blindly, are about to become luminous and constitute the light which will direct them in the ways of the Lord – leading on to the rehabilitation of Jerusalem and to the attainment of loftier ideals amongst the Jewish people. A voice is sounding from the wilderness, and the Jews everywhere are hearkening to it.

It does not call them to become Christians, but to remain Jews and to realize, as Jews, the ideals set before them by the Lord in the Law and by the Prophets. To all those exercised thereby a great blessing is near which will more than compensate for the sorrows of the past. Neither by sword, nor guns, nor dreadnaughts, neither by flying air-ships, nor torpedoes will Israel's great victory be won, neither by money power and worshipping of the golden calf of finance, nor by trusting in the arm of flesh, but by looking to the Lord, from whom will come their help.

Messiah's Spiritual Empire, about to be established, will bind Satan, restrain every evil and lift up a standard for the people, blessing Israel and establishing with them the New (Law) Covenant instead of the Old Law Covenant – under the better Mediator, still more capable than the great Moses; under the greater King, still more wise than Solomon and still more beloved of God than David. This great Celestial Empire will be established with great authority in the world by a time of trouble, a time of earthly distress, which the prophecies picture as terrible – a short reign of anarchy. Jews and Gentiles will be responsible, rich and poor, for the bringing to pass of this awful trouble, by reason of the selfishness which at present is governing the world and which will be used of the Lord to wreck our present grand civilization – grand at least on its surface and in its aspirations and pretensions.

A Socialistic artillery of words and ecclesiastical bonds of similar nature will only aggravate the strife. Financial weights and levers will have much to do with the great crash of the forces of civilization in this near-approaching cataclysm of trouble, in which the reign of sin, inequity, injustice, selfishness, shall forever fall, to rise no more; and the present religious systems also shall be found wanting and pass away.

For these old systems, symbolically the heavens and earth of the present time, will be substituted the New Heavens and the New Earth – the Church glorified beyond the vail as the Bride of the great Messiah, and, Society on earth reorganized, will constitute the New Earth, wherein will dwell righteousness. The transition will be but a momentary ordeal, as compared with the glorious eternity of blessing under Messiah's righteous supervision. "He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth."


The perplexing thought with our Jewish friends, as well as with Christians, is, If these things be so; if Messiah's Kingdom is yet to be established, as the Jews contemplated, only on a spiritual plane instead of an earthly one; and if God's purpose is to use those anciently favored people as the channels of his blessing in the future, why has there been so long delay? We answer, This is what the Scriptures term The Mystery – the matter which God did not reveal directly, either to Abraham or through any of the Prophets. Indirectly he hinted at it, saying to Abraham, "Thy Seed shall be as the stars of heaven, [NS851] and as the sand of the seashore for multitude."

But Abraham did not discern, nor did others, that these two illustrations belonged, not to the same people, but to two different Israel's. The earthly promises belonged to natural Israel. Eventually all mankind, blessed under the Messianic reign, will become Israelites – of the Seed of Abraham. Thus Abraham's "Seed shall be as the sand of the seashore for multitude."

And they must all have the faith of Abraham and his obedience, ere they can reach perfection as members of his Seed. First in the order of blessing will come the Ancient Worthies – Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and all the Prophets and holy ones of the past. These will be raised from the dead by the power of God – not imperfect and fallen, but perfect; fully up to all the glorious ideals of their minds aforetime. This will be their reward for having walked by faith and not by sight. Thus we read, Instead of being the fathers, they shall be the children, whom Messiah will make princes in all the earth – his representatives in power, in rulership, in authority. (Psa. 45:16)

At that time the blessing shall return to Israel that has been taken from them for more than eighteen centuries – God's special favor. Under their New Covenant they shall be blessed; their eyes shall be opened; "they shall look upon him whom they pierced;" they shall mourn for him; they shall rejoice in him. They will say, This is our Ruler. We have waited for him, and he will save us. Zech. 12:10


With shame true Christians must admit that most atrocious crimes were committed in the name of Jesus during the "Dark Ages."

Worse than that! The horrible misrepresentation of all that the name of Jesus stands for still continues. Witness, for instance, the injustices practiced in the name of Christianity against Russia for years past, and in various nations in remoter times. Witness the fact also that only a few years ago the so-called Christians of Romania acted like veritable demons toward their Jewish neighbors. Well-authenticated accounts tell that a Jewish cemetery was despoiled. Many of those buried were dug up and the putrid and mangled corpses thrown on the steps and in the door-yards of their families.

Can we wonder that the Jew has come to have a hatred for the word Christian and for the name Jesus? The name Jesus, as is well known, is but another form for Joshua, which signifies Deliverer. The name Christ is the Greek equivalent for the word Messiah. Every Jew, rightly informed respecting the character and the teachings of Jesus is bound to respect him and his immediate followers as among the grandest Jews that ever lived. They must not be judged according to the perversion of their teachings, so common among Christians. And it should not be forgotten that while the masses of Christendom have misrepresented their teaching, doctrines and practices, there have been throughout the entire age a saintly few who have closely followed in the footsteps of Jesus. We would not urge upon Jews to become Christians; but we seek to hold forth the Divine standard for them and to assist them to get ready for the fulfillment of the glorious promises which are theirs.

That the due time for the fulfillment of these is at hand is the comfort we offer them, in harmony with our text. The Prophet declares that it will be after their return to their own land, and after the great time of trouble which is now upon Christendom, that the Jew will recognize that the great Messiah of glory, the great Michael of Dan. 12:1, for whose Kingdom they have been waiting, is none other than the "Man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all men" eighteen centuries ago. God will then blessedly open their eyes of understanding.

As the Prophet declares, "They shall look upon him whom they pierced;" they will then see the identity between the Jesus who was sacrificed for the sins of Israel and the world and the Messiah of Glory, whose Kingdom will use Israel in the blessing of the world. Meantime, what has God wrought? Ah, this, again, we say is the Mystery! Here and there from Jew and Gentile, saintly characters have been sought and found by the preaching of the message of Christ, even though that message frequently was dimmed by earthly imperfections and blemishes – by erroneous representations. Those saintly ones will be sharers with Messiah in Divine blessings on the spirit plane, mentioned to Abraham under the figure that his "Seed shall be as the stars of heaven."

But under what conditions do these attain a spiritual inheritance like unto the angels and far above them? We answer that the spirit nature is the divine reward of a special obedience. Our race was not created on the heavenly plane nor for a heavenly nature; but of the earth earthy. And its salvation from sin will bring it to the full perfection of human nature and to the full enjoyment of a world-wide Eden. The Spiritual Seed of Abraham is to be composed of Messiah and the Elect Little Flock of saintly footstep followers. The price of their exaltation is their consecration unto death and faithfulness to that Vow. These are the Jewels mentioned by the Lord to the Prophet – "Gather together my saints unto me, saith the Lord; those who have made a Covenant with me by sacrifice;" "They shall be mine, in that day when I make up my jewels."


The New York American, October 30, 1910

Originally Republished from The St. Paul Enterprise, November 6, 1917


"The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of the Lord. Make straight in the desert a highway for our God. . . . And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. . . . The voice said, proclaim, all flesh is grass, and the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth, because the spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it. Surely the people are grass." Isa. 40:3-7

London, Oct. 30 – Pastor Russell of Brooklyn Tabernacle today addressed an audience of nearly 4,000 people from the above text. His hearers were of all classes and very intelligent appearing.

He had closest attention. He said in part: God has messages for those who have hearing ears at each great Dispensational change in earth's affairs. These messages have generally been in the nature of forewarning of coming distress and the reasons therefore.

Such a message was given to our first parents when they were expelled from Eden – accursed would be the ground for their sakes. Thorns and thistles it would bring forth unto them. In sweat of face they should eat bread thereof until they should return to the ground, from whence they came. Another great message went forth at the time of the flood; another before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah; another at the close of the Jewish Age when Jesus and His Apostles called attention to the prophecies which foretold the Divine rejection of the nation of Israel for a time and declared that all things written in the Law and the Prophets concerning them would have fulfillment, quoting the prophecy which declared that their house would be left desolate; that they would have neither prophet, nor vision, nor priest, nor ephod for many years, but that eventually God's favor would return to Israel – that He would gather them again and fulfill to them everlastingly the blessings promised both to Abraham and to his descendants – "the sure mercies of David."

A week ago we considered the prophetic message, "Comfort ye, comfort ye, my people, saith your God." (Isa. 40:1).

We noted then that the due time has arrived for the fulfillment to Israel of this comforting message – that as a people the appointed time for the return of favor to them is accomplished because their two-fold disciplines for sin have been fulfilled. Thus our present day is clearly marked and the words of our text following imply that now is the time for a special message to all, in proportion as each may have the hearing ear. It is the voice of God which calls now through various channels and agencies. It cries not from the "City Babylon the Great."

It cries not from the citadel of Christendom; but from the wilderness, from those who are more or less separated; from those who have heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." Rev. 18:4


The message of the hour to every hearing ear is, "The Lord whom ye seek shall suddenly come to His temple." (Mal. 3:1)

For centuries you have been praying, "Thy Kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is done in Heaven."

Now your prayer is about to be answered, whether you prayed in sincerity or in hypocrisy. The glory of the Lord is about to be revealed. "All flesh shall see it together."

It will not be revealed merely to one nation, nor merely to one holy class. His glory will be revealed in flaming fire – in judgments. All flesh shall see it – the rich and the poor, the learned and the ignorant, the holy and the unholy. But, as the Prophet Malachi declares, "Who shall abide the day of his coming, and who shall stand when he appeareth; for he is like Fuller's soap (in its attack upon grease and dirt), and he is like a refiner's fire," as it melts and separates the dross of sin and iniquity. Mal. 3:2

The coming of a great earthly king to a city is the signal for a general cleaning up everywhere. And so the Lord declares that the message of his fast-approaching Kingdom should influence all who have the hearing ear to make preparation. To each nation it means, Set your house in order. An inspection is at hand. See that your laws are just and equitable and that they are administered justly. The same message comes to each self-governing city, and, lastly, and most important of all, this message comes to each [NS853] individual, and especially to all who have named the name of Christ. Or, as St. Peter declares, this inspection of the King of kings and Lord of lords must begin with the house of God. (1 Pet. 4:17)

And if the inspection be so searching that it must begin with God's saints, what could we expect of it when it reaches those who are merely nominal Christians and then the world in general? Ah! we may expect just what the Bible advises us will come – "A time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation" (Dan. 12:1).

The message of this hour, dear friends, elsewhere stated in Holy Writ, is, "Seek meekness: seek righteousness. It may be that ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord's anger."


The greatest Teacher the world has ever known, a Jew, eighteen centuries ago, declared prophetically of our day that every hidden thing shall be revealed. (Matt. 10:26)

We see his prophecy fulfilling. The secrets of nations are being exposed. Injustice in its every form is being brought to light as never before. Inequity in financial institutions and in politics and in private affairs is being remorsely muckraked and brought to light. Expediency and policy might say, Hide these things from public gaze. But under Divine Providence the light is being turned on everywhere and hidden things of darkness are being exposed, sometimes in the evil and sometimes in the good. And sometimes, perhaps, the Adversary succeeds in making the good to appear evil. We are merely noting the general tendency – the great fact so peculiar to our day. We are not saying that every charge of fraud is bona fide.


The great leveling processes mentioned by the Prophet may be seen at work everywhere in society – in politics, in finance, in religion. A straight path is certainly being marked out in the wilderness. The people are coming to see gradually what constitutes Justice from the Divine standpoint – the path that Jehovah God will take when coming to mankind to require an accounting for the blessing of religion and of enlightenments granted to humanity in this, our day. Those who point out to mankind the straight paths do not always walk therein themselves.

Nevertheless, the great purpose of the Almighty is being accomplished in the exposures of sin and injustices, whether made from the Christian pulpit or from the socialistic platform or in the public press. The Divine edict is, "Make straight in the desert a highway for your God" (Isa. 40:3) – show his path of righteousness; make it known to all the people. We should remember, however, that it is one thing to know the path of righteousness, of justice and of equity, and another thing to walk therein.

Let us, my dear hearers, see to it that we not only recognize the Divine standards of righteousness and that we proclaim these to all who have the hearing ear, but let us also take heed that we practice what we preach; that we be not condemned in respect to those principles which we allow and acknowledge and proclaim as the Golden Rule to others. Alas for the hypocrites who proclaim the way of the Lord to others, yet ignore that way in their own dealings.

We have every reason to believe that honesty is one of the qualities which our God most highly appreciates in his creatures; hence we may be sure that hypocrisy is one of the most abominable qualities in his sight. Hearken to the words of the Great Teacher, "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! . . . for ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers." Luke 11:44-46

Let all who have named the name of Christ; all who in any sense of the word profess to be God's people, put far from them the hypocrisies which appear so abominable in others. Let us be honest. Let us practice even more than we ever preached. Let all who belong to the Lord be indeed burning and shining lights in the world – examples of justice and righteousness in their homes, in their neighborhoods, in the workshop and in the markets. Let us not only proclaim and assist in making straight before our feet the pathway of our God, but let us conform our words and deeds and thoughts thereto.

The general result of the uncovering of the hidden things of darkness, and the bringing of them to light, and the proclamation of the straight way of the Lord, will have a great effect, and that effect is declared by the Prophet. It will mean a revolution – in symbolical language, an earthquake. Note the picture given: "Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places smooth."

Not in one instant will all this mighty transformation of society be accomplished. Not at once will all the degraded members of the human family be brought to the general standard or level. Not at once will the mountains and hills (the kingdoms and princedoms of the world) be brought down to the common level. Not at once will thus a general equalization of society be effected. But it will be effected. "The mouth of the Lord hath spoken it."

The leveling process already is begun. In Germany, for instance, one-fourth of the Reichstag is composed of Socialists, notwithstanding the fact that the wealthy have several votes to the poor man's one. Already we [NS854] see the great mountain (or nation) of Russia yielding to the demands of the people and granting them a measure of civil rights. There we see a practical illustration of the lifting up of the valleys and the bringing low of the mountains. In Great Britain we see another wonderful illustration of this principle; for here, more than in any other Kingdom of Europe, perhaps, the distance between the mountain tops of autocracy and the depths of social degradation have been lessened, so that in Great Britain the change demanded by the new Kingdom, Messiah's Kingdom, will be less than in many other countries. Here it has come gradually.


A well-known American authoress (Henry Ward Beecher's sister) once wrote some words which seem prophetic:

"I can see his coming judgments, as they circle all the earth, The signs and groanings promised, to precede a second birth; I read his righteous sentence, in the crumbling thrones of earth – Our King is marching on.

"'The Gentile Times' are closing, for their kings have had their day; And with them sin and sorrow will forever pass away; For the tribe of Judah's Lion now comes to hold the sway – Our King is marching on."

"The seventh trump is sounding, and our King knows no defeat, He will sift out the hearts of men before his judgment seat. O! be swift, my soul, to welcome him; be jubilant, my feet – Our King is marching on.

The exposure of the frailties of poor humanity, of the shame of society and of religion and of business and politics, all are constituting a great black background, against which the glories of the Lord are being revealed in striking contrast, as the critics of the world mercilessly hew to the line and lay bare the cankers in politics and the pollutions of our social system. The effect of this primarily will be the arousing of the masses against the classes of privilege. Their human idols and ideals will crumble. Their confidence in men will melt.

They will give vent to what they will esteem to be a righteous indignation. And so doing they will forget that the masses are equally as unrighteous, unjust, as the more favored classes, in proportion to their opportunities. Wherein they judge others they should also condemn themselves, and the result should be that mercy which the Lord enjoins. Only those who forgive others their trespasses – who thus manifest a spirit of love and sympathy – need expect to have mercy, consideration, shown them by the new King. He will surely punish injustice and unrighteousness of word and deed and thought in the poor as in the rich, in the ignorant as in the learned, in the outwardly religious as in the outwardly profane. The message of the hour to Christian, Jew and Gentile is what it was eighteen centuries ago, "Repent ye, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand."

Repent and reform respecting public injustices, no matter of how long standing, no matter by whom practiced and approved. Repent of and reform from and disown the rank errors to be found in so many Church creeds, dishonoring to our Creator. Repent as respects wrong practices which have crept into your Churches, quite out of harmony with the teachings of Jesus and the Apostles. Let us return to the simplicity of the early Church.

Let us repent of the God-dishonoring statements we have put forth in the name of God and religion and the Bible, by which we palmed off bad tidings of great misery, as instead of the true Gospel of Good Tidings of Great Joy which shall be unto all people. Let us repent of and abandon the falsehoods and misrepresentations so common in business life – the subserviency of the Truth to money. Let us repent of and put away the dishonesties of the Stock Exchange, through which the weak and ignorant financial lambs are deceived and impoverished.

Let us repent of the iniquities which abound in nearly every home, even those where Christ is claimed to be the Head – injustices of husbands toward wives and of wives toward husbands, the strong-minded toward the weaker-minded – failing to observe the Golden Rule. Let us repent of the injustices practiced by parents upon children, in violation of the same Golden Rule. Let us repent of the dishonor and disobedience to parents practiced by many children. Let us repent of the selfish ambitions of our own hearts, and let us pray earnestly to the Lord, "Create within me a clean heart, O Lord, and renew a right spirit within me.


True, these and similar exhortations have been made by the Lord's people from time immemorial. And yet the present proclamation is different from all others in that it proclaims, "The time is at hand;" [NS855] "The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!" Not an earthly kingdom with an earthly king; not a papal kingdom exhorting the world to righteousness in the name of the Lord! Not a Protestant ecclesiastical empire exhorting to godliness! But the real Kingdom of God's dear Son so long promised, so long prayed for, is at hand!

It will be a Spiritual Empire, replacing and displacing Satan's empire in the world and using as its earthly agency Israel restored to Divine favor. Men will not say, Lo here, or, lo, there but Behold, the Kingdom of God will be in the midst of mankind – everywhere present empowered to bless and empowered to punish. The Great Prince of Light, the King in his glory, with the elect as his Bride on the heavenly, spiritual, invisible plane, will soon take the scepter of earth. His great power and the glorious majesty of his righteous rule will be manifest in the judgments which will prevail – rewards and punishments. "When the judgments of the Lord are abroad in the earth, the inhabitants of the world shall learn righteousness." Isa. 26:9

The New York American, November 7, 1910


London, England, Nov. 6 – Pastor Russell, of the Brooklyn Tabernacle, New York, preached here today. Royal Albert Hall held a vast audience of deeply interested hearers. The speaker chose his text from Rev. 20:11:

"I saw a great White Throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away, and there was found no place for them."

He said: Sin made moral cowards of our race. From early infancy fear and apprehension, especially in respect to things future, have been impressed upon us. We realize our imperfection, and that our God is perfect, and that perfection is the only standard which He could approve, and that some kind of punishment for sin must be expected. The Adversary, taking advantage of our forefathers, misrepresented the Almighty and has used our fears to alienate us from Him and to wrest and distort His message to us in the Bible.

St. Paul assures us that this is Satan's general procedure; that he puts light for darkness and darkness for light. Thus it comes that our text, which is really one of the most beautiful and comforting in the whole Bible when rightly understood, has to many become a lash in the hands of their fears. It is needless to say that our text is one of the symbolisms of a Book filled with symbols. God's people, guided by His holy Spirit, in due time will appreciate these symbols.

For many of them the due time is already here. The Throne is Messiah's. It represents His Mediatorial Dominion of earth for a thousand years. Its whiteness symbolizes the purity, the justice, of His Kingdom of righteousness under the whole heavens. The heavens and earth which will flee away from the presence of the great Emmanuel will not be the heavens of God's Throne, nor the earth which He has given to the children of men.

The heavens and earth which will flee away, and for which no place will be found, are, of course, the symbolical ones. In Bible symbology the earth represents established civilization; the sea represents the restless, dissatisfied masses of humanity. The mountains symbolize human governments, kingdoms, which constitute the backbone of present spiritual influences – Ecclesiasticism, Churchianity. Thus interpreted our text declares that when Messiah shall assume control of the world, when He shall sit upon His Throne, when He shall exercise rulership amongst men, the result will be that the social system of today, as well as the present day ecclesiasticism, will flee away, will pass out of existence – no place will be found for them.


Some persons may be inclined to ask, Has not Christ been the great Ruler of the world for these past nineteen centuries? And whatever may be said of the four thousand years before the coming of Christ, may it not be claimed that He has been reigning ever since His ascension to the right hand of the Father? We answer that if this be true; if the Redeemer of men has been reigning as the king of earth for these nineteen centuries, there should be something in the Bible to so teach. But we find nothing. On the contrary, we hearken to the Master's own words, telling us that Satan is the Prince of this age. (John 14:30)

We hearken to Him again telling us, "My kingdom is not of this world (this age)." (John 18:36)

Again he says, "I will come again and receive you unto myself." (John 14:3)

Again He tells us that he went into a far country to receive the title to His kingdom, then to return to [NS856] take possession of it, (Matt. 21:33; 25:14)

and that at His second coming He will be the great King of Glory. He tells us the same thing in Matt. 25:31, "When the Son of Man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory."

On the other hand, as we scan the pages of history during the past eighteen centuries, we are convinced that Messiah has not been the King of the World. To think of Him as such, with the omnipotent power which we accredit to Him, would be to charge Him with responsibility for bloody and atrocious persecutions and wars and famines and pestilences.

Surely no right-minded person, after mature consideration, can rationally accept the theory that the glorious Messiah's reign of righteousness for the blessing of the whole earth, the uplifting of the whole race, the enlightenment of every creature, and the bringing of all possible into accord with God – none of us could think that that reign of the great Mediator between God and men is in the past.

We must agree with our text that it is in the future, and that, when established, its effect upon the institutions of the present – political, social, financial, religious – will be such that they will flee away; no place evermore will be found for them. Ah! from this standpoint there is hope, but from no other standpoint. We are living today at the very climax of civilization. Yet today we behold more clearly than ever before that the deeply ingrained selfishness of humanity is a blight upon all the blessings and conveniences and advantages of our day.


I need not do more than remind you that selfishness is to be found in every one of us, and that a semblance of righteousness is insisted upon by us all and adhered to, and violators of it are styled criminals. Nevertheless it seems impossible to legislate equity, justice. The keen intellects of men find opportunities for circumventing the laws and for committing theft and murder and sin in the face of laws and without danger of being punished. Let us illustrate this:

We have heard of the famines of India and how the British Government has spent millions of "pounds sterling" for irrigation purposes to compensate for irregularities in the rainfall. Undoubtedly the famines are, to some extent, due to water scarcity. Nevertheless one of the ablest of our engineers informs the world that there has not been in fifty years such a scarcity as should have created the famines.

The famines of India, which have cost the lives of millions, are to be accredited to greed – selfishness which has flourished under the shadow of the law. Wealthy milling concerns purchase the rice from the natives and grind it into flour. By agreement between themselves they do not compete, but press the market price of rice lower and lower, until the poor native, unable to make a profit, declines to plant, care for and harvest the crop. As a result there is famine. The poor natives suffer, but the managers of the milling properties pay large dividends of from 50 to 150 per cent on invested capital to the wealthy owning them. As an illustration of the exorbitant profits I will relate a case: Two young men whose accumulated savings amounted to thirty thousand rupees (about two thousand pounds, or ten thousand dollars) invested it in rice milling.

Their profits for the first year were eighty thousand rupees – about five thousand pounds, or twenty-five thousand dollars. They were not in the combine to depress the price of rice, but they profited by what the combine accomplished. These inequities of our present social order are beyond the reach and correction of the comparatively few men of ability not directly or indirectly interested in them.


Neither Jehovah nor His great representative, Messiah, can, in any sense or degree, be a party to injustice or inequity. The fact that injustice has been permitted, and that inequity has been the rule for centuries, is to be accounted for by the other fact that during all this period the world has been under the reign of sin and death, and not under the reign of righteousness and life: it has been under the reign of Satan, "the prince of this world," and of the darkness of selfishness and evil – all of which his name represents – and not under the dominion of Messiah, the representative of Jehovah and His righteousness; not under the King of glory, the anti-typical David and Solomon, the anti-typical Aaron and Melchisedec.

The New Dispensation which Messiah's Kingdom will usher in is pictured in our text. It will be the dominion that will be world-wide – pure, holy, righteous, just, truthful, Godlike – a great White Throne. No wonder we read that the symbolical heavens and earth, representing the old order of things – social, ecclesiastical – will all vanish away. But let no one think for a moment that ecclesiastical princes, financial princes and political princes will voluntarily acknowledge that the hour has come for a full surrender to Messiah and to all the principles of His absolute righteousness.

On the contrary, these privileged members of our race will more and more be drawn together for mutual protection – for the preservation of the special privileges which have come into their possession. Even now we see the prophecy of the Second Psalm fulfilling. We are in the very time [NS857] when the Lord, through the Prophet David, calls the great ones of the earth to recognize the true situation of our wonderful day – that it means that the Day of Messiah has arrived, and that He should be recognized and His principles of righteousness obeyed. The call is recognized. "Salute the Son, O ye kings of the earth, while ye are in the way with Him, before His anger be kindled and ye perish by the way." (Psa. 2:10-12)

But no, the prophecy declares that we are in the day when the people, the masses, will have foolish imaginations – when they will think that by their own strength they can inaugurate a reign of righteousness along the lines of socialism or by anarchy. The people must learn that their help is in the Lord and not in their own frail arm. The people must see the force of the statement, "Blessed are all they that put their trust in Messiah." (verse 12)

The Lord is about to establish the great White Throne of absolute justice in the world. On the other hand, the money kings and earthly rulers and ecclesiastical princes are taking counsel together today for the preservation of the present inequities of the world, by which they are profiting.

The Lord declares that in this they are banding themselves against Him and against the newly appointed King, Messiah. For over a century human liberty has been making progress, in spite of every endeavor to restrain it. The potentates of earth perceive the rising tide of human intelligence and demands for equal rights. They perceive that unless something be done to counteract this general movement the special privileges of the privileged classes will disappear. They are even now taking counsel together how the restraints which the people are putting upon them may be broken and a reign of autocracy – political, financial and religious – be reinaugurated.


Would that the cultured and influential princes of earth could take the proper view of the situation and realize the fallacy of their counsels, the impossibility of averting the great changes which are upon us by reason of the time having come for Messiah to take unto Himself His great power and reign! Hearken to the Lord's words through the Prophet, "Be wise, now, therefore, O ye kings! Be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling. Do homage to the Son." (Psa. 2:10-12)

Could the wise of earth realize the situation and fully submit themselves to the Divine requirements of absolute justice and truth, what a blessing it would be to the world! If these princes would turn their attention from the grasping of power and money to the enlightenment and uplifting of the people they would become ministers, servants, of the New Dispensation, which would be ushered in with rejoicing. But the Lord informs us that this will not be the case, and that, as a result, Messiah's Kingdom will be ushered in by "a time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation." (Dan. 12:1)

The Psalmist tells us the same – God will have in derision the puny efforts of the worldly wise and great, to re-establish autocracy. He will speak to them in His wrath the lesson which they refuse to hear by loving exhortation. The new King and His Empire will be established in the earth, and the declaration is that amidst such Divine displeasure He shall "break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel." (Psa. 2:4-9; Rev. 2:27)


God is no respecter of persons. Hence, before His Judgment Throne punishments will be meted out to the little, as well as to the great, when found to be violators of the principles of justice. Would that I could impress this upon many of the lower classes who are crying out against the injustices in high places while practicing similar injustices themselves. Let it be remembered also that the great White Throne speaks blessings, Divine favor and uplifting to all who love righteousness and hate iniquity.

If in the past a certain retributive justice has seemed to proceed along national lines, blessing the nations which take the more righteous course, and frowning upon those which take the more evil course, this will no longer be the case in the not distant future. The testing imposed by Messiah's Kingdom will be along individual lines. He that eats the sour grape of sin will find his teeth on edge, and his alone. "Justice will be laid to the line and righteousness to the plummet," and all the refuges of lies, by which mankind in high places have sought to fool themselves and others, will be swept away. The hidden things of darkness will be brought to light and the glorious things of light will be everywhere recognized. Ultimately "every knee shall bow and every tongue confess" to the enthroned Messiah.


The Master said, "My word shall judge you in the last day."

Happy has it been for the comparatively few who have heard the Master's word in this present life, and have judged themselves thereby, and submitted themselves to His righteous precepts! These blessed ones will share with Messiah the glories of His Spiritual Empire, invisible to men. But during the Thousand Year Judgment Day of the world (2 Pet. 3:7, 8) the same words – the "wonderful words of life" to those [NS858] who will obey, and words of death to those who will refuse obedience – will be the standards of justice for all mankind. The books then to be opened to all will include not only the words of the Master and of the Apostles of the New Testament, but also the Divine message through the Prophets of old. Then all shall see the oneness and harmony of the Divine message of righteousness.

According to those standards, each who would have eternal life must conform his living and his thinking. The approved, at the end of Messiah's reign, will be delivered over to the Father perfect as human beings. The disapproved will be destroyed in the Second Death – without hope. (2 Pet. 2:12; Jude 12; Acts 3:23)

Another book of life will be opened – another besides the one that is now open, which is styled the Lamb's Book of Life, in which is written the names of His faithful followers of the present time – "members of His Body," "the Royal Priesthood," "the Bride, the Lamb's Wife."

The new book of life will be for those who will be on trial during Messiah's reign. By its close it will include all of Adam's race found worthy of eternal life. The judgment of the Church in the present time is not according to works, the perfection of which, under present conditions, would be impossible. Hence the Church's judgment is according to faith and the obedience of faith possible. But the world's judgment will be according to works, for the knowledge then will be so great that faith will no longer be at a premium.

The great Mediator will accept of imperfect works according to the ability of the people, but as they rise out of degradation, more and more will be required of them, until in the end they will be perfected, and absolute perfection of works will be required.

St. Paul Enterprise, November 13, 1910


This discourse has been republished in Pastor Russell's Sermons, pages 749-754, entitled, "Even the Winds and the Waves Obey."

(On the Atlantic, Nov. 13, 1910)

Pastor Russell of the Brooklyn Tabernacle is homeward bound. He declares that he greatly enjoyed his visit to Great Britain, where he preached in twelve of the principal cities, including three Sundays in London. His address for today was from the text, Matt. 8:27.

The New York American, November 20, 1910

Originally Republished from The St. Paul Enterprise, February 26, 1918


The Wise Man declared that a fly in the precious ointment would cause it to stink. We apply this suggestion to the Word of God, the precious ointment which God has supplied. Certain flies (falsehoods) crept into it during the Dark Ages, which are now causing a loathing and repudiation on the part of many of the best and wisest people in the world.

All will admit that it is sinful to tamper with the Word of God – to either add to or take from it or to wrest or twist or pervert its meaning Why is it, then, that ministers of the Gospel, who know that certain passages of the Scriptures are not to be found in the older manuscripts, fail to show the people the truth on this subject? And if these ministers are not fully informed whose fault is it? Would it not be preferable that they should absent themselves from some of the fairs and festivals and social functions, in order to inform themselves? On what pretext are the clergy a specially privileged class, except for the purpose of giving their flocks reliable information along religious lines? And what is their commission from the Lord, except that they [NS859] "should feed the flock of God, which he purchased with the blood of his own dear Son?" If the flock have been feeding upon certain Scriptures supposed to be genuine, and if they have been made sick thereby, and if their Shepherds now know that these Scriptures are not a part of the Divinely inspired Word, why should not God's people be informed of the facts and be stopped from eating poisonous elements introduced by the Adversary.


The more others are silent, the more we must speak. We cannot see God's sheep spiritually sick without warning them respecting their spiritual food. Not only have we received many misinterpretations of the parables and symbols of the Bible, but into our Bibles themselves certain false statements have been injected – long centuries ago.

All well-informed ministers of the Gospel know that our New Testament was not translated from the writings of the Apostles, but from copies thereof. These, copied over and over again, no matter how carefully, were liable to errors. And, in addition, as we might expect, occasionally, a bold transcriber would add a few words to make the record conform the better to his conception of what it ought to be. This went on for centuries before the art of printing came into use. The New Testament was translated from the Greek into the Latin language, and was known as the Vulgate.

From that Latin translation sprang our various English translations – the Douay or Catholic edition, published in 1609 A. D., and the King James Bible, or Common Version, published in 1611 A. D. The latter was merely a revised translation, to assist in which revision other previous translations were used, and we are assured that the text was diligently compared with the Greek text. But until lately there were no ancient Greek manuscripts with which to compare it. The Greek manuscripts with which it was compared numbered only eight, none of which dated earlier than the tenth century.

Today, however, we have three very old Greek manuscripts of the New Testament, namely, the Alexandrian MS., the Vatican MS. and the Sinaitic MS. Of these, the Vatican MS. was the first to come to the attention of modern scholarship. It is in the Vatican library, appearing on its catalogue as far far back as 1475 A. D., which manuscript scholarship accredits with having been written in the fourth century. Next came the Alexandrian MS., which is supposed to have been written about the middle of the fifth century. It is now on exhibition in the British Museum. Finally, we have the Sinaitic MS., which is in possession of the Russian Government. It was found by Constantine Tischendorf in a Mt. Sinai convent, from which it takes its name. It is accredited with a date of about 350 A. D. Of these three oldest MSS. of the New Testament known in the world, the Vatican and Sinaitic are the older.

Assuredly nothing should be considered as part of the original Scriptures that is not found in any of these three oldest MSS. Why should we not tell this to the people? Why should we not inform them that some of the most confusing texts of the Bible are not found in these old manuscripts? Is it not a sin to preach doctrines as from God which have no part in these early MSS.? This is our thought. From time to time it will be our pleasure, as well as our duty, to teach the common people what the clergy already know on this subject.


"Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved; but he that believeth not, shall be damned." Mark 16:15, 16

One of the most important of these interpolations or poisonous additions engrafted upon the Word of God is in the 16th chapter of Mark, all of which, from the 9th verse to the end of the chapter, is spurious – fraudulent. It is additional to anything that St. Mark wrote, as evidenced by the fact that these verses are not found in any of the three oldest Greek MSS. Of course, some of the items of these verses are found in other Gospels.

It would never do to add a lie without a certain amount of covering of Truth to sugarcoat it! But notice our text and what a wrong thought it gives – inconsistent with the remainder of the Scriptures. Its intimation is that the preaching of the Gospel to every creature will result either in his believing it and being baptized, and thus being saved, or in his disbelieving and being damned. And this word damned carries with it, in the light of other misunderstandings, fire and blazings, roasting and torture, shrieking and woes indescribable.

This is all wrong – contrary to the authentic Scriptures. The authentic Scriptures inform us that this Gospel Age is one in which God is gathering from the world a "Little Flock" of footstep followers, saintly and elect, to constitute the Bride of Christ – his joint-heirs in His coming Kingdom. They showed that not all are expected to hear this message at the present time – not many wise, great, learned or rich, but chiefly the poor. They assure us that to have the hearing ear is a special favor, saying, "Blessed are your ears, for they hear, and your eyes, for they see."

St. Paul tells us that the world in general is blind and deaf to the message now sent forth (Rom. 11:7), and the experiences of 18 centuries corroborate this. St. Peter tells us (Acts 15:13) that God's work in the present time is not the [NS860] conversion of the world (which certainly is not being accomplished) but that he is now taking out of the world a people for his name (to bear the name of Christ, as His Bride). The authentic Scriptures everywhere teach us that the poor, blind, deaf world, which has never yet heard fully and clearly of "the only name given under heaven or amongst men whereby we may be saved," is not, on this account, condemned or damned.

They tell us that the whole world was born condemned, because children of Adam and sharers in his condemnation, but that God has provided in the sacrifice of Jesus a redemption for Adam and all his race. They tell us that, as a result, in God's due time, Christ, as the true Light, the Sun of Righteousness, shall enlighten every man that cometh into the world. They explain that God is now calling out a special class while the darkness is upon the earth and the gross darkness upon the heathen, and that the Sun of Righteousness, which is to enlighten the whole world, will not arise until the elect Church shall first have been gathered out.

They tell us that in the New Dispensation yet to dawn, all the families of the earth will be blessed through the Christ – Jesus, the Head, and the Church his Body or Bride. They tell us that then "all the blind eyes shall be opened and all the deaf ears shall be unstopped. (Isa. 35:5)

They tell us that then the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His beams, flooding the whole earth with the light of the knowledge of the glory of God. They assure us that that will be the period of Messiah's reign, for which we pray, "Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as in heaven."

They tell us that the object of that reign will be that the world in general may have a trial to determine whether, with the light and knowledge and experience then granted, they will choose God and righteousness and the reward of eternal life, or will choose sin and its penalty, the Second Death.


Our word damned, from misusage and the bad theology of the Dark Ages, has a sulphurous odor, whereas its plain, simple meaning is the same as the word condemn. Adam was damned or condemned 6,000 years ago, because of his disobedience. (John 3:17; Rom. 5:12)

And all his children, by heredity, share his weaknesses and thus share his condemnation. But Adam is not condemned or damned to eternal torture nor to Purgatory. The Bible distinctly says in so many words that his sentence, his condemnation, his damnation, is to death. "In the day that thou eatest thereof, dying thou shalt die." (Gen. 2:17, margin). After his disobedience, God said, "Unfit (cursed) is the earth for thy sake. Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth unto thee. In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread until thou return unto the ground from which thou wast taken; for dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return." Gen. 3:17-19

This general sentence has rested upon all of Adam's race from that day until now. As St. Paul declares, By one man's disobedience sin entered into the world and death (not eternal torment nor Purgatory) as a result of sin, and thus death (not eternal torment nor Purgatory) passed upon all men, because all are sinners. (Rom. 5:12)

Jesus came to redeem two classes – the Church and the world – the Church class to be his "Bride" and to share His heavenly, spiritual Kingdom with Him; the world to be blessed and restored to human perfection and to an earthly Eden, world-wide – God's footstool made glorious. The Church and household of faith, willing to walk in the footsteps of the Master in the dark, have been called and chosen during the past nearly 19 centuries. Soon the worthy ones, the "Little Flock," will enter into the joys of their Lord, at His Second Coming. The marriage of the Lamb shall come, for his Wife will have made herself ready. (Rev. 19:7)

Then the world's salvation will be due to begin. The Times of Restitution will be the thousand years of Messiah's spiritual reign as King of kings and Lord of lords. Fleshly Israel, we are assured, will then be restored to Divine favor and become the special and active agents of the Messianic Kingdom in the distribution of the Divine favors to all the families of the earth. In the end all the incorrigibly wicked, who love iniquity rather than righteousness, will be destroyed. Thus, as the Apostle declares, the sacrifice of Jesus. constitutes a satisfaction for our sins (the Church's sins), and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (1 John 2:2)


Let us briefly notice the absurdity in the addition to God's Word found in the last 12 verses of St. Mark's Gospel, fraudulently added and not found in any of the oldest Greek MSS. Notice the statement, These signs shall foll6w them that believe; in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues. They shall take up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them. They shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover." (verses 17,18)

The majority of Christian ministers and their congregations seem not to be troubled by the fact that they do not have these evidences of their relationship to the Lord, and they do not attempt to heal the sick, to speak with tongues, and would not dare to drink any poisonous thing. But [NS861] there are certain conscientious people, the very cream of all the churches, who are greatly perplexed by these words because they know that they are not true in their experience. With them, therefore it is a matter of feeling doubtful about their own salvation, or a question as to the reliability of the Bible as a whole.

They need to have the relief which we now seek to give them. They need to know that these are not inspired words, but poisonous and injurious additions made during the Dark Ages. They may, consequently, look elsewhere in the Scriptures and find the proper assurances of their relationship with God being demonstrated by the fruits of the holy Spirit in their lives and in their hearts – "meekness, gentleness, patience, long-suffering, brotherly kindness, love."


This spurious passage of our text is used by many ministers who know, or ought to know, of its falsity. But they have a certain theory in their minds to the effect that the miracles and unknown tongues of the early Church were lost by reason of unfaithfulness to God, and that Christians today should seek for their recovery. Not having any Scriptures to support their claim, they use this interpolation and allow their hearers and readers to believe it to be the inspired message.

To what length have people gone in support of human theory! The first principle of preaching should be to preach the Truth, the whole Truth and nothing but the Truth. Every theory which requires bolstering up by spurious passages should be abandoned, and will be abandoned by those who are honest truth-seekers, "Bereans."

Our Lord performed miracles. So did His Apostles. And so did those of the early Church upon whom the Apostles laid their hands. But no others have this gift. Consequently, when the Apostles were dead and when all those upon whom they had laid hands of blessing were dead, these miracles in the Church were at an end. We all see the propriety of this.

Miracles were appropriate at the beginning for the establishment of the Church, and, for a time, were necessary for their encouragement. In their early meetings they had no source of information aside from the Apostles, whom they rarely saw or heard. They had no Bibles – no copies of the Gospel, nor of the Epistles. They needed the very arrangement which God provided – tongues and interpretations of tongues, etc., to draw them together and to instruct them until, in due time, the canon of Scripture would be completed that, through it, the man of God might be thoroughly furnished unto every good word and work. (2 Tim. 3:16, 17)

By the time the Apostles died the Church had become established, had regular meetings, pastors and teachers, the Gospels and Epistles, and some of them had begun to develop the fruits of the Spirit. Thus the early Church naturally outgrew the tongues and miracles and entered a larger sphere, just as a child loses its swaddling clothes in favor of more suitable attire.

For God's people today to desire to go back to speaking with tongues, etc., such as was practiced and very profitably, in the early Church, would be like an adult person desiring to be dressed and treated as a babe. It is our understanding that the speaking with unknown tongues in religious meetings, which is gradually spreading over the world, is a deception being practiced upon earnest children of God, who are deceived by the fallen angels – the demons of the Bible.

They are thus enslaved to error and have their attention drawn away from the Truth. To what extent the ministers of Christ of today are responsible for the delusion of these poor people is not ours to determine. Had the spuriousness of the last verses of St. Mark's Gospel been duly pointed out from every pulpit, as soon as the old MSS. were known, some, at least, might have been spared from this snare.

The New York American, November 27, 1910

Originally Republished from The St. Paul Enterprise, November 27, 1917


"Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise; be thankful unto Him, and bless His name." Psa. 100:4

Oklahoma City, Nov. 27 – Pastor Russell of Brooklyn Tabernacle addressed large audiences here twice today in our principal Auditorium. We report one of his addresses from the following text: "O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good; for his mercy endureth forever." Psa. 107:1

Thanksgiving Day appeals to all of us, and we are glad that the Pilgrim Fathers long years ago started [NS862] the custom. They placed it at the end of the harvest and in recognition of the same. The keeping of such a day appeals to all civilized mankind in a considerable degree, because our Great Creator so organized us that the quality of reverence, of worship, lies prominently on the top of our heads. The man or woman, rich or poor, educated or ignorant, bond or free, who has not this organ of veneration developed in considerable measure cannot be appreciative and deferential toward his Creator, and hence would not enjoy Thanksgiving Day. We are glad that these are comparatively few. We are glad to suppose that the majority of this great nation of civilization looked up to God with grateful hearts and rendered Him thanks for blessings manifested.


Nevertheless, the numbers increase yearly of those who are losing their reverence for the God of the Bible and vaguely turning toward a God of Nature, of whom they profess to know comparatively little. These irreverent and unthankful fellow creatures are not generally the most ignorant of our race, nor the least favored in temporal mercies and blessings. Among them are many learned, wealthy, influential.

Their condition is well represented by that of a young woman who called at my study recently. In substance she said, "I have lost my God. I am unhappy. I am hoping that you will be able to assist me in finding him again."

Thank God, we were able to assist her, and now she is able to give thanks to God in all sincerity. I am not referring to the irreverent in this audience, nor to those of this class in my larger audience of millions all over the world, to whom I speak through the public press. I am speaking to others who, while not yet fully in the faith, are still disposed to give thanks. I speak to these because I realize that each day is bringing to the world greater intelligence, more independent thoughtfulness, in a wider use of reason. I speak because my experience teaches that unless these be fully armed with the Truth and awakened to independent thought, they are almost certain to fall into unbelief – Evolution, Higher Criticism, and a mere form of godliness which denies the real power thereof.


The Great Teacher prayed for his followers, "Sanctify them through thy Truth; thy Word is Truth." (John 17:17)

To be forearmed with the Truth is to be safeguarded against the error. To be ignorant of the Truth is to fall a prey to the error – especially in this "evil day," when "a thousand shall fall at thy side and ten thousand at thy right hand." (Psa. 91:7)

The difficulty with us has been that many have supposed that the conversion of the world and its sanctification can be better accomplished by misrepresentation of Divine Character and Justice. Unconsciously we have learned to twist and interpret our Bibles to fit the erroneous creeds which were handed to us by our well-meaning forefathers. The Day of Judgment upon these false creeds is upon us. Unless we learn that they do not properly interpret the Bible we will reject the Bible when we reject the creeds – and that must be very soon for all thinking people. "To the Law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them." Isa. 8:20


"Come, let us reason together, saith the Lord!" If our creeds tell us truly that we were all born damned, either to Purgatory or to eternal torment, should we give thanks on this account? If our creeds tell truly that an elect handful of saints will escape the torture, how do we know whether or not we belong to that elect handful? Have we sufficient information on this subject to give thanks therefore?

If our creeds tell truly that nearly all the members of our families, nearly all of our neighbors and friends, being unsaintly, not "sanctified in Christ Jesus," not followers in the footsteps of Jesus, not of those "who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit" – these all, except a mere handful, are doomed to more horrible torture than the worst earthly sufferings we could possibly imagine for them, and are doomed to these for centuries in Purgatory, according to the Catholic; or for all eternity, according to our Protestant theories. Can we honestly thank God for any of these conditions, if we believe them to be true?

Can we "worship in spirit and in truth" a Creator who would make such an atrocious plan? And could we respect his honesty if he labeled it "good tidings of great joy to all people"? If the foregoing things, which have come down to us from the "Dark Ages," be true, of what consequence, in comparison, would be the material harvests of earth, which would merely encourage and stimulate the bringing into being of larger numbers of our race to experience those tortures?

If these things be true, rather should we give thanks for famine and pestilence, which would obliterate our race entirely and thus save future thousands of millions from the horrors of eternal torture. These thoughts will come to all intelligent beings sooner or later. We bring them forward now, in order that we may offset them with the Truth – that we may show the fallacy of these "doctrines of devils," as St. Paul designates them. (1 Tim. 4:1)

We bring them to your attention so that we may not only demolish them, but give you instead the true, satisfactory portion, the Truth, the Bread that came down from heaven to give [NS863] life eternal, not merely to the saintly few of the Church, but to mankind in general. Those who get the proper view of our Creator and of his glorious Plan for human salvation will be forever protected from such fears and doubts respecting Divine goodness.

Getting the proper view of the Heavenly Father's character through the discernment of his Plan of the Ages for spiritual Israel, natural Israel and the world in general, they will hereafter be able to celebrate every Thanksgiving Day much more abundantly, much more intelligently, much more happily than any in the past. More than this, to these every day will be a happy day if, rightly exercised by the goodness of God, they shall give him their hearts.


In the Psalm from which our text is taken the Prophet David repeats this sentiment of Thanksgiving to God because of the ever-continuance of his mercy, twenty-six times. Our English translation does not give us the exact thought, however. Properly translated it would read, "O give thanks, for his mercy endureth ever."

The word evermore nearly represents the thought of the Hebrew, which signifies not forever, but to a completion. As long as there is any use for mercy, God's mercy will continue. When the Great Divine Program shall have been accomplished, when "every creature in heaven and in earth, and under the earth, shall be heard saying, Praise and glory and honor, dominion and might be unto him that sitteth upon the Throne and unto the Lamb forever" (Rev. 5:13), then there will no longer be need for mercy; mercy will have accomplished its work.

Mercy signifies the setting aside of justice in some manner, for some reason. Justice is the foundation of God's throne – the foundation of the Divine Government. Justice had control of Father Adam and offered him eternal life in an Eden home, as a reward for obedience; or death, extinction, as the penalty for disobedience. As Divine Wisdom had foreknown, man disobeyed and the penalty of Justice, "Dying thou shalt die," was executed.

Through heredity all of Adam's race became involved – all inherited sinful tendencies and dying constitutions. For more than two thousand years death reigned under the edict of Justice, and our race as a whole were subject to it. A little later the Law Covenant was made with Israel – one nation out of many. It seemed to offer mercy. but did not. They were placed under the Law and were merely offered eternal life if they could keep the Law – which they could not keep, because of inherited blemishes, moral and physical.

It was over four thousand years from the time Justice struck the fatal blow until Divine mercy stepped forward with the healing balm. God's mercy is his love in active operation for the relief of the condemned. Although God is Love, and hence must always have been loving and kind and merciful of disposition, yet this quality of his character was held in restraint as respects condemned men for more than 40 centuries. So the Apostle explains, saying, "Herein was manifested the love of God, in that he sent his only begotten Son into the world" "that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." 1 John 4:9; John 3:16

But meantime the darkness of sin and the misrepresentations of Divine character by the Adversary had so operated upon the fallen race that – eyes had they, but they saw not; ears had they, but they understood not; hearts had they, but they comprehended not, the message of Divine mercy. They fulfilled the Scriptures in slaying the One sent for their relief. And they have misunderstood, slandered, maligned, "killed" his followers – the few blessed with the hearing ears and the understanding hearts and the eyes of faith. These few constitute what the Scriptures designate the true Church of God, including the Apostles and all the faithful throughout this Age – the household of faith, "the Church of the First-Borns, whose names are written in heaven." Heb. 12:23


Man's necessity became God's opportunity for the display of his glorious character – perfect in Justice, Wisdom, Love and Power. While love could not clear the guilty, it could provide a Redeemer to suffer, "the just for the unjust."

But Divine Justice could not allow this, unless with the consent of the sufferer. Hence we read that God set before his only-begotten Son a glorious Plan and invited his co-operation therein. The Son assented, left the heavenly glory, was made flesh and "offered himself" an acceptable sacrifice, "the just for the unjust" – for the redemption of Adam and his race.

The Father honored him by raising him from the dead to a still higher glory and honor than he had before, to immortality – the divine nature. Now, from his glorious station, he is empowered to be the Mediator between God and men – between Divine Justice and fallen humanity. He is empowered to give the earthly rights which he sacrificially laid down for Adam and his race – to so many of them as will accept the perfection of human nature and its rights and privileges upon terms in harmony with the Divine Law – the remainder he will destroy, annihilate as brute beasts." 2 Pet. 2:12; Acts 3:23

As though all this were not sufficiently wonderful; as though with all this the Heavenly Father's Wisdom, Justice, Love and Power would not be sufficiently [NS864] illustrated, exemplified, God added another feature. Before beginning to deal with the world as a whole, to give back to the willing and obedient of the race human perfection and an earthly Eden Paradise and eternal life; before commencing this work of restitution (Acts 3:19), the Father made known to the Son another feature of his Plan. He would give to the Son a Bride, a class selected from amongst the fallen race – called, chosen, faithful overcomers.

These, as the joint-heirs of the Second Adam, will share with him in the uplifting of those of Adam's race who will become the children of Christ through obedience and adoption.


The trials and testings of all those who will become the Bride of Christ must be similar to those of the Redeemer. They must suffer with him if they would reign with him. As he sacrificed his earthly life and rights and interests, so must they. He exhorted them, "Present your bodies living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God, a reasonable service." (Rom. 12:1)

True, there is a difference between these followers of Jesus and the Captain of their salvation. He was brought into the world holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners; hence his sacrifice is a perfect one. Those accepted as his members, as his Bride, belong to the race of sinners. They were "children of wrath even as others." (Eph. 2:3)

Their acceptance as sacrifices, therefore, was not possible except as the great Captain of their Salvation imputed to those sacrifices a sufficiency of the merit of his sacrifice to compensate for their defects and to make their sacrifices acceptable to the Father with his and as a part of his – they being counted in with him as "members of his Body."

My dear friends, those of us who have the eye of faith and the hearing of faith to appreciate this, the Message of God's Word, may surely be thankful to the last degree. What more could our Heavenly Father do for us than he has done – redeeming us, inviting us to a new nature, giving us the aids by the way, and making us sharers in the Kingdom glory of His Son? More than this, he has been blessing our friends, our children, our parents, our neighbors, the heathen – all of mankind, of one family.


"O, give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good; for his mercy endureth forever!" During this Gospel Age his mercy has been manifest to all those who take up their cross and follow Jesus. By and by these will be glorified by the "First Resurrection."

Then his mercy will return to natural Israel under the New Covenant (Jer. 31:31), of which Christ and the Church are "Able Ministers," Servants, Priests and Kings. Could all the world discern, through the trials and tears and sorrows and imperfections and dying of their present experience, the glorious outcome which God is providing the whole world, they would be filled with praise to him who loved us and bought us back from the penalty of death and who ultimately will complete his glorious work through Messiah's Kingdom.

Have we not, as followers of the Lord, as Christians, misrepresented the facts of the case and endeavored to have people give thanks to God for unkindness, in justice, lovelessness – to a God whose mercy never reached us and would never reach any but a small proportion of our race through the knowledge of Christ; to a God whose mercy, even to the one-tenth of those who had ever heard of him, he said, would endure only for the present life, and even among these bring a blessing only to a mere handful of the elect!

Let us go back to the Word of God and free our minds of the prejudices of superstition and misinterpretation handed down from the Dark Ages. Let us see the glory of our God, as revealed in the Bible. Let Christians give thanks that, by the grace of God, their eyes and ears of understanding are opening to a better knowledge of him. Let them give thanks, not only for redemption from the death sentence but also for their calls to saintship and its consequent suffering in this present time and its promise of reward of glory on the spirit plane by and by!

Let the world give thanks in proportion as it is able to discern God's goodness and mercy for Adam's race – that eventually through the channel of the glorified Church the Divine blessing will be extended to every member of Adam's race, giving opportunity to all to attain life everlasting with full human perfection and an everlasting Eden upon this now sin-cursed earth.

I CANNOT do without Thee;
I cannot stand alone;
I have no strength or goodness,
No wisdom of my own;


New York American, December 11, 1910


The Mystery Covered so Long is now made Plain

"This discourse has been republished in Pastor Russell's Sermons, pages 200-207, entitled, "Divine Plan Hidden in Abraham's Family."

Omaha, Neb., Dec. 11 – Pastor Russell, of Brooklyn Tabernacle, visited our city yesterday as the guest of the International Bible Students Association. He gave two public addresses, which were heard by large and intelligent audiences. We report his address from these words of Scripture: "And Isaac brought Rebecca into his mother Sarah's tent, and she became his wife and he loved her." Gen. 24:67


BESIDE my cottage door it grows,
The loveliest, daintiest flower that blows,
A sweet-brier rose.

At dewy morn or twilight's close,
The rarest perfume from it flows,
This strange, wild rose.

But when the raindrops on it beat,
Ah, then its odors grow more sweet
About my feet!

Ofttimes with loving tenderness
Its soft green leaves I gently press
In sweet caress, –

A still more wondrous fragrance flows,
The more my fingers firmly close,
And crush the rose!

Dear Lord, oh, let my life be so, -
Its perfume when the tempests blow,
The sweeter flow!

And should it be Thy blessed will
With crushing grief my soul to fill,
Press harder still,

And while its dying fragrance flows,
I'll whisper low, "He loves and knows
His crushed brier-rose."