page 257
December 15th
Herald of Christ's Presence

Other foundation can
no man lay

"Watchman, What of the Night?"
"The Morning Cometh, and a Night also!" Isaiah 21:11

VOL. XX.DECEMBER 1, 1899.No. 23.

Views From the Watch Tower 259
Cold Comfort for Evolutionists, et al 259
A Minister's Presentiments 261
An Astounding Proposition 261
Papacy's Demands in Spain 262
Poem: Walking in the Narrow Way 263
Questions and Answers: 263
Borrowing and Lending 263
Man's Free Agency 264
Meteoric Showers 264
The Study of Psychic Phenomena 264
"Prehuman" 265
"Predestination" 265
"God Loveth a Cheerful Giver" 265
Right and Wrong Conditions and Their Results 269
Resisting Worldly Influences 272
Items: Z.W.T. Visits during 1900 –
The Attached Bible Price List, etc 258

'I will stand upon my watch, and set my foot upon the Tower, and will watch to see what He shall say unto me, and what answer I shall make to them that oppose me.' Hab. 2:1

Upon the earth distress of nations with perplexity: the sea and the waves (the restless, discontented) roaring: men's hearts failing them for fear and for looking forward to the things coming upon the earth (society): for the powers of the heavens (ecclestiasticism) shall be shaken. . . .When ye see these things come to pass, then know that the Kingdom of God is nigh at hand. Look up, lift up your heads, rejoice, for your redemption draweth nigh. – Luke 21:25-28, 32.

page 258

HIS journal is set for the defence of the only true foundation of the Christian's hope now being so generally repudiated, – Redemption through the precious blood of "the man Christ Jesus who gave himself a ransom [a corresponding price, a substitute] for all." (1 Pet. 1:19; 1 Tim. 2:6.) Building up on this sure foundation the gold, silver and precious stones (1 Cor. 3:11-15; 2 Pet. 1:5-11) of the Word of God, its further mission is to – "Make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery which...has been hid in God, the intent that now might be made known by the Church the manifold wisdom of God" – "which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed." – Eph. 3:5-9,10.

It stands free from all parties, sects and creeds of men, while it seeks more and more to bring its every utterance into fullest subjection to the will of God in Christ, as expressed in the Holy Scriptures. It is thus free to declare boldly whatsoever the Lord hath spoken; – according to the divine wisdom granted unto us, to understand. Its attitude is not dogmatical, but confident; for we know whereof we affirm, treading with implicit faith upon the sure promises of God. It is held as a trust, to be used only in his service; hence our decisions relative to what may and what may not appear in its columns must be according to our judgment of his good pleasure, the teaching of his Word, for the upbuilding of his people in grace and knowledge. And we not only invite but urge our readers to prove all its utterances by the infallible Word to which reference is constantly made, to facilitate such testing.

That the Church is "the Temple of the Living God" – peculiarly "His
workmanship;" that its construction has been in progress throughout the Gospel age – ever since Christ became the world's Redeemer and the chief corner stone of this Temple, through which, when finished, God's blessings shall come "to all people," and they find access to him. – 1 Cor. 3:16,17; Eph. 2:20-22; Gen. 28:14; Gal. 3:29.
That meantime the chiseling, shaping and polishing, of consecrated believers
in Christ's atonement for sin, progresses; and when the last of these "living stones," "elect and precious," shall have been made ready, the great Master Workman will bring all together in the First Resurrection; and the Temple shall be filled with his glory, and be the meeting place between God and men throughout the Millennium. – Rev. 15:5-8.
That the Basis of Hope, for the Church and the World, lies in the fact that
"Jesus Christ, by the grace of God, tasted death for every man," "a ransom for all," and will be "the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world," "in due time." – Heb. 2:9; John 1:9; 1 Tim. 2:5,6.
That the Hope of the Church is that she may be like her Lord, "see him
as he is," be "partaker of the divine nature," and share his glory as his joint-heir. – 1 John 3:2; John 17:24; Rom. 8:17; 2 Pet. 1:4.
That the present mission of the Church is the perfecting of the saints for
the future work of service; to develop in herself every grace; to be God's witness to the world; and to prepare to be the kings and priests of the next age. – Eph. 4:12; Matt. 24:14; Rev. 1:6; 20:6.
That the hope for the World lies in the blessings of knowledge and opportunity
to be brought to by Christ's Millennial Kingdom – the restitution of all that was lost in Adam, to all the willing and obedient, at the hands of their Redeemer and his glorified Church. – Acts 3:19-21; Isa. 35.

"BIBLE HOUSE," 610, 612, 614 ARCH ST., ALLEGHENY, PA., U.S.A.


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[R2536 : page 259]



PROF. A. H. SAYCE, one of the greatest living archaeological explorers and professors of Assyriology in Oxford University, England, after thirty years spent in deciphering the ancient hieroglyphics of eastern lands, recently declared: – "Higher Criticism is wrong. The higher critics of the Bible are engaged in hair-splitting trivialities and are pursuing false methods. Our researches among the monuments of Babylon, Assyria and Egypt have opened up a new world undreamed of a few years ago. They show that the history of mankind goes back to a very remote past; and that civilization was then quite as high as that of imperial Rome or the civilization of Europe at the time of the Renaissance, if not higher in some respects.

"They have also shown how much there is still to be discovered. After all, what we have found is only the beginning of what we shall find. It is no longer possible to say, as in the early days of oriental research, that such and such a thing could not have been. The population of the early East was highly cultured and highly literary. Both in Egypt and in Babylon a large portion of the people seem to have occupied their time in reading and writing.

"The monuments that have been found in Egypt [R2537 : page 259] and Babylonia have revealed this fact in part. These are literally covered with writing. Even the smallest articles of daily use have been found covered with inscriptions. The revelations are also partly due to the discoveries that the old cities of the East had very large libraries of books. And some discoveries made a few years ago at Tel-el-Amarna, in Egypt – where a large number of letters on clay tablets were found – proved that in the fifteenth century before the Christian era the whole educated population of the East from the Euphrates to the Nile were engaged in writing letters to one another. This correspondence was going on actively in a language and form of writing which belonged only to the Babylonians. Those, therefore, who wrote in this language must have studied and learned it as we do French. Hence there must have been schools in which the language and script of Babylonia were studied all over western Asia.

"Not long since a discovery was made in the extreme south of Egypt showing that papyrus books were written in the very early days of Egyptian history. As regards the Babylonian libraries, they were equally ancient and very numerous. Every great library had its clay books. Some time ago at a place called Tello, in South Chaldea, a French excavator discovered a library which was formed three or four centuries before the birth of Abraham, and which he concludes had contained 33,000 separate clay tablets or books on all kinds of subjects. He found them arranged in shelves, piled one upon another. They had probably been overwhelmed by the fall of the building in which they were placed. Many of these clay tablets are now in Constantinople. About 10,000 were stolen by the Arabs. The tablets are mostly written in Accadian, a language which is still imperfectly known."

*                         *                         *

Amongst the papyri found recently in Egypt and mentioned in our View for Nov. 15th were others quite interesting. One was – An Ode of Welcome to Usertesen III., written probably on the occasion of a royal visit. It has six stanzas of ten lines each and is pronounced by scientists "the oldest known poem in the world." They forget the Bible again, for the Book of Job is of about the same age and conceded to be a masterly poetic production.

Veterinary surgery is treated in a good sized volume, and we are told "the cures are very practical and similar to those used in the present day." But legal documents and private papers are amongst the most interesting, evidencing surely that if (as Evolutionists claim) the first man was but one remove from a monkey, he got civilized very quickly, and that so far [R2537 : page 260] as the Egyptians are concerned, very little evoluting has been done for the past 3700 years. We quote a few extracts from these interesting documents from the London Daily News of Sept. 29th, '99, – supplied to it by Mr. F. L. Griffith, – as follows: –

"The wills and conveyances are certainly the earliest examples of legal documents known, and afford ample proof of the antiquity of the laws of ancient Egypt. The first is a curious transfer of the apparently hereditary office of 'regulator of priestly orders' from father to son.

"'I am giving up my regulatorship of priestly orders to my son Antef, called Jusenb, an old man's staff (assistant); even as I grow old let him be promoted at once. As to the title to property I made for his mother it is annulled.'

"Like all Egyptian documents, it concludes with 'name list of those in whose presence this title to property was made,' and the date is the 19th day of Khoiak, in the 39th year of Amen-em-hat III., or about B.C. 2588.* The next papyrus is even of greater interest. It measures twenty-two inches by twelve and a half, and has been folded up and sealed with a scarab seal, and is inscribed with two wills. The first is a deed of gift by a man named Ankh-ren, servant of the superintendent of works, to his brother, of all his property in 'town and marsh land, his servants,' etc. It is stated a list of the property is deposited in the office of the 'second registrar.' The second will is that of the brother, named Uah, who bequeaths all to his wife, Teta. Considering its great age, it is really a very remarkable document. The writer says:

"'I am making a title to the property to my wife – of all things given to me by my brother, the devoted servant of the superintendent of works, Ankh-ren, as to each article. She shall give it to any she desires of the children that she has borne me. I am giving her the four Eastern (Syrian) slaves that my brother gave me. She shall give them to whomsoever she will of her children. As to my tomb, let me be buried in it with my wife. Moreover as to the apartments my brother built for me, my wife shall dwell therein without allowing her to be put forth by any person. The deputy Gebu shall act as guardian for my son.'

*Over 600 years in error (too long), as shown by the later findings and calculations referred to in our last issue.

"The word used for guardian is curious, 'child instructor.' To the deed are appended the names of several official witnesses. Among the officials we find the name of 'the scribe of the hearing,' in whom we may see the official shorthand writer who wrote out the draft of proceedings.

"Very curious are the private letters, a number of which were found. These letters, probably the oldest in the world, are in various handwritings, in the hieratic character, and resemble in style the Early English letters. The writing is across the longest width, the papyrus is then folded three times from the side, and sealed or tied, and the address written on the outside, for example: 'The master to whom be Life. Health Sakanu to whom be L.P.H., from Arisu, Year 2, 4th Month of Harvest, 12th day. Brought by Henat.' Like all Oriental letters, these ancient epistles are redolent with platitudes and flowery language, the pious phrase, 'Life, Prosperity and Health,' being constantly repeated. The less the importance of the letter the more flowery the language. Most of the letters are from officials, and relate to the public works being carried on. The following is a good example:

"'The servant of the wakf Arisu saith to the superintendent of the interior, Sa-ka-anu, to whom be life, health, and prosperity. This is a communication to the Master L.P.H., saying that I arrived in the city of Het-Gehes on the 4th Month of Harvest (July) on the early morning of the 5th day. I found that the Master had gone South. The foreman Ampy told me, and I gave him three laborers. Thereupon I sent to the foreman Henai, in a ship that I found at Het-Gahes. I caused him to bring thee a freight.'

"The freight consisted of barley and durra, etc. Near the end of the letter is an interesting passage showing how the Egyptian officials worked together:

"'Behold I have sent particulars of thy business to the Steward Hetu, for thou must be with him as one man (friends).'

"There is also a letter from a lady which relates chiefly to the weaving carried on in the temple.

"The letters are not always so polite, and a fine specimen of strong language is afforded by the following: –

"'May thy speech be in all ill favor by Sebek (crocodile god), and whoever will send thee to perdition – favored be his Ka (spirit). Thus hath the dean of the temple, He Kat-Pepa, done for thee, continually for ever and ever, eternally. Ill be thy hoaring and a plague (on thee).'

"The reports and account tablets are wearisome in bulk, but abound in details of the greatest value to the historian and archaeologist. The whole system of the corvee is set forth in detail. The men were called from certain villages and towns, hence the gangs contain several members of the same family, to work for two months. The gangs numbered usually ten, and each had a master, a ganger, and a timekeeper or scribe. They were lodged in sections in the town and fed from a common store. Some idea of the number of men and the work of the commissariat is afforded by the return for one day's baking of eighteen hundred and ninety loaves. An interesting account is that of the dancers employed in the temple in the great festivals. Many of them were Syrians and Nubians. The list of festivals is very curious, and among them are several which exist to the present day. Thus, the 'Festival of the Night of Receiving the River,' is the well-known festival of the cutting of the dam, celebrated to this day in Cairo on the second or third week in August.

"As we turn these ancient fragments over – these accounts and revenue returns – it is hard to believe that they are the records of some forty-five centuries ago,+ they might be those of the Egypt of today. The return of the native reiyses and katibs (scribes) for the daily and monthly work on the barrage at Assouan, hardly differ in a single detail from those made for the reclimbing works in the Fayoum in Bezboim. The publication of these papyri only affords another proof of how real is the resurrection of the buried past and how vivid and full of life is the picture we can reconstruct."

+More properly 3776 years ago, in harmony with the Bible Chronology and in harmony with the papyri dates discovered by Dr. Borchardt, set forth in our last issue, page 245.

[R2537 : page 261]

Rev. H. R. Perseval, Episcopalian, of Pennsylvania, over his own signature has recently expressed his views of the present situation and the future outlook of the Christian religion in civilized lands. He sees a tendency toward the denial of all positive faith and a substitution of unbelief coupled with forms and liturgies: in other words, he foresees an Agnostic ceremonialism; and so far as we understand him, he is in full sympathy with such a faithless "church." We agree [R2538 : page 261] that the tendency is as he outlines it; but we are not in sympathy with the tendency and deny that it will be the Church of Christ or in any sense justified in the use of the name Christian. We hold that it will be merely the binding of the "tares" in bundles ready for the "fire" (trouble) of this Day of Vengeance; – that the true Church, the "wheat," will first all be separated from the "tares," as now commanded by the Lord. – Rev. 18:4; Isa. 48:20-22; 52:11; Jer. 51:6-10,45; 2 Cor. 6:16-18.

The reverend gentleman gives some cogent reasons for his views, from which we make brief extracts as follows: –

"Even old-fashioned orthodox Protestantism is in America on the wane, and while the law of William Penn's own Pennsylvania still by statute fines those who speak against or insult the Holy Scriptures of God, many Protestant ministers in the hundreds of pulpits of Philadelphia find no more interesting and exciting theme for their Sunday preachments than the showing the Word of God to be the erring and often immoral and ridiculous word of man!

"It is no exaggeration to say that Protestantism is rapidly disintegrating, and is losing its hold as a teaching power.

"An American bishop, whose diocese is in the wilds of New England and contains but twenty-seven clergymen all told, has recently written a letter to a church newspaper in which he makes the highly interesting assertion that the clergy are not bound even to believe the statements they make in the prayers of the church service, which they offer out of the prayer-book to the God of truth! The bishop would seem to be a fair match, in this respect at least (altho not in others), to the rationalistic German professor, Adolf Harnack, who made a similar statement with regard to the Lutheran ministers of the state church, who were obliged to accept the Apostles' Creed which they did not believe!

"It is not too much to say, then, that Protestantism as a system of positive religious belief is dying out, and that its professors are for the most part able to continue in its ministry only through some device of casuistry [equivocation, lying], which in any other matter would be considered by themselves, as it is in their case by almost every one except themselves, dishonest and dishonorable. It is manifest that this state of things can not go on, and that the only final result of 'progress' in this direction, so far as faith is concerned, must be unbelief, and, so far as organization is concerned, decay and dissolution."



At a meeting of the "Canadian Society for Christian Union" held in Toronto, Canada, Oct. 3d, was a speaker, whose subject should have evoked astonishment, but evidently did not. The nominal Christian is in a sort of hypnotic stupor which accepts unquestioningly and unreasoningly whatever is presented to him by those duly authorized by any popular sect to bear the title of Reverend. The press reports say: –

"Rev. A. Crapsey, of New York, had prepared a lengthy paper on the subject, 'The Disappointment of Jesus Christ.' As it was too exhaustive for such a meeting, he gave the audience the essence of his idea extempore. There was, he held, one great petition in the Savior's prayer just before he suffered death that was not answered yet. He prayed that his people might be one, as he was one with the Father. He came to be a great unifier, and his plan was the most successful of any in the history of the world, yet his own people had disappointed him. They were continually at war with one another over trivial matters. The speaker held that one of the great causes of disunion was an improper theory of officialism, whereby the outward organization was considered the church."

We would be deeply interested in reading the original exhaustive treatment of this subject that we might know, –

(1) How it came that the Lord who had the Holy Spirit without measure (stint) at the time he offered the prayer referred to (John 17), did not know what to expect as the outcome of his work and hence met with the declared disappointment.

(2) If disappointed in one particular may he not be disappointed in all? Hence, may not his prophecy of Matthew 24th chapter and all others of his precious promises be similarly mistakes – disappointments?

(3) If our Lord and his words are thus "errant" would not the argument of the "Higher Critics" be correct when they claim that the Book is an unreliable guide and that instead of it we should take the wisdom of earth's wise men (the Higher Critics) as far better?

(4) It is not unreasonable to suppose from his "orthodox" associations that the Rev. Crapsey is a trinitarian; and if so a believer that our Lord Jesus was his own Father in heaven at the same time that he was his own Son on earth.* This being the reverend gentleman's position the logic of his argument is that Jehovah has been disappointed and hence did not know the end from the beginning – as he supposed and said [R2538 : page 262] he did. (Isa. 46:10.) And if Jehovah is thus "all at sea" and greatly disappointed at results, is it not time that we his creatures should become excited and abandon our rest in Christ and our hopes and our faith, and begin to try our own skill instead of trusting all to the Lord?

(5) To cap the climax of this argument we should only need to be assured that the reverend gentleman is a Calvinist (a Presbyterian, or a Congregationalist, or a Baptist) and that he is a firm believer in "the divine decrees," in divine predestination, – that God foreordains whatsoever comes to pass. In other words, that God foreordained matters as we see them but did not know, or forgot that he had so foreordained, and was disappointed in consequence.

What a wretchedly nauseating pabulum is this, that is being served to young and old Christians instead of the "sincere milk of the word" and its "strong meat" so abundantly supplied in the Scriptures. Is it any wonder that the rising generation in Christian lands is full of scepticism? They see the reasoning people leaving the Bible under the lead of Higher Criticism, and from the friends of the Bible they get such arrant nonsense as the above. The wonder is that all who do not see the truth do not quickly become skeptics. They are saved apparently by their stupor in things spiritual.


What is the reverend gentleman's difficulty? The closing sentence quoted above shows that despite his gross darkness he has some light, – some light that many of his associates do not have. That last sentence gives us good hope for the man, for we see just where he floundered and why. He floundered in his logic by reason of his attempt to hold and harmonize a prominent teaching of Churchianity with the Scripture's teachings. He must sift and separate the teachings of the Scriptures from all others, and then he will find the logical harmony and consistency which he does not now find.

Had he followed along Scriptural lines the logical reasoning of his last sentence quoted above that the outward organization is not the real Church, he would have seen that it was not for the union of the outward organization that our Lord prayed. He would have seen then that Christ is not disappointed that the outward organizations are not united. If the real Church is composed of believers and not of unbelievers, "higher critics" or otherwise: and if, as the Scriptures declare, it is composed of only such believers as are consecrated – the holy, "the saints" (Heb. 12:23; 2 Thes. 2:13; Rev. 20:6), was not the gentleman looking in a wrong quarter to find those who are at one with the Father and the Son and with each other? We think so.

And no doubt he was mislead into all this error by that other doctrine of Churchianity that is in conflict with the teachings of the Bible, – the doctrine of eternal torment of all except the Church. Every man of generous heart, believing this false doctrine, will be disposed to "count into the Church" as many as possible, not wishing to count them into eternal torture. Many are thus blinded and misled and unintentionally arrayed against God and his Word.

What these well-meaning but deluded people need is, to see the Scriptural doctrine of Election stript of the unscriptural doctrine of hopeless reprobation of the non-elect to eternal torture. They need to learn that God foreknew and foreordained an elect Church which he has been calling and selecting from among mankind during this age for a purpose (Acts 15:14; Rom. 8:28) – the glorious purpose of making them his agents for the blessing of all mankind. They need to see that this elect Church is the Seed of Abraham (Gal. 3:8,16,29), and that it will shortly inherit the promises made to Abraham: – "In thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blest."

They need to see, too, what God has predestinated; and then they will see the absurdity of "counting in" the millions of nominal churchianity; and all the more they will see the need for their own neighbors and friends and families, of the promised blessed Millennial reign of Christ and his elect Church, his Bride. God's predestination is stated by inspiration by the Apostle, thus: "Those whom he foreknew, he also predestinated to be copies of his Son."Rom. 8:29, Diaglott.

"He shall see of the travail of his soul and be satisfied" – not disappointed. – Isa. 53:11.


Well do the Scriptures symbolically represent Papacy as a leopard beast (or mottled government – Rev. 13:2). In one place it is liberal, almost white in its professions or appearances; in another quarter it [R2539 : page 262] is black, corrupt, degrading, brutal; and in still other places it has various neutral and tawny shades of correspondence to the natural depravity of the people it rules with its rod of eternal torment and its staff of Purgatory.

In Spain, which has been for centuries one of its dark spots – as dark as the general civilization of the people will permit, – the "leopard" has been accustomed to have its way, and is now incensed that freedom of worship, or even of thought, should be dreamed of. And now hints are thrown out that an insurrection would be supported against the present government, [R2539 : page 263] if the "Liberals" are granted any privileges. Of course, all the blame is attached to the "Liberals" (which there means any and all who demand the right to think and act for themselves in religious matters), and it is claimed that they should let things alone – not create a disturbance by demanding and seeking their rights. A Paris newspaper (Journal des Debats) analyses Papacy's demands thus: –

"According to the views expressed at Burgos, the Spanish church, to quote the words of a French king, simply says: 'L'etat c'est moi!' The grave crisis of Spain, we are told, is due to her 'excessive Liberals,' and, further, that 'the chief error of Liberalism is that it substitutes individual discernment for the authority of the church.' The church, therefore, makes the following cardinal demands: Complete independence of ecclesiastical jurisdiction, which means that none of its members, under any consideration whatever, shall be judged by secular courts; re-establishment of all clerical privileges; abolition of the legality of marriages not sanctioned by the church; non-interference of the secular authorities with any legacies or grants obtained by the church; prohibition of religious association to non-Catholics. Thus the church makes demands which are altogether incompatible with modern life. The spirit of these demands is all the more easy to discern when we read that 'the increasing impudence and audacity of Protestantism, which raises its temples and opens its schools in the presence of Catholic sanctuaries and schools, in the capital as well as in other places of Spain, is a direct violation of the constitution.'"

In a word, the Pope and his coadjutors seem to be seeking to put pressure on all the nations of Europe to compel an interference on his behalf to secure for him some restoration of temporal power at the opening of the new century.

[R2544 : page 263]


"Dear Lord, the way seems very dark,
I cannot see."
"Yes, child, I know, but I will be thy light,
Come, follow Me!"

"Dear Lord, so lonely is this way,
Where are my friends?"
"My child, dost thou forget how far from me
Their pathway tends?"

"Dear Master, I am growing weak,
I scarce can stand."
"O, foolish child, trust not in thine own strength,
Come, take my hand;

"For I have trod this way before,
So dark to thee;
I know each step, its weariness and pain;
Wilt trust in ME?"

"Yea, Lord, tho friendless, lonely, dark,
This way may be,
I will be strong! Beloved Guide, lead on,
I follow Thee."

[R2539 : page 263]



QUESTION. – I have neighbors who bother me continually by wishing to borrow of me. I wish to be neighborly but do not like to be pestered by people with whom I have scarcely anything in common. If they were "brethren in Christ," I would think nothing of it, but be glad to oblige them. What is my duty under the circumstances?

Answer. – Our advice is that you bear with them in this matter – for the truth's sake, for the Lord's sake, not directly, but indirectly. In this way seek to make friends with earthly things. You will find little enough that you and your neighbors can exchange along spiritual lines, and in order that what you have to offer of spiritual things may be the more acceptable to them, improve every opportunity to be kind, generous, in respect to the lending of earthly goods – not, of course, carrying matters to an extreme, so as to injure your own interests. Thus the Lord's people may be lenders, but not borrowers, as the typical fleshly Israelites were instructed also. (Luke 6:35; Deut. 15:6-14.) By pursuing a kind and generous course, you will to that extent favorably impress your worldly neighbors, and that at a trifling cost. If subsequently they misunderstand your religious views, they will at least concede you to be a kind and generous neighbor.

It would seem that many of the Lord's dear people fail to see that with our clearer light we should become more kind in word and in action and in thought, and much more generous every way, than our neighbors – peace-able and peace-makers. The majority of people seem naturally to be mischief makers, and do not quickly see that this is contrary to the spirit of the Lord – the spirit of love. The possession of the quarrelsome, selfish spirit gives evidence that the possessor has not been taught of God, or has not properly learned of him who is meek and lowly, kind and gentle of heart. [R2539 : page 264]


Question. – Has man been a free moral agent since the fall?

Answer. – There are two ways of looking at this subject, and the answers accordingly would be opposites.

(1) If by "free moral agent" is meant freedom of will in respect to moral questions, we would answer, Yes. Undoubtedly man is free to will as he may please on moral questions, altho he may not be able to carry out this will in all the affairs of life by reason of the weaknesses of his flesh or by reason of circumstances and conditions of others with whom he is in contact. Thus the Apostle Paul says, "To will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not." – Rom. 7:18.

(2) If by "free moral agent" is meant one who is not influenced or restricted by his environment, the answer should unquestionably be, No; because we are all born in a certain measure of slavery to ignorance, superstition and weakness, the results of the fall. Whoever is thus bounden may indeed seem to have full liberty to do right as easily as to do wrong, but in reality he has no such liberty, by reason of his own depravity and that of others, especially "the Prince of this world," who blinds the minds of them that believe not.

If all men had absolute freedom from the curse and from the weaknesses which it entails, the present would be the time of the world's trial; but because such conditions do not prevail, therefore God has appointed a "day" (the coming Millennial age) in the which he will judge the world by that "man" whom he hath afore ordained – the Christ. (Acts 17:31.) When that appointed Day shall come, the ignorance now enslaving mankind will be dissipated before the Sun of Righteousness, the unfavorable surroundings will be largely corrected by the Great Prince of "the world [age] to come," our Lord Jesus; and such blemishes as may be connected with the imperfection of the flesh of those on judgment will be off-set according to the gracious provision of the New Covenant, under which their trial will take place.

With the Church, whose trial or judgment takes place during this Gospel age, the case is somewhat similar. These are specially justified by faith under the New Covenant; their unintentional blemishes and weaknesses all being offset with the great sin-offering, and their knowledge being granted by special illumination of the holy spirit through the Scriptures. Only such as are thus made free by the Son are free indeed, – "free moral agents" in this sense and use of the expression.


Question. – What about the falling of stars predicted in the newspapers by astronomers for Nov. 15-17? It is said that these meteoric showers occur every thirty-three years. How does this fit with the exposition set forth in MILLENNIAL DAWN, VOL. IV., where the Meteoric shower of 1833 is referred to as a sign?

Answer. – It fits well! The fact that astronomers have located the floating star dust which produced the phenomena of 1833, and the fact that they know now that it approaches close to the earth every thirty-three years prove nothing. The original fact remains that in 1833 there was a starry shower such as was never heard of before and such as has never been seen since, tho twice predicted.

Astronomers announced in 1866 that the shower of 1833 would be repeated and that such showers had probably occurred often, but had never before attracted attention and record. But Nov. 14th, 1866, saw only comparatively few shooting stars – a few more than can be seen at other times.

Now that the second prediction, Nov. 15-17, '99, has passed without any remarkable display, it rather strengthens our position and corroborates the thought that the meteoric shower of Nov. 13th, 1833, was a special one intended as a sign and understood at the time as such and that the like never occurred before as it has not occurred since.

The last failure was particularly disappointing to astronomers for they had predicted wonders and had made extensive preparations. The Paris observatory had a balloon by which an ascent was made high above the city's lights and mists so as to obtain good results; but it could report only "about one hundred" meteors. At the Allegheny, Pa., Observatory elaborate preparations were made for months in advance and the largest photographic camera ever constructed in the world was in place to secure repeated photographic negatives of the heavens during the entire night. How different was the original shower intended for, and by many understood, as a sign.

Read the testimony of MILLENNIAL DAWN, VOL. IV., pages 588-600.


Question. – I have recently seen a book on psychic phenomena, styled __________. Do you not think it would be well to obtain these for TOWER readers at wholesale rates? [R2540 : page 264]

Answer. – We do not so think. We may only put before our brethren of the Lord's flock "clean provender." We can only recommend to them reading along the lines advised by the Apostle, saying: Whatsoever [R2540 : page 265] things are true, just, lovely and of good report – think on these things and stir up each other's minds with these. – Phil. 4:8; 2 Pet. 3:1.

We have every confidence that the devil has plenty of power to produce any variety of psychic phenomena if the Lord permit him; and we have the Scriptural assurance that the Lord will permit him to exercise these powers in a special manner at the present time, to deceive, if it were possible, the very elect, and to bring strong delusions upon many in the nominal church, that they should believe a lie, because they do not have pleasure in the truth. (2 Thes. 2:10-12.) Please see booklet, What Say the Scriptures About Spiritualism?

We do not think, dear Brother, that the children of light need special instructions along the lines of psychic phenomena, and a thousand other books which have been and will be published, calculated to confuse many. The strongest protection God's people can have is the one which he has provided them – the armor of his Word, his plan. Whoever sees the "plan of the ages," as laid down in the WATCH TOWER publications, clearly, distinctly, will be safeguarded, not only against one, but against all the devices of the great Adversary in this evil day: but it will require that they give careful attention and prayer in order that the study may be satisfactory in its results – in order that it may sink into conviction in their hearts, and establish them so strongly in confidence in the Bible and its inspired statements that all contradictory theories and so-called scientific proofs to the contrary will be unable to move them.


Question. – In the fifth volume of DAWN and also in various issues of the WATCH TOWER you mention the prehuman existence of Christ. Some have taken exception to this statement, holding that you mean that our Lord was human before his existence upon the earth. Please give us a word on this subject at your convenience.

Answer. – The critic has erred respecting the meaning of the word prehuman. Pre means before, hence pre-human signifies before human. The thought is – that condition in which our Lord was before he became a man. At that time he was a spirit being. The critic has taken exactly the opposite to the true meaning of the word prehuman.


Question. – Is not individual, personal election to salvation taught in Rev. 13:8 and 17:8?

Answer. – We think not. The first of these texts is much the simpler and, it will be noticed, does not say when the names would be written in the Lamb's Book of Life. It does, however, mention that in the divine plan the Lamb of God was slain from the foundation of the world, and that this Book of Life record is one of the consequences of our Lord's death.

The second text is more obscure and reads as tho it had been intended to be a repetition of the former statement, but inadvertently a portion had been omitted, viz., the words, "of the Lamb slain." We do not surely know that these words were omitted, but merely that, if they were there, this passage would be in harmony with the preceding one and in harmony with all of the testimony of Scripture, without allowances or inferences.

Taking this latter verse as it stands, and supposing it to be complete, we should be obliged to understand it to mean that the book or scroll covenanting life to an elect number was prepared from the foundation of the world, and that the names in it have been written as the individuals have made consecration of themselves, coming under the terms of the divine call. In this view of the matter the book or scroll would represent the original divine purpose – God's intention to have a Church, of which our Lord Jesus would be the Head. Such interpretation would be in perfect harmony with the various figures of speech which represent the writing of the names of the believers in the Lamb's Book of Life, and in harmony also with the other records which speak of blotting out the names of such as prove unfaithful to their consecration. – Rev. 3:5.

[R2540 : page 265]

– DEC. 10. – MAL. 1:6-11; 3:8-12. –
ALACHI uttered the words of his prophecy during the period of Nehemiah's absence from Jerusalem at the court of Persia, and the return of Nehemiah may at the time have seemed like a fulfilment of Malachi's prophecy, – "The Lord whom ye seek shall suddenly come to his temple," etc. No doubt the testimony of the Lord given through Malachi prepared the people for their quick response to Nehemiah's energetic appeals and commands already noticed.

The International Sunday School Committee has very appropriately chosen Malachi's testimony as a basis for lessons on the grace of giving. While on the one hand we are wholly out of sympathy with the usual [R2540 : page 266] everlasting "dunning" carried on in religious circles – the passing of the collection box on every possible occasion, in season and out of season, and appeals for money for every conceivable object – nevertheless, on the other hand we fully realize that the grace of giving is indissolubly attached to all the other graces of God's spirit. Hence it is impossible for the Lord's people to grow in the other graces inculcated in his Word without growing also in the grace of benevolence. Indeed, while thoroughly disapproving the begging spirit as abominable, we are ready to concede that in all probability it has wrought some good – where doctrinal instructions in righteousness and truth were lacking and the ill-fed souls of the Lord's people were likely to die of spiritual starvation, the appeals for money have no doubt often awakened, in the hearts of many, such responsive sentiments as compensated to some extent for their ignorance of God and his Word: no matter how selfish the motives, no matter how ignoble the method adopted, if it touched the heart of the giver with a desire to offer something in loving appreciation and worship to his Creator, the effect was surely a blessing to the giver – the sacrificer.

Vs. 6 lays down as a fixed principle that a proper son will honor his father, and a proper servant honor his master, and then these principles are applied as between God and Israel. If they claimed God as their Father they should render to him the love of children; if they claimed to be his servants they should render to him servants' reverence – and such love and reverence should be the greater toward God in proportion as God is great above all others.

Phrenologists locate the organs of benevolence, reverence and spirituality in a row in the center of the top of the head. They are thus given places of prominence and nearness to God above all others: and it is certainly true that those who have these organs most largely developed are permitted, under the grace of the New Covenant, to come nearest to God in their hearts, in their sentiments, in all their experiences in life. But our day is not the most favorable for the development of these organs. Ours is a money-making and money-loving day, and the tendency is to concentrate thought and effort along the baser lines of acquisitiveness, combativeness, and in general the selfish propensities.

Moreover, the great increase of knowledge which the Lord has permitted in connection with the present day of preparation for his Millennial Kingdom tends to egotism rather than to favor veneration. Children have opportunities for education to-day which their parents did not enjoy, and are inclined to a feeling of self-confidence and self-satisfaction, and feelings of disrespect toward their parents instead of reverence. And this dwarfing of the organ of reverence, in its relationship to human creatures, implies also its dwarfing in respect to God; and hence we see to-day, as never before, disrespect of parents and disobedience to parents, and proportionately disrespect to God, irreverence in holy things. Realizing the source of these evils we are bound to sympathize with the rising generation in its difficulties in these respects.

As Christians taught of God through his Word and by its spirit, we are to realize for ourselves, our families, and the entire household of faith, the necessity for striving against these tendencies of our times – the necessity for curtailing our selfish, avaricious tendencies and egotism, and the necessity, on the contrary, of cultivating the higher and nobler graces of benevolence, veneration and spirituality. This the Apostle designates transformation, saying, "Be ye transformed by the renewing of your minds, that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." – Rom. 12:2.

The prophet presupposed that those whom he addressed did not realize the true situation, and so in speaking to others to-day we should likewise presuppose that the majority do not realize how completely the spirit of selfishness dominates their hearts. "Ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name?" The answer is, not that they publicly and directly used profane [R2541 : page 266] and disrespectful language, but that they had failed to properly honor God by failing to manifest a proper reverence and devotion toward him and his holy things. They had become careless respecting the things offered unto the Lord – these were not of the best they had but, if not the worst, were at least inferior. Thus the Lord's table had lost its proper dignity, had become "contemptible," common.

Apparently they had grown irreverent to the extent that, instead of bringing unblemished sacrifices to the Lord, they brought the sick, the lame, the blind: they continued to have "a form of godliness," of worship, of reverence, but they had lost the spirit or power of it. So it is with some in Spiritual Israel; they have consecrated themselves to the Lord, and in a formal manner at least desire to comply therewith; but as they have lost the spirit of devotion, the whole matter has become offensive in the divine sight. The Spiritual Israelite offers unto the Lord the fruit of his lips in prayer and praise, but if these are offered in a merely perfunctory manner as a "duty" and not from the heart, they are blind, sick and lame offerings, which the Lord despises. He offers unto the Lord service or money, but if these be given grudgingly, not heartily and with a loving appreciation which wishes they might be increased a thousandfold, then the offering is blind and lame and sick, and not pleasing in the Lord's sight. [R2541 : page 267]

The Prophet inquires whether, if they were going to an earthly governor and, after the custom of that time, would entreat his favor with a gift, they would expect the favor if they took a mean gift, the sick, the lame, the blind of the flock as a present? Surely not. Then, turning the illustration, he suggests, And now I pray you that, in beseeching God for his mercies, you consider what kind of a present you have brought to him, and whether or not you have any right to expect his favor.

The tenth verse in our Common Version would give the thought that all had become so selfish that they would refuse to do anything in connection with the Lord's service unless it yielded pay of some kind; but Leeser's translation and the Revised Version give a different thought here, viz.: "O that there were someone among you that would lock up the door of the sanctuary, that you might not light up my altar for nought: I have no pleasure in you, saith the Lord of hosts, neither will I accept in favor an offering from your hand." The thought is, that from the Lord's standpoint it were just as well to abandon all such formalistic worship devoid of reverence and love and heart-worship: and this is true to-day in respect to us Spiritual Israelites and our "better sacrifices," devotions and offerings.

Vs. 11 in the Common Version declares that the Lord's name shall be great throughout the earth, but it will be noticed that the words "shall be" are italicized, which signifies that they are not in the original text. Some verb must be supplied to make sense, and the Revised Version supplies "is" instead of "shall be." This makes it read that God's name is great amongst the heathen – was great at the time of the writing of this prophecy.

Altho Israel was the only nation in the whole world with which God had up to that time made a covenant or agreement as respected an offer of eternal life; and altho Israel alone had been favored of God with any revelation respecting his character, his plan; and altho Israel alone had received the Law of the Lord; and altho Israel had in these respects "much advantage every way: over all the other nations of the world; – nevertheless, we have evidences that the other nations, even those in idolatry, had a reverence for Jehovah, "the God of Israel." We have frequent instances of this in Scripture narratives. For instance, the Philistines revered Jehovah, the God of Israel, when they returned the Ark of Jehovah to Israel, after having taken it in battle. (1 Sam. 4:7,8 and chapter 6.) Nebuchadnezzar reverenced Jehovah, the God of Israel, as the great revealer of secrets through Daniel, and that there was no other god like unto him. Darius, who honored Daniel, and who was entrapped by his courtiers into the making of a law which cast Daniel into the den of lions, declared, nevertheless, his reverence for Jehovah the God of Daniel (Dan. 4:37; 6:26,27). The fame of Israel's God had reached the Medes and Persians also, and Cyrus, in reverence to God, had given liberty to the captives of Israel to return from Babylonian captivity. And there are not wanting evidences that the surrounding nations realized even more clearly than did Israel that many of the judgments which befell Israel were divine chastisements for their unfaithfulness to Jehovah. – See Ezra 1:2; Num. 24.

Our lesson skips over certain other exhortations by the prophet, and comes to chapter 3:8, where he makes the inquiry, "Will a man rob God?" The matter is put in a startling form. Who would think of robbing his God? The thought connected with the word "God" is that of mighty one, powerful one, adorable one, and to the enlightened mind of the Christian additionally, the gracious, beneficent one. We realize a responsibility to God, obligation to bring him gifts and sacrifices and services, but who would refuse all this and on the contrary would rob God? Who would be so profane, so irreverent! Surely none would do so intelligently and wilfully; and so the natural Israelite is represented as doubting the matter and saying, "Wherein have we robbed God?" It is an important matter to see ourselves in a true light – to get a proper view of our conduct as precedent to any reform.

Israel was bemoaning its impoverished condition, its lack of divine favor and blessing, and the Lord's testimony through the Prophet was designed to show them that their leanness and poverty were the result of losing God's favor, and that they had lost divine favor by reason of their irreverence and failure to show hearty appreciation and to render true worship. Applying the same lesson to Spiritual Israelites who find themselves lean of soul and starving spiritually, we find that the difficulty has been either (1) that they have been worshiping in a wrong direction, or (2), if worshiping in the right direction, they have failed to present unto the Lord their very best.

Under the first of these errors many are worshiping and sacrificing to human institutions and not to God – they are offering their devotions and sacrifices perhaps to build up "churchianity" in some of its forms, – Presbyterianism, Methodism, Lutheranism, Adventism, etc. This is worshiping idols and sacrificing to idols and not to God. How can spiritual blessings be expected from God, when the reverence and service are rendered to men and to human institutions?

Under the second error, others who are not thus [R2541 : page 268] deluded by human institutions, but who recognize the true God, and who know of their responsibilities toward him, are lean of soul because they have not sufficient love and reverence for the Lord whom they do know. They serve him much more meanly and sacrifice to him in a much more niggardly manner than do the devotees at the shrines of human isms. Knowing the true God, they have the larger responsibilities and should be the more careful to present to him the best offerings possible of their time, influence, means, talents. If they give to the Lord but the fag ends of time, but the offals of influence, but a dribble of their talents, such sacrifices cannot be acceptable in his sight, nor could any reasonable person expect them to be so.

"Ye are cursed with a curse; for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation." Being one people, many of their interests were common, and their general poverty and leanness of soul was but a recompense for their course. And so it is and has all along been with the Lord's spiritual people, the one Church, the holy nation, the peculiar people, the sanctified in Christ Jesus. But now that we have reached the "harvest" time we find that a separating work is in progress – not merely a separating of "wheat" from "tares" and of suitable fish from unsuitable fish, as represented in the parables (Matt. 13:24-30,36-43,47-49), but also another separation amongst the Lord's true people, amongst the consecrated ones, as represented in the parable of the wise and the foolish virgins – all virgins, yet not all worthy to go in to the marriage and to constitute the Bride, Christ's joint heir. – Matt. 25:1-13.

The present separation from amongst the consecrated will not only "gather out of the Kingdom those that do iniquity," and that have neither part nor lot in the matter, the "tares," but it will also gather out "those that offend" – those who fail to come up to the requirements of their covenant in fulness of consecration to the Lord, those who must therefore pass through the great tribulation and be brought through severe tests by trials and disciplines.

Verses 10-12 give the gist of the entire lesson. When the Lord reproves, it is not for the purpose of discouraging his people, but for their reformation. When he chides, it is not to dishearten but to stimulate and to revive: and as here with natural Israel he exhorted to reformation and to thus prove his love and his bounty and his willingness to bless them, so we may apply a similar exhortation to a similar class in Spiritual Israel. "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse...and prove me now herewith,...if I will not open to you the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it" – an overflow blessing.

We exhort all Spiritual Israelites to thus prove the Lord, to awaken to a fresh realization of his goodness and bounty and of their own obligation to spend and be spent in his service, according to their covenant of self-sacrifice, – walking in the footsteps of Jesus. To such it will mean a revival of spiritual health, energy, vigor, joy. Looking unto Jesus, their eyes will see [R2542 : page 268] him the more clearly, and see also the heavenly crown in reservation for them, and all the exceeding great and precious things which God hath in reservation for them that love him, and whose love is manifested to be of the genuine kind, which loves to sacrifice to him and to his cause the very best of all that they possess.

With the Jews there were two tithes obligatory. (A tithe signifies a tenth.) One tithe or one tenth of all their increase of flocks, herds, grain, etc., went for taxes, for the support of their government, and was rendered to the governor. The other tithe or tenth of their increase was a tax for religious purposes; it was rendered to the priests. Under the present Gospel age "high call" God has left Spiritual Israel without any specific instructions of this kind. The governments of this world generally take good care to look out for the tax part, while the obligation for religious and spiritual things represented by the holy tithe of the Jews is now left at the option of the Spiritual Israelite without even so much as a command respecting it or a stipulation as to the amount.

The tithe obligation was commanded to fleshly Israel, Moses and the house of servants, of which he was the head, – Israel after the flesh; but in dealing with the house of sons, of which Christ Jesus is the Head, a Son "over his own house" of sons (Heb. 3:5,6), the Lord has placed no restriction. Why? Because in this household of sons he recognizes only those who have been begotten again by his holy spirit: the thought is that whoever has become a partaker of the spirit of the Lord, whoever has the mind of Christ, has a mind not merely to give a tenth of all his possessions and income to the Lord, but to consecrate it all – without the reservation of a single item – mind and body, influence and talents, time and means.

But while the foregoing proposition of entire consecration will not be questioned by any who belong to the house of sons, nevertheless, the fact that they have the treasure of the new nature in earthen vessels frequently causes some to act very inconsistently – very much out of harmony with the real spirit of their consecration. The new mind is beset and continually fought by the mind of the flesh; as the Apostle declares, there is a warfare here continually, for the two minds are contrary. The new mind says,

"All for Jesus! All for Jesus!
All my being's ransomed powers;
All my thoughts and words and doings;
All my days and all my hours."
[R2542 : page 269]

But the mind of the flesh combats this and fights against such a full consecration, urging that it would be an extreme, that it is contrary to the general course of the world and its wisest men and women – urging that we must not thus make of ourselves "peculiar people," but must in general do as the world does, using all of time and talent, influence and means, selfishly – if not personally, then at least for our families.

Here is the great battlefield on which so many surrender before the evil influences, the forces of the world, the flesh and the devil – the place where so many fail to come off conquerors, victors, through obedience to the Word of the Lord and the spirit of their consecration to follow in his footsteps.

A few, but not very many, may need caution lest they should carry the matter of consecration to an extreme. An occasional one out of a thousand might perhaps act too literally upon the instruction that whosoever would be the Lord's disciple must forsake all to follow him, – might understand this too literally to mean an abandonment of houses, lands, families, etc. There can be no doubt, however, respecting the real import of the Scripture teachings along these lines: the Lord's followers are to forsake houses, lands, parents, children, etc., in the sense of not permitting any of these things to henceforth take his chief affection or to absorb his interest, his love, his devotion in the supreme sense. This supreme devotion by right and by covenant belongs to the Lord, and must be preserved inviolate. Family, home, the beauties of nature, should all be appreciated, but in a secondary sense as compared to the Lord. What would please the Lord must be supreme.

If we were dealing with an unreasonable and irascible Master, such a covenant and such an obligation might mean unreasonable requirements of us, and might inflict injustice upon others; but we are dealing with one whose requirement is a "reasonable service." Altho we have covenanted our all to him – time, money, influence, name, earthly hopes and pleasures, family and friends, "even unto death," we find that the Lord, after accepting our full consecration, makes us personally "stewards" of these things which we sacrifice to him and his cause. And as his stewards he permits and commissions us to use our consecrated all reasonably and moderately and according to our best judgment of what would honor his name and forward his cause. He permits us to use some of our consecrated means for our own sustenance and the sustenance and care of our families, merely enjoining moderation in all things. He permits us to use, therefore, a portion of our time, energy and talent in providing for these necessities and, if properly and reasonably used, he does not reckon this a selfish use, but merely a necessary expenditure.

Indeed, he leaves matters entirely in our hands, saying to us, so to speak: You have consecrated your all to me, and I have now returned it all to you to use in my name and to my glory and to the forwarding of my will in the earth as you shall understand my will from my Word. Go, occupy, use; I will inspect your work later and will judge of your love and your devotion by the carefulness with which you shall seek to use your hours, your moments, your dollars, your dimes, etc. If you have much love and devotion to me, it will manifest itself, or if you have little that also will be manifested, and my reward shall be accordingly. Only those who love me supremely and who rejoice to follow my Word and example shall be joint-heirs in my Kingdom – for only they will have the reverential and benevolent and spiritual dispositions of heart essential to the great work of the Kingdom which will be instituted as soon as the elect little flock has been completed and glorified.

[R2542 : page 269]

– DEC. 17. – MAL. 3:13 TO 4:6. –

"Whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap." – Gal. 6:7.
OW FORCEFULLY divine truths were expressed by the Prophet Malachi! While no doubt his words were more or less applicable at the time and to the people addressed, it is very evident that his, like the other prophecies, was specially intended for the Gospel Church – more than for those who heard his words – as the Apostle Peter explains. – 1 Pet. 1:10-12.

We apply this lesson then to fleshly Israel in the time of the Prophet, and note its complete fulfilment in respect to the "wheat" and "chaff" of that age in its harvest time – the wheat gathered to the garner of the Gospel Church as spiritual Israel, and the chaff element burned in the fiery destruction which overthrew their national polity. But more particularly we apply it to the Gospel Church and to the harvest time at the end of this Gospel age, when the "wheat" will be glorified in the heavenly Kingdom and the "tares" will be destroyed in the fiery trials of the day of vengeance, the great time of trouble with which this age will be wound up, preparatory to the inauguration of the Millennial Kingdom's triumph. [R2542 : page 270]

The lesson divides itself into four portions, vss. 13-15 expressing the attitude and sentiments of nominal Christendom; vs. 16 telling of the attitude of the true saints; vss. 174:3, the Lord's declaration respecting the two classes (the nominal Christians, or tares, and the true saints, the wheat), and vss. 4-6 being counsels for the interim for whoever has ears to hear.

Nominal Christendom is represented (13-15) as restive, out of harmony with the divine arrangement: the inquiry is, What is the use? How will it profit us? What advantage will we have? This view is from the purely selfish standpoint, which hears the divine requirements as so much of penal servitude – not having the heart interest in the Lord, his truth and his service. In the past it has walked mournfully, that is to say, with an outward show of reverence, contrition, observing Lenten seasons, etc., etc.; it brought lame, sick and blind gifts and sacrifices to the Lord's altar, as duty, but not being prompted by the spirit of love, the sacrifices were meager and inferior to those offered to themselves and to their families. The lesson represents that this condition, having continued for quite a while, toward the end of the age, is finally measurably dropped – and this we see about us today. Many who once made a more or less hypocritical confession of sins and penitence and of an outwardly careful walk are inclined to say, What is the use? What is the profit? We might just as well have a good time. As the Apostle foretold, one of the signs of our times is that men are lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God, while still having a form of godliness they deny its power. – 2 Tim. 3:4,5.

As the Jews were inclined to look about them and note the prosperity of the other nations not favored with divine promises, as they were, so many professors of today incline to look at the general world conditions, [R2543 : page 270] and to say to themselves, Are not the proud the happiest? Are not the workers of iniquity the most firmly established in the world? Do not even some outwardly profane opposers of the truth get along well? As a result we see a decrease of reverence for God and for holy things, and an increase of doubt and skepticism as respects there being any advantage to be gained by a godly life – doubts respecting any future rewards, or at least any that would compensate self-denials for the present time.

Then (vs. 17) the Prophet points us to the few, the "little flock," exceptions to the nominal whole, who are taking the proper view of matters. The general attitude of the nominal system in rejecting the way of holiness and consecration will only tend to draw nearer to the Lord and to each other these who at heart reverence and love the Lord. So long as the nominal mass professedly walked in the same way of outward observance of divine ordinances and with an outward manifestation of reverence, contrition and devotion, these having the spirit of the Lord that thinketh no evil, felt a fellowship and companionship in the nominal church; but in the harvest time under divine providence circumstances tend to make manifest the true from the false, and to separate them. Those who have not the matter at heart as they more and more neglect the outward forms will naturally hate the others who, having the matter at heart, are as faithful as ever – because their faithfulness is a standing rebuke and evidence of the unfaithfulness of the other. And the faithful few, coming to realize that all were not Israel who were of Israel, will be drawn nearer to each other as they realize that after all the number of the faithful is extremely small.

This leads them to speak often one to another. Each finds his own need of help, counsel and encouragement, and realizes that the others need the same: and this draws them together. The further the nominal church gets away from the Lord and the truth and even from outward signs of reverence, the greater blessing it proves to be to this class, because it separates them from fellowships which all along have been unfavorable, hindrances to their spiritual development. Many of these today are meeting with us in little groups in various parts of the world for the study of the divine plan of the ages, and very many solitary ones meet with us (through the same medium – ZION'S WATCH TOWER publications) to break the heavenly bread and to commune concerning the Lord and his great purposes respecting us – our discipline as members of the body of Christ and our preparation to be his joint heirs in the promised Kingdom which shall bless all the families of the earth.

"And the Lord hearkened and heard it." Thus he would represent to us his interest in our efforts to understand his plan, and to offer him in loving sacrifice the very best of everything that by his grace we possess. O, that as we meet (personally or through the printed page) we could always realize our Heavenly Father's interest in us and his willingness to bless our efforts in the study of his Word and in the development of character! Such a realization would probably make all such meetings increasingly profitable. Those who do not recognize the Lord's presence in the gathering of his people are apt to exercise an injurious rather than helpful influence upon others, and are less likely to get any profit for themselves. Let us more and more remember as we meet in the name of our Lord his promise, "Where two or three are met in my name, there am I in the midst of them." (Matt. 18:19,20.) Those who realize the Lord's presence amongst his people when they meet will be very careful of the words of their mouths, their actions and the very thoughts of their hearts: pride, vainglory, slander, and all evil things ("works of the flesh and of the devil") will be carefully shunned, if his presence is clearly realized by the eye of faith.

The Lord presents to us great truths under figures which the least learned can comprehend: for instance, [R2543 : page 271] instead of telling us that he has knowledge of and will never forget those who are his, and their diligent efforts to know and to serve him, he pictures the lesson, telling us that he has a "book of life" and "a book of remembrance." Through these figures we get the thought that the Lord would have us get, viz., that he takes full knowledge of his true people. And he tells us that this class not only reverence him, but also "think upon his name" – his character, his goodness, his infinity, his plan, his love – thinking upon these things they come to know him more and more intimately and to realize his grand perfection, and thus more in his company and well acquainted with his character they become more and more like him.

The Lord encourages these with the assurance that their love and devotion shall have its reward in the future – that a grand change is coming, and that then every sigh and every tear and every sacrifice, for righteousness' sake and for love of the Lord, his cause and his brethren, shall be fully rewarded in a manner that is beyond our present comprehension. They serve not for selfish reasons, but from devotion, from fidelity, and consequently from love, and hence they shall find that the light afflictions of the present, which are but for a moment, will work out for them a far more exceeding and an eternal weight of glory – looking not at the things now seen, but at the things now unseen, the eternal things. – 2 Cor. 4:17,18.

Without attempting to detail what are the riches of grace in reservation for them that love God, two figures are used, which are quite expressive to the eye and ear of faith – God's Jewels, God's faithful Sons. These two thoughts suggest a full explanation of present experiences: the proper father will instruct, correct and discipline his son, tho he may pass by the greater faults and blemishes of others who are not his children. Then, as respects Jewels, we all know the necessity for cutting, trimming and polishing them to the intent that their real qualities may be developed. Thus we see ourselves in the Father's school of discipline and preparation to be his heirs – joint-heirs with Christ in his Kingdom – we see the necessity of the trials and perplexities and persecutions of this present time that we may be polished and prepared for the glory-time to come.*

*See Old Theology Tract, No. 44.

We may apply this gathering of Jewels in one sense to the Jewish nation, fleshly Israel, and say that the Lord gathered the faithful ones from that nation in the harvest time of their age, beginning A.D. 29. But the figure would not be complete there; its completeness is shown in connection with spiritual Israel and the polishing of these diamonds during this Gospel age. From this standpoint the time for making up the Jewels is the present "harvest" time. The faithful from the Lord's day until now will have part in the first resurrection, and all of the Jewel class now living, when polished and found worthy, will be "changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye," to be like and with the Lord – the moment of their death being the moment of their change – they having no need to sleep in unconsciousness, for behold, the "harvest," the gathering time, has come. They will be gathered into the Kingdom, as represented in our Lord's parable. (Matt. 13:30-43.) They will be "spared" from passing through the great time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation, as our Lord has said, "Watch ye, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape" all those things coming upon the world.

Then there shall be a turning point (return), a change in the divine administration, tho not a change in the divine plan – for the plan of God formed from the beginning did not contemplate the perpetuation of the present condition of things, in which whosoever doeth righteousness suffers and in which the unrighteous prosper. It contemplated and arranged for the great re-turn of the rule of righteousness now about to take place, which will transfer the dominion of earth from Satan, its present supervisor, and from the kingdoms of this world, its present dominating powers, to the dominion of Christ and his Church in glory and in power, – the Millennial Kingdom, in which he that doeth righteousness shall be blessed, and he that doeth iniquity shall be punished, and if the correction be not heeded, shall eventually be cut off from amongst the people in the second death. – Acts 3:22,23.

The day that brings the glorification to the faithful "jewel" or "wheat" class brings a different experience to the "tare" class. To them it will be a hot time – a time of fiery trouble that will completely consume their hypocrisies and pretended devotions to the Lord, which were merely in form without the heart and without power, and unacceptable to him. In that trouble-time their pride, their ambition, their world-love and their spirit of selfishness, will meet a retribution that will be terrible in the extreme – such a time of trouble as the world has never yet witnessed. The Lord's fierce anger will burn against their hypocrisies and shams; and will utterly consume the same – but not, we understand, consume the individuals. They will cease to be "tares," but not cease to be human beings; they will cease to make professions of consecration, as the Lord's true Church, when at heart they have neither part nor lot in the matter and are not in sympathy either with the Lord or his spirit, his righteousness.

This burning day is referred to by Zephaniah also (3:8,9): and through him the Lord declares, "I will pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger, for all the earth [the present social order] shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy." That this does not mean the literal earth nor the people of it, is clearly evident from the next statement of the [R2544 : page 271] prophet, viz., "Then will I turn unto the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent."

While the "fire" of this day will burn the "stubble" and "tares" quickly, nevertheless the same fire of the Lord's anger against hypocrisy and pride and every evil thing will continue to burn throughout the entire Millennial age, wherever such things shall be manifested – even down to the end of the Millennial age, when some in the final testing will be found unworthy of life eternal. (Rev. 20:9.) Thus will evil eventually be destroyed, root and branch.

Following the fiery time or day of trouble will come the new era, in which the Sun of Righteousness shall shine forth, dispelling the darkness of the present time – healing the wounds of sin and death and [R2544 : page 272] bringing in joy, peace, love and blessing. Then the righteous shall rejoice in their liberty and shall realize that the restraints of this present time have been blessings in disguise, for thereby they have been made spiritually fat – "stall-fed" during the winter of the prevalence of sin, they shall go forth to liberty in the springtime of the new age.

Vs. 3 indicates the completeness of the victory of righteousness over sin, of the Lord's faithful over the workers of iniquity: a strong figure of speech is in the words, "Ye shall tread down the wicked" – as ashes.

Then (vs. 4) the Prophet addresses the people of his day, "Remember ye the law of Moses," but the expression is equally applicable to the Spiritual Israelite who recognizes Christ as the antitype of Moses and the New Covenant as the antitype of the Law Covenant, and the new Law of Love as the antitype of the Decalogue.

The faithful in fleshly Israel were not to expect the gathering of the jewel class immediately, but would know that before that time the Lord would send a great antitypical Elijah whose mission it would be to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the children to the fathers. Should he succeed in doing this the great burning day would not be necessary; but should he fail, then the burning day, the time of trouble, would come, and the Lord would smite the earth with a foretold awful trouble.

The turning of the hearts of parents to children and children to parents would seem to mean the establishment in the earth of a spirit of reciprocal love. And it would further mean, the turning of the minds of the aged so that they would become as little children, humble, teachable; and had they become thus childlike they would have been ready to turn their hearts to the teachings and example of the early fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and all the holy prophets, and they would have been made ready for divine favor and blessing and to be spared from the foretold curse or trouble.

John the Baptist fulfilled this prediction so far as Fleshly Israel was concerned, endeavoring to turn their hearts so that they would be ready to receive Jesus in the flesh; but John the Baptist failed to turn them to repentance, and they crucified the Lord, and hence the curse or time of trouble came upon the nation, destroying it A.D. 69-70.

But as the prophecy relates still more particularly to Spiritual Israel than to Natural Israel, so it relates still more particularly to the antitypical Elijah sent to Spiritual Israel than to the antitype sent to Natural Israel. For the evidences that the little flock throughout this age has been and still is the Elijah to the nominal system, exhorting it and seeking to bring it into harmony with God, and that it has failed so to do, as foretold in the Scriptures, and that hence the great time of trouble impends, we must refer our readers to MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. 2, Chap. 8.

[R2544 : page 272]


DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – I wish to acknowledge receipt of VOL. V., M. DAWN. I appreciate very much the favor of receiving the volume so early. It rejoices my heart to see how much brotherly kindness is manifested among some of the Lord's people here. Bro. S., after reading only the table of contents, loaned his copy of VOL. V. to Bro. N. and Sr. M. who do not have so many privileges and opportunities in many ways as Bro. S. has. I learned from Sr. M. yesterday that she had intended letting me read it first, should her volume come before mine. I was ignorant for three days of the fact that only Bro. S. and I had received the volumes, and when I learned this, I hurriedly read mine and sent it to another brother anxious to see it.

Altho I did not give the book a very careful reading, I am able to say that I feel the Lord has wonderfully used you in the work of setting before the household of faith so clear, logical and Scripturally satisfactory a presentation of the glorious corner-stone of our faith. How vastly superior the Bible explanation of man's fall and God's plan of redemption through our Savior, Jesus Christ, is to all the teachings of science falsely so-called! It seems that we alone of all earth's millions are able to sing the Song of Moses and the Lamb: "Just and true are all thy ways!" Sometimes I am almost overpowered by the desire to literally leave all and "spread the truth from pole to pole." It is so hard to be patient and wait; but I think of him who has waited more than six thousand years and is waiting still in infinite patience; and who am I – to faint!

I wish your prayers especially, dear Brother, that I may be able to resist gently all the influences of my worldly surroundings, so antagonistic to the "new nature." I will call to mind the Apostle's encouragement, "Think it not strange concerning the fiery trial that is to try you." I have no difficulty in resisting the influence, but I find it hard to do it gently, without giving offence. I guess it must be my old nature which is very nervous and quick. I am sure I have not the faintest sympathy at heart with worldly things, but I do not wish to be too severe against those who mean kindly tho they try to draw me from the "narrow way."

What do you think about the saints using opiates for pain, especially in a last illness? I have thought of it in connection with our Redeemer's refusal of the vinegar and myrrh. With much Christian love and prayers for your steadfastness, Yours, in the love of our Mediator and King,

MRS. R. S. S__________, California.

[REPLY. – We are glad, dear Sister, to note that your worldly surroundings do not ensnare your heart, but that on the contrary you fully maintain your love for the Lord and his way, the "narrow way." We sympathize with your desires to resist worldly influences in a gentle spirit, and trust that you may have much blessing in this endeavor, and may be enabled through it to cultivate the various graces of the spirit. You will be strengthened by the Lord's declaration – that in his sight a meek and quiet spirit is an ornament of great value. – 1 Pet. 3:4.

Respecting our final illness and opiates: I had not thought of our dear Master's example in refusing opiates. Personally I would incline to leave the matter in the hands of friends and trust to the Lord's providence respecting what they would do and prescribe at such a time, – praying that the Lord's will might be fully done even unto death.


page 273
December 1st

Herald of Christ's Presence

Other foundation can
no man lay

"Watchman, What of the Night?"
"The Morning Cometh, and a Night also!" Isaiah 21:11

VOL. XX.DECEMBER 15, 1899.No. 24.

Higher Criticism Enthroned – The Bible Debased 275
Dr. DeCosta's Letter to Bishop Potter 276
Evolution Among the Baptists 279
The Methodists also Distracted 279
The Year 1900 a Papal Jubilee 279
Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society's Report for 1899 281
"The True Light Which Lighteth Every Man" 283
"Bless the Lord, O My Soul" 285
Interesting Letters 286
Kind Words for Millennial Dawn, Vol. V., At-one-ment 287
Items: Extra Copies of Nov. 1st and
Dec. 1st Issues – Z.W.T. Visits 274

'I will stand upon my watch, and set my foot upon the Tower, and will watch to see what He shall say unto me, and what answer I shall make to them that oppose me.' Hab. 2:1

Upon the earth distress of nations with perplexity: the sea and the waves (the restless, discontented) roaring: men's hearts failing them for fear and for looking forward to the things coming upon the earth (society): for the powers of the heavens (ecclestiasticism) shall be shaken. . . .When ye see these things come to pass, then know that the Kingdom of God is nigh at hand. Look up, lift up your heads, rejoice, for your redemption draweth nigh. – Luke 21:25-28, 32.

page 274

HIS journal is set for the defence of the only true foundation of the Christian's hope now being so generally repudiated, – Redemption through the precious blood of "the man Christ Jesus who gave himself a ransom [a corresponding price, a substitute] for all." (1 Pet. 1:19; 1 Tim. 2:6.) Building up on this sure foundation the gold, silver and precious stones (1 Cor. 3:11-15; 2 Pet. 1:5-11) of the Word of God, its further mission is to – "Make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery which...has been hid in God, the intent that now might be made known by the Church the manifold wisdom of God" – "which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed." – Eph. 3:5-9,10.

It stands free from all parties, sects and creeds of men, while it seeks more and more to bring its every utterance into fullest subjection to the will of God in Christ, as expressed in the Holy Scriptures. It is thus free to declare boldly whatsoever the Lord hath spoken; – according to the divine wisdom granted unto us, to understand. Its attitude is not dogmatical, but confident; for we know whereof we affirm, treading with implicit faith upon the sure promises of God. It is held as a trust, to be used only in his service; hence our decisions relative to what may and what may not appear in its columns must be according to our judgment of his good pleasure, the teaching of his Word, for the upbuilding of his people in grace and knowledge. And we not only invite but urge our readers to prove all its utterances by the infallible Word to which reference is constantly made, to facilitate such testing.

That the Church is "the Temple of the Living God" – peculiarly "His
workmanship;" that its construction has been in progress throughout the Gospel age – ever since Christ became the world's Redeemer and the chief corner stone of this Temple, through which, when finished, God's blessings shall come "to all people," and they find access to him. – 1 Cor. 3:16,17; Eph. 2:20-22; Gen. 28:14; Gal. 3:29.
That meantime the chiseling, shaping and polishing, of consecrated believers
in Christ's atonement for sin, progresses; and when the last of these "living stones," "elect and precious," shall have been made ready, the great Master Workman will bring all together in the First Resurrection; and the Temple shall be filled with his glory, and be the meeting place between God and men throughout the Millennium. – Rev. 15:5-8.
That the Basis of Hope, for the Church and the World, lies in the fact that
"Jesus Christ, by the grace of God, tasted death for every man," "a ransom for all," and will be "the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world," "in due time." – Heb. 2:9; John 1:9; 1 Tim. 2:5,6.
That the Hope of the Church is that she may be like her Lord, "see him
as he is," be "partaker of the divine nature," and share his glory as his joint-heir. – 1 John 3:2; John 17:24; Rom. 8:17; 2 Pet. 1:4.
That the present mission of the Church is the perfecting of the saints for
the future work of service; to develop in herself every grace; to be God's witness to the world; and to prepare to be the kings and priests of the next age. – Eph. 4:12; Matt. 24:14; Rev. 1:6; 20:6.
That the hope for the World lies in the blessings of knowledge and opportunity
to be brought to by Christ's Millennial Kingdom – the restitution of all that was lost in Adam, to all the willing and obedient, at the hands of their Redeemer and his glorified Church. – Acts 3:19-21; Isa. 35.

"BIBLE HOUSE," 610, 612, 614 ARCH ST., ALLEGHENY, PA., U.S.A.


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[R2545 : page 275]


SO PRONOUNCED is the acceptance of Evolution and Higher Criticism in the Episcopal Church that the Rev. Benj. F. DeCosta, D.D., has felt that he can best serve God and the cause of truth by separating himself from the denomination. As heretofore set forth in this journal, it is only a question of time until all men and women of character and true Christian principle will be forced to take similar steps out of all denominations, – from the pews as well as from the pulpits. We are in the "harvest" time of this age, and divine providence is permitting conditions which will demonstrate who are "wheat" and who are "tares." Such a separation must take place before the great symbolic burning day for "tares" can come, and before the "wheat" can be glorified as God's Kingdom in power.

"Babylon is fallen, is fallen; come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins and that ye receive not of her plagues." (Rev. 18:24.) But there is a wide difference between leaving "Babylon" and leaving the Lord's Church or Kingdom. All along it has been true that "the Lord knoweth them that are his:" he knew every consecrated one even tho surrounded by the unconsecrated ten or twenty times more numerous. Now the Lord will demonstrate what he already knows by separating the wheat from the tares. However, from the divine standpoint none have ever been recognized as the Kingdom class except the faithful little flock – the fully consecrated "wheat." And this is shown by our Lord's word when again, referring to the separation work of this harvest period, he declares that "he will gather out of his Kingdom all things that offend and them which do iniquity." – Matt. 13:41.

Evidently, then, it is one thing to gather out of Babylon his people, and quite another thing to gather out of his Kingdom the offenders: yet both expressions cover the same events. The "wheat" have always been the heirs of the Kingdom – the "tares" have never been such, tho both have grown side by side throughout this Gospel age. In the past the "tares" have at least nominally professed to be "wheat" – professed faith in our Lord's Word and in his redemptive work. But now, under divine providence, they are being led of their error to repudiate the "wheat" altogether – as "non-critical, old fogies."

They have abandoned both the Book and the Blood – not in word, but actually, logically. It is to all a test of standing, of holding to the anchorage of faith or of being blown by the winds of worldly wisdom, called "higher criticism," far, far away from our Savior and his inspired Word.

Really, then, the "tares" leave the "wheat," by utterly abandoning the faith once delivered to the saints. Thus God gathers them out of or away from his Kingdom class. But, since the latter are a minority, they must leave the meeting-houses to the majority, who thus carry them with them "out of his Kingdom," to be places of musical and literary entertainment instead of places for worship and for hearing the Word of the Lord and for renewal of vows.

The minority must leave the organizations of Babylon also – in order to be faithful to their Lord and his Word and to "show forth the praises of him who hath called us out of darkness into his marvelous light." This at first seems a trial – until we learn the difference between human organizations and the divine organization, and that the former never were instituted nor authorized by our Lord or his apostles; and that none of them ever were connected with any such human organizations; and that to leave the human organizations is [R2545 : page 276] merely to leave a "tare" institution of the long ago and has no bearing whatever on the real organization of which we still remain members, with our names written in heaven – in the Lamb's Book of Life. – Heb. 12:23; Rev. 13:8.


Doctor DeCosta, in withdrawing from a church where he found the friends of the Savior and the Bible in a hopeless minority, wrote a letter to the Bishop of his diocese, setting forth some of his reasons: and very properly he made public the contents of the letter; – otherwise his reasons for his action might have been misunderstood by some of his friends and misrepresented by some not his friends. And a similar privilege and duty presents itself to all who withdraw from any division of Babylon.*

*We have prepared what we term Withdrawal Letters for the use of our friends. They are printed in typewriter type, and in kind but clear and forceful language explain some of the reasons moving to the withdrawal. You merely need to sign, date and mail these to the pastor and all members of the sect you have been bound to, and at once you are free. We supply these free, accompanied by missionary envelopes and tracts – enough to supply every member of the congregation one. Order a sample one first and see if it will suit you – then send for required quantity. These "Withdrawal Letters" should be sent out as soon as possible after you decide on regaining the liberty wherewith Christ hath made free his people. Every day or month or year that passes before sending them is a distinct disadvantage to you and to the truth: both are sure to be misrepresented by an informal withdrawal. You joined not the minister, but the congregation, – not secretly, but publicly; and your withdrawal should be after the same manner.

We give liberal extracts from Dr. DeCosta's letter, believing that it will be of general interest to God's people, and well knowing that not only the religious, but also the secular press will be loth to give it much notice. The truth, let us remember, never has been popular with the world, and the "tare" influence, direct and indirect, is generally sufficient to either exclude such like matter or to ridicule it as "superstitious and cranky." The extracts follow: –

"New York, Oct. 7th, 1899.


Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church, Diocese of New York: –

"DEAR SIR: – I hereby respectfully resign the office of Presbyter.

"It is proper for me to give some reason for this course, which, at the end of long years of service, is adopted deliberately and in the fear of God. I must now, however, confine myself to a few points. In what I have to say at this time I desire to speak with entire plainness, as well as with kindness and respect; while, to avoid any possible misapprehension, I would add that I do not resign on account of any personal grievance.

"I cannot reconcile my convictions with the present condition of the Episcopal Church, which, contrary to its own principles, has been drawn into the adoption of a policy of toleration toward a school of theology and Biblical criticism which in my judgment is hostile to revealed truth.

"Further permit me to say respectfully that I do not find that you have been 'ready with all faithful diligence to banish and drive away from the church all erroneous and strange doctrines contrary to God's Word;' while much less have you seemed inclined 'both privately and openly to call upon and encourage others to do the same.'

"On the contrary, I think the testimony proves that you have discouraged and baffled men inclined to take such action. I do not, however, undertake to impugn your motives or charge upon you the 'lamentable ignorance' and deliberate 'malice' which some time since in the public press you attributed to men by no means your inferiors either in learning or charity. I desire, nevertheless, to indicate that, as I view the subject, whatever may have been your own views, you have acted with and defended those who have struck at the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament as the plenarily inspired and infallible Word of God.


"The progress of doubt during the last few years is most notable. If Newman had lived in our day, he would hardly have been able to write that beautiful eulogy of the Bible in which he says of the Englishman that 'It is the representative of his best moments,' and that 'all that there has been about him of soft, and gentle, and pure, and penitent, and good, speaks to him forever out of his English Bible. It is his sacred thing which doubt has never seen and controversy never soiled.' Even in Episcopal seminaries the inerrancy of Holy Scripture is boldly and systematically denied.

"You, right reverend sir, have entered the field at a crucial hour, plainly declaring that the system of denial or negation embodied in the 'higher criticism' forms an allowable method of interpretation, and that the acceptance of the methods and its conclusions does not disqualify candidates for the ministry. You have therefore deliberately received into the denomination, and you have approved as proper teachers for the people, men who declare that the Scriptures are errant and do not form an infallible guide, but abound in myths, fables, scientific and historical errors.

"The long catalogue of errors credited by so-called 'higher criticism' to Holy Scripture may or may not in your estimation appear as trifles. That, however, has nothing to do with the present issue, but the system that you vouch for as within the liberty of clergymen leaves, in my judgment, no sufficient authority for the Christian religion. We are plainly told that 'The prevalent dogmatic theories of the inspiration and infallibility of the Bible have been undermined in the entire range of Biblical study, and it is a question in many minds whether they can ever be so reconstructed as to give satisfaction to Christian scholars.'

"The worst is that the church approves your course. Future candidates may openly deride the story of Pentecost as the world has understood it from the time of the apostles. [R2546 : page 277]

"The former belief in the Bible is no longer required. Candidates of the school to which I refer will indeed continue to sign papers, agreeing to accept the Scriptures as the Word of God, but such subscriptions practically will prove little better than perjury.

"The phrase 'Word of God' is now a phrase only; its meaning has been juggled away.

"'Higher criticism' has struck every diocese in the land, and from all the States in the Union there is coming a wild, ungovernable flood of opinion and sentiment that renders your position still more significant. You do not stand alone. You are upborne by the power of unconsecrated wealth. Your Convention, which has just closed its session, is with you, having overwhelmingly vindicated your laisses faire Standing Committee by indorsing its dark act. Your examiners give unqualified support. Thus far the case is diocesan; but venerable and saintly men like the Bishop of Minnesota, men of superior judgment and influence, applaud the 'wisdom and good sense' displayed in this phase of your administration, while the criminal silence of other Bishops speaks louder than words.

"The press, being creedless, is, for the most part, with you, and hails you as the exponent of incoming 'liberal thought.' A leading editorial, in a prominent daily, describing present society as one that 'has outlived the faith of dogma,' claims that your position is 'invincible.' Humanly speaking, it is indeed secure. The masses of Episcopalians are with you.

"I can understand why the Bishop of Western Texas is obliged to admit: – 'We know that the young men are not in the churches and the laboring classes are entirely alienated.' The president of your Standing Committee has just reported to Convention that the youth of the denomination 'deny any obligation to go to church. They go if they please, but if not, it makes no difference.'

"Indeed, what have they to go for? To listen to the reading of what preachers pronounce myths and fables. Substantially, the battle for the Bible has been fought. The case is lost, and now you can present no inducements for either youth or age to go to church. By a town meeting process the Bible has been declared 'literature.'

"This new relation of your denomination to the Bible changes the relation of the denomination to other religious bodies, and never again can Episcopalians approach the Presbyterians calling to union on the basis of a common Bible.

"Unbelief is in the air. Indeed, I must here call attention to the fact, as yet little noticed, that the worst of the prevailing scepticism does not appear in print, nor even in public addresses. In private not a few of both clergy and laity openly repudiate the authority of Bible and creed, using no concealment.

"One very prominent rector, who stands high in the ranks of your supporters, speaks of the New Testament as a bundle of left over documents. Another has declared that the first three chapters of St. Matthew form simply a beautiful legend; while another ridicules even the Apostles' Creed. Important positions are held by men of this class, who remain in the pulpit to win present bread or accomplish ulterior ends.


"Evils have been pointed out privately to the bishops, and the pessimistic reply of one, 'Things will never be any better in your day or mine,' may be accepted as the expression of nearly all. Letters in my possession from some of your associates in office form instructive reading. For myself, recognizing the situation as I do, there is but one course; and, therefore, whatever other men, whom personally I esteem, may do, and however they may regard their obligations, mine seem clear.

"While no action on your part could lead me to go out, I recognize a condition that no one man, or any possible combination of men, can now successfully meet. The Episcopalian scheme, based on private judgment, is not only far overshadowed by doubt that will characterize the incoming twentieth century, but it is possessed by the unbelieving spirit. The storm is already here, but the Protestant Episcopal body has no anchors. The future is clear. Your people are hastening to accomplish their evolution. Few will be misled by the pompous diction of that bishop who in his last charge foretells great victories. Fewer still, allow me to say with all kindness, will be persuaded by your own phraseology, where you speak of 'the Book' as 'incomparable and precious,' since it is commonly believed that many churchmen would not now disdain such language if applied to the works of Shakespeare and Homer.

"One can very well anticipate the reply of men who, with assumed indignation, deny that they refuse the Bible as the Word of God, but discerning persons know the value of phrases out of which the erstwhile faith, robustness and honesty have departed.


"You charge that 'a modern fetichism which has dishonored the Bible by claiming to be its elect guardian has shut it up these many years within the iron walls of a dreary literalism, robbing it thus alike of interest and of power.' You have furnished a remarkable discovery. All along the people have regarded the Bible as a free book. It has stood, the pride and glory of the nations, accredited with the uplifting of society and the advance of civilization and modern thought. No language has been found too superb in describing its work of emancipation and purification.

"Now, however, you assure us that we have been mistaken, that all the while the Bible has been shut up within iron walls, robbed of interest and power. Do you, right reverend sir, suppose that the people of the land, who have organized Bible societies and carried them on at a large cost for many years, are sufficiently ignorant of the history and influence of the Bible to accept tamely this charge? Your language is astonishing! I deeply deplore the necessity which exists for saying this, yet you are winning laurels among infidels far and wide.

"The particular kind of usefulness that your criticism may aspire to is indicated by the language of one of your own friends, the Bishop of Washington, who declares that, 'under the influence of the "higher criticism" thousands have lost their faith in the Old Testament as the inspired Word of God;' while 'the faith of multitudes is so shaken that even Sunday school children [R2546 : page 278] speak of the Scriptures with an irreverent freedom that would have amazed the preceding generation.'

"One may, therefore, safely dismiss your statement where you speak of what 'a higher scholarship has done for us in our generation for the advancement of godliness and good learning throughout the Christian world.' It is, on the contrary, driving people away from the religion of Christ.

"Furthermore, it might be remembered with profit that Christianity was never designed to entertain any comparative religions, and the system you applaud can only degrade the Episcopal denomination to a plan where the maintenance of the simplest elements of Christianity will prove impossible. As for your own diocese, the central and most important, when its actual state is known, it will be seen that it is rapidly approaching the condition of the bloodless heart. Spiritually your strongest corporation is failing. The appearance of prosperity, as the statistics prove, is unreal. As things are tending, far sighted friends say that if the Cathedral is ever finished it will prove the sarcophagus of Episcopalianism, the coffin of its creed. It is to be devoutly hoped that the policy with which you are identified may yet be paralyzed.

"For myself I cannot bow to the guidance of the 'distinguished critics' whom you have set forth as teachers and examples for the faculties in Episcopal seminaries, masters in Israel – who now, side by side with the professional infidel, stand forth to lecture on the 'Mistakes of Moses.' My sense of right would not support me in any such course. I retire from the field, convinced that I am no longer called to struggle with an overwhelming and rapidly increasing force. I cannot accept the revolution or drift with the tide. Your school is indeed benevolent, and quite willing to tolerate catholic faith, bestowing upon it from time to time nothing more severe than ignoble terms. But for myself I ask no favors. I will not remain where doubt commands a premium, and the belief in an infallible Bible enjoys simply the immunity granted to a fallible Koran."

– From The New York Herald.

*                         *                         *

At first it would appear paradoxical, if not absurd, that the gentleman who poses as a defender of the Bible in the language quoted foregoing, should conclude that the same honesty which led him to protest against the Protestant Episcopal communion as deserters of the Bible, led him into the Roman Catholic Church as the communion of the Bible's friends with whom alone he could find fellowship. Yet this is the Doctor's position: and in harmony with it he was received into the Roman Catholic Church on Sunday, Dec. 4. He has since published his reasons for the step, from which we extract as follows: –

"I do not, however, propose to offer any apology for entering the Catholic Church. Standing in the midst of modern religious systems, toppling to their fall like columns in the temple of Karnak, no defense need be offered for accepting a firm and unshaken Catholic faith. ...The Church of Rome stands before the English speaking people and Protestants everywhere as the [R2547 : page 278] unique and solitary defender of the Bible in its integrity and entirety."

Dr. De Costa denies that the authorities of the Catholic Church are unfavorable to the circulation and use of the Bible, saying that it is the duty and privilege of Catholic scholars to study the Bible thoroughly in the original tongues. The gentleman must consider the Latin the original tongue, for surely it is it that is chiefly, almost exclusively, studied by Romanist priests, – or rather compiled and arranged extracts from the Latin New Testament and not the book itself.

The Doctor concludes thus: –

"On the Protestant theory there is no visible Church, the only body being a mystical body in the air. On this theory Christianity has failed; the empire that triumphed over the Roman empire has perished. This is simply pessimism resumed. Reformation, religionism, therefore offers no moral or intellectual outlook for coming generations, and leaves the world forced at last to choose between rationalism and the Catholic Church. I believe in the Holy Catholic Church and the life everlasting."

Poor Doctor, he must have our sympathy, if we give him credit for candor and love for God's Word; and we believe there are many in his position. He sees inconsistencies on both sides of the question and has jumped from one horn of his dilemma to the other, instead of escaping from both. Thus: –

(1) Dr. De Costa has forced himself to forget that for centuries Papacy has been the implacable foe of the Bible; that she has officially through her popes (claimed to be infallible) cursed the Bible Societies and denounced their work as of the devil; that she has caused Bibles circulated among the people to be gathered and publicly burned – "auto da fe."

He cannot be ignorant of the fact – and hence he must merely close his eyes to it, and try to forget – that Papacy's advocacy of the Bible and permission of the people to have it and to read it is but a recent move (within the last ten years), and that only in the United States, and hedged about with certain restrictions governed by the priests and from translations containing Roman Catholic comments as footnotes. The Doctor utterly ignores the fact that Papacy has not really changed – boasts that she never changes, – and hence is no more the friend of the Bible than she was during the "dark ages," but merely appears to advocate the Bible so as to disarm suspicion and to gain the good will of the most enlightened nation in the world. He forces himself to forget that the portions of "Christendom" where the Bible is free and in the vernacular of the people are the most enlightened and the most Protestant – The United States, Great Britain, Norway, [R2547 : page 279] Sweden, Germany, Switzerland: and that the dark places of superstition and cruelty are the places where Papacy has persistently hindered the circulation of the Bible – Spain, Portugal, Italy, Southern Ireland, and as far as possible France and Austro-Hungary, Mexico and the South American countries. Well does Papacy know that the Bible – "the sword of the spirit," the Word of God, is her greatest foe: and she will never be its supporter and defender, except as a pretense, – even as Satan would pose as an angel of light instead of a prince of darkness to accomplish his purposes.

(2) Having blinded himself on the above point the Doctor seeks to account for the Reformation movement as not being to secure a free Bible as the true light upon the Church's pathway. On the other hand he declares it was a mistaken effort to repudiate the visible church and to recognize it only as a spiritual body.

Would to God the Doctor told the truth in this statement! Would to God all Protestants (and Romanists too) recognized the Scriptural teaching that the Church of Christ is not an earthly organization with names upon sectarian rolls of membership, but instead is a heavenly union and communion "whose names are written in heaven" – "in the Lamb's Book of Life." (Heb. 12:23; Rev. 13:8.) But alas! the Doctor is as much mistaken in this as in his other proposition, for Protestants as well as Romanists have earthly organizations and honor these as the true Church, and do not see that they are "Babylonish" – confused mixtures in which "wheat" and "tares" commingle – the "tares" predominating and consequently ruling.

Erring on both these points, Dr. De Costa has gone from bad to worse – from one bad "tare" bundle to another containing still less "wheat." Oh, how many of God's people are confused, bewildered, and ensnared thus and otherwise! Only the meek, the humble, will go earnestly to God and be taught of him and be led out of all human entanglements and bondages into the liberty wherewith the Son of God makes free his sheep.


In evidence that the latest and worst form of Infidelity is permeating all denominations, all colleges and seminaries, note the following just clipped from the Rochester, N.Y., Post-Express:

"President A. H. Strong delivered last evening at the Rochester Theological Seminary an address on 'The Growth of Theological Thought During the Last Fifty Years.' Dr. Strong took advanced ground, accepting fully the theory of Evolution and approving the methods and general results of the higher criticism."

The Rochester Baptist Seminary is the principal one of that denomination in the United States and furnishes its most prominent ministers.


The Boston Morning Journal of Dec. 8th announced as the leading news of its first page –


It then quotes the statement of one of the students, Schenk by name, as follows: –

"Coming from the West to Boston University School of Theology a year ago, I was shocked to find the most rabid rationalism being taught as Old Testament exegesis, under cover of a leading Methodist school. Coming to Messianic prophecy, only half a truth was taught. Further on Jesus Christ was no authority on Old Testament Scripture. The miraculous conception was set aside and the atoning blood made non-essential."

The worst of the matter is yet to be told, namely, that Prof. Mitchell is heartily endorsed by the other professors of the institution and by nearly all the students of the seminary – the soon-to-be preachers of Methodism; for the President of the institution says that the dissenters are only "eight or nine out of an aggregate of 178 students."

It seems, too, that the seceders appealed to the Board of Bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church, but got no redress but on the contrary; as a result the students who protested against the decimation of the Book and the rejection of the precious blood were notified that they must be quiet on the subject. Thereupon they nobly withdrew.

*                         *                         *

So the leaven of error is rapidly permeating every branch of the nominal church, and the tests are coming to each individual Christian to prove him either "wheat" or "tare." The "wheat," today as of old, will be counted "fools for Christ's sake" by the worldly-wise. – 1 Cor. 4:10.

[R2547 : page 279]


POPE LEO XIII. has issued a decree, or "bull," designating the last year of the century a Jubilee year, a holy year, in which all his faithful are called upon to confess their sins, make many pilgrimages and prayers, and thus obtain forgiveness and indulgences – release from purgatorial sufferings justly merited and now in store for them. The bull has been translated into English and published broadcast, and we quote a portion of it, as follows: –

"In opening the treasures of indulgences, whereof [R2547 : page 280] it is the dispenser, the Church invites the whole of Christendom to the hope of pardon....

"Raising our eyes to God, with his help and with the approbation of the cardinals, we order a universal Jubilee, to commence in this sacred city of Rome with the first vespers of Christmas, 1899, and to cease on the same day in 1900.

"During the Jubilee Year we concede full indulgence and pardon of sins to all Christians truly repentant, who confess their sins and partake of communion, and who will visit the basilicas of St. Peter's, St. Paul's, St. John's, or that of Sta. Maria Maggiore, in Rome, at least once a day during twenty days, if having domicile in Rome, or, for pilgrims, during ten days. All ought to pray for the exaltation of the Church, for the extirpation of heresies, for the concord of Catholic princes, and for the salvation of Christian peoples.

"Those who through sickness or other legitimate causes cannot visit the Roman basilicas, if they confess and communicate, may also benefit in the indulgence.

"To Rome we invite you, with love, sons of the Church throughout the world."

*                         *                         *

This pronunciamento of papal power in heaven and hell, on earth and in purgatory, is extremely mild and unassuming when compared to those of Leo's predecessors.* The statement is milder to suit the changed [R2548 : page 280] conditions of papal influence and general enlightenment; but the same thought, the same error underlies – that the power to forgive sins has been lodged by the Almighty in the hands of the pope and his conferees. If it were true, what an awful responsibility it would place upon these men! What if they had forgotten or neglected to appoint this Jubilee? And then, again, – if such confessions, prayers, pilgrimages, etc., can affect such blessings and releases from sufferings, why are not Jubilee years more frequent – every year? Think for a moment of the loss, the terrible loss, sustained by the pope's faithful who have died, and will die, before the time he and the cardinals have set!


We notice with pleasure that, while "the extirpation of heresies" is mentioned, the injunction is to pray for this, and not as in olden times to labor for it by extirpating heretics as vermin. Let us continually thank God for the breaking up of the solidarity of Antichrist by the Great Reformation of the sixteenth century. The more it breaks up, and the smaller the fragments, the better for the truth and the true children of God, – the true Church "whose names are written in heaven." (Heb. 12:23.) Not the true "wheat," but the imitation, the "tares," need to be bound in bundles, by sectarian creeds and obligations of human device and imposition. And altho it is clearly pointed out in the Scriptures that a federative union of the various sects of Christendom will soon occur; and tho we know that this will mean a great increase of opposition, hatred and persecution of all who will not "join" nor be "bound" in the bundles, but who stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made them free, still we may sing, –

"I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;
Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me!"
– knowing that ere long all the "wheat" will be garnered and shine forth as the sun in the Kingdom of the Father with their Lord; – to bless all the families of the earth. – Matt. 13:30,43.

Now, not to disparage the pope's efforts (which we will presume to be sincere and honestly intended to be a means of grace to his people), but by way of showing forth the error underlying the whole theory on which the pope's efforts are based, we will make a pronouncement: one which every true child of God as an "ambassador" and member of the "royal priesthood" is privileged to make daily, or so often as opportunity offers, namely, –

– I declare that whosoever cometh unto the Father by him is acceptable; because by him whosoever believeth in him as his Savior and Shepherd is justified freely from all things, – from which the Law could never justify or deliver him: – I therefore declare unto all who thus renounce sin and lay hold of the Deliverer with the arms of their faith, that without waiting for Christmas day, 1899, or any other date, and without pilgrimages to Rome or Allegheny or elsewhere, and without visiting cathedrals or other holy places, or having the prayers of popes, cardinals, bishops, underpriests or laymen, and even without prayers of their own, they may have this grace – even as it is written, "Being justified by faith [not prayers nor works], we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ [not through other mediators]." – Rom. 5:1. – Moreover, by the authority of the same Great Potentate we declare unto you the efficacy of his Calvary-sacrifice not only thus to cleanse from sins that are past, but also to keep you reckonedly cleansed and pure in God's sight, so long as you abide by faith in Christ. For his blood cleanseth us from all sin – continually covering our unwilful imperfections; as it is written, – "My strength is made perfect in weakness," and "my grace is sufficient for thee."

*                         *                         *

Verily, the god of this world (Satan) has not only blinded the heathen (2 Cor. 4:4), but he is quite [R2548 : page 281] considerably blinding two thirds of Christendom represented in the Roman and Greek Catholic communions, as evidenced by such proclamations as that of the pope and by the continual practice of their priests.

Nor do we find the Protestant element of Christendom fully enlightened and clear on this point of there being no necessity for the intervention or mediation of men or prayers between the sinner and his Savior. The great majority of Protestants consider prayers and intercessions essential – as evidenced by the various "revival" methods – mourners' benches, kneeling at the altar, rising for prayers, inquiry rooms, etc. – all so contrary to the simplicity of the Scriptural arrangement, which is, – Preach the message of God's grace in Christ, and whosoever believingly accepts it is thereby justified and at peace with God: and his prayers that should follow such belief and acceptance would be thanksgivings for divine favors received and pledges of his own future faithfulness to the Light, the Truth, the Way.

"I am the Light of the world: he that followeth me [Jesus] shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life." – John 8:12.

Very evidently the reason for so much darkness is that, under Satan's misleading, those who see the true light to some extent get to following Popes, Councils, Presbyteries, Conferences and Confessions of men, instead of following the Lord who is the True Light. We should esteem very highly for their work's sake all who have been or may be used of the Lord as finger posts to point us to the Light, the Way, the Truth, but no more – we are not to follow them, except as we discern clearly from the Word that they are closely following Christ. He is to be our Pattern and our only Light.

*                         *                         *

Meantime in an endeavor to "make a fair show in the flesh" it is the proposition of the pope and his coadjutors to open during that Jubilee year one of the greatest cathedrals in the world in the greatest metropolis of the world – Westminster Cathedral, London. It is said to have already cost over ten millions of dollars: and that millions more are being collected in various parts of the world where "heretics," whom they condemn to hell torments unceasing, are by taxes, etc., feeding the Romanist poor in the almshouses of Christendom. Thanks be to God for the light and better day coming for the poor, deceived, "groaning creation" and for the blessed opportunities of eternal life which that Millennial Day will bring to them.

[R2548 : page 281]

– REPORT FOR THE YEAR, DEC. 1ST, '98, TO DEC. 1ST, '99. –

ERY PROPERLY all who are truly the Lord's people feel a deep interest not only in the Truth itself but also in all pertaining to it and its propagation; – not only in their own vicinities but also in its world-wide field and mission. And what is thus generally true seems to be intensified in all such after they have become acquainted with the "harvest" message – the light of the last days of this age, – the light of the parousia; – the bright shining of the present one – the epiphaniaparousia.

We are conscious therefore that many eyes will look for and carefully scan this report of the work accomplished in the year just ended, – especially all who have had a share in it, great or small, "every man according to his several ability" (Matt. 25:15), whether as a contributor to the funds which propel the work or an assistant in the labor of circulating the truth, or both. All such we know will be rejoiced in heart, refreshed for fresh endeavors for the new year as they read what we have to present. Rejoice, for it is your work, our work, the Lord's work. And as we realize how comparatively few there are whose eyes of understanding are opened that they can see the light, and when we remember too, that (as our Lord foretold) among them there are not many great or wise or rich in this world's riches and wisdom, we must say that the showing is "marvelous in our sight."

(1) To begin with, we always reckon the truest progress of the cause to be indicated by the WATCH TOWER'S subscription list; for however interest may be awakened, by tracts, booklets and DAWNS, it is rarely fixed and riveted except through the regular visits of our semi-monthly pastoral. You will be pleased then to know that the WATCH TOWER list grew considerably during last year: and that the evidences point to a still larger increase during the year now beginning. And as each reader is interested in and praying for such results, each will proportionately lend a hand to the answering of his own prayers, by doing what he can to increase the circulation. Are there not friends to whom you have loaned and given tracts and books and whose interest is partially awakened? Why not go to such with a sample copy of the TOWER and ask them to look it over and consider the advisability of having its visits regularly?

We offer no "premiums" to those who thus labor for this journal. Oh no; our friends need no such inducements, for they render this service with gladness and willingness of heart – "as unto the Lord" and on behalf of his brethren. But we will gladly furnish you [R2548 : page 282] sample copies free. And furthermore to assist you we will arrange a "special offer" thus: Anyone who is already a WATCH TOWER reader may send in new subscriptions for the year (one dollar each) and to each [R2549 : page 282] we will send one volume of the DAWN series free – whichever volume may be designated in your order; – but all such orders should be designated "Special offer" that we may understand that they are in compliance herewith.

Furthermore: some of the brethren have intimated that they would like to send the WATCH TOWER for a while to their friends, with a view to awaking their interest in its teachings and have asked whether or not we will receive six months subscriptions under such circumstances. Assuredly we will and we will do more than that: we will share with you in the service by sending four six months trial subscriptions for ONE DOLLAR, eight for TWO DOLLARS, twenty for FIVE DOLLARS, forty for TEN DOLLARS. But we will accept only new subscriptions and none for longer than six months on these terms. Not that we are unwilling to treat old friends as well as new ones, but that our regular terms (page 2) are amply reasonable – those who cannot afford to pay one dollar a year for the WATCH TOWER cannot afford to pay anything, and such are as welcome to it as to the air they breathe, if they will apply for it on terms stated.

(2) THE COLPORTEUR WORK has prospered during the past year as will be noticed by the Secretary's report following. The number of DAWNS put into the hands of the people exceeded the number circulated the previous year by fifty per cent; and the number of booklets over one hundred per cent.

This increase is due in great measure to the financial prosperity which permits people to purchase books, and thus has permitted colporteurs who had been driven from the service by the "hard times" to reenter this fruitful quarter of the "harvest" field: besides the Lord has raised up new laborers willing, yea anxious, to spend and be spent in serving to others the meat in due season which has so blessed and strengthened their own hearts. It doubtless is true that tho money is more plentiful by reason of the "good times," the time to read the literature is curtailed thereby: nevertheless, the truth-hungry will find time for it; and if it costs some self-denial the blessing will be the greater. Others will find plenty of time in the not distant future when another financial collapse will carry labor to the lowest plane it has occupied for fifty years. Remember continually in your prayers the dear brethren and sisters of the Colporteur service.

(3) THE PILGRIM SERVICE. During the year this branch of the service has been increased and its field widened – hundreds of meetings being held from Canada to Georgia and Texas, and from Massachusetts to California and Oregon. Many letters testify to good accomplished through this department of the work. We are planning for its still more effective operation during the coming year, as the Lord seems to be opening up ways and means. To him let our praise and thanks ascend: let us remember in our prayers the dear brethren serving as "Pilgrims."

(4) THE TRACT DISTRIBUTION. This department has shared in the general prosperity, as you will see by the report of the Secretary following. It is the largest showing we have ever been able to present. It speaks volumes for the loving zeal of the Lord's people in the distribution of these tracts as well as in the providing of the funds for their publication. We publish no names: it is not necessary, for we are unitedly laboring for the Lord's approval and final "Well done!"

(5) THE VOLUNTEER SERVICE. A year ago we called for volunteers to undertake the distribution of the booklet, The Bible vs. the Evolution Theory, to church attendants in every city and town on Sundays at respectful distance from church edifices. Responses were prompt – many true soldiers of the cross accepted the offer as the God-given opportunity, for which they had often prayed – opportunities to do and to serve, and opportunities, if need be, to suffer joyfully for the truth's sake. These, it is needless to say, besides the blessing they carried to others, received a great blessing in their own hearts, and are the stronger, and the closer to the Lord in consequence. Let us not judge some who discontinued as soon as they found some of the cross and its reproaches attached to this warfare for the truth – this endeavor to preach the gospel to those dear brethren who are shut off from other means of hearing the good tidings of great joy: let us even think very charitably of those who not only did not go out to the battle themselves, but who sought to discourage others from enlistment. Let us remember the noble Apostle Peter who sought to hinder our Lord from his sacrifice and thus became his "adversary," but who subsequently became one of his most faithful and zealous soldiers; and let us hope and pray that each true soldier of the cross may become bold to serve the truth according to the convictions of his own conscience, and brave and willing in some manner to endure the cross, that in due time we all may rejoice together as crown wearers in our Captain's Kingdom.

(6) THE CORRESPONDENCE feature of the harvest has grown gradually to vast proportions; and we believe it is used of the Lord to the blessing of his flock. During the year just ended we received 31,956 letters and postal cards and sent out 23,676, or a total in and out of over a thousand per week during the year, – some brief, others lengthy. What a wonderful privilege to be thus in close touch with the household of faith, the [R2549 : page 283] "brethren" and other truth-seekers! We esteem it a great privilege to lend a helping hand to all in this way and welcome all your letters. But remembering the numbers, please condense your queries and separate them from orders in your letters. And do not be offended, if we refer you briefly to some back TOWER or to some page of the DAWN series for reply.

(7) THE FINANCIAL end of the work, – has prospered amazingly, too, – for us "not many rich." The Treasurer's report shows nearly fifteen thousand dollars handed in by the Lord's people for use in his service – without one penny of it being begged or even asked. The most we ever do is to inform the friends of the cause that there is a Fund to which such as desire may contribute little or much as their holy spirits prompt them and their circumstances will permit. We do not even blow a trumpet for them nor herald their names – the matter is left between each soul and its Lord and each is encouraged to use his own best judgment in serving the Lord's cause and to look to him for the rewards of faithfulness and self-denial.

True, fifteen thousand dollars is not much money – it is less than the salary of some ministers of the gospel in the nominal church, not to mention many in worldly positions who receive salaries or have incomes of as much or more. It is as nothing compared to the vast sums donated by the various denominations, by gift and bequest, to home and foreign missionary work, to their Bible Societies and Tract Societies. Yet this little under the Lord's blessing is accomplishing much in the keeping up of meetings through Pilgrims and in circulating nearly sixty-five millions of pages of literature throughout the length and breadth of the civilized world. It reminds us of the widow's cruse of oil and remnant of meal. – 1 Kings 17:9-16.

(8) THE FOREIGN WORK is constantly growing. Brother Weber is still the representative of the French work, laboring in Switzerland. Brother Winter looks out for the interests of the Truth in Denmark, while Brothers Lundborg and Nelson do the same in Sweden. Sister Giesecke is the Society's representative in Germany. The latter has just sent in report which shows 246 letters received and 263 letters sent out, and a free circulation of reading matter representing 258,664 tract pages. The work in Great Britain we do not reckon as foreign, because of close connection and one tongue, but it is prospering, too, and our stock of books and tracts in Brother Hart's care is larger than ever, made necessary by increased demands.

All of these "brethren" need our love and sympathy and prayers. Let us remember all the interests of Zion when we approach the throne of the heavenly grace. And finally, dear brethren, pray for us of the home office, who occupy not only a place of interest in your hearts, but a place of prominence for the great Adversary's attacks. Pray that we may have more and more of the Master's blessed spirit – the spirit of wisdom and of might, the spirit of patience and of meekness, the spirit of zeal and of a sound mind, the spirit of love and devotion to the Lord, his truth and his "brethren." And as you thus pray, you will be drawn nearer to us and to the Lord and to the same spirit which worketh all in all. Very truly,

Your brother and servant in the Anointed,

C. T. RUSSELL, President.


Receipts – Cash, "Good Hopes"................ $11,303.32
   "       "    from other sources..........   3,467.20
  Amount.................................... $14,770.52
Expenditures – Pilgrim Account...............  $2,612.01
     "        Publishing tracts and
  postage, etc., on same....................  11,286.97
  Amount.................................... $13,898.98
Cash balance for 1900.......................     871.54

Copies of MILLENNIAL DAWN circulated
  during the year,..........................     95,354
Copies of various booklets circulated
  during the year,..........................     43,361
Copies of ZION'S WATCH TOWER supplied
  gratis to the Lord's poor and sent
  as samples,...............................    156,536

::R2550 : page 283::

Copies of tracts and booklets sent out
  during the year,..........................  2,566,073
This, represented as usual when referring
  to tracts, aggregated tract pages,........ 64,650,204
E. C. HENNINGES, Sec'y & Treas.

[R2550 : page 283]

– DEC. 24. – ISA. 9:2-7. –
"Unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord." – Luke 2:11.
HRISTMAS-TIDE always brings some lesson associated with our Savior and the great salvation, the gift of God, provided through him. This year the chosen lesson is most excellent and beautiful. Appropriately, the first verse of the chapter is omitted: in Leeser's Translation it constitutes the last verse of chapter 8.

Our lesson had no local and immediate application at the time of its delivery: it is strictly prophetical, as are indeed the preceding fifteen verses. We cannot even apply the lesson to the people and time of the first advent: its scope is far beyond the Jewish nation, and can only be applied to the worldwide blessings which follow the second coming of Christ and the establishment of his glorious Kingdom in power and great glory. Nevertheless, there is just a bare connection with the past in the expression, "Unto us a child is born" – thus indicating the humble beginning and earliest manifestation [R2550 : page 284] of the great light, the Sun of Righteousness, which has not yet arisen, but whose day-star is now shining in the hearts of the faithful. – 2 Pet. 1:19.

The two divisions of the first verse of the lesson in poetic form merely repeat the same thought with variations. The people that walk in darkness who are to see the great light are practically all mankind, for "gross darkness covers the people" – the exception, the very small minority, the Church, as our Lord declared, is "not of the world." (John 17:16.) This broad thought is emphasized by the next statement, for the whole world surely is "the land of the shadow of death:" "The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together" under the sentence or curse of death which, with its accompaniments of pain and sorrow, casts a deep shadow in every heart and in every household.

Surely, the whole world needs this great light – the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, as it shines in the face of Jesus Christ our Lord – the very light which the Apostle declares the world cannot now discern, because the eyes of their understanding are darkened by the misrepresentations and deceptions perpetrated by the god of this world, the prince of darkness. – 2 Cor. 4:4; Rev. 20:3.

The fact that this is expressed in the past tense does not signify that this light has already shined, even as the statement, "Unto us a child is born," did not signify the birth of Christ at a time prior to Isaiah's prophecy. It is merely a usual form of prophetic statement: the standpoint is taken away off in the future, and from that future standpoint the thing to be accomplished is stated as tho already done.

Here, then, we have a prophetic assurance of the great light of the knowledge of God coming to all mankind: and this, be it noted, is in fullest agreement with the testimony of John 1:9, that Christ "is the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world." The fact that every man born into the world has not yet been enlightened by this great light, so far from disparaging the statement, gives us assurance that the time is coming when to him every knee shall bow and every tongue confess, and all shall know the Lord, from the least to the greatest, and knowing him have full responsibility or trial for everlasting life or everlasting death.

Verses 3-5 intimate the process by which the great change shall come, and the world be prepared for the shining of the great light – the Sun of Righteousness with healing in his beams. Scholars are divided in their opinions respecting a proper translation of the first sentence of the third verse. The majority seem to favor the translation given by the Revised Version, "Thou hast increased the nation, thou hast increased her joy." Leeser's Translation renders it, "Thou hast multiplied the nation, made great her joy." In harmony with the context we must interpret this nation to be the world of mankind under the new administration of the Millennial Kingdom; for the kingdoms of this world will then become the kingdoms of our Lord, God's Anointed, and many nations shall go and say, "Come ye, and 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." – Rev. 11:15; Isa. 2:3.

Thus, instead of the Lord's empire being a typical one over a little nation of Israelites, as in the day of Isaiah's prophecy, it will be the antitypical one in which Immanuel shall be King over all the earth, and his name great to the ends of the earth.

It is the joy of this great people that is described: it will not merely be a quiet joy of satisfaction, but an hilarious joy, as of men who are in the midst of plenty, in a harvest season; and as men rejoicing when dividing the fruits of victory. But what will be the cause of the rejoicing? The answer is given. Because from off their shoulder the great burden has been removed: the burden of sin and its curse will have been removed, and the rod of the oppressor, Satan, will be broken, and he himself then will be a captive, no longer permitted to oppress and deceive and blind mankind. – Rev. 20:2.

An illustration of the process of the deliverance is given: "As in the days of Median." The suggestion obviously is that as Israel was delivered in the day of Midian by Gideon and his little band, armed with trumpets and pitchers with lights in them, – by the blowing of the trumpets, the breaking of the pitchers and the shining out of the lights – discomfiting the Midianites, so that they slew one another with a great slaughter, so likewise will be the deliverance by which the Lord will bring in the new dispensation. (Judges 7:19-25.) Our Lord Jesus is the antitypical Gideon, and his "little flock," the Church of this Gospel age, the "elect," are the antitype of Gideon's little army. And it will be through the intervention of these (on the other side of the vail) that the hosts of sin and the present enginery of evil will be utterly discomfited and work its self-destruction through anarchy, etc., in the great time of trouble rapidly drawing near.

This great time of trouble is briefly yet graphically described in the fifth verse as being more severe, more intense, than all preceding troubles, for it is declared that all such victories are expected to be with tumult and bloody garments, but this shall be with a more furious destruction, best likened to a consuming of fuel in the fire. And it will be noticed that the fury of the final conflict of this age, which shall transfer the rule to our Prince Immanuel, is everywhere likened to a fire – throughout the prophecies and in our Lord's parables [R2550 : page 285] – evidently because of the intensity of the trouble and its destructiveness.

Then comes (vss. 6 and 7) the explanation from the Lord's side of how all these things are of his provision and supervision – beginning with the birth of our Lord as the babe born in Bethlehem; next presenting him as God's Son, given on our behalf, – his sacrifice beginning at Jordan and culminating at Calvary. "Wherefore," as the Apostle says, because of his obedience unto death, "him hath God highly exalted and given him a name above every [other] name," – honor, dominion and power above all others, next to his own.

The change of dispensation will be ushered in because the Father's "times of restitution of all things" (Acts 3:19-21) will have come, – the time for Christ to receive the honor, glory and dominion promised him, with which he shall fulfil all the gracious things predicted by God through the prophets: hence the declaration is that then "the government shall be upon his shoulder" – the mantle of authority shall rest upon him. And when he shall thus assume the control of earth's affairs, his character of love and justice, his wisdom, and the all-power in heaven and in earth given unto him, insure all the faithful that his reign will be a time of blessing, of peace and of joy to all who love righteousness and truth; and equally a time of burning destruction against all who shall sin wilfully after having been brought to a knowledge of the truth. – Heb. 12:26.

His names, his titles, representing the gracious things of which he is the representative, are brought to our attention: to all the world of mankind he will then be (and the Church, his body, with him) "Wonderful" – Great – beyond the power of human comprehension, as he is indeed the express image of the Father's person. He will be the "Counselor," whose instructions in righteousness will be satisfactory and respected by all the world of mankind seeking a return to divine favor and full restitution. And it shall come to pass that whosoever will not hear that Teacher, that Counselor, shall be cut off from among the people. (Acts 3:23.) He shall be called "Mighty God," or Mighty Mighty One, for indeed in him shall rest all the power and authority of the All-mighty One, Jehovah. He shall [R2551 : page 285] be called the "Father Everlasting," because in truth he shall be a Father unto the race, a Life-Giver to all who will accept life under the terms of the New Covenant, sealed with his own precious blood. Adam, the original father of humanity, through his sin and under its sentence, failed to give lasting life to his race, and death destroyed all his offspring; but the restitution life which our Lord will give, to as many as will receive it upon his terms, will be an everlasting life, and hence he, as the Giver of this life to all, will be an Everlasting Father. He shall be called the "Prince of Peace," for, altho his empire will be established by a smiting of the nations with a rod of iron, and breaking them in pieces as a potter's vessel, in the greatest time of trouble the world has ever known, nevertheless, every blow will be struck in the interest of peace, and so his entire reign will further the ends of righteousness and peace, even tho to the very end thereof there shall from time to time be destructions of the wicked. – Isa. 65:20; Rev. 20:9,14,15.

Leeser's Translation reads thus: – "The Prince of Peace for promoting the increase of the government and for peace without end upon the throne of David and upon his kingdom, to establish it and to support it through justice and righteousness from henceforth and unto eternity: the zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this."

In this last verse of the lesson the Millennial Kingdom is associated with the typical Kingdom of David. We are to remember, however, the statement that David sat upon the throne of the Kingdom of the Lord – he and his kingdom were typical. The name, David, signifies "beloved," and our Lord Jesus himself was proclaimed as the real David – "This is my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." God hath appointed him heir of all things, and he is David's Lord, as David himself testified. – Heb. 1:2; Matt. 22:41-45.

We fear that there are many Christians who have lost faith, not only in the prophetic promises, but in our Lord's and the apostles' exposition of them, and that such frequently pray merely with a lip service, "Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven." But so much the more as we discern such blindness on every hand, such lack of faith, let us, the eyes of whose understandings have been opened by the Lord's mercy, be the more faithful, the more circumspect, and the more confident, remembering, in the words of this lesson, that an abundant fulfilment is assured, for "The zeal of Jehovah of hosts will perform all this."

REVIEW OF 1899. – DEC. 31.

Golden Text. – "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits." – Psa. 103:2.

The end of one year and the beginning of another is a most favorable occasion for circumspection and retrospection.

We trust that as each reader reviews the year just closing he will be able to repeat our Golden Text appreciatively, – with the spirit and with the understanding also. One of the least expensive offerings we can present to the Lord our God, and yet one which he will appreciate very highly, is thanksgiving – for mercies past and present. The ungrateful are disdained among men, and we may well suppose are far from pleasing in the sight of the Almighty. While every creature throughout the world might find some cause for thankfulness and gratitude and praise, how much more should we who have received so abundantly of the riches of divine [R2551 : page 286] grace in the knowledge of his truth – the plan of the ages. We may well apply to ourselves on this occasion the words of our dear Redeemer, "Blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear; for verily I say unto you, that many prophets and many righteous persons have desired to see the things which ye see and have not seen them, and to hear the things which ye hear, and have not heard them."

We said that thanksgivings were cheap offerings; but whoever presents to the Lord real thanksgiving with lips of praise will follow his lip service with something more substantial; and this is intimated in our Golden Text by the words, "O my soul!" – the appeal is not merely to the lips, but to the entire being. And so we find it with ourselves and others today: whoever is truly thankful to the Lord and offers him praise, remembering his benefits, will seek to render substantial thanks also in deeds that will be acceptable and pleasing to the Lord.

While prayers, adorations and praises are the most direct offerings of "incense" to the Lord, nevertheless, he has so arranged matters that we cannot offer these sincerely and acceptably except as we have his spirit: and if we have his spirit, we will at the same time that we offer this incense on the Golden Altar be offering also upon the brazen altar in the "Court" good works – "doing good unto all men as we have opportunity, especially to the household of faith." – Gal. 6:10.

The close of the year is an excellent time also for the making of new resolutions for the year to come, and on the present occasion there is an added force from the fact that the year before us will be the last one of the century. Let us, beloved brethren, make plenty of good resolves respecting what we shall be willing to be, to do, to suffer, in fellowship with our Lord; that we may by his grace make of it the best year thus far of our lives – the year of largest hopes, of largest endeavors, and by the Lord's grace of largest successes in self-sacrifice, in overcoming the world and its spirit, in vanquishing self and the desires of the flesh, in resisting the Adversary, and in glorifying our Lord and blessing his people.

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DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – Enclosed please find $1.00, renewal subscription for ZION'S WATCH TOWER, year 1900. The Spiritual food becomes more necessary and more enjoyable as time rolls on.

I find in DAWN VOL. V. a grand spiritual feast, filling my heart with praise and love to our Heavenly Father, the giver of all good. I am thankful to have you Scripturally prove (effectually silencing subtle arguments of the adversary) the human perfection of our precious, sinless Redeemer, coming as he did in the line of David through Nathan – not Solomon's ancestral line.

Brother Russell, this has been a very profitable year to mother and me, continuing to enter into the joys of our Lord; every experience, every trial has contained valuable instruction much to our advancement spiritually. We are daily learning that the advantage of the Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and joy in the holy spirit.

I do not write often to the Bible House as I am quite busy, but in spirit I am ever with you and all the dear "harvest" workers. I am sure we are all rejoicing because we are one year nearer our eternal home.

My husband is now in Pittsburg; he has a position there. The Lord willing, mother and I will join him in the spring. What a blessed privilege that would be if God should permit us to again assemble with the saints that meet from time to time in the Bible House. And yet it seems with every blessing there is a trial; – there are dear friends in __________ from whom it will be hard to separate.

Kind greeting to yourself and all the Church at Allegheny.

MRS. A. E. POWER, – Missouri.

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – Accept my heartfelt thanks for yours of Oct. 11th. The advice and admonitions it contained have proved blessings to me. I know that God is filling your heart with kindness and your mind with wisdom and all good, and often thank him in prayer for it. I often wish I could say something that would give you joy. I have many opportunities to converse with clergymen and other "professionally" religious people, and when I see the great darkness in which they are, and how firmly they are tied in it, my heart is filled with gratefulness to God, and to you as his earthly instrument, for the light which he has given me.

You may well believe that I am glad Brother Nelson is coming over to help me. It is needed help, I assure you. I am so inexperienced and a "child" as yet. I am filled with a sense of my own smallness when I consider the amount of work that ought to be done. My heart is open for him and I am anxiously awaiting him, – hope he will come soon.

Please send me 800 copies Vol. I. and 100 each of II. and III., in all 1,000 copies, and as many tracts as you see fit. I would suggest about 3,000 of each in the Swedish language.

I am traveling again, but I do not spend all my time thus. I am acting on your suggestions in your letter. I try to be as practical as possible. I visit every house in the towns I go to. But I have also tried to follow the advice you gave in an earlier letter, namely, to get into communication with as many as possible of the leaders in the Salvation Army and other religious bodies, and to seek out such as appear to be unprejudiced and free among God's children. All this I have tried to do. My mode of traveling is cheap, I have a strong body, and can stand considerable hard usage, for instance, traveling by freight steamers, where the only accommodations are the bare deck, or on freight trains, always the cheapest way. The time spent in transit I use to speak to people and to study the Word and DAWNS, and am at the same time resting from the rather wearying walking connected with colporteuring. I take the addresses of all to whom I sell.

I cannot find words to express how grateful I am for all your kindness to me, in giving advice, etc. My highest desire is to please my Savior in all things. He fills my whole heart. Praise be to his name!

That God may constantly bless you and keep you is my constant prayer. Your brother in Christ,


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The New Bedford (Mass.) Standard says:

"Charles T. Russell, editor of ZION'S WATCH TOWER, and author of several volumes of theological writings, five of which are included in his MILLENNIAL DAWN series, has issued a new volume of Bible study, The At-one-ment Between God and Man. Mr. Russell clings close to the Bible, as he interprets it, and endeavors to offset the theory of the evolutionists that, as no fall occurred, no redemption and atonement are necessary, by teaching the cross of Christ."

The Jacksonville (Fla.) Times Union Citizen says: –

"In this neat volume of five hundred pages we have a most reverent treatment of profound subjects, respecting which many Christians have wondered and prayed, in a clear and lucid style which even a child may understand. The author's loyalty to the Bible is pronounced and inspiring, and we do not wonder that some have denominated his books Bible Keys. In the volume under review the author examines his subjects from both the human and the divine standpoints – the necessity for atonement on man's part, and why it is demanded on God's part, and then what are its grand possibilities for all the race of Adam – 'Whosoever will.' The writer's scope embraces the doctrine of the divine trinity."

The Worcester (Mass.) Evening Post says:

"Among the most notable of the recent works on religious subjects is a publication from the press of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Allegheny, Pa., The At-one-ment Between God and Man. The book is one that treats of theological subjects in an entirely new and decidedly attractive manner. It advances no new dogmas nor seeks to combat old ones in any but a spirit of truth seeking. It makes plain in a particularly clear and helpful light many things that have heretofore puzzled students of the Bible and Biblical lore. It teaches the universal fatherhood of God and teems with the expression of his loving kindness for the creatures he has made. At the same time it is a text book of theological science and dissects its truths and principles in a logical and reasonable, yet reverent manner.

"No single chapter of any recent book is more notable than the section of this work which deals with the ever-confusing mystery of the divine trinity. It must be said that a more convincing explanation of this axiomatic doctrine of theology has never yet presented itself, yet it is strictly along the lines of orthodox thought. The general effect of the book on the average reader who seeks for light on the subjects that to him have dark meaning, is most gratifying. It quickens faith and makes strong hopes that are dear to every serious and thinking mind. [R2552 : page 287] The tone of the book is reverent and wholesome, and it seems destined to bring happiness to many a doubt-laden heart."

The Grand Rapids (Mich.) Herald says:

"Pastor Russell's new book, The At-one-ment Between God and Man, is of the sort that awakens Christians to do some thinking along theological lines. It is one of those 'epoch-making books' destined to influence thought not merely for the hour of their perusal, but for life – and for centuries. The book will make its author foes as well as friends, for there are people ready to fight for their dogmas, however unscriptural and unreasonable. However, many thinking Christian people, who hold to the Bible as the inspired Word of God and who have all their lives been troubled in their endeavors to harmonize it with their consciences and with facts, will surely welcome this volume as 'a helping hand,' and praise God for the light it sheds on many subjects hitherto dark to all except theologians and possibly to many of them also. One thing is certain, and that is that every lover of the Bible must admire the author's loyalty to the Scriptures and his reverential style of dealing with church dogmas, which he rejects as being contrary to the divine Word, character and plan."

The New Haven (Conn.) Courier Journal says: –

"The reverential spirit of the work, its earnestness, its clearness of statement, impress the reader. It is a strong, forcible and logical setting forth of the doctrine of atonement for sin through Christ, the Mediator, and of the orthodox Christian belief in general regarding the great foundation of the Christian faith and scope of salvation. It is a work that appeals to all on a subject of such paramount importance."

The Pittsburg Times says: –

"The title explains the object of the book. The author, as is usual with him, fortifies his opinions and assertions by a close adherence to the Scriptures. He writes with great enthusiasm and with an apparent sense of strong conviction, and the book will be of considerable aid to those who find occasion to study the points treated."

The Syracuse (N.Y.) Herald says: –

"Mr. Russell is an able as well as an exceedingly voluminous writer on religious questions. The present bulky volume is the fifth of a series of books under the general title of MILLENNIAL DAWN. It discusses the fall of man, the penalty or curse upon him, his redemption and the terms of his 'At-one-ment.' It undertakes to explain the perplexing doctrine of the trinity and to render it simple and reasonable. The author is loyal to the Scriptures, but not always to church dogmas, which he deals with according to their agreement with the divine Word. All Bible-students will find matter for thought in Mr. Russell's writings."

The Indianapolis (Ind.) Sentinel says:

"This book is sublimely comprehensive, and unquestionably its treatment will be pronounced a masterly one by many Bible students. 'The fear of the Lord is the only fear in evidence in this volume; but altho 'traditions of men' are treated fearlessly, they are kindly handled, and even partisan sticklers for exploded errors must concede the author's Christian spirit and courtesy, while all must admit his honesty, and his fidelity to the Scriptures. If human creeds suffer, it is in the interest of the Bible, which the author accepts as his only creed, in the interest also of love and justice and Christian common sense – all important considerations as against nonsense of the 'dark ages,' often mislabeled 'orthodoxy.'

"After reading this book and comparing its numerous Bible citations, intelligent Christians will often say to themselves: Where have I been? What have I been thinking of? What poor use have I made of my Bible and my reason for years that I did not see the beauty, harmony and reasonableness of the divine Word! But the author lays no claim to superior ability or inspiration, merely claiming that God has a 'due time' for everything, and that now is God's due time for shedding light upon his Word in the interest of all his faithful people, and his aspiration is to be a humble servant of the Lord's flock, dispensing to them the 'meat in due season.'"

The St. Louis Christian Advocate says:

"Concerning this volume, a recent reviewer has said: 'Pastor Russell's new book, The At-one-ment Between God and Man, is remarkable in fact, if not in its title. It is sure to make a stir among the dry bones of fossilized orthodoxy, as well as amongst the higher critics. Not that it is agnostic – for it is decidedly Biblical; nor that it is bitter and drastic and cutting toward those theories of the dark ages which have barnacled the good ship Zion – for it handles them gently, courteously, tho thoroughly. Its strength lies in the gentle persistence with which the writer uses his Biblical dynamics.'"

The New York Merchants' Review says:

"A NOTABLE WORK. – A hell of fire and brimstone has no place in the belief of some intelligent Christians, man's folly and wickedness providing hell enough on earth, according to their views of the matter, but Pastor Charles T. Russell, in The At-one-ment Between God and Man, of the MILLENNIAL DAWN series, presents many arguments to show that hell, sheol or hades, has no existence at all as a place of punishment, the word in its different forms meaning simply the sleep which the human race passes into, to be awakened from at Christ's second coming.

"His arguments are based upon copious texts from Scripture, as also is his attempt to prove that the orthodox view of the holy trinity has no foundation in the Bible. The Scriptures, and nothing but the Scriptures, are the guide of the author in his search for the truth in the various problems examined by him in his interesting book, and naturally he opposes 'Evolution.'"

The St. Albans (Vt.) Daily Messenger says:

"This volume, like all others from this writer, differs from other theological writings in several particulars. (1) It is simple in style, easily understood by any Christian – making abstruse subjects plain to even the wayfaring man if he be of the class addressed by the author – the justified in Christ. (2) It entirely ignores all creeds and theories of men and appeals solely to the Scriptures and treats their testimony as inspired, authoritative, decisive – citing as well as quoting them freely. (3) It is logical as well as Scriptural, and whoever reads without prejudice is sure to be convinced. (4) Those who read and accept the presentations of this volume will not only know what they believe, but why they believe it; and will 'be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in them' – which cannot be said even of clergymen respecting the dogmas of the several denominations."