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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. XVI.DECEMBER 1, 1895.No. 23.

Special Items 270
Views From the Tower 271
The Cup of the Lord and the Table of the Lord 273
"Dawn Circles for Bible Study" 276
Poem: The Plan of the Ages 277
Bible Study: David Anointed King 277
Bible Study: David and Goliath 278
Encouraging Letters 279

'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 270

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.
CHARLES T. RUSSELL, Editor; MRS. C. T. RUSSELL, Associate.



Those of the interested, who by reason of old age or accident, or other adversity are unable to pay for the TOWER will be supplied FREE, if they will send a Postal Card each December, stating their case and requesting the paper.

[R1901 : page 270]

SOME time since a German brother in conversation with the Editor remarked, "Although I am a German, I can understand the English DAWNS better than the German translation, which contains too many foreign words, not pure German." Investigation proved that, while the translation might be termed a good one, its language is in some places out of the range of the average reader.

We have accordingly had a new translation prepared, Brother Otto Koetitz being the translator. We have good reason to believe that the desired form of language has been attained.

The first volume is now ready, and the other two are in course of preparation. The prices of these will be uniform with the English edition. Indeed, for about a year and a half we have been purchasing the old edition and supplying them to our readers and to the colporteurs, at these prices, although many of them cost us seven cents per copy more than this. We will so continue to fill orders for vols. II. and III. of the old lot, as our new translation of these will not be ready for some months.

[R1897 : page 271]


THE Episcopal Convention has closed its session without electing one of its Bishops a "Primus" or chief; so that question lies over for three years more.

The tendency, however, among the "clergy" of all denominations, is toward the episcopal form of church government, and away from the congregational form. And each step in this direction is favorable to the federation of all with the Episcopal church.

The Lutherans are moving for at least one bishop, believing that in this form of government lies much of the success of Episcopaleans, Methodist-Episcopals and Roman Catholics. At their recent Conference at Lancaster, Pa., the subject of bishops was freely discussed. The "clergy" said that the "laity" favored the movement; and the only question amongst the "clergy" seemed to be whether or not they should send to Sweden for a bishop. It was not claimed that the Lutherans had an apostolic succession of bishops any more than have the Methodists; but it was claimed that long usage would carry additional respect and reverence for the office.

"Rev. Dr. John Kohler said the church wanted a historical succession. He thought a proper authority could not sustain the establishment of an indefinite supervision, but if the episcopate be established the history of the past would be a good authority back of the movement."

The Baptists are gravitating more and more toward denominational organization; and, failing to see the Lord's method for supervising the Church, they also are moving toward a hierarchy with bishops. These are not proposed under these names, but suggested to be (1) A "Permanent Council" and (2) "Pastor at Large." These matters, recommended by a committee, are set forth in several columns of the leading Baptist journal, The Examiner. Apparently, by the time the Protestant Federation is ready to form, the Baptist churches will be a denomination also and ready to be received as a member of the alliance.

*                         *                         *

We recently called attention to the fact that the young people's societies amongst the United Presbyterians, Methodists, Lutherans and Baptists were intended in a quiet way to offset the Y.P. Christian Endeavor Society which, starting amongst Congregationalists, had proved so popular and unsectarian a movement. Now it appears that our Presbyterian friends are disturbed on this subject also, fearing that their young people will become too independent, and, learning to vote for themselves, may learn also to think for themselves. A committee appointed to consider the subject met in Pittsburg during the past month. It appears that young people's societies have already been formed in several of the churches hereabouts, and the name Westminster is favorably considered. No definite action as to a denominational society has yet been taken, but the committee will report to the next General Assembly.

Objection is made that Christian Endeavor societies are too "interdenominational," and not calculated to promote sectarian "loyalty." The hope was expressed that if the General Assembly were to offer some suggestions the C.E. Society might accept them rather than risk so important a deflection. It is doubtful, however, if it is not too late to fight the Y.P.S.C.E. It is as likely to split some churches as to split the ranks of the Christian Endeavorers. Young Presbyterians are about as independent as the old ones.

After all, though, the liberty and activity of the C.E. may yet prove a snare to many of them. Not having the great divine plan before their minds, they are open to many assaults from which they were previously protected by the [R1897 : page 272] bondage of superstition and the errors of their denominations. Now is the time to let these Young People have the truth, before they fall into the traps of Theosophy, Christian Science, Spiritism, no-ransom evolutionism, the infidelity of Higher Criticism and Good Citizenship moralism.

*                         *                         *

As an evidence of the so-called gospel that is being preached, we notice the following among "Summary of Principal Sermons" in the N.O. Times-Democrat:

Rev. F. F. Passmore, Denver, Col., subject, Preachers. He said in substance, "Our great preachers to-day are preaching for big salaries, fine mansions and sumptuous living, and they are getting them."

Rev. Dr. Lloyd, Christian Church, Nashville, Tenn., subject, Ignorance. He in substance said: "The greatest tyrant oppressing the masses to-day is King Ignorance. A people rushing at such a rate of progress as we are going to-day need to keep informed, to think some for themselves. They should read the newspapers."

How to vote is also considered by many preachers to be a part of the gospel to-day. As an illustration, on Sunday evening, Oct. 20, the Cornell Memorial Methodist Church had a political meeting presided over by Mayor Strong, to whom it was surrendered by the pastor after an opening prayer. The Mayor, the report says, "was greeted with loud applause." The N.Y. Sun says, "He told the [R1898 : page 272] congregation that 'a better ticket to vote for than the fusion ticket' could not be selected; and he complimented 'the clergy of New York' for being 'willing to devote an evening,' that is, to open their churches on Sunday evening, for political meetings in its behalf. 'This is the third church,' he continued, 'that I have been invited to attend to-night to talk about whom we should vote for, and I suppose next Sunday there will be many more churches open for the same purpose.'

"Commissioner Roosevelt then entered the pulpit and was received with enthusiastic applause. He made a rattling speech in his best vein, hitting out against his critics without mercy; and his many spirited sallies provoked frequent applause and much merriment." The session closed by singing the Doxology.

In the same great city recently another great preacher's gospel was an advocacy of the German Sunday. He (Rev. Heber Newton – Episcopalean) explained that the Germans have services at 9.30 Sunday morning which are well attended; at 11 o'clock the children's session has its turn till noon. In the afternoon the whole population in families visit the beer gardens and chat pleasantly and drink beer and listen to the strains of sweet music. Rev. Newton pleads for saloons to be permitted to be open on Sunday afternoons that the American Christians might similarly have the (spiritual?) refreshment of music and beer.

How strange that those various preachers and their intelligent congregations should consider that they preach and hear "the Gospel of the Son of God." Ah! they think that the old, old story is worn out and has lost its charm; they consider the crowds and the applause of men and the big salaries, – and these they must have.

The trouble is that in both the pulpits and pews the "tares" outnumber the "wheat," the sanctified in Christ Jesus. The gospel, because it acts only upon the heart, controls only the "wheat." The preponderating "tare" element needs constantly to be rubbing up the outside, because inwardly they are full of the spirit of the world – pride, ambition, selfishness, envy. "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." – Rev. 18:4.

*                         *                         *

A speculative craze has recently spread over Europe. South African gold fields are reported to be very rich; and on the strength of this report numerous share-companies have been started. The purchasers of these shares are chiefly of the "middle classes" who by economy have saved a little money, and who now hope by these investments to have a comfortable income for the remainder of life. Beginning with England, this wave has spread all over Europe.

Prudent, far-sighted men see that the "promoters" who organize these companies and boom them to fabulous prices will make immense fortunes (many have done so already), and that the people who invest their hard-earned hoardings at the boom prices will lose their little alls; and they so advise them, but to no purpose; – the whole world is racing for wealth.

The boom may last a year or two, but it must sooner or later collapse in a panic. The fluctuations in the value of these shares in one day recently was $500,000,000. When the crash comes and these investors lose all it will tend to make them, the "middle class," sour, gloomy and dejected; and thus it will push many of them into the ranks of the socialistic and anarchistic, hopeless "lower classes." Thus we see another factor preparing for the bringing forward of the great crash of the "time of trouble."

*                         *                         *

The threatened dismemberment of Turkey is exciting great interest the world over. It seems imminent; and our "Second Adventist" friends have long held the theory that Turkey is the False Prophet of Rev. 19:20, and that its overthrow means "the end of the world." As our readers are aware, we take a totally different view of these things, believing that Turkey has nothing whatever to do with the symbolic False Prophet referred to. Should dismemberment be determined on it will be done very cautiously; for all Europe dreads war as never before. But if war should occur, it would by no means be even a part of the final "trouble such as was not since there was a nation." If this were the year 1905, instead of 1895, the matter would have a totally different aspect. How blessed in the midst of so many rumors of wars and commotions and trials of life to have the peace of God which passeth all understanding keep our hearts! Our Master's words were, "My peace [R1898 : page 273] I give unto you, not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

*                         *                         *

We have already called attention to the Jew-haters, the anti-Semitic party of Austria. It grows more bitter and more strong daily. This party has by recent elections gained a large majority in the Municipal Council of Vienna, on the proposition that the Jews be persecuted – by being refused public office and contracts, that present contracts held by them shall be cancelled and that their children be separated from others in the public schools: and these are only beginnings of persecutions. This Council elected a rabid "Jew-hater" for mayor, charged with executing these measures. The Emperor, contrary to custom, exercised his power and set aside the choice and ordered a new election. The Council re-elected the same man by way of showing their determination; whereupon the Emperor's representative declared the Council dissolved. Great excitement results, and the Jews, who represent one-tenth of the population and one-third of the wealth, are sorely perplexed.

Yes, we are in "the time of Jacob's trouble;" and we shall not be surprised if bitterness against the race shall reach such intensity as to expel them from Austria, Germany, France, Spain and Portugal – possibly from England. The Lord has promised to gather the "remnant of Israel" that they shall come back to their own land "with weeping and with supplication."Jer. 31:8-10.

[R1898 : page 273]


"Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table and of the table of devils. Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he?" – 1 Cor. 10:21,22.
E find these words of warning addressed, not only to "the Church of God at Corinth," but also "to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord." (1 Cor. 1:2.) They apply to the entire probationary membership of the Gospel Church down to the end of the age.

Those whose hearts are still loyal and true to God may at first think strange of such an admonition, and say, "Paul, Paul, why so counsel us when we have no desire to touch or taste or handle the devil's goods? Such counsel seems to betoken some mistrust of our loyalty to the Lord." But Paul replies, "Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." The warning is a wholesome one: our testing and trial are not yet finished: while the Lord's cup is presented to us, the devil, as an angel of light, and with great subtlety, presents his cup also; and while the Lord spreads his table, the devil spreads his also.

What is the Lord's cup? Call to mind the Lord's reference to it – "The cup which my Father hath given me to drink, shall I not drink it?" And again, when its bitter dregs were to be drained to the end, hear him pray, "O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me! nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt." And yet again, "O my Father, if this cup may not pass from me except I drink it, thy will be done." It is the cup of sacrifice, even unto death. And not only is it the sacrifice of life, but of reputation and all that humanity holds dear. The life is sacrificed in the midst of reproaches and persecution and extreme trials of faith and patience. After the last supper with his disciples Jesus took the symbolic cup, saying, "This is my blood of the new testament which is shed for many for the remission of sins....Drink ye all of it." (Matt. 26:27,28.) The Apostle (1 Cor. 10:16) refers to the same cup saying, "The cup of blessing, for which we bless God, is it not a participation of the blood of the Anointed one?" And so also, "The loaf which we break, is it not a participation of the body of the Anointed one? Because there is one loaf we, the many, are one body."

Thus we see that the body of Christ is invited to share the same cup with the Head – the cup of sacrifice, of ignominy and reproach. "Drink ye all of it." And blessed is he who has thus far so faithfully partaken of the Lord's cup that he can say, "The reproaches of them that reproached thee have fallen upon me."

We have seen what is the Lord's cup: now what is the cup of devils? Well, it is a cup of sacrifice also; and those who drink of it sacrifice their true happiness in the present life and their prospects for the life to come. These, however, are the dregs of Satan's cup: these do not appear upon the surface. Its surface sparkles with hopes of earthly prosperity, pride, self-exaltation and "honor one of another;" and to attain these hopes, time, [R1899 : page 273] talent and influence are sacrificed to the bitter and disappointing end.

That is indeed a cup of intoxication, a cup of deceptions and delusions, whose awful potency finally is unto eternal death. Well does the Apostle say, "The things which the Gentiles [the unbelieving world] sacrifice they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye [believers, Christians] should have fellowship with devils. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of devils." In other words, we cannot partake of the spirit of the world, the spirit of selfishness, ambition, pride, and sacrifice our lives to these ignoble aims, and at the same time partake also of the spirit of Christ, which is unselfish, humble, self-denying and glad to sacrifice earthly ambitions in the service of him who bought us with his own precious blood. We cannot partake of both spirits; for the one is the reverse of and antagonistic to the other. "Ye [R1899 : page 274] cannot serve God and Mammon." Nor can ye long halt between the two. "A double minded man is unstable in all his ways," and "Let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord." – Jas. 1:7,8.

Since this warning is addressed, not to the world, but to those who have already pledged themselves to drink of the Lord's cup, their partaking now of the devil's cup implies their turning away from the Lord's cup. And if any are so foolish as to give the consent of their minds to the partaking in some measure of both the cup of the Lord and the cup of devils, – of the spirit of the Lord and the spirit of the world and of devils, of the doctrines of the Lord and the doctrines of devils, he is wilfully despising his covenant and doing despite to the spirit of favor.

Let us consider now what is "the table of the Lord." It is the board richly spread with a bountiful supply of divine truth – bread of life and meat in due season and honey in the honeycomb, and the choicest beverages of milk and wine, and of the pure water of life, clear as crystal. (John 6:32-35; Matt. 24:45; Psa. 19:10; Isa. 55:1; Rev. 21:6; 22:1.) It is spread for every one that is hungering and thirsting after righteousness; and blessed are they that come to it, for they shall be filled: they shall be richly fed and abundantly satisfied, and their souls shall delight themselves in fatness. – Isa. 55:1,2; Matt. 5:6; Psa. 22:26.

This table of the Lord has been spread for his saints, his Church, from the very beginning of the Gospel age; and it has always been supplied with meat in season; and some of the Lord's people have been appointed to serve. Thus, for instance the apostles served in the beginning of the age, not only in setting before the Lord's people the meat in due season, but also in laying up in store food for the Church in future days. (2 Pet. 1:15,19.) Their service has been valuable to the entire Church, even to the present day. And all through the age there have been devout, godly men who called the Lord's people to his table, and ministered to them from its bounty; and the hungry have been fed and blessed.

But now the end, the harvest of the age, has come, the richest season of all the year, when the buds of prophecy and promise have developed and are now bringing forth their golden fruit, and the table of the Lord fairly groans under its bounty. And not only so, but the Lord of the harvest himself, being now present, according to his promise, comes forth and serves his people. (Luke 12:37.) Here, as never in all the past, the richness and fatness of the purposes and promises of God are made manifest in all their completeness. Here is a systematic theology such as the Church has never before known, – the plan of salvation set before us in such order and beauty that it surpasses our brightest hopes; a plan consistent and harmonious in every part and wrought out silently and grandly through all the ages past on principles of the most profound moral philosophy, and with a precision and exactness of time and order that are suggestive of the mathematical precision of the great Designer, Executor and Revealer. So glorious is it in its completeness, its symmetry and beauty, that the satisfied soul perceives that no addition could be made to it without marring its excellence, and joyfully exclaims, "It is the Lord's doing and the Lord's revealing, and it is marvelous in our eyes;" and "What more can he say than to us he hath said" of his wisdom and love and grace? Though the Lord makes use of human agency to portray and proclaim the riches of his grace and his loving kindness to the sons and heirs of God, and though he permits all at the table to be co-workers together with himself in serving one another at the feast, to God belongs all the glory of both plan and execution; and to our Lord and Head belongs the praise of this service of the revealing, and of the anointing of our hearts to receive it, and our eyes to behold it, and our ears to hear it, and our tongues to declare it. Glory to God in the highest, and unto the Lamb forever and ever! Let the whole earth be filled with his glory!

While the Lord's table is thus richly spread with a satisfying portion for all who hunger and thirst after righteousness and after the knowledge of God, whom to know is life and peace, there are many other tables spread to which the people of God are invited. Papacy has its table upon which, with some fragments of truth, are found in abundant supply the abominable doctrines of the mass, of eternal torment, and purgatory, and the idolatry of Mary, and the presumed saints, and auricular confession, and implicit obedience to scheming priests, etc., etc. Protestants also have their several tables, upon which may be found some truth, such as the redemption through the precious blood of Christ, baptism, faith in God and in his inspired Word, etc.; but oh! what fragments of truth they have are all befouled; for, says the Prophet (Isa. 28:8, – and his words are true), "All [their] tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean." They are full of rejected matter – old errors swallowed in the past with thoughtless complacency. But the shakings (Heb. 12:26,27) of these judgment times are making the people sick, so that they cannot retain those horrid doctrines of eternal torment, the predestination to eternal woe of the great majority of mankind before they were born, etc., etc. And yet, lacking the moral courage openly to disown and abandon them, their tables are therefore polluted with the sickening rejected matter: their tables are all unclean.

Before the "shakings" of this present time produced the nausea that befouled those tables, many of the Lord's dear people were permitted to sit there and select the good food and to antidote the poison of the errors with larger draughts of the water of life from the fountain of God's Word. But now, harvest having come, and the separating work being due (Matt. 13:30), all the true people of God are called away from those tables to the bountiful harvest table where the Lord himself is now serving. In obeying the voice of the Lord and abandoning the unclean tables [R1899 : page 275] many enemies are made, but blessed are those who have the hearing of faith and obey the call to the Lord's table. It was of this the Psalmist sung, saying, "Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil: my cup [of blessing] runneth over."

But there are other tables besides the unclean tables of Babylon. There are tables of devils: tables laden with all manner of subtle and ingenious evil doctrines, bringing in "damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them," wresting the Scriptures, perverting them, undermining their teaching, and substituting human philosophies. Of these are such tables as the Papacy – that "masterpiece of Satanic ingenuity," Theosophy, Spiritism, Christian Science (falsely so called), Evolution, and all the various phases of human philosophy which ignore the doctrine of redemption through our Lord's vicarious sacrifice, and aim to teach men how to climb up to eternal life by some other way. These all are tables of devils, against which the Apostle warns us, saying, Ye cannot partake of the Lord's table and the table of devils.

Some, alas! after they have accepted the invitation to the Lord's table, and have tasted and seen that the Lord is good, do turn away from the Lord's table to the tables of devils, apparently thinking they can return at their pleasure and be welcomed again at the Lord's table, and come and go at will and partake of both. "Oh yes," say they, "we are not narrow-minded weaklings, afraid to taste anything except what we find on one table. True, the table of the Lord is a very good one; but there are good things on the other tables too, and we taste every thing; yes, we 'prove all things, and hold fast that which is good,' no matter where we find it."

Such, alas! is the attitude of many, who forget that "Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall;" and if the efforts of faithful brethren fail to convince them of the error of their way, it is not long before they begin to manifest a distaste for the food supplied at the Lord's table, and it becomes more and more evident that soon they must leave it altogether. The unwholesome and poisonous dishes on the devil's table soon vitiate the taste, undermine the spiritual health, and produce abnormal cravings for that which is not good; and the spiritually sick soul has no longer any disposition to feast at the Lord's table. Nor does the Lord desire that he should; for in leaving the table of the Lord he has done despite to the spirit of favor, and if he persist in such a course he must depart altogether; for "Ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table and the table of devils." "Ye cannot please two masters."

In the act of going from the Lord's table to the table of devils he who does so virtually says that he is not satisfied with the bounties of divine providence, and that he still has some respect for the devil, the great enemy of [R1900 : page 275] God. Thus he proves his disloyalty to God by his fellowship with unrighteousness. In quoting the scripture, "Prove all things, hold fast that which is good," he forgets the accompanying modification, "Abstain from all appearance of evil." (1 Thes. 5:19-22.) We have much to do, and all we can do, if we do it well, in proving the abundant merits of the food upon the Lord's table, and in appropriating it to our spiritual life and health and serving it to others. We taste and see that the Lord is good, and prove the healthfulness of his doctrines, but we have nothing to do with the doctrines of devils, except to abstain from them, and to warn others of their ill effects, as illustrated in those who have tampered with them.

Any child of God should be able to tell at a glance the devil's table from the Lord's table, especially after he has been fed at the Lord's table. The foundations of any system are easily discovered, and there is only one true foundation – Christ, the ransom. "Other foundation can no man lay." (1 Cor. 3:11; 15:3.) And any one whose soul has been satisfied with the truth, should perceive at once the deformity of error. As a musician's ear, trained to the beautiful harmonies of sound, quickly detects a discordant note, or as an artist's eye, trained to all the fine distinctions of form and color and order, quickly marks the defective work of an amateur, so the mind and heart, educated in the beautiful harmonies and the perfect and artistic order and system of the Divine Plan, quickly detect the discord of error, and they need no other satisfaction and can find no higher delight; and the soul armed with this "whole armor of God" needs no other preparation to be able to withstand either the subtle or the brazen-faced incursions and attacks of error. "Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil;" rest in the Lord, and be satisfied; and feed at the Lord's table only, if you would have that spiritual health and vigor which is proof against all the pestilences of this evil day.

To those who are not satisfied at the Lord's table after having feasted there, apply those words of the Lord by the Prophet Isaiah (1:1-6), "Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth, for the Lord hath spoken: I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib; but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider." The ox and the ass know enough to return again and again to the owner and crib where hitherto they have been well fed. In this they manifest more discretion than those of the Lord's people who forsake his table to prove the dishes offered on the devil's table, or to turn to the unclean tables where all that is good is made unclean by association with that which is unclean.

It is not surprising, then, that the Lord will not permit such to return to his table – "Ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table and the table of devils." Why? Because in thus turning away from the Lord's table where they have been so richly fed, and where the Lord has girded himself to serve, they have manifested disloyalty to him, [R1900 : page 276] and have despised the riches of his grace, and done despite to the spirit of favor. Those who wilfully do so after being once enlightened are of that sinful class typified by rebellious Israel. The Prophet describes them in no uncertain terms, saying, "Ah, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters! They have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward. ....The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it."

Nor are we narrow-minded in confining our studies to the divine plan, regardless of all vain philosophies and human traditions and speculations; for its scope is as wide as redemption, its science the most exact, and its philosophy the most profound. Having learned the divine plan revealed in the Scriptures, it is the privilege of all who are imbued with its spirit to apply its measuring lines to the whole matter of divine revelation, and thus, by its assistance together with the hallowed influences of prayer and communion with God, to receive that education in spiritual things which enables us to appreciate with a musician's ear the finer strains of the heavenly melody and its precision of rhythm and order; and with an artist's eye the fine and beautiful shadings of divine wisdom and grace.

Oh, no! we shall not be narrow-minded in thus following the guidance of the Lord into "the deep things of God," now revealed in his due time, "which things the angels desire to look into," and which will be the saint's delight through all eternity. What think you? Will the saints and angels be narrow-minded when the devil and his tables are all destroyed? Let us away with every evil thing, and find our delight in God, and be satisfied with the consolations of his abundant grace. Let the language of our page 276 hearts continually be: –

"No longer far from rest I roam,
And search in vain for bliss;
My soul is satisfied at home:
The Lord my portion is."

[R1900 : page 276]


IN our issue of Sept. 15, we commended these as profitable for the upbuilding of the Church by establishing each one in the general features of the complete plan of the ages, whereby alone all Scripture can be rightly divided and appreciated. This method has four specially commendable features. (1) It brings into use and study the entire range of Scripture from Genesis to Revelation, instead of confining the attention to a few verses of one chapter. It is a topical, instead of a verse and chapter, study of the Bible. (2) It leads the mind and heart to refreshment in that which we all have proved to be rich and nutritive food from the Master's storehouse, and away from vain speculations which neither satisfy nor strengthen the heart. (3) It accustoms each one to think for himself, and to study to arrange his conceptions of the truth in harmony with all the Scripture statements bearing thereon, and also to express to others the truth which he sees. (4) These are the objects of all teachings in the Church, as the Apostle states them – "For the edifying of the saints "for the work of ministry."

We notice, however, that a few, very few we are glad to say, have totally mistaken the suggestions made respecting this kind of meetings, and understood us to advise the abandonment of the Bible and instead that the MILLENNIAL DAWN be read. Nothing could be farther from our thought. As for the mere reading of the BIBLE or the DAWN, that can be better done privately, each for himself.

On the contrary, the suggestion is to make Bible studies general; and as the light has come to us all by studying God's orderly plan as set forth in DAWN, so it will continue to become more and more clear in all its minutiae as we continue to study it from the same standpoint. If the Plan of the Ages gives the only true outline of the divine plan, and if we have learned that outline thoroughly, let us use the same helping hand, observe the same divine plan and order, in continuing the study of the minutiae of God's plan of the ages.

It is for this purpose that we advise "Dawn Circles for Bible Study;" and as an illustration of the proposed method we offer the following as a sample analysis of the first paragraph of DAWN, VOL. I., viz. –

What constitutes the divine revelation? – 2 Pet. 1:21; 2 Tim. 3:16,17.

When and how did sin come into the world? – Rom. 5:12; etc.

Who is the "Sun of Righteousness"? – Mal. 4:1,2; Matt. 13:43; Dan. 12:3.

When will this "Sun" arise? – Acts 3:19-21; Col. 3:4.

What will its shining effect? – Mal. 4:1,2; Isa. 60:18,19; 25:7-9; Acts 3:23.

What will be its "healing," and how performed? – Rom. 5:18,19.

Do sin and death, directly or indirectly cause present "weeping" and trouble? How?

Upon what sure ground can we hope for the "morning" and its "joy"? – Rom. 5:6-8; 14:9; 1 Cor. 15:3,21; 2 Pet. 1:16,19; Prov. 4:18; Job 14:13-15; Psa. 49:14,15.

Will that "glorious day" be followed by a night? – Rev. 21:21-25; Isa. 60:20,21.

Other Scriptures might be brought forward profitably, but all will see the necessity for not permitting too much latitude, and the leader of the class will exercise his best judgment in kindly reminding any who might be disposed [R1900 : page 277] to digress considerably. The class should contain several Bibles, and we recommend that all meetings be opened and closed with praise and prayer. The plan of some of having pencils and noting the references in the margins of their DAWNS is also commended. It will be of great help to all when endeavoring again to prove the truth to the skeptical.

A Bible-study more interesting or more profitable than the foregoing could scarcely be imagined. In this everyone can take part; all can thus be assured of the firm foundation upon which the good tidings of great joy rest; all can edify and build one another up in the most holy faith; the "meat in due season," now provided by the Lord for all who feast at his table, is thus with an open Bible before the entire class, and each one may pass to the others refreshing portions.

A class of three would find abundant and rich Bible food for an hour, suggested by this one paragraph; and a larger class of say a dozen would scarcely get through with it at one meeting. We commend to all the little companies of the Lord's flock these "Dawn Circle Bible Studies" for one meeting in each week. They will tend to make all proficient in the understanding of God's Word which is a prerequisite to the required "work of ministry," serving it to others. (Eph. 4:12). It is a much safer plan than to meet to speculate and try to make types out of every person and every thing mentioned in the Bible, a plan that has led many (into pride of skill in making something out of nothing and thence) into "outer darkness." And it will generally be found much more profitable than to take any chance subject, or to be without some previously appointed subject. Each lesson should be thought out by all and especially by the leader or "elder." However, each class ought to be willing to consider any Bible topic suggested by any attendant, and considered by a majority of the class to be a profitable topic. For this purpose the DAWN lessons could be temporarily discontinued or, preferably, extra meetings could be appointed.

[R1901 : page 277]


A beautiful vision of glory has caught my enraptured gaze; It is thrilling my heart with gladness, and filling my mouth with praise. My soul had so longed for this vision; I knew it must come to view, When Faith would behold God's goodness in the light which makes all things new. And so I have searched for the treasure, believing I yet would find; And that God in his infinite mercy would open my eyes, so blind, To see the Truth in its grandeur, all fresh with the dews of grace, And sparkling in the glory that beams from the holy place; To know his love, passing knowledge in its length and depth and height, With a breadth no man can measure, and a strength sin cannot blight. The Lord hath his time appointed to fulfil our hearts' desires, And there comes an hour in his "due time" when the weary watch expires. So, standing upon my tower in the dawn of a better day, And waiting there for the vision he promised should not delay, I saw God's plan of the ages on tablets of truth made plain, And the love wherewith he loved us, and his plan man's love to regain. Oh, truly, the scene was blessed, transcending my noblest thought; With my cup of joy overflowing, I cried, "What hath God wrought!"

In the past I had had some glimpses of what his great love might be; But the scene had so many shadows it seemed a vast mystery.

The creeds of men, and false doctrines, had formed a veil o'er my eyes, And the truth of God looked sombre when hidden 'mid such disguise; But now it is joy and gladness, "glad tidings of great joy!" And e'en if I had a thousand tongues I could each one employ To tell it out to his people, and call to his saints beloved, To come and gaze on the vision with the shadows all removed; To trace with love's guiding finger, in the light of the holy oil, God's plan for the world's redemption from sin and all its turmoil. For, Oh, such a vision, surely, will quell all their doubts and fears; And such a bright dawn of promise will banish night's falling tears. Then come to the watch tower, pilgrims, come up to this height serene, And gaze on this rapturous vision, and take in the blessed scene, 'Til the truth of God, so mighty, shall break every captive's chain, And the bliss that was lost in Eden is restored to mankind again.


[R1901 : page 277]

– DEC. 1. – 1 SAM. 16:1-13. –

Golden Text – "Man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart." – 1 Sam. 16:7.
N selecting David to reign over Israel God chose one who was not only suitable to the necessities of that people and time, but one who aptly prefigured the Christ, Head and body, selected during the Gospel age and anointed to sit on the throne of the Kingdom of the Lord. In this view of the matter the golden text forcibly reminds us of the statement of the Apostle Paul (1 Cor. 1:26), "Ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised hath God chosen; yea, and things which are not, to bring to naught the things that are; that no flesh should glory in his presence."

God looked for the same characteristics in David that he now seeks in those whom in this age he calls to be anointed for the Kingdom. He found in him faith, meekness, courage, energy and loving obedience. Yet he was [R1901 : page 278] young and inexperienced and untrained and unskilled in the duties of the high office to which he was called. This latter condition, which, in the estimation of men, would have been an insurmountable barrier, was no obstacle in God's sight; for God is able to inspire his called ones with his spirit and to arm them with his might. So he did with David, and so he does with the Christ – our Lord Jesus and his body, the church. In the Psalms of David his typical character is very clearly indicated, sometimes personifying Jesus our Head, and sometimes the whole body of Christ. Thus, for instance, when he says, "They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture," the reference is only to our Head; while in other cases, as in Psa. 23, the application is to the whole body, whose Shepherd is the Lord Jehovah.

It required the two reigns of David and Solomon to represent the great work of the Lord's Anointed. David's reign represented the work of the church in the flesh, while Solomon's reign represented the work of the church glorified and at rest from all her enemies.

David when anointed was but a youth. He was not one, however, who wasted the precious spring time of life in sowing "wild oats." He was a bud of promise, a noble youth, – meek, modest, gentle, faithful, courageous in the line of duty, and brave to face danger and to endure hardness in any good work, especially wherever the interests of God's cause or God's people were at stake. Seeing in him this sterling stamp of character God called him to higher service. So he has been calling and anointing with his holy spirit a similar class all through the Gospel age. They are the Lord's anointed kings; but their kingdom, like that of David, is not established: they are surrounded by enemies on every side as was David, and the whole time of their life in the flesh is a continual warfare as was his. Like David, too, they have had it in their hearts to build the temple of God in the present age, that all the world might come and worship. But this privilege is not granted to the church in the flesh, even as the building of the typical temple was denied to David, but was reserved for Solomon, to whom the Lord gave a rest, peace and prosperity which made it an apt symbol of the reign of the glorified church. – 1 Chron. 22:7-9.

But while David was not permitted to build the temple of God, he was permitted to gather together and prepare the materials for the building. So the church in the flesh makes ready the materials for the temple of God which in the dawn of the Millennium will come together noiselessly as did Solomon's temple, without the sound of a hammer. David's warfare, then, was a type of the warfare of the whole church, Head and body, while in the flesh, against the principalities and powers of darkness on every side that oppose her to the very end of her earthly course, so that, though she is anointed for the kingly office, she is never established in power, peace and security to the day of her death. Her work on this side the vail is to war a good warfare, and to industriously gather the materials and prepare the living stones for the glorious temple which shall by and by call all the world to worship.

Beyond the vail of the flesh this same anointed company (all the faithful overcomers of this age) will enter into the glorious reign prefigured by the reign of Solomon – "They shall rest from their labors, and their works follow with them." (Rev. 14:13.) And the temple of God [R1902 : page 278] shall rise and shine in its beauty, and in it shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, which blessing was typified by the abundant blessing, peace and prosperity of Israel during the reign of Solomon.

Let all who have this glorious hope in them remember the words of our golden text – "The Lord looketh on the heart." He is looking to see who is worthy to sit on the throne of his Kingdom; and has shown us very clearly the traits of character for which he is looking. It behooves us, then, to see that our hearts (our will, purpose, intention and effort) are in such a condition of loyalty, faithfulness and obedience as will bear the inspection of the all-seeing eye, while we remember for our encouragement that, as shown in the type, no conditions of birth or station or circumstances can form any obstacle to our acceptance with God and our future exaltation with Christ if we are faithful.

[R1902 : page 278]

– DEC. 8. – 1 SAM. 17:38-51. –

Golden Text – "The battle is the Lord's." – 1 Sam. 17:47.
HE lesson to the Christian to be gathered from this narrative is briefly embodied in the golden text – "The battle is the Lord's." Let him ever bear this in mind, and daily go forth to battle with the great powers of darkness, strong in the strength which God supplies, with the faith, courage and heroism that distinguished David, and no foe can stand before him. The one great essential to victory is faith. "This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." "Without faith it is impossible to please God" or to secure his interposition on our behalf.

Having faith, we need no carnal weapons, and no armor of human invention is of any service to us; but trained and practical faith can work wonders as great as did David's sling and stone. The sling and stone were not an untried weapon with David. He was in constant practice with them, and thus he had gained skill and confidence in their use. So the Christian must practice dependence upon God continually in all the small affairs of life, and then when the giant trials come his practised faith will be abundantly able to meet and overcome them. And the [R1902 : page 279] more severe the trial, the more glorious the victory of faith and the greater the strength of character derived from its exercise. Doubtless it was the previous struggle with the lion and the bear, and the victory God gave him then, that gave David such boldness in defying the power of Goliath. So every battle we fight and every victory we win through faith in God develops strength for future conflicts and makes the more sure our final overcoming.

[R1902 : page 279]


New York.

DEAR BROTHER AND SISTER RUSSELL: – You are entitled to a little report of our "Dawn Circle for Bible Study." We have been longing for a Sunday afternoon meeting, and have prayed for a brother in our midst to be touched with the spirit of truth to take the care of such a meeting. At one time it looked as though our requests were to be granted, but every hope of a present answer was taken away as we found unwillingness or faintheartedness among all the good men we thought interested. So the meeting must be abandoned or I must take the forward step, which, in the strength of the Lord, I did, and announced a series of Bible studies on the Plan of the Ages with chart illustrations. Last Sunday we began with but ten present; nevertheless the Lord was present to fill all the vacancies, and we spent a blessed time. All expressed themselves as greatly interested and enlightened, and purposing to attend regularly and to bring others. It was all the Lord's doings.

I was led in opening to give a little of my experience in Bible study, past and present, and the dear friends seemed very much touched, so much so that when I came home I thought I would try to express the same in verse, and wrote the enclosed, which I know is too long to be used in the TOWER; and which please return to me, as I have no copy.

We have a table at the meeting place, containing tracts and books and TOWERS, which we urge the attendants to take with them; and last week they did so very generally; so we hope for good results from this mode of circulating the truth. You must count us now as really a little Church, and pray for us daily. Remember especially the poor earthen vessel the Lord has to use, that his may be all the glory.

Your sister in His service,


[We are well pleased with the report of your "Dawn Circle for Bible Study." We think that under the circumstances there you have done right to step forward and take the initiative, which we perceive you have done in the spirit of meekness with all deference to the Lord's will in the choice of brethren generally for the more public service. But if there be no brother in the company sufficiently or equally competent to lead, then the interests of the flock should not be permitted to suffer from that cause, when a sister with the necessary qualifications stands ready with consecrated talents meekly and faithfully to serve them. We call to mind that once God raised up a female judge in Israel; and if in these days of more general education and enlightenment he should bring forward some sisters with marked meekness, faithfulness, sobriety and ability to serve his flock with a little more prominence than others, we may not despise these indications of the Lord's will. No brother who is a mere novice in the knowledge of the truth, or a mere babe in Christian experience, should be asked to take a leading part merely because he is a brother. If a sister have preeminent talents, by all means use them. You did well, too, in starting the class with a Chart exposition.

Believing all will enjoy our Sister's poem, "The Plan of the Ages," we here published it on another page of this issue. – EDITOR.]


DEAR SIR AND BROTHER: – I loaned the DAWN to a man recently, whose comments were, "Oh! I must go over it again;" adding, "It is splendid."

I find that very few members of the church wish even to talk about Christ's coming now. Of course, there is but little oil in their lamps. Some tell me I would be frightened at his coming. The idea of being frightened at the coming of my Brother, with whom I am on the best of terms of love; never! Neither will any Christian who is striving and praying without ceasing.

Well, as the child grows in grace his troubles accumulate; hence we have to tighten the cords of prayer.

Since Christians are liable to sins of omission or sins committed inadvertently, or sins committed because of doubt as to whether "so and so" is a sin (And so many take advantage of this doubt!), I am constrained to ask them to read the seventh chapter of Joshua, which clearly explains why prayers are so often not answered.

In this chapter it is recorded that God said to Joshua, "Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face?" Joshua had asked God why it was that Israel was defeated in battle, and his army put to flight? God answered, The children of Israel cannot stand before their enemies, because a theft has been committed by one of the people.

Thus we see that our prayers and our efforts in life will not be blessed by our heavenly Father if our hearts are sinning against God as did Achan, who with his sons and daughters was put to death for the theft in question. Thus it is that millions of good deeds and fervent prayers are nothing in the sight of God. Why? Because a wrong has been committed, and until reparation has been made it will be vain to plead at the throne of God.

Our faith may be strong; we may love God; if we are his children he does love us; but if we have committed that which is evil in his sight, until we make a clean surrender, our prayers will not be answered: there are formidable barriers between us and heaven.

To any in that condition I would say: You promised an unconditional surrender when you declared you would stand on the Lord's side. Do you not know that you did? But probably "one thing thou lackest;" and doubtless you know what it is. Does the thought of surrendering it make you sad? Is it a "sweet morsel?" Ask yourself what is its name! Is it worldly gain? malice? envy? revenge? or a want of charity? with which you have built a barrier around yourself, excluding your prayers from [R1902 : page 280] heaven? Be it what it may, you will be compelled to make a clean surrender ere you can expect a realization of divine favor. Will you surrender now? or will you continue your warfare against your own soul, and remain like an army that is whipped and continues to fight until nearly annihilated over a long and fruitless retreat?

The religion of many who profess to be God's children is of three kinds. Either they have never become children of God, and hence their religion is wholly theoretical; or they have been truly converted, but fail to live a consistent Christian life; or, not having kept very close to our Heavenly Father, temptation has found them unsheltered, [R1903 : page 280] sin has crept in and taken root and developed to such alarming proportions that suddenly they awaken to a sense of their condition, and become doubtful as to whether God really owns them or not. [A small minority, having by their own experience or that of others come to appreciate the above dangers, are living close to him; and because in Christ they endeavor to do always those things which please Him, they are able to approximate the sentiment expressed by him when he said, "I know that thou hearest me always." – John 11:42; 8:29. – EDITOR.]

Yours in Christ,


South Dakota.

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – I am still holding the truth, and hope to remain faithful to the end.

I have just returned from Minnesota, where Bro. Melin has been preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom. Many Swedes are stepping into the light there. I have visited N. Dakota twice this summer, and have been blessed and encouraged.

Three years ago I preached the gospel of restitution in my native country, Norway. Many were interested, and would, I believe, have been brought into the full light, if I could have remained longer with them. I intend to go back soon.

Yours in the faith,


page 280


DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: – I am getting more and more every day into the knowledge of our gracious Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and God's glorious plan for redeeming poor fallen man. I have been a student of the MILLENNIAL DAWN series for about one year. I am entirely a different man to what I was when I first commenced their study, and since through a diligent search of the Scriptures I have come over on the Lord's side and have left Babylon. I am now happy in Christ, when before all was dark and gloomy. I was raised a Methodist, my father being an itinerant Methodist minister. He says their church is not what it used to be when he was actively engaged in the service. He is very much grieved that the ministry and the church have so far retrograded from its old teachings.

I am studying hard and praying that I may not only hold on to what I already have but that I may see more and more of God's glorious plan, and receive "meat in due season" for the household of faith, which is so necessary for growth and development in the Christian life that I am trying to live. A great field is open here for the spread of the truth. Pray for me, dear brother, in my solitary efforts for its advancement, and "Pray the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth more laborers into his harvest." Your brother in Christ,


Nova Scotia.

DEAR TOWER: – I have heard that some of the members in the church from which I withdrew have been enquiring of the minister and elders why I left; and they have been told that I did not leave the church, only withdrew from the eldership. And on the strength of that they have called on me for money for the church. I was going to write the minister and explain to him my reasons for coming out of Babylon, but fear he would not read my letter before the congregation. He knows my position, for I have sent him many tracts and TOWERS.

I see in a recent TOWER that you have prepared a letter for just such cases, and I gladly avail myself of the chance to set some of my friends at rest on the matter. See enclosed order.

Yours in love,


[R1903 : page 280]

New York.

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – I have made a startling discovery lately. Although I left the M.E. church four years ago, I find upon inquiry that the minister under whose pastorate I left the church did not take my name off the church roll as I told him to do. And he has misrepresented me greatly. A great many regard me as a backslider, others think me an infidel, etc. I have searched into the matter and brought these things to light. Your suggestion about the letters of withdrawal in a recent TOWER seems to me very good, and I will be glad to avail myself of them. I am glad so much provision is made by the Lord for all his sheep, and praise him for his bountiful providence.

May the Lord abundantly bless and use you is my prayer every day. Continue to pray for me.

Yours in Him,


[The "Withdrawal Letters" were meant for just such cases, or, rather, to prevent such misrepresentations. They are kindly presentations of our reasons for standing separate from sects of "Babylon." They show that we feel no bitterness, but only love and sympathy, toward all of the Lord's sheep, – whether in or out of Babylon. Use these letters freely. They are now a number of the O.T. Tract series. – EDITOR.] page 280


DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – Enclosed you will find one dollar for a WATCH TOWER subscription for a brother to whom I have already sold DAWNS. He is delighted with them.

Am happy to say our "Dawn Circle" is making progress and I have strong hopes it will be a fruitful source of growth in the truth and knowledge of God in just the manner the Lord delights in. (See Jer. 9:23,24.) It is this that has caused us so much joy. Bro. Mogensen has been baptized, and is full of preparations to go forth colporteuring.

Yours in love and the faith,



MR. RUSSELL: – Early this year MILLENNIAL DAWN VOL. I. came into my hands, I might say heart; for no book ever laid hold of me in the same way. I cannot tell you what it has done for me and cost me already. It is no small thing at sixty-seven to be turned upside down and outside in, until I don't know where or what I am, only a sinner saved by grace, and that I stand on the Word which liveth and abideth forever! Many are the questions I would ask if I saw you face to face. I want to prove all things by the Word. Praying that God may use and bless you in work for the saints,

I remain yours very sincerely,


page 281
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. XVI.DECEMBER 15, 1895.No. 24.

Special Items 282
Views From the Tower 283
Poem: Lead Thou Me! 285
Tract Society's Report for 1895 285
Thy Shield and Thy Reward 287
The Law of Development 288
Bible Study: David and Jonathan 290
Bible Study: The Birth of Christ 291
Bible Study: Review 291

'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 282

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.
CHARLES T. RUSSELL, Editor; MRS. C. T. RUSSELL, Associate.



Those of the interested, who by reason of old age or accident, or other adversity are unable to pay for the TOWER will be supplied FREE, if they will send a Postal Card each December, stating their case and requesting the paper.

[R1908 : page 282]


"Stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong."

"Take unto you the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and, having done all, to stand."

"Watch and pray, lest ye enter into temptation."


AS usual at this season we enclose blanks for the convenience of those who desire to use them. The knowledge of what may be expected is very helpful in gauging beforehand the work that may be undertaken. No obligation is incurred by filling out these blanks: they state very plainly that they show only what you hope by God's grace to do. Should you not do as well as you "hope," the balance will not be charged or in any manner considered a debt. The report for the past year, furnished in this issue, should be very encouraging to all concerned. page 282
AS will be seen by the terms, above, ZION'S WATCH TOWER desires to visit regularly all who desire its visits. The terms are so liberal that none need be without it – for all can command at least a postal card for a request to have it as one of the Lord's poor. We desire, however, to hear from all if they desire to have these semi-monthly calls; for we do not wish to send it where it is unwelcome or merely tolerated.

We, therefore, ask to hear from all readers as promptly as possible. If the money for 1896 is not convenient to you now, say so. If too poor to afford it, state that. Do so before your name is taken off our lists. Expect tag on Feb. 1 TOWER to show credits received by us up to December 31.

[R1903 : page 283]


THE Prophetic Conference mentioned in our issue of October 1 has just been held (December 3-6) in Allegheny, instead of in Pittsburg and at the date first proposed. Four of its sessions were held in the Fourth U.P. Church, and the remainder in the First Presbyterian Church, opposite the Bible House.

Although not a conference in the sense of interchange or discussion, its meetings were very enjoyable to all interested in the second coming of our Lord.

The speakers, mostly Presbyterians and United Presbyterians, included Bishop Nicholson, of the Reformed Episcopal Church – all men of ability – and much truth was set forth. So far as we noticed (and it gave us great satisfaction), every speaker acknowledged the Bible as the only inspired authority, and appealed to it as the only test of what they presented, and many of them scored the "higher critics;" and the value of our Lord's sacrifice at Calvary was also made prominent, as the only basis of true faith and of our acceptance before God.

We were disappointed, somewhat, that after pointing out clearly, from the Scriptures, that our Lord's second coming will not be after the conversion of the world, but before it, and after showing ably that all of God's past and present dealings, for six thousand years, are but preparations for the Millennial Kingdom, the speakers seemed to overlook the most important part of this subject; viz., What will be the character and extent of the work of Christ and the Church for the world of mankind during the Millennium? But then we must remember that these dear brethren do not yet see that the full meaning of the ransom for all is a full opportunity for eternal life for all. They hold that those of mankind living at the time of the establishment of the Kingdom will be blessed with special opportunities for coming to a clear knowledge of the truth, and thus of attaining everlasting life in "the only name;" but they do not see that the "blessed hope" extends to the millions and billions of earth that have gone into the tomb without either faith in or knowledge of "the only name." Thank God! we can see that the "ransom for all," given by our Lord, included those who are prisoners in the great prison house of death (sheol – hades); and that by and by, in promised "times of restitution" (Acts 3:19-21), the prison doors shall be burst for them by the great Redeemer (Isa. 61:1) and "all that are in the graves shall hear his voice and shall come forth" "and they that hear [obey] shall live [everlastingly]." (John 5:25.) And to ascertain which will "hear [obey]," all must stand before the great white throne of justice, then established, and be judged [tried] according to the things written in the "books [of the Bible]" (Rev. 20:11,12), even as the Church is now being judged during the Gospel age.

We were pleased to note the reverent interest of so many of our fellow citizens, and are more than ever convinced that there are thousands of true "sheep" in Babylon whose eyes and ears will yet open to the good tidings of great joy for "all people." After the various sessions several of our brethren were active in distributing OLD THEOLOGY TRACTS – "Bringing Back the King," and "Do You Know?" which were well received, some inquiring for more for their friends. One or two of the speakers made some caustic references to the OLD THEOLOGY TRACTS and to MILLENNIAL DAWN, but this we feel sure was only because their eyes are only partially open to the truth. In most of them we feel that we could discern a large measure of the Master's spirit, by which together with their faith in the Redeemer we recognized them as brethren in Christ, even though they cannot yet venture to bear the reproaches of the whole truth. [R1903 : page 284]

We believe that good will result from the Conference. Already many are inquiring for more light, and we are giving it to them as best we are able. We fear that some of the dear friends in their zeal for the truth offend and separate many who need our help and whom we desire to assist. The Bible expresses some hidden truths in very forceful language – "mother of harlots," etc. – but it is our judgment of the Lord's will that, while we are not to shun to declare the whole counsel of God, we should do so as wisely and lovingly as possible, and instead of adding repulsive vehemence, to such strong passages of the Lord's Word, as would make our hearers misjudge our motives, we should "speak the truth in love" – explaining such passages in their kindest rather than in their severest light, showing that not persons but systems are referred to. We urge that all remember to copy our Lord, of whom it was written, "Grace is poured into thy lips." "His mouth is most sweet." Let all the cutting be done by "the sword of the spirit," the Word of God.

As a further comment on the Conference, which we believe will interest you all, we give below an article by the Editor, published in the Pittsburg Post, Dec. 9: – "To the Editor of The Post:

"It is reported that I approached the Prophetic Conference in Allegheny and requested an opportunity to present views in opposition. The impression thus given is very erroneous, and I crave a little of your space wherein to correct it.

"In the first place, I made no such request; nor did I authorize anyone to make it for me; nor did I know of any such intention on the part of my friends. Indeed, so far from desiring to oppose the gentlemen, I have heard as many of them as possible, and with great interest and pleasure. I am glad, indeed, that truths so important are handled in so scriptural a manner, and glad, also, that so many of our fellow-citizens are availing themselves of these privileges. The speakers are certainly far in advance of Christian thought in general on this subject of the long-promised Millennial kingdom.

"As many are querying what are our points of difference, I will state them briefly.

"(1) The conferees hold that our Lord Jesus is still a man, and that his return will be in the flesh.

"I hold that the Scriptures teach that he is no longer a man, a fleshly being, but that he is now a spirit being, as he was before he was made flesh; that he humbled himself, and took the fleshly form of a servant only for the 'suffering of death' (Heb. 2:9); that, having accomplished man's redemption by the sacrifice of himself, he was glorified with the glory he had with the Father before the world was; and that hence he is not to be expected to return a flesh and bone [R1904 : page 284] being, but a spirit being. When made flesh he was made lower than the angels, but now, highly exalted by the Father, he is far above angels. (Phil. 2:9; Eph. 1:20,21.) Hence his coming as a spirit being would not be visible to men, as he declared before he died, 'Yet a little while and the world seeth me no more.' (John 14:19.) The Apostle also declares that we know Christ after the flesh no more (2 Cor. 5:16); and even at his second coming, 'without holiness no man shall see the Lord.' (Heb. 12:14.) He assures us, however, that the holy ones shall be changed and made like Christ (spirit beings), and that, when 'changed,' they shall see him as he is. – 1 John 3:2.

"(2) The Conferees hold that the Kingdom of God will be a fleshly kingdom, with an earthly court, of which Christ and his saints in the flesh will be the kings, etc., associated with which will be the kingdom of Israel – all fleshly and all visible.

"I hold that the Kingdom of God (Christ and the saints) will be a spirit kingdom, as invisible as that of Satan, the present 'prince of this world' – because it will be composed of spirit beings. The power will be everywhere present, ruling and overruling, for the welfare of the redeemed world during the 'times of restitution.' (Acts 3:19-21.) First blessed under the Kingdom will be Israel, whose fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (not spirit beings, but resurrected and perfect men), shall be recognized by Israel and all the nations as the 'princes' (Psa. 45:16) of earth, and as the representatives of the invisible spirit kingdom of Christ. Hence it is written: 'The Kingdom of God cometh not with observation – neither shall ye say, Lo, here! or lo, there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is [to be] in your midst [everywhere].'

"(3) The conferees hold that the 'Man of Sin' of 2 Thes. 2:3-8 has not yet come, and they are looking for and expecting him daily, rather than expecting the Lord. They expect that this wonderful human being will pervert the hundreds of millions of India, China, Africa and the islands, and (no less wonderful) the civilized millions of Europe and America to believe in him as God; so that all (Jews, Mohammedans, Buddhists, Brahmins and Christians) except the elect Church will worship him as the Almighty God. And this stupendous work, and much more, he is expected to accomplish in less than seven years from the time he makes his debut.

"But to me such expectations are both unreasonable and unscriptural. It is unreasonable, in my judgment, to suppose that while millions of Christians and millions of money have failed to make any impression upon the heathen millions in eighteen centuries, one literal 'man of sin' could ever, under any circumstances, accomplish such a work. And as for the civilized nations, they daily grow less reverential toward both God and man; and nothing would seem to me more improbable than that a short seven years should witness so radical a change, and that a human being would be mistaken for God and be worshiped as God by all except the 'saints.' True, a miracle could be performed; but God works no miracles of that kind.

"As to the unscripturalness of such expectations, I am prepared to furnish to all who will request it, the evidence that this passage of the Scriptures (which to my brethren seems to necessitate such an incredible exposition) has already been fulfilled in every particular. These brethren, instead of looking for the 'Man of Sin,' should recognize him, and should now be looking for the 'parousia' – the presence – of our Lord and the setting up of his Kingdom.

"I must, of course, take exceptions to the peculiarly horrifying expectations of Bishop Nicholson – that our sun will shortly meet with an accident, which will so intensify its heat as to kill off all of earth's population except the few who shall hide among the icebergs. The good Bishop has gotten unduly excited. There is no danger of such calamity. Prophecies now in course of fulfilment, which would be interfered with by such a program, are our sure guarantee. Even the bishop must concede that the time between now and 1897 is very short for this, in addition to his 'Man of Sin' program, and the return of the Jews to Palestine.

On the other points, I am in substantial accord with [R1904 : page 285] the utterances of this Conference. And while I should be very willing to discuss these points of difference, either publicly or privately, with these or any other earnest Bible students, at any time, I totally disown any hostility toward these gentlemen and their worthy themes.

"It may be expected that I should make some reply to Prof. Morehead's strictures upon my publications, called MILLENNIAL DAWN. When the gentleman says that these deny the bodily resurrection of our Lord, etc., and that they teach that Christ 'was here in 1874 and will be here again in 1914,' he greatly errs, and, no doubt unwittingly, bears false witness against his neighbor, as the thousands who have read MILLENNIAL DAWN could testify. But his charge, that our Lord Jesus Christ was created, has enough truth in it to require an explanation.

"The Professor holds that our Lord Jesus is one and the same person as the Heavenly Father; and the difference of names merely represents different offices and characteristics of this one being.

"To my understanding of the Scriptures, the oneness existing between the Father and the Son is not a oneness of person but of sentiment and will, just as the true Church of Christ, although of many persons, is ultimately to be one – not one person, but one in faith, hope, knowledge and service. Thus our Lord prayed for the Church – 'that they may be one as we are.' (John 17:12,21.) Scriptures proving that the Father and Son are not one in person are numerous, and familiar to all. And, if they are two persons, which was first, according to the Bible, the Father or the Son? The names themselves explain: Father signifies sire, life-giver; Son signifies offspring. To this thought the following and all scriptures agree.

"Our Lord Jesus' words were: 'My Father is greater than I.' (John 14:28.) 'The Father hath sent me.' (John 5:37,27.) 'Not my will, but thine [Father] be done.' (Luke 22:42.) 'Father, glorify thou me with thine own self, with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.' (John 17:5.) 'To him that overcometh I will grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame and am set down with my Father in his throne.' (Rev. 3:21.) The emphatic apostolic statements are that the Heavenly Father was the Creator of our Lord Jesus. Hear their testimony – He is the 'first born of every creature' – literally 'first brought forth of all creation.' (Col. 1:15.) He was the 'beginning of the creation of God.' (Rev. 3:14.) He was not only the beginning but the ending; not only the first, but the last, of Jehovah's direct creation. (Rev. 1:17; 2:8.) This 'Only begotten of the Father,' in whom dwelt all the Father's fullness, was designed in all things to have preeminence above all others – that all should 'honor the Son even as they honor the Father' (John 1:14; 5:23; Col. 1:19); and hence, as the Father's representative, 'all things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made.' (John 1:3.) To this agree the words of the Apostle 'To us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things and we by him.' – 1 Cor. 8:6.

"Speaking of the Millennial kingdom, the Apostle declares that God the Father subjects it to Christ, and that when by his reign evil shall be subdued, Christ will deliver up the Kingdom to God, even the Father; that Christ our Lord will be subject to the Father. – 1 Cor. 15:24,27,28.

"We commend the Scriptures cited to the careful consideration of the thoughtful. 'Thy word is truth!'

"Thanking you in advance for your courtesy, I subscribe myself, yours respectfully,


[R1912 : page 285]


Lead thou me ever! Lead thou me!
Dark is the way; by faith alone I tread.
Thus in each age thy saints have walked with thee,
Content to "bear the cross," as thou hast said.
Dead to the world! Alive, dear Lord, to thee!
Oh! well we know, dear Savior, thou art near,
And though the way be dark, love knows no fear.
Lead thou me ever! Lead thou me!
And as by night the pillared fire did shine,
O'er Israel's path to the dividing sea,
So now thy light serene illumines mine.
And armed with peace divine, thy saints can stand the strain,
E'en though they wealth and honor must resign;
For we endure with thee, with thee to reign.

[R1904 : page 285]


OUR accounts are run from December 1 to December 1, in order to permit our report to reach you before January 1. The present report is for the year ending December 1, 1895. We recognize our stewardship as being unto the Lord, and trust that the use made of the time, opportunity and means has been pleasing and acceptable through him to the Father. But inasmuch as our fellow-contributors to this Fund are to be sharers in our Lord's "Well done!" it is proper that they should know of the results of our united efforts, and thus share our present joys and encouragements. Amongst these co-laborers we reckon not only those who contributed funds, "Good Hopes," etc., and those who contributed time and strength, as Colporteurs, but those also who, having no opportunity for the latter service and no means for the former privilege, have "done what they could" in circulating OLD THEOLOGY TRACTS and DAWNS and TOWERS. Nor do we forget to reckon amongst these helpers those whose opportunities for service are few, whose efforts are necessarily confined to the building up of their own characters, and the few with whom they are associated, and who often cheer and encourage us with kind words of love, sympathy and fellowship, assuring us as some do, that no day ever passes without their mention of us before the throne of grace. Yes, these too, in thus "holding up our hands" do a service that is appreciated both by the Lord and us. [R1904 : page 286]

Notwithstanding the fact that the year has been far from a prosperous one with many, it has shown a slight increase over last year in the sales of MILLENNIAL DAWN, a slight increase in the Tract Fund receipts, a considerable [R1905 : page 286] increase in the WATCH TOWER subscription list (the surest index of the number deeply interested), and quite a large increase in the tract-pages circulated. The work in England and Scotland has made quite an advance within the past eight months – three brethren having found greater opportunities for serving the truth than they had previously recognized.

These annual reports are among the best evidences of the progress of the work of grace, no less than the work of service (financial conditions being kept in mind); for it requires heart-interest to touch the pocketbook, also to circulate unpopular literature. By this rule of evidence it would appear that those favored by the Lord with a knowledge of his gracious plan are growing more "fervent in spirit, serving the Lord." But in still another way we are enabled to know of your welfare; viz., by your letters. Through these we learn of your hopes and fears, your difficulties and perplexities, your successes and discouragements as individuals and as companies. Through these letters we know that many of late have been passing through severe trials and testings which we trust will all work for their good – purifying them as gold is refined, by the elimination of its dross. "Pray one for another," and, "Brethren, pray for us."

This pastoral work extends all over the world; for the "harvest" work extends now to every land. The same mail which brings many queries on many subjects, and requests for remembrance in prayer, and kind expressions, or occasional fault-findings, from all parts of our land and Great Britain, sometimes brings also an inquiry from individuals or groups of the interested in Africa, or India, or Australia, or South America, or the West Indies, asking for advice from God's Word concerning the ways of life. Some of these require no reply; or only a reference to a back number of the TOWER or to the DAWN, while others require replies at considerable length. But all that we can do is gladly done, for the Lord and his people. It will, perhaps, surprise some to learn that we received about 20,000 letters during the past year, 12,939 of which were answered.

In the handling of this correspondence, and in other departments of the work, we are blessed by the Lord in having assistants whose hearts and hands join with ours in this blessed service to the King, his people and his truth. All are actuated by the spirit of the Master, so that they do not count their lives (time, talent, strength) precious unto themselves, that they may be spent "in the service of the King."

In the Treasurer's Report herewith presented you will find no salaries of thousands of dollars – the item which usually eats up such funds. The office expenses, including the items of rent, fuel, light, taxes, etc., are borne by the TOWER PUBLISHING CO.


During the year from December 1, 1894, to December 1, 1895, there have been circulated, at the expense of the Tract Fund,

Copies of the OLD THEOLOGY TRACTS,........... 1,440,374
  "      "    ZION'S WATCH TOWER,............   122,616

Since tracts vary as to the number of pages, it is customary to state their circulation by pages. The foregoing, so stated, represent 26,505,972 pages.

The total number of copies of MILLENNIAL DAWN circulated by the cooperation of this fund, but not at its expense, was 87,526.


 For Tracts, and for TOWERS sent out free,   $ 8,388.53
 Postage, freight, wrappers, etc.,........       826.63
 Labor, for mailing same,.................       520.00
 Foreign translations, etc.,..............       844.40
 DAWNS to the poor, and hopeless, long
standing, abandoned debts of former
Colporteurs, etc.  (Monies ever received
on these accounts will be credited
to the Tract Fund direct.),...............       896.95
 Interest on accounts of Colporteurs, etc.,
owing to TOWER PUBLISHING CO.,............       570.71
 Expenses of traveling Evangelists,.......     1,172.63
Total,....................................   $13,219.85
 From "Good Hopes,".......................     5,868.85
  "   other sources,......................     7,351.00
Total,....................................   $13,219.85

These reports are certainly very encouraging to all who love the Lord's cause, and who, being blessed thereby themselves, are seeking to bear the "harvest" message and to "gather together" his saints unto HIM. (Psa. 50:5.) They will help to offset discouragements which are sure to come to us all. One item alone is unfavorable – that of interest. The debts for which the Tract Fund is responsible to the TOWER PUBLISHING CO., and for which the latter has pledged its credit (notes), because of the money stringency, and because of our desire to assist the colporteurs and others, has climbed to the large sum of $10,623.31 against which there is an offset of $1,111.48, paid in advance by some of the most successful colporteurs, and subject to their future orders. This leaves a net balance of $9,511.83 on which we pay interest. In view of this we must refuse additional credits to those already in debt, and ask them to use every reasonable effort to cancel their indebtedness, and thus relieve us of trouble and loss of interest. (This [R1905 : page 287] indebtedness is entirely aside from WATCH TOWER subscriptions in arrears, and those which are supplied free to the Lord's poor. We do not wish to stop your paper so long as you are interested in it. See page 2 and write at once.)

Let us unite our prayers and efforts that the year beginning may show "a work of love well done" on the part of each of us severally and all of us collectively. Experience proves the wisdom of the Lord's arrangement that "his people" should be developed by "overcoming;" and that their love and harmony with his spirit, should thus be put to the test. Let us watch and pray, and continually seek to provoke one another to love and good works.

Great Shepherd of the sheep, continue, we pray thee, to lead and direct thy flock!

[R1905 : page 287]


"After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield and thine exceeding great reward." – Gen. 15:1.
HESE words were addressed to the "father of the faithful," and as a heritage they descend to his children – to all those who are of the faith of Abraham (Gal. 3:7; Rom. 4:16), whether of the fleshly or the spiritual seed. Abram had entered into covenant relationship with God. God had called him to separate himself from his native country and kindred and friends to follow the course of his providential leadings toward an unknown land. And Abram, in full reliance on the promise of God, had obediently severed the familiar social and business ties, and, with his wife and family and father and nephew who shared his faith and obedience to God, started on his pilgrimage to the unknown land. And having entered the land and received the promise – "All the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it and to thy seed forever," etc. – though he was not then permitted to own a foot of it, he wandered up and down in it as a pilgrim and stranger, encountering difficulties, too, in coming in contact with the godless inhabitants of the land and with the Egyptians, yet always believing that what God had promised he was able and willing also to perform in his own good time and way.

But that which taxed Abram's faith most was that, as the years rolled by, not only was the promise of the land delayed, but also the promised heirs who should inherit it; for not even one heir had yet come.

It was in one of these seasons of discouragement – though not of despair, for Abram never relaxed his faith, but trusted and hoped still when in darkness and perplexity – that God in a vision graciously encouraged his fainting heart with the above words of cheer and hope – "Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield and thine exceeding great reward." Then Abram was permitted to inquire into the mysterious ways of God and received the renewed assurance that the promise had not been forgotten, and that his hope would certainly be realized.

We find a very similar fatherly providence in the case of Jacob, who also, in the faith of Abraham, had forsaken all to follow the Lord's leading. In a time of great perplexity and trial of faith the Lord appeared to him in a vision prophetic of the future glory of his Kingdom and of the communication of its heavenly and earthly phases, and again confirmed his covenant unto him (Gen. 28:10-15); and Jacob arose from his sleep on the stony pillow, bearing in mind the bright vision of the Kingdom glory – of the messengers of God ascending and descending upon [R1906 : page 287] the ladder suspended 'twixt earth and heaven – refreshed and comforted, saying, "Surely the Lord is in this place, and I knew it not....This is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven." – Gen. 28:16-19.

Thus God has always been watchful over his people, never suffering them to be tempted or tried beyond their power of endurance, yet permitting them often to be very severely tested. The consolation here offered to Abraham is that offered to all who are of the faith of Abraham, and its parallel in the New Testament is that precious statement of our Lord (John 14:21-23), "He that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him and will manifest myself to him,...and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him." So in the midst of all the temptations and trials that beset us in our earthly pilgrimage, while we walk by faith toward the blessed inheritance reserved for the overcoming saints, we also may recognize the voice of our God, saying, "Fear not: I am thy shield, and thine exceeding great reward."

"Fear not," beloved; "there is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear; because fear hath torment" (1 John 4:18); "If God be for us, who can be against us?" or "Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect?" Say in your heart as did Paul, "I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus." – Rom. 8:31-39.

Do hosts of foes oppose themselves – place obstacles in your way, hinder your influence and seek to dishearten you by heaping upon you reproaches, and do circumstances seem to conspire against you to fill your heart with alarm and dread? say to your soul, "Fear not," "hope thou in God," and mark his loving providences as –

"Through waves and clouds and storms,
He gently clears thy way," –
until a blessed acquaintance with God through such experiences develops in the heart that perfect love that casteth [R1906 : page 288] out fear. Then shall you enter more and more fully into the blessed rest of faith, and like the eagle that soars above the storm cloud, live at such an altitude of Christian experience as to enable you to rejoice in the Lord always and in everything to give thanks.

"Fear not, I am thy shield," saith Jehovah. Then "Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in God." He would not have one of his children live in an atmosphere of tormenting fear, but would have them happy and always rejoicing in the glorious liberty of the sons of God, free from all fear and corroding care by simply trusting in him, ever remembering the blessed promise – "The Lord Jehovah is a sun and shield [to shine upon our pathway and into our hearts and to protect us from all the fiery darts of the wicked]: the Lord will give grace and glory; no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly." – Psa. 42:5; 84:11.

"I am [also] thy exceeding great reward." Notice, the promise is not put in the future tense, having reference to the promised glory of his people in the ages to come; but it is present, "I am," etc. Yes, the abiding presence of God, manifested to the hearts of his people now, even to-day, in the midst of its cares, its vexations, its labors, its trials of faith, patience and endurance, this is the blessed present privilege of all his saints. And not only the presence of God, but also of his dear Son, our Lord and Savior, is also vouchsafed to us so long as we faithfully maintain our covenant relations with him.

Should the child of God, the heir of glory, the inheritor of all the exceeding great and precious promises, and the present companion of Divinity itself which condescends to our low estate, ever feel desolate or forsaken or alone? or fear that his love will ever forsake or leave him to be tossed helplessly upon the billows of misfortune at the mercy of the prince of this world who now worketh in the hearts of the children of disobedience? Ah, no! Greater is he that is for us than all they that can be against us. We are not alone in the world; for we have the blessed promise, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." (Heb. 13:5.) Nor is the smallest interest of ours overlooked. – Matt. 10:29-31.

How truly "exceeding great" is this present "reward" of the faithful saints who are daily and hourly walking with God – going about the Father's business, spreading abroad the honor of his name, meekly bearing the reproaches of Christ, enduring hardness as good soldiers in his service and taking up their cross daily and following in the Master's footprints. Truly we can say to the world, as did our Lord, "I have meat to eat that ye know not of." The world cannot comprehend our joy, nor know the sweets of this fellowship with God and with his dear Son; for "The secret of the Lord is [only] with them that fear him." – Psa. 25:14.

This joy in the Lord is, however, also compatible with much suffering; for the saints are all to be made perfect through suffering, which was true also of those who shall constitute the earthly phase of the Kingdom. And, like their Lord, Christ Jesus, they will all be considered of the world as "smitten of God and afflicted." This is because the world cannot comprehend either the plan or methods of God for the refining and perfecting of the gold that shall by and by shine in the glorious Temple of God. Consequently, like faithful Abraham, we must be content to walk with God by faith and not by sight, like him hoping to the end for the promise, not expecting here to realize aught but the earnest of our inheritance, which we have in the present reward of the divine presence and approval.

[R1906 : page 288]


"When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things." – 1 Cor. 13:11.
PIRITUAL law is as fixed in its principles and operations as is physical law. If it were not so the physical could not be so frequently used as it is for illustrations of spiritual things. Thus, for instance, in spiritual life, as revealed in the Scriptures, we have duplicated that principle so well known in physical law, of growth and development – first the blade, then the ear, and afterward the full corn in the ear; first the infant, then the boy, and afterward the full grown man; first the babe in Christ, then the growing child, the young man, and finally the full stature of a man in Christ. (Heb. 5:13,14; 1 John 2:12-14; Eph. 4:13-15.) In both cases there is also a marked similarity in the process of development. As in nature both plant and animal life are sustained by appropriate nourishment, food, light, heat, air, etc., – thus strengthening them to perform the various functions of their being, so the spiritual new creatures in Christ must have and appropriate proper nourishment that they may continue to live and grow. There is this difference, however, to be observed between the physical and the spiritual life in the processes of development; viz., that the former matures quickly, while the latter is of slow growth – a plant to bloom in eternity.

As new creatures in Christ – babes in the family of God – we realize our adoption as sons only when we have renounced the vain pomp and glory of this world and turned fully to God, claiming no righteousness of our own, but humbly accepting the imputed righteousness of Christ. No one is even a babe in Christ who still cherishes iniquity in his heart, or who fails to recognize his need of the covering of Christ's righteousness. But having been converted, [R1906 : page 289] turned about, from sin to God and righteousness, having learned of Christ, having put off the old man (the carnal, sinful disposition) and put on the new man, which, after God, is created in righteousness and true holiness (Eph. 4:24), and having been renewed in the spirit (disposition) of our minds, we are reckoned sons of God, babes in Christ. And from that infantile standpoint, which has in it, undeveloped, all the elements of the man, the duty and privilege of such is to grow, to develop as new creatures in Christ. We are not to content ourselves with the lispings and prattlings of infancy, nor with the milk diet suitable to that age, but, making due use of these as stepping-stones, we should go on unto perfection.

It was in view of such considerations that the Apostle penned the words of our text. He himself had rapidly passed on from the early stages of Christian character to higher degrees of development, and yet he was not counting that he had attained the perfection which was the mark at which he was aiming. (Phil. 3:13,14.) He had, however, passed beyond both infancy and boyhood to the stature of a young man in Christ. Looking back over the pathway of his Christian experience, he recognized these different stages, and for our profiting recorded his thought, saying, "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things."

This was true both of his natural life and his spiritual life – the reference being specially to the latter, of which the former was merely an illustration. By the illustration he would draw our attention to the fact that if we have been [R1907 : page 289] children of God for some time we should be able, on looking backward over our Christian experience, to trace a good degree of advancement toward the mark of perfection. While as mere babes in Christ our hearts must always be loyal to God and true to righteousness, our very inexperience causes us often to stumble: our knowledge of the right ways of the Lord is very imperfect, and our powers of discernment are very unskilled: we have much to learn both of revelation and experience. The child in Christ has its own childish understanding, thoughts and ways, and his brethren in Christ should not expect from him the wisdom of the sage. Nor should he himself presume to have such wisdom; for only through knowledge and the discipline of experience does wisdom come; and then, only when we have allowed them to work in us the peaceable fruits of righteousness.

For our growth and development in the Christian character God supplies all that is needful in the way of nourishment, and it is our part to make use of all the help he sends. By study and meditation upon his Word of truth, by prayer and communion with God, we partake more and more of his spirit, and are led into a closer acquaintance both with the Lord himself, and also with his works and ways. And by exercise of the strength thus gained in active service of the Lord, we are prepared to receive more and more of the fulness of his grace, and so to go on from grace to grace, and from one degree of advancement to another.

But notwithstanding these recognized principles of Christian growth and development, it is a lamentable fact that many who can point with exactness to the day and hour when first they gave their hearts to the Lord and received the holy spirit, the seal of their adoption, are compelled to realize, when they consider the matter at all, that, instead of advancing toward the stature of men in Christ, they have actually retrograded. Often such painfully look back to the blessedness of that first experience of the grace of God in their hearts, and say:

"Where is the blessedness I knew
When first I sought the Lord?
Where is the soul-refreshing view
Of Jesus and His Word?"

It is a thing of the past with them, and its joys have fled. Why is this? It is because they have failed to appropriate the means of grace which God has supplied, and because, instead of striving against the downward tendencies of the carnal nature, they have allowed those old dispositions to rise up and reassert themselves. In some cases a morbid desire for something new and strange has led away from the truth into the forbidden paths of human speculation – philosophy and science, so called – until the mind became bewildered and confused in the labyrinths of error – the snares of the wicked one. In other cases the measure of truth possessed has been held in unrighteousness. The tongue has been permitted to wag in the service of sin and uncleanness, manifesting unkindness, lack of Christian courtesy and forbearance, evil surmisings, self-exaltation, pride, boastfulness, vaunting, etc., etc. And these unholy indulgences have been excused and even cultivated; they have not been striven against nor repented of; hence the spiritual decline.

It is for these causes that the blessed sense of fellowship and communion with God, experienced when first the holy spirit set the seal of adoption upon the heart, has been lost by many. God cannot dwell in a heart so unfit for his presence. And no Christian can look back to the time of his first experience as a child of God and recall any such evil disposition at that time. Had his heart been in such a condition then, God would not have accepted him; and it is only as we strive against sin that we can continue to abide in his love and favor.

Who cannot look back to his first experience in the Christian life and remember how the love of God filled his heart and overflowed toward all his creatures, especially to them of the household of faith – a love that could bear well the beautiful description of 1 Cor. 13:4-7. "Charity [love] suffereth long and is kind, envieth not, vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up; doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; [R1907 : page 290] beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things."

Realizing such to be the will of God, this was the attitude of heart which the seeker after God sought to attain. And such an attitude he was enabled to realize when the spirit of adoption sealed him as an accepted son of God. Yet God, who remembers that we are dust, that we are morally weak from the fall, knew with what difficulty we must endeavor to maintain this condition of heart and mind when assailed by temptations, and worn with the disappointments and trials of life. Nevertheless, he does look for the cultivation of these graces of character in us. He does, and has a right to, expect us to strive to live godly, and to war a good warfare against the world, the flesh and the devil. And, therefore, notwithstanding the facts of trials and temptations, the maturer growth of Christian character should find our first love deepened into a more steady, constant and enduring thing, not characterized, perhaps, with so much of the gush and fluster of youth, but rather with the mellow benedictions of a more nearly ripened character.

That the Church in this sifting and proving time will be individually tested as to character, as well as to faith, is certain. The prospective heirs of the Kingdom must, like their Lord, be tried and tested in every point; and it behooves everyone, therefore, to watch and pray, lest he enter into temptation, and diligently to cultivate such a character as will stand every test applied to it. But in the hour of testing let none mistake love of peace for love of righteousness. Let us see to it that the same mind dwells in us that is in Christ, our pattern. So shall we be children of God, beloved and owned of him.

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– DEC. 15. – 1 SAM. 20:32-42. –

Golden Text – "There is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother." – Prov. 18:24.
RUE friendship is a rare flower on our sin-cursed earth, and when it is found and proved it should be greatly prized. It is an element of the original likeness of God. True friendship can never exist in a heart where selfishness reigns; for the moment self-interest is crossed, the false and fickle friendship begins to decline or proves treacherous.

The friendship of David and Jonathan was evidently of the true kind; for it was proved on the part of both in the furnace of trial, and it held fast through years under circumstances of temptation which meaner souls could never have withstood. It was founded, not upon a mere fanciful whim on the part of either, but upon real moral worth in each; and those points of moral worth were the attractions and bonds of their friendship. Both were devout men of God, men of faith and of godly courage and heroism, and lovers of truth and righteousness; and it was the discovery of these elements of character in each other that knit their souls as one.

Jonathan, the eldest son of King Saul, was the natural heir to his throne, and doubtless would have succeeded his father had Saul not incurred the divine displeasure and so forfeited that privilege for his posterity and cut short his own career. (1 Sam. 13:13.) Jonathan was a devoted son to his father and a devoted and energetic servant to God and to his people. The deep attachment of father and son is manifest from several facts: Jonathan could undertake his dangerous expedition against the Philistines only by keeping his project a secret from his father. (1 Sam. 14:1.) The effect of Saul's strange vow was emphasized by his affection for his son. (1 Sam. 14:39-44.) That dearest object he declared he would sacrifice, if need be, in fulfilment of his vow. But the people rescued him, declaring the Lord to be on the side of Jonathan. There was very marked and intimate confidence between the father and son. (1 Sam. 20:2.) "Behold my father will do nothing, either great or small, but that he will show it me." And Jonathan had great influence with his father (1 Sam. 19:6), and was very active in cooperation with him in the defence of the Lord's people against their foes and oppressors.

Jonathan loved the Lord and his people, and had strong faith in the power of God on their behalf. Like David before Goliath, with faith in God he with his armour bearer approached the garrison of the Philistines, saying, "It may be that the Lord will work for us; for there is no restraint to the Lord to save by many or by few." – 1 Sam. 14:6.

In that beautiful friendship there was no spirit of rivalry, no jealousy, no vain glory, although Jonathan was the natural heir to the throne of Israel, and David had been anointed to take his place; though Jonathan was of the royal family and a man of some thirty odd years, while David was but a shepherd youth, probably about twenty-three years of age. Each in simplicity of heart accepted the Lord's appointments as wisest and best, and determined nobly to do his part toward the Lord and toward [R1908 : page 290] his people and toward each other. And so Jonathan, cooperating with his father in the duties of his office to Israel so long as the Lord sustained him in power, nobly used the privileges of his position for the protection and preservation of the one whom he knew to be appointed to reign in his stead.

And while Saul, filled with envy, malice, hatred and revenge against this one whom he regarded as his rival and the rival of his house, determined, and continually sought, to slay him, Jonathan, by every means in his power, protected and defended him, even at the risk of his own life. – 1 Sam. 20:32,33.

When David first came to the house of Saul to minister to him, and Jonathan's soul was knit to that of David, "Then Jonathan and David made a covenant because he loved him as his own soul; and [in recognition of the fact that he was the Lord's anointed – the Lord's choice for the kingdom by and by] Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword and to his bow and to his girdle." Thus they covenanted faithful friendship to each other, being subject in all things to the will of God.

And when David was taking leave of Jonathan to fly for his life from the face of Saul, again they covenanted perpetual friendship. "And David arose out of his place [R1908 : page 291] ...and [approaching Jonathan] fell on his face to the ground, and bowed himself three times [in token of great respect for both the person and office of his friend]; and they kissed one another, and wept one with another until David exceeded." And Jonathan said, "Go in peace, and the Lord be with thee, as he hath been with my father. And [when thou comest into the kingdom] thou shalt not only while I live show me the kindness of the Lord, that I die not; but also thou shalt not cut off thy kindness from my house forever [as he foresaw David might be tempted to do when later the descendants of Jonathan might urge their claims to the throne]; no, not when the Lord hath cut off the enemies of David every one from the face of the earth....And Jonathan caused David to swear again, because he loved him; for he loved him as his own soul." – 1 Sam. 20:13-17.

Only once again they met, a year or two later. It was under very similar circumstances, in the wilderness of Ziph. Saul was still hunting for his rival to slay him, and again Jonathan, learning of his situation, sought him out. "And Jonathan went to David into the wood, and strengthened his hand in God. And he said unto him, Fear not; for the hand of Saul, my father, shall not find thee; and thou shalt be king over Israel, and I shall be next unto thee; and that also my father knoweth. And [again] they two made a covenant before the Lord." – 1 Sam. 23:16,17.

In this touching narrative there are valuable lessons which we cannot afford to overlook. (1) It shows that true and enduring friendship is possible, though it be of rare occurrence.

(2) It suggests that true and lasting friendship can exist only between noble and unselfish souls, whose wills are fully submitted to the will of God, and who are actuated by the fixed principles of truth and righteousness.

(3) It suggests that if such friendship existed under the dim light of the Jewish law, it ought to be of much more frequent occurrence under the light of the gospel. True, there may not always be just such circumstances to make it manifest, but there are many similar circumstances. There are always temptations to rivalry, to the ignoring of the will and appointments of God and the substituting of one's own will and way.

When tempted thus, let us call to mind the noble examples of Jonathan and Samuel – Jonathan strengthened the hand of David in God, and saying, "Fear not, ...thou shalt be king over Israel, and I shall be next unto thee;" and Samuel saying of Saul, his rival, "See ye him whom the Lord hath chosen, that there is none like him among all the people!" So let us "in honor prefer one another," and ever rejoice to see the Lord's will and the Lord's way prosper.

The friendship of David and Jonathan seems also to be suggestive of that beautiful accord which shall exist between the glorified Church and the earthly princes who shall be next to them in the Kingdom of God. There will not be a note of discord or rivalry or jealousy between them; for each will be delighted to fill his honored place in the wonderful plan of God, and will love the other as his own soul. Though the Gospel Church will receive the first place of favor offered in the Abrahamic covenant, and the ancient worthies will find themselves next in honor, they will rejoice to have it so, because divine wisdom and love have so planned it.

And as David remembered his covenant with Jonathan not to cut off his kindness from the house of Jonathan (2 Sam. 9:1-13), so the glorified Church will remember its covenant to bless the ancient worthies first, and then all the families of the earth who will then be under their jurisdiction. Their loving ministry through the law and prophecies and their noble examples of godly life and character, which have been so helpful to us, while Satan was hotly pursuing us ("as a roaring lion," 1 Pet. 5:8), as Saul pursued David, shall be held in "everlasting remembrance."

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– DEC. 22. – Luke 2:8-20. –

Golden Text – "Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people." – Luke 2:10.
OR comments on this lesson see our issue of July 1, '94; and do not fail to note in the announcement of the golden text that the good tidings of great joy shall be to all people "in due time" (1 Tim. 2:4-6) and then "Whosoever will, let him come and take the water of life freely." [R1908 : page 291]

Golden Text – "Thy Kingdom come." – Matt. 6:10.

WHILE our Lord taught his disciples to go and preach "The Kingdom of heaven is at hand;" he also taught them, and the Church all through the age, to pray, "Thy Kingdom come." Both of these thoughts were true. The Kingdom in its incipient, embryo condition was then at hand – the Gospel Church in its formative, probationary state was about to be organized under the care of the twelve apostles, who in turn were supervised and inspired by the Lord. But the Kingdom was, and is, yet to come in glory and power.

"The sure word of prophecy" indicates that in 1878 it began to be established and that the process of establishment will be from that date to 1915, when the Kingdom in its glory of power and righteousness will have come. The true Church, whose names are "written in heaven," and which have not been blotted out because of unfaithfulness (Luke 10:20; Rev. 3:5) will then be exalted to reign with Christ. They shall be like him, and see him as he is, they shall reign with him a thousand years, and they shall judge the world in righteousness and bless all the families of the earth. – 1 John 3:2; Rev. 20:6; Isa. 32:1; Gen. 28:14; Gal. 3:16,29.

This is the Kingdom to which the dying thief referred when he said, "Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy Kingdom;" to which Jesus referred when he said, "Fear not, little flock [the faithful Gospel Church]: it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom;" and which in the parable of the young nobleman he represented himself as going away to receive, and to return again to receive his faithful people unto himself as "joint-heirs" of that Kingdom. (Luke 23:42; 12:32; 19:12; Rom. 8:17.) If we have the witness in ourselves that we are now accepted of God as members of the Kingdom in its present embryo condition, let us endeavor by faithfulness to make our calling and election sure to the Kingdom in its completeness and glory and power.