page 257
September 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. XXV.SEPTEMBER 1, 1904.No. 17.
Views from the Watch Tower 259
Bishop Potter and the Saloon 259
Danger from Higher Criticism 260
Leaguing Against Higher Critics 260
Politics in Religion 261
"Oppositions of Science Falsely So-Called" 261
A Doctor's Examination of Christian Science 266
"Seek the Lord and Ye Shall Live" 267
Quarterly Review 270
Interesting Letters 270

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

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

page 258

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

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

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

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

PRICE, $1.00 (4S.) A YEAR IN ADVANCE, 5c (2½d.) A COPY.

Those of the interested who, by reason of old age, or other infirmity or adversity, are unable to pay for the TOWER, will be supplied FREE, if they send a Postal Card each December, stating their case and requesting the paper. We are not only willing, but anxious, that all such be on our list continually.





This year we determined to lay in a large stock of the newest motto and text cards earlier than usual. Four large orders have already come to hand and the fifth is en route. Some of the older styles cannot be surpassed and these we have re-ordered; but the line of new styles of new texts this year is so large that we can send you all new ones, if you so request when ordering. Our facilities for importing these from London (their principal market) is unsurpassed, and our prices are about one-half those usually charged; namely, from 1c to 25c each – according to size, etc. For your convenience we will put these up in packages assorted for $1.00 and $2.00, including postage; – from 15c downward in the $1.00 packages and from 25c down in the $2.00 packages. We will also make up some packages containing mottoes at 10c and downward, for 50c, including postage.

These beautiful cards should be in all the rooms of all of our homes. The help, comfort and rest thus brought to our hearts continually from the Master's Word are of inestimable value as aids and stimulants in the "narrow way" we seek to walk. The texts are admirably selected – about one-half of them for the consecrated, some suitable to any one, and a few suggestive of the Lord's willingness to bless all who, hearing his voice, come unto him. Some are on dark cards stamped in silver, others on light cards in colors. All are very tasteful, – fit for any wall.


Many of the friends desire copies of "The Divine Plan of the Ages" (Vol. I.) for holiday presentations, so we give timely notice that we are now preparing a special leather-bound edition, with gilt edges, under the general title, "Studies in the Scriptures" instead of "Millennial Dawn." These will be ready November 1st and will cost WATCH TOWER subscribers 65 cents each, including postage, – to any address.

[R3419 : page 258]

POLISH TRACTS can now be supplied to all who have special opportunities for using them. They are published by our Society, although our name and address does not appear on them, because of prejudice of Catholics against everything like Bible Societies.

ITALIAN DAWN, VOL. I., and sample TOWERS have now arrived. Send us your orders.

GERMAN AND SWEDISH TOWERS can now be supplied regularly.

[R3418 : page 259]


BISHOP POTTER, of the Episcopal Diocese of New York, has created quite a commotion in all circles by giving his sanction to a newly-opened "tavern" in New York City. The saloon and cafe are described as having fine appointments: in one end is a soda fountain at which beer is sold for the accommodation especially of ladies, who are not admitted to the saloon proper, at the bar of which liquors of all kinds are dispensed with free lunch at noon. Of the enterprise, the New York Sun, after recounting Bishop Potter's address and his leading in the singing of the doxology to the tune of "Old Hundred," says: "The idea of the tavern originated in the mind of Joseph Johnson, Jr., the Great Oak of the Order of Acorns. Mr. Johnson has always believed that rum is a curse, but he holds that the evils of intemperance must be combated by practical men and not theorists. If there must be saloons he wants them to be as ethical as possible. So he organized the Subway Tavern Company with a capital of $10,000 – subscribed by prominent men whose names are given. The managers of the company have decided that not more than five per cent. shall be paid as dividends on the stock, whatever the profits may be; the surplus is to be used in starting other similar taverns."

We have no doubt that the gentlemen connected with this innovation have benevolent intentions: Their thought evidently is to fight fire with fire; to fight the doggerel saloon with a better one, to furnish purer liquors and better surroundings. We believe that they are making a great mistake. Nevertheless, the affair shows the extremity to which well-intentioned people are driven by present conditions, that the Apostle calls "the present distress." How evident to the instructed Christian that the one thing needful is the establishment of the Kingdom of God, for which we pray, "Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven." Nothing short of this heavenly power can cope with the present downward tendencies that afflict the whole human family, the "groaning creation."

These gentlemen in New York City are copying a plan adopted a few years ago in Great Britain by some of the Episcopal clergy there. These established taverns where liquors of all kinds were obtainable, as well as "soft drinks," the latter being given the preference in that the bartender is paid a commission on the soft drinks, making nothing on the intoxicating liquors. The effect has been good in Great Britain, it is claimed. Nevertheless we have no such expectations in respect to the introduction of this system into this country. Conditions here are totally different. Here the majority are opposed to liquor drinking, and the business and all things associated with it are more or less tabooed, and thus many are protected from the degrading influences. We fear that the tendency will be to break down this barrier and to make drinking more general and more fashionable, and thus to increase the evil effects of this most terribly degrading practice.

Bishop Potter's course has brought upon him very severe criticism from many quarters: yet it will make him popular with a certain very respectable class. The chief difficulty seems to lie in the fact that the true Church is not understood and its rules do not fit when applied to the world and its wisdom. Recognizing the Church as the "little flock" of "saints" fully consecrated to the Lord, we do not suppose for one moment that Bishop Potter would claim to be a member of it nor to be bound by its precepts and ideals. But many others, who take the same unsanctified stand, and who patronize saloons of the [R3418 : page 260] worst class, are chiding the Bishop, rebuking him, because they think of him as one of the "saints," and perceive that his course is not up to the ideals of the New Testament for such.

The sooner the world realizes the truth on this subject the better it will be for all concerned: that fully ninety-nine per cent. of the nominal Church (preachers included) are merely well-intentioned worldlings, who have never consecrated their wills, never been begotten of the Spirit and have not, therefore, "the mind [Spirit] of Christ."


Dr. David J. Burrell, pastor of the Marble Collegiate Church, Fifth avenue, New York, says: –

"It is indeed true that there is sore danger from this critical movement, but it is not the Bible that stands so much in danger – it can take care of itself – as it is the dictionary that is assailed.

"Words that have a specific and clear meaning to us, used by the exponents of the critical propaganda, have a different meaning entirely. It is one of the calamitous consequences of this criticism. It means a complete overturning of definitions as we understand them. And to coin a spurious word is worse than to issue a spurious coin.

"Men preach from the pulpit and talk with you and me about the inspiration. Their terms to them have not the dictionary definition which they know you put on them. I won't mince words, for I know friends of mine who do this. It's not honest. We are fighting for Webster's and Worcester's dictionaries, just as we are fighting for God Almighty in this contest.

"There are men preaching the gospel of Christ who do not know what the little word "is" means, using it instead in the most outre and outlandish way. I know a man who will say 'The Bible is the Word of God,' yet he doesn't mean what people think him to mean. 'Is' to him means 'is not.'

"In days of old, when the gods of the Pantheon had lost their powers, the priests laughed to themselves before the altar as they went through the ceremonies. That is an effect, too, on the Christian ministry of the higher criticism.

"I make no charge against any man, and I say it with a deal of charity and lamentation, but some men in some pulpits are smiling at the words they have to preach.

"I walked with a man from a church one day – he being a friend of mine, though he is one of the critical ones – at the close of a sermon he had preached on the incarnation. He had hardly gone a hundred steps from his pulpit when he turned to me and said [R3419 : page 260] with a smile: "It isn't of any great difference to me whether Christ was the son of Joseph or was conceived by the holy Spirit.' The fine edge of honesty was worn off there, as it is elsewhere. But the mass of people in the pews, notwithstanding the teachings they hear, are honest to the Word of God.

"People won't go to church to hear hypotheses. There is more good in a Sunday newspaper than there is in a man who preaches the vagaries of the 'higher criticism from the pulpit.'"

*                         *                         *

True, but not strongly enough stated. The harm done by the "higher critics" exceeds all other sources of harm, including infidel publications and dime novels, because it breaks down all true faith and confidence toward God and sets at nought "the only name given under heaven and amongst men whereby we must be saved." It makes the "blood of the covenant a common thing." – Heb. 10:29.


"The American Bible League" held its first convention lately in New York City. It has our best wishes, but we fear it will find far less sympathy and support amongst ministers and laymen than it should naturally expect. The fact is that the entire body of Christendom has been thoroughly inoculated with this poisonous infidelity of the refined Sadduceeic sort. For years the colleges have been turning the stream at its head waters. Today the studies and school-literature of the public high schools are completely under this same influence. We have no thought, therefore, that the American Bible League will meet with any degree of success. We do, however, hope that its course may have the effect of arousing some true believers and separating them from nominalism and thus preparing them to search for and to find "the old paths" – the old theology – "the faith once delivered to the saints."

Unless we greatly err the "League" will find even among its own members some who are half poisoned on this subject by evolutionary ideas. We quote extracts from several of the speakers and from commentaries on the first session. Mr. William Phillips Hall, the president of the "League," said: –

"That the Bible is now being subjected to a scholastic assault of unparalleled danger; that the practical consequences of this assault are in evidence in the demoralization of conduct and education, and in evil influences on the ministry and missions; that the assault is based upon groundless claims of a false scholarship, and that the methods proposed by the league will fully meet the imperative needs of the situation and lead to a recovery of faith in the Bible as the Word of God and to the enthronement of our Lord Jesus Christ in the hearts of men.

"Fascinated by a strange scholarship, multitudes among the leaders in the Christian ministry and educational work have turned aside in large part from the faith which was once for all delivered unto the saints, to worship at the shrine of a destructive criticism that destroys individual faith in the divine origin, integrity, inspiration and authority of the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, and that sooner or later, logically, and inevitably, leads to the denial of [R3419 : page 261] the incarnation, omniscience, atonement and supreme authority of our Lord Jesus Christ."

Dr. Francis L. Patton, president of Princeton Theological Seminary, said, respecting the views of "higher critics:" –

"To them there was no primeval innocence, no fall, no redemption, no incarnation. They hold these things not to be doctrines, but pretty teachings, making up what is really nothing more than a metaphysic philosophy. Ask them straightforward questions and they begin to dodge the issue. Ask them, 'Did Jesus Christ have a preexistence? Did he rise from the dead? Was he ever really dead? Was he God of very God?' They begin to shift. They begin right away to talk sentimentalism and say, 'We want the moralities.'

"'All right, we'll talk morals;' but they don't. They dodge them, too.

"It all comes around to the question of judgment of fact and value. If you can discard the former and retain the latter, what is the good of Christianity? You can then preach just as good a sermon from Aesop's fables as from Holy Scripture."

Dr. Daniel Gregory, General Secretary of the League, is reported to have said: –

"The league believes this to be one of the most serious crises in the history of Christian faith, and has taken up its task with a twofold object: it takes its stand for the Bible and the old view, and yet with open vision for any new light, and it challenges these claims of radical criticism, the baselessness of which it purposes to show. We have no fault to find with real criticism. We do not challenge the new views because they are scientific, but because they are unscientific.

"The second object of this league is to help the people to see the Bible as it is and to find out what is in it."

The New York Sun editorially notes that the League describes the present as a "crisis" in the history of Christianity. The Sun agrees that the term "crisis" is none too strong and adds: –

"If this subversive and destructive criticism was confined to avowed opponents of religion and the Church, as it was formerly, it might not be an enemy dangerous enough to require the formation of a Christian league against it; but now it has affected profoundly the thought and radically changed the view of a large part of Christendom itself. It has entered into theological seminaries to a very great extent, and is influencing the sentiment and modifying the points of view in many pulpits of even the most nominally orthodox churches."

Most of the prominent journals that comment at all treat the League respectfully, but clearly imply their "higher critic" predilections, and imply that the most the League will do will be to sow discord and rancor and controversy. Thus the "wise" always deprecate any battle with Satan.


"People with old-fashioned ideas concerning the relations between the churches and the Deity, whose cause they are presumed to set forth here on earth, are often somewhat dismayed at the very practical way in which the machinery of the churches work. The present quadrennial conference of the Methodist Church at Los Angeles has been styled by some members of the faith the biggest political event of the year of presidential nominations.

"Questions of creed, of the form of Church government and the selection of Church officials are settled in all Church assemblages in a highly practical and thoroughly human manner. Church politics differs from the ordinary kind most in subject matter.

"The methods are the same, very largely because in not a few instances they are employed by the same kind of men, but most of all doubtless because they represent the working out of divine purpose in other fields. In the Presbyterian and Episcopalian and other general religious gatherings, the men whose influence counts for most are not infrequently those who stand high in political and business circles.

"It shocks people who believe that the churches are exclusively divinely guided to see so little difference in ecclesiastical strategy from those which prevail in more worldly gatherings. Yet there should be no dismay or surprise even. For while we all know that the churches are under divine guidance we are wholly wrong in supposing that other of the vast concerns of men are not equally under the same influence and direction.

"Creeds and churches are all man-made out of material furnished him by his Maker, but expressions of man's recognition of his obligations and opportunities lies in the spiritual plane. Though inspired by the Creator since they are not universal, they are all manifestly imperfect, and so doubtless because transmitted through erring man. Creed and Church discipline and law have no more foundation of authority or guarantee of stability than do political platform declarations. They are all always subject to revision as men progress in religious understanding and to meet new contingencies of moral perversion as they arise.

Toledo Sunday Times-Bee.

*                         *                         *

This editor sees only a part of what he points out. God has given his Church explicit directions, but the plans, schemes and traditions of men ignore the Word, the counsel of God, and hence the similarity of political manipulations.

[R3420 : page 261]


ND so it seems that even in Paul's day science was a name to conjure with. The aged Apostle had to exhort his "son Timothy" to stand guard over the truth of God that had been committed to him, especially by avoiding "oppositions of science falsely so-called." The danger to faith arose not from real science, but from that baseless and pernicious gnosis, unworthy [R3420 : page 262] the name of science, that was already on the way to its full fruitage in the Gnosticism of Marcion and Valentinus that at a later day so cursed the early Church.

Nor is this juggling with "science" yet over, as a recent experience convinced the writer. The colloquy was with – or rather the "setting down" came from – a product of the "New Thinking." He had been made at Harvard, and had entered upon the study of divinity there, but finding no definite basis for his "divinity," he had given up the ministry as a bad job. A respectful word about the Bible was what precipitated the explosion: "You don't pretend to say that you believe the Bible to be anything but a mass of Jewish myths and legends? In these days no one but a mossback ever thinks of it as a revelation from God! Why, it has been so completely discredited by science in every form and from every point of view, that no self-respecting man of culture can afford to give it even a moment's attention!"

What could one say when dazed by such an outburst? How could one help feeling that science embodied had finished the business, and that it was useless to gainsay its authority? As for reasoning with such a reckless asserter, that was out of the question. He was beyond the reach of reason. For a moment the poor "mossback" felt as one might imagine the old-fashioned tallow candle of seventy-five years ago felt when the great "extinguisher" was brought down upon it. But recovery came in due time, aided by some knowledge of real science gained at the feet of the masters; and the conclusion ultimately reached shape in Paul's phrase, "oppositions of science falsely so-called." This man was monumentally ignorant of real science. Indeed, he was merely conjuring with a name of the contents of which he knew nothing except at second hand; and even that second-hand knowledge was "science falsely so-called," in other words, pseudo-science.

Has science really discredited the Bible as the Word of God, so that there is nothing left of it on which one can depend? We answer, By no manner of means. The assumption that it has done so is the supreme Satanic lie of this age, originating in the consummate conceit which is the very essence of the zeitgeist, and made use of by the Devil for the overthrow of the religion of Christ. True science has never contradicted the Bible; has never touched it but to confirm. The same God made both the world and the Word, so that there can be no contradiction. It is only false science that has seemed – or been made to appear – in conflict with Christianity.

To make this clear beyond possibility of gainsaying, one needs only to inquire what science is, what constitutes a scientist, what the scientific method is, what the scientific processes are; and then to test by these the claims of the so-called science that has pretentiously arrayed itself against the Bible.

That is the question at bottom, "What is science?" The mischief has come from its having been answered superficially. The jaunty "New Thinking" hesitates to go beneath the surface. That might wear out the soul, if it be only matter in brain form! It will never do to overwork it!

Science has been defined to be "knowledge gained and verified by exact observation and correct thinking, especially such knowledge when methodically formulated and arranged in a rational system," – systematic construction being thus a principal factor in science in the largest sense.

There are properly two distinct scientific methods, the inductive and the deductive. The former is applicable to matters of fact only; the latter to truths or relations of ideas only. The former proceeds from facts to general principles which embrace and group them; the latter from general truths or principles to particulars embraced under them.

Science, as we have to do with it in connection with Christianity, deals with matters of fact, – God, the soul, sin, redemption, all the great essential things found in the Bible and in our religion, are matters of fact. The science that deals with them, in order to be true science, must, therefore, conform to the principles or processes of the inductive method. As it departs from these, or fails to come up to them, it ceases to be science.

What are these principles or processes? There is, first, exact observation, by which one is to learn what the facts in the case really are. The principle of exact observation is all-important at the foundation. Sir William Hamilton sets forth the three laws that govern it: The law of parcimony requires that no fact be assumed that is not a fact; the law of integrity, that all of the essential facts be embraced in the observation; the law of harmony, that if inferences from fact are admitted they must be legitimate deductions from the facts and used in subordination to them.

So from this point of view the science may be vitiated by ignoring facts, misrepresenting or misinterpreting facts, adding alleged facts to or substituting them for the real facts, using the facts as mere points of departure in wild speculation. Alfred Wallace's recent fascinating book, on the question whether there are other inhabited worlds, is an example in point. The book is a book in which, in consequence of the absence of actual and universal observation, assumptions and speculations are made to take the place of facts. Possibly there is more reason for concluding that there are no other worlds that are possibly habitable, than for concluding that the man in the moon is made of green cheese.

The use of the second principle, that of correct scientific interpretation, must follow the observation, in order that the scientific investigator may know precisely what the observed facts mean. Before they can be wrought into science, the individual facts must be understood, in themselves and in their relations to one another and to their causes. Hence, the three laws that govern the process of interpretation. The first requires that the investigator shall determine the exact content of each of the facts; the second that he shall properly generalize and classify his facts and ascertain the laws governing them; the third that he shall trace back the facts and laws to the appropriate and adequate causes that account for and explain them. Causation is thus the fundamental principle that makes science possible, and to which all true science must conform itself.

So from this point of view science may be wholly vitiated by a superficial knowledge of the facts, by [R3420 : page 263] false generalizations from them, by irrational and unwarranted explanations of them, or by failure to make proper application of the principle of causation in dealing with them. Of this order are the defects that destroy the scientific quality of the thinking of such men as John Stuart Mill, Charles Darwin and Herbert Spencer. It is vain to talk to them of facts. They are able to laugh at facts as a ghost would at a musket.

The first two principles of induction lead up to the third, the principle of scientific construction, which must be conducted with a view to the grasping, grouping and presentation of the facts in their entirety, by proper coordination and correlation, and making the thought system match the natural system to which it attempts to give expression. Science in the highest sense is something far beyond incoherent facts or bits and scraps, however accurately observed and interpreted, beyond classes and strings of generalizations, however logical they may be made; it consists of facts and generalizations and causes, and all the rest, wrought into a rational system, and so constituting a connected and constructed thought-system that expresses and matches some region of reality, in the soul, in nature or elsewhere. In order to reach such science, all the great facts, as observed and interpreted, with all the laws and principles, must be taken into the system, none added and none omitted; these must be set forth in their logical relations of succession and interdependence; and the system so constructed must be shown to agree with the natural system which it represents.

So at this point science may become false by the narrowness that fails to take in all the range of facts involved, and thus leaves it incomplete; or by the incoherency that shows itself incapable of grouping facts into unity, and thus results in merely a disjointed mass; or by reason of a weak or lawless imagination that cannot grasp the whole range of facts in rational scientific system, thereby falling below science in its highest and broadest sense.

Such knowledge, resulting from exact observations, correct interpretation and scientific construction, and such alone, is science in any strict and proper sense. It is whole diameters removed from opinion, guesswork, imagination, speculation, assumption, assertion and all the other easy going processes.

The scientist is one who, in his observations, investigations, conclusions and constructions, conforms to these principles of scientific method. He is one who seeks, obtains and verifies knowledge in any department by these processes, which alone are properly called scientific. His special task may, of course, require him to devote himself chiefly to the investigation and verification of facts; or he may give himself to applying the inductive method to facts; or he may be employed chiefly in combining all his established facts and reasoned conclusions in any department of knowledge into a scientific system that shall embody and set forth a whole region of reality in its [R3421 : page 263] unity and totality. But whatever may be the particular department to which his attention is given, his work therein must be done conformably to the principles of scientific method that have just been outlined.

In the region of physical science, from which the main objections to the veracity of the Bible have been brought, the exact scientist is the man who reduces his scientific conclusions to mathematical formulae, thereby taking them entirely out of the range of the speculation and conjecture to which so much of the popular so-called science is devoted. It is the portion of the field of physical science that has been reduced to this form of mathematical thought that constitutes the settled and permanent science, – the other so-called science of this region being in state of constant flux.

Against all comers the Christian may safely make the claim that no true science, no knowledge that can stand these rational, scientific tests, has ever been shown to be in conflict with the revelations of God's Word. It is only science falsely so-called that has ever been made to appear to discredit the Word of God, – Positivism, Darwinism, Spencerism, et id omne genus.

Modern science, as embodied in August Comte, is said to have blotted a personal God out of existence. There is nothing new in that. "The fool" of the Psalmist did as much long ages ago. It is written in Psalm 14:1, "The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God." As one has remarked, it is evident that no one but a fool would have said it; that is, a man afflicted with mental weakness and moral obliquity. Even "the fool" says it to himself, as it were, or in his heart; it is not the conclusion of reason, but an expression of a wish. He is anxious to get rid of God, in order that he may freely exploit his folly.

Modern science, under the lead of Comte, has taken the same method of sweeping God out of existence; only he claims to have done it by the scientific method. But how did he do it? Where is the science of it? It is simply assumption and assertion with which he lays the basis. "There is nothing in the universe of which we can have scientific knowledge except bare, dead facts. There is no spirit, finite or infinite, no cause, no God." Now this so-called science violates every principle of induction, ignoring all the chief facts of the universe, and those that are best known. How do I at all know material things, forces, science, etc.? It is only as I am a mind, acting in thought, that I am able to find and interpret any thought in the material universe. It is only as I am a will, acting with power, that I am able to find and investigate any of the forces of the universe with which science deals. This presentation of the case by Comte, by which such stimulus has been given to modern loose thinking, has not a particle of science in it.

In the name of science, Charles Darwin, under the inspiration of Comte, has swept God and religion out of existence in these later times. How much of science is there in his system, so far as it antagonizes the teachings of the Bible? Take a single passage from one of the earlier editions of his "Descent of Man," a passage that sums up his argument from the beginning of that belauded and epoch-making work:

"The early progenitors of man were, no doubt, covered with hair, both sexes having beards. Their ears were pointed and capable of movement, and their bodies were provided with a tail....The foot...was prehensile [R3421 : page 264] and our progenitors, no doubt, were arboreal in their habits, frequenting some warm, forest-clad land....At an earlier period the progenitors of man must have been aquatic in their habits."

Although, because of its absurdity having been exposed, this paragraph was dropped or modified in a later edition of the same work, the "scientific" presentation of the book, of which this is an accurate summary, was not changed.

When men laud this as "advanced science," we have to say that it is simply a double "no doubt" and a "must have been," resting on a hypothesis which is conceivable, but has not a fact to support it. There is no science about it, and, indeed, no basis for science. We protest, in the name of sound thinking, against the almighty must be-ity with which the system is constructed; and we do it for the same reason that we protest against the equally potent must-be-ity and per-se-ity of the speculative philosophers and theologians. This is sham science, not true science. A system built up in that way violates every principle of the inductive scientific method. It is absurd to claim that the teaching of the Bible, that God created man in his own image, is to be set aside for such baseless speculation masquerading in the garb of science. It may be well to remember that even Professor Huxley, who was so much of an agnostic regarding religion that he invented the name agnostic to express his negative creed, always protested against the fundamental principles of Darwinism. It is now being generally admitted, especially in Germany, that Darwinism is dead. Notwithstanding the false science the Bible still lives.

Following up the same trend of thought, the late Herbert Spencer constructed his vast system for the unification of all knowledge, pushing God out of sight. The postulates of Mr. Spencer, in reaching his conclusion that evolution is the universal science, contain all the basal errors of agnosticism, positivism, sensationalism, with Spencerism added. Neither science nor common sense will permit of the acceptance of his conclusions. There is no exact science about it. The men of breadth and depth, who are masters of the scientific process, and who push out their investigations into the regions beyond, are the authorities in science; and almost to a man they have opposed the scientific pretensions of Spencerian evolution. Louis Agassiz, Joseph Henry, Sir John William Dawson and Arnold Guyot, in this country, pronounced the doctrine of evolution unscientific and false. Exact science on the other side of the waters has protested with equal weight of authority against confounding evolution with science. Mivart, the most accomplished naturalist in Great Britain, pronounced it a "puerile hypothesis;" Lionel Beale, the authority in biology, rejects it entirely, declaring that "correlation, its assumed principle, is the 'abracadabra' of mechanical biology."

The late Professor Virchow, "the foremost chemist on the globe," a man, in the phrase of The London Times, "opposed to every species of orthodoxy, and altogether innocent of faith," affirmed that "Since its announcement, all real scientific knowledge has proceeded in the opposite direction;" and styles the circles of materialistic evolutionists, "bubble companies." Prof. Tait declared that evolutionists are "not in the slightest degree entitled to rank as physicists," i.e, they are excluded from the ranks of exact science. Lord Kelvin, by his investigations in mathematical physics, has taken away from the evolutionist the ages upon ages absolutely essential to the maintenance of his hypothesis. These are the characteristic views of the scientific authorities abroad, the men who have a right to say something on this subject.

When we turn from scientific authorities to facts, we find that Mr. Spencer violates all the principles of the inductive method. His scheme has no solid basis of carefully observed facts. It does not correctly interpret the facts it adduces. He constantly applies the a priori or deductive method to such facts as he may select as suited to his purpose. As a so-called scientific system it is not the product of the consistent logical embodiment of the results of observation and rational explanation of facts. In other words, it is not science. The late DuBois Reymond showed that there are at least seven chasms impassable to the evolutionist. Not to enumerate these, it is enough to say that not a fact has ever been observed in all the universe in favor of the essential postulates of evolution – spontaneous generation and transmutation of species.

Why, then, do men accept such things as science? Perhaps it is because they are overwhelmed, as Malcolm Guthrie has suggested, by the immensity of the system, making one feel as if in the presence of omnipotence. Or is it because they are dazed and made incapable of thinking by the dreamy use of grand words, by means of which many of the essential statements are so presented that even ordinarily accurate thinkers are sometimes surprised into the acceptance of what they do not understand? One has characterized Mr. Spencer's definition of the law of evolution as his most pompous and sublime employment of such language:

"Evolution is a change from an indefinite, incoherent homogeneity, to a definite, coherent heterogeneity, through continuous differentiations and integrations."

This, as one has translated it into simple English, reads:

"Evolution is a change from a no howish, untalkaboutable all-likeness to a some-howish and in-general-talkaboutable not-all-likeness, by continuous something-elsifications and stick-togetherations."

Now such words as differentiation and integration have in mathematical science distinct and precise meanings, which are impossible in this definition.

To one who knows the origin of the evolutionary scheme, and has tested its scientific pretensions by the principles of induction, it seems incredible that men of sense should feel compelled, for no better reason than that, to give up the plain teaching of the Bible, that it is a revelation from God, and substitute for that the view that it is a natural evolution. It is science falsely so-called, again, that has been made to discredit the Bible.

The same thing might be shown to be true of the claims that the sciences of geology, astronomy, etc., all through the range of physical sciences have discredited the Bible. It is only as the so called scientists [R3422 : page 265] have contradicted the fundamental principles of inductive science that these sciences have been made even to seem to be in conflict with the Bible.

The writer well recalls the impression made upon him just after he had entered upon the work of the ministry, by the geologist Lyell's book on "The Antiquity of Man," a book which in the name of science was full as possible of violations of scientific principles. Fortunately, he had the privilege of taking it to his old teacher and friend, Arnold Guyot, who let the light shine in upon the dark places, showing how utterly unscientific were the claims based upon the imperfectly observed and investigated facts and causes connected with the delta of the Mississippi and with the recession of Niagara Falls.

One typical case will show the quality of much of the science involved in such matters. About 1854 some excavators brought up some burnt brick and pottery from the depth of sixty and seventy-two feet, in the valley of the Nile. Assuming that they were found where they were made, and that the alluvium had been deposited upon them at the rate at which the Nile now makes its deposit, and that this was the only cause at work, it was calculated mathematically that the relics must be from 12,000 to 60,000 years old. One causal element omitted was the weight of the brickbats, in connection with the fact (also causal) that all the region is a vast quagmire during the inundation which covers it with water for a large part of the year. Sir Robert Stephenson afterwards found in the Delta, near Damietta, at a far greater depth, a brick bearing the stamp of Mohammed Ali (1808). Some one said satirically that the main question in the first case should have been, not "How long will it take for the Nile to deposit sixty or seventy-two feet of alluvium?" but "How long will it take a brick to sink seventy-two feet in a quagmire?" And we are expected to believe that this kind of science has discredited the Bible teaching concerning the comparatively modern date of the creation of man and the origin of the human race! It is science falsely so-called.

One of the latest agents in this work of discrediting the Bible as the Word of God – of which the utmost possible has been made by the secular press, and, we might add, by the religious press, too – is the so-called science of Assyriology. The case of Professor Delitzsch, with his "Babel and Bible," is still fresh in the minds of all. His utterances were put forth in the name of science, and the Professor took himself seriously as a scientist. A week after his utterances, he said to a correspondent of the American press:

"From a scientific point of view, I am glad that my lecture made such an impression. I am glad that the teachings of the Church relating to the Old Testament have been given up; among other questions, the theory that the Covenant on Mount Sinai was a personal revelation of God to Moses."

The correspondent cabled that "The Emperor undoubtedly felt that it would never do for the head of the Prussian Church to endorse a scientist who denies the theory of revelation." And the great secular journals flung out as headlines: "The Bible in the Furnace of Science;" "The Bible Fails to Stand the Test of Science;" and the whole world seemed to be turned upside down over this juggling with the terms "science" and "scientific."

The editor of The Open Court wrote of it: "The dogmas of Christianity are formulations of the truth as interpreted by our forefathers. Let not Athanasius with his limited knowledge bind the conscience of a Delitzsch!"

And so, in the name of science, Professor Delitzsch becomes infallible! Meanwhile, the poor old Bible is demonstrated to be fallible, and, as made up of myths and legends, it goes up in smoke from the "crucible of science"; and lo, Babylon is wheeled into the place of Jerusalem!

But what about the science of all this? How do the claims of Professor Delitzsch stand the test of the principles that govern scientific observation, interpretation and construction?

Both of the Professor's lectures are taken up, perhaps necessarily, not with the presentation of established facts, but with the dogmatic assertion of what he regards as scientifically established facts. Blank assertion takes the place of science. Four things doubtless lent abnormal importance to the Professor's pronouncements: the fact that he was confounded with his father, the late Dr. Franz Delitzsch, the great theologian, commentator and Hebraist, a man of quite another order from the son; his connection with the German Emperor; his attractive rhetorical presentation of the commonplaces of Biblical knowledge; and the outrageousness of some of the utterances themselves.

The statement of M. Halevy, the French Orientalist, to whom Assyriologists would probably accord the leading place – the French having unquestionably distanced the Germans in this department, as witness their discovery of the Code of Hammurabi – may be taken as representative. After praising the general character of the lecture, so far as it deals with commonplaces, he is constrained to add:

"Sincerity, nevertheless, compels me to point out certain inapt, inaccurate and redundant statements which disfigure the otherwise beautiful lecture."

And after pointing out some of these things he further remarks:

"The same predisposition to rest content with superficial appearances shows itself in the interpretation which is put upon the figure assumed to represent the chariot of Ezekiel, but it has no points of resemblance with it."

Other archaeological specialists showed the unscientific character of the claim of Delitzsch that the Biblical Sabbath had its origin in Babylon, as also the doctrine that Jehovah is God; these "scientific" conclusions being based upon the merest etymological guess-work.

It is after presenting all this matter, to much of which all the authorities object as baseless or irrelevant, that Professor Delitzsch, speaking from his top-lofty pedestal of science, concludes:

"These are facts which, from the point of view of science, are as immutable as rock, however stubbornly people on both sides of the Atlantic may close their eyes to them."

"Heaven save the science!" one is almost ready to exclaim. Do "facts" and "science" mean anything [R3422 : page 266] in this age to the average exploiter of the latest speculations? And are we to believe that the sane and exalted statements of the Bible are to give way before such pseudo science?

Manifestly Professor Delitzsch has a very slender conception of what is meant by science – extraordinary as are the claims he makes in its name. The time has not yet come for constructing the department of Assyriology, either in itself or in its relations to the Biblical records, into a consistent scientific system. That will require a grasp of approximately all the established facts, and verified, reasoned conclusions, covering the whole region, when the whole region has been investigated. The establishment of the correct hypothesis of the relation of Babel and the Bible, so that it shall become scientific theory, may be realized in the future; but in the meantime while the critics speculate, let it not be forgotten that, in the court of sound logic and reason, the Bible view of the origin of religion by divine revelation to Adam, Noah, Abraham, and the line of Israel, has the presumption in its favor as against all comers.

The Bible Student.

[R3422 : page 266]

R. JOHN W. CHURCHMAN, of the Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, contributes to The Atlantic Monthly (April) a searching analysis of Christian Science. His article, while in course of preparation, was submitted to the criticism of some of the foremost authorities both in philosophy and medical science that the country contains, and it is regarded by the Boston Transcript as "perhaps the most thorough and reliable examination which has yet been made of the basis of Christian Science."

The fundamental propositions upon which Christian Science may be wrought into a system, and at which any criticism of that system must be directed, are stated, at the outset of the article, in these terms: –

"1. God, the Ego, is All in All, the only Life, Substance and Soul, the only Intelligence of the Universe. He is Mind, and fills all space.

"2. Man is the true image of God; he has no consciousness of material life or death; his material body is a mortal belief; he was, is, and ever shall be perfect.

"3. Knowledge. Knowledge gained from the material senses is a tree whose fruits are sin, sickness and death. The evidence of the senses is not to be accepted in the case of sickness any more than it is in the case of sin. The physical senses are simply beliefs of mortal mind.

"4. Matter cannot be actual. God being all, matter is nothing.

"5. Evil. (a) Sin. Error is unreal. All that God made is good; hence there is no evil. (b) Sickness. Health is not a condition of matter. Human [R3423 : page 266] mind produces organic disease as certainly as it produces hysteria. (c) Death is an illusion. (d) Cure. The cure for sin, sickness and death – since all are illusions – is the destruction of the illusion.

"Christianity is a demonstration of divine principle casting out error and healing the sick. Soul cannot sin nor being be lost. Scripture must be interpreted spiritually."

Four great highways of evidence, according to Dr. Churchman's view, lead to a demonstration of the "essential unsoundness" of Christian Science. In the first place, he says, it defies the canons of history, when it comes to us claiming a revealed origin. "Men who have read history have learned to suspect such claims. They know that thousands like it have been made before." Moreover: –

"Only in rare instances has any new Truth been brought to light by a flash; the rule that history teaches is – a slow stumbling in the dark until the light is reached. The presumptive evidence, as the great laws of life working themselves out in history have made it of value to us, is against Christian Science. The system fails to align itself with the past. It fails emphatically to exhibit the premonitory symptoms of truth. And, apart from all other considerations, these are strong counts against it."

Dr. Churchman proceeds to a consideration of Christian Science as a system of philosophy: –

"The uncompromising idealism which Mrs. Eddy offers us...poses as an explanation, and is in reality a total evasion. To deny that matter exists, and assert that it is an illusion, is only another way of asserting its existence; you are freed by your suggestion from explaining the fact, but forced by it to explain the illusion...I smell a rose, and that night I dream of what I have done. Both acts, says Mrs. Eddy, are dreams. Then, I answer, how do you account for my recognition of the two activities as different in kind? If all psychic phenomena are dreams, why do I recognize only certain psychic phenomena as dreams? To equate illusion and sensation is to balance inches with pounds; and it explains neither. The great ideal philosophers recognized this inadequacy; though it was Berkeley's weakness that he failed to recognize it clearly. Kant, Leibnitz, Fichte and Hegel were idealists with a qualification; and this qualification was their salvation. But Mrs. Eddy has strengthened her position in no such way. For the testimony of the senses is, to her, absolutely unacceptable: not because it fails to be final, but because it is, essentially false. She quite ignores the fact that while, so long as we have no extrinsic standard, it may be impossible to demonstrate the reliability of the senses' reports, it is equally, and for the same reason, impossible to prove their unreliability."

If Christian Science is unconvincing as philosophy, it is even more so, declares Dr. Churchman, as science. He writes on this point: –

"To deplorable inaccuracy is added a looseness of statement and of argument that is simply laughable. [R3423 : page 267] 'Longevity is increasing,' Mrs. Eddy tells us, 'for the world feels the alternative effect of truth.' Is this guessing or statistics? Does she seriously mean to tell us that since 1865, or thereabouts, the slight hold that Christian Science has had on the world has really lengthened life? Could statistics culled in a period covering only thirty-eight years really prove anything as to longevity and its cause? Has she any scientific understanding of the meaning of statistics and of the tremendous periods they must cover in order to be of any value?...

"Again, notice the absurd explanation of the action of drugs. 'When the sick recover,' we are told, 'by the use of drugs, it is the law of general belief, culminating in individual faith, which heals; even if you take away the individual confidence in a drug ...the chemist...the doctor and the nurse equip the medicine with their faith, and the majority of beliefs rules.' Acetanilid, then, reduces temperature, by action on the heat-coordinating nerve-centre, because the majority of men, or the patient himself, believes this to be the case. Well, the fact is that the majority of men have never heard of acetanilid, or the heat-centre...and that its action, so far from being dependent on the patient's belief, is observed in animals, which may reasonably be assumed to have no belief on the subject whatever!"

The last item in the indictment is that Christian Science is "fundamentally unchristian:" –

"Mrs. Eddy's philosophy is more blasphemous than her exegetical mutilation. The Bible has little or nothing to say as to the origin of evil; for the account of the fall is, after all, not an explanation, but a description. But it has a great deal to say on man's attitude toward the problem....From Genesis to Revelation the word is, Endure; and Christ himself never attempted to treat as anything less than fact the sorrow of the world, before his share of which even his own bravery almost flinched. There is nowhere the slightest Scriptural warrant for expecting immunity from pain. No rosy picture is anywhere drawn. The only solution of the problem from first to last is the old-fashioned trust of intelligent resignation. But for Christian Science the opposite is the truth. With a flare of bravery that is nothing more than bravado, a foolish claim of certainty is substituted for a majestic and triumphant faith. Suffering is no longer a mystery, and trust is impossible. The grim philosophy of Job, which has seldom failed in history to lead to the sturdy faith that makes men, is swept away at a blow; and in its place we have the effeminate bravery of a vulgar creed of certainty. Essentially it lacks nobility. If it had been regarded as truth from the first, history would have lost its chapter of heroes. It stands condemned by rational philosophy and shamed by Christian faith; and by its fundamental opposition to the Scriptural theory of the solution of the problem of evil, it brands itself as criminally inconsistent. It is nothing less than blasphemy

– and blasphemy of the most insidious kind –
to distort the plain philosophy of the Bible, until it offers men the pathetic delusion that they are to escape completely the suffering, without a relatively large share of which no human being has been known to pass his three score and ten. The essential unsoundness of practical Christian Science lies here; that a philosophy is proposed which assumes man made purposely for perfect happiness in this dispensation, – an assumption at once gratuitous if observation base philosophy, and groundless if Holy Writ be the standard."
Literary Digest.

[R3422 : page 267]

AMOS 5:4-15. – SEPTEMBER 18. –

UR lesson has to do with the prophecy of Amos, who is noted as being one of the earliest prophets to write down the message which he delivered. True, Moses was a prophet, and his teachings we have in written form – and David was a prophet, and we have his in the Psalms; but Moses' prophecies were chiefly through the types which, under divine direction, he instituted, and David's prophecies were in poetic form, which were not discerned to be prophecies until our Lord and the apostles so pointed them out. Samuel, the Prophet, seems not to have written any of his inspired messages, neither did Elijah, nor Elisha, nor others of their time. Amos belongs to a period about a century after Elijah and nearly a century before Isaiah, and about two centuries before Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel. Amos declared himself to have been of humble birth; his parents were not illustrious, neither was he educated amongst the sons of the prophets. Like David he was a sheep tender, a farmer, upon whom the Lord poured his spirit with mighty power, sending him to proclaim the disasters sure to come upon Israel unless a change of course should turn aside the deserved punishment for their iniquities.

The brunt of the Prophet's message fell against the ten-tribe kingdom of Israel, but the divine method of presenting the matter is noteworthy. The Prophet's message began with the adjoining nations: (1) Damascus, the capital of Syria on the north, is mentioned as being in line with the divine retributions; (2) the Philistines on the west; (3) the nation of Tyre to the northwest; (4) the Edomites to the south; (5) the Ammonites nearly on the east; (6) the Moabites to the south; (7) Judah to the south; lastly, the center of the Prophet's message, Israel – the ten-tribe Kingdom. We can fancy the attention which would be given to his message by the people of Israel as they would hear fall from his lips words descriptive of the troubles coming upon surrounding nations which were their enemies; but as the circle grew narrower and narrower, and the weight of the Prophet's testimony was found to be specially against themselves, we may be sure that there was intense indignation. If they at first shouted, [R3424 : page 268] "A true prophet!" they probably subsequently gnashed on him with their teeth. This denunciation of Israel occurs chiefly in chapters 3-6 and in chapter 7:9-17. When the Prophet had gone so far as to tell openly of the fall of the reigning dynasty, Amaziah, the prince of Bethel, interfered, bidding Amos return to his own country. But under the special power of the holy Spirit, using him to deliver a particular message, Amos refused to return home until he had accomplished his errand, and added to the retribution of Israel some prophecies respecting the prince's own household.


In drawing a lesson from these experiences of Amos applicable to ourselves of today, we must remember that the Lord no longer sends his messages after this manner. Conditions have changed, circumstances have changed, and prophecies of the kind inspired by the Lord in early days are no longer his method. Respecting these prophecies, the Apostle Peter tells us, "Prophecy came not in olden times by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the holy Spirit" (2 Pet. 1:21), "Unto whom it was revealed that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the Gospel unto you with the holy Spirit sent down from heaven." – I Pet. 1:12.

In view of the changed conditions and difference of operation of the divine power, it is for us to preach the Word to whomsoever hath an ear to hear, to call attention to the application of the prophecies and testimonies of ancient times, and thus to make known the divine plan as it becomes due to be understood by those for whom it is intended – the Israelites indeed in whom there is no guile. For any one to undertake at the present time to copy either Elijah or Amos or others of the ancient prophets would indicate a total misapprehension on his part respecting the divine will and message – it might even be surmised to indicate a mental unbalance. As the Apostle declares, we speak the things that we know and testify to the things spoken aforetime for our admonition. There is a good lesson for us, nevertheless, in the method which the Lord guided the Prophet to take in delivering his message.

Our Lord leaves to us of this Gospel dispensation considerable latitude in the choice of means for serving his cause, exhorting us, however, to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves, and promising us rewards in proportion as we exercise such carefulness in his service as he can specially bless and use. Those who use wisely the talents and pounds intrusted to them are to have proportionate rewards when the Kingdom shall be set up. Let us then, in the exercise of our liberty and in accord with the Master's injunction to be wise as serpents, notice how the Prophet's message respecting unpleasant and direful things, all true, began in such a manner as to rivet the attention of his hearers. The Apostle Paul practiced this same wisdom, and mentioned it subsequently to some whom he had brought to a knowledge of the Lord; he said, "Being crafty, I took you by guile" – that is, I presented the matter to you in the form that would be most attractive to your hearts. He presented nothing untrue, however. Truth can be stated in a more or less palatable or unpalatable form.


Another lesson in connection with Amos' message is that his opponents rose up from amongst those who were professedly religious – the priests; and so it was with our Lord and the apostles. The priests and religious teachers of their day were the chief opponents of the Gospel in its truth and purity, and we must expect the same in our day. The Truth, in proportion as it has been declared in its purity, has always aroused opposition, and has always found its chief opposers amongst those who have a "form of godliness" – but generally amongst those who lack its power.

Our lesson is a part of the Prophet's pleading with the Israelites that they return to harmony with God and avert the calamities which must otherwise be expected. The history of the time shows us that it was a very prosperous period, not only for Judah but also for the ten-tribe kingdom. The prosperity was of the earthly kind. Riches were accumulated, but these were in the hands of the rich and the great, and the Prophet proceeds to warn the rich that the poor are being unjustly dealt with, and he intimates that it would be from this source that the trouble would ultimately come – the only terms upon which they could hope to live as a nation would be by seeking the Lord. It would be in vain for them to seek help at Bethel or in Gilgal or in Beersheba, the centers of their religious institutions, which were corrupt. These religious institutions would all go down in the trouble which the Prophet predicted. The Lord himself must be sought with an honest heart else he would cause destruction to break out like a fire to devour the house of Joseph. The ten-tribe kingdom is here called the house of Joseph, because the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh were of preponderating influence in the nation, and these two tribes sprung from Joseph; hence the fire breaking out in the house of Joseph meant destruction which would come upon the ten-tribe kingdom unless they repented.

The Prophet proceeds to particularize some of the wrongs on account of which they were in danger: Justice was not rendered in their courts. Instead of the sweets of Justice, those who appealed to their courts, if they were poor, got wormwood – that is, bitterness, disappointment. The Prophet declares that they cast down righteousness to the earth; equity was not a matter of primary consideration; but, as he proceeds to point out, bribery was rife, and wealth and power and influence could accomplish almost anything. There must be a turning from this condition, and relief could only come from turning to the [R3424 : page 269] Lord. The Prophet refers to divine power in somewhat similar language to that used by Job (9:9; 30:31). Pointing his hearers to the group Pleiades in the constellation Taurus, and to Orion, he would have them see that the one whose assistance they needed was the one who was able to create the earth and the heavens also – the one who was able not only to gather the waters into the seas, but able also to call the waters back from the seas to the clouds, and to pour it down again upon the earth in its seasons. This great God was the one that they needed, and all others assisting them would be powerless against him.


In verse 9 he intimates that God's power would be with the poor and oppressed for their deliverance, and that this would mean destruction against the strong and powerful, those that hate reproof and abhor the upright, that are in opposition to any who reprove unrighteousness.

Verses 11 and 12 specify and particularize the nature of the injustice practised and which needs to be renounced and discontinued. Verse 13 implies that there were amongst the Israelites some who did not approve of the general course, but being helpless and in the minority they kept silence from prudential reasons, because the time was an evil one, and to have espoused the cause of the oppressed would have brought them trouble without bringing relief to the oppressed. But Amos was specially commissioned of the Lord to give this very reproof, and hence he must not keep silence because of prudence or for any other consideration, but must speak his message with boldness. Similarly, it is not the duty of every one of the Lord's people today to take the place of Amos and become public reprovers of public officials, etc., even though they may see unrighteousness practised. Prudence, wisdom, is to be used in connection with whatever we do. Our commission today is not that of reproving nations, but that of letting our lights so shine that others may see our good works and glorify the Father which is in heaven. Our Lord declares that he will rebuke the nations, he will humble their pride, he will cast down the mighty from their positions, he will exalt the humble in due time; and to his people he says, "Wait ye upon me, saith the Lord, until the day that I rise up to the prey." – Zeph. 3:8.

The lesson closes with an exhortation from the Prophet that his hearers should make a thorough reformation – seek good and not evil, love righteousness and hate sin. If they would do these things then indeed they might apply to themselves the promises of God, as they were already disposed to do, claiming that they were his people. Such claims would be appropriate enough if they would conform to the divine requirements, but not otherwise; the Lord would be gracious to them if they would come into line as a people with his regulations and requirements, but otherwise they must expect the chastisements and punishments already foretold.

Remembering that the Israelites were a typical nation, we properly enough scan the text and context to see whether anything connected with Amos' prophecy was of larger application than it appeared to him and the people of his day. We are justified in expecting this from the words of the Apostle Peter already cited, and from other examples in the prophecies. For instance, in David's prophecies how little the utterer of the words, "not a bone of him shall be broken," understood of the real fulfilment of his declaration. Again when he said, "Thou wilt not leave my soul in sheol, neither wilt thou suffer thine holy One to see corruption," how little David or the people of Israel understood the import of those words – that David was a prophet, and in this language was unwittingly speaking of Christ and his resurrection from the dead – from sheol. So while realizing the appropriateness of Amos' words to the people to whom they were particularly addressed, we find certain items in connection with this prophecy which imply a still larger fulfilment of his predictions upon nominal Israel in the end of this age.


It is not for us to claim that today Justice is fallen in the streets and Righteousness cannot enter; it is not for us to claim that the poor are inordinately taxed or crushed [R3425 : page 269] or robbed. On the contrary, we freely state that there is a great deal of righteousness meted out in the courts of "Christendom." We have sometimes wondered how natural men have ever brought together so many wise, just and reasonable laws and regulations. Nevertheless there is a sense in which injustice, inequity, is now operating, not so much through any individual evil as through the changed conditions under which we are living. The blessings of the new dispensation, coming to us under social conditions which are based upon individual selfishness, are tending to make a few very rich, and before very long we fear will be found to so operate as to make many very poor.

The appropriating of the advantages of our day, while legally done, under laws that at one time were equitable, is bound apparently to work a great hardship – putting the power and financial control of the world in the hands of comparatively a few. True, those few giants are as yet very moderate in their requirements and dealings, some of them even generous; but the Scriptures seem to clearly imply that it will not be very long until their power, willingly or unwillingly, will be so exercised as to bring great distress upon the mass of humanity, grinding them as between two millstones. From this standpoint the Prophet's words might well be appropriated by Christendom; but we may be sure that those in power and position are not disposed to hearken to Amos or to any one else, and hence we must expect what the Scriptures everywhere point out, that the overthrow of Christendom will come suddenly, in a time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation; and that in this conflict the Lord, who made Pleiades and Orion, will be he that will strengthen [R3425 : page 270] the spoiled against the strong, so that the spoiled ones shall rise against the strong ones in anarchy – Verse 9.

The close of Amos' prophecy tells of the recovery of Israel and the blessing of the Lord that will be upon all mankind, including the Gentiles, at that time. It is this prophecy that the Apostle James quoted in the Council at Jerusalem, saying, "After this I will return and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up; that the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things." (Acts 15:16,17.) We are living at the time when this prophecy is about to be fulfilled. The recovery of natural Israel is about to take place under the reestablishment of God's Kingdom in the world – the one that was once typically represented in King David, but which is to be actually established in the greater David – the "Beloved One." Under that Kingdom, reestablished under more favorable conditions, a heavenly Kingdom, the residue of men will be given an opportunity to seek the Lord, for the knowledge of the Lord shall fill the whole earth.

[R3425 : page 270]


Golden Text. – "The Lord is merciful and gracious." – Psa. 103:8.

RULY the Lord's mercy and grace are in the International Lessons of the quarter which closes with this review. With great patience and long suffering the Lord had mercy upon the typical people, the house of servants, called to constitute and to make types illustrating his gracious purposes for the house of sons which would follow it, and, incidentally, to prepare the "Israelites without guile" for the spiritual blessings to result from their transfer to the "house of sons." And not only preparing this remnant, but also all those who were faithful as members of the "house of servants," attesting their loyalty to the Lord, whose reward is to be the privilege of representing the heavenly Kingdom as its human agents on the earth. But while this is true, how much greater is God's mercy as seen and experienced by us who are of the house of sons, accepted in the Beloved One! How merciful is the Lord toward all those who are seeking to walk in the footsteps of the Captain of their salvation! How bountiful are the provisions made, not only for their ultimate reward, but also for their encouragement during the sojourn toward the heavenly city, with provision also for the passing over, the covering and the ultimate blotting out of their weaknesses by and through him who loved us and bought us with his own precious blood.

[R3425 : page 270]



Since writing you last I have enjoyed a number of days in happy service of the Truth. An incident somewhat unusual in the general colporteur experience you will perhaps be glad to hear. In soliciting orders for our glad tidings in the town of B__________ some days ago I was addressing a merchant when he turned and said, "Brother L__________, what do you think of this book?" (I have since learned that this Bro. L__________ is one of Southern Arkansas' most prominent Baptist ministers.) In reply he said, "Buy it and read, and if you don't like it I will pay your money back," and before I left he sold several books for me. One of the gentlemen present said, "Stranger, why can't you preach for us here?" I replied I would be pleased to do so, if house and congregation could be had, whereupon this dear old Bro. L__________ proffered me the use of the Baptist Church. Their pulpit was occupied at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m., so they gave me 3 p.m. At their 11 o'clock service the minister announced the afternoon service, and his words were about as follows: "The subject this evening will be 'God's plan of saving man.' The man who is to preach is selling one of the most wonderful books of the nineteenth century and if you haven't got one I insist that you do so at once and read it carefully and prayerfully. The book will teach you more in one week than you have known in all your life about the Bible."

The Society had sent this dear Baptist brother a "Plan of the Ages" in TOWER form. Think of what this five cent investment has done in mightily arousing one of God's sleeping ones yet in Babylon; next in selling four or five volumes, which doubtless will spread; next it led to our three o'clock service, which I learned later put two to reading – and so the good work goes on, and, hallelujah! we know it will be completed to the glory of the Father and the good of his creatures.

Yours faithfully in Christ,

E. Z. JOHNSON, – Colporteur.


Enclosed find my report covering some very precious seasons of fellowship and service with friends by the way, and also marking some very bitter antagonism to the Truth. The hardest conditions that I have met since beginning the work I think I found at N__________. The feeling there is quite bitter. We had a very quiet meeting in the hall the first night, but on the second night the Episcopal Church people had a garden party (whatever this means) about a block from our meeting place. That of course brought to the village many from the surrounding country. The spirit of hilarity contingent upon the gathering of a crowd, together with expressions of contempt or disapproval of our faith by those in authority, I presume, led some of the "baser sort" to show by acts bordering on violence the contempt which others were content to express in words. During our service a large stone was hurled into the midst of the hall. Other stones were thrown against the house, showing the animus of the community. We continued the service to the end of the discourse [R3425 : page 271] and rejoiced that we were counted worthy to suffer such things for the Truth's sake.

With Christian love and greetings to all, I am as ever, Sincerely yours in the faith,



I have long since felt it my duty to write you and say that I have laid aside the terrors that I have heretofore held in my heart for the MILLENNIAL DAWN literature (for terror it was before I knew it for myself). I only knew that the very best of our Church members were being lured away from the Church by reading your literature. I once bought the first DAWN from a Colporteur without knowing what it was. When it was delivered I said, "I have the money for you, but I want you to understand that I will not read the book; it is different to what I thought it was. I will pay you for it, but the book will go in the stove. I will burn it." How could I read a book the influence of which would lure me from the Church in whose cradle I had been rocked, and in whose cradle I had lulled my children to sleep. Now I have no such dread or fear, but am willing to give up not only my Church but loved ones [R3426 : page 271] also and flee into the wilderness for the Truth's sake.

I am anxious to withdraw from the Church, and would also like some tracts suitable for Methodist people. Your sister in Christ,

SARAH E. CASE, – Illinois.


I received your last letter and appreciate the kind greetings. My receiving two extra blessings close upon one another prompted me to write these few lines that you may share them with me. Yesterday morning while "delivering," I met a lady to whom I had delivered Vol. I. some weeks ago, in the back of which I had inserted a tract on "What is the Soul?" She told me she had read both, and said she had read quite a good deal of Biblical literature on the soul question, but out of it all, nothing gave her the satisfaction afforded by the tract. She has already loaned the volume to an old gentleman, who also has read it and is much interested. I received orders for Vols. II. and III. from the lady and she desires to get the whole set.

The other case is also that of a lady to whom I had delivered Vol. I. At the time I received her order I noticed that she was more than ordinarily interested in Bible topics; so I put a mark beside her name in my order book, with the purpose of calling some time, which I did. On inquiring how she liked the book she said, "Just grand, and I want the next one! Before you leave call and receive my order for a number of the first volume, to be used as Christmas gifts." She informed me that she had been thinking on the subjects contained in detail in the "Plan of the Ages" for a number of years past, and indeed she seemed happy for having received the book.

I thank God for being permitted to receive such privileges and pray that I may become more and more a faithful "steward." With Christian love, I remain,

Your brother and servant in Christ,

CARL F. HAMMERLE, – Colporteur.


I am writing to you to express my deeply-felt gratitude to God and to you his servant, that through reading your books and studying the Word of God in connection with what you have written I have been brought into the clearer sunshine of his blessed revelation, and rejoice to see it from what I firmly believe is God's standpoint. God has indeed been good to me in guiding me into the Present Truth. I was very much prejudiced at first, as I had wrong notions concerning your teaching. The idea of the millennium starting from the year 1874 was a stumbling block to me until it was explained, and I tore up the tracts which had been handed to me and refused to read them. I had never heard of MILLENNIAL DAWN until about nine months ago, when my attention was called to the WATCH TOWER by a dear saint, a patient slowly dying of cancer, and my first idea about it was a glorification of so-called Christendom, because it placed the dawn of the millennium at the present time. Thinking it could easily be refuted by the Word of God, and with a desire to help others to ward off error, I promised to read one of the tracts, "The Hope of Immortality." I was simply amazed with the reasonableness, the wisdom, of it. It never occurred to me before that the all-wise God would certainly not have committed the silly blunder of making man an imperishable being, an "immortal soul," knowing beforehand how he would fall. I read through the tract, praying to God to guard me against being influenced by error. When I finished it I tore off on my bicycle at once to get "The Plan of the Ages" and "What Say the Scriptures About Hell?" I was so impatient that I did not like waiting a moment and eagerly devoured the books when I got them.

I have now read carefully and thoughtfully all the DAWN volumes several times and each time I learn more. Soon after beginning to read them we had a month's mission in Liverpool held by Messrs. Torrey and Alexander. Dr. Torrey was very much opposed to the DAWNS and warned the people against them. He advised the people to "take the tracts; By all means take them, and take them home and burn them." This seemed to me like the R.C. priests who say, "By all means take the Bible given to you and then burn it." His sermon on "Hell" was simply awful for its bitterness and nightmare misery, and he defined eternal punishment as "every second suffering infinite agonies throughout unending billions of years." One poor woman who knew I was reading the DAWNS said to me after one of the meetings, "Oh, Dr. Hughes, do burn those books, do burn those books!" and I was told that I would be done for if I read "those awful books!" So you see that it has been in the teeth of prejudice all along, and if it had not been that God had given me "Truth hunger" I should have neglected this glorious opportunity and lost the great blessing.

At a mission Sunday School in connection with the Presbyterian Church I joined some years ago I have a Bible Class for working men on Sunday afternoon for the last four months. I have been giving them MILLENNIAL DAWN teaching, and one or two of the young men have spoken about bringing the matter of my teaching before the minister. Some of them listen very attentively and seem to be greatly blessed.

Believe me to be, dear brother, yours very lovingly in our glorious and risen Savior,

E. LUCAS HUGHES, – England.

page 273
September 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. XXV.SEPTEMBER 15, 1904.No. 18.
Views from the Watch Tower 275
Arguing Against Denominational Union 275
Bishop Foster Too Old Fogy 276
Misleading Young to Hate God 277
Defied God and Died 278
Elisha the Prophet 278
The Boston Convention 281
According to thy Faith 281
Hospitality and Faith Rewarded 284
Interesting Questions Answered 286

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

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

page 274

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

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

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

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

PRICE, $1.00 (4S.) A YEAR IN ADVANCE, 5c (2½d.) A COPY.

Those of the interested who, by reason of old age, or other infirmity or adversity, are unable to pay for the TOWER, will be supplied FREE, if they send a Postal Card each December, stating their case and requesting the paper. We are not only willing, but anxious, that all such be on our list continually.



[R3428 : page 274]


Country Fair Time is upon us. These fairs furnish favorable opportunities for reaching the farming communities with morsels of spiritual food; – a class more difficult to reach than city folk; – a thoughtful, reading class, too. We will be glad to supply the tracts freely, but urge that judgment be used in distribution – wherever possible.


It is not our thought to abandon the now so well-known title, MILLENNIAL DAWN. But since many of its enemies have misrepresented it in public and in private the new title is proposed to save colporteurs (in some quarters) the time and trouble of explaining away the lies – of showing that it not only is not "an infidel book," against the Bible, but the very reverse, a Bible Key or Studies in the Scriptures. The books under the new title will not be ready for some time, but meantime colporteurs preferring this edition may order it and get the old edition until we get caught up.

[R3426 : page 275]


AT a meeting held in Washington City not long since, to favor the union of Methodist Protestants, Congregationalists and United Brethren, one of the speakers said: –

"Lutherans are divided into 16 different bodies, Baptists into 13, Presbyterians into 20 and Methodists into 17. Who is wise enough to show us how and to what extent the Kingdom of God is being profited by all these divisions? Does Presbyterianism have 20 and Methodism 17 different messages to the world? How ridiculous the thought of having 16 varieties of Lutherans and 16 Baptists in the same town or mission field. The fact is we are over-organized. Our machinery is too ponderous and complex. It requires so much energy and money to keep it going that we have but little to use beyond the machinery itself. Just think of the missionary and church extension organizations, of the publishing plants, colleges, theological seminaries and the great number and variety of other benevolent institutions which are fairly piled upon each other! No wonder there is friction and great waste. Nor need we be surprised that level-headed laymen are getting tired of seeing their money wasted and are beginning to seek a remedy.

"Away with the delusion that the God of all wisdom and grace has planned for the continued existence of these ecclesiastical divisions and sub-divisions, with 100 more that might be named, whose presence cannot be explained on any rational grounds or in harmony with the spirit of the gospel.

"Mere federation will not accomplish what we want. We must go further. The call of God at this hour to husband our resources and to unify our forces, to the end that we may conquer and win, is loud and clear.

"How humiliating the thought that very much of the money raised in this country ostensibly to save the heathen is spent in keeping up ecclesiastical distinctions and consequently the most shameful rivalries. Why should a town of only a few hundred people be burdened with a half dozen churches, when two at most would answer every purpose? Yet we have scores and hundreds of such over churched towns. Christian work, so called, degenerates into a mere scramble for existence.

"In concentration we will find a solution of many of the problems which confront and annoy us; and this centralization is impossible where a multiplicity of similar organizations exist. It is a sin to waste God's money in duplicating agencies, and yet this is being done all the time."

*                         *                         *

It seems remarkable that some of the most earnest and intelligent Christian people in all denominations are so misled by the present cry of denominational union. The majority seem to be entirely blind to the real issues: they are all carried off their feet mentally with enthusiasm for a united Church. They fail to see that such a union must be disadvantageous along the lines proposed, namely, the ignoring of doctrine, the ignoring of conscience, the ignoring of truth. In the union of Christendom which prevailed for over a thousand years before the Reformation, the basis of union was false doctrine supported by tyranny and force, persecution and fire. The Reformation movement was a breaking up of those evil influences, and practically every denomination into which Christendom split represented further endeavor to get to the truths taught in the Lord's Word. The union or federation of all denominations now proposed is to be one in which not only false doctrines will be considerably ignored, but also the true doctrines of the Lord's Word. Among those to be retained as fundamental will be some of the gross errors that dominated Papacy during the Dark Ages, and much of the Reformation blessing will be entirely lost.

The union of the true Church is amply provided for in the Scriptures without any outside patent fastenings, bolts, rivets, cords, etc. The Scriptural proposition is that the Lord's people, instead of being united to him by sects and parties called "branches," [R3426 : page 276] should be united to him individually – as individual branches. As he declares in his Word, "I am the true vine, ye [individually] are the branches." As the Reformation led to the splitting off from Papacy and its errors various large composite branches or denominations, so we need still further reformation that will split every sect up into individual units, so that each individual Christian will have his own individual faith and his own personal relationship to the Lord as a "branch." Union of denominations, instead of favoring this proper condition which the Lord designed for his people, will be in opposition to it. But the true people of God will gradually be guided of him and separated from the Babylonian bundles, leaving therein only the tares. Thus the separation of this harvest time is progressing.

The tare element in the nominal Church sees matters only from the worldly natural standpoint and hence, influenced by pride, etc., favors size and bulk rather than truth. The Lord is taking advantage of their worldly spirit and favoring their organization, that the gulf between the tares and wheat may daily, monthly, yearly become more marked. Meantime through the Truth and its various mouthpieces and ministers the Lord is calling the attention of the true saints to the bright shining of his glorious plan, now visible as never before; and as they perceive it and compare it with their surroundings in Babylon, it becomes to them the voice of God saying to them, "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers [R3427 : page 276] of her sins and receive not of her plagues."

More and more, as the present "harvest" draws to its close, the uniting of the tares will progress and the liberty of the wheat will likewise progress: "Whom the Son makes free is free indeed." The wheat will more and more give heed to the words of the Apostle, "Stand fast, therefore, in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage."

But while the wheat class are to be thus free, are not to be bundled like the tares, there will be, nevertheless, among them a union, not of bondage and creeds and disciplines, etc., but a union of hearts, accomplished by and through the Truth. Each one of this class, being united as a branch to the vine, will thus have a relationship to every other branch in the vine. This is the true union which the Lord desires amongst his people – union in Christ. Those thus united to the Head are his members or branches, and as they come to realize this relationship they will discern that they are not Lutherans, nor Calvinists, nor Russellites, nor Wesleyans, nor Campbellites, but are all one in Christ Jesus.

The secret of this individual liberty, individual faith, individual responsibility toward the Lord, yet complete union with all who are his, is found in the fact that these are all "taught of God," taught of his Word, guided by his Spirit. We do not by this mean that the teaching element in the Church is to be ignored, of which the Apostle declares, "He that is of God heareth us," and again, God hath set in the body the various members as it has pleased him, pastors, teachers, evangelists, etc. The point to be kept in mind is that evangelists, teachers, apostles are not to be given in our minds the place that belongs to the Lord, but at very most are to be esteemed as his servants and mouthpieces, and as such are to be critically examined by each believer to see that the teachings are in harmony with those of the Lord and the Apostles – "If they speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them." Thus the true saints are all to be taught of God in that they will lovingly and critically examine every teaching and every teacher in the light of the divine message. This is the union which the saints should desire and which the Lord is gradually accomplishing amongst his people, the wheat, while outward union is being favored by him as a means of separating the tares from the wheat.


Bishop Foster of the Methodist Episcopal Church has been dropped from the lists – superannuated. The gentleman took a too pessimistic view of Methodist progress. His views are lightly dismissed as childish and old fogy. Our readers can judge of these matters for themselves and form their own opinions. The Bishop's views, as expressed by himself and published in the Methodist Journal, are as follows: –

The Church of God is to-day courting the world. Its members are trying to bring it down to the level of the ungodly. The ball, the theatre, nude and lewd art, social luxuries, with all their loose moralities, are making inroads into the sacred enclosure of the Church; and as a satisfaction for all this worldliness, Christians are making a great deal of Lent and Easter and Good Friday and Church ornamentations. It is the old trick of Satan. The Jewish Church struck on that rock, the Romish Church was wrecked on the same, and the Protestant Church is fast reaching the same doom.

Our great dangers, as we see them, are assimilation to the world, neglect of the poor, substitution of the form for the fact of godliness, abandonment of discipline, a hireling ministry, an impure gospel, which, summed up, is a fashionable church. That Methodists should be liable to such an outcome, and that there should be signs of it in a hundred years from the "sail loft," seems almost the miracle of history; but who that looks about him to-day can fail to see the fact?

Do not Methodists, in violation of God's Word [R3427 : page 277] and their own discipline, dress as extravagantly and as fashionably as any other class? Do not the ladies, and often the wives and daughters of the ministry, put on "gold and pearls and costly array?" Would not the plain dress insisted upon by John Wesley, Bishop Asbury and worn by Hester Ann Rogers, Lady Huntingdon and many others equally distinguished, be now regarded in Methodist circles as fanaticism? Can any one going into the Methodist Church in any of our chief cities distinguish the attire of the communicants from that of the theatre and ball-goers? Is not worldliness seen in the music? Elaborately dressed and ornamented choirs, who in many cases make no profession of religion and are often sneering skeptics, go through a cold, artistic or operatic performance, which is as much in harmony with spiritual worship as an opera or theater. Under such worldly performance spirituality is frozen to death.

Formerly every Methodist attended class and gave testimony of experimental religion. Now the class meeting is attended by very few, and is in many churches abandoned. Seldom the stewards, trustees and leaders of the church attend class. Formerly nearly every Methodist prayed, testified or exhorted in prayer-meeting. Now but very few are heard. Formerly shouts and praises were heard; now such demonstrations of holy enthusiasm and joy are regarded as fanaticism.

Worldly socials, fairs, festivals, concerts and such like have taken the place of the religious gatherings, revival meetings, class and prayer meetings of earlier days.

How true that the Methodist discipline is a dead letter. Its rules forbid the wearing of gold or pearls or costly array; yet no one ever thinks of disciplining its members for violating them. They forbid the reading of such books and the taking of such diversions as do not minister to godliness, yet the church itself goes to shows and frolics and festivals and fairs, which destroy the spiritual life of the young as well as of the old. The extent to which this is now carried on is appalling. The spiritual death it carries in its train will only be known when the millions it has swept into hell stand before the judgment.

The early Methodist ministers went forth to sacrifice and suffer for Christ. They sought not places of ease and affluence, but of privation and suffering. They gloried not in their big salaries, fine parsonages and refined congregations, but in the souls that had been won for Jesus. Oh, how changed! A hireling ministry will be a feeble, a timid, a truckling, a time-serving ministry, without faith, endurance and holy power. Methodism formerly dealt in the great central truth. Now the pulpits deal largely in generalities and in popular lectures. The glorious doctrine of entire sanctification is rarely heard and seldom witnessed in the pulpits."

*                         *                         *

As respects the Methodist Church, past and present, we are inclined to concede much of what the Bishop presents as truth and not as childishness. We are inclined to think that higher criticism and evolution theories, etc., have turned the minds of the Methodist leaders as well as of the leaders in other denominations, so that they take a more worldly view of all affairs of life than was customary in the past. We are not by this meaning to say that Methodists and others are less moral or less benevolent than in former times, but we do incline to say that they and others of our day have less faith in God, less faith in his Word, less faith in Jesus and the merit of his precious blood for the forgiveness of sins, and less consecration to his service than in times past.

The great sifting, the separating work of this harvest time, is in progress: the tare class of nominal Christians are being separated from the sincere and consecrated wheat class. The latter will be found largely in the minority and will be considered "old fogy," and their faith and hopes will be greatly at a discount in the nominal system, but at a premium in the Lord's estimation. The Lord is gathering out his jewels and will leave none of them in Babylon. "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins and receive not of her plagues."

The Bride of Christ, the true members of the great High Priest, are not falling away in this time of general worldliness, unbelief, skepticism and forms of godliness without the power, but are growing in grace, growing in knowledge, growing in love and in the fruits of the Spirit. The difficulty with the world is that they see the nominal Christians and see not the true Church: "The world knoweth us not because it knew him not."


Before us is an advertisement of "Books for Children and Young Persons – Book 10, THE SIGHT OF HELL," by Rev. J. Furniss, C.S.S.R., published by J. Duffy & Co., Dublin, Ireland. The advertisement gives two extracts which we reproduce below with a deep sense of shame that in this twentieth century and under the British flag there should be people to publish and others to buy and circulate such terrible, blasphemous misrepresentations of divine providence. How we long for the binding of Satan and the opening of the eyes of human understanding promised in the Millennium. Surely, when some of the poor, deluded ones come forth from the tomb they will rejoice to know the true God and to participate in his glorious plan of salvation at present understood by so few. The extract from page 19 reads thus: –


"Look into this room. What a dreadful place it is! The roof is red-hot, the walls are red-hot, the floor is like a thick sheet of red-hot iron. See, on the middle of that red-hot floor stands a girl! She looks about sixteen years old. Her feet are bare. She has neither shoes nor stockings on her feet; her bare feet stand on the red-hot burning floor. The door of this [R3428 : page 278] room has never been opened since she first set her foot on the red-hot floor. Now she sees that the door is opening. She rushes forward. She has gone down on her knees on the red-hot floor. Listen! she speaks. She says: 'I have been standing with my bare feet on this red-hot floor for years. Day and night my only standing place has been this red-hot floor. Sleep never came on me for a moment that I might forget the horrible burning floor. Look, she says, at my burnt and bleeding feet! Let me go off this burning floor for one single moment, only for one single, short moment! Oh, that in this endless eternity of years I might forget the pain only for a single moment!'

"The devil answers her question: 'Do you ask,' he says, 'for a moment; for one moment to forget your pain? No, not for one single moment during the never-ending eternity of years shall you ever leave this red-hot floor!'

"'Is it so,' the girl says with a sigh that seems to break her heart, 'Then, at least let somebody go to my little brothers and sisters who are alive and tell them not to do the bad things which I did, so they will never have to come and stand on the red-hot floor.'

"The devil answers her again: 'Your little brothers and sisters have the priests to tell them these things. If they will not listen to the priests, neither would they listen even if somebody should go to them from the dead.'

"Oh, that you could hear the horrible, the fearful scream of that girl when she saw the door shutting, never to be opened any more. The history of this girl is short. Her feet first led her into sin, so it is her feet most of all which are tormented. While yet a very little child she began to go into bad company. The more she grew up, the more she went into bad company, against the bidding of her parents. She used to walk about the streets at night and do very wicked things. She died early. Her death was brought on by the bad life she led."


"See! it is a pitiful sight. The little child is in this red-hot oven. Hear how it screams to come out! See how it turns and twists itself about in the fire! It beats its head against the roof of the oven. It stamps its little feet on the floor of the oven. You can see on the face of this little child what you can see on the faces of all in hell – despair, desperate and horrible! ...God was very good to this child." (!!!)

*                         *                         *

To know that such things are believed and taught today helps us to comprehend that once they were almost the exclusive teachings of Europe; – helps us, too, to understand that people who held such erroneous ideas of God's arrangements could and did prepare similarly diabolical tortures for those who differed with them, and might do the same again if circumstances favored it. It is difficult for humanity to rise in conduct above its conception of God and his conduct.


Baltimore, Aug. 20. – Consternation reigns in the little town of Allen, in Southern Maryland, over the strange death of Walter H. Whitney, a pronounced atheist, but one of the most popular residents of the place. On Sunday night Whitney was conversing with some friends, when he suddenly exclaimed: "I defy the Almighty to strike me dead!" Instantly Whitney fell to the floor, and when those about him picked him up he was dead.

*                         *                         *

Not long since we called attention to the case of a young man whose challenge that if there be a God he might be assured of it by being stricken deaf and dumb. He was stricken instantly and is reported to have recovered about a month later. The above is on the same line. The clipping was handed us during the Boston Convention, and we read it to the large audience as an illustration of divine judgments in execution, and the awe and obedience they would quickly inspire throughout the world.

Imagine the Millennial reign inaugurated, with its prompt rewards for right doing and prompt and just punishments for wilful sins, and we can see that a wonderful change in the morals of the world would speedily be effected. Such will be the judgments of that thousand year judgment day. "When the judgments of the Lord are abroad in the earth the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness."

Of course, the death of the young man mentioned in this dispatch is not to be considered lasting death or Second Death, because he was really ignorant and showed it. Undoubtedly he will be awakened during the Millennial day of judgments, and be granted a clear knowledge of the Lord before he could be liable to the final penalty – the extreme penalty – "The soul that sinneth, it shall die" – the Second Death, from which there is no hope of recovery.

[R3428 : page 278]

2 KINGS 2:12-24. – OCTOBER 2. –

Golden Text: – "Let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me." – 2 Kings 2:9.

HAT Elisha was the son of a wealthy Israelite is evidenced by the fact that his father's farming was done on a large scale. At the time that Elijah, under divine direction, first approached him and indicated his call to special service by symbolically laying his mantle upon Elisha's shoulders, the latter was plowing his father's fields with twelve separate yoke of oxen under servants, he accompanying the twelfth. That he was of a religious family not affected by the idolatry introduced by Jeroboam is evidenced by the name his parents gave him, Elisha signifying "God is deliverer." His call through Elijah was not to a place of honor and distinction but to become a servant of the Prophet, but he entered upon the service joyfully, esteeming it as done unto the Lord. He was thus with Elijah for more than ten years, until the latter was separated from him by the chariot of [R3428 : page 279] fire and was taken up by the whirlwind. His relationship was really that of a serving son, and between the two a deep affection had evidently sprung up, for he seemed not only to reverence Elijah as the Prophet of the Lord but also to love him as a father.

It is at this point that our lesson opens. Elijah had asked Elisha what blessing he would most desire at his hand before their separation, and in the language of our Golden Text the latter had requested a double portion of Elijah's spirit. This does not signify his desire to have twice as much as Elijah enjoyed, but rather was the familiar way of expressing an elder son's portion – a double portion as compared with other members of the family. Elisha aspired to have of the Lord a recognition as the Lord's special representative instead of Elijah when the latter was gone. The answer was that his request would be granted if he should see Elijah at the time of his taking: this seemed to imply that circumstances or conditions would tend to separate the two, and if they were separated from any cause Elisha would fail of the blessing desired. We remember that after this promise, when the Lord would take up Elijah, he led him by a circuitous route, and at the various stopping-places suggested that Elisha tarry; but to have suffered anything to have separated him from Elijah would have excluded him from the desired blessing, and we recall that Elisha clung closely to the Prophet, allowing nothing to detain him or hinder his being with him to the very last.

Doubtless there is a typical significance in this, for although the Scriptures do not conclusively show that Elisha was a type, we have definite, positive assurance of this kind respecting Elijah; and, again, the lesson through both these prophets seemed to be typical so far as the Gospel Church is concerned. It was not until after their day that the Lord provided for the written prophecies, such as those of Isaiah, [R3429 : page 279] Amos, Malachi, etc., which have come down to us with important teachings applicable to spiritual Israel.

When Elijah was taken up in the chariot Elisha did recognize the fact and shouted, "My father, my father, the chariots of Israel and the horsemen thereof." This was his good by salutation, and indicated that he fully recognized that the God of Israel had taken his servant by his own mighty power. As a prophet he probably expressed more than he himself understood. We have already seen that the translation of Elijah taught in a typical or pantomimic way the change of the last living members of this Gospel Church, the antitypical Elijah.* The taking of Elijah was the matter of a moment, but the change of the living members of the Church, which is the body of Christ and the antitype of Elijah, is a work of years, already in progress since 1878. Since that time we understand the Scriptures to teach that the overcomers of the Church in dying do not sleep, but are changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, to the heavenly glory, the spiritual conditions of the first resurrection. Ours is the real deliverance by chariots of victory and divine power from death, from weakness, from imperfection, to glory, honor and immortality. Elijah's experiences were merely typical. He was not changed to the spiritual or divine nature, for he was not an heir of the heavenly promises, living before the time of their promulgation; but he was an honored servant, and used of the Lord for the setting forth of a typical lesson representing the experiences of the Church of the First-born down to the very end of its journey, including its change.

*See MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. II., Chap. viii.

Elijah's mantle, symbolical of his authority and dignity, did fall to Elisha, as was prophetically implied ten years before when he was invited to become Elijah's servant. Elisha took off his own outer garment or mantle and tore it in two parts, an act in that day symbolical of grief, sorrow, mourning, and then instead of his own he appropriated Elijah's mantle.

These incidents took place "on the other side Jordan" – on the eastern side, presumably not far from the river, possibly on Mount Pisgah, or in the neighborhood of the place where Moses took his last view of the promised land. Elisha, calling upon the name of the Lord, returned by the same route which they had come, arriving at Jordan, and used Elijah's mantle as a rod to smite the waters of Jordan, knowing that if the power of God was with him, as it previously was with Elijah, then the same results would follow in his case and the waters would divide at his command as they previously had done at Elijah's. His faith was undoubtedly made stronger by the manifestation of divine favor in connection with the separation of the waters, while he passed across to the western side of Jordan where the "sons of the prophets" awaited him.

As already stated, nothing in the Scriptures positively assures us that Elisha was a type; but if his experiences from the time Elijah was taken away were typical, it would appear to us that they were in some sense double – that he represented two classes.

(1) He would seem in the first part of his experience, accompanying Elijah and serving him and yet being separate from him, to represent what we designate as the second company, the class that in Revelation 7:9-14 is described as a great multitude whose number no man knoweth, who are – not the Royal Priesthood but the antitypical Levites – consecrated to service but not going on to share in the Priesthood by sacrificing all the interests of this present life. If Elisha be a type of this class, it would appear that there should be a close affinity of heart, of spirit, between these and the sacrificing Royal Priesthood, so that nothing will shake their devotion nor hinder them from fellowshiping with and serving the Elijah class down to the time of their change. The spirit of devotion [R3429 : page 280] previously manifested by the little flock would thereafter be manifested by those who had hesitated and refrained from a consecration of themselves and all their interests in the fullest degree. This would imply that the remainder of their lives would be of the same character as that of the little flock, although it would then be too late to gain a part and place in the Elijah class, or a share in the glory, honor and immortality which the Lord has prepared for them. With this view, Elisha's recrossing Jordan might be understood as representing their faithfulness, their testimony, and their passing over the Jordan of death without being overwhelmed by the waters – that is to say, that the death of this Elisha class would be a passing over without "sleep," a change from human to spirit conditions, though not to the conditions to which the Elijah class will attain.

From this standpoint we would be inclined to view the remaining experiences of Elisha after he had crossed Jordan as typifying still another class – a restitution class amongst men under the restitution conditions which we believe will begin to obtain from October, 1914 A.D., and onward, represented probably in the ancient worthies, who will then, as the earthly representatives of the heavenly Kingdom, begin to exercise a guiding and controlling influence in the affairs of mankind.

The suggestion of the sons of the prophets that messengers be sent to see whether or not Elijah had been dropped down somewhere on the mountains, would, from this standpoint, represent an expectancy on the part of the well-meaning but uninstructed people of the time that the Gospel Church would be reinstituted. It would indicate on their part a slowness of perception of the change to the new order of things, in which the ancient worthies (represented in Elisha) would have the guidance and direction of earthly affairs and through whom blessings must thereafter be expected. The wait and search for Elijah may represent a period of three years, in which the world may fail to receive the blessings it might enjoy by reason of a failure to exercise faith in the new institutions of that time.

As soon as Elisha was recognized as beyond all question the successor of Elijah, his work – totally different from anything Elijah had done – began. It was in many respects a restitution work – and a judgment work. An illustration of both these phases of his ministry are furnished in the present lesson.

Jericho was quite a prosperous city and favorably located, except that it had a poor water supply. The spring of water which supplied the city, and from which apparently the surrounding country was irrigated, was brackish – contained some mineral property that had the effect of causing the products of the land to drop off before they reached maturity, so that the land brought no fruit to perfection. The word Jericho signifies "his moon" or "month," and this in turn reminds us that the moon was a symbol of Israel, as the sun in the Scriptures is the symbol of the Gospel Church. There is this bare hint that the people of Jericho perhaps in this picture represented natural Israel, and the fact that they will be the first to recognize the restitution class and to look for relief to those ancient worthies who will then be in control under the guidance of the glorified Church, the heavenly Kingdom. From this standpoint we can see that natural Israel, for now over eighteen hundred years, has been striving to bring forth fruitage, but has been unable to do so. That people indeed have clung to the promise of God and have attempted to bring forth the fruits of obedience, worship, reverence, etc., but they have brought forth no fruit to perfection because by the deeds of the Law can no flesh be justified in God's sight. The Law, represented in the symbolical picture by the brackish water, was in itself just, perfect, good, yet it lacked something necessary to make it a blessing to that people. That something was the work of Christ in fulfilling the Law and thus removing its curse or condemnation from those who were dependent upon it.

From this standpoint the appeal of the men of Jericho to the restitution Elisha would represent the appeal of the Jews to the ancient worthies to know why the blight had been upon them so long as a people, and what would be necessary to the correction of their difficulty that they might have the full blessing of the Lord. As the request of the people of Jericho was granted, so the request of Israel will be granted, for the ancient worthies (the restitution Elisha) will take a new earthen vessel with salt therein – representing the new institutions, the new conditions, the new views respecting Christ and the glorified spiritual Israel ("Ye are the salt of the earth"). And this construction placed upon Israel's Law, this application and instruction and showing of its true import and fulfilment, etc., will mean to those who desire that knowledge and blessing the healing of their stream, and henceforth to Israel the Law will have a new meaning and bring forth in their hearts fruitage acceptable to the Lord, the righteousness of the Law being reckoned to those who accept the Redeemer who recognize him in connection with the Law and seek to obey his voice.

It was following this that Elisha on the way to Bethel was disdained and insulted by a mob of young lads [Leeser] who shouted after him, "Go up, thou bald head," etc. It is claimed by some that this expression, "bald head," was a particularly opprobrious epithet at that time, and that the lads were from the city whose waters had been healed; and if the matter be typical it would seem to indicate that amongst the people of natural Israel will be some who would appreciate the new condition of things while others would despise it. Elisha looked behind him and declared them "evil in the name of Jehovah" [Young's translation], and forthwith two she bears attacked them and more or less scratched or tore forty-two of them. So far as the literal incident was concerned, it served to teach a lesson of respect for the Lord through his representatives, not only to the boys but also to their parents, who had failed of their duty either by misinstructing them or failing to instruct them. If viewed prophetically, symbolically, it would typify the judgments of the future upon any who will disregard the instructions of the earthly representatives of the Kingdom, or fail to render to them a proper appreciation of the dignity of their office as chosen agents of the heavenly Kingdom.

These two incidents illustrate well the conditions [R3430 : page 281] which will prevail throughout the whole world during the Millennial age. Those desiring a blessing will be granted it, and those despising the Lord's arrangements and violating proprieties will receive judgments or punishments. Thus we read that when the judgments of the Lord are abroad in the earth the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.

We can readily see that when God shall thus interpose his power to reward every good deed and to punish every transgression it would not take the world a great while to learn the difference between right and wrong, and very speedily the majority surely would be prompted to render obedience to the right and to abstain from the wrong. At first this might only be an outward obedience and loyalty to the Lord and to the principles of righteousness; but as years and centuries roll around and the benefits and blessings of righteousness are manifested and the evils and punishments of unrighteousness are seen, the lessons would touch the hearts of all such as the Lord purposes may have eternal life, so that at the great harvesting at the end of the Millennial age all who love righteousness and hate iniquity in their hearts would be able to stand all the testings of that time, and thus would be accounted worthy of the eternal life and blessedness beyond the Millennium throughout eternity; while the others, demonstrating that they had refrained from evil merely because of the fear of punishment, would in the Lord's judgment have had a sufficient experience with his mercies and would be cut off in the second death – as unworthy of any further opportunity or blessing.

[R3430 : page 281]

HE friends everywhere will be glad to learn that the Boston Convention was a most excellent one. The Lord greatly blessed the systematic efforts put forth by the dear brethren of the Boston Church in connection with the various arrangements made – the arrangements effected for lodging the visiting friends, the commodious and well located auditorium for the Convention meetings, etc. We cannot think how the dear friends could possibly have done better than they did do. All the arrangements passed off smoothly, happily. The Convention was a great success, not only in number, but specially in spirit, earnestness, love, fellowship.

Some previous Conventions probably had as large a number of visiting brethren and sisters in attendance, but none that we recall have passed off more satisfactorily, more profitably. The limitations of the railroad people touching the date of purchase of tickets was rather disadvantageous, and doubtless hindered some from attending who would otherwise have been with us. As it was, the number of visiting brethren and sisters was estimated at 600, and the attendance, including the public, at the public service of the session was estimated at 2,400. Of course, New England contributed by far the largest proportion of the visitors, some coming from Ontario, Nova Scotia, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Ohio, and one, at least, from as far off as the Pacific coast. It is needless to say that, although many had never met before, they were not strangers. The bond of Christian love bound all our hearts together, and it required a remarkably short time to become thoroughly acquainted.

The programme was carried out, and apparently to the pleasure and profit of all in attendance. Various of the brethren led the praise and testimony meetings, and the regular services were addressed by Brothers J. D. Wright, J. Harrison, H. Samson, R. E. Streeter, A. E. Williamson and the Editor. Sixty two professed a full consecration – immersion into Christ's death – and symbolized the same by water immersion, the average of age being about 40 years.

We feel sure that while met in Convention we had with us the love and prayers and interest of thousands of the Lord's dear people in every direction. We also remembered all the absent ones, and especially such as would have loved to be with us had their matters and interests so favored. We have no doubt that the blessings received by those in attendance were shared also by those whose hearts were with us; such surely was our petition on your behalf. We trust that not only those present received a great blessing, but that they have carried it to their homes and that thus it has spread abroad, filling many hearts after the manner of the widow's cruse of oil, which continually poured forth until every empty vessel had been filled.

We look forward to a still larger attendance at the St. Louis Convention, though we cannot hope for a more successful session, nor to have a greater blessing from the Lord. St. Louis is centrally located, has a large population, and the World's Fair excursion rates will favor us there considerably.

[R3430 : page 281]

2 KINGS 4:1-7. – OCTOBER 9. –

Golden Text: – "Trust in the Lord and do good: so shalt thou dwell in the land and verily thou shalt be fed." – Psa. 37:3.

LISHA, recognized as Elijah's successor, and thus as a special prophet of the Lord, was naturally looked to by all the "schools of the prophets" as their leader and chancellor. Just the exact nature of these "schools of the prophets" we may not clearly discern. Apparently they were started in the time of the Prophet Samuel, and undoubtedly their members were Israelites who had a firm trust in God, and who, as the nation went more and more into idolatry, felt the need of fellowship one with another and of holding up a divine standard in their nation. It is quite probable that their gatherings were after the manner of what we to-day call summer schools – at times which did not conflict with their farming, husbandry, etc. From the fact that the principal actor in our lesson was the widow of [R3430 : page 282] a member of the school of the prophets indicates that they were not a monastic order, but rather, as we have intimated, that they attended ordinarily to the duties of life and had certain periods for assembling for religious study and worship.

The widow found herself distressed by her husband's debt and naturally appealed to Elisha for advice and assistance, as he might deem proper. She recited her case – that her husband had been a member of the school of the prophets; that he died, leaving her with two children; but so far from having left an estate, her husband had bequeathed a debt, and according to the customs of the Jews, in common with all other nations of the time, the families of the debtor could be called upon to render service equal to the debt, and that thus she was threatened with the loss of her two sons. Some have wondered that the divine law given at the hand of Moses should have sanctioned servitude for debt, which is esteemed to have been partial slavery. We reply that God's dealings with Israel contained many lessons beyond what they fully comprehended. For instance, such an indebtedness represents how, as the Apostle expresses it, the whole world of Adam's family was sold under sin and obligated to pay the wages of sin, death, as the offspring of Adam. This permission of an attachment of persons and possessions for debt gave ground also for the arrangement of the Jubilee year of emancipation, freedom from all debt and release of all property – illustrating the glorious times of restitution coming, when, by the grace of God through Jesus Christ our Lord, the great Atonement Day ending the grand year of Jubilee (the Millennial age) will be ushered in and witness the freedom of every creature from every liability and restraint now resting upon the world through the disobedience of Adam.

Josephus claims that this woman was the widow of Obadiah, Ahab's steward, and that the borrowed money mentioned in the text was that which he had expended in supporting the hundred prophets whom he hid from the wrath of Jezebel as he related to Elijah. (I Kings 18:4.) We know not by what tradition Josephus was guided in this statement, but nothing in the Scriptures connects the two incidents except the fact that the woman described her husband in much the same language as is used respecting Obadiah's faithfulness to the Lord. He said of himself, "I thy servant fear the Lord from my youth:" that is to say, he reverenced, worshipped and sought to serve the Lord and to live true to the Lord in all the conduct of life, and the widow gave just such an account of her deceased husband.

Elisha upon hearing the story took immediate steps for the widow's relief, and inquired what she still had in her possession. The reply that she had nothing but olive oil shows clearly that this was a genuine case of distress – that the woman, loyal to principle, had not appealed for aid until it was absolutely necessary. Undoubtedly this had something to do with the case – with the miracle which was wrought for her relief. Had she asked while she still had the wherewith to pay the debt, we might doubt that her petition would have been responded to as it was. There is a lesson here for the Lord's people: we should do with our might what our hands find to do, [R3431 : page 282] and having done all in our power and being in extremity should consider that the proper time to appeal to the Lord, either directly or through his servants and representatives. Human necessities seem to be the occasion for divine aid. It was so with our Lord's miracles also, and we believe that this same rule still holds good.

The Apostle speaks of some whose prayers were not answered, saying, "Ye ask and receive not because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your desires." (James 4:3.) Our hearts should be so full of appreciation, thankfulness and gratitude for blessings already received at the Lord's hands, temporal and spiritual, that we would hesitate to ask more than his wisdom has seen fit to provide – hesitate to ask more than the bare necessities, "daily bread." If, in the Lord's providence, we are permitted to come into straits, into actual want, we should cry unto the Lord without stipulating what help or what kind or degree of assistance we should have. We must learn to trust the Lord's wisdom as superior to our own, and if we were to be granted wealth or even competence it might not be the best thing for us. Our petition, therefore, to the Lord should be, Give what is best! And faith should firmly trust him, come what may.

This is in full accord with our Golden Text, "Trust in the Lord and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed." Luxuries and dainties are not included in the promise, though these may be granted to us according to divine wisdom. We are not to set our hearts upon them nor to expect them, but, rather, to be content with such things as we have, and very thankful and specially zealous to do good – to use time, strength, energy and every blessing and opportunity in the service of the Lord and the household of faith, and in doing good to all men as we have opportunity.

A pot of olive oil would be an unusual thing in the home of a poor family of today amongst us, but it was different in Palestine, where oil was one of the indispensables, not only for light and for cooking, but [R3431 : page 283] frequently used also after the manner in which we use butter. The immense quantities of oil produced in Palestine in those days is well illustrated by the fact that King Solomon sent as a present to Hiram, king of Tyre, about 200,000 gallons every year during the period of the building of the Temple. (I Kings 5:11.) It was to the people of Palestine a household necessity and an article of ready sale.

Under the Prophet's direction the widow sent her sons in every direction amongst her neighbors to borrow vessels that would hold oil, and was instructed to secure many of them. The fact that she was able to borrow from her neighbors implies a good reputation among them for honesty, for they must have known that she was poor. When the vessels had been gathered under the Prophet's direction she and her two sons went into an inner room and shut the door and began pouring oil from her pot of oil into all those vessels, the sons assisting her; and the supply of oil miraculously increased until every vessel was full. The fact that there was sufficient oil to pay the debt and to leave a comfortable sum of money for her further aid, implies that the woman's faith was great and the vessels she borrowed were indeed "not a few."

It is proper that we should notice the great difference between the miracles of Scripture and those of fiction, such as are recited in "Arabian Nights," etc. The miracles of Scripture are not merely frolics and freaks but useful and full of meaning. Whether we take the miracles of our Lord and the apostles or this miracle of Elisha and others of Old Testament times, they had a reasonable and proper purpose and illustrate as well a great truth.

In the case under consideration we can see that the woman was helped and blessed by the processes of this miracle. Her faith in the Lord was called out by the extreme condition in which she found herself – in poverty and threatened with the loss of her sons. Her cry to the Prophet of the Lord was a cry to the Lord himself, and the answer through the Prophet was undoubtedly accepted as a direct answer from the Lord himself. Her faith was tested and developed by the Prophet's requirement that she and her sons should cooperate in the borrowing of vessels. Again her faith and that of her sons was tested in respect to the pouring of the oil into the vessels beyond the closed door, without even the Prophet's presence with them. The lesson so learned we may be sure was a great blessing both to the widow and her sons for the remainder of life, and it has been a blessing to many a widow and orphan since as they have remembered that the same God, who was able and willing to help the poor in olden times, is still willing to hear the cry of those who have confidence in him and entreat his favor in times of like distress.

The Lord uses olive oil in the Scriptures as a symbol of the holy Spirit, the source both of spiritual nourishment and enlightenment to his people. The anointing which we receive of him comes down from our Head and Master and Redeemer, our Lord Jesus. The pot of oil and the pouring out into all the vessels that could be secured remind us of the Lord's testimony through the Prophet Joel that while in these days – during the Gospel age – the holy Spirit is poured out only upon the Lord's servants and hand-maidens, only upon the specially favored ones, nevertheless by and by, during the Millennial age, his Spirit shall be poured out upon all flesh, every vessel fitted for its reception shall be filled with the Spirit to its full – the whole world shall be brought under the influence of the Spirit of God, the spirit of holiness, the spirit of righteousness, the spirit of Truth. And under the influence of that Spirit, and under the teachings of the great glorified Teacher and his earthly representatives, the ancient worthies, a blessing of release shall come to the whole human family, releasing from the sin-and-death conditions which have prevailed during the six great thousand-year days of evil.

As we thus think of the Lord's goodness promised to the world in general in his own due time, in the sweet by and by, and as we look back also and see his gracious care over those of ancient times who trusted him, what shall we say respecting ourselves of this Gospel age, who have much advantage every way over those of olden times as well as over those of the age to come, in that we have the special favor and blessing of the Lord in the knowledge of his gracious plan and an adoption into his family? Shall we not reckon that he who was careful in the past, who will delight in giving blessings in the future, is now ready and willing to pour out to each of us as his children blessings, specially spiritual, to the extent of our willingness and faith to receive? If while we were yet sinners God loved us so as to redeem us, much more now that we are forgiven and accepted into his family, and adopted and made joint-heirs with our Lord Jesus prospectively, may we not expect of the Lord continually, day by day, the blessings and favors which he assures us he is well pleased to bestow upon us. Surely faith can trust him, come what may. While the Lord is now pouring out of his Spirit upon his servants and handmaidens, it is for them to see that they are emptied vessels – empty that he may fill them – enlarged more and more that they may be more [R3431 : page 283] and more filled with the Spirit of God. The poet has beautifully said: –

"Pour forth the oil, pour boldly forth; it will not fail until
Thou failest vessels to provide, which it may freely fill.

"Dig channels for the streams of love, where they may broadly run;
And love has overflowing streams, to fill them every one.

"But if at any time thou cease such channels to provide,
The very streams of love, for thee, will soon be parched and dried.

"For we must share if we would keep that good thing from above:
Failing to give, we cease to have – such is the law of Love.

[R3431 : page 284]

2 KINGS 4:25-37. – OCT. 16. –

Golden Text: – "The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." – Rom. 6:23.

LISHA'S ministry as a prophet covered many years. Apparently his home was at Mount Carmel, but from thence he probably made visits to the various schools of the prophets and to the city of Samaria, the capital of Israel. The route by which he traveled led him near to the village of Shunem, where lived a woman described in the Scriptures as "great." She was evidently widely known as a good and wise woman, and probably, judging from the records, she possessed a large estate, which may have been of her birthright rather than her husband's. In those days there were no hotels, nor even what are now known as khans, in those parts – stopping-places at which travelers might rest, but usually without any arrangements for refreshments. This Shunemite woman, whose name is not given, but the story of whose hospitality and faith in the Lord have reached and blessed many of his people in many ages, noted the passing of the Prophet and urged upon him the hospitality of their home, desiring that Elisha and his [R3432 : page 284] servant Gehazi should stop and eat bread with them as he passed them in his journeys. Apparently this hospitality was partaken of on several occasions, and the woman's next step was to propose to her husband the building of a small guest chamber for the use of the Prophet and his servant, located upon the roof of their house, accessible from the outside stairway and furnished with a bed, a table, a stool and lamp. It was thus arranged, and thereafter the Prophet apparently made it one of his stopping-places in his journeys to and fro.

The Scriptures everywhere commend hospitality as exemplifying a condition of heart pleasing to the Lord. Thus in the New Testament the Apostle urges that those esteemed worthy of serving the Church as elders shall be given to hospitality, and again urges all, saying, "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares," referring, doubtless, to Abraham's experience in this line. Our Lord also remarks that he that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward. (Matt. 10:40,42; Rom. 12:13; I Tim. 3:2; Heb. 13:2.) Present-day arrangements for public hotels, lodgings, etc., are calculated to hinder the development of the spirit of hospitality: few would think to-day of entertaining strangers, nor would it be generally wise so to do. But the people of Israel were in a particular sense one family, much after the same manner that all who are the Lord's people to day are one in Christ Jesus. It is toward these brethren of Christ that we should be particularly careful to exercise hospitality, even though they be strangers to us, if we recognize in them the Master's likeness, his Spirit. No service or kindness rendered to one of the least of these will fail of his notice and appreciation and reward. Nevertheless the hospitably inclined may find it necessary to exercise prudence in their hospitality according to the natural disposition of the person entertained, as we have already suggested in DAWN, Vol. VI., Chapter xiv.

In the present case the woman recognized Elisha, not only as a brother Israelite, but specially as a consecrated man of God. She perceived, doubtless, that his life was given to the Lord's service, and hence whatever she attempted to do for him was done as unto the Lord. Her wisdom, too, was exemplified in the moderation and simplicity of the arrangements provided – they were comfortable, but not extravagant. It was during one of these visits that the Prophet sent his servant Gehazi to speak to their hostess and inquire whether or not he could render her some kindness in return – mentioning her favorably to the King or to the chief of the army if she had any favors to request from either quarter, but she had none. Elisha then queried his servant as to what they could do for the woman that would show their appreciation, and the latter remarked that he had noticed that the home was childless and that the husband was in advanced years, intimating that, in harmony with the general views of the East, there could be no greater blessing come to the woman than to have a [R3432 : page 285] son; that otherwise her home was like the city of Jericho, beautiful for situation, but, nevertheless, having a great dearth or lack.

Elisha grasped the thought instantly, and sending for the Shunemite assured her that within a year she would clasp a son to her bosom. She could scarcely believe it, even though she had full confidence in the Prophet, but in due time the promise was fulfilled. It was years after this, the Prophet still using the guest chamber provided, that the son was with his father and the servants in the harvest field, and apparently had a sunstroke and was sent home in the care of a servant. Shortly after he died, and the mother, making known the fact to no one, laid him upon the Prophet's bed in the guest chamber and hastened to the Prophet's home on Mount Carmel. The boy was not really dead from her standpoint, for she had faith in God and in his Prophet Elisha. She reasoned that he who was able to give her the son was able now to restore him to her again, but she would communicate only with the Prophet. Avoiding the questions of his servant, she fell at Elisha's feet, her heart full of her sorrow, which, nevertheless, was well mixed with faith. Her inquiry was, "Did I desire a son of my Lord? Did I not say, Do not deceive me?"

The Prophet understood that her son was ailing or dead, and sent his own staff by the hand of his servant to lay it upon the child's face – much after the same style that the Apostle Paul sent napkins and handkerchiefs to the sick. But the woman would not leave the Prophet, not having full confidence in the results of the servant's doings, possibly realizing that the servant was not such a man as his master in any sense of the word, as later on was manifest in his conduct. The woman's faith had its reward; the Prophet went with her.

We are not of those who claim that sickness and pain, sorrow, suffering and dying, are indispensable or in any sense of the word blessings. On the contrary we hold that all of these things are parts of the "curse," which affect more or less every member of the human family; but we do hold that the Lord frequently gives experiences of this kind, sickness, pain, sorrow, death, to those of his people who trust him, – as agents by which to develop meekness, patience, faith. Apparently it was so in the case of the Shunemite. Had her son not taken sick, had he not died, she would have lacked that chapter in life's experiences which we doubt not proved to her a great blessing, which developed in her more and more of faith in the Lord and appreciation of his favors. While deeply agitated at heart, her faith in the Lord's goodness through his Prophet preserved her from excessive grief, and apparently from all outward manifestations such as tears, and thus the Apostle exhorts us who are of the household of faith in this Gospel dispensation, saying, that we should sorrow not as those who have no hope.

This woman had faith and hope that the Lord through the Prophet would restore her son. We well may have stronger and better hope that our dear ones going down to the tomb will in due time be recovered from it, because from our standpoint we perceive that Jesus died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and a redemption has been accomplished for the sins of the whole world; and that it is the purpose of God, the plan of God, that in due time those who sleep in Jesus will be brought by him and through him from the tomb, from the prison-house of death. The Shunemite's faith in the Prophet corresponds very well to our faith in the Lord Jesus, as God's power and instrumentality for our relief. And so we read that in answer to the prayer of the Prophet and the instrumentalities he used in harmony therewith, the child was restored to life and to its mother.

The fact of this miracle does not prove that it is the will of God to grant a miracle of recovery in every case. In Elisha's long experience this is the only case of the kind. We may even suppose that this woman's husband died shortly after this without any interposition of divine providence on his behalf, for we find the Prophet instructing the woman that there would be a seven-years' famine in the land of Israel and advising her to sojourn for the time in another country. On her return seven years later with her son she found her property in the possession of others, and called upon the king to repossess her of it, and her husband is not mentioned in connection with the going or the return. It was at this time that the blessing of the Lord through Elisha served her a secondary reward for her hospitality and her faith, because the king had just been talking with Elisha's servant respecting the mighty works which his master had performed in the name of the Lord, and when the woman cried to the king, the servant immediately informed him that this was the mother of the boy whom Elisha restored to life. Thus her case was brought directly to the king's notice and she received again the possession of her property.

Hospitality and faith may not always be thus promptly rewarded in the present time; the Lord's people may even suffer evil for good and be persecuted and hated by those whom they seek to serve and benefit. But a blessing, nevertheless, is sure to be theirs – not only a blessing at the Lord's hand in the future for what they did or endeavored to do, that will more than compensate them, but even in this present life they receive a blessing with the persecutions [R3432 : page 286] in that their own hearts are enriched and refreshed, made more Christ-like, and they are thereby better prepared for the heavenly Kingdom and glorious things which the Lord has in reservation for all who shall be copies of his Son.

Our Golden Text in connection with this lesson gives us the suggestion that while the heavenly Father may not be pleased to grant us either for ourselves or for our children immunity from pain, suffering and death, nevertheless he has made a still grander and more glorious provision for us through our Lord Jesus Christ – a provision for our eternal life. But this gift is reserved for those who either now or in the future shall cultivate and exemplify hospitality, generosity, faith, love toward God and man. Blessed are we whose eyes and ears of understanding are now open to know the grace of God, to appreciate the same, – we who are now in the school of Christ to develop the fruits and graces of his Spirit, the likeness of our Lord. For such is the Kingdom, the joint-heirship and blessings and privileges not only of eternal life, but of joint-heirship with Christ. As for the world in general, it will be required of them during the Millennial age that they also shall develop the fruits and graces of the Lord's Spirit if they would be accounted worthy of his gift of eternal life. Sonship implies likeness, and none are to have eternal life except those acceptable as sons.

[R3433 : page 286]


Question. – If lasting life (on conditions) is accorded to all the world at the moment of awakening, in what sense are we to understand the expressions: John 5:25 and Rev. 20:12.

Answer. – John 5:25 reads, " Verily, verily, I say unto you, the hour is coming and now is when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of man, and they that hear shall live."

This verse is applicable both to the present time and to the future age. Now we who were dead in trespasses and sins and who have been justified freely by God's grace, through faith in the redemptive blood, and who have made a consecration of ourselves to the Lord, are counted as "alive unto God" – alive from the dead. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life. The life which is to last forever has begun in him as a New Creature, and will be perfected, or completed, in the First Resurrection change to glory, honor and immortality. As the Apostle explains respecting this overcoming class who now have the treasure of the new nature in the earthen vessel – imperfect, ignoble, corruptible: – he says, "It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption; it is sown in weakness, raised in power; it is sown an animal body, raised a spiritual body."

With this fulfilment of the Lord's words and our own experiences before us we are guided to an understanding of that fulfilment which will belong to the world in general in the Millennial age. First will come the awakening; second, the voice of the Son of man; the message declaring the terms on which the life enjoyed may be continued everlastingly will be declared throughout the world, that every creature may hear and clearly understand; the knowledge of the Lord's grace and abundant provisions shall fill the whole earth. Some may refuse to hear – refuse to obey. Such will receive chastisements and stripes; and if they still refuse to obey, the declaration through the prophet is very explicit, that the sinner shall die an hundred years old. At an hundred years old he shall be cut off, and yet he shall die as it were in childhood, because under the favorable conditions then proposed each might by obedience live at least to the end of the Millennial age – then to be tested respecting his worthiness or unworthiness of heart to go further. After the Millennial Kingdom shall have expired the world will be directly answerable to God the Father. To those who will hear, obey, the voice of the Lord, the great Teacher, the voice of the Bridegroom and the voice of the Bride, say Come; and whosoever will say, Come, and take of the water of life freely – these will progress step by step to the attainment of all that was lost, and beyond this to the attainment of those things which God had in reservation for Father Adam, and to which he might have attained had he remained in obedience to God.

Rev. 20:12 reads, "And I saw the dead, the great and the small, stand before the throne, and the books were opened: and another book of life was opened, and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books according to their works."

This is a brief description of the work of the Millennial age. The whole world will be on trial before the throne – the Millennial throne – the throne of Christ. Our common version says, stood before God, but this is not in agreement with the reading of the oldest manuscripts, from which we have quoted above. The world will be standing on judgment before the throne of Christ throughout the Millennial age in the same sense that the Church has been standing on judgment during this Gospel age. A picture of the [R3433 : page 287] world's judgment is given us in Matt. 25, where the two classes that will be found amongst men are to be separated into sheep and goats, and the division between them is to be the work of the Millennial age – to separate the true sheep, who will be accounted worthy of divine favor everlastingly, from those of the goat nature, who, refusing to come into subjection to the Lord's will, shall be estimated unworthy of any favors beyond the Millennial age, and will be destroyed with Satan, as described in Rev. 20:9,10.

The judgment, or trial, of these will not be along some new lines, but along the same lines that God has already made known to us through his Word. The Bible is now a sealed book to the world, understood only by those who are his, and by them because revealed to them through his Spirit. "The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; he has covenanted to show it unto them." During the Millennial age these books of the Bible – Genesis, Exodus, Matthew, Mark, Luke, etc., will be opened to the whole world, will be understood fully, clearly, and the great lessons therein taught will be emphasized; and, as our Lord declared to the Jews, so it will be – my Word shall judge him in the last day – the Millennial day.

In the present time the Church is judged, not according to her works, but according to faith, and works are required merely as a test of the sincerity of the faith; but when the world's judgment, or trial time, shall come it will not be so. The things now mysterious and dark and hidden will be made plain and simple and easily understood, and the rewards now offered for faith will no longer be given, for faith will in large measure have turned to knowledge, – "the knowledge of the Lord shall fill the whole earth." Moreover, Satan being bound and all the conditions favorable, it is proper that the Lord, the King of that day, should require of each human being who receives the knowledge such works as he is able to render – "they shall be judged according to their works." Advancing experience, increasing knowledge and increasing strength, under the blessing of the Lord's Kingdom, will make possible increasing good works of obedience, and these good works will measure the progress of each individual, mentally, morally and physically. Under the judgment rewards of that time the faithful in good works will attain to the full perfection of life, while those who do not come into hearty obedience will be judged unworthy to retain the life that was within their grasp and will be condemned to the Second Death.

From the very beginning of their blessing and hearing of the voice of the Son of man their new life will be, so to speak, in their own hands, either to strangle it or to increase it under the Lord's blessing and direction. The other book of life then to be opened is in contrast with the book of life now open. The book of life opened during this Gospel age is the one in which the names of the Church are written, and from which the Lord will not blot out our names, if we continue faithful to our covenants. This book of life will be complete and no additions made to it after the close of this age, but another book of life will be opened for the world; and whosoever resolves, by the grace of God, to make use of the lasting life which the Redeemer will put within his grasp at the beginning of the Restitution times may never have it blotted out, but by obedience to the voice and judgment of the great King he may attain to all of the blessings of restitution and perfection.


Question. – Please explain Rom. 9:22.

Answer. – God is not averse to manifesting his wrath, his indignation, against sin and sinners, after the manner he has indicated in his law, the penalty of which is death (not eternal torment). Nevertheless, while having this willingness to execute his law, he has endured or permitted a continuance of sin and sinners in apparent contradiction to his law, thus manifesting much long-suffering toward those who were properly subjects of destruction. The Lord has done this at various times, but particularly in connection with the nation of Israel, which came under the Law Covenant at Sinai, and which proved itself unworthy of continued favors by repeated falling into idolatry. But he kept that nation together, the evil as well as the good, the sham Israelites as well as the "Israelites indeed," up to a certain time – the time when, according to his purpose, the true Israelites would be called out from the chaffy ones, to be the nucleus of the Gospel Church. These were the vessels of mercy, upon whom the Pentecostal blessings came, and who were accepted of the Lord out of the house of servants into the house of sons. (John 1:11,12.) Forthwith, as soon as all of the worthy had been selected, destruction came upon Israel's polity; as the Apostle expresses it, "Wrath to the uttermost against this people;" and the vessels fitted for destruction met with their destruction – the chaff was consumed in that fire. (Mat. 3:10-12.) Not all of the individuals were destroyed, but their existence as a nation was blotted out. Henceforth divine mercy, ignoring the natural Israelites who were not Israelites indeed, has been blessing with mercy those whom the Lord is calling out – Gentiles as well as Jews.