The St. Paul Enterprise, August 6, 1915


Springfield, Mass., August 1, Pastor Russell is here in attendance upon the I B S A Convention assembled in our city. Today he delivered a strong discourse on the Golden Rule- "Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them." (Matt. 7:12) He said:

No part of God's instructions to His Church is more important than this exhortation to justice. Everything that God does is based upon absolute justice, and He invites His people to be like Him to cultivate and develop in our characters the great qualities which He possesses, and which He has magnified and illustrated to us. Many have thought that justice is a very ordinary matter, which practically everybody recognizes and follows. But such is not the case. Many would say, "Do you not know that we are Christians, and that to practise justice would naturally be the duty of all Christians? Why do you not rather exhort us to cultivate love?" We reply, Justice should always take precedence; we have no right to do less than justice to any member of the human family or, for that matter, even to an animal.

The trouble with the whole world is the failure to recognize this very principle. Justice is the foundation of God's Throne. It is the basic principle upon which He would have us build character, and upon which He deals with all His creatures. It is because this principle of justice is not being recognized that the world is in trouble, and that the great tribulation is coming upon our race, the Scriptures assure us. While in mankind in general there is very little to love, yet every human being should receive justice. As followers of Christ, we are to be the foremost in exercising justice toward all.

What a grand world this would be if every human being would resolve to carry out the instructions of this text! There would be no "doing" of a neighbor before he could "do" you; but there would be a sparing of the neighbor, a taking into account his weaknesses and his interests. Whoever would take advantage of another would do something contrary to the welfare of the other. As ye would, as Jesus said, that others should do to you, do ye even so to them.


Thirty-five hundred years ago God called the Israelites out of Egypt. In substance He said to them, "Four hundred years ago I made a Covenant with Abraham that his Seed should bless the world. Are you ready to have that promise fulfilled to you?" They declared that they were ready. So He brought them to Mount Sinai, where they entered into a Covenant with Him to do whatever He directed. He gave them the Ten Commandments and said to them, "If you wish to be the Seed of Abraham that is to bless mankind, keep these commandments." [HGL736] That Law Covenant was based upon justice alone; it did not ask them to love their enemies. According to whether or not they would render justice would be the Divine decision as to their worthiness of being considered Abraham's Seed that would bless the world. But they were not able to render justice, to do too their neighbor as they would that he should do to them. This failure was due to their fallen condition, because sin had become ingrained in human nature. (Rom. 3:20) The grasping disposition which has ever since manifested itself amongst that people began to appear; and so, although God bore with the nation for more than sixteen hundred years, not one of them obtained the reward of everlasting life which was offered to those who would keep the Law. Leviticus 18:5; Rom. 10:5

It is not an easy matter to keep that Law Covenant of Justice. We see that the Jews failed to do so. We know that the Apostle declared that by the deeds of the Law no imperfect flesh shall be saved. Nevertheless God says, "Unless you keep the Law, you shall not be the Seed of Abraham that will bless all the families of the earth."


The Scriptures point out that the Church of Christ is the Spiritual Seed of Abraham. (Gal. 3:8, 16, 29) Therefore they are obligated to keep the Law. To enable them to do what no fallen flesh can do, God has made a special arrangement for the Church, though not for the Jewish nation, the typical people. Knowing that mankind were so fallen that none could keep perfectly His Law, He sent His Son into the world to help our race. Our Lord, being perfect, uncontaminated with the fallen race of Adam, "Holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners," was able to keep the Divine Law and did so. Then, in obedience to the Divine will, He offered up Himself in a sacrificial sense. The merit of the life which He sacrificed constitutes a credit which, according to the Father's Plan, our Lord will give for Adam and his race, as their Ransom-price, at the end of the Gospel Age.

As soon as our Lord shall have offered that Merit to the Father, the whole world will be turned over to Him; and immediately He will begin His great work of ruling and blessing all the families of the earth. The long delay has been because of another part of the Plan. It was the Divine will that He should select a Church from the world, to share with Him the great future work of

blessing humanity. Therefore He will not begin His Reign until the predestinated number of the Church class shall have been selected, tested, and changed by the power of the First Resur-rection. Then the Spiritual Seed of Abraham will be complete.

It is well to note that the Spiritual Seed of Abraham is not the natural kind. Even Jesus as a man could never have blessed the world. He could have set up a good human government, but could have no right to give life to the dead. Therefore He could never have rolled away the curse of death, with all its concomitants. So it was for Him to do something more than keep the Divine Law something that Justice never required, something of self-sacrifice. Keeping the Law merely authorized Jesus to live forever; and if He had set up His Kingdom without giving His life as a Ransom, He could not have blessed mankind; for all are sinners under condemnation to death.

Besides keeping the Law, Jesus presented His body a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, and His reasonable service of sacrifice prompted by love. It is our first duty also to keep the Law, to live up to its standard as nearly as possible. But having enlisted under the banner of Christ, it is additionally our duty to present our bodies a living sacrifice, as those who walk in His steps, faithful unto death. Thus we Christians are obligated beyond all other people. All are obligated to the Golden Rule of Justice, but we by love something much more than justice.

If we could, we would be absolutely just in thought, word and deed. But this we cannot do; for none of Adam's race can keep the Divine Law. Selfishness is deeply ingrained in our natural body; and by reason of this fact we fail to reach full perfection. But when we fail, we are not condemned; for with us the conditions are not the same as with the Jews. (Rom. 8:1) The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all imperfection; the mercy of Christ covers all that we cannot do.

This does not excuse us, however, from doing our very best. If with our hearts we recognize the Golden Rule, we shall seek to conform even our thoughts to it. We shall think and speak as generously of our neighbor as we would wish him to think and speak of us. We shall act as generously toward him as we would wish him to act toward us. This principle would be exercised daily toward all. No matter how imperfect we are to begin with, the work of God's grace should more and more transform us, that we may be more and more like our Lord Jesus.


As far as our hearts are concerned, we must become exact copies of God's dear Son, though not reaching His glorious standard. To that we may not attain while in the flesh. Daily we may need to ask Divine forgiveness for our shortcomings. But He who knoweth the heart is pleased to see us doing the best we can do, seeking to grow in grace, in knowledge and in all the requirements of the Divine standards. This was the disposition of our Lord Jesus; and the Father loves all who manifest the same spirit. It is not enough that we recognize the downward tendencies of sin, and start out to walk in God's ways of righteousness. If we have His Spirit we shall meditate on His character and copy His attributes. Whoever seeks to do good to all will never wish to do less than justice. He would rather do more. Therefore the Apostle says, "Love is the fulfilling of the Law."

When our Lord gave His Church a new commandment (John 13:34), it included everything that pertained to the Law. Whoever has this love will appreciate that it was love, not justice that led our Lord to leave the Heavenly glory and sacrifice His life on behalf of humanity. The Father did not command the Son to make this sacrifice. God does not command any one to sacrifice his personal interests on behalf of others. He had a Program to be carried out. If the Son desired to carry it out, He would receive the reward promised.

So our Lord was quite willing to endure death itself, even death on the Cross, from love for the Father. Having the [HGL737] Father's disposition, He sympathized with fallen humanity. God had purposed to redeem mankind and to bring all the willing and obedient back to Divine favor and blessing. Our Lord Jesus longed to do this work. This was more than justice. If we have enlisted under His banner, to share with Him in the sufferings of this present life and in the future glory, honor and immortality, then we covenant to follow the Law of Love. "Love worketh no ill to his neighbor." Love would do more than keep the Mosaic Law. Love includes everything along the line of justice; it would lead one to sacrifice for his neighbor, for his friends and for his family. This is more than justice.


Many of God's people seem not to realize that justice takes precedence of love. God requires justice; and if we have agreed to give Him more than justice, we are not thereby excused from rendering justice. Everywhere around us we find injustice. There are parents who do not deal justly with their children, who take advantage of their children in various ways. A parent owes it to his children not merely to bring them into the world and to get them to work for the family interests, but to provide them with a reasonable education and a religious home training. Each should know what are his own rights in the home and should observe the rights of others.

A good man's son might run away from home, but very seldom will a rightly trained child do so. In many homes the children are not treated according to the principles of justice. Often parents fail to realize the rights of grown sons and daughters, but continue to treat them as children. Parents should cultivate that broad sympathy which would enable them to help their children to decide all their affairs. As a child matures, there should be an independence of thought. Suddenly it breaks over the boundary; and if the child has been properly trained while the body has been growing, the youth is bound to think and act for himself, but will always seek the guidance of the parents.

There are employers who have failed to give their employees all their reasonable rights. Of course, one cannot give everybody all that each might ask; for some people would demand everything and then not be satisfied. But with the right kind of employer the employee does not find it necessary to ask for his rights. The employer will insist that he shall have them.

Then there are people intent upon managing their friends. They are always telling others what to do and how to do it. We should be modest and respect the rights of others, but should not attempt to force our opinions upon them. When others ask us what to do and how to do it, then it is time to tell them, should we consider it proper to do so. If people come to me for advice I say to them, "If I were in your place, I think that I would do thus and so; but the matter is for you to decide." By speaking in this way, we put the responsibility upon the proper individual.


We have spoken about the obligations of parents. Let us consider the obligations of children. The Golden Rule would say, As you would that your children should do to you when you become advanced in years, do even so to your parents. Children should get this viewpoint. If every child were taught along this line, when it reached maturity the parent would have no need to worry about the child's manifesting gratitude for the parental love and care which it has received. The parent would say, "My children have had the principles of justice so deeply ingrained from childhood that they would be entirely dissatisfied with anything wrong." We have spoken of employer; let us now look at the employee. Imagine their positions reversed. What would each think it right to do for his employees or toward his employer? What would be the right kind of terms, the right kind of feeling? This course would bring about a great change between employers and employees.

So as we consider what would be the right thing to do and are willing to do what is right, we become more just in our dealings with all, including our business associates. Whether we buy or sell, there is a fair, reasonable way of dealing. It is wrong to buy so as to cause those who sell to lose money. We should be

satisfied that the man who sells goods to us should make a reasonably fair profit. If we were selling, we should expect to make a reasonably fair profit, not an unjust one. The Golden Rule would regulate the matter.


While the whole Church is built upon the principle that the Gospel Church are to lay down their lives for the brethren, nevertheless some of God's dear children fail to recognize the principles of justice in their dealings with each other. Whenever a difficulty arises, we need especially to examine our own hearts and conduct to see whether the fault be ours. These difficulties nearly always result from a violation of the principle of justice.

The foundation of God's Throne is Justice. The Church that is build according to His arrangement is based upon this same principle. Each member may yield his own rights, but he must not transgress those of others. We should be very glad to see others act justly toward us; but we should not necessarily stand on our rights anywhere. Love ignores many of its own rights. Our Lord's life on earth was one of sacrifice. In the Church or in the family or in business we should use good judgment in the doing of God's will rather than in taking advantage of others.

As we do this, we are cultivating the spirit of justice. Do we not see how this applies in every direction? For instance, God's Law was originally given to Adam; God's Justice inflicted the death penalty for the breaking of that Law. He would not set aside His Law, His Justice, but He would bring in a blessing through the Lord Jesus Christ. Love gains this victory over Justice, not by violating Justice, but by sacrificing self. So it is for us to sacrifice ourselves in the interest of the Lord, the Truth and the brethren; and by thus doing, we are really conserving our own best interests and are growing in grace, in knowledge and in character-likeness to our God.

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