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March 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. XVII.MARCH 1, 1896.No. 5.

Special Items 38
Views from the Tower 39
The Memorial of Our Lord's Death 42
Gold Tried in the Fire 43
Bible Study: Lord, Teach Us to Pray 45
Bible Study: "That Servant" 47
Bible Study: Review 47
Encouraging Letters 48

'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.

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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.


THE Postoffice Department has for years given us more or less trouble and expense by narrow interpretations of the liberal laws made by Congress, to foster the cheap circulation of good literature among the people. Up to the present time we have succeeded in getting our rights; but now we are menaced with an order which prevents us from mailing back issues of the Old Theology Tracts at the cheap or "pound" rates, while novels and trash in general are unhampered.

The present liberal law was evidently designed by Congress to facilitate and increase the circulation of legitimate literature of all kinds. The effort of the P.O. officials evidently is to restrict and hinder it in every possible manner. The fact is, that the P.O. Department has not quite paid expenses lately, because of the enormous charges paid to the railroads; and rather than reduce the R.R. rates pro rata to the increase of mail matter, it is the dear public that is inconvenienced and made to pay extra, by ruling that if it wants many extra copies for friends it must pay extra rates, because these are henceforth in violation of the spirit and intent of the law, to be ruled against as "reprints."

We learn that a bill is soon to come before Congress relating to "Second Class Mail Matter;" and we request that EVERY READER OF ZION'S WATCH TOWER, and also every friend of the cause it represents, residing within these United States, do something suggested below for its relief, immediately, at a cost of four cents and a little time and ink. Our request is that you (subscribers), with as many friends of the cause as will join, each send four postal cards: one addressed to the Congressman representing your district, another each to the two Senators from your State, and the fourth to Hon. Wm. L. Wilson, Post Master General. Address them all to Washington, D.C.

Please write in substance the following on each of the above mentioned cards, signing your name. You will need to get large Postal Cards and to write a small hand in order to get this on. Otherwise write letters. Honorable Sir: – As my representative, I ask your influence on the subject of "Second Class Mail Matter," so that Religious Matter (including tracts, etc.) be given every advantage of the Act of Congress of July 16, 1894; and that every hindrance to the printing (and mailing at pound rates) of back numbers be removed while said publication continues to issue at least four numbers per year.

Yours Resp'y,__________.

Where there are a number of friends at one place it would do equally well to start four papers with the above letter and get all the friends to sign each of them.

Join with us also in prayer to God, daily, for at least one week from the time you receive this TOWER, that he will preserve to us this "door" of opportunity for service, until all of his antitypical Israel shall have been sealed with the Present Truth, intellectually, – "in their foreheads." – Rev. 7:3.

[R1940 : page 39]


OUR Lord declared that his mission, and that of his gospel, was "to preach the gospel to the meek, to bind up the broken hearted." And under his commission the gospel is no longer to be confined to Israel, the natural seed of Abraham, but may now be preached "to every creature," that whosoever "hath an ear to hear" may hear. He clearly announced, however, that only a limited class was intended to be drawn to him, and received by him as disciples in this age, saying: –

"No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him....Every man therefore that hath heard and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto [R1941 : page 39] me." "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out." – John 6:37,44,45.

If all Christian people understood and remembered these inspired words of their Master, many of their missionary efforts would differ greatly from the present methods. If they understood these Scriptures they would be in better condition to realize that this Gospel age is not the only age of salvation and drawing, but that by and by, in the Millennial age, Christ will draw all men unto himself (John 12:32), after the same manner that the Father now draws a few, "a little flock," of a special class, and presents them to Christ. This would help them over their great delusion that the "undrawn" and "uncalled" (Acts 2:39) of the present time, the vast majority of the human family, are not reprobated to an eternity of torture, but will be given a fair and gracious trial for life in a coming "day of judgment" when the Father-drawn "little flock" shall, with Christ, be their gracious and merciful judges as well as their kings and priests. – 1 Cor. 6:2; Rev. 1:6.

But not knowing the Scriptures and the plan of God sufficiently, they have a zeal that is not according to knowledge, and are attempting to bring to Christ now those whom the Father has not drawn. Much better would it be that much of the present mission work should wait a few years longer, until the body of Christ, the Church, shall be "lifted up" and associated with the head in the glory and power of the Millennial Kingdom, and then share in the drawing which shall exert an influence for good upon "all men." (But this will not be an irresistible influence, even as the present drawing of the Father is not irresistible.)

A Brother in the truth, residing in Cape Colony, South Africa, sends us a clipping from the Natal Mercury, which tells of a Missionary Meeting held in the Presbyterian church there, at which the following statement was made: "There are still eight hundred and fifty millions of people unevangelized, over two hundred millions being in Africa. The heathen have increased during the last one hundred years over two hundred millions, and the Christians to the extent of three millions. The heathen rate of increase was thus seventy times greater than the Christian. More zeal for foreign missions is now shown than at any past period, but there is need for these increasing a thousand fold."

From early life our sympathies for the heathen and for those who give their lives to serve them have been very strong; and they will always continue so. Yet, even as a child, we wondered why God seemed so indifferent to the welfare of the masses of the human family. Now, thank God, the light of divine truth shining forth shows us that all of the race of Adam were redeemed with the precious blood of Christ, and that in God's due time Christ, as the "true Light," shall enlighten every man that has come into the world. (John 1:9.) We see now that God's people have [R1941 : page 40] not studied his Word with sufficient care, and hence the distress and confusion of many zealous souls today as they note the failure of their hopes and efforts. They first overlooked the fact that the Gospel is only "unto as many as the Lord your God shall call;" and that no man can come to Christ except the Father draw him; and that the Father is not drawing all men, but is leaving the vast majority to be drawn similarly, and by other means, by Christ and his Church, in the next age. Thus, by getting false ideas of their own, to the effect that God had commissioned them to do all the drawing and converting in the present age, many are led to doubt and trouble of soul. And finding that they cannot accomplish what they had hoped, some lower their standard of righteousness and acceptableness with God, and conclude that the future companions of the "little flock" in heaven will be millions and billions of the most degraded savages; saved, not by faith, but by their ignorance.

Others charge the failure upon God's plan or upon his Church for not doing the impossible. Note the unscripturalness and unreasonableness of the following verses of a hymn sung at a Missionary Meeting of the Christian Alliance, held a few weeks ago in Montreal, Canada, sent us by a Brother in the truth who was present, but who could not join in the song.

"A hundred thousand souls a day
Are passing one by one away,
In Christless guilt and gloom;
Without one ray of hope or light,
With future dark as endless night,
They're passing to their doom."
"They're passing, passing fast away,
A hundred thousand souls a day,
In Christless guilt and gloom.
O Church of Christ, what wilt thou say,
When in the awful judgment day
They charge thee with their doom?"

It is blasphemous to charge that God has made the everlasting bliss or pain of billions of his creatures dependent upon impotent fellow creatures. As Peter said to the Jews who crucified Jesus, so we can think of many of those who sang, "I wot that in ignorance ye did it."

We do feel a very warm love for those who are specially spending themselves in any department of the Lord's service, at a cost of discomfort and self-denial whether at home or abroad, as missionaries or colporteurs, or otherwise. If the good accomplished is small so far as the heathen are concerned, it has undoubtedly been large so far as some of the missionaries themselves, and some of those who paid their expenses, are concerned.

Now, however, the Lord points us to the fact that "harvesting" is the special work in order, and we advise all who have the Lord's spirit and his truth to rejoice through their tears over their failure to convert the world, and to look up and see the rainbow which God hath set for us, promising that after the "elect" church has been called, drawn, chastened, taught and polished, she, with her Lord and Redeemer shall be the great light – the Sun of Righteousness which shall "draw," "bless" and "heal" all for whom there could be any hope. If our past efforts did not save the world from eternal torment, let us thank God that there was no such danger as we had apprehended, and let us the more appreciate our Creator and his perfect rule of love and justice. If we did not convert the world, let us thank God that we did "witness," as he declared we should do, and that in so doing we were blest. And let us quickly wipe our tears and rejoice in the present truth; let us enter the harvest work of perfecting holiness in ourselves and others of the saints, and preparing for the marriage of the Lamb. – Rev. 19:7.

*                         *                         *

Recently the French Representative at the Papal court was recalled. This means the severance of a long standing friendship. Now we get the following in the same direction.

"A cable to the New York World of Jan. 26 states that Premier Bourgeois of France has announced the introduction of a bill 'to separate church and state,' and that he will make vigorous war on Roman Catholic monasteries, convents and other religious houses. Money left to members of religious societies by bequest, for the use of such societies, shall be confiscated to the use of the natural heirs. 'It is hoped,' says the premier, 'to cripple the church as a political machine, and render innocuous the Pope's influence in France.' Religious houses holding millions in money will be required to make returns of their wealth to the government, preparatory to the imposition of a tax on such property."

The Roman Catholic clergy have been giving support to representatives of monarchy, and the Pope now claims that this has been in violation of his recommendations. At all events a desperate struggle between the French party in power and the Roman church is begun, and both will use every measure to win. Knowing the resources and intrigues of priestcraft, we fear for the safety of the Republic, unless it modifies its plans. The French are mostly Catholics, and have been used for centuries to having the churches, clergy, etc., supported by government money; and now, under the new laws, if executed, they will be obliged to pay their own priests, or have none; and their superstitions respecting "holy water," "holy candles," "masses," etc., etc., are so deeply grounded that they are still considered necessities to them, which probably will not be relinquished readily, – especially while the priests are among them to threaten them with hell and purgatory.

*                         *                         *

It is remarkable that while Catholic countries are striving to get rid of Catholic domination, Protestant countries are welcoming the Church of Rome. For instance, Norway, that has been ultra-Protestant, to the degree that fifty years ago Romish Priests could not enter the country under pain of death, is now undergoing a reaction, and recently, in Christiansand, when a large church edifice and [R1941 : page 41] hospital were dedicated, thousands of Protestants, including the officials of the province, were present. The same is true in Scotland. In Glasgow, where a Roman Catholic church edifice was unknown a century ago, there are now about twenty of them.

The fact is that where Papacy predominates and has the control it is terribly corrupt, so as to become a stench even to the worldly masses; but where she is in the minority she is under such crafty management that to the worldly she appears "as good as any," and indeed is preferred [R1942 : page 41] sometimes because of her greater power over her more superstitious votaries.

*                         *                         *

Rev. C. H. Sprecher, in a recent sermon, said: –

"With characteristic openness to western ideas, the Japanese received our religion with our civilization. But these sprightly people introduced innovations. They rebelled against our denominationalism. Christian missionaries have had to drop very generally denominational names. Most of the churches call themselves United churches or Associated. They would not even take the name of Congregational churches.

"They also look with little favor upon the abstruse doctrines of systematic theology. They talk of the Christianity of Christ, and of the religion of Jesus, pure and simple, as the faith which they want and which is suited to their nation."

*                         *                         *

Thos. Edison, the inventor and electrician, of Phonograph and Telephone fame, has been experimenting with the new light "X Rays" and has succeeded in taking a photograph through oak eight inches thick. But, as suggested in our last issue, Theosophists and others are claiming the new discovery as a part of their deception outfit. The Scriptures forewarn us that Satan will bring to bear strong delusions in this our day. Thank God, they shall not deceive "the very elect." Obedience, faithfulness to the end, is the condition upon which we may make our calling and election sure. In other words, if we are faithful to the Word and Spirit of the Lord he will carry us through.

*                         *                         *

A new lymph treatment for all germ diseases is announced in New York. The antitoxine is of mineral and carbolic acid compound, called Aseptolin. Great things are hoped for it as an arrester of diseases. No doubt recent discoveries are but preparations for the Millennial blessing, so that when, twenty years from now, the times of restitution shall be fully ushered in, and none except wilful sinners will die, it will not appear so strange to mankind, and still leave room for faith respecting the real source of all blessings.

*                         *                         *

Baron Hirsch, a Jew, four years ago undertook the colonizing of Russian Jews in Argentine Republic, S.A., setting apart ten million dollars for the purpose. A recent official report shows that two million dollars have been spent, and that only twelve hundred and twenty-two families have been located in Argentine; and for the present no new settlers are being forwarded from Russia. On the other hand, without this special aid about thirty thousand Russian Jews came to the United States during last year alone.

In our issue of December, 1891, we gave a copy of a letter which we sent to Baron Hirsch on the subject of Jewish colonization, recommending a plan for the autonomy of Palestine and the turning of immigration thither. Some such plan, we believe, will soon be adopted, and the land of Palestine be thrown open, not merely to Russian Jews, but also to Austrian, Hungarian, German and French Jews; all of whom will surely be persecuted in the near future to dislodge them and cause them to return to Palestine, as foretold in the Scriptures.

*                         *                         *

At the State Convention of the New Jersey Young Men's Christian Association, in session at Jersey City, Feb. 14, its President, Elijah S. Cowles, suggested the introduction of pool and billiard tables to the Y.M.C.A. attractions for young men. A few members from the southern part of the State protested, and one of them said that he had formerly been a saloon-keeper, and gave it as his opinion that it was useless to hope to lead young men to heavenly things by the aid of the billiard table. To clinch the argument in favor of billiards the South Jersey Delegates were escorted to the People's Palace, an auxiliary to the Tabernacle Church, and there were shown billiard and pool tables, with boys playing about them.

Comment on this is almost unnecessary. "Lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God," is written all over this and the various "Church entertainments," minstrels, etc. If the contention were proved true, that men and boys are kept out of saloons by this means, still there is no excuse for associating with these things the name of Christ's Church, nor of calling such things young men's Christian associations and amusements.

Let us ever remember that morality is not synonymous with Christianity. The Christian is one who has passed through the strait gate and into the narrow way of self-denial – one who, having taken up his cross to follow his Lord, has left all for this blessed service. Such have other uses for their consecrated time and talents than killing them in playing even innocent games. As the poet says,

"We are living, we are dwelling,
In a grand and awful time:
In an age on ages telling,
To be living is sublime."

The steward of God's favors who hides his talent in the earth, or in a billiard parlor, or in business, or in pride and show, will be termed a "wicked and slothful servant," and only those who have used, and thus increased their talents, will hear the longed-for words, – "Well done, good, faithful servant, enter into the joys of thy Lord." – Matt. 25:23-30.

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FEW and simple are the memorials of the true Church in contrast with those of heathendom and formalistic nominal Christendom. Instead of the numerous fast and feast days and weeks, we have only three memorials:

(1) Baptism, the symbol of the death and burial of the already justified human will into the will of God in Christ.

(2) The Memorial Supper, emblemizing the literal breaking of our Lord's body and shedding of his blood (his death as "the man Christ Jesus" at Calvary), – and reviving our covenant to "be dead with him" that we may also live with him," to "suffer with him" that we may also be glorified together."

(3) The memorial of our Lord's resurrection on the First-day of the week, now commonly called Sunday.

Our Lord instituted all three beautiful, yet simple, memorials. His baptism was different from the baptism of John, preached to Jews only, a "baptism unto repentance;" for he had no sins to repent of. His was the first baptism of the new order, symbolizing the death of the will of a justified human being, already acceptable to the Father, and full submission to God's will, a full surrender, complete consecration.* It took the place of "John's baptism." – Acts 19:3-5.

Our Lord instituted the observance of the first day of the week, in the same manner that he instituted the Memorial Supper and Baptism; namely, not by command, but by example. He met with the disciples on the first day of the week, immediately after his resurrection; with Mary near the Sepulchre, with Simon Peter, with the two who went to Emmaus, and with the ten disciples in the upper room. (John 20:1,14,19; Luke 24:13-31,34,36.) Then he waited another week, and again appeared to them on the eighth day, probably meaning the day after the seventh, the first day of the week. (John 20:26.) The disciples seem to have expected something of the kind and had come together, and thereafter remembering the opening of their eyes of understanding to know him, that it was in connection with the "breaking of bread," they afterward not only met regularly on the first day, but regularly had a simple meal together, called "breaking of bread." This some in our day have mistaken for a commemoration of the Last Supper. The two, however, were totally different; – the one commemorating the death, and the other celebrating with joy the resurrection. The first day of the week was not only honored as the memorial of our Lord's resurrection and manifestation and communion, but was again marked by divine favor at Pentecost, and became the memorial of the outpouring of the holy Spirit. – Acts 2:1; 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:2.

Our Lord instituted the Memorial Supper after, and to take the place of, the Jewish Passover supper. The killing of the Passover lamb was to be done on the fourteenth day of the first month of each Jewish year, in commemoration of the deliverance of Israel's firstborn from the last plague of Egypt, and subsequently the deliverance of the entire nation from slavery. Our Lord was himself the antitype of the Lamb. His Church is the antitype of the spared firstborn of Israel; and the near approaching "restitution," in which all who love God will be delivered from the slavery of Sin and Death under Satan, will be the antitype of the deliverance of the nation.

The Memorial Supper, with its unleavened bread and wine, representing the flesh and blood of the Lamb of God, whose sacrifice takes away the sin of the world, making reconciliation for iniquity, was intended to keep fresh before the memory of the Church of the firstborn the remembrance of her purchase price, and to pledge her to fellowship in the sufferings of Christ. (1 Cor. 10:16,17; 11:26.) It was instituted, therefore, in the same night in which our Lord was betrayed, in the same day in which he was crucified (the Hebrew day counting from six p.m. until six p.m.).

It was not the intention of our Lord to commemorate the feast of Passover, which began on the 15th of Nisan and lasted for an entire week, but merely to give us a [R1943 : page 42] memorial of his death on the 14th of Nisan. So far from being a feast of rejoicing, it was an occasion of sorrow and perplexity to the early Church. Jesus himself was "exceeding sorrowful."

Seeing that this Memorial celebrates the antitype of the killing of the Passover lamb, we can see that it is properly celebrated on its anniversary, – not monthly, quarterly, weekly nor daily, but yearly, – and properly at the same time of the year at which our Lord died, and at which he instituted the memorial. This was the custom of the early Church, which reckoned its date according to the Jewish method of reckoning time. The first deviation from this was by the churches represented by the Bishop of Rome, which substituted, appointed and observed the nearest Friday, when the 14th of Nisan fell on some other day, as it most frequently did. This was the origin of "Good Friday," and the third day following was known as Passover Sunday, and later as "Easter Sunday." Later, by the decree of the Council of Nice (A.D. 325), and still later under the revision of the calendar by Pope Gregory XIII., the so-called Catholic churches have been brought into practical agreement, and annually fix dates for "Good Friday" and "Easter Sunday."

For the past twenty years we who are seeking the "old paths" (Jer. 6:16) have celebrated the Memorial Supper upon its anniversary, as reckoned according to the Hebrew usage, which was recognized by our Lord and the Apostles. Theirs is an easy and simple method. They begin their year (Nisan being their first month) with the new [R1943 : page 43] moon at the Spring Equinox and on the night of the 14th, at six p.m., commences the 15th, which is the first day of their Passover feast. – Exod. 12:2.

This year the Equinoxial moon, or month Nisan, begins March 15th; hence its 15th day or the beginning of the Hebrew Passover week will be on the 29th. The 14th of Nisan, on which they killed the Paschal lamb, the anniversary of the death of our Lord, "the Lamb of God," will be March 28th, beginning, according to Hebrew reckoning, on the 27th at sundown. Since our Lord instituted the Memorial on the evening preceeding, we celebrate it correspondingly.

Following this honored custom, therefore, the Church at Allegheny will meet on the evening of March 27th, at 8.00 o'clock, to commemorate the greatest transaction known to mankind. As heretofore our services will be very simple, consisting of praise, prayer, a review of the significance of the emblems and the realities celebrated, partaking of the emblems, "Passover-bread" (i.e., unleavened bread), and "fruit of the vine." (For "fruit of the vine" we prefer unfermented grape juice or raisin juice rather than wine, because if the liquor habit has a hold upon any one we would avoid the temptation to such – adding a spoonful of wine for the sake of those who consider that nothing but wine would fill the prescription, "fruit of the vine." As for the unleavened bread, what is needed can readily be purchased from almost any Hebrew family; if not, "soda crackers" or "water crackers" are an unleavened bread, and will serve every purpose.)

The special feature of the occasion is the heart communion with the Lord, facilitated by the appreciation of the significance of the emblems revealed in the Word. They are to be appreciated, not only as representing our Redeemer's sacrifice, but also as representing our privilege of fellowship with him in suffering for righteousness' sake, as members of his body, the Church, – our individual share in it. The cup of blessing for which we bless God, – is it not a participation of the blood of Christ? The loaf which we break, – is it not a participation of the body of Christ?" (1 Cor. 10:16,17.) Concluding with an appropriate hymn of praise we seek to avoid conversation, and to perpetuate the "communion" by thoughts respecting the great event just commemorated, and to follow our Lord reflectively to Gethsemane, and the day following to Calvary, thinking meanwhile of how little we are able to do to show our love for him, and resolving to be more jealously careful in the use of every hour and every mite of influence in his service.

Any friends who trust in the "precious blood" will be cordially welcome to meet with us. We advise, however, that brethren and sisters, so far as possible, should not desert little groups at home to enjoy the privileges of meeting with a larger company. Where two or three meet in the Lord's name he blesses them. Let each one be thoroughly willing to sacrifice his own preferences in the interest of the fellow-members of the body of Christ. This is being broken for others, as set forth in the preceding quotation, and the results are always blessed.

Remember all the dear flock of the Lord, not forgetting us, here, at Allegheny, in your prayers, and we will remember you all.

Watch and pray lest ye enter into temptation.

Let each one be on guard against the wiles of the devil. Remember that we near the anniversary not only of our Lord's sufferings, but also of Judas' treachery and false kiss, and question "Is it I?" Let each one examine his heart and see that it is in such an attitude of love and devotion to the Lord, and to every member of "his body," that he can have communion with the Lord and all who are truly his. In any other attitude there is danger that Satan "enter in." (Luke 22:3.) "The last state of that man is worse than the first." – Matt. 12:45; Luke 11:26.

[R1943 : page 43]


"I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich." – Rev. 3:18.
N OUR study of the typical tabernacle, which was a shadow of good things to come, we have seen that everything inside the tabernacle was made of gold. The boards of which the tabernacle was constructed were overlaid with gold. The furniture also was of gold. There stood the golden candlestick, the golden table, the golden altar of incense, the golden ark of the testimony and the golden cherubim. Gold was also prominent in the typically glorious robes of the high priest. The fringe upon the upper robe was of golden bells and pomegranates; the texture of the ephod was interwoven with golden threads, and it [R1944 : page 43] was fastened on the shoulders with golden clasps; and upon his head was the golden crown, upon which was inscribed, "Holiness to the Lord."

All this was in striking contrast with the metals used elsewhere about the structure, its typical significance here being that all within "the Holy," which represented the present condition of truly consecrated believers, and within the "Most Holy," which represented the glorious condition of the Church triumphant, pertains to the divine nature, gold being a symbol of divinity. All who are privileged to enter the antitypical Holy and Most Holy are also to be, as Peter tells us, "partakers of the divine nature." (2 Pet. 1:4.) They are members of the body of the great Highpriest whose divine nature was symbolized in the gold of the typical highpriest's typically glorious garments.

It is in harmony with this same symbolic meaning of gold, that the Revelator says of the heavenly city, the New [R1944 : page 44] Jerusalem, "And the city was pure gold [a divine institution], ...and the street of the city was pure gold [all its highways are of divine appointment]." (Rev. 21:18,21.) And the Psalmist, referring to the privileged class who, when glorified, shall constitute that heavenly city, government or kingdom of God, – the members of the body or bride of Christ, partakers of the divine nature, – says, "Upon thy right hand did stand the queen, in gold of Ophir. ...Her clothing is of wrought gold." – Psa. 45:9,13.

It is to the same apt symbolism that our Lord also refers in addressing his people in our text, – "I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire." These words, be it remembered, are not addressed to the world, but to the Lord's people, justified and consecrated. (Rev. 1:1; 3:14.) This call is an exhortation to them to faithfully fulfil their covenant, to submit themselves fully and unreservedly to the discipline of the Lord, which is necessary for their perfecting in holiness, and for making them ready to reign with him as his bride and joint-heir in the glory of the divine Kingdom.

Not until we lay hold by faith upon the exceeding great and precious promises – of joint-heirship with Christ in his coming Kingdom and glory – which promises lead us to fulfil their conditions of consecration and self-sacrifice even unto death, is there any of the "gold" of the "divine nature" in us. This treasure can be purchased only at the cost of entire consecration or sacrifice of all that we have, to Christ. Previous to our justification by faith in Christ we had nothing to sacrifice, all that we had being under condemnation; but, being justified, we may present our bodies living sacrifices, holy, acceptable to God, and our reasonable service. Thus the treasure of the new, divine nature, the gold, is given us. Thus we "buy" the gold.

But we have this treasure in the earthen vessels, and there is consequently much of alloy mixed with it. Hence the necessity that the gold be cast into the crucible for refining. And if we would purchase the "gold tried in the fire," it must be at the cost of faithful and constant submission to the discipline of the Lord in the fiery trials which are necessary to consume our dross and refine our gold. Wherefore Peter says, "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial that is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you." (1 Pet. 4:12.) And Paul reminds us of the counsel of wisdom (Prov. 3:11,12; Heb. 12:5-8), – "My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him; for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth."

Peter also reminds us that the trial of our faith is much more precious than that of gold that perisheth, and that the end sought through such trial is that we may be "found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ." (1 Pet. 1:7.) It would be idle for any of the Lord's consecrated people to hope to be made meet for the glorious inheritance of the saints without the refining processes of fiery trial; for Paul tells us that "the fire shall try every man's work, of what sort it is." "If ye receive not chastisement [discipline, fiery trial], whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons." (1 Cor. 3:13; Heb. 12:6-8.) And through the Prophet Isaiah the Lord tells his spiritual Israel, as well as his typical fleshly Israel, "I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy sin." (Isa. 1:25.) The Prophet Malachi, making special reference to the last days of this age, the days of the Lord's presence, and the great refining work to be accomplished then, says, "Who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap. And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver." – Mal. 3:2,3.

Fiery trials are therefore to be expected by all of the Lord's people, especially in this day of the Lord. As surely as we are sons of God we shall have them; and when they come we should promptly recognize their mission to us and see that we are exercised by them unto godliness, sobriety and deep and fervent piety. "Now no chastening [discipline] for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless, afterward, it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby." – Heb. 12:11.

It is in the school of experience that we learn our most valuable lessons; and the ripest saints, in whom we find the deepest sympathy, the most patient forbearance, and the most tender helpfulness and consideration, are those who have been through the fire of affliction, and who have been rightly exercised thereby. It was when the cross grew heaviest and the clouds were darkest, and when the tempest was highest, that the Master's presence was most sensibly realized, and the blessed lessons of faith and trust and of the Lord's tender, personal love were sealed upon the hearts of the disciples. It is under such discipline that the soul is mellowed to a loving submission that calmly says, I can do all things, bear all things, through Christ who strengtheneth me. As gradually the dross of the old nature is consumed, and the gold becomes more and more manifest, these precious souls become ever dearer to their loving Lord. So dear are they to him that in every affliction he is near with his grace to sustain and his presence to cheer; and the deepest shades of sorrow become memory's most hallowed resting places, where the Day Star shines the brightest.

Whenever a new trial is presented to the Christian, if he will but call to mind this precept of the Lord, "I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire," it will stimulate courage, nerve to patient endurance, and quicken to self-sacrifice. "Gold tried in the fire!" How can it be tried without the crucible and the flame? How otherwise can the dross be eliminated? There is no other way. "Wherefore, think it not strange:" let the fire burn; let the dross be consumed; and see to it, beloved, that in the heat of the flame you remove not the "living sacrifice" [R1944 : page 45] from the altar. Remember that the eye of the great Refiner is upon you; and as the refiner of gold watches the metal in the crucible to see his image reflected in it, so the Lord, the great Refiner, has his eye upon you. He is watching to see how the precious metal of your character reflects his image. Or, in plain language, in every trial he watches to see what influences control our actions, whether they be influences of present advantage, or worldly policy, or personal friendship, or earthly loves – of husband, or wife, or children, or houses, or lands, or whether they be honor among men, or love of ease, or love of peace at any cost; or whether, on the other hand, we are controlled by the naked principles of truth and righteousness; and whether we will defend these principles with zeal and energy at any cost of labor or suffering, or both, and so fight the good fight of faith to the bitter end – even unto death.

Those who do so, reflect the Master's image. Like him they are loyal to God, loyal to the principles of truth and righteousness, brave, obedient, faithful. These are the overcomers. They overcome by faith; for without a strong reliant faith they could not thus endure hardness as good soldiers, and pursue to the end a course which is continually against the current of the old human nature. Faith buckles on the armor of God and goes forth to the battle with firm and steady tread, quickened by the inspiring melody, –

"Awake my soul, stretch every nerve,
And press with vigor on;
A heavenly race demands thy zeal,
And an immortal crown."

The Christian course of self-sacrifice cannot be one of ease and continuous smooth-sailing and peace. There may be a calm now and then, but storms and battles are the rule; and he who courts ease and peace at the expense of the principles of truth and righteousness, or who is so indifferent to the value of those principles as not to study to discern them in order to defend them, is not a faithful, overcoming soldier of the cross. "Ne'er think the victory won, nor once at ease sit down; Thine arduous work will not be done till thou hast gained thy crown."

Jesus said, "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man's foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me, is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross and followeth after me, is not worthy of me." "If any man come to me, and hate not [i.e., and love me not more than*] his father and mother [R1945 : page 45] and wife and children and brethren and sisters; yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple....Whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple....He that hath ears to hear, let him hear." – Matt. 10:34-38; Luke 14:26,33,35.

*See EMPHATIC DIAGLOTT – foot note.

Oh, how necessary is the hearing of faith to the victory of faith – to that victory which makes every other love subservient to the love of God, which makes every other interest bend to the interests of his great work, and which cheerfully sacrifices every other interest to the interests which center in Christ and in his coming Kingdom. The ear of faith must be attuned to the melodies of divine truth if the soul would catch its blessed inspiration; and the eye of faith must discern the symmetry of truth and the beauty of holiness, if the soul would be filled with a burning zeal for God – for his truth and his righteousness.

But let the soul be thus inspired with deep and abiding love for the melody of truth and the beauty of holiness, and filled with a holy zeal for God, then everything else takes a secondary place, and we have the victory by faith in every encounter with the enemy. The soul thus stayed upon God can always trustfully sing, – "If on a quiet sea toward home I calmly sail, With grateful heart, O God, to thee, I'll own the favoring gale. But should the surges rise, and rest delay to come, Blest be the tempest, kind the storm, which drives me nearer home."

[R1945 : page 45]

– MARCH. 15. – Luke 11:1-13. –

Golden Text. – "Ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and ye shall find: knock, and it shall be opened unto you." – Luke 11:9.
HE first suggestion of this lesson is the inquiry, Why did the disciples ask the Lord to teach them how to pray? were not the Jews a praying people, and were not the prayers of the righteous acceptable to God from the beginning of the world? Yes, the Jews were a praying people, and their prayers, when devout and sincere, and in harmony with the expressed will of God, were acceptable, and were answered. So also were the prayers of others before the Jewish age began. Adam communed with God in Eden until sin separated him from God and he was cast out of Paradise. After he had sinned, he heard and promptly recognized the voice of God as he and Eve walked in the cool of the day. They feared the voice then because they had sinned, but their prompt recognition of it indicated that it was familiar to them, and that often before they had delighted to hear it.

The first act of God's mercy after the penalty had been pronounced, and the promise had been given of a coming deliverer – "the seed of the woman" – was to clothe each of the penitent pair with a garment of skins, provided by a sacrifice, which prefigured the sacrificed "Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world." We confidently say the penitent pair, because had they been rebellious and defiant, instead of penitent, God could not have dealt thus mercifully and kindly with them. He would not have forced them to wear the typical robe, nor have rewarded [R1945 : page 46] them with the hope of a future deliverance. Evidently they still had faith in God, and repented that they had hearkened to the voice of the tempter and forfeited the divine favor by disobedience; and they were anxious to find some way of return to that favor, since God in his mercy had given them a ray of hope which lifted them out of the slough of despair; and they desired, if possible, to have some recognition, some way of access to God, to reassure their hearts from time to time that they were not cast off forever. Such reassurance of hope for the race was given in the institution of the typical sacrifices, which began in the clothing of Adam and Eve in the skin of the sacrificed animal, the robe thus provided typifying the imputed righteousness of the sacrificed Lamb of God, Christ Jesus.

So we find those descendants of Adam who had respect to the will and promise of God offering to God acceptable typical sacrifices in harmony with his arrangement, thereby expressing both their faith in the promise, and their desire for full harmony and communion. Thus Abel and Seth and all the godly ancients sacrificed; and through these typical sacrifices they approached God, they walked with God, and had the evidence in their own hearts that they pleased God, as it is written, – "By faith Abel offered... which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts. By faith, Enoch, ...before his translation had this testimony, that he pleased God. By faith, Noah...became heir of the righteousness which is by faith." – Heb. 11:5-8.

Thus there was a typical justification and way of access to God open to faithful individuals long before the law of Moses instituted the typical national sacrifices, which brought that people, as a nation, near to God and secured a measure of his temporal favor to them, which, in turn, were also typical of the greater favors to come by and by, when the typical sacrifices should give place to the antitypical sacrifice, the real sin-offering which takes away the sin of the world, which the blood of bulls and goats could only prefigure, but could never accomplish.

With the typical adoption by God of Abraham's family and the institution by the law of Moses of the typical national sacrifices, the privileges of approach to God through these, and of communion with him, was systematically taught by the law and the prophets. Consequently, in the nation of Israel we have multiplied instances of earnest and believing prayer; and instances, too, thank God, of the gracious hearing and answering of their prayers. And not only so, but some of the believing Gentiles, seeing what God had wrought in Israel, believed on him, and also caught the spirit of prayer; and, though unjustified even typically by the typical sacrifices, their prayers were heard, and God kept them in remembrance until the time appointed for his favor to turn to the Gentiles.

Of this class were Cornelius and his friends (Acts 10). Of Cornelius it is said that he was a "devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway." And when the time arrived, when, consistently with his plan, God could answer the prayers of Cornelius, he did so, saying, "Cornelius, ...Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God;" and shortly after the great blessing came in abundant measure. Praise the Lord! "A bruised reed he will not break, and smoking flax he will not quench." Wherever there is a humble, contrite, faithful heart, God's love takes cognizance of it, and in his own good time and way confers his blessing. If their prayers cannot be immediately answered, they are not forgotten, but are kept as memorials until the right time comes for their answer.

Therefore it was not because the disciples had never been taught to pray to God, that they inquired of Jesus as to the acceptable way; but, perceiving his intimate communion with God, and that God always promptly heard and answered him, they evidently felt that there must be something in his manner of approach to God which secured such prompt recognition and answers, and they would know the secret of his power. The secret of his power with God was in the fact of his full and complete harmony with the will of God; and this likewise is the secret of power among all of God's people. True, we, being imperfect, cannot say, as did he, "I do always those things that please him" (John 8:29); but, realizing our imperfection, we can come with humble confessions of our shortcomings and with faith in his love and mercy to be exercised toward us in his own appointed way. And then we are acceptable in the beloved One.

Jesus taught us how to pray by a simple illustration which shows (1) The proper reverential attitude of the believer toward God, – "Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name." (2) A full acquiescence in, and perfect accord with, the will of God for the blessing of the whole world through the coming Kingdom of Christ, which is also a recognition of the preparatory redemptive work by his sacrificial death – "Thy Kingdom come." (3) The earnest desire that the will of God may be done in earth as it is done in heaven. (4) An expression of our dependence upon God for the supply of our daily needs, with an acknowledgement that we do not need luxuries, but will be content with the "bread and water" assured through the Prophet. This may also be considered a petition for the bread of life for our spiritual sustenance – "Give us this day our daily bread." (5) Request for forgiveness of sins in his own appointed way (through Christ), at the same time impressing upon ourselves the necessity for exercising toward others the same spirit of forgiveness, and stating that we have thus forgiven all our debtors – "Blessed are the merciful; for they shall obtain mercy." (6) Earnest desire for his assistance in the hour of temptation or trial, that we may not be overcome by it, and thus led to sin and thus brought under the power of the Evil One – "Abandon us not in temptation [or trial], but deliver us from evil." This implies a determination to resist sin, as well as a leaning upon God for assistance. Such must be the attitude of the soul in every approach toward God in prayer. [R1946 : page 46]

Verses 5-13 are blessed assurances of our Heavenly Father's love and solicitude for us, which should fill our hearts with the deepest gratitude and responsive love, and which should strengthen our faith and our earnest desire to come often to his footstool and tarry long in his presence, assured that if we come in the frame of mind indicated by our blessed Lord, we shall never be turned away empty; "for every one that asketh [thus], receiveth; and he that seeketh, findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened." And the thing received will be neither harmful nor useless. It will not be a stone for bread, nor a serpent for a fish, nor a scorpion for an egg; but it will be something good and wholesome; for the Lord "knows how to give good gifts unto his children." Christian, we need not tell you this: you have proved it well. And yet, praise the Lord! we have not exhausted his bountiful grace. "Still there's more to follow." "Ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and ye shall find: knock, and it shall be opened unto you." "Ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full." The thing we need most, for which our Father is most pleased to have us seek and pray, is the spirit of his holiness. – Verse 13.

[R1946 : page 47]

– MARCH 22. – Luke 12:37-48; Matt. 24:42-51. –
HIS lesson, from Matthew's account (Matt. 24:42-51), was treated in our issue of April 1, '95. We have no further comment to make except upon one point: "that [special] servant." In our examination of this text we seem to have treated the term "that servant" as though the Spirit had erred in saying "that servant" when it meant servants (plural), and we applied it to all true servants of God. Since then we have been met from various quarters with objections to so general an application, and the suggestion that it would be wrong to allow modesty or any other consideration, good or bad, to warp our judgment in the exposition of the inspired Word; to which proposition we agree. God evidently has some purpose in all that he has caused to be written for our admonition; and faithfulness as servants requires that we deliver to the household the Lord's word, as he gives it.

Being unable to answer the objections and arguments raised, we candidly present them to the "fellow-servants" and to the "household" of faith as part of the Lord's message: the subject being forced upon us by its recurrence in the International S.S. Lessons, as well as by inquiries by letter. Let each "fellow servant" and each member of the "household of faith" use his consecrated judgment in accepting or rejecting this exposition, or any other exposition we may ever offer, according to his ability or inability to recognize in it the voice of our great Shepherd.

The objection urged is that the Lord's words clearly mention and distinguish between his "household" (his faithful people in general), the "fellow servants" (plural), and "that servant" specially indicated as the Lord's agent in dispensing present truth as food to his "fellow servants" and the "household." It is admitted that in many Scriptures the consecrated are addressed individually when all of a class are meant, – as, for instance, "To him that overcometh I will grant to sit with me in my throne." This, according to the rules of language, means – "To each one who overcomes," etc. And in the texts under consideration, it is held that if neither the "household" nor "fellow servants" were mentioned, it might be questionable whether the expression "that servant" referred to one or to all faithful servants; but that when "that servant" and "his fellow servants" and the "household" are all mentioned in one connection, and in contrast, it would be a perversion of the rules of language and interpretation to mix and confound that which the holy spirit has so emphatically marked as distinct. It is further urged that to apply the term "his household" to nominal Christian professors in general could not be correct, because the "meat in due season" is intended only for the Lord's truth-hungry, "watching" people; and hence among these must be sought the "household" to be fed, the "servants" (plural) to do the feeding, and "that servant" at whose hands our present Lord will dispense the food to "his fellow servants" for "the household;" and who thus is constituted a general steward, overseer and dispenser of the Lord's "goods."

It is urged, further, that the manifest fulfilment of this, during this "harvest" and time of the Lord's presence, should assist in the correct understanding of the promise; and that when we see things come to pass we should be able to recognize them whether we discerned their meaning in advance or not. Indeed, the demonstration seems to have forced the true interpretation, rather than that an interpretation led to the fulfilment; – which makes the matter really the stronger, now that it is seen.

It is further suggested that whoever occupies the position of "that servant" occupies a place of special danger, as well as of special privilege; that only by humility and faithfulness can he continue; and that, although not so stated in the Scriptures, it may be inferred that if the chosen one should fail, another would be chosen to be "that servant" or steward through whom the Master would continue to supply the "meat in due season" to those deemed worthy to continue at his table.

We submit the argument without comment.

It is well to notice that these words are not a parable, but an explanation of a parable (Luke 12:41) recorded in preceding verses (36-40). The parable had set forth the fact that the "powers that be" (ecclesiastical, social and political) would be unaware of our Lord's second advent when it would take place; and that the times and seasons were kept secret specially on their account; because if they were fully convinced of the great events of that time, and their own dissolution to make ready for the Kingdom of God, the "new heavens and new earth," they would alter their course from fear, to perpetuate the present imperfect order, and to hinder the establishment of the better Kingdom. In view of this, our Lord indicates the necessity for faithfulness and watchfulness on the part of his servants, that they may be in such condition as to be quickly and readily made aware of the presence of their Master, while "the powers that be" – the present householder – sleeps in ignorance of the true state of affairs, and dreams of his own greatness and prosperity. The parable enforces the necessity that all of God's faithful servants be constantly prepared and ready, so that as soon as the "knock" is given, they may recognize it, and open their hearts and minds to the fact of the Lord's presence, and, as his "household," all sit down to enjoy the meat in due season which he will then serve, through his visible, human agencies.

After hearing the parable, and perceiving that only the faithful were to know of the matter, Peter was perplexed, and wondered whether the Lord meant that "all [faithful brethren]" would sit down to meat and be served by the Master, or whether only "us [the twelve];" for he had already discerned that the Lord had some special favors for "the twelve" alone. Of course, if Peter had known that the parable would not be fulfilled for over eighteen hundred years, after all the twelve would have died, he would not have asked the question in that form. But our Lord, without correcting his error, explained this feature of the parable for our information. His answer in verses 42 to 48 (and Matt. 24:44-49) declares that while He will be the real Provider and Servant, yet the food will be dispensed through a steward to "fellow servants" and the "household" in general.

The word "ruler" in verses 42,44 and Matt. 24:45,47, of the common version, does not properly express the thought of the original: the Revised Version is preferable: "set over his household to give them meat" as a "steward," not as a lord or master – rather a general servant, or servant of all.

page 47


Golden Text. – "Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God." – Luke 12:8.

This will be the blessed reward of faithful loyalty. The opposite will be true of all the disloyal. – "But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God." – Verse 9.

[R1946 : page 48]


page 48

West Virginia.

DEAR BROTHER: – Please send me an outfit of tracts suited especially for introduction. I agree with you fully in the proposition that the printed page should accompany the public declaration of truth; but in this country we cannot sell DAWNS nor take subscriptions to the TOWER till we have evangelized gratuitously. Hence I cannot hope to sell very many; but will use them to the best advantage.

The Lord has been prospering our little effort exceedingly this winter. I baptized four new converts to Christianity recently, and expect soon to baptize a community of ten or fifteen aged persons, who were Methodists until present truth reached them. Opposition and persecution increase as signs of progress of the truth are manifested.

We have ordered our church work; that is, we have recognized an "elder" and two "evangelists," and have arranged to give attention to particular features of the work at stated Sundays, with other regulations along this line.

Your brother in Christ,


[R1946 : page 48]


DEAR BROTHER AND SISTER RUSSELL: – I am truly thankful to both the Lord and yourselves for the good that you by the grace of God have done me through MILLENNIAL DAWN and ZION'S WATCH TOWER. Experience, as well as the Word of God, teaches us that we are living in perilous times, in a time that tries men's souls. And while it is true that the light shines from God's Word much more clearly than ever before, some who have received present truth to some extent are getting it mixed with spiritism and other false "isms."

When the Bible says "try the spirits" (1 John 4:1), does it mean we should investigate spiritism?


REPLY: – When Satan and his present spurious Spiritism shall be bound and deceive the nations no more, there will no doubt be some communication established between the spirit-beings constituting the glorified Church, the Kings and Priests, and the world of mankind progressing in righteousness and restitution; just as there was communion between God and his creatures in Eden. But nothing of this kind should be expected now. The Church from first to last [R1947 : page 48] is to "walk by faith, not by sight." The body of Christ in the flesh is to have spiritual communion only with its Head, the Lord and with him only in prayer. We are specially warned, too, that Satan may even endeavor to counterfeit the Lord; and we are warned against those who claim to see him in the secret chamber (in seances), and are told that his revelation or manifestation in his day will, on the contrary, be "as the lightning" – really as the sunlight – filling the whole world with knowledge, light, truth. This scripture applies to the glorified members of the body as well as to the Head, Christ Jesus. – Matt. 13:43.

The scripture which says, "Try the spirits, whether they be of God," refers to doctrines, as is clearly indicated by the context. Furthermore, there is in the character and personal bearing of all spirit-mediums that which should impress unfavorably every child of God, who knows what to regard as the spirit (disposition) of Christ. "If any man have not the spirit of Christ, he is none of his;" and such will never be used as his mediums of communication. – EDITOR.]


In our issue of Feb. 1, '92 we published the following letter: –


DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – I must write to tell you how exceedingly interested I have been in MILLENNIAL DAWN, VOL. III., which I spied out in a book store in Los Angeles. I enclose 50 cents, for which I would like you to send me, at once, VOLS. I. and II. of the series. I would also much like a sample or two of your paper – ZION'S WATCH TOWER – for if it is what I expect it to be, after DAWN VOL. III., I shall at once become a subscriber. VOL. III. is already circulating among my friends.

Yours in the waiting for Christ's Kingdom,


Our correspondent requested that until otherwise notified his correspondence be considered confidential; and therefore when shortly afterward we received a letter from Rev. Mr. Reed, Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Los Angeles, stating that he had been considered the writer of this letter, and requesting that we make known the name of the writer, we replied that we were not at liberty to reveal his identity. We also stated that he was Pastor of the First Baptist Church of a neighboring city who had "spied out" the book while in Los Angeles; and we remarked that we thought the wording of the letter sufficient to show this, since a resident of L.A. would have said "this city." We did not therefore see any necessity for publishing Dr. Reed's denial, which he was abundantly able to do, and did do, through the Minister's meeting, and various of the religious press.

Notwithstanding this explanation, Dr. Reed and others have continued to make capital out of the letter, accusing us of various dishonorable and unchristian motives and acts. We therefore have pleasure in publishing herewith a later communication from the writer of the aforesaid letter, which we trust will set the matter right before all who have been misinformed on the subject.

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – In reply to your request regarding the letter published in the TOWER of Feb. 1, '92, and signed "Pastor First Baptist Church," while I was in California, I may say I have nothing to retract from what I then said, but regret to learn from you that any one else has suffered in any way as the supposed writer of the letter in question; and though I have since left California and the Baptist ministry, I have no hesitation in acknowledging the authorship, if it will relieve another from a false imputation.

Yours in Christian fellowship, Jan. 27, '96.


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March 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. XVII.MARCH 15, 1896.No. 6.

Special Items 50
Views from the Tower 51
The Christian's Joy 53
Trials of Faith – Why Permitted 54
Poem: The Great Pyramid 56
Christadelphian Views 56
Bible Study: Strive to Enter In at the Strait Gate 57
Encouraging Letters 58

'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 50

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.

[R1947 : page 51]


THE Evangelical Alliance is prosecuting its scheme for the union of protestants. It is organizing "Local Alliances" in all parts of the United States, having in view the following objects: –

(1) "To bring conscience to bear on the life of the nation."

(2) "To close the chasm between the churches and workingmen."

(3) "To gain the strength which comes from organization."

(4) "To prevent the indefinite multiplication of organizations."

"What is much needed, in the interest both of economy and of effectiveness, is a common center where efforts to improve the community may be coordinated and adjusted to each other in some comprehensive plan – an organization which can survey the whole field and throw united effort into any one of many directions at the opportune moment."

(5) "To prevent competition and waste in locating missions and churches."

(6) "To cultivate Christian fellowship between different churches and different denominations."

(7) "To reach homes with elevating and transforming influences."

"Without some such organization as is proposed the churches cannot accomplish their social redemptive work."

On this latter subject it proposes that –

"Instead of going into politics the Alliance will separate municipal elections from state and national politics. It will insist on official fitness of candidates, oppose incompetent and corrupt men, and sustain the constituted authorities in a faithful administration of the public service.

"The Alliance will seek to aid labor reforms, to encourage the arbitration of labor difficulties, to establish labor bureaus, form working-girl's clubs, encourage cooperative housekeeping for self-supporting girls, oppose the sweating evil and child labor, and demonstrate to workingmen the desire of the churches to serve them in any legitimate way."

The circulars of the Alliance, setting forth these objects and giving advise relative to local organizations, etc., are being widely circulated. One of these says: –

"The Church of Christ has availed herself of the increased facilities for inter-communication among the peoples of the earth, and of the increase of knowledge; while in the longing for union among believers we cannot but discern a token of the presence of Him who walks in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks.

"On the other hand, the shadows darken. It cannot be denied that we are in the presence of those signs of the 'perilous times' of which St. Paul speaks to Timothy. Nor can we shut our eyes to the increase of sacramentarianism and infidelity, which, from opposite sides, seek 'to corrupt our minds from the simplicity that is in Christ.' Many tokens seems to herald the approach of the final great struggle between the powers of light and the powers of darkness.

"'Wherefore, take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day.' 'Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.'"

The gentlemen connected with this Evangelical Alliance are beginning to fear as they realize that the powers of the heavens (ecclesiastical powers) are being shaken. (Matt. 24:29.) They realize to some extent that the "great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?" (Rev. 6:17.) They are attempting to roll together the heavens (ecclesiastical systems) as a scroll; because they believe that in union there is strength. – Isa. 34:4; Rev. 6:14.

Their methods are not only worldly-wise, but in many respects good. But going about to establish their own plans for conquering the world for Christ by denominational [R1947 : page 52] alliance, they have not submitted themselves to the will and Word of God. They see the impending trouble, and remember the Lord's prayer that ultimately his followers all may be one with each other and with him and the Father. They overlook the fact that it is individually, and not as denominations, that the Lord's people are to be united to him and he with them, as branches in the true vine. They overlook the fact that the great union prayed for will be fulfilled only by the process outlined by the great Teacher himself under the parable of the wheat and the tares, – that the "tares" must be gathered and burned in the great time of trouble already impending, while the "wheat" are being gathered into the "barn" preparatory to their shining forth, with Christ the only Head, as the Sun of righteousness to bless and heal the world's woes – social, financial, political and religious.

That the Alliance will succeed in doing some good we do not question; but that the general results will be pernicious is clearly pointed out in Scripture. Thus it is with [R1948 : page 52] all wrong methods – all methods that are not God-directed – "There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof is death." The child of God therefore must be careful to examine his course, not only to see if his motives and actions are right, but above all to see that he is working the work of him that sent him. God's work will not fail; but all works in conflict with it will soon or later come to naught and prove injurious to all associated in it.

The Scriptures represent that in the present time there are two great opposing forces in conflict, – Christ and the soldiers of his cross, and Satan and the powers of darkness (Eph. 6:12); that all mankind are serving one or the other of these causes (Rom. 6:16), though many, on both sides, serve ignorantly (2 Cor. 4:4; 11:14; Psa. 76:10; Joel 2:11); but it is the privilege of all who are "sons" of God to be so led of the Spirit and Word of the Father as to understand his purposes and be enabled always to be workers together with God. He will show them "things to come;" he will make known to them "the mysteries of his will;" and they shall not be in darkness with the world, because they are "brethren" of Christ and walk in the light. – Matt. 13:11; John 16:13; 1 Thes. 5:4,5.

The Scriptures, in portraying the success of the Evangelical Alliance, show that the results will be a religious oppression and tyranny similar to that of Papacy; and that however harmless it may seem to make an image of the papal beast, the time will come when the image will get life, and with it power, and when its power, like that of Papacy when in power, will be used against the liberties of God's truth and of the people. – See MILLENNIAL DAWN VOL. III., Chap. 4; Rev. 13:14-17; Isa. 8:12.

*                         *                         *

The people of Germany are awaking to the fact that their theological schools and colleges are turning out Infidels with ministerial titles, Doctors of Divinity, etc. True, the German people are religiously quite formalistic and drowsy, but they are not quite prepared to admit the claims of the "higher critics" of Germany and America, that the Bible is a mass of rubbish, uninspired.

The Lutheran Kirchenzeitung (Leipsic) recently published an article warning young men against this kind of instruction, from which we take the following paragraph: –

"Our congregations are not so ignorant. They meet the young candidate with some questions and problems. That which is taught in the theological lecture-rooms is no longer a secret among our congregations. Even the congregations in the backwoods have heard of these things. The more a congregation is matured in the knowledge of Christian truth, all the more careful will it be in the acceptance of a candidate as a new pastor. Our people demand a clear and ringing answer to the questions: 'What think you of Christ?' and 'What think you of the Scriptures?' Is the candidate honestly and openly to confess that in his convictions the Fathers of the Church have for centuries been blundering grievously when they accepted the divinity of the Scriptures as the revealed Word of God; that the Scriptures from the mythological account of the Creation to the close of the 'unauthentic' Apocalypse is full of human errors, irregularities, contradictions, fables and legends, from which, with great difficulty, the Word of God is to be hulled out? Is he to tell the people that their faith in the atoning death of Christ, in his resurrection, in the power of the Sacraments, is groundless and to be cast aside?"

But the schools and seminaries of Germany are under government patronage and the professors as well as the ministers and churches are supported by the government, so that protests will be of no avail. The leaven (corruption) is spreading everywhere amongst the "upper classes." By and by it will reach the lower classes, and when they become Infidels, disbelievers in the Word of God, they will doubt everything; and anarchy and riot will speedily follow.

*                         *                         *

"Mr. Rabbinowitz says the Jews have kept up great questionings and controversies about the meaning of Zech. 12:10: 'They shall look upon ME whom they have pierced.' They will not admit that it is Jehovah whom they have pierced, hence the dispute as to who is meant. Mr. R. points out that the word used consists of the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet, Aleph Tay, and adds: 'Do you wonder, then, that I was filled with awe and astonishment when I opened to Rev. 1:7,8, and read these words of Zechariah quoted by John, 'Behold, he cometh... and every eye shall see him, and they also that pierced him,' and then heard the glorified Lord saying,...'I am the Alpha and Omega.' Jesus seemed to say to me, 'Do you doubt who it is you have pierced? I am the Aleph Tay, the Alpha Omega.'"

*                         *                         *

Amongst the many evidences of preparation for the "times of restitution" "when the wilderness shall blossom as the rose, and the wilderness shall smile," are advances [R1948 : page 53] and inventions along the line of horticulture, and for the destruction of farm pests. Of the latter a notable one is a weed destroyer which kills weeds, to the very roots, – even the noxious Russian and Canadian thistles. It is the invention of Prof. Woodworth, of Michigan College, and is reported to be both cheap and effective. A wheelbarrow or cart is loaded with storage batteries from which long wires trail along the ground to be cleared, and wherever the wires touch a weed it is killed clear to the roots.

*                         *                         *

An article by Rev. Dr. Haweis [Episcopalean] in the Contemporary Review has excited considerable attention. Among other things he says: –

"The man in the pew thinks he has a right to remonstrate with the man in the pulpit who denounces him as an unbeliever. He may fairly say to his clergyman: You complain of me for not believing what you call church doctrines; how much do you believe yourself? Now, you don't actually believe that after this life, without further explanation, the population of the world will be divided into two parts, the converted and the unconverted, and that one half will go straight to heaven and be happy forever, and the other half will be sent straight to hell to be tormented forever. You don't believe that yourself, because you are not such a fool; then why do you expect me to sit in church and listen to you patiently while you preach it?' It has come to this: the laity not only despise the clergy for their affirmations, but still more for their reticences, and yet few (some do) have the heart to condemn them as unscrupulous hypocrites – they are really often such nice fellows in many ways, and moral fellows, too; so people don't like to think they are liars, and cannot quite believe they are idiots."

This gentleman's eyes are opening to the fact that the deceptions so long practiced by his craft upon their flocks are losing their power. Many will be forced to honesty to retain respect and support. It is remarkable that men whose leisure and education should make them teachers of those who confide in them for instruction in Scriptural doctrine should so impose upon their sheep; until forced by the growth of intelligence to admit that they have for years professed and taught what they have not believed. Surely every honest man, worthy of the truth from God or confidence from fellow men, should publicly avow the truth, and disavow the error, as soon as the true light, which harmonizes God's word, reaches him.

[R1948 : page 53]


"Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore." – Psa. 16:11.
HEN we consider how much is said in the Scriptures about joy and rejoicing among God's people, we are deeply impressed with the thought that our heavenly Father is very solicitous for the happiness of his children, even in the present life. The worldly minded cannot see this, they look upon the lot of God's children as a hard and joyless one, and upon God as a hard Master, without concern for the happiness of his children. This, however, is only because the natural man cannot receive the things of the spirit of God, because they are spiritually discerned. But the spiritual-minded have meat to eat that the world knows not of; and their hearts rejoice, and their joy no man taketh from them.

How strange it seems! says the world. Why, there was Paul, a man of great talent and opportunity who might have been somebody in the world: he wasted his talents, was a poor man all his days, homeless, friendless, knocked about and persecuted, a sort of religious fanatic. But Paul, viewing the matter from the standpoint of his spiritual discernment, said, "I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation" (2 Cor. 7:4); for he was one of that anointed body who, like his Lord and Head, could say, "I foresaw the Lord always before my face; for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved. Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad." – Acts 2:25,26.

So the Psalmist bids all the anointed body rejoice, saying, "Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous; for praise is [R1949 : page 53] comely for the upright." (Psa. 33:1.) And Isaiah, speaking for the same class, says, "I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with jewels." – Isa. 61:10.

This blessed joy, which so wonderfully lifts the soul above all the vicissitudes of the present life, is, as the prophet expresses it, joy in the Lord, not a joy in earthly possessions, or earthly hopes or ambitions. These earthly things are all so transitory and so changeable that a single blast of adversity may sweep them all from us; but not so is it with those whose hearts are centered in God and to whom he has shown the path of life. These have learned to estimate the things of this present life according to their true values; they see that all of its joys are both transient and unsatisfactory and that the only real value in it is in the opportunities it affords for experience and discipline and education in the things of God and for hearing the call of God and making our calling and election sure. In thus making the proper use of the present life – walking in the path of life which God shows us through his Word – we have the present joys of hope and faith in the things unseen, but sure and eternal; knowing also that by and by in the immediate presence of God we shall have fulness of joy, and pleasures for evermore at his right hand – the chief place of favor.

But while the fulness of joy in its widest sense is reserved for that blessed time when we shall be like the Lord and see him as he is (1 John 3:1,2) and be in his presence [R1949 : page 54] and at his right hand (in his chief favor), there is a fulness of joy in the presence and favor of God which is the privilege of every Christian now. Our capacity for joy now is not what it will be by and by, but it is possible now to have our little earthen vessels as full as they can hold of the joy of the Lord. And day by day it is our privilege to realize the presence and favor of God, if, by walking in the path of life, the path of obedience and loving service, we draw near to God. "If a man love me," said our Lord Jesus, "he will keep my words; and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him and make our abode with him." – John 14:23.

In such company as this, can any Christian fail utterly to realize some measure of joy in the Lord? No, if his faith grasps the promise and holds it, the realization of joy in the Lord is sure to follow, and the more firmly his faith lays hold upon the promise the more will he realize its fulfilment, and the more fully will his joys abound; for in the presence of the Lord is fulness of joy, no matter what may be the conditions and circumstances.

In the blessed realization of this experience and the assurance of faith which it gave, in the midst of all his labors, Paul exclaimed, "Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect?...Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For 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 our Lord." – Rom. 8:33-39.

It was this strong persuasion, this confident faith, of the Apostle that gave him such joy in the midst of all his tribulations. His faith laid hold upon the promises of God with a strong and steady grasp, and love and gratitude impelled him to prompt obedience to the will of God and ardent zeal in his service; and evidently the Lord's promise was fulfilled to him in the abiding presence of Father and Son with him at all times and under all circumstances.

This blessed privilege is ours also, if by faith we enter fully into the Lord's will and favor. And with a blessed realization of the abiding presence of our heavenly Father, and our Lord Jesus at all times, and of their love and favor, and a faith that lays hold of all the exceeding great and precious promises of God, what soul may not rejoice and be glad, even in the midst of deep sorrow or great tribulation? In the Lord's presence, no matter where we are, is fulness of joy. Let us cultivate the Lord's acquaintance more, drawing near to him in prayer, in the study of his precious Word, in meditation upon all his goodness, his providential care, the marked manifestations of his grace in our own individual experiences, and his precious promises which are all yea and amen in Christ Jesus. Thus "draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you" (James 4:8), he will manifest himself to you and take up his abode with you.

It is indeed the will of God that all his children should be happy in him, that they should be always rejoicing; and if any one lacks this blessing, he is living below his privileges. Beloved, let us not be contented to live beneath our privileges. Let us appreciate the favor of God to the extent of seeking for it more and more diligently, remembering the exhortation, "Seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you." All the riches of divine favor are ours if in faith and humility we claim them and place ourselves in position to receive them as directed through the Word of God. "Ask and receive, that your joy may be full." And your joy can no man take from you, so long as you abide in Him who is our life, our joy, our rest, our hope.

"Why should the children of the King
Go mourning all the day?"
"Children of the Heavenly King,
As we journey let us sing!"

[R1949 : page 54]


MANY are perplexed as to why false doctrines are permitted to annoy and confuse God's people. On receiving the truth and rejoicing in it they seem to think they have at last come to the end of all controversy, and have entered the Beulah land of rest and peace, thenceforth never again to be disturbed. But this is quite a mistake: our great adversary, Satan, is not disposed to let the children of light walk on undisturbed into the heavenly kingdom. Against that kingdom and its establishment, and against all its prospective probationary heirs, he is an inveterate enemy, and his power is not yet bound. The children of light, the heirs of the kingdom, are, therefore, the special targets against which his fiery darts are aimed. As soon as they escape from the kingdom of darkness and begin to walk in the light, they may therefore expect to find snares spread for their feet and stumbling blocks placed in their way. The work is done with subtlety, too, that, if possible, the escaped bird may be deceived and caught unawares. And, as a matter of fact, thousands are so caught, and only a few escape the "strong delusions" of this "evil day" of Satanic wrath and power.

It is a fair and reasonable question therefore, Why does the Lord permit the strong delusions and trials of faith of this evil day, when they actually do overthrow the faith of many and severely test all? To this inquiry the Apostle Paul (2 Thes. 2:10-12) makes answer, saying, [R1949 : page 55] "For this cause, God, shall send them [Whom? – Those "who received not the love of the truth that they might be saved"] strong delusions, that they should believe a lie; that they all might be condemned who believe not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness."

Thus plainly we are told that God not only permits, but that he also desires, that the faith of his professed people should be severely tried. And if the thousands fall by these fiery darts of the enemy, it is because they are unworthy of the truth, not having received it in the love of it. Many indeed receive the truth very much as a child receives a new toy. It is a curiosity, something new, to be enjoyed for a season and then laid aside to be superseded by something else that temporarily pleases the fancy. Or, it is valued as a cudgel wherewith to gain the honors of victory in argument with disputing opponents. Or, again, it affords relief to some from a long imposed bondage of fear of eternal torment, and for this alone it is chiefly valued. They never did enjoy such a prospect, and often feared they were not quite good enough to escape torment and get inside the door of heaven.

All who thus lightly esteem the truth, merely to minister to their selfishness, are unworthy of it; and it is the will of God that all such should lose it. Hence the divinely permitted and desired testing of faith – the strong delusions, which, "if it were possible, would deceive the very elect," – those who have received the truth in the love of it, and not in any mean, selfish spirit. The truth was never intended for the listless, nor for the wicked. The former are unworthy of it and the latter are better without it until taught to use and not abuse the liberty it brings. "Light [truth] is sown for the righteous, and joy [the joys of the truth] for the upright in heart." It is just as well that others, especially the wicked, should remain under the bondage of errors which to some extent control them until the strong [R1950 : page 55] power of Christ's kingdom is due to take the control of the world. For this reason God has permitted the superstitions of the past to fetter men's minds, and only in the present close proximity to the kingdom is he allowing some of the shackles of error to be loosened; and in the great time of trouble this will be seen to be the unchaining of the tiger of human passions, which would be disastrous in the extreme, were it not for the strong rule of the iron rod which will shortly command order, and say to the warring elements, "Peace, be still!" To the listless and selfish who are not grossly wicked, the truth is only made to minister to pride and selfishness, and hence it is the will of God that all such should lose it, as they do in pursuance of their natural dispositions with reference to it. But the true children of God love the truth because they have an affinity for it. They love righteousness, they love their fellow men, and desire to bless and help them. They have large benevolence and brotherly kindness. They are meek, too, and not anxious to make a show of self and to glory over their fellows in argument; nor are they mere curiosity-hunters. When they have found the truth they recognize its value; they prize it and meditate upon it; they view it as a grand and systematic embodiment of the highest ideal of righteousness, love and benevolence. They rejoice not only in its gracious provisions for the elect joint-heirs with Christ, but also for all mankind, as well as in the merciful dealings of God with the finally incorrigibly wicked whom he will mercifully destroy, but not torment. They say, It is just like God: it is the manifestation of his glorious goodness, the reflection of his loving, benevolent, wise and just character. And therefore they love the truth and the God who gave it: they treasure it up in their hearts and con it over again and again; and as they look into it, and admire all its symmetry and beauty, they strive more and more to conform their own characters to the same lines of beauty and seek to commend it by word and conduct to others, that they also may be blessed by it.

This is what it is to receive the truth into good and honest hearts. For such the truth was intended; and it is not possible for them to be deceived by the sophistries of error. They know a good thing when they have it, and therefore hold it fast. They cling to it just as steel filings cling to a magnet, because they have an affinity for it. If you run a magnet through a box of sawdust and steel filings it will come out covered with the steel filings. A little sawdust may rest lightly on it, too, just as some people associate themselves with the truth and with those who hold it very dear; but the sawdust is easily blown off, while the steel filings hold fast. Just so multitudes of those who associate themselves with the Lord's people are easily carried away with a little wind of new false doctrine. And though they do not all disappear with the first breeze, a few more breezes will carry them all away. But the true ones God will not permit to be tempted above what they are able to bear; for he has given his angels a charge concerning them, and in their hands they shall bear them up lest at any time they should dash their feet against a stone.

The angel or messenger thus commissioned may be some well-instructed brother who has studied to show himself a workman approved unto God, rightly dividing the Word of truth, and ever ready to feed the flock of God, or some faithful sister, ever watchful with motherly interest over the lambs of the flock. Albeit, the Lord will always provide for his own elect, and they shall not stumble nor fall.

The one thing for all the called to look to first is that they have received, and that they still hold, the truth in the love of it. Freely imbibe its blessed spirit and live in its hallowed atmosphere; "for, if any man have not the spirit of Christ, he is none of his." "Through sanctification of the spirit and belief of the truth" you are chosen to the great salvation now shortly to be revealed (2 Thes. 2:13.) But the belief of the truth will avail nothing if it be not permitted to produce its legitimate fruit in a good and honest heart – viz., sanctification of the spirit, a complete setting apart to the divine will and service. Let us lay this lesson well to heart, and so run as to obtain the prize of our high calling. "Buy the truth" at any cost of self-sacrifice, "and sell it not" for any paltry present advantage. [R1950 : page 56]


O mighty structure of a time
When nations dead were in their prime;
Whose lines and measurements immense
Were fashioned by Omnipotence,
And laid, without a word to check,
By king and priest Melchizedek!
What precious symbols long unknown
Were built beneath thy corner stone!
How faultless, graceful, every line,
In those stupendous walls of thine!
A sign and wonder, heaven-planned,
For saints, if wise, to understand;
An altar and a pillar tall,
To warn, instruct and comfort all,
Who faithful all their talents give
And, dying daily, die to live.
A witness mute, yet eloquent,
A marvel and a monument,
Upreared by hands inspired to prove
That God Eternal reigns in Love;
For in thy labyrinths we trace
His dealings with the human race –
The path to glory hard to tread,
The death of those to goodness dead,
The rough hewn narrowness of ways
That lead to life and endless days;
The step on step to life complete,
The Head, the Body and the Feet,
Of a great following joined in one
Eclipsing many a dazzling sun;
The depths unfath'mable profound,
Without an echo or a sound,
A symbol of the death of One,
Our Savior and Jehovah's Son;
With signs and tokens scattered round
To prove He burst each icy bond
Of death the conqueror, conquered then,
For sinful and believing men;
The planes and parallels to guide
His Church elect and faithful Bride.
Its sure foundation solid rock,
Like faith impregnable. No shock –
Of 'whelming flood, or raging storm –
Can shake an atom, or deform
That towering witness strong, divine,
To us a miracle – and sign
Of promised blessings sure to come,
A guide omnipotent to home.

[R1950 : page 56]


HERE and there are to be found people who hold what are known as Christadelphian views, which are in some respects much like the views advocated in ZION'S WATCH TOWER, and in other respects the very opposite. Their views, briefly stated, are (1) That the Church is chosen or elected (according to the foreknowledge of God) through the truth; and that in all it is a "little flock," heirs of the Kingdom. (2) They hold, however, that the Kingdom will be a visible, earthly throne, on which Christ will sit with his apostles, and that somehow all Christadelphians will be "joint-heirs," who will "sit every man under his own vine and fig tree," plant, build, etc., and long enjoy the work of their hands. (3) As for the dead Christadelphians, they will be resurrected to share these blessings, but for all other dead people, good or bad, they see no hope, no resurrection. (4) A great catastrophy at the second coming of Christ will destroy nearly all of the living except the Christadelphians, and the few spared will merely be spared so as to be the everlasting servants of the Christadelphians – their hewers of wood and drawers of water, – their slaves.

Lest some generous soul should suppose that they use the term "Christadelphian" in a broad sense to mean all true Christians, we answer, No; the term Christadelphian is used in the narrowest sense, applicable only to those who have believed as foregoing, and who then have been immersed, and who do not change their faith afterward. Other portions of their creed, made very prominent, are, that our Lord Jesus never had an existence before he was born in Bethlehem, and that there is no devil. They also deny the ransom. [R1951 : page 56]

Anyone can see at a glance, when these views are thus concisely stated, the very wide difference between them and the views presented in the TOWER and in MILLENNIAL DAWN as Scriptural. But the policy of advocates of all false systems is to avoid a full, plain statement of their theory, and, covering the features of which they are properly somewhat ashamed, they proceed to fasten it on others piecemeal as they themselves received it. And thus they occasionally get some confused with the following texts of Scripture: Isa. 26:14; 43:17; Jer. 51:39,57. These are quoted in opposition to the teaching that, because our Lord Jesus gave himself a ransom for all, therefore all must have a full opportunity to obtain eternal life by resurrection. We will examine them in the above order:

(1) Isaiah 26:14. The first nine verses of this chapter are a prophetic description of the Millennial day, – when the land of Judah has been reclaimed (verse 1) and when the nations of earth are walking in the light (teaching) of the glorified Church – the New Jerusalem. (Compare verse 2 and Rev. 21:24-26 and Isa. 60:11,18-22.) Verse 5 describes the humbling of the proud and the fall of mystic Babylon. Verse 9 shows how some (the body of Christ) have desired and prayed "thy Kingdom come" throughout the "night" of the Gospel age while waiting for the Millennial dawning; and how the judgments of the "day of [R1951 : page 57] trouble" which introduces the Millennial reign are necessary to teach the world righteousness. Verses 10 and 11 show, however, that even those terrible lessons will be insufficient for some who even in the land of uprightness (the Millennial or "new earth" state), will be unjust still, and refuse to recognize the mighty "hand" of God. Yet they shall see, and eventually all enemies of the Lord shall be destroyed.

Verses 12-15 represent the faithful taking a glance backward, and acknowledging that the deliverance has been wholly God's work. "O Lord our God, other lords [rulers, powers] have had dominion over us [Sin, the great task-master, and his representatives in civil, ecclesiastical and financial despotism, including trusts, combines and every evil system which oppresses men at the present time; – some of which are now highly esteemed among the oppressed]; but of Thee only would we make mention [now as our ruler] – of thy name. They are dead, they will not live again; they are departed, they will not arise again: because thou hast visited and destroyed them and made every memorial of them to perish." – See Leeser's translation.

Ah, yes! every power of evil and oppression shall be destroyed forever, never to rise again, when the kingdom is the Lord's and he is the Governor amongst the nations.

(2) Isaiah 43:17. The Lord is encouraging Israel by reminding her of his deliverances and helps in the past, and incidentally teaches us something of the larger meaning of those deliverances.

Verses 16 and 17 remind them of how God opened for Israel a path through the waters of the Red Sea; and how he vanquished their enemies, Pharaoh and his army, in the Red Sea, utterly cutting them off from power to reenslave them, by drowning them, extinguishing the life from an entire army suddenly. Do ye not remember the former things, neither the things of old?

Yet verses 19-25 show that the deliverance from Egypt and the journey through the wilderness were but foreshadowings of future blessings upon all who shall become true Israelites, who were typified by Israel in bondage. The greater taskmaster than Pharaoh is Satan with his servants. The greater deliverer than Moses is Christ (Head and Body); the greater overthrow than that of Pharaoh and his army will be the overthrow of sin and Satan in the time of trouble already begun; the leading and care and miracles greater than those through the Wilderness will be those of the Millennium; and the greater Canaan beyond will be the condition of everlasting perfection to be entered by the worthy of mankind at the close of the Millennium.

(3) Jeremiah 51:39,57. The description of the fall of Babylon here given applies only partially to the literal city – chiefly to the fall of "Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth," the mystic city; and the language is correspondingly figurative. Babylon's great ones, highly esteemed by her deluded subjects, are called by various dignified and high-sounding titles, from "the Lord's anointed" down to Reverend and Doctor of Divinity. These as such shall all perish with the fall of Babylon (Rev. 18), and as such they shall never awake or exist again. In their awakening they will see matters more clearly in the light of the Millennial day – the sun of righteousness – and will be ashamed of the titles and offices now "highly esteemed among men."

The unprejudiced reader will confess that nothing in these proof-texts intimates that only Christadelphians will have a future life, experience a resurrection from death. The Scriptures assure us that "Christ died for the ungodly," for those who aside from his redemption were "without God and having no hope." He "tasted death for every man," and is the true light which must soon or later enlighten every man that has ever been born. The only ones for whom there is absolutely no hope in the future are those for whom "there remaineth no more a sacrifice for sin." (Heb. 6:4-10; 10:26-31.) These are not the ignorant ones whom the "god of this world hath blinded," but those who have seen, who have tasted, who have in the present life received the grace of God, but have received it in vain, received it to reject it and to count the blood of the [New] covenant, wherewith they were sanctified a common thing. These wilful sinners of the Gospel age will have no resurrection privileges in the future, because they have enjoyed those privileges in the present life and have wilfully despised and misused them.

All who now hear the joyful message of salvation through the precious blood of Christ, and by acceptance pass from death unto life (justification by faith), have received an awakening equivalent to what all mankind will enjoy in the Millennium; and whether the life-offer be intelligently spurned now or then the result will be the same: to such there will remain no more interest or share in the great sacrifice for sins, and hence nothing but destruction.

[R1951 : page 57]

– APRIL 5. – Luke 13:22-30. –
HE question, "Lord, are there few that be saved?" our Lord did not answer directly. The time had come for preaching the Kingdom, and inviting those who had "an ear to hear" the call to enter in. The call for the time was limited to the high calling of joint-heirship with Christ in the Millennial Kingdom; and it has so continued ever since. There is but the one call during this age. "Ye are all called in one hope of your calling." The fact that God has in purpose another call, to another class, in the Millennial age, may cheer and comfort us now, and enable us to see harmony and consistency in the divine character and arrangement, but it should not encourage [R1951 : page 58] any one to reject a present call and to hope for another. He who "hears" the present call has no right whatever to hope for another if he spurns what has been put within his reach. As the Apostle said, "How shall we escape [destruction] if we neglect so great salvation?"

Our Lord taught the Apostles much concerning his mission, his Kingdom and its object; but also said to them. "I have many things [yet] to tell you, but ye cannot bear them now; howbeit, when he the spirit of truth is come, he will guide you [gradually] into all truth." (John 16:13.) To have answered their question in full would have led to many other questions for whose answers they were not prepared, therefore our Lord wisely avoided their query, and merely told them what was their duty and proper course: "Strive [make great effort] to enter in at the strait [difficult] gate, for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in and shall not be able, when once the Master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door."

The illustration is that of an eastern wedding, as represented in the parable of the Ten Virgins. Those who were invited were expected to be ready before the coming of the bridegroom, and to enter with him. When he and his ready, accompanying friends have entered, the door is shut, and for the occasion all outside are treated as strangers, as unknown, and the festivities proceed without them.

In all of his parables our Lord represented the Kingdom promised to his followers as to be gained at the end of the age, when the Nobleman would return from the far country, heaven, to take possession of his kingdom and to share its honors with those faithful to him during his absence. (Luke 19:12-27) Or, under other figures, he represented himself as the bridegroom coming to claim and take home his faithful, waiting, betrothed virgin. He gave them no definite information respecting the time of his coming, so that all might be constantly on the alert, not knowing at what hour their Lord might arrive; – nevertheless assured that all the ready, waiting, watching ones would get word in time and be able to enter in to the marriage.

Hence the coming of the bridegroom, and the shutting of the door at the proper time, has reference to the close of this Gospel age, when the full predestinated number of the Church, the bride of Christ, has been called, [R1952 : page 58] chosen and found faithful. Then the "door" or opportunity to become a member of the bride and joint-heir with Christ in his Kingdom will be forever closed. There cannot be one additional member, even as there could not be one less than the predestinated number.

We are down in the end of the age now; the Bridegroom-King has come; the wise virgins are trimming their lamps, examining the evidences of the Scriptures, and going forth as those who acknowledge his presence and avowedly are going to the wedding. Soon the last of this class will have gone in, and the door will be shut. Then the foolish virgins, drowsy and overcharged and lacking sufficient zeal, but nevertheless "virgins," will begin to bestir themselves; they will buy the oil in the market of experience; they will begin to realize that the end of the age is upon us, that the Bridegroom has come, and that the Kingdom feast is about to take place. But as they see the storm growing dark, they will hasten to go to the wedding, and many will find themselves debarred, refused admittance. They will then realize that they have failed to make their calling and election sure by so running as to obtain the prize of joint-heirship with Christ.

"There shall be weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth." Yes, not alone will there be disappointment in losing the prize offered and sought (but sought too indifferently), but some of the wailing and tribulation will arise from another cause: they will find themselves suddenly in the midst of the great "time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation" (Dan. 12:1), a trouble that will be worldwide, and from which there will be no escape except by those who enter in before the door is shut – to whom it was said, "Watch,...that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things. – Luke 21:36.

The angels are holding the "winds" of violence, until the full number of the elect have been sealed and have made their calling and election sure; and when this is finished we may expect that the trouble upon the world will come "as a whirlwind, suddenly."

But the "foolish virgins" who have been of the household of faith, but slack and not "overcomers," are not the only ones who will find themselves shut out of the Kingdom. Many others – all workers (servants) of iniquity, whether Jews or Gentiles, will find themselves excluded and denied any part or lot in the Kingdom of God.

In this discourse our Lord does not tell what great blessings are to follow the union of the Heavenly Bridegroom with his bride, but other Scriptures tell us that soon thereafter the whole world will be blessed; for the spirit and the bride will give the invitation, "Come!" and whosoever will (not merely an elect "little flock") may then come and take of the water of life freely. (Rev. 22:17.) Neither does the parable tell what became of the "foolish virgins;" but another Scripture shows them "saved so as by fire. – 1 Cor. 3:15.

[R1952 : page 58]



DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – Major Whittle is drawing large audiences, but there is no excitement. He tells too much truth to work up an "old-fashioned revival." I was told that he said recently, "The longer I continue in this work, the less faith I have in exciting revivals."

I heard his two lectures on the second coming of Christ. If he were not depending upon nominal Christendom for the sustenance of his wide reputation as an evangelist, I believe he would be able to see the truth. In a private conversation he said to me, "Aside from two things, I think Brother Russell is in harmony with the Scriptures." What do you think these two things are? "Future probation, and in regard to the divine, spiritual body of Christ." His argument is based upon Acts 1:11 and Luke 24:39.

Yours in Christ,


[REPLY: – We are gratified to learn of this approach to a clear appreciation of the great truths due in this harvest time on the part of one whom we have long esteemed as honest in his convictions, and fervent in spirit serving the Lord, although with a zeal that was not in accordance with a knowledge of many of the truths now due to the household of faith. Early teaching and long accustomed habits of thought are not easily overcome even by clear truth in [R1952 : page 59] minds that are naturally conservative, as most minds are. Yet even over these difficulties the honest-hearted will be led by the spirit of God slowly, if not rapidly, to clear apprehensions of the truth, which is unto all the household of faith meat in due season.

We note the texts thought to be contrary to our teaching that our Lord is no longer a being of flesh – a human being. The brother has probably not taken into consideration the fact that before our Lord "was made flesh," he, in common with other spirit beings, angels, could assume a human body, a body of flesh and blood and bones (Gen. 18:19; Judges 13; Dan. 10:5-21), and that his subsequent humiliation in being "made flesh" (John 1:14) and thus becoming "the man Christ Jesus" (1 Tim. 2:5) was a totally different thing from merely appearing in a body of flesh, like a man. Indeed, no Christian will dispute this difference, we presume; but when they come to consider Luke 24:39 they forget to apply the same rule. They forget that our Lord was "made flesh" only for a limited time, and was not humbled to a lower nature forever; and that the object of this humiliation is clearly stated to have been "for the suffering of death." (Heb. 2:9.) "He was put to death in the flesh, but quickened [made alive] in spirit." And as he said before his death, "Yet a little while and the world seeth me no more," so we find that he "showed himself" (made himself to appear) to none except his disciples after his resurrection, and to them only a few times, and not after his former manner; – coming in while the doors were shut and leaving them by vanishing: as though he would tell them thus, – I am "changed," I am now a "quickening spirit," yet what you see is flesh and bones and not spirit, so do not be affrighted, but permit me to talk with you and expound to you the Scriptures.

The Apostle Paul expounds this subject thoroughly in Philippians 2:6-10. He shows our Lord's pre-human glory, his humiliation to be made a man, and then his still further humiliation to "the death of the cross," and then tells us that God exalted him subsequently to the highest glory. How inconsistent then to suppose him to still have the body of humiliation! He that ascended from the human nature is the same who first descended to the human nature. He is now glorified with the same spiritual glory which he had with the Father before the world was [made], but with added majesty. Our redemption cost enough at Calvary: it is not necessary that our Redeemer should bear a marred and scarred body of humiliation for our sakes for all eternity.

The resurrected bodies of the Church are described particularly in 1 Cor. 15:42-44, as not only glorious, but spiritual. So then if our Redeemer have a scarred and fleshly body of humiliation while we have glorious, perfect, spirit bodies, the "body of Christ," the Church, would eclipse the "head" in glory. But not so: our Lord is now exalted, the express image of the Father's person; and we shall be like him.

Respecting Acts 1:11. It seems strange that so many Bible students overlook the fact that the angel did not say anything about what kind of a body our Lord would have at his second coming, but merely that it would be "this same Jesus" – the same that was with the Father before the world was, and that for a time, and for a purpose, was made flesh and dwelt among us, and died for us and rose a quickening spirit: this same Jesus, whom, during the forty days since his resurrection, the world had not seen, and whom his disciples had seen only for a few times and for a few moments, when he occasionally "showed himself" to them, to demonstrate the fact that he was risen and changed: this same Jesus would come again. As to the "manner" in which he went away, it was quiet, unknown to the world, and so will be the manner of his second coming – unknown to any except the true disciples.

Since "flesh" cannot "see," nor "enter into," nor "inherit" the Kingdom of God (John 3:3-8; 1 Cor. 15:50), we should not imagine the King himself to be flesh. And, thank God! the members of his body, the Church, who are now in the flesh, must be "changed" and be made "like him," and then we shall "see him as he is" (1 John 3:2), not as he was when a man. We shall see him whom Paul saw as one born before the time – the Lord of glory, in glory above the brightness of the Sun.]


DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – Some years ago a wealthy proprietor in Sweden, who had been a very pious gentleman, died, and left his son a loving admonition which I have translated into English, as follows: –

"My dear son: – Hereby I give you on parting this kind admonition. Be never diverted from these three things: the Word of God, your faith in Jesus Christ and [R1953 : page 59] the true fear of God. Hold on to the holy Scriptures, the Old and New Testaments, and let them be a rule and guide for everything you think, believe, speak and do. Trust wholly in the merit of our Lord Jesus Christ for your hope of salvation. Strive daily after holiness, that you may more and more put off evil and increase doing good. If you continue these three things, you will never need to fear any error or seduction. But if you depart from the three things I have mentioned you are in danger of injuring your own soul, and of missing the eternal salvation.

"I will particularly recommend you three practices of godliness: prayer, meditation on the Word of God and self-examination, thereby better to learn to know your faults and weaknesses. If you get sleepy or negligent in any of these three practices you may know that your Christianity is retrograding. But the more fervent you are in prayer, the more eagerly and diligently you ponder God's Word in your heart, the more candidly you test yourself before the Lord, and confess your sins before him, the more powerfully you shall experience the workings of divine grace by the holy spirit in your heart. Appear toward God as a pious and humble child, to your neighbor as a kind brother or compassionate father, and towards yourself, and with regard to your faults, as a severe judge; that you never gloss over them, but readily confess them, and ask for their forgiveness. Be a minister in your own house, and set a good example for your own family and servants [R1953 : page 60] in words and acts. Point them incessantly to the right way, read, pray and sing with them, according as God gives you grace and power to do, and ask the heavenly Father to draw the hearts of them all unto himself. Set a good example for all to follow after, in meekness, gentleness, longsuffering, patience and kindness. Then God shall give you blessing and favor to win yours for the kingdom of Christ.

"Whenever God gives you an opportunity to show your affection, especially toward the poor, the sick and suffering ones, never let it pass you by; for he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and this is the right mind for a Christian to have. Do not let it make you uneasy if you do not always feel joy in your heart, only be patient, and wait upon the Lord. He will surely in his own time make you glad again. Be not too hasty to judge another, for we judge a hundred times, and scarcely once hit the mark. Always leave to God what you do not understand.

"Dear son, I know the Lord will be merciful unto you and take you unto himself, if you faithfully attend to all this; and I would be glad if you would, once a week, especially at its beginning or end, read and consider what I have written. Have no company with seductive men. Do no one injustice in trade or business, and purpose by the help of God to go out into the world as an honest and pious Christian. Keep God before your eyes and in your heart all through life, and beware not to consent to any sin."

This seemed such excellent advice. I want you to see that some over here are friends of the Lord and of righteousness.

Yours in the Redeemer,

JOSEPH WINTER [Colporteur].

South Carolina.

BROTHER RUSSELL AND FRIENDS OF TOWER OFFICE: – I write to tell you my supply of tracts is exhausted, and to ask for more. I give a large part of them to country people returning from town to their homes.

I am kept so confined at home, and, seldom meeting any of the brethren of our hope and faith, I can make no report concerning the spread of the light here. Sometimes I have the unpleasing thought that there are too many DAWN and TOWER readers on whom the truth has taken but a slight hold, who in a languid sort of way apprehend the value of the harvest light, "approve the things that are excellent," but lack earnestness of conviction, and perhaps lack the zeal and ardor awakened in the heart by the good hope that cometh through grace – the "hope that maketh not ashamed." But I do not like to think thus, and am deterred from it by the sense of my own deficiencies and shortcomings. Many times I am caused to feel that the lines have fallen to me in grievous places, with bitter humiliations, tears and sorrows. An alternating and changeful experience is mine. Sometimes I am in the glooms and shadows, sometimes in enough of light to bring back to me the peace he gives to them who are his, enough to keep alive some courage, and prevent me from sinking. Meantime I am sensible of an increasing nearness to him, and a slow but perceptible growth in spiritual light and the assurance of the faith. But it seems to me that but very little is being done in the Master's work, and my own sphere of action and liberty of service in the harvest is so confined, that the distress and fear of coming short of the prize – the promise left to the faithful, the vigilant, the overcomers – will come over me at times.

The TOWERS of 1895 are full of excellent matter. I now understand the Scripture term "the quick and the dead" – clearing up dark and difficult passages in harmony with the plan and system of revealed truth as a whole. This calls up the question relating to the meaning of the Master's words in Luke 17. In verse 5 the disciples desired of him an increase of their faith. Verse 6 can scarcely be called a reply. The question in the reader's mind is – Are verses 7 to 10 to be taken as part of the reply to verse 5? If so, the meaning seems to be that a continuous, humble and faithful service and discharge of duty will result in an increase of one's faith, to a degree greater than indicated by the mustard seed, which is said to be the smallest of seeds.

[We believe our brother has made the correct application of our Lord's words. We must not sit down and expect our Lord to serve us until after we have proved faithful in serving him. (See Luke 12:37.) And after having served him with our all, and to the best of our ability, we must not feel that he owes us a debt of gratitude, but rather that we have brought him nothing to which he was not already the rightful owner, since "ye are bought with a price." We will still be his debtors; and the more faithful and diligent we are in his service, the more will it be to our own profit – to the increase of our faith, as well as to our upbuilding in character. – EDITOR.]

Pray ye, that my faith fail not; for I want to redeem as much of the time as possible, and use means and opportunities as the Lord will give me strength and grace to do so.

Yours in reverent and grateful love of Him,


page 60


DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – Your kind letter at hand. We were glad to receive greetings from you, as we pray without ceasing for you and your household.

On Jan. 1 the Church here called a special meeting at which Brother__________ was elected "elder," Brothers__________ and Sisters__________ as assistants.

I have so many engagements I know not which I should fill. I do not like to miss one evening at the depot, as I can put out from 50 to 125 tracts every evening. I also have parlor talks, reading the DAWNS and TOWERS and explaining the chart at different places; and I have a very good field to work at home, which I am afraid I am neglecting.

I do wish you could see how my wife is growing in grace and in the spirit of Christ. My heart rejoices as she tells me how she goes to the Lord in prayer, and how she trusts him, and how the darkest hours are turned into brightness. My eyes overflow with tears of joy as I think during the day at work of going home in the evening to find her reading or singing praises to the Lord. Our home is a heaven, my life is sweeter than I could have hoped or even thought, but not without seasons of trial. My step-daughter and son are 18 and 15 years of age. So you see I have to be very careful in my conduct, and in their training. They appreciate our happy home, and speak of it to their friends, who wish theirs were the same. I thank the Lord often for the precious truths we receive in the TOWER to strengthen and rejoice our hearts, and ask Him to keep you humble and strengthen you that you may withstand all trials and be a faithful servant. Oh, may we all be patient and faithful, and meet with our Redeemer in glory!