page 209
July 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. XXII.JULY 1, 1901.No. 13.

Views From the Watch Tower 211
"Rev. John Alex. "Dowie" Considers Elijah and the Messenger of the Covenant one and the same Person – Himself 213
Original Sin and its Penalty 214
Satan a Murderer from the Beginning 215
The Ultimate Triumph of Christ over Satan 219
The Story of the Deluge 220
Sons of God and Daughters of Men 222
Noah was Perfect in his Generation 223
Public Ministries of the Truth 224

'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 210

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.

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[R2837 : page 211]


E ARE loth to utter one word of personal criticism in these columns: we much prefer to discuss doctrines rather than persons. And yet at times it seems absolutely to the interest of the Lord's flock to identify persons with false teachings. But even in such cases we seek to deal with the doctrines of the persons and not with their personal affairs. This rule has Scriptural precedent. See the references to Hymenaeus, Philetus and Alexander. – 1 Tim. 1:20; 2 Tim. 2:17.

A man styling himself "Rev. John Alex. Dowie" has come prominently before the public during the past ten years. His specialty until about two years ago was the healing of the sick, in which he was to a considerable extent successful, according to his own accounts. We are informed that he used neither hypnotism nor medicine, but prayed for the sick in the name of our Lord Jesus. Being as sympathetic with every good work done in Jesus' name as we are opposed to every such work done by sorcery, hypnotism and other Satanic influence to deceive – such as Christian Science, Spiritism, etc. – we watched Mr. Dowie's career with a very friendly interest.

Appealed to by WATCH TOWER readers for advice as to whether or not Mr. Dowie's work were of God, and whether or not it would be proper for them to seek divine healing as he proposed, we were obliged to answer them, and now think proper to summarize our reply for the benefit of all our readers and their friends, as follows: –

We are expecting, according to the Scriptures, that our day will abound in deceptions specially prepared by the Adversary to "deceive if it were possible the very elect;" and that in his extremity Satan will even cast out Satan, and heal the sick, with a view to perpetuating his hold of power, and to deceive God's people and turn their attention away from present truth. We must remember our Lord's words, "Many will say unto me in that day, Master, Master, have we not taught in thy name? and in thy name expelled demons? and in thy name performed many wonders? And then I will plainly declare to them, I never approved you. Depart from me, you who practice iniquity." (Matt. 7:22,23, Diaglott translation.) This implies that Satan will have not only false teachers, but also false miracle-workers who will deceive themselves, as well as others, as respects the source of their power and teachings, – and only awake to a realization of their true position – that they are rejected from membership in the elect church – that they have failed to make their calling and election sure to a place in the Kingdom class, when "the harvest is past and the summer is ended." – Jer. 8:20.

Nevertheless we are not to hastily assume that Mr. Dowie is of this deceived class; – let us wait a little, and not hastily decide, lest we think or speak evil of a servant of the Lord. However, there are a few very unfavorable symptoms in this case – foreign entirely to the spirit of Christ as we understand it. (1) Mr. Dowie's very apparent vanity and boastfulness – so different from the Lord's example followed by the apostles – manifested in his continual reference to himself in laudatory, boastful terms and in the publication of sundry photographs of himself in his own publications. (2) The gentleman uses extremely harsh, vulgar language in referring to any and all who oppose him; – manifesting a hatred rather than a love for his enemies. (3) One of the charges against the Pharisees was that they were covetous or literally [R2837 : page 212] "money-lovers"; and this seems to be one of Mr. Dowie's weaknesses. The poor were drawn to the Lord and got most of his favors, but the poor have very small chance of participating in Mr. Dowie's favors. If they cannot pay $20 to $25 per week to stop at the hotel, Zion's Headquarters, they have little chance of contact even with the great man's shadow as he steps from his palatial hotel into his carriage. The occupation and salary of Mr. Dowie's followers are inquired about considerably too; and each is given to understand that the only way to live at peace with God and Mr. Dowie is by faithfully giving one-tenth of his income to the Lord – to Mr. Dowie. These are unfavorable symptoms, and unless they are outgrown we can hope for nothing as respects Mr. Dowie and the harvest work; for it is written that "The Lord resisteth the proud but showeth his favor to the humble."

As respects the Lord's people expecting miraculous healing in answer to prayer: we do not think that they should expect miraculous healing, or pray for it. All of God's people are surely welcome at the throne of grace, and they are invited to bring all their burdens and cares there and to obtain mercy and find grace to help in every time of need. But the saints are never invited to pray for their own physical healing. They are, however, assured that it is the Father's good pleasure to give the holy spirit to them that ask it. And the intimation clearly is that physical ailments, sorrows and pain work out for God's people the graces and fruits of the spirit if properly received and patiently endured. It is to those so afflicted that the Lord speaks as to St. Paul, "My grace is sufficient for thee." With this assurance the Apostle could glory in afflictions; and so may we also learn to do. – 2 Cor. 12:7-10.

This one prayer of the Apostle, repeated, he tells us, three times, is the only prayer for physical healing by any of the apostles, so far as the Bible-record [R2838 : page 212] shows. It was offered early in the Apostle's experience, before he had learned that his high calling was not to health and wealth and earthly blessings and ease in their enjoyment, but to sacrifice all these, that thus becoming a sharer in the sufferings of Christ he might attain to the heavenly condition – glory, honor and immortality – by and by. Thus also our dear Redeemer prayed not for earthly blessings for himself, and used not his powers selfishly. He could have commanded the stones to become bread, but he would not, and fasted forty days. He could have asked, and would have received for his defence and deliverance from his persecutors, twelve legions of angels; but he would not do so – instead he would endure whatever the Father might permit to be poured into his cup of bitter experience; accepting only the common blessings of nature open to all mankind. When weary he rested, or became so weak that he could not carry his cross, and sank under it. But he would not pray for strength. It would have been in opposition to his covenant or consecration unto death to have thus sought divine aid in resisting death.

But while there are no evidences of the apostles praying for relief from physical ills (except the one instance above mentioned) we have records of their illness, and the illness of others whom they loved. In one instance the Apostle declares of Epaphroditus, – "He was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy upon him; and not on him only, but on me also; lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow." (Phil. 2:27.) Can we doubt that if his recovery had been miraculous the thing would have been so declared to the glory of God? It is evident, then, that it was as stated, of divine mercy and not of prayer that the recovery took place. And so it is with us now: "Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of" and fulfils his promises of love and mercy, that all things, even sickness, etc., shall work for good to those called according to his purpose.

Physical healing in answer to prayer, as described in the Bible, was performed upon the public, not upon the Church, except (as in James 5:14-16) the saint had gotten into sin and into sickness as a chastisement for sin and so could not go to God in prayer for himself. Such should send for the Elders of the Church, and they should pray over him, for the forgiveness of his sin; "and tho he have committed sins they shall be forgiven him, and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and God will raise him up."

Altho we are chronologically in the dawn of the Millennium we incline to doubt that any special restitution blessings will be dispensed to the world until the Gospel Church, the elect royal priesthood, is completed and glorified; for this is to be their very work.


Within the past two years Mr. Dowie's income from "tithes" of his followers (one-tenth of their incomes) has amounted to a handsome sum, so that he is now rated a millionaire. He has started a bank, purchased land and laid out a city, and embarked in various commercial enterprises. He has also taken the title of "Overseer" (bishop), and has ordained assistants to represent him in various cities, and the gatherings of his faithful are called churches of Christ; – tho they show no sign of recognizing Christ as their head. Rather, since they are ruled by Mr. Dowie in every particular, and their preachers are appointed by him at his pleasure, they have Mr. Dowie, and not Christ, for their head and ruler, and in all propriety should be considered Mr. Dowie's churches. [R2838 : page 213]

Even to thus Lord it over God's too credulous people (Col. 2:18; 1 Pet. 5:3) does not seem to have satisfied Mr. Dowie, but rather to have still further intoxicated his pride; until during the past six months he has represented himself as being –


Altho quite a number of his followers left him when this was fully understood (for it was broached carefully to "feel" how it would be received before stating it bluntly), yet the majority of the poor "sheep" under his influence seem to be thoroughly deluded – entrapped by his pomposity, which, on the contrary, they ought at once to have recognized as alien to the Lord's spirit, had they known and given close attention to the voice of the true Shepherd, who declares, – "My sheep hear my voice and follow me. A stranger will they not follow, for they know not the voice of strangers." We still have hope, however, that the delusion will not last long with many of the distracted and deluded ones, who in many respects give evidence of being of the Lord's flock.

Whoever will refer to Mal. 3:1 should have no difficulty in seeing what Mr. Dowie evidently has not discerned, namely, that two messengers are referred to in the verse: first the antitypical Elijah to prepare the way, and second Jehovah's special servant, "the Messenger of the Covenant" – the Lord, the Christ. A New Covenant had long been promised, more favorable than the Law Covenant. Its Mediator would be greater than Moses – his antitype – Messiah. (Heb. 8:5-13.) Israel delighted to think of this coming Messenger of the New Covenant and of the blessings which would then be theirs.


Emboldened by his success with his people under the title "Messenger of the Covenant," Mr. Dowie made great preparation for a public declaration of his greatness. He rented the immense Auditorium, made previous announcement that something great and unusual was to be expected, and thus gathered several thousand people including newspaper reporters, who give the following details of the speaker's words, etc.: –

"I am Elijah, the prophet, who appeared first as Elijah himself, second as John the Baptist, and who now comes in me, the restorer of all things. Elijah was a prophet, John was a preacher, but I combine in myself the attributes of prophet, priest and ruler over men. Gaze on me, then; I say it fearlessly. Make the most of it, you wretches in ecclesiastical garb. I am he that is the living physical and spiritual embodiment of Elijah, and my coming to earth a third time has been prophesied by Malachi, by God himself, by his Son Jesus, by Peter, and three thousand years ago by Moses. All who believe me to be in very truth all of this will stand up.

"(Over three thousand people rose to their feet and greeted the blasphemous declaration with cheers and hand-clapping.)

"Understand well what I mean (he continued, striding down to the edge of the platform), I will take no counsel in my methods of government. I have come to proclaim theocracy pure and simple, the government of God by God, and for God, and I will never rest till all other forms of government have been driven from the earth.

"You talk about your democracy. Bah! I tell you democracy has been tried in the balance and has failed. The government of the people, by the people, and for the people is twaddle. I stand loyal to the flag and countenance no revolution, but I demand, here and now, that the name of God must be placed foremost in the Constitution of the United States, and the supreme authority of God over all things must be recognized.

"Listen to the first message of the prophet: You must pay your tithes and offerings into the storehouse of God. Accursed be ye if ye would seek to rob his house of its fulness by not obeying this, his will, sent through Elijah. I am come among you to fight the worship of mammon in all its forms."


Poor man! The kindest view of his course is to presume that his reason has become unbalanced; – in a manner, by the way, that is extremely common. A large proportion of the inmates of insane asylums have the organ of self-conceit too largely developed, and reason is unbalanced. Some think themselves Jesus, some apostles, some Mary, some kings and queens of earth, and dukes, etc., etc. Others of an opposite cast of mind accuse themselves of sins never committed, or imagine themselves given over to devils for torture.

Mr. Dowie's reasoning is faulty: that John the Baptist was not the Elijah because he did not have faith enough to believe it, and to so proclaim himself. Was it a proof that Jesus was not the Christ because he did not so declare until near the close of his ministry? Then, he asked the apostles, "Whom say ye, that I am?" and Simon Peter answered, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona, for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father....Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ." (Matt. 16:15-20.) How different from Mr. Dowie's course!

Our Lord's words respecting John the Baptist explain the matter much better than does Mr. Dowie. Jesus told his disciples after John was dead that John was the Elias – thus contradicting Mr. Dowie's statement that he had failed to comprehend his privilege and [R2838 : page 214] never became the Elijah. (See Matt. 17:12,13.) However, our Lord intimates that John did not do all that is to be done by Elijah, and hence that a greater Elijah is to be expected, when he said, – "If ye will receive it, this is Elias which was for to come." – Matt. 11:14.

John's work as Elijah did not fail because of his own lack of faith, but because of the Jews' unreadiness of heart to be influenced by him. Not many had faith to receive the message, and hence not many were ready to receive Messiah.

The fact that Jesus came to the Jews as their Messiah in the flesh and was introduced by John as a forerunner or introducer (in the power and spirit of Elijah – Luke 1:17) does not hinder the fact that the Messiah (Head and body, 144,000) is shortly to be [R2839 : page 214] presented to the world in spiritual power and great glory. And as the man Christ Jesus was introduced by the man John doing an Elijah work of preparation, so the great and glorious Christ must be preceded by a great Elijah who will make ready for the Second Advent, by testing the people whether they will receive the King in peace and joy, or whether the earth must be smitten with the curse of a great time of trouble in order to make ready for the Heavenly Kingdom.

This great antitypical Elijah is greater than Mr. Dowie and John the Baptist, as the glorified Christ is greater than Jesus of Nazareth in his humiliation. This antitypical Elijah, as we have already shown, is clearly proven to be the entire Gospel Church (Head and body) in the flesh. For nearly nineteen centuries this Elijah has been coming, and been doing his work in the world. Had men received the message joyfully the world would now be longing for the Lord of glory as do we, praying, "Even so, come, Lord Jesus." But as John's message was heeded by but few in nominal fleshly Israel, so also but few have heard the message of the antitypical Elijah. As a consequence the earth must be smitten with a curse, a blight – a terrible trouble of anarchy to make mankind ready and anxious for the Kingdom. On this subject see our detailed proofs that the Church in the flesh is the antitypical Elijah. – MILLENNIAL DAWN, VOL. II., page 249.

[R2839 : page 214]

GEN. 3:1-15. – JULY 14. –

"Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound." – Rom. 5:20.

IN is in the world; the fact is indisputable. All intelligent people recognize the fact, but only such as accept the Scriptures have an intelligent idea respecting its origin. True, the narrative of Eden and its first perfect pair, and their fall from perfection under divine condemnation, is more or less held, in a legendary way, in heathen religions; but none of these attempt to connect up and philosophically state the relationship between the disobedience, the fall and the penalty, the redemption and salvation from it, as do our Scriptures – the Bible. To the Bible student who is meek and lowly of heart the explanation is most satisfactory; only to the worldly wise and those who hold to the traditions of men, and neglect the inspired revelation, is there anything obscure or unsatisfactory in connection with the narrative of the fall, the redemption and the restitution, which constitute the Bible story from Genesis to Revelation.

We are to think of Adam (consisting at the time of two parts, male and female) as perfect, in the sense of being mentally and morally fashioned after the likeness of the Creator – well poised, well balanced – not "prone to sin as the sparks fly upward," as he subsequently became, and as his children now are. We are not, however, to think of him as perfect in knowledge or in character; knowledge must be acquired, but he was fully equipped with all the mental and moral apparatus for a rapid acquirement of knowledge. As for character, in an intelligent being it is a fixity of the will; and such a fixity can only come with knowledge. In other words, the perfect Adam was ready to acquire perfect knowledge, and had a perfect Creator, able and willing to give him the requisite instruction; and as this right instruction would be received, and this perfect knowledge be attained, character (good or bad) would be established; – either in favor of the principles of righteousness already established by God, or in opposition to the will of God, in unrighteousness.

We are not to think of Adam's condition and trial as an experiment on God's part, the result of which would be doubtful; but, on the contrary, we are to remember that the results were fully known to the Almighty before the trial began, and that he saw the end of his work from the beginning, else he would never have undertaken it. Divine foreknowledge is conceded by a large proportion of professing Christians, who, nevertheless, are sadly confused by certain false theories which imply that the Almighty's foreknowledge was to the effect that the vast majority of the posterity of Adam would spend an eternity in most horrible suffering, and that God prepared the arrangement for their suffering in advance of their creation. This view is untenable amongst those who combine any measure [R2839 : page 215] of knowledge of God's character with any measure of reasoning ability. In this lesson we shall see conclusively that our Lord had a much more just, reasonable and loving plan than that, – that he foresaw beneficent results before creating our first parents.

There are two methods of giving and receiving instruction. One through precept and example; the other through experience. Man was not the first of God's intelligent creatures – previously God had created the angels, we know not of how many different orders or ranks – angels, cherubim, principalities and powers, as the Apostle enumerates. These had all been instructed in the first named manner, by good precepts; they had not even had instruction through example, except on the side of good example: they had no illustration of evil and its pernicious consequences. The divine purpose was to bring into being a new order of creature, humanity, whose instruction, it was fore-arranged, should be along the lines of experience; – which would incidentally add to the instruction of God's angelic creatures, by way of giving them an example of sin and its consequences, and of the divine attitude toward sin and toward sinners; and incidentally give an illustration of the operation of divine Justice and Wisdom and Love and Power.


Man was intended from the first to be "a spectacle unto angels" (1 Cor. 4:9) as well as to be himself a miracle of divine mercy and love. It was in harmony with this feature of the divine plan that the perfect but inexperienced pair were subjected to a trial under which the Almighty knew beforehand that they would fail through lack of knowledge. The Almighty did not compel their disobedience; yet neither did he forfend them by minute explanations, warnings, guardings, and assistances against the wiles of Satan; nor was he bound to do so by any principle of justice. His creatures were perfect and were placed in comfortable, well-adapted conditions, with every reason to trust in their Creator and to implicitly obey his commands. But, as we shall see as we progress, while they had this sufficiency of information, their knowledge being limited, they were proportionately weak.


We have mentioned Satan as the tempter, and this is the testimony of the Scriptures throughout; the same kind of reasoning and logic that would relegate Satan to oblivion as a myth, merely a figurative representative of wrong or sin, and not an individual – this same kind of logic and reasoning, if applied to the Creator himself, would similarly make of him merely a good principle, and deny his personality; and this, indeed, is the course of reasoning adopted by some, "Christian Scientists" and others. But we are writing for those who believe the Scriptural statements, and who are neither seeking to get rid of God nor seeking to deny the personality of Satan, but who are ready and anxious to believe what the Lord has revealed respecting him, his present triumph as "the prince of this world," and his soon-coming overthrow and binding, and eventual destruction by the King of kings and Lord of lords.

Nothing in the Scriptures indicates that Satan assumed any evil disposition or opposition to the Almighty previous to this incident of our lesson – his seduction of our first parents into disobedience to the Almighty's commands. This was the time of Satan's own temptation and fall into sin; previously, holy and in harmony with his Creator, he was one of his honored agents and servants; but now as he beheld the newly created pair in Eden, and saw that in them Almighty had implanted the powers of procreation, which eventually were to fill the world with a human race, Satan beheld certain possibilities before himself, by which he might set up a separate, and to some extent, a rival kingdom. If he could gain control of this first pair and their posterity he would have an empire of his own on the earth, similar to the empire of Jehovah amongst the spirit beings. He would thus grasp a position higher than the other angels, tho not as the equal of Jehovah; he would be like him, an emperor, a ruler, and above the others. – Isa. 14:12-15.

We are not to suppose that Satan comprehended in advance the evil results which have followed his course. He could not know any more than others to what extent his own evil course and the communication of it to humanity would bring in all the degradation and sin and misery and pain and trouble and death which have resulted. He became the murderer of our race (John 8:44), tho, like many another murderer, he had not probably intended to commit murder at first, but only robbery; but the wrong course led on and resulted in murder, death.

The serpent in the Garden evidently differed somewhat from serpents in general today, and apparently this is implied in the curse which came upon it. The testimony is to the effect that originally serpents were very wise, sagacious, evidently not at all repulsive, as at present, to the human family. It was this animal that Satan concluded to use as his decoy in bringing temptation to our first parents. We may or may not think of the serpent as addressing mother Eve in an audible voice; it is possible, we think highly probable, that the serpent spoke by his actions [R2840 : page 216] – that under the direction of Satan its actions aroused certain thoughts, feelings, intentions, in mother Eve; indeed, this fact is so clearly recognized that it has become an adage, that "Actions speak louder than words;" yet we would not consider it an insurmountable difficulty to believe that it spoke with an audible voice. But no matter how the questions and implications were suggested to Eve, they came through the serpent, and from Satan, who was the real tempter, bent upon captivating Adam and Eve and making of them his servants, as he indeed succeeded in doing; for the Scriptures inform us that the entire race was "sold [into slavery] under Sin," father Adam and mother Eve receiving but a small and highly unsatisfactory price in the transaction.

To appreciate the situation and the nature of the temptation, we must remember that the Garden of Eden was full of trees of life;* – trees bearing fruit suitable to the perpetuation of human life; so that by continuing in the use of these life-giving fruits all tendency to decay would be counteracted, and the eaters of these, under their favorable surroundings, would have lived forever. While there were many of these trees of life, there was one kind, and one only, whose fruit they were forbidden to eat. This was really not a hardship, as they had an abundance and to spare. They should have reasoned that the Almighty had some wise purpose in objecting to their partaking of the fruit of this one kind of tree. It was no more a tree of life than were the other trees in the garden, but it was forbidden. Our first parents had probably lived in the garden for some time, partaking of the trees of life and enjoying their surroundings, at the time the temptation took place. They had probably wondered frequently why the Almighty had forbidden the use of the fruit of that one particular kind, but could find no answer; and it had been sufficient to them to consider that God, in his wisdom, had a good reason, and that ultimately, no doubt, that fruit would be theirs, as well as others, by divine permission.

*A grove or "woods" or orchard seems to be the thought of the original. – See Gen. 3:24; Rev. 2:7.

It was at this juncture that the serpent, which had previously been seen to be superior in wisdom and intelligence, was noticed going to and eating, regularly, of the fruitage of the forbidden tree; and with this observation would naturally come the thought, Why is it that the serpent is the wisest of all the lower creatures, if it is not that he gains from this tree some valuable quickening mental influence which gives him his superiority? And with our higher organism, if we should eat of the fruit of that tree would it not make us still more intelligent, still more wise, than we are? Then came the evil suggestion, Can it be that God has a selfish purpose in forbidding us the use of this fruit? Can it be that he wishes to restrain us from proper liberties and powers? If not, why did he ever forbid the use of this tree which might give us the increased wisdom? Might it not be that if we were to partake of its fruit we would not only be as we now are, greater than the beasts, but be as gods, – even as the serpent is wiser than the other animals?

The suggestion that knowledge was to be attained in that direction, and that the Almighty was not acting justly and disinterestedly in his counsel and laws, and that the penalty attached was evidently a falsehood, since the serpent did not die – these considerations, these evil suggestions thus instigated by the Adversary, had their desired effect upon the mind of Eve, and she concluded that, without informing Adam of her decision, she would risk putting the matter to the test. She ate. We cannot know in what respect the fruit of that tree affected the intellect and the passions, but very evidently it did have a powerful influence which engulfed our first parents in sinful passion, and introduced them thus into a possible misuse of a knowledge of which previously they had not been entirely ignorant; the result of which was their realization of their own shame and nakedness. We are to remember that much is here told in few words, yet all, we may be sure, that is necessary for us to know.


How strange it seems that this simple narrative, which contains not a word respecting eternal torment, should be made the basis of all the fears which have tormented millions of Christian believers respecting a future of unutterable woe entailed upon father Adam, and through him upon his race, because of the disobedience set forth in this lesson. How simple the statement of the Lord respecting what the penalty would be – death; margin, "dying thou shalt die." How fully this is in agreement with the experiences which have been upon the race for now six thousand years – dying they have died, to the number of something like forty thousand millions. We would not make light of the original sin; we would have it appear in its full force as a deliberate, wilful disobedience of the divine command on the part of those who were not weak through a fall, but who were strong because fresh from the Creator's hands, in his likeness, mental and moral; and yet we assert with all confidence that no reasonable mind can find anything in this language indicating eternal torment as being the wages of sin. Nor could any reasonable mind admit [R2840 : page 217] that if eternal torment had been threatened it would have been a just penalty for the crime mentioned – disobedience in the eating of forbidden fruit.

We have heard of the vindictive farmer who maimed a boy with a shot gun for robbing his orchard; and we know how public sentiment properly condemned his course as harsh and unjust; yet that poor, fallen man was merciful and generous as compared with God according to the theory of "Orthodoxy," that for the theft of one apple Adam and Eve and all their thousands of millions of children were condemned to an eternity of torture.

Comparatively few seem to understand that the "orthodox" teaching is that it was on account of this "original sin" by father Adam and mother Eve that not only they, but all of their posterity were sentenced of God to an eternity of torment at the hands of devils, fully commissioned and empowered to injure and torment them in every conceivable manner throughout an unending future. It is the claim, further, that every member of humanity would surely have gone into that torture, had not Jesus come into the world and died for our sins; and that now only such as believe in Jesus, and lay hold upon him through faith and obedience, can hope to escape this universal catastrophe. Is this reasonable? Do sane people believe it? Do those who claim to believe it act in harmony with such teaching? Are they so unjust to their children or to their servants? Would they consider that such a character on the part of God would be worthy to be copied by any intelligent creature, either as respects its justice, its mercy or its love? The fact, we believe, is that the vast majority of Christian people have never had their senses exercised by reason of use in connection with such matters. They are blindly following blind leaders, who have received and adopted as truth "traditions of the elders," doctrines and theories promulgated during "the dark ages," and who do not investigate the Bible for themselves.

Surely this lesson of original sin and fall and penalty, taught by over two million Sunday-school teachers throughout the civilized world to over twenty-three millions in Sunday-schools, using the International Lessons, should be productive of great good, should open the eyes of understanding of many, and help them to see wherein they have so greatly erred and misunderstood the sentence, and hence misunderstood also the redemption from it, set forth in this lesson. But we cannot hope for much, seeing, as the Apostle declares, that "the god of this world has blinded the minds" of so many; – some more, some less. They will read over the sentence, and where they read "die," will think, "live in torment." They will take the part of Satan as against God, and with him declare, "Ye shall not surely die;" – ye cannot die, ye are immortal by nature, and because so, ye must live forever, either in bliss in heaven, or in eternal torment in hell. Thus Satan has for six thousand years opposed God, opposed the truth, and enslaved many in sin, and blinded others by misrepresentations of the divine character and plan, and his entire effort has been worked out in harmony with his declaration of this lesson, contradicting God, saying, "Ye shall not surely die;" – the wages of sin is not death, but life in torment.


A little curious to know what some of the so-called "theologians" would say respecting the matters of this lesson, and its statement of what the penalty of sin is, we looked up some of their opinions, and give two of these. One says: "Death as the wages of sin includes, not only temporal death, or the death of the body, with all the ills attendant upon a state of mortality, but also spiritual death, or the alienation of the soul from God, who is the only source of spiritual life, and lastly, everlasting death, or final exclusion from God and holiness and blessedness." The Doctor of Divinity, whose words we quote, has overlooked entirely the very essence of the sentence against sin expressed by the Lord in the words, "The soul* that [R2841 : page 217] sinneth it shall die." The reason undoubtedly is that he does not believe that souls can die; it is contrary to his theology, and hence he treats the subject from every other standpoint than the divine standpoint. From God's standpoint the soul is the entire being; it includes the mental and moral powers as well as the physical: and implies a degradation, a corruption, a destruction, of all these in death. And so we find it; man has not only died physically, as a result of his penalty, but the same dying process prevails in his mental qualities and in his moral qualities, so that when death has completed its work all is gone; the soul, being, is dead; and that beyond any power of recovery, so far as man is concerned – a recovery, a resurrection, being only possible from the divine standpoint, by divine arrangement, and the exercise of divine power. In the quotation we are criticising, notice that the claim is made that Adam died a spiritual death; but nothing in the Scriptures informs us that he was a spirit being. On the contrary, the Scriptures tell us that he was of the earth, earthy, – not a spirit being, but an animal being, a human being. He could not, therefore, die to what he did not possess. – 1 Cor. 15:45,47,48; John 3:6; Gen. 3:19.

*See tract, What is the Soul? Sample copy free.

Nor was man redeemed to a spiritual state or condition. On the contrary, the Scriptures assure us [R2841 : page 218] that restitution is to be the result of the ransom to whosoever will accept it on God's terms: a restitution, not to spiritual conditions, because these were never enjoyed, and never lost; but a restitution to all that was lost in Adam's disobedience – to the perfection of human life, under blessed conditions, in full harmony with the Almighty and in his image and likeness. As to spiritual life, we find the Scriptures teaching that the natural man has nothing whatever to do with it; that to the new creature, the Church, alone has it been offered as a change of nature: that only the Gospel Church of this present age is begotten to this spiritual nature, and is to experience a change from human to spirit beings in the resurrection. The remainder, even of the obedient, will not be "changed," but will be restored. – Acts 3:19-23.

The above expression which we are criticising declares, finally, that the ultimate meaning of the death sentence was, "lastly, everlasting death." We agree with the statement, but not with the meaning which the reverend gentleman expects his readers to attach to his words. He wishes them to think of everlasting death as never being attained, but always being approached. It is a mild way of putting the eternal torment doctrine, and probably nine out of ten of all who have ever read his utterance have so understood him. He was hindered from making his statement more definite by reason of the fact that he had not a single word in the Scriptural account whereon to hang any doctrine of eternal torment; he must hang everything on the word death, which is the declared penalty; he must, therefore, presuppose that his readers have been well indoctrinated according to the false standards, and have learned from theological instructors how to twist language to mean its opposite; how to make death, the Scripturally stated penalty, to mean life everlasting in torment, and this in the face of the declaration that life is the gift of God, and will be granted only to those who receive the Son. "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life, and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God [the pronounced penalty for sin, the curse, the sentence, death] abideth on him." "The soul that sinneth it shall die." "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." – John 3:36; Ezek. 18:20; Rom. 6:23; 1 John 5:12.

Another Doctor of Divinity writes on this subject as follows: "It is not sufficiently borne in mind that man's exclusion from the tree of life, which could have conferred immortality, was the carrying out of the sentence." How confused are the ideas of theologians in general upon this subject! Note in this expression the thought that the eating of the tree of life could have given man immortality. Is it supposable that any kind of fruit could produce such a change in man as to make him immortal? It is not supposable; it is unreasonable. But, on the other hand, let us remember that this same Doctor of Divinity would in the same breath claim that man was already immortal; and that he, like all other theologians, bases all of his doctrines respecting the eternity of torment for the damned upon their assumption that man was created immortal, and therefore could not die. How absurd then, everyway, is this statement, that Adam was excluded "from the tree of life, which could have conferred immortality!"

The narrative should be taken as it reads. All the trees were good for food, and desirable to the eye; – all trees of life – not trees of immortality, for no tree could give immortality; God alone had immortality inherently, and he hath given it to the Son, and hath promised it to the Bride, the Lamb's wife, and to no others. Immortality is the prize set before the Gospel Church of overcomers, and none others. Had Adam remained in the Garden of Eden forever, and partaken of all the trees of life therein, he would not have attained immortality, tho he would have possessed everlasting life thereby. His disobedience resulted in his exclusion from all the trees of the garden, – from all the trees of life: and he was thenceforth compelled to labor with sweat of face in the unprepared soil (outside the specially prepared garden, in which his trial took place), that thus dying by inches the penalty – death – should finally be accomplished to the full.


We cannot share in the general disposition to think of father Adam from the ignoble standpoint of "blaming the transgression upon his wife, and seeking to shirk his own responsibility." As a perfect man, unskilled in deceptions and the telling of "white lies," he would probably feel, especially when addressing his Creator and Judge, and in answer to a direct question, that he must tell the exact truth, and he neither felt shame in telling the truth, nor do we feel shame for him in respect to his testimony. The difficulty is that the majority of those who read the account have not appreciated the grandeur of father Adam's position in respect to his wife and the transgression. To our understanding of the narrative, mother Eve's disobedience and involvement in transgression was wholly apart from her husband's knowledge or complicity; and he, when he learned of her course, was so full of sympathy and so full of love for her, as a member of his own body, that his affection quite overcame his proper sense of duty and obligation toward God.

Concluding that his wife's disobedience had forfeited [R2841 : page 219] her life, and that the result to him would mean the everlasting loss of her companionship, he deliberately chose to be with his companion in sin rather than to be separated from her, and to enjoy divine favor and blessing everlastingly without her: therefore he ate knowingly, to share her penalty – he suicided. To our view, in reporting the matter to the Almighty, Adam did not state his case in his own favor, did not state how he was overcome by the pressure of his own heart-love for the one whom the Lord had given him to be his companion; but in the simplest form he explained, as the question properly demanded, how he had partaken of the fruit at his wife's instance. We are not defending Adam; we hold that he sinned wilfully and deliberately, and came justly under the sentence; but we hold also that it was his lack of knowledge that lay at the foundation of his disobedience, even as lack of knowledge and a desire to gain the same lay at the bottom of Eve's disobedience. Had Adam appreciated the divine character, as the Lord's consecrated people may now appreciate it, in the light of fuller knowledge and revelation, his course might have been a different one. He might have trusted the matter to the Lord, that he was able to recover mother Eve from the terrible condemnation under which she had fallen through her disobedient act. It was his despair as well as his ignorance that led Adam to the disobedience that brought the death-sentence, otherwise called "the curse" and "the wrath" of God upon our race.


If to some it may at first appear that death is not a severe sentence, not a manifestation of divine wrath, not a curse, let them reflect further; let them note how all of the dying processes are only parts of death, and that as insane asylums mark those who become mentally dead before they are physically dead; and as hospitals mark those who become physically decrepit before they are mentally decrepit; and as prisons mark those who become morally dead or decrepit before they are physically dead; so all of the experiences of our race, "groaning and travailing in pain together," mark "death working in us." All sicknesses, pains and sorrows are parts of the dying process, in the fifty thousand millions of the human family who have come into the world during six thousand years. The "curse" or sentence of death has resulted in blighted hopes and loves and ambitions, and is rapidly placing the entire race in the great prison house of death – the grave. Surely, the true penalty of sin was a heavy one, tho we must admit it was a just one. Surely, it involved all of the race of Adam in the most natural manner, because all of his children are partakers of his sentence; because sharers in his weaknesses, his imperfection, resulting from his transgression of the divine law.


The Lord's curse or sentence came upon all who were involved in the transgression: upon the serpent, the active agent of Satan; upon the woman, first in transgression; and upon the man, in whom centered the [R2842 : page 219] responsibilities. As to the expression, "Dust thou shalt eat," we incline to consider it as figurative, since we are not aware that the serpent includes dust in its food any more than do the other animals. The expression, "Lick the dust," has long stood for a demeaned, degraded condition, and as a matter of fact, serpents are despised of all and made to "bite the dust" (die) whenever and wherever found, and just such an enmity as is here described, between humanity and serpents, is notorious.


Our first parents must have understood the concluding sentence of our lesson as a ray of hope – "It shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." It was a very indefinite, vague promise of a future triumph of mankind over the Adversary, over sin, over all the evils connected with sin and its penalty, death; but we do not yet see such a victory. We see the race still blinded by Satan; we see him still "prince of this world," working in the hearts of the children of disobedience, who, alas! are vastly in the majority. But the faith enkindled by the Lord's word of promise has since grown and developed and been added to. The promise to Abraham, that his seed should bless all the families of the earth, was a further declaration of the statement made in Eden. Christ is this seed. Begotten of a new life, through the seed of the woman, he has indeed triumphed over sin and death, and declared that he will finally vanquish the Adversary; he has paid the penalty, the very penalty that was originally pronounced, death. "Christ died for our sins." We were thus "bought with a price, even the precious blood of Christ."

We have this assurance, then, that God's plan is continuing to operate, to unfold, and we have good reason to hope for the promised ultimate consummation, in which Satan shall be utterly destroyed. The plan of God during this Gospel age is taking another step forward, in that it is selecting a special, "elect" class, to be members of this seed (Gal. 3:29), to be members of the body of Christ; and in harmony with this is the Apostle Paul's statement, "The very God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly" – under the Church's feet, for the feet are the body of [R2842 : page 220] Christ, and he is the Head of the Church which is his body – hence, under the feet of the Christ. – Rom. 16:20.

Not very long, now, we may hope, will it be until the elect seed of Abraham, the elect seed of the woman, shall be complete, and the work of treading down evil and ultimately destroying it, and eventually destroying Satan himself, with all who intelligently and wilfully are coworkers with him in his rebellion against divine love and justice, will be accomplished. (Matt. 25:41.) Meantime the thousand years, the Millennial age, is set apart for this work of crushing evil, of stamping it out, of bringing in everlasting righteousness. Praise God for such a Gospel, such good tidings of great joy which shall be unto all people, as a result of the redemption accomplished by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and of the great deliverance which by and by, in due time, he shall bring to pass.

Our golden text is the key to all of our hopes. Sin abounded as against not only our first parents, but all of their posterity, unto sentence of death. But God's grace abounded still more, and toward all, in that he provided, through Christ, not only a recovery of all who will of mankind from the penalty of sin and death, but also that the restored and perfected race shall have all that was lost in Eden, full and complete, and that everlastingly. Additionally God's grace abounded to the extent of taking out of the world of sinners a little flock to be heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ, whose nature is to be changed, so that they, instead of longer being of the human nature, will become partakers of the divine nature, sharers of the divine glory and honor and office with their Lord Jesus – far above angels, principalities and powers and every name that is named.

O, for such loving kindness and tender mercy which abounded towards us while we were yet sinners, and which much more abounds towards us in Christ, now that we are accepted in the Beloved one, – for this let the Lord's people give thanks continually, and let the thankfulness of heart extend and manifest itself in words and conduct, in all that we do and say, that all may be to the praise of his glory who has called us out of darkness into his marvelous light!

[R2842 : page 220]

GEN. 8:1-22. – JULY 21. –

"Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord." – Gen. 6:8.

IGHER CRITICS" pick at and find fault with the record of the deluge given in Genesis, yet they are unable to gainsay the fact that there was a great deluge. They find its record written in all parts of the world, in some places indicated by the erosion of the rocks and the deposit of shells and gravel in high altitudes, and in other parts by immense alluvial deposits. Moreover, every nation and people throughout the world (the black race alone excepted) has its traditions and records of the great deluge and of Noah. The fact being so well authenticated, the critics have been obliged to content themselves with minor objections – finding fault with the Scriptural account of the Ark – considering it impossible that the flood should have been throughout the whole world, and probable that it was merely upon some portion of it.

"Higher critics," amongst theologians and schoolmen, are disposed to criticise the text and to claim that the Bible narrative gives evidence, as do other parts of Genesis, of the consolidation of two originally separate accounts, combining the features of both. Many of them are disposed to consider that the book of Genesis was written by Ezra only a few centuries before Christ, and claim that Ezra got his account from the Babylonians during the captivity, and that he merely attributed it to Moses to give it the greater force and reverence before the people. Other critics, however, are forced to admit that the Genesis accounts of the creation and of the flood are immensely superior, in order and in every detail, to any and all accounts ever found elsewhere; and that the reasonable theory would be that the ampler and clearer accounts of Genesis were the first written, and that the accounts of surrounding nations were written subsequently, – legends and traditions. Prof. G. F. Wright says respecting the Babylonian records of the flood, which are meager indeed as compared to the Bible record: –

"It is proper to observe that the cuneiform tablets (in their account of the deluge, copied from Babylonian records of 1800 to 2000 years before Christ) combine in one account, and in substantially the same order as that of Genesis, both the elohistic and Jehovistic documents, supposed by many critics to have been united into one only after the exile. In this comparison, therefore, we have well-nigh scientific demonstration that these critics are wrong in their inferences from literary analysis. And," he adds, "the attempt to make out that there are two combined accounts of Genesis containing irreconcilable chronologies is little more than a gratuitous supposition, for they can readily enough be arranged in one continuous chronological scheme. While we need not [R2842 : page 221] maintain that science demonstrates the truth of the Biblical account, we can say that it presents no insuperable obstacle to the account when properly interpreted, while it does add plausibility to the study by bringing clearly before our minds a period of geological history since man came into the world, during which there was great instability of the continents and a succession of catastrophes, startling in their magnitude and short in their duration, which may well have culminated in the Noachian deluge."

One of the pronounced higher critics, President Harper, of the Chicago University, admits the general correctness of the Scriptural account of the deluge, viewed even from the hypercritical standpoint, saying: "We may regard the deluge as a historical fact, preserved in a multitude of forms; 'an actual and terrible event which made so powerful an impression upon the imaginations of the first parents of our species that their descendants could never forget it. This cataclysm took place near the cradle of mankind, and previous to the separation of the families from whom the principal races were to descend.' The deluge was a fact; it was a part of a great plan; its record, as handed down to us in the Hebrew Scriptures, is the one clear, distinct account, and when compared with the other accounts bears on its face indications of its divine origin."

To the Christian mind it is quite sufficient attestation to the truthfulness of the account of the deluge, as given in Genesis, that our Lord, the great Teacher, made no criticism of it, but by referring to it clearly implied its truthfulness and general correctness. And the evidence is still further strengthened by the fact that the Apostle Peter refers to it, and under the guidance of the holy spirit shows that it marked the close of the first dispensation, – as a great cataclysm of trouble, anarchy, symbolically called "fire," will mark the termination of the present dispensation, and prepare the way for the new era, called the new heavens and [R2843 : page 221] the new earth. – Matt. 24:37-39; 1 Pet. 3:20; 2 Pet. 2:5; 3:6,7.

Considering then that the truthfulness of the narrative is abundantly established, a first foundation for those who have the eye of faith and the ear of faith, we proceed to the examination of the lesson. Altho there are evidences that the whole world was at one time under water, pebbles and shells being found in the tops of the highest mountains in all parts of the world, nevertheless it would not be essential to the truth of the narrative that we should assume that the entire earth was covered with water in Noah's day; it may have been, or it may not have been. Apparently western Asia was the cradle of our race, and the whole world at that time was of very limited dimensions. That part of the world could very easily have been submerged, and again elevated, by forces not fully comprehended as yet by anyone, – for this is admitted to have occurred in various parts.

The Ark, according to the measurements given, was an immense structure, with a storage capacity probably at least treble that of any vessel afloat today. Its length, three hundred cubits, would be about five hundred feet; its width, fifty cubits, about eighty feet; its height, thirty cubits, about fifty feet. Let us compare these dimensions with those of a great vessel of today, the Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse. Its length is 648 feet; its breadth 65 feet; its depth 43 feet. We are to remember, however, that the Ark was not built for navigation, but merely as a float, like a covered raft; hence it needed not to be pointed at either end, and toward the bottom, as are modern ships. We are told that it had three floors; and when we estimate the difference as respects the width at bow and stern, its capacity would be at least twice as large as the Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse; and when we omit the motive power and steering apparatus it would practically give it at least three or four times the storage capacity of the latter vessel.

This peculiar and enormous vessel had an immense cargo of animals, and food for their sustenance during the long period of confinement. Nor need we suppose that all the wild animals of today were wild and troublesome in the Ark; many may have become wild since then. The mention of animals taken into the Ark as being "clean" and "unclean" would rather seem to refer specially to the useful animals, as for instance, the cow and the sheep are clean – proper for human food, as provided by Jewish law, while the horse and the dog would be amongst the unclean, unsuitable for food, but nevertheless useful servants of mankind.

Scientists have indulged in amusement as respects the poor ventilation, claiming that the Ark had only one little window, one cubit, twenty inches square; but rather we should understand that this window, twenty inches high, extended around the Ark on all sides under the eaves. The particulars are not given us, but from our standpoint Noah and his sons, the contractors for the building of the Ark, were not stupid men, only one degree above the monkey, but men of good mind, only a few degrees below the perfect man, as they had maintained to a considerable degree the original image of God, conferred upon Adam and transmitted by him. It was not many centuries after the construction of the Ark that the great Pyramid of Egypt was built, which likewise gives abundant evidence of skill. We can reasonably suppose that the architects and builders of these were sufficiently skillful to know how to provide for the necessary ventilation. Indeed, the Great Pyramid was for a long time a marvel in respect to its ventilation, which later was found fully provided for.

Those who claim that evolution has been the process of mankind's development, find a serious obstacle to their theory in this record of the flood; – not only those who attempt to ignore the divine Creator, but those as well, who recognize Jehovah, and who claim, contrary to the Bible, that he has been developing mankind out of a brute stock. It goes against all evolution theories to claim that the race of Adam became so grossly corrupt that it was just and proper that it should be blotted out of existence, only a remnant being carried over for a new start. If Adam in Eden was but one remove above a monkey, what shall we say of the condition of the world of mankind after [R2843 : page 222] 1656 years, and the Lord's declaration respecting them, that instead of evolving into greatness and dignity, they had corrupted their way and were not fit to live?


The Scriptural account of the condition of mankind previous to the flood, is that the earth was full of giants and full of violence, and the explanation of this condition of things is that the giants had been born as a result of marital union between a class called "sons of God" and certain "daughters of men." Commentators in general have, we believe, fallen into grievous error as respects the meaning of this statement, supposing it to signify that the expression "daughters of men" refers to Cain's daughters, and that the so-called sons of God were the children of Seth. According to this claim, the wickedness of Cain descended to all of his daughters, and the supposed righteousness of Seth descended to all of his sons, for a certain time, and that the blending of these two families opened the flood-gates of wickedness. This supposition seems to us very untenable, for several reasons. First, there is nothing in the Scriptures respecting the posterity of Cain to imply that they were under any curse, because of their father's sin. To suppose such a law would be to suppose that it prevails still, and that heredity would entail upon the children of all murderers the guilt of their parents, and upon the children of all thieves, marauders and evil-doers the direct guilt of their parents. We admit that evil disposition is transmissible, and that to a certain extent it follows to the third and fourth generation, but we deny that there is any special curse of God after the fashion that is here claimed. Furthermore, according to this very theory, the sons of Seth retained his righteousness and favor with God for a time, and then suddenly lost it all – except Noah, – an unreasonable assumption. Furthermore, it would be difficult for those who take this position to explain to us why the evil seed of Cain intermarrying with themselves would not produce giants, and men of renown, and how a blending of these two families would produce that which neither of them could or did produce alone. The theory is lame and inconsistent in every particular.

The Apostle Peter gives the key to the real solution of the matter when, in reciting the events connected with the flood, he tells us of the fall of the angels at that time, who "in the days of Noah" "kept not their first estate." (1 Pet. 3:19,20.) Those angels who were permitted to have a measure of control of the fallen race, with a view to helping them as much as they might be able, and who, for the purpose of rendering such assistance to mankind, were permitted to appear in human form, became enamored of the human female, and preferred the human or animal form to their own state as spirit beings. They thus left their original estate, as Jude also explains. (Jude 6.) These angels are the ones denominated "the sons of God," none of the human family being given that name after the fall. Adam, we are told, was originally a son of God (Luke 3:38), but none were so called subsequently until the Gospel age. We are told that at our Lord's first advent those who received him received privilege or liberty to become the sons of God. (John 1:12.) And so the Apostle declares respecting the Gospel Church, "Now are we the sons of God [prospectively], and it doth not yet appear what we shall be," when perfected as sons, when our adoption shall be completed, as members of the body of Christ. (1 John 3:2; Rom. 8:17.) On the contrary, the term "sons of God" is a general name applied to the angels. – Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7.

From this standpoint the whole matter is clear – every feature of it. Mankind, impoverished in vitality by fifteen hundred years of toil in the condemned earth, battling for his bread with thorns and thistles, was considerably weaker than in his perfection, the image of God, before the dying process began; while the angels, assuming human bodies, would possess completeness of vitality and virility, and in consequence of this, the children born to them by the daughters of men would not only be physically giants in strength, but also mentally – as declared in the record, "men of renown" – superior to other men in qualities of cunning, skill and ingenuity. Thus the agencies which God had permitted for the benefit of mankind became a snare to his spiritual governors, and a test of their loyalty to righteousness, to purity, to fidelity to God. And to our understanding God foreknew, foresaw, this fall of "those angels which kept not their first estate," even as he foreknew the fall of our first parents in their trial in Eden. And from our standpoint both of these falls were permitted to give instructive lessons, useful not only to those more particularly involved, but to all of God's human creatures who should afterward be born, and ultimately be brought to a knowledge of the truth, and additionally instructive to the holy angels who maintained their loyalty to God, to righteousness, to purity, to their first estate.

The Apostles Peter and Jude clearly mark out the punishment visited upon those "sons of God" who thus betrayed their trust and fell into sin, "leaving their own habitation," their own nature, and affiliating with the human nature. Their punishment has been their deprivation of all such liberties, and their separation from God and from the holy angels: and this restraint is called, by the Apostle, "chains of darkness," while the restrained ones themselves, instead of being recognized as "sons of God," or angels of light, were thenceforth known as "angels of darkness," "demons," "wicked spirits." Incidentally we [R2844 : page 222] remark that these are the "spirits in prison" mentioned by Peter (1 Pet. 3:19), and that altho restricted as respects their powers of fellowship with the holy angels, and with mankind, being no longer privileged to appear as men, they still seek human fellowship, endeavoring to gain possession of human beings who yield up their wills, and who are then said to be possessed of devils or "obsessed." It is but a preliminary step toward thus getting possession of the individual that these wicked spirits appeal to humanity to become their mediums (spirit mediums), through whom they to some extent communicate. And they personate dead human beings, because they know well that humanity would shun them and fear them if their real identity were discovered.*

*See What Say the Scriptures About Spiritualism? Proofs that it is Demonism. 10 cents, this office.

[R2844 : page 223]

From this standpoint, which we hold is the only reasonable, consistent and Scriptural one, the reason and necessity for the deluge is quite apparent. The reason is Scripturally given, that the whole world had become corrupt – the original Adamic stock had become confused and intermixed with another life. The divine purpose of redemption, blessing and restitution was confined to Adam and his family; that as by one man's disobedience sin came into the world, even so through the obedience of one many may be justified to life. Altho foreknowing the condition of things God made no provision for the mixed progeny of the angels – that was out of his order, out of harmony with his arrangement, and hence as soon as it had demonstrated itself and taught its lesson the flood swept all away, except the one family of Noah, of whom it is declared, "Noah was a just man and perfect in his generation." (Gen. 6:9.) Not a perfect man, for he was a fallen man, as were all of Adam's children, but he was perfect in his generation – he was not of the mixed seed, he was pure Adamic stock. The Hebrew word here rendered generation is toledaw and signifies descent, family.

The lesson taught by this failure of the angels and its result to mankind was that any deviation from the divine plan and arrangement would work injury instead of good to those participating in, as well as to those affected by it. The angels who fell from their noble work and condition, and became groveling and sensual, manifested clearly in their own course the downward tendency of all transgressions of the divine law. Then their children, who might have been expected to be brilliant, talented, able, and who were all these in many respects ("men of renown") possessed their abilities in connection with a sinful and alienated condition; and it was proper that both angels and men should see that the greater the ability possessed, out of harmony with the divine arrangement, the greater would be the injury instead of blessing which would result. Thus we see that these renowned men, with their great abilities, physical and mental, tended not to the promotion of godliness, peace, joy, happiness in the world; but to strife, to oppression, to violence.

It may be thought by some that we are straining the illustration, when we affirm that we see today in the world something that is in many respects analogous to this evil condition which led to the dissolution of the first world or dispensation; that we see that somewhat similar conditions producing somewhat similar evils are leading on rapidly to the great catastrophe with which "this present evil world" shall pass away, in a great commotion, symbolically called "fire" of anarchy, – giving place to the new order, the Millennial Kingdom. The analogy is as between humanity and the new creatures in Christ, who are Scripturally called "the sons of God." The influence of these sons of God upon the world of mankind should be instructive, elevating, helpful, showing forth the praises of him who called them out of darkness into his marvelous light, – transformed by the renewing of their minds, etc., they should be letting their light so shine before men that men would see their good works and glorify the Father in heaven. But the influence of mankind upon the Church seems to have been stronger than the influence of the new creatures upon mankind – not in all cases, but in some cases, just as it was with the angels. The sons of God (the Church), enlightened beyond their fallen and unregenerate neighbors, are men of renown, and the civilized world of today, Christendom, represents the influence of this combination of the spiritual with the natural in Babylon – Confusion. It has lifted up humanity wherever it has gone; it has sharpened, it has broadened, it has civilized; but instead of this combination working for the highest benefit of mankind in all cases, we find, rather, that the tendency is to combine the higher intelligence with human selfishness, and the result of this union is the bringing forth of giants in the earth, – corporative giants – which very shortly will give mankind a great deal of trouble and fill the earth with violence.

Are not the trusts and combines, now rapidly developing throughout the world, the offspring of this union of heavenly light and intelligence with the selfish depravity of the fallen race? and what hope can mankind have when once these giants have reached their growth and strength, and when their necessities combined with their selfishness, shall influence them to exert their power in the world? Will it not lead to violence? Will it not bring about the time of trouble which Scripturally is described as being a period when "every man's hand will be against his neighbor" – when selfishness will be in control in every direction and amongst all classes except those who, like Noah and his family, are in the Ark of safety – under the Lord's special and protecting care? We would not press the figure too far, but we do see some analogy as between the end of the first world or dispensation and the end of the present dispensation, the second world.

The printed lesson deals particularly with the going forth of Noah, his thankfulness to God, his worship, as expressed in the building of the altar, and the offering of the sacrifice, typifying man's reliance upon God and the great sacrifice for sin securing the return of divine favor which would be accomplished in due time by Messiah. The offering was accepted by the Lord, who declared that the earth should nevermore be visited by such a catastrophe, and that nevermore should every living thing be smitten; and in this we see another evidence that the coming trouble will not destroy all human life, altho it is represented symbolically as fire: the fire of that day will burn against all wickedness, against all sin, to destroy it root and branch, yet the Lord, through the Prophet, declares that after the fire of his anger shall have burned in fierceness against the world of mankind, he will subsequently turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent – thus indicating that while the symbolical fire of that day will destroy the institutions, arrangements, peculiar to this time, it will not destroy all the people, but prepare them for the reception of the Lord's message of favor and blessing, for it is written, "When the judgments of the Lord are abroad in the earth the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness." – Zeph. 3:8,9; Isa. 26:9.

page 225
July 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. XXII.JULY 15, 1901No. 14.

"Beheaded for the Testimony of Jesus" 227
Abraham Called of God 229
Abraham's and Lot's Testings 233
Interesting Letters 235
A Special Edition of the Linear Bible 238
Public Ministries of the Truth 240
Items: – When Requesting Pilgrim Visits, 226
– Millennial Dawn in Leather Binding, Etc 226

'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 226

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.

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[R2844 : page 227]


"And I saw the souls [persons] of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God;...and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years." – Rev. 20:4.

LL constituting the Kingdom class are here referred to as beheaded – every member of the glorified Church must, eventually, have this experience, whatever it signifies. But we reflect that our Lord was not beheaded and, so far as history shows, few, if any, of the apostles were literally beheaded; indeed, very few, if any, of the Lord's saints, from Pentecost to the present time, have died by decapitation. We are to remember, however, that this statement is from the symbolical book, and is therefore a figure of speech, a word-picture, and its meaning must be sought for accordingly.

The Apostle gives us the key, saying, "The head of every man is Christ; the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God." (1 Cor. 11:3.) [R2845 : page 227] As a woman who becomes a wife accepts her husband as the head of the family, so the Church accepts Christ as its head, and each member of the Church thus comes into relationship with the Lord as a member of his body – not the head; and all of these, to be acceptable as members of the figurative body of Christ, must be will-less, headless: their own wills must be surrendered, so that, like their Lord, they can say, "Not my will, but thine, be done." They must be headless in the sense of ignoring their own wills, being dead to self and actuated henceforth by the will of the head of the body, Christ Jesus. His will, his mind, his spirit, must dwell in each member of the body, and abound, if it would abide a member of his body, the Church. Thus, as the wife loses her own name, and accepts the name of her husband and his headship, so each member of the bride of Christ must lose his or her individuality in order to be accepted as the Bride of Christ. It is this self-surrender to Christ on the part of his Church that is represented in the symbolism of the text before us.

One of the prime hindrances to Christian growth is the failure to discern the completeness of the sacrifice requisite in those who would be accounted as members of the elect Church, the body of Christ. No one can be of this elect number, to live and reign with Christ in his Millennial Kingdom, who has not been thus beheaded. We often think of this when we hear well-meaning Christian people say, "I have a mind of my own; I do my own thinking." It is certainly better, in many instances, that one should do his own thinking than that he should let another man or another woman do it for him; than that he should allow a body of men to make a creed for him, even tho that body of men, professing to be his head, be called a Synod or a Presbytery or a Conference, and desire that the individual shall submit himself to its headship, and become a member of some earthly church. Such sectarian systems – heads and members – are false bodies of Christ, which the real Head never recognized.

It is required of every one who would be counted in as a member of the true Church, that he should be not only beheaded (lose his self-will), but that he shall be united to the true Head of the Church and recognize himself as a member of the true body of Christ – "the Church of the living God, whose names are written in heaven." Membership in the Presbyterian body, or in the Methodist body, or in the Lutheran body, or in the Baptist body, or in any other human institution, does not count anything, for the simple [R2845 : page 228] reason that Christ never recognized any of them, never founded any of them, never joined or agreed to join any of them as their head. There are not many bodies of Christ, but only one, the Church of the living God – there is one body, one Lord, one faith, one baptism. The Lord is not the head of these human institutions, which call themselves his bodies, and membership in them will avail nothing as respects the reward of joint-heirship with Christ in the Kingdom; but rather (as intimated in the words of this verse which we have omitted), the worship, reverence, of these human systems, when once they are seen to be counterfeits of the true body, would be a barrier to a place in the true body and in the Kingdom glories.

As Jesus was not the founder or institutor of these bodies, neither is he their head; neither were the apostles members of any of these human sects or parties, and all of the Lord's true saints who, under Satan's misrepresentations, have been led to consider these human institutions as bodies of Christ, and to join them, while really in heart holding an allegiance to Christ as far above them, as the only true authority and Head – these are now urged to come out of all these various systems; and the light of present truth is for the purpose of showing them where they are, and permitting them to renounce their allegiance to the human systems, and to declare their allegiance only to the one Head and to the one "Church which is his body." These systems are so numerous, and their theories so diverse and confused, that the general term "Babylon" (confusion) is applied to them as a general or family name, and God's true children are admonished, "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." – Rev. 18:4.

In Israel God gave a typical representation of his Church in Aaron, the high priest, and his sons, the under priests. So, says the Apostle, we are "a Royal Priesthood," and again, "Consider the high priest of our profession [or order of priesthood], Christ Jesus." Now, be it noted, that in the type the beheading of the under-priests was fully illustrated in the fact that the under-priests were required to wear "bonnets," while the high priest alone was without the bonnet and wore the mitre. The high priest was thus proclaimed to be the head of the priesthood; and in covering their heads the under-priests said in the type, We are headless; look to the high priest; he is our head. So, in the antitype, the spiritual Royal Priesthood must all be headless, must all, in the language of the hymn, say: –

"O to be nothing, nothing,
To him let all voices be raised;
He is the fountain of blessing,
He only is most to be praised."

And this headless or will-less condition is not merely a sentiment; it must be a reality, so far as the new creature is concerned. All those who are really "members of the body of Christ" must in their hearts reach that condition where they can say with the greatest sincerity of heart, The Lord's will be done, Teach me thy will, O Lord. They must reach that attitude of relationship to Christ that will be continually seeking to know the will of the Head, and seeking to do it. True, the new creature must operate through, and think with, the human organism; and the latter being imperfect, through the fall, the result may frequently be an imperfect apprehension of the will of Christ, as well as an imperfect doing of that will. However, the imperfections of the flesh are not imputed against the new creature, if the heart be loyal in seeking to know and in seeking to do the will of Christ.

"The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy;" and the intimation of our text is that it will be fidelity to this spirit of the truth, the spirit of Christ working in us, in conjunction with the Word of God, the "exceeding great and precious promises," that will work upon us to effect the change from our own wills to the will of Christ – beheading us, making us dead to self and alive toward God through Jesus Christ our Lord. There is no intimation here of dependence upon sectarian arrangements and institutions; each "soul" (individual) must be beheaded for himself, and must be individually united to Christ, the Head of the Church. There is no intimation of the acceptance of sects and parties. On the contrary, sectarianism, in every sense and degree, is opposed to the Scriptural arrangement of union, direct and complete, between the Lord and the individual alone.

What an honor and dignity are thus given to the Word of God – and the testimony of Jesus, – not in his own words only, but especially in his life and example, the spirit of which all members of the body must partake of, ere they can have fellowship in his sufferings, walking in his footsteps in the same narrow way of self-sacrifice – thus to be made meet for a share with him in the Kingdom. However, nothing in this should be understood to imply that there are no helps, no assistances, to be rendered and to be accepted and appreciated in the body of Christ, as between the various members; indeed, other Scriptures show us that if one member of the body rejoices, other members are comforted; and if one member suffers the others share the injury. And the Apostle makes very clear to us that our Lord, the Head, communicates with the members of his body by using certain of their own number as his representatives – so that one member may serve the body as an eye, another as an ear, another as a mouth. (1 Cor. 12:12-31.) Nevertheless, we must [R2845 : page 229] always consider the headship of the Lord; and the provision which he makes for the body is what in every instance is to be sought, and not what men may scheme or do in self-exaltation and as would-be teachers in the body of Christ.

Dear brethren, let us consider well the force of this strong symbolic statement. Let us ask ourselves, (1) Have I in obedience to the spirit and example of Jesus, and the testimony of God's Word, given up my own self-control, self-will? (2) If I have, to whom did I give it? – to a large denomination, professing to be the body of Christ, or to a little denomination, professing the same? (3) Am I looking to these as my head, my instructors, guides to my conscience, the directors of my spiritual energies? Or have I renounced my own headship and fully accepted the headship of Christ Jesus, – to the ignoring of all other contrary heads and authorities – to be taught of the Lord, guided of the Lord, used of the Lord, and given such experiences as his infinite wisdom sees best for me? (4) And am I fully content to be thus a member of his body, cut off from all others, and to be used according to his will as I find it recorded in his Word? Or am I, so to speak, a double-headed man, seeking to go through life acknowledging the headship of Jesus, but at the same time having another head or will of my own – and thus what the Apostle James called "a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways," [R2846 : page 229] attempting to follow my own inclinations at times, and the Lord's directions at other times, and thus unstable, unreliable, as a member of his body, and unsuitable to be used by him, but in a condition to be ultimately repudiated if I do not become entirely beheaded as respects my own will? (5) Or have I, still worse than this, three heads, or parts of three heads, – some of my own head, or will, not fully cut off; some of the head or will of Christ, incompletely attached; and some of a sectarian, man-made head – a confusion worse confounded, which renders me utterly unfit to comprehend and obey the mind of the spirit?

Dearly beloved, the time is short, the great prize we seek is near, the "mark" or standard of character to be attained is plainly set before us, and the Scriptures are luminous with illustrations of the necessity for complete consecration to the Lord, – showing us that it means deadness to self. Shall we not each see to it that by the grace of God every other head and authority is completely cut off and cast aside, and that henceforth, as the Apostle expressed it, "For me to live is Christ" – as a member of the body of Christ, guided by his will as discerned through his Word and providence and example? This is another picture of full completion of character-likeness to our Lord. Did he not fully give up his own headship, his own will, to the Father's will? He surely did; and as that full consecration was rewarded by the Father, so we have the assurance that our full consecration (and nothing less than this) will be fully rewarded by our Lord and Head in the Kingdom.

[R2846 : page 229]

GEN. 12:1-9. – JULY 28. –

"I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing."

BRAM received his special call about four centuries after the deluge. The three sons of Noah became the roots, so to speak, of the different branches of the human family – spreading out in different directions. In the words of another, "The world was populated in three different lines by the sons of Noah: Shem, from whom were derived the Jews and other Semitic races; Ham, the ancestor of the colored races; and Japheth, amongst whose descendants are the European nations. To these three, the diverging races and the languages of men converge, as rays of light to their sources."

The four centuries had undoubtedly accomplished much in the way of populating the immediate district which is called the "cradle of the race," in the vicinity of Babylonia. During these four centuries the downward tendency of our fallen race was farther manifested; for altho Noah was evidently a man of faith in God, and his sons and their wives, saved in the Ark with him, were doubtless firm believers in Jehovah God – their experiences attesting his greatness and his wisdom – nevertheless, in a comparatively short time their posterity, lacking faith in God and in his promises that there would never more be a flood, undertook the erection of the Tower of Babel as a protection, little realizing, apparently, the folly of such an attempt to outwit the Almighty.

It was here that the oneness of the race, exercised injuriously, was effectually broken up by the Lord, by confounding the language of the people. Just how he accomplished this division of language is not explained, nor is such an explanation necessary. The fact is that language is split up not only into great divisions, but into minor dialects, notwithstanding the fact that, as surely as the whole race was originally one, the language at first must likewise have been one. This divergency of language tended to the disintegration of the race and its scattering into various bands [R2846 : page 230] or tribes – ultimately into every corner of the world, as at present. And such changes of conditions, in temperature, habits of life, etc., have undoubtedly had much to do with the great variety of types amongst men which we see today – these racial changes coming in gradually during the past 4000 years.

Abram, and so far as we may know from the Scriptures, his father and all of his brethren, maintained to a considerable degree a faith in Jehovah; and in harmony with this, enjoyed divine favors similar to those which operated in, and brought blessings to, Noah. But during those four centuries, so far as the records show, the world in general had become idolatrous and morally corrupt.

During all those four centuries there was no preaching of the gospel, because there was no gospel to preach, no good tidings authorized to be proclaimed. Nor was there any threatening of men with an eternity of torture, because no such thing is true. The world simply moved along, taking its own course, which, as we have seen, is a downward one. We may safely say that while an individual might for a time hold himself from a moral decline, or might even take a few upward steps toward a better condition, mentally, morally and physically, yet we cannot surmise, from what we know of the race and the tendencies of sin working in its members, that any number would make upward progress: on the contrary, experience proves that the tendencies on the part of the whole is continually downward, in response to some moral force corresponding to gravitation. Observation of the Scripture records as well as observation of life teach us that any particular and extended uplift of our race or its members must come through a power from on high – a power outside of mankind. And this power of God operates chiefly through the mind, and is conveyed generally through divine promises, which the Apostle declares are designed of God to work in us both "to will and to do God's good pleasure."

Here we find Abram, the youngest son of Terah, living with his father and with his brother Nahor. His elder brother Haran was of the same family group, and is supposed to have left two children when he and his wife died – Lot and Sarah. It was at this time that in some manner, not explained to us, the Lord manifested to Abram his favor, calling him to separate himself; to leave his own country and his father's house, and to expect, in so doing, increased manifestations of divine favor and blessing. Apparently this call, while given before his father Terah's death, was understood by Abram to be a preparatory admonition so that he might respond, as he did, directly after his father's death. Meantime he had reached the age of 70 years, had married Sarah and had considerable possessions in the way of flocks and herds, with quite a retinue of servants and assistants necessary to the care of these. Abram, for his name had not yet been changed to Abraham, was what is called in that country a sheik, and his change of abode in response to the Lord's call meant a great deal in the way of breaking up of established usages, sundering of family ties, etc. How large his camp must have been may be judged from the fact that a little later on (Gen. 14:14), the number of his armed servants born in his own household was 318 – implying a general household of at least 1,000 persons. Abram was thus a sort of king according to the conditions of that time; or a feudal lord or baron according to later conditions and usages in Great Britain; a sheik, father or ruler, according to his own time and country.

Few seem to get the proper thought respecting the call of Abram: he was not called to escape hell and eternal torment, nor was he called to go to heaven. He was called to leave Chaldea and go forth whithersoever the Lord in his providence might direct. Terah, his father, was not called, nor was Nahor, his older brother. Sarah, who had become his wife, shared with him in the call, of course, but altho he took with him his nephew, Lot, the latter was not included in the call; altho a sharer in God's favors to Abram, he had neither part nor lot in the call and the subsequent promises and covenant connected with it; and this was all right. It implied no injustice on God's part. God had a great and wonderful plan for man's salvation which he purposed to work out largely through human instrumentality, and it was his own business, and no one else's, whom of the fallen race he would elect to use as his servant and as the channel for these purposed blessings – the character of which will be more clearly delineated in future lessons.

During the five years between the time God first called Abram and the time when he started for Canaan, after his father's death, there was abundant opportunity for doubt and fear to do their work in his heart, and to hinder his obedience. Undoubtedly he thought the whole matter over carefully; and from what we know of his general character, we must assume that he decided the matter speedily – his confidence in the Lord being so great he could not question the wisdom of following such a guide. Nevertheless, the time must have come when it would be necessary to inform his friends and relatives respecting his departure and respecting his call of God. We may reasonably surmise their opposition, their lack of faith in the matter, and how they would endeavor to dissuade Abram from going, telling him he was deceiving himself, and that his chances for becoming great were far better at home than in his proposed emigration. No doubt they [R2847 : page 231] taunted him with a call which did not clearly specify where he was to go; – for we have the assurance of the Apostle that he obeyed God, "not knowing whither he went." – Heb. 11:8.

Abram's call very much resembles the call of the elect Church. Neither are we called to escape eternal torment. Neither do we at first comprehend the leadings of divine providence, but are to follow and be led and taught of God day by day. Our friends also are in Babylon, in confusion, and they, like Abraham's friends, would dissuade us from the exercise of full confidence in the divine promises – they would persuade us of the folly of leaving Babylon, its comforts and associations: they assure us that our opportunities for greatness, etc., will be distinctly lessened by the course of obedience which we take. Nevertheless we, like Abram, go forth taking all of our possessions with us, great or small – nothing must be left behind to be a treasure in Babylon and to attract our hearts thither again. All things must be brought with us so that not our own lives and talents only, but our influence upon others, must all be made to count – every item of it – in harmony with the Lord's promises.

The Lord's promise to his elect Church, designated Israel and children of Abraham, is very similar to the promise made to Abram, as recorded in this lesson. To us the Lord says, "Ye are...a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people;" yet these promises belong in such a large degree to the future, that only by the exercise of faith like Abram's is it possible for us to appreciate the situation and rejoice in and live up to the privileges of this position.

To us who are united to Christ, the Father's words specially apply, "I will bless thee and make thy name great and thou shalt be called blessed." The fulfilment has already commenced in our hearts, but that is not the end, not the fulness, not the ultimate meaning of the promise; for by and by this holy nation (the body of Christ, the Church), shall be great indeed when filled with the divine blessing and power as God's glorified Kingdom. We realize, too, that while it is our blessed privilege to let shine upon others the light which the Lord by his spirit has graciously shined into our hearts, nevertheless, our time for bestowing the great blessing is still future – that it belongs to the period for which we pray, "Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth." We reason that, altho our name may be now cast out as evil, and the reproaches bestowed upon the Head of the body may fall also upon us, his members, nevertheless, the time is surely hastening when the name, Christ, shall be great throughout all the earth; and that being the name of our Bridegroom it will also be our name as his bride and joint-heir. We look forward with joy to the time when the holy nation, now so misunderstood and considered a peculiar people, shall recompense the poor, blinded, Satan-deceived world and nominal church for all the evils inflicted upon the Christ, head and body, by blessing them, returning good for evil in the highest degree – instructing and uplifting all who will to return to divine favor.

It is also true of the spiritual seed of Abraham that the Lord defends their cause, and that those who afflict or injure them, figuratively injure the apple of the Lord's eye, while those who bless them are sure to be compensated. Whosoever shall give a cup of cold water to one of the least of the Lord's disciples shall eventually receive a great reward for the kindness – if not in the present life, then, in the life to come. – Matt. 10:42; Zech. 2:8.

Abraham's experience is recorded as an evidence of his faith. It would have been vain for him to have pleaded great faith in the Lord and to have said, The Lord is as able to bless me and to use me in Chaldea, Babylonia, as in any other place; and since what he seeks is to know my faith, he can just as well see that I have it here. Some who class themselves as spiritual Israel, seem to reason after this manner, but they make a great mistake. It is true that the Lord looks upon the heart, and that it is our faith, and not our imperfect works, which commends us to him, but he assures us that if we have the faith it will speedily manifest itself in works; and that if we have the faith and fail to act in harmony with it, to the extent of our ability, the faith will die out. Perfect works are not demanded of us, because we are imperfect through the fall; but any who would maintain a justified standing before the Lord, through faith, must manifest works in harmony with their faith to the extent of ability, for faith without works is dead – has lost all its vitality, all its virtue, all its life. It is thenceforth dead, worthless. – Jas. 2:17.

Justification is a free gift, "not of works, lest any man should boast" – it is God's gift through Christ, based upon the ransom. But as it is accounted unto us only for the purpose of permitting us to go on – to sanctification – to self-sacrifice, such results or works must be forthcoming, or it will prove that we have received "the grace of God in vain." – Eph. 2:9; 2 Cor. 6:1.

After Abraham had thus proven himself obedient, showing his faith by his obedience, the Lord revealed his purposes to him much more specifically than at first, saying, "Unto thy seed will I give this land." This promise must have seemed quite improbable at that time, for the land was already peopled with strong nations, whose posterity would undoubtedly increase greatly, while Abram, on the contrary, had as yet no [R2847 : page 232] child. There was room for doubt in Abram's mind, but there was also room for faith. His faith accepted the promise, and he ratified it by building there an altar, on which we presume he offered sacrifices to the Lord, typical of the great sacrifice of Christ, through the efficacy of which all of God's promises will be fulfilled. Let us carefully notice that the special promise of God given to Abram ignored Lot and his family, and ignored the thousand or more persons of Abram's household. It is proper to call special attention to these matters in view of the very erroneous conceptions of God's elections, which have gained access to nearly all minds, and which need to be gotten rid of if we would rightly understand the divine plan of the ages. Those non-elect were "passed by" and not associated in the Abrahamic call and election, but not therefore sentenced to eternal torment; but, just like the non-elect of this Gospel age, they must wait for divine blessings until Abraham's seed shall bless the world during the Millennium.

There is no suggestion in this promise neither that Abraham was to preach the gospel to any of his 1,000 camp-followers, and herdsmen, nor that any of them were in any danger of an eternity of torture by reason of such a commission not having been given to Abram. The fact is that the wages of sin is death – including trials, weaknesses and sufferings of the present life incidental to the dying process. The whole world was in danger of this penalty, – more than this, the danger feature was past, for they were already in death; – dying under the original sentence passed against father Adam, and shared by all of his progeny. – Rom. 5:12.

The whole race therefore, including Abram and Lot and the servants and all the families of the earth, were going down into the great prison house – death. No way of escape had yet been provided by the Almighty on any terms or conditions, and hence there was no gospel to preach; hence, too, altho the Lord subsequently made known to Abraham that the blessing of all of the families of the earth would in due time come through his seed – the Christ – nevertheless, the proclamation of this gospel or good tidings of a resurrection – of a recovery of the dead through the merits of the great atonement sacrifice – could not be made, could not be authorized of God, till first of all our Lord Jesus had paid the ransom price with his own life, purchasing the whole world of mankind, and the right in due time to resurrect such of them as will come into full accord with the divine law. It is appropriate, therefore, that the Scriptures tell us distinctly that this great salvation from death "began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him." – Heb. 2:3.

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GEN. 13:1-18. – AUG. 4. –

"Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them." – Matt. 7:12.

EVELOPMENT of character implies a variety of experiences and tests. In choosing Abraham as his agent and channel through whom he would bring to the world his purposed blessings, God chose a good man, but not a perfect one – for there was not a perfect man to choose, as there has not been since, of all Adam's posterity. While God called Abraham, he made him only partial promises until he had manifested faith by obedience. And it was appropriate that various and severe tests of faith should come before the fulness of divine favor should be guaranteed him. One of these faith-tests came through a drouth in the land of Canaan, and, as a result, a food scarcity, a famine, in the region where Abraham had settled, flocks and herds.

It would naturally be a severe test of faith for him to see his cattle lean and dying, and to think of [R2848 : page 232] the fertile country which he had left, and that this drouth-stricken land was the one to which the Lord had called him. He must go somewhere to find water and sustenance, and concluded not to go back to Babylon, but to journey south-westward into the country bordering Egypt. Egypt was well advanced in civilization, and like Chaldea, his former home, was a heathen land – to the extent that the people had considerably lost sight of the one God and his worship, and had become worshipers of various deities. It was a dangerous experiment: Abram might have become enamored of the civilization, etc., of Egypt and have lost his respect for the Lord's promise in regard to Canaan; yet it did not have this effect, but apparently, on the contrary, became a blessing to him; for his experience there convinced him more and more that he could not have true happiness under the prevailing conditions: he would rather wander about and have no continuing city, and not be bound by any of the customs and rules of the world which recognized not God. His experience taught him to look for, to hope for, to wait for, the New Jerusalem city or government, which has not yet been established, but for which the Lord's people still pray: "Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth." [R2848 : page 233]

Abraham little realized how much he needed to pray, "abandon us not in temptation, but deliver us from the evil one." On arrival he, as a great man, was brought to the attention of the king, and Sarah, his wife, was introduced, – but as his sister, or niece, not as his wife. Abraham heard probably about this time of an incident which had occurred with one of the Pharaohs, of which we now know through recently discovered papyrus records – that at the instance of his princes he sent an armed force and took a beautiful woman from her husband for his harem. Sarah was a beautiful woman, and Abraham feared that Pharaoh might kill him in order to have his wife. This difficulty probably did not occur to him when he started his journey, nor until he had arrived there and was called before the king. Thus the Lord's people always find it: if they leave the land of promise, seeking better things in the world, they find their difficulties and trials greatly increased.

Abraham determined that as an expedient for the preservation of his life he would tell but a part of the truth and speak of Sarah as his sister, without acknowledging her as his wife. The transaction was an ignoble one every way, and quite unworthy of the man; but the Lord did not forsake him, but, as the record shows, returned Sarah to him with a rebuke from the heathen king which must have stung Abraham severely, and have served as a lesson for the remainder of his life. Thus all things work together for good to them that love God – even their mistakes and slips become lessons and blessings under divine providence. Having learned his lesson, Abraham quickly retraced his steps to the land of promise, returning again to Bethel where first he had built an altar to the Lord and formally consecrated himself: there again Abraham called upon the name of the Lord. The prompt retracing of his steps is also a lesson for the Lord's people of this Gospel age. If we find that through lack of faith or weakness of the flesh a wrong step has been taken, contrary to the Lord's will and our best spiritual interests, no time should be lost in retracing the steps and in calling upon the Lord. We have an altar consecrated with the precious blood of Christ, far superior every way to that which Abraham consecrated with the blood of typical animals; and the Apostle exhorts us, "Let us come boldly [courageously – full of faith] to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in every time of need." – Heb. 4:16.

One of the strongest evidences of the truth of the Bible records, and that they are not the work of priests or knaves, is the fact that the weaknesses and frailties of its grandest and most luminous characters are depicted with as free a hand as their virtues and strong qualities. Had the story of Abraham and the story of David, both men full of faith and after God's own heart, and acknowledged to be his friends, been concocted, they assuredly would have omitted all the blemishes of the present narratives. As it is, the weaknesses of these men, and divine compassion toward them notwithstanding these, and their faith and repentance and reestablishment in divine favor, have been lessons of incalculable value to the Lord's saints throughout the age, many of whom have at times found themselves more or less similarly entrapped, and to some extent stumbled by the great temptations of the world, the flesh and the Devil.

Abraham's flocks and herds increased, and the number of his servants. Likewise also did Lot's – tho he was by no means as wealthy a man as his uncle. Prosperity seems as likely to bring trouble as adversity, or more so; and it does not surprise us to find that a strife broke out between the herdsmen of the two masters, and that apparently the strife extended to Lot. The land at that time was not thickly settled, nor was it owned and controlled by syndicates; hence Abraham and Lot moved hither and thither through the grazing country, merely seeking to find unoccupied pasturage, and as the Canaanites (Lowlanders) and the Perizites (Highlanders) dwelt in Canaan, it necessarily meant that migratory bands, such as Abraham's, would find the pasturage at times somewhat restricted. Abraham's prompt course for the maintenance of peace is worthy of emulation. His words to Lot on the subject would make a good motto for the home or for the shop; "Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee...for we are brethren." The Lord's people are not all peaceably disposed according to the flesh, but peaceableness is a prominent element in the new nature, the new mind, the new will, the new heart; hence peaceableness is to be cultivated and more attention is to be given to it in proportion as we find our natural disposition to be contentious. This is one of the ways the Lord's people are to be renewed in word and in deed; – "By the transformation of their minds."

Abraham was not only peaceable, but generous, as his proposition to Lot shows; for altho he was the richer of the two by far, and his larger herds and flocks required more abundant provision, he nevertheless gave Lot the choice. Here is another lesson for all of the Lord's people: generosity, not an unreasoning and unreasonable generosity which would give away everything, but an even-handed, fair generosity which is well represented in our Golden Text; viz., the golden rule that we should treat others as we would reasonably wish them to treat us: whoever follows this rule, will, like Abraham, find that in the end [R2848 : page 234] it will be profitable – even tho it may at first seem unprofitable.

It would appear that Lot was less generous than his uncle – more selfish; and taking advantage of the latter's liberal proposition he chose the rich, fertile valley of the Jordan – the land of Sodom, of which the record is that it was "like the garden of the Lord" (the Garden of Eden), and like the most favored portion of Egypt. Lot was a keen business man apparently, for his choice signified not only the richest of the grazing country, but additionally the best market for his flocks and herds; because the Jordan valley seems to have been a commercial highway frequented by traveling caravans, etc., the best of customers for sheep and cattle. Abraham and Lot together might have taken the Jordan valley at first, seeing its suitability to their occupation: no doubt the reason why Abraham avoided it is found in the fact of the wickedness of the people there, and that he did not wish to bring either himself or wife or servants into close contact with such people, preferring the less fertile district because of their separateness from such associations, with which he could not feel in harmony or fellowship.

Lot possessed much less faith and much less character than his uncle, but was also a good man, and his determination to make the country of the Jordan his home does not signify that he had fellowship with the Sodomites. On the contrary, the record is that their course "vexed his righteous soul." (2 Pet. 2:8.) He evidently was deluded, as many of the Lord's people of today are deluded, into association with evil influences for the sake of worldly prosperity. He no doubt persuaded himself that he could live separate from the contaminations of Sodom, and even exercise a moral influence over the unrighteous. How unwise, very unwise, his course really was may be seen in the light of his subsequent history. The wisdom of Abraham stands out in striking contrast, and the two experiences furnish valuable lessons for all who are seeking the heavenly city and praying, Thy Kingdom come. Abraham's course illustrates our Lord's words, "Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven and its righteousness and all these [needful] things shall be added unto you." Lot's course illustrates our Lord's words, "What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world!" Lot's quest for wealth, etc., no doubt brought rich returns, for he became a wealthy and influential man in Sodom, but his wealth and influence cost too much; first, they cost his peace of mind, for "his righteous soul was vexed;" he had no real happiness. Second, it cost him his children, sons and daughters, all but two unmarried ones, and even they apparently were blemished through their contact with evil example. And it cost him also his wife, whose sympathies for her children over-balanced her interest in the Lord and righteousness. It cost him additionally, in the end, all his flocks and herds and wealth, all of which went down in the fire from heaven upon the city of destruction. [R2849 : page 234]

There is a great lesson here for us all, especially for such lovers of righteousness as have the care, the guardianship of children: the lesson is that they should think less of earthly advantages, social, political and financial, and think more, much more, of the moral and spiritual influences and advantages obtainable through isolation from the evil which is in the world, – so far as possible "make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame [blemished through sin] be turned out of the way [of righteousness]." – Heb. 12:13.

Abraham did not attempt to coerce his nephew; but, properly no doubt, after having advised him to the contrary, he let him take his course, contenting himself with giving the admonition and example to the contrary. Here is another good lesson for the Lord's people; very many who like to have their own liberty are disposed to use force and coercion in dealing with others, and the results are generally bad for both parties. Lack of faith lies at the bottom of such difficulties; self-will attempts to regulate our own affairs, and branching out attempts also to regulate the affairs of others: whereas a consecrated will, resting by faith upon the Lord's promise, permits the Lord to have the helm; to control not only in respect to the believer's personal interests, but also in respect to the interests and affairs of others. Abraham had manifested his faith in God, not only in respect to the future blessings promised, but also in respect to the incidental details of his every-day life. Hence he could afford not only to not interfere with Lot's liberty, but could be generous to the extent of giving Lot his choice, knowing that the Lord would take care of him, and fulfil to him all the gracious promises incidental to his call. And in proportion as we are children of Abraham by faith we should have and should continually exercise similar faith, that we may experience similar blessings under God's providence.

While Lot's choice led him farther from the right, Abraham's blessing was increased by his course; for again the Lord appeared to him, in a manner not explained, and gave him renewed assurance respecting the original promise, telling him to look in every direction and to know assuredly that, while this land at the present time was under various rulers, it should in time be given to him and his posterity everlastingly. Yet with this renewal of the promise must have come another testing of faith, because Abraham as yet had [R2849 : page 235] no child. How improbable, therefore, the fulfilment of the Lord's word, that his seed should ultimately be very numerous, hyperbolically "as the dust of the earth!" Yet Abraham's faith wavered not. Likewise the faith of the Lord's people today wavers not respecting his promise – for it has not yet had a fulfilment, as the Apostles Paul and Stephen both declare.

Abraham lived in the land many years and died there, yet was a pilgrim and stranger; a sojourner and not an owner to the day of his death. (Heb. 11:13.) Stephen's explanation of the matter is very explicit. (Acts 7:5.) He declares that God never gave him so much of the space as would be covered by his foot; and points out that the time for the fulfilment of this promise is future – during the resurrection, the Millennium of Christ's reign, after the heavenly city, the New Jerusalem, the glorified Church, the bride with the Bridegroom, shall have been established in the control of the world as God's Kingdom. – Dan. 7:13,14; 1 Cor. 15:24.

With each manifestation of obedience on the part of Abraham came fresh blessings from the Lord, fresh repetitions and expanded declarations respecting the divine purpose, strengthening and encouraging him. Nevertheless he understood that the realization of his hope lay in the future, and this was clearly indicated by the Lord's words, "Arise, journey through the land, in the length and in the breadth of it, for I will give it unto thee." In compliance with this instruction, that he was to be a pilgrim, moving from place to place, Abraham only removed to Mamre, and, doubtless in harmony with his custom at each new stopping place, he built there another altar unto the Lord – another typical acknowledgement of sin, of his own unworthiness, and of the fact that his standing before God, his acceptance with him, was in the merits of a great Sin Offering which had not yet been made. So with us who are the Lord's people, wherever we are; we are under divine care, and may rest, and may have the peace of God which passeth all understanding, ruling in our hearts: nevertheless, we are not to be at home, nor to seek to feel at home under present imperfect conditions. We are to continually remember that the Lord has promised us a heavenly inheritance, and we are to seek for and wait for it, assured that it will be ours if we remain faithful to the end of life's pilgrimage.

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DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – Tho a subscriber to the WATCH TOWER I have never written you personally to tell you of the inestimable blessings I have derived from reading the MILLENNIAL DAWN series and the WATCH TOWER. O, the light, peace and joy that came to me! The riches of my Father's precious Word are now inexpressible. And you, dear brother, are the blessed instrument the Lord has provided to bring about these blessings. I am happy to say that by his grace I am running for, or pressing toward, the mark for joint-heirship.

Your humble brother in the Lord,

THOMAS YOUNG, – Jamaica.

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – I have been having quite an experience as a result of my attempts to teach the truth. As I have previously told you, I have a class of young people in Sunday school and have been teaching them along the lines of expositions given in the WATCH TOWER. This has brought down upon my head a spirit of opposition from the pastor and some others. They removed me as Superintendent of the Sunday school, and it was understood that I was to give up my class. I resigned the class, but the pupils would not have it so, so I am taking them along with me. I am finding the value of endeavoring to be "as wise as a serpent and as harmless as a dove," and also that it is not wise to "cast pearls before swine." I am trying to be more discreet and discriminating in handing out the truth, and find that everything must be done in the spirit of Christ if anything is to be accomplished.

The Lord has opened up opportunities for service where I least expected them. I have one family started in the DAWN study, and through them two other families are becoming interested. My experiences thus far seem to be that even among seemingly truth-loving people many are loath to accept any doctrines, except as they seem to be in harmony with their denominational tendencies. I thoroughly enjoy the WATCH TOWER, and was very glad to see in a recent number the article entitled, "Who were Those Saints?"

Sincerely yours in the Master's service,


DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – For the last twelve years I have been a firm believer in the doctrines you teach. I have read VOL. I. of MILLENNIAL DAWN several times; also VOLS. II. and III. a number of times, and they have given me great consolation and comfort. All that I know of the plan of salvation I have learned from your writings. I was raised by strict Methodist parents, but all I learned from them only served to confuse and bewilder me, and to make me almost an unbeliever in the Bible as a divine revelation. After reading the DAWNS the fog was lifted from my mental vision, the crooked places were all made straight, and all was clear as noonday. May God continue to bless you and your work, is my prayer.

D. P. SCULL, – Pennsylvania.

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – I feel constrained to write and tell you how very much I enjoy and appreciate your presentations of the truth regarding God's page 236 wonderful "plan of the ages." My mother has read nearly everything you have written for nearly fourteen years, and has taught it to me, as fast as I would receive it; but until recently I have not taken the interest I should in trying to understand the plan, nor did I see the beauty in it I do now. Last March, during the revival at a Wesleyan Methodist Church near us, I was converted and joined that church, thinking that I had found a haven of rest for my weary feet. A few weeks afterwards mother laid VOL. V. of the MILLENNIAL DAWN in my lap, asking me to read certain parts of it. I put aside all the prejudices I had formerly felt for your books and began to read for myself. I was completely captivated, from the first, with the beauty and harmony of the truth as you presented it.

The more I read the more I became convinced of the folly of remaining in the organization I had just joined, especially as it makes such a specialty of teaching the God-dishonoring doctrine of eternal torment. Acting upon my convictions I withdrew from the church on May 14, after telling the pastor my reasons for doing so. He acted very reasonably – admitted that the church could not grant me fellowship unless I conformed to the creed. He, however, made it a point to warn his followers against MILLENNIAL DAWN. He said the author was a deep writer who mixed truth and error in such a manner that it appeared to be truth. I told him I believed it was all truth, for everything you said was based upon the Bible. I loaned him Vol. V., but I do not think he read it – "for fear of the Jews."

Now I am free, thank God, to read anything you write, and my only regret is that I cannot recall the years of wasted opportunity – the time seems so short and I have so much to learn, for I am but a "babe" in the school of Christ. I am perfectly willing to consecrate my all to him; therefore, dear brother, I ask an interest in your prayers that I may be strengthened in love and faith and may become a true member of the "little flock," if it be according to his will. Again let me thank you for leading me "out of the darkness into his marvelous light." As I reflect on the Lord's goodness my eyes fill with tears, and I long to shout, "Glory to God for his love, wisdom, justice and power!" I feel it needless to ask him to bless you, for he will surely bless the instrument through which he is dispensing the "meat in due season to the household of faith." I beg that you will pardon my trespassing upon your valuable time. I believe I could write all day and never tell you half I feel. I will send you some money as the Lord prospers me. We are very poor, and I handle but little money, but I want to give you a little whenever I can.

Your sister in Christian love,

MINNIE R. BARNETT, – South Carolina.

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – We continue giving thanks to our Heavenly Father for the unfailing supply of "meat in due season" that comes to us through your labors, nor do we forget the workers in our prayers. We realize that the famine is sore in the land and that darkness is rapidly settling down upon the people. How rapidly the truth is becoming vitiated by the flood of false doctrines; how completely people are losing the last vestige of the faith!

Brother Thompson is in town for a short visit, and we were very much pleased, indeed, with the last page in the June 1 TOWER. It is good to know the Pilgrims are busy spreading the truth; cheering to know there are so many places where Israelites indeed may be found. It helps to sustain our interest – makes us more patient to feel that the Lord is mindful of his own in this way; however isolated they may be, their "bread and water" is sure, spiritually and temporally.

With Christian love to yourself and those associated with you in the work, and making mention of you all in our prayers, Yours in the one faith,

T. K. McGINN, – Manitoba.

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – Brother Draper has come and gone. I bade him adieu and God-speed yesterday, and trust his heart was rejoiced and comforted by our rejoicing in the glorious light of the truth. Our meetings were not large, but I feel safe in saying that there was an intense interest depicted on each countenance, and that all our little gathering and a few from outside were deeply impressed with all the meetings, which were held in our new hall.

On Sunday morning, at 10.30, about forty assembled at Balmy Beach (about 4 miles from the center of the city, many having to travel 6 to 7 miles) to witness the symbol of baptism in water. The morning was bright, cool, and very windy, causing quite a heavy rolling surf, which rather added to the interest of the occasion. Four sisters and five brothers were buried in the waves, thus showing forth to quite a large number of spectators on the beach their immersion into Christ's death. Our little party was indeed a happy, joyous little band as we returned home, to assemble again at our hall at 3 P.M., and listen to our dear Brother Draper pour forth more of the precious things from the Holy Word.

At 7 P.M. our last meeting commenced, there being 88 or 90 in the hall, quite a number of the friends and acquaintances of the dear brothers and sisters being present, but very few strangers, and about 9.30 our feast of fat things came to an end for the time, and I think it would have been difficult to picture a more happy lot of faces than all wore; all were overjoyed at the precious things they had heard, and the words of comfort, exhortation and strength which came to us from our dear Brother. I feel that I am expressing the heart's desire of our assembly when I say that all were deeply thankful to our Heavenly Father, to our dear Lord and Master, and also to you, dear Brother, and our dear Brother Draper for providing us with such good things. I pray God we may continue abounding in love, peace and joy in the Lord.

I must not close without mentioning one of the most interesting incidents of the meetings. A dear Brother, having come out from amongst the Jews (but quite a stranger to us at first), became deeply impressed with the "True Gospel." He had been seeking rest amongst the sects, but had found little or none. One of his difficulties, and perhaps his chief one, was the Trinitarian doctrine, and his face beamed with delight when he learned we did not accept this. He was indeed hungering for the truth, and at the close of Saturday night's meeting he came to me and expressed his desire to symbolize his consecration in water baptism, which he did on Sunday A.M. He is a most intelligent brother and withal so simple. He has already page 237 undergone much persecution for Christ's sake, his wife and children being taken from him, as it were. As I understand it, they had their choice to remain with him or be cast out of the synagogue. He indeed seems to be an "Israelite indeed." We (I need hardly say) are all much interested in this dear brother. Truly some, at least, are "looking upon Him whom they pierced, and mourning," and yet their hearts rejoice to find Him whom they have waited for.

With much love from all the dear ones here, and a desire for your continued prayers for our stability in the faith,

Your servant in the Lord Jesus,

[R2849 : page 237]

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – The article on "Patient Endurance," in April 1 TOWER seemed most opportune, as we heard a number of our people speak of it particularly; and I may say it is most highly appreciated by myself. Indeed, dear Brother Russell, every number of the blessed TOWER seems fraught with the spiritual refreshment most needed at the time, and my heart is continually lifted in deep gratitude to our Father for the heavenly food furnished through your instrumentality. That you have been enabled to so empty yourself as to be filled with God's precious messages so richly, is a cause of deep gratitude from all the household of faith. In reading over recently the first and second volumes of DAWN, I am astonished at the many things that had previously escaped me, or failed to leave their impression – probably through the pressure of worldly cares. The last three years have brought me riches of knowledge and experience, yet with them such an overwhelming sense of my utter unworthiness and incompetency that I would surely sink, but for clinging to the cross.

I ask your prayers that I may not receive the grace of God in vain, but forget the things that are behind, and press forward to the mark – with patient endurance.

With earnest desire for the continuation of His rich favors to you, and all needed strength, both physically and spiritually, and trusting in the merits of our great Redeemer,

I remain, yours with Christian love,

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – We have heard several times from you through Sister Giesecke in Germany, and received your greetings and sent our regards to you. But I feel as tho I should write directly to you this time, to inform you that the Lord has a people even here in Poland, and that a goodly number have been found here in a comparatively short time. There were only three of us when I first came here; but the Lord has blest the testimony and the circulation of the tracts and booklets to such an extent that now we number fifteen, nine brethren and six sisters. And the opposition on the part of those who claim to be faithful Christians, but who do not grasp the truth was, and is still, very severe, not only in this place, but in the entire vicinity, into which the truth has been carried in a wonderful manner, through various agencies, showing that it is the Lord's work.

We are so thankful that the Lord has counted us worthy to see present truth, delivering us out of the gross darkness of Babylon, and translating us into his marvelous light. And we cannot help feeling that the Lord has condescended greatly in calling us, who in so many respects are much more unworthy than many others whom we know to be blinded and prejudiced against the truth, but who naturally seem to be much more qualified for service if their eyes were only open to the truth.

We have great difficulty in getting literature from Germany, and in fact from anywhere outside the Russian border, especially so of late, on account of the recent ecclesiastical and social troubles, but we are thankful for what we have already received, and are feeding with delight at the richly decked table of present truth. We are glad that you have not decided to discontinue issuing the German TOWER, even tho it comes so seldom and not nearly with the quantity of food the English brethren have furnished them. We earnestly hope that the fifth volume of the DAWN may appear in a German translation, and until then we will endeavor to be satisfied with the grace already bestowed upon us.

We wish you the Lord's richest blessing in your ministries of love, and remember you in our prayers, hoping and praying that we may be remembered also in your petitions. We would be delighted to receive an acknowledgement of the receipt of these lines. And finally we send you hearty greetings. May the Lord bless you! Yours in the fellowship of Jesus Christ,

JOHANN WEINZ, – Russian Poland.

The following is from the Bandera, Texas, Enterprise of April 11, 1901. We commend the Brother's method of announcing in his home paper the reasons for his withdrawal from a system, whose doctrines he could no longer support, and believe the temperate and careful manner in which he has stated the reasons for his action should be helpful in its influence upon any whom he may hereafter endeavor to interest in the "good news." – EDITOR. [R2850 : page 237]


"Having recently withdrawn from the Methodist Church, of which I have been a member for more than thirty years, and knowing, as I do, that some will be wondering at my motive in doing so, and knowing, also, that of the various motives which will be imputed to me, some are likely to be suggested by those who have not investigated the matter for themselves, and hence will be incapable of rendering a fair judgment, I desire to occupy enough space in my county paper in which to give my true reason for the step I have taken, and then leave it to the public to approve or disapprove as they may feel inclined.

"My reason for leaving the church was not that I had any dissatisfaction with, or the slightest ill will towards, a single member of this or any other church, but simply because my honest convictions as to the true interpretation of God's Word had become too much at variance with the doctrines taught by all the churches with which I am acquainted to admit of my longer remaining therein with justice to the church, to myself or my God.

"Whether by chance or by divine intervention, the MILLENNIAL DAWN series of Bible helps, consisting [R2850 : page 238] of five books, was recently placed in my hands. I confess it was with no little prejudice that I began to investigate the doctrines taught in them, but to my surprise I have found that: –

"1. They teach nothing which is not in the very strictest accord with the New Testament code of morals.

"2. I find that the author of said books 'reasons together' with his readers in the most fair, liberal and logical manner, giving quotation after quotation and reference after reference to the Bible in support of his construction and understanding thereof.

"So logical, patent and convincing are the theories advanced (if you chose to call them theories: for my part I call them truths) that I cannot resist them. With such beauty and grandeur do the books depict the Power, Wisdom, Justice and Love of the great Father, the Creator of all the world, as well as the beneficent character of Christ, the blessed Redeemer of all the world, that my mind has been opened to a far more vivid realization of the actual existence of God and his glorious plans and purposes concerning his creature, man; also the height and depth and length and breadth of the love of Christ, and the far-reaching efficacy of his sacrificial death on the cross, are so apparent that my heart has seemingly enlarged manifold, and my respect, reverence, love and admiration for God and Christ, as well as my love and good will towards my fellow creatures, have reached a point far, far beyond anything I ever before experienced.

"Hence I have determined to throw off the shackles of church creeds and prejudices, and with God's help let the new light shine forth in my daily life; to present the MILLENNIAL DAWN doctrine to as many as desire to hear it, and to help those who hunger and thirst after truth, to the very best of my ability, trusting God for direction and help. So, then, in the fear of God, I heartily recommend every one to procure these books, and with receptive mind and earnest prayer to God for his guidance, read them with Bible in hand.


[R2850 : page 238]


A SHORT time ago we proposed arranging for a wide-margin Bible, and selected the new Linear Bible as being in every way the best, most up-to-date Teachers' Bible published – possessing an excellent Concordance, and giving in the text the readings of both the Common Version and the Revised Version in good, readable type, and of a size not extremely bulky. On the adjoining page we lay before our readers what the publishers have to say in favor of the Linear Bible, and their regular prices for them; also a sample page, showing style of type, etc. By special arrangement we can procure a large quantity of these Bibles for WATCH TOWER subscribers at a very much lower rate than the prices at which they are usually sold. And additionally we can have inserted eighty photographs of the Holy land and vicinity; and have the outer margin made 1 inch wide.

At first it was proposed that TOWER readers should in this margin make reference memoranda to the five volumes of MILLENNIAL DAWN, and the last six years' issues of the WATCH TOWER, – opposite each verse, throughout this Bible. Subsequently, however, considering how much labor this would mean – how many hours and days would thus be spent, and how many would fail entirely to secure the desired results, and how many others would blot and blur, and only secure unsatisfactory results, we concluded to see what could be done in the way of printing these references in the margin. We find, as hinted in our last issue, that it will be quite an expense, both of labor and of money, to publish the Bible in this manner. But we reflect that when complete it would be one of the greatest blessings to the Lord's people interested in present truth that could possibly be prepared for them; and this would compensate for much trouble. It would be a Bible Commentary arranged in the most satisfactory manner ever designed. It would give the dear friends, as they meet in various parts of the world for the study of the Lord's Word, an opportunity of having the Editor present with them at each meeting, to offer suggestions respecting the meaning of the texts. This would not mean, of course, that his suggestions would be considered indisputable or infallible, but merely that he would be present with the little companies of the Lord's people throughout the whole world, to discuss with them the Father's Word and to assist as much as possible in throwing a correct light upon its meaning.

We have already received a large number of responses on the basis of our first announcement of a blank wide margin, and unless countermanded we will understand these to be for the Bible as now proposed. But now we invite postal cards from all subscribers who have not responded, who would like to have the Bible as it is now proposed it shall be; namely, with the references in the margin. It is quite possible that we would never get out another edition, and we believe that every WATCH TOWER reader who can afford it at all should have the Bible proposed, in the cheaper or better binding.

We now propose that if we receive responses from 2,000, we will proceed to publish the Bible as stated, charging the following prices: In "French Seal," divinity circuit, gold edges, linen lined, $2.00, including postage. In "Persian Seal" (Morocco), gold edges, leather-lined, $3.00, including postage. These prices will apply only to those who place their orders in advance and thus guarantee us against loss. We may publish a few more than will be represented by the orders, but they will be sold at higher prices. It is our opinion that every WATCH TOWER reader who secures one of these best books, will consider it worth $10 – that he would not sell it for $10. We invite postal cards at once, that the matter may be determined upon. We expect to have them all alike, none with thumb index, which would spoil the references. Send your postal cards at once, but send no money until the books are announced as ready, – which will probably be not much before Christmas.

page 239

Comparative Self-Pronouncing S.S. Teachers' Bible
The Authorized and Revised Versions of the Old and New Testaments.

It presents in a single line and in large, clear type the texts of the Authorized and Revised Versions, where said texts are alike. Where they are unlike, either in language, spelling, italicization, capitalization, parenthesis, punctuation, or otherwise, the difference is clearly and at once set forth by means of double lines of smaller type, making a readily and easily readable combined text. Thus, direct and instant comparisons of the respective texts are assured, and all complexities and imperfections are avoided. Both eye and mind are instantly, and as fast as one can read, addressed to every difference in the language, spelling, italicization, capitalization, parenthesis, punctuation, or otherwise, of the two versions.

Ease and Comfort of Reading.

There is nothing mysterious or involved about the Linear Parallel readings – all is plain sailing. To read the Authorized Version, one has but to read the large type line along to any point of difference in the respective versions, and then follow the UPPER small type line through such difference. Likewise, to read the Revised Version, one has but to read the large type line along to any difference in the respective versions, and then follow the LOWER small type line through such difference. This rule holds as to every difference, even to that of a comma. Thus, not only the readings but the comparisons of the two versions become easy, immediate, satisfactory and perfect.

Other Distinguishing Features.

This Linear Parallel Edition also embraces all the distinguishing features that have made the HOLMAN S.S. TEACHERS' BIBLE a standard wherever the English tongue is spoken. It is self-pronouncing, introduces the prefaces, company names, and appendices to the Revised Version, and contains a New Analytical and Comparative Concordance, with its 100,000 references; A SERIES OF NEW MAPS, specially engraved to our order, with an elaborate cross-line index, etc.

Labor and Cost.

This grand desideratum for ministers, teachers, students and general Scripture readers, and this triumph in Biblical publication, have not been attained except by long, painstaking and laborious effort, and by a most liberal expenditure on the part of the publishers. They, therefore, feel confident that the achievement of what has not, hitherto, been successfully reached, and the fresh and unique facilities offered for the reading and study of God's word, will meet with instant and hearty approval.


The Linear Parallel Edition of the Holy Bible is printed on the finest Rag Paper, and bound in styles commensurate with its novelty, utility and importance. It is furnished thus:

No.350. Imperial Seal, Divinity Circuit, Linen Lined, Rounded Corners, Red
under Gold Edges...$6.00
No.355. Persian Morocco, Divinity Circuit, Leather Lined, Rounded Corners,
Red under Gold Edges... 8.00
No.360. Levant, Divinity Circuit, Calf Lined, Silk Sewed, Rounded Corners,
Red under Gold Edges...10.00

EXPLANATION. – The "Linear" Parallel Teachers' Bible is a combination of the Authorized and Revised Versions. The words which are the same in both are set in Pica type, and where differences occur the Authorized version is given in the top line, and the New or Revised version in the bottom line of small type.



The creation.