page 65
March 15th

Herald of Christ's Presence

Other foundation can
no man lay

"Watchman, What of the Night?"
"The Morning Cometh, and a Night also!" Isaiah 21:11

A.D. 1909 – A.M. 6037
The Opening at Brooklyn 67
Proposed Conventions During 1909 68
European Convention Tour 68
Seattle, Washington, Tour 68
Roman Catholics Enthusiastic 69
The First Gentile Convert 69
"Wonderful Words of Life" 71
The Heart More Important Than the Head 71
Life Unto Life or Death Unto Death 72
Deliverance in Answer to Prayer 73
Passover Season Sifting 73
Loving Submission (Poem) 75
"Make Straight Paths for Your Feet" 75
Some Interesting Letters 78
Berean Studies on the Atonement 79

"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 66

HIS Journal is one of the prime factors or instruments in the system of Bible Instruction, or "Seminary Extension," now being presented in all parts of the civilized world by the WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY, chartered A.D. 1881, "For the Promotion of Christian Knowledge." It not only serves as a class room where Bible Students may meet in the study of the divine Word, but also as a channel of communication through which they may be reached with announcements of the Society's Conventions and of the coming of its traveling representatives styled "Pilgrims," and refreshed with reports of its Conventions.

Our "Berean Lessons" are topical rehearsals or reviews of our Society's published "Studies," most entertainingly arranged, and very helpful to all who would merit the only honorary degree which the Society accords, viz., Verbi Dei Minister (V.D.M.), which translated into English is, Minister of the Divine Word. Our treatment of the International S.S. Lessons is specially for the older Bible Students and Teachers. By some this feature is considered indispensable.

This Journal stands firmly 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." (I Pet. 1:19; I Tim. 2:6.) Building up on this sure foundation the gold, silver and precious stones (I 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.

Address Business Communications and Remittances to
610, 612, 614 ARCH ST., ALLEGHENY, PA.
– OR TO –


PLEASE ADVISE us at once what quantities of 1909 Volunteer matter you will need and how shipments should be divided and addressed. [R4343 : page 66] page 66


SERIES I., The Plan of the Ages, gives an outline of the divine plan revealed in the Bible, relating to man's redemption and restitution: 386 pages, in embossed cloth, 25c. (1s. ½d.). India paper edition, 75c. (3s. 1½d.).

This volume has been published as a special issue of our journal – at the extremely low price of 5c a copy, in any quantity, postage included. (To foreign countries, 9c.) This enables people of slender purse to herald far and wide the good tidings in a most helpful form.

SERIES II., The Time is at Hand, treats of the manner and time of the Lord's second coming, considering the Bible Testimony on this subject: 370 pages, in embossed cloth 25c. (1s. ½d.). India paper edition, 75c. (3s. 1½d.)

SERIES III., Thy Kingdom Come, considers prophecies which mark events connected with the "time of the End," the glorification of the Church and the establishment of the Millennial Kingdom; it also contains a chapter on the Great Pyramid, showing its corroboration of the dates and other teachings of the Bible: 384 pages, in embossed cloth 25c (1s ½d.). India paper edition, 75c. (3s. 1½d.).

SERIES IV. The Day of Vengeance, shows that the dissolution of the present order if things is in progress, and that all the panaceas offered are valueless to avert the predicted end. It marks in these events the fulfilment of prophecy, noting specially our Lord's great prophecy of Matt. 24, and Zech. 14:1-9: 660 pages, in embossed cloth 30c. (1s. 3d.). India paper edition, 85c (3s. 6½d.)

SERIES V., The At-one-ment Between God and Man, treats an all-important subject – the hub, the center around which all the features of divine grace revolve. Its topic deserves the most careful and prayerful consideration on the part of all true Christians: 507 pages, in embossed cloth 30c. (1s. 3d.). India paper edition, 85c (3s. 6½d.)

SERIES VI., The New Creation, deals with the Creative Week, Genesis 1 and 2, and with the Church, God's "New Creation." It examines the personnel, organization, rites, ceremonies, obligations and hopes appertaining to those called and accepted as members of the body under the Head: 740 pages, in embossed cloth 30c. (1s. 3d.). India paper edition, 85c (3s. 6½d.)

The above prices include postage.

IN FULL LEATHER BINDING, gilt edges, the set (6 vols.) $3.00, (12s. 6d.), plus postage 60c (1s.).

MILLENNIAL DAWN is published in foreign languages as follows: in German, five vols., in Swedish, Vols. 1, 2, 3 and 5; in Dano-Norwegian, three vols., in French, two vols.; in Italian, one vol.; in Greek, two vols.; bound in cloth, uniform with English edition, prices the same.

The volumes in English are bound in two styles, MILLENNIAL DAWN in green cloth binding and SCRIPTURE STUDIES in maroon cloth. Specify which you desire.


PEOPLE'S PULPIT is the title of a small new paper proposed to be published monthly, if the Postoffice authorities will grant it Second-Class mail privileges.

We proposed to send PEOPLE'S PULPIT to fill out the year of "Old Theology Quarterly," but that was found inexpedient, so the latter filled out its own subscriptions. We have, however, arranged to have sample copies of the new paper, PEOPLE'S PULPIT, sent to our entire list – the first issue. This will serve as a sample and you can determine whether you wish to subscribe for it or not.

It will contain chiefly Brother Russell's sermons, which many of you already have through other newspapers. Its value, therefore, would chiefly be for friends and neighbors.

The new postal regulations are very strict, so that subscriptions for PEOPLE'S PULPIT must be made in quite positive terms. Cash must accompany each order or else a promise to pay or a request to have your subscription paid for you from the Society's funds. If, however, you are a Tract Fund contributor, you can so state and direct that the payment be made out of your donation. Or you can order for others on your donation account. Address orders to PEOPLE'S PULPIT, enclosed with letters to us, if more convenient.

   1 copy, monthly to one address, per year,  10 cents.
   2 copies, "       "      "         "       15  "
   8  "      "       "      "         "       50  "
  20  "      "       "      "         "    $1.00
 125  "      "       "      "         "     5.00

page 66

The anniversary date for the celebration of the Memorial Supper this year will be Sunday, April 4, after six o'clock p.m.

MANNAS are temporarily out of stock. Will have new supply after our arrival in Brooklyn.

[R4342 : page 67]

HE friends at places where One-Day Conventions are held are pleased if they be reported in the WATCH TOWER, and we would be pleased to report them were it not that there is always such a sameness unavoidably connected with them. Almost without exception it could be said that the dear friends put forth strenuous efforts to bring the public service to the attention of the people, and that they succeed admirably, and that large and intelligent audiences are secured, and in many cases large numbers are unable to gain admittance. This sameness of the reports and our limited space alone hinder these reports. Nevertheless, if assured by many that they are appreciated and desired, we would take up the matter afresh.

The opening of the Brooklyn Tabernacle on January 31st and the subsequent work in that city, we are assured, would be of deep interest to the friends in general, and hence the present report.

The opening day, appointed a month in advance, found us none too well prepared. Our stationary chairs had not yet been placed and many of the finishing touches were lacking. However, we had a very enjoyable day.

The auditorium is on the second floor and has a seating capacity of over 800, but is conveniently arranged so that the curtains can be drawn, shutting off more than one-third of the seats. The Tabernacle is well lighted from the roof, and the side-walls are embellished with some of the gracious promises of our Father's Word in artistic workmanship and soft colors. The prevalent color of the walls, floor, etc., is olive green. The conditions altogether are very restful, and those who arrive before the meetings commence will find excellent food for quiet meditation.

The floor below this, the street floor, is being fitted up for our office purposes, and the basement floor for our stock and shipping departments.

The total number of the friends of the immediate vicinity, New York, Brooklyn, Jersey City, Newark, etc., in attendance, numbered about 200; probably another 100 or more came from surrounding towns, and 27 from as far away as Boston. All seemed well pleased with the move which the Lord's providence seemed to direct, and pleased, also, with the building chosen and the repairs made.

The eleven o'clock praise and testimony service was participated in by about 350, and was very enjoyable; the testimonies to the Lord's grace, and goodness, and care caused our hearts to overflow with gratitude. The afternoon meeting had been advertised to the public, and the attendance was very good. Close attention was given and we have hoped that some interest was aroused. In the evening we had a Question Meeting, and the character of the questions indicated intelligence and studiousness on the part of the dear friends.

The following Sunday very nearly the same programme was carried out, but with less advertising. The afternoon meeting was not so large. The friends of the New York City congregation, those of Brooklyn and those of Jersey City, all voted their unanimous desire to be parts of the Ecclesia whose home will be at the "Brooklyn Tabernacle," and unanimously elected Brother C. T. Russell Pastor of the same.

The following Sunday, February 14th, Brother Brenneisen spoke in the afternoon, and in the evening conducted a Berean Bible study. The attendance was all that could be expected.

A special arrangement was made to meet the public on February 21st. The Brooklyn Academy of Music was secured for the afternoon, and the friends of Greater New York and vicinity certainly did manifest great zeal in the advertising of the meeting. The dear friends got out 150,000 copies of the first number of the new paper, "People's Pulpit," on the back of which was an advertisement of the Academy meeting. Window cards were used also, and posters, so that the meeting became widely advertised. The result was better than any of us had dared to anticipate. The house was crowded, seating 2200; approximately 400 stood, and it is estimated that more than 2500 people were turned away, unable to gain admission. To this overflow, however, the ushers distributed a special number of the WATCH TOWER so that we may hope that even they received some blessing. The large audience gave close attention for nearly two hours, and took the literature at the door with considerable manifestation of interest. How many grains of "wheat" were there and how many of these were favorable to influence, the Lord only knows, but we were pleased at the favorable hearing and the interest manifested upon the faces of the audience, which was a very intelligent one.

At the close of the session, Brother Rutherford was announced to speak at "Brooklyn Tabernacle" on the following Sunday afternoon on the "Divine Plan of the Ages" from a Lawyer's standpoint. A large house of earnest hearers greeted him.

Incidentally, we might mention another One-Day Convention recently held in Cleveland, a public service which was very remarkable, in respect to the congregation and the interest shown. The Cleveland friends, very full of zeal, engaged their largest auditorium, "The [R4342 : page 68] Hippodrome," which is one of the largest in the country, with a seating capacity of 4600. How thoroughly and wisely the dear friends exercised themselves in the advertising of that meeting may be judged from the fact that the house was full and many were standing, while about 600 were turned away by order of the Public Safety Department.

These large attendances must not mislead any of us into supposing that the Truth is becoming popular. Our readers well know that such is not our expectation, although we are expecting that the next two years especially will see wonderful things accomplished in the spread of the Truth. Of course, the majority attending these meetings come from curiosity, but when we remember that we not only do not have the assistance of our Christian friends of the various denominations, but in many instances have their open, and especially their secret, opposition, the lesson is that religious people are doing more thinking for themselves than ever before, and it is in this class that we may hope to find a considerable amount of "wheat," some for the "Little Flock" and more for the "Great Company."

In this connection, we believe that it will be of interest to nearly all of our readers that we mention some of the Lord's providences in connection with the locating of the Bible House family in Brooklyn. The Tabernacle has no living apartments connected with it, and when we sought to rent a suitable building for the housing of our family of more than thirty, we found that we had a difficult problem. We almost needed a hotel. While the Tabernacle is not in an aristocratic neighborhood, the residence district near it is of a good class with fine, large residences. Some of these are for sale, but none for rent. We thought of going a little distance and finding cheaper quarters, and then reflected that the car-fare to and from the office twice daily would amount to $1800 a year, and besides we would have inconvenience and loss of time.

At an opportune time some friends of the Truth proposed that we purchase such property as would suit our convenience, put it into repair, and that they would furnish the money – we to hold the title and they to take a mortgage for the amount expended, on which they asked but five per cent. interest, and intimated that some of the interest might find its way into the Tract Fund from time to time. This proposal seemed providential and was gladly accepted as the cheapest and best thing possible. We anticipate that the interest will not amount to more than two-thirds of the car-fare estimate, possibly less.

Thus prepared, we made a fresh examination of the district with a view to purchase, and finally made bids upon three properties suitable to our uses with some alterations. We are sure that we will surprise you when we state that the one of the three which came to us at a bargain price is what is known as "The Old Henry Ward Beecher Home." It certainly seems very remarkable that we should get the old Beecher Bethel and then by accident get his former residence. Considerable repairs are necessary, and are being made, but when completed our large family could scarcely be better fixed for the few remaining years of activity which we expect. The new home we shall call "Bethel," and the new office and auditorium, "The Brooklyn Tabernacle"; these names will supplant the term "Bible House."

Some day we may have a Convention in Brooklyn, when we shall have an opportunity of greeting many of our dear readers at one or both of these new locations. We solicit your prayers on behalf of the work and the workers at these new establishments, that with humility of heart and word and conduct, our enlarged opportunities for service may result in the glory of God and in the blessing of others and our own spiritual development in the fruits and graces of the holy Spirit.

[R4343 : page 68]

AST YEAR we concentrated our efforts and had one General Convention at Put-in-Bay. It was both enjoyable and profitable and served some better than any other arrangement. For the present year, however, it has been deemed best to pursue a different course – to have a number of Conventions in various parts. The advantage in so doing will accrue chiefly to those residing far apart and to whom a General Convention would be too expensive, both as to time and money.

In pursuance of this plan we have already had the Nashville, Tenn., and the Jacksonville, Fla., mid-winter Conventions. That the friends may be able to order their affairs to the best advantage, an early announcement of the Convention arrangements for 1909 is requested and stated below. In it we have sought the greatest good for the greatest number.


Unable last year to spare the time for even a brief visit to the friends of Germany and Scandinavia, we promised (D.V.) to see them hastily this year. The routes of travel make it convenient to see the British friends again enroute, and this gives us pleasure, as we have many cordial solicitations. However, our time being extremely limited, we cannot do what we would. We must hope that it will be possible for quite a number of the friends to attend the London Three-Day Convention. Our proposed itinerary follows: –

Brother Russell expects to leave New York May 5th, on the steamer Mauratania, and he hopes to arrive at Liverpool May 11th. He will be glad to greet the friends as follows, as may suit their convenience: –

Liverpool,         May    11  Stockholm,         May    23
Manchester,         "     12  Copenhagen,         "     24
Glasgow,            "     13  Berlin,             "     25
Edinburgh,          "     14  Elberfeld,          "     27
Bergen, Norway,     "     17  London Convention,  "  29-31
Christiana,         "  19,20  Due to arrive in Brooklyn,
Orebro, Sweden,     "  21,22                  N.Y., June 8

Leaving Brooklyn at 12:45 p.m., Thursday, July 8th, our first stop will be at Memphis, July 10th, via Frisco Line. Leaving at 11:40 p.m. (Ill. Central Ry.), we are due to reach New Orleans Sunday, July 11, at 10:45 a.m. Leaving at 9 p.m. we hope to reach Houston, Texas, at 10:15 a.m., and, leaving at 12:25 p.m., to reach San Antonio, Texas, at 7:35 a.m., July 13. Leaving at 9 a.m., July 14, via El Paso at 8:30 a.m. of the 15th, we hope to reach Los Angeles at 12:45 Friday night, July 16th. We leave at 5 p.m., July 17, arriving at Oakland, Cal., 8:45 a.m., July 18. Leaving at 8:57 p.m., July 19, we are due at Portland, Ore., 7:15 a.m., July 21, Wednesday. Leaving at 11:45 p.m. we are due at Seattle Thursday, at 8:15 a.m. Leaving at 9:30 p.m. (N.P.Ry.), [R4343 : page 69] Sunday, July 25, arrive at Spokane at 10:50 a.m., Monday, July 26. Leaving at 3:20 p.m. (O.S.L.Ry.) arrive at Butte, Mont., 7:40 a.m., July 27. Leave at 2 a.m., July 28, arrive at Denver at 10:50 a.m., July 29. Leave July 30, 1:15 p.m. (C.B.&Q.Ry.), ar. at St. Joseph, Mo., July 31, at 9:30 a.m. Leave August 2 at 1:45 p.m., arrive Huron, S.D., at 7 a.m., Aug. 3. Leaving at 8:10 a.m., arrive at Aberdeen, S.D., at 11:55 a.m. Leave (C.N.&St.P.Ry.) 8:35 p.m., arrive at St. Paul, Minn., at 8:10 a.m., August 4, and Chicago at 9:45 p.m. Leaving Chicago at 11:45 p.m. (P.R.R.) arrive at Pittsburg at 6:05 p.m., August 5. General Meeting at Allegheny Bible House, 7:30 p.m. Leave 9:40 p.m., arriving at Brooklyn 9 a.m., August 6. Of course, changes of railroad schedules may make necessary some slight modifications of the foregoing.

  One-Day Convention,    Memphis, Tenn.     July   10
   "    "     "          New Orleans, La.    "     11
   "    "     "          Houston, Tex.       "     12
   "    "     "          San Antonio, Tex.   "     13
   "    "     "          Los Angeles, Cal.   "     17
  Three "     "          Oakland, Cal.       "  17-19
  One   "     "          Portland, Ore.      "     21
  Four  "     "          Seattle, Wash.      "  22-25
  One   "     "          Spokane, Wash.      "     26
   "    "     "          Butte, Mont.        "     27
  Two   "     "          Denver, Colo.       "  29-30
  Five  "     "          St. Joseph, Mo.    July 29-Aug. 2
  Three "     "          Aberdeen, S.D.      Aug. 1-3

The Convention Committees of the Churches at the places named will please confer with us respecting further details desired.

[R4343 : page 69]

OMAN CATHOLIC dignity has been affronted and its fame mocked of late in regions where it has dominated for centuries – in Italy, France, Spain and Austria. But it finds its influence growing remarkably in the countries which threw off its yoke centuries ago – in Germany and Great Britain, as well as the United States. In the latter countries it is putting forth fresh energy and showing great vigor. Protestantism, through the influence of Higher Critics and Evolutionists, etc., having lost its former ground of Protest, sees no reason at present for longer thinking of the Mother Church as "The Man of Sin." Now they find in her much to respect and to follow, and little to reprove, except that now she is more loyal to the Bible than they, barring the item of Purgatory and a few incidentals. Well did the Scriptures predict the "Rolling together of the heavens as a scroll" – Protestantism being one part and Catholicism the other. They find themselves touching all along the line which both unites them and holds them apart. The Scriptures show a still closer intimacy in the near future, after Protestantism shall have combined or federated.

The Church of Rome is losing no opportunity for the display of her mighty power, that Protestants and politicians may take due notice. Recently, in the leading cities of the Protestant world, she has thrown her banners to the breeze and shows fresh vitality – (1) in London, a general council of Bishops such as has not been held for centuries, because prohibited by the British Law; (2) at Boston, the intellectual hub of earth, was held a great celebration for the Pope's Jubilee – a monster affair in every sense of the word, more than 5000 musicians alone giving marshal music to the other thousands who paraded, and the still other thousands who looked on; (3) at Chicago, the great Metropolis of the West, she has held another huge meeting of Catholic Societies. It is hoped by them that the English speaking world has thus been thoroughly impressed with the mighty power of the claimed successor of St. Peter, and claimed vicegerent of Christ, who says that for thirty years he has been debarred of the power necessary for reigning with the kings and kingdoms of earth. Surely papacy is now claiming that she is no widow – but a mighty queen. – Rev. 18:7.

Papacy seems to have discovered that the land of the free yields the best return financially and otherwise, for she is expending lavishly in propaganda. She does not forget, however, that the sword is a mighty weapon, and with her religious propaganda her military endeavors keep pace, for she is encouraging her young men so to enlist in the regular army and State militia that there will be solid regiments of Catholics. She is giving similar attention to the supply of Catholic cadets for the battleships of the nation. Whoever thinks that the Pope and his Counselors are asleep makes a great mistake. This great System, in cooperation with the Protestant Federation, will in a few years take a prominent part in the stirring events of the world's affairs.

[R4344 : page 69]

ACTS 10:1-48. – APRIL 4. –

Golden Text: – "In every nation he that feareth God, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him." – Acts 10:35.

HIS lesson seems to illustrate the necessity for our understanding of the "Divine Plan of the Ages."

After being blessed with this aid for several years we can scarcely appreciate what was our condition before this light shone on our pathway. Could we always have this in mind, it would assist us in the exercise of patience and forbearance towards our dear friends in all the nominal churches. In illustration of this we quote the words of a Doctor of Divinity on this very lesson – a man of much more than average intelligence, too. He says, "The narrow exclusiveness of the Jews, which had fortunately kept their religion pure for so many centuries, was a formidable barrier to this extension [of the gospel, beyond the Jews]. Christ himself had preached only to Jews. That was necessary, for the time of his ministry was too brief for a larger field, and the Jews at first would not have listened to a broader Gospel. But the time had come to break down the barrier of Jewish exclusiveness and carry out Christ's larger thought."

Not seeing the "Divine Plan of the Ages," this teacher and most others impute to our Lord merely motives of expediency and broadening thought, and to the Jews narrowness and exclusiveness, whereas when once the "Plan of the Ages" is seen, it is discerned that it was God who was exclusive and who insisted upon the Jews separating themselves from Gentiles and who told them that they alone were his special nation, his chosen people. It was God who made a Covenant with that nation and not with others. It was God who declared, "You only have I known (recognized) of all the families of the earth." – Amos 3:2.

It is the Apostle who explains to us that Israel had "much advantage every way" over all the other nations, [R4344 : page 70] because to them were committed exclusively the oracles of God – the Law and the Prophecies. To them alone Jesus came, not because of narrowness on his part, nor because of insufficiency of time on God's part. God delayed the sending of Messiah for over four thousand years. He could easily enough have made our Lord's ministry longer and have allowed it to extend to the Gentiles, had he chosen. On the contrary, our Lord declared, "I am not sent, save to the lost sheep of the House of Israel." – Matt. 15:24.

The proper view of the subject shows us that time and order have to do with every feature of the Divine Plan, that it has an exactness to a day. "But when the fulness of the due time was come, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, to redeem them that were under the Law." (Gal. 4:4,5.) At exactly the right time he began his ministry. Exactly three and a half years thereafter it ended on the very day indicated in the type. On the very day indicated our Lord arose from the dead. On the very day indicated in the type the Pentecostal blessing came. And we may be sure that it was on the very day indicated that the incidents of this lesson occurred. That day must have been exactly three and a half years after our Lord's crucifixion.

Why? Because, according to Divine prophecy, "seventy weeks" of years, 490 years, had been specifically set apart as a period of favor to the Jewish nation. It had been foretold that at the beginning of the last seven years of that period Messiah would come and that in the exact middle of that seven years Messiah would be cut off in death, but not for his own sins, but for the people's. It had been foretold that the prophecy would be marked by the anointing of the "most holy" at Pentecost and the further end of the seventieth week would also be marked as the termination of God's special, exclusive favor toward Israel. It was so marked by the sending of the Gospel message to Cornelius, and by his begetting of the holy Spirit after he had believed the message.

The record shows that Cornelius was a just man, a reverential man, a benevolent man, a man every way prepared to be a follower of Jesus – a Christian, the only obstacle being that he was not a Jew. That obstacle was not Jewish prejudice, but an insurmountable one – God's unwillingness to deal with any others than his covenanted people of the seed of Abraham. So soon as the Covenant arrangement with Israel terminated, and God's "due time" came for dealing with such Gentiles as were in proper condition of heart, he had no difficulty in finding messengers to convey the good tidings, as our lesson shows.

It is difficult for us to remember that but a few years ago we, like the mass of Christians, still somehow believed that we had been under the Law, as were the Jews; that the Ten Commandments and the sacrifices, etc., were all given to our fathers and that they were under the Jewish Law Covenant established at Mt. Sinai. We all believed also that, following our Lord's death, we were transferred from the Law Covenant, instituted by Moses, and came under the provisions of the New Covenant, which we supposed was in effect. It was in harmony with this that we used to sing with the spirit, but with misunderstanding also, the words: –

"Free from the Law, O happy condition,
Jesus has died and there is remission."

The "Divine Plan of the Ages" showed us that the Law Covenant was not given to, and did not affect, Gentiles, but Israelites only. We were redeemed, but not redeemed from the Law; only the Jews, who were under that Law, could be redeemed from the curse of that Law. The same "Divine Plan of the Ages" shows us now that the New Covenant belongs to natural Israel, and will go into effect at the beginning of the Millennium, and that we are not under it at all. It shows us that we are under a still higher and grander Covenant than either the Law Covenant or New Covenant; that we are under the Faith Covenant, the Grace Covenant, the Abrahamic Covenant, the Oath-Bound Covenant, as the Apostle says in Heb. 6:17-19 and Gal. 3:29.

Now we perceive that our high calling to be members of the Body of the Messiah, his Church in glory, signifies that we with him, under his Headship, as his Bride, will be associated in the mediating of that New Covenant between God and Israel and all the nations during the Millennial Age. Our lesson teaches us that God has an intimate acquaintance with all of our affairs, and at the appropriate time

"God moves in a mysterious way,
His wonders to perform."

Our Lord indeed intimated that ultimately his Gospel message would be extended to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. The Jews themselves had always expected that they would first be nationally blessed, and that God's blessing through them would extend to other nations, just as it ultimately will do, not under their (old) Law Covenant, instituted by Moses, but under their New (Law) Covenant, which will be in due time instituted by Messiah glorified. The disciples, therefore, had no thought of the Gospel invitation being extended to the Gentiles. They considered that, like all the preceding favors of God, it would go to the Jew only. It was not bigotry and not prejudice that lay at the bottom of this, but due to the Divine dealing of the past and the tenor of the Divine promises. The disciples had not yet learned that the Gospel dispensation, with its Spiritual Israel, is, as it were, a parenthesis in the Divine Plan, with Israel dropped at its beginning and restored to position at its conclusion.

Cornelius had his vision first. He saw in a vision "openly," not in a dream, an angel of God coming in unto him. He talked with the angel and received the assurance that his prayers and his alms of years had now been received of the Lord, because the "due time" had come – the end of Israel's covenanted favor. We may be sure that at the same time the alms and prayers of all other Gentiles ascended up as incense to the Lord. We may be sure that blessings were arranged also for all such, and the Gospel sent to them, though not in so marked a manner as to Cornelius, because the Lord would make of his case a special lesson for the benefit of the apostles and of all of us who have lived since. In recounting this matter elsewhere Cornelius says that the angel told him to send for St. Peter and gave him his address and added, "When he is come, he shall tell thee words, which shall be to the saving of thyself and house."

It will be observed that Cornelius' alms and prayers had not saved him. The death of Christ had not saved him, though it was necessary to his salvation; and his good works and prayers were necessary to his preparation for a blessing. The blessing could not come to him, except through a knowledge of the Truth, just as the Apostle assures us it shall ultimately reach all mankind. He declares, "God will have all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the Truth." – I Tim. 2:4.

Let us not forget the importance God has attached to words – not to all words, nor to any words, but to the particular words or message of his grace, through the merit of Christ's blood. Cornelius was rejoiced, and showed his faith by immediately sending messengers to the Apostle. Meantime, while they were approaching [R4344 : page 71] Joppa, Peter at noon-time betook him to prayer, perhaps seeking special guidance as to what should be his next move in Christian work. He got the answer through a dream-vision and through the messengers of Cornelius. He went with the messengers, nothing fearing, and yet not for a moment presupposing what actually took place. He took with him six men, probably as witnesses, or as an escort, or because of the dignity of the person upon whom he was calling. He doubtless was surprised to find that Cornelius had invited into his house his kinsfolk and special neighbors, who with his own family made quite an assemblage. The simplicity of the centurion's faith was thus clearly attested. When St. Peter inquired why Cornelius had sent for him, he explained the visit of the angel and [R4345 : page 71] declared that now they were ready to hear the words, the


Note well the fact that, even though the special favor promised Israel had ended, there was still but one way for the good tidings to reach Cornelius. St. Paul declares that "faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God." It came not to him by impression. Just so today; the knowledge of the Truth goes not to people, however ready for it, by mental impression, but still, as then, God honors and uses his faithful ones as his mouthpieces. Mark the expression, "When he is come, he shall tell thee words which shall be to the saving of thyself and house." Now, by reason of the art of printing, the message reaches many otherwise – by printed words.

Let us note carefully what these words of life were. They were the simple story of the Cross: The story of man's fall, his sentence to death, his hopelessness as respects extricating himself from that condition and sentence; and the remedy which God in his mercy provided. The essence of the message was that "Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures, and rose again for our justification." The message continued, and showed how the justified ones were invited to become joint-sacrificers with and thus joint-sharers in Christ's coming glory. The centurion's heart had been troubled. There was something in the message that satisfied his longings as nothing else had ever done. He believed in the Redeemer and was thus justified. His consecration to the Lord, of years' standing, now became intelligent and specific. As his heart went out to the Lord in full acceptance of the Divine terms, in full consecration of his little all to the Divine service, the Lord accepted it, and manifested the acceptance; just as he had done with the consecrated Jewish believers at Pentecost. God having thus recognized Cornelius as a disciple and follower of Christ, a New Creature begotten of the holy Spirit, Peter tells us that he could not believe otherwise than that it was right for him to explain baptism to the centurion, and to give him water immersion, symbolic of the immersion into Christ's death, which he had already experienced.


Our Lord had declared that he would give to St. Peter the keys of the Kingdom of heaven. A key symbolizes right or authority to open. On the day of Pentecost the Lord used St. Peter as his special mouthpiece in opening the door of the Kingdom to the Jewish people, to all who were in the right condition of heart to receive its blessings. Thus we read that "Peter, standing up with the eleven, said," he being the spokesman. So here, again, when the time had come for the message of the Gospel to go to the Gentiles, it was St. Peter who was granted the privilege of throwing the door wide open by the sermon which he preached to Cornelius. The "key" or power to open on both occasions was used by St. Peter.


These words of St. Peter do not signify that he had previously been mistaken in supposing that the Divine favors were all confined to the Jewish nation. He had been right in that supposition. It was in line with all the Scriptural declarations. St. Peter meant by these words that he perceived that now God was no longer a respecter of persons and nationality; that now, henceforth, the righteous, God-fearing, in every nation were to be acceptable. He now perceived the meaning of the vision granted him on the house-top, "What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common or unclean." The cleansing at first was merely typical and to Israel only, accomplished through the blood of bulls and goats. The antitypical cleansing through the blood of Christ was confined for a time to Israel only. But now, in the Lord's providence, the middle wall of partition was broken down, so that all believers amongst the Gentiles, seeking fellowship with the Lord, might become adopted members in Spiritual Israel, the "household of faith," and might be covered by the merit of the better sacrifice of Christ.

[R4345 : page 71]


"Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life." – Prov. 4:23.

E realize that our heads need keeping: and some of us at one time might have been inclined to say, "Keep thy head with all diligence, in line with the doctrines of Christ, and thy heart will be all right, for God will keep it." This, however, is a mistake. God has stated the matter correctly. We are not competent to keep our heads. We are competent and responsible for the keeping of our hearts. If we diligently keep, watch, guard our hearts from evil, and in full harmony with the Divine Word and its spirit of the Truth, righteousness, love, God will do the rest. He will guide our imperfect reasoning faculties, and we shall know his doctrines.

Keeping the heart signifies keeping guard over our sentiments. It signifies a critical inspection of every motive of life. Why do we speak? What is the object desired? Why do we do this, or not do that thing? Is the motive honorable, just, loving? Do we love righteousness? Do we hate iniquity? Is the love of God being more and more shed abroad in our hearts? Is it increasing God-ward and man-ward, and toward the brethren? This is watching, "keeping our hearts," and implies that if a selfish thought or motive or ambition be found lurking anywhere, or seeking to guide in act or word, it should be promptly expelled – that the heart may be pure, clean. Keeping the heart means also activities in love, benevolence, helpfulness and the cultivation of thoughts and sentiments in accord with the Divine. It means not only the purifying of the heart, but the garnishing of it with the fruits and graces of holiness and love, that it may be acceptable to the Lord. So surely as injustice or sin or impurity is harbored to any extent, the heart is proportionately defiled and proportionately unacceptable to the Lord, and in the way leading towards repudiation by him.

The words, "the issues of life," would remind a lawyer of the fact that when a case is tried in court the jurors are sworn to do their duty in respect to the issue [R4345 : page 72] joined – the decision to be reached. So all of the Lord's consecrated people are on trial. The issue has been joined. It means, (1) life or death eternal; and (2) additionally to those who win life there is another issue, namely, whether that life eternal shall be on the highest plane – of the divine nature and Joint-Heirship with Christ – or on the lower spirit plane of the Great Company – like unto the angels. Do we realize the issue joined in this trial, the outcome of which is so vital? If we do, and if we believe the Lord's declaration that the issue or result will depend upon our heart condition, then we see a reason why we should use "all diligence" in keeping our hearts pure, sweet, tender, loving, "a copy, Lord, of thine."

Once, when our eyes of understanding began to open and we discerned the length and breadth and height and depth of love Divine and the wonderful Plan of Salvation, we inclined to think that the number who would fail to attain life everlasting, either in this age or in the Millennium, would be a small number. We would even have inclined to the Universalist view that all would ultimately be saved, had it not been for certain texts of Scripture which clearly intimate that, according to the Divine foreknowledge, there would be some who would die the Second Death, as a result of the "sin unto death" – "There is a sin unto death; I do not say that ye shall pray for it." – I John 5:16.

But as we have become more and more familiar with the mind of the Lord as presented to us in his Word, we discern that none will be granted eternal life, except they shall attain a certain character development, and that that character development means not merely an outward loyalty and restraint from sin, but a heart loyalty and love for righteousness, and hatred toward iniquity. During the Millennium outward perfection will be the standard, yet ultimately in the end of that age, the heart development will be the test, which will determine who may go beyond to eternal life, and who may not.

The heart test may now be said to be the only one, because our flesh, justified, then consecrated to death, is not the New Creature which hopes for glory, honor and immortality, but merely its imperfect servant or tool. The New Creature's heart or affections must be loyal to the very highest principles of Justice and Love, and, according to its development along these lines, will be the Divine decision for life or for death – on some plane or on no plane of being. The Great Company must have the Christ-like character, as well as the Little Flock and as well as the Restitution class at the end of the Millennium. We are not to understand that there will be, for any of the consecrated, any further trial or education or development or testing after the present trial is ended. No one will be in either the Little Flock or the Great Company except those who are in loving loyalty to God, to the brethren, to the principles of righteousness. All others will be condemned as unfit for life eternal upon any plane of being.

Perhaps the worldly might say to us, It must be a great strain upon you and make your life miserable to be obliged to think continually of the right or the wrong of every act and every word and every thought, and to be obliged to repudiate and disown every sentiment not entirely just and loving. We reply, that at first it might have so appeared to us, but the Lord leads his people gently, graciously, step by step, to an appreciation of the principles of righteousness and love. Following on to know the Lord means, to such, continual growth in [R4346 : page 72] grace as well as in knowledge. We are glad that we see distinctly the issue joined in our case – that it is for life or death. To us this is the chief consideration – the making of our calling and our election sure, to life eternal. As we get a glimpse of the wonderful things which God has in reservation for those who love him – earthly pleasures, self-denials, self-sacrifices, all lose their weight and power – and gradually we come to the place where we "delight" to know and to do the Lord's will – to the mental attitude in which these Divine regulations are not grievous to us, but really joyous. This means that our minds have been "transformed," so that the things which we once loved, now we hate; and the things which once we hated now we love. Yet we approached this high position gradually. Those who come into Present Truth now have advantages in many respects, but we must also remember that as the time of testing grows shorter, it signifies that the tests themselves will be the sharper.


The Apostle, contemplating the situation of those who have been saved by faith, through the knowledge of the Lord, and of his gracious plans, declares that the message becomes to such a life or a death message. The demands of our consecration to some appear onerous, burdensome. They have an odor of death that repels them, and leads on to Second Death. To others the ways of the Lord and the requirements of his holiness have a sweet odor, a life odor, bringing refreshment. Such an appreciation of the Divine goodness and of the Divine Plan, the Apostle refers to as a sweet odor of life, and tending and leading up to the glorious life condition which they shall share in the Resurrection of the blessed.

The Apostle realized that the message he was preaching would have one or the other effect upon all who had the spiritual ears. It would be to them either a savour of life unto life or of death unto death. Then he adds, "Who is sufficient for these things?" (2 Cor. 2:16.) There is a tremendous strain of responsibility upon all who minister the Lord's Truth. Who is sufficient for these things? How can any of us fully grasp and comprehend the value of present opportunities? And how can those who, in the name of the Lord, present his message sufficiently realize the weight of responsibility attaching?

Summing up, then, let us each know that if we do not keep our hearts from the leaven of malice, envy, hatred and strife, the issue with us will be the Second Death, and in the interim assuredly we would lose much of the light and spiritual blessings which we once enjoyed. If, on the other hand, we keep out the evils referred to, and put on the graces of the Lord's Spirit – meekness, gentleness, patience, long-suffering, brotherly kindness, love – the decision in our case will be life, eternal life. And in the interim, while waiting for our resurrection "change," our experience will be continual growth in grace, in love, and in knowledge of the things freely given of the Lord to such as are in this heart condition. These shall know the Truth and the Truth shall make them free – not with the freedom of the unregenerate, but with the liberty of the sons of God – liberty to do right; liberty to suffer injustice for righteousness sake; liberty to lay down our lives for the brethren, and, in general, for the Truth, and in doing good to all men as we have opportunity.


The Apostle's words to the Elders of the Ephesus Church never were more fitting to the people of God in general than they are today. He said to them, "Take heed therefore unto yourselves and to all the flock, over [R4346 : page 73] the which the holy Spirit hath made you overseers, to feed the Church of God, which he hath purchased with the blood of his own Son. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore, watch and remember that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears." – Acts 20:28-31.

The Elders everywhere need to take special heed; because in every trial the most favored and most prominent have the severest besetments and tests. Hence the Apostle exhorts, "Be not many of you teachers, brethren, knowing that a man shall receive the more severe testing." We, likewise, exhort all the Elders who in heart are pure, unselfish, that they have nothing but love and good wishes for all mankind, and that they become more and more filled with the fruits and graces of the holy Spirit, taking heed also to the flock. Remember, that the flock is the Lord's and that you have a responsibility to the Lord, as well as to them. Remember, that you are to watch for their souls (interests) as those who must give an account to the Great Chief Shepherd. Remember, that the principal thing is Love, in all; and, while not neglecting doctrines, give special heed to the development of the Lord's Spirit amongst the various members of his Body, that thus they may become "meet for the inheritance of the saints in light," and, according to the Divine will, be not suffered to stumble in this evil day, but, having done all, to stand complete in Christ, his Body, his Members, his Joint-Sacrificers, his Joint-Heirs.

[R4346 : page 73]

ACTS 12:1-19. – APRIL 11. –

Golden Text: – "The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them." – Psa. 34:7.

UR lesson is supposed to date about twelve years after our Lord's crucifixion. A period of rest and prosperity was now followed by persecution. Herod Agrippa I. had been appointed King of Judea. He was grandson of Herod the Great, the murderer of the babes of Bethlehem. He was nephew of Herod Antipas, who beheaded John the Baptist. It was his son, Agrippa II., before whom the famous address was made by St. Paul. (Acts 26:28.) He was not a Jew, but an Edomite, a descendant of Esau. He appears to have been desirous of the good will of the people, even at the cost of principle. He took pains to observe the minutia of Jewish ceremonials. He hung up in the temple the gold chain which the Emperor Caligula had given him. It is related that at a "Feast of Tabernacles" he caused the entire Book of Deuteronomy to be read in the hearing of the people, and that he "burst into theatrical tears" when the reader came to the words, "Thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, who is not thy brother." Thereupon the populace obsequiously cried, "Don't weep, Agrippa, you are our brother."


On the lookout to curry favor with the Jews, especially the influential ones, Agrippa caused the Apostle James to be beheaded, and finding that this brought great pleasure to the Jews, he had the Apostle Peter arrested. The Greek word here rendered apprehend rather implies that his arrest was after searching. Probably all of the apostles were more or less secreted about that time, but, trusting to the sacredness of the Passover season, St. Peter ventured forth and was arrested and imprisoned, Agrippa intending his death directly at the close of the Passover week. Meantime, however, the Lord delivered him, as this lesson shows.

We can well imagine the sadness of the Church at that Passover season, which must have reminded them considerably of the time of our Lord's death and the alarm then amongst his followers. It may not be proven to the satisfaction of all, but to us for some years it has seemed as though each Passover season, each Memorial celebration, was a time of special trial and testing amongst the Lord's followers. As Judas and Peter and all of the Lord's disciples got their sifting at this particular season of the year, so, it does seem to us, the sifting and shaking, by which Satan desires to have others of the Lord's followers, are specially permitted at the Memorial season. But whether this is a true supposition or not, it will surely not injure the Lord's people to be specially on guard against the wiles of the Adversary at these times – since we are to watch and pray always, lest we fall into temptation.

The thought of special trial, special temptation from the Adversary at this season of the year, seems to have been the foundation for the so-called "Lenten Season," or period of special restraint, fasting and prayer, which has come down to us through the oldest channels of Church history. The fact that the "lenten season" is with many today a mere formality does not mean that it is so to all, nor that it was so originally. Strongly would we recommend the fasting and prayer at all times enjoined in the Scriptures, and, if possible, that alertness be specially exercised by all of the consecrated during the forty days preceding the Memorial Supper.

As we have already explained, our self-denials are not merely along the lines of food and drink, but extend to all of our appetites. Nevertheless a very simple and very limited diet in the Spring of the year would undoubtedly be beneficial for the majority of mankind, even were there no spiritual blessings and prayers connected therewith. Winter cold bringing hearty appetites, the result toward Spring is apt to be a surfeited or over-charged condition of the system, from which it needs to be relieved by a measure of abstention, which is as favorable to spirituality as surfeiting is unfavorable.


St. Peter is supposed to have been imprisoned in the famous Castle of Antonio, possibly in the very same room in which our Lord was arraigned before Pilate, and the same one to which Paul was subsequently taken [R4347 : page 73] when mobbed in Jerusalem. Peter had a guard of four quaternions (four soldiers each), who relieved each other every three hours. Two of the four were chained to Peter's arms, one to each arm, and a third was outside the door and a fourth in the passage leading to the outer iron gate. The power of Divine grace helping in every time of need and giving peace amid alarms, is well illustrated in this case by the fact that under all these circumstances St. Peter was fast asleep when the angel of the Lord came to deliver him. The proprieties of the case are also illustrated by the fact that Peter's friends, the Church, were not asleep, but praying for him. It was not for him to pray for himself deliverance from the power of Agrippa, for he had already consecrated his life unto death, and properly should feel quite ready to lay down his life at this time, if such proved to be [R4347 : page 74] the Lord's will in respect to him. For him to have asked for the prolongation of his life would have been to ask amiss, and would have manifested a wilfulness incompatible with a full consecration to the Lord's will. But with the Church it is different. They could with all propriety, while expressing to the Lord their confidence in the Divine supervision of the Church's affairs, tell him also of their love for St. Peter and of how much his sacrificing in the service of the Truth had done for them and was doing for them. They could properly enough express the hope that it might be the Lord's will that he should continue with them for their joy and comfort and upbuilding in the "most holy faith." It should not surprise us either that this prayer-meeting on St. Peter's account lasted all through the night and, for aught we know, other meetings of the same kind may have been held besides the one referred to in this lesson, which was at the home of Mary, the mother of Mark, the writer of the Book of Mark and the cousin of Barnabas, presumably the unnamed person of Mark 14:51.

It may be asked, Would it not have been appropriate for the Church to have offered prayer and then to have retired as usual, leaving the results entirely with the Lord? We reply that the examples given us in the Scriptures fully warranted the all-night prayer-meeting and even its continuance for several days. Do we not know of our Lord's remaining all night in the mountain at prayer? Do we not remember his long and repeated prayers in Gethsemane? Do we not remember the Apostle's exhortation to the Church, "Praying without ceasing, and in everything giving thanks"? Giving this a liberal construction as signifying a prayerful attitude of mind and continued looking to the Lord for his grace and guidance, nevertheless our Lord's parable of the importunate widow and her repeated comings and her reward all teach the same lesson of importunity. Besides, our Lord thus applied the parable, saying, "Shall not God avenge his very elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily." – Luke 18:7,8.

In one sense of the word the fears and sufferings of the Lord's people and their trials and difficulties ascend to the Lord in prayer and call to Divine Justice for vengeance, recompense, punishments, without any word from his people to this effect. Rather their petition should be in line with Stephen's prayer for his enemies, "Lord, lay not this sin to their charge." Nevertheless, as Abel's blood is said to have cried to the Lord for vengeance, so the blood of his saints is said to cry unto him day and night, "How long, O Lord, dost thou not judge and avenge?" – Rev. 6:10.

The Lord certainly does not wish us to understand that he has no oversight, arrangement or plans of his own, nor that the Divine arm may be moved by our prayers in any direction at our pleasure, at any time. On the contrary, the Lord assures that all of his purposes shall be accomplished and that his Word shall not return to him void, "but shall prosper in the thing whereto it was sent." (Isa. 55:11.) Nothing can alter the definite, fixed outlines of the Divine program. But the Lord has evidently left certain of the filling in of our experiences subject to change or modification. These minor details he is ready to use for the blessing of his people, for the development of their faith. Thus in St. Peter's case the Lord was doubtless intending a deliverance in some manner, because he had a further work for him to do, but he allowed it to come about in such a manner as to indicate it as a reward of the faith of those who prayed for him. Otherwise the deliverance might have come sooner or later, and in response to faith or works along some other line.

The Lord evidently desires to cultivate in us a quality of faith, trust. Therefore he has made faith a condition for all of his blessings of the present age, and distinctly tells us that without faith it is impossible to please him, and that he desires us to "walk by faith and not by sight." – 2 Cor. 5:7.


The question materially and properly arises, Why was Herod permitted to kill the Apostle James and not permitted to kill the Apostle Peter? Was St. James unworthy of any further part in the Gospel work, or less worthy than the Apostle Peter? Was there not enough work for all, or was St. James permitted to die because he was ready for death, because he had finished his course? And was St. Peter preserved alive because he had not finished his course? None of these suggestions seems to be the correct one. Rather let us surmise that both apostles were loyal and acceptable to the Lord and at the mark of perfect Love, fit for the Kingdom. Let us suppose that the Lord preserved Peter because he had a special work for him to do, and that he allowed the beheading of St. James, not because there was nothing more that he could do, but because by such a death as he experienced and at such a time he could accomplish the most that was possible – a work which could not have been so well done at another time, nor by the death of another person. St. James, apparently, was the leader amongst the apostles and his execution would be a great shock to the cause, awakening the followers of our Lord to renewed zeal and energy in the proclamation of the Truth. It doubtless served to increase the appreciation of the people for the apostles, causing them to give still more earnest heed to their teachings and to realize how greatly the cause of the Lord had been made dependent upon them, the "twelve apostles" of the Church. – Rev. 21:14.

This, then, would help to explain why the Church prayed day and night for St. Peter. The loss of St. James made St. Peter and every other Apostle doubly precious in the estimation of the "household of faith." God intended that St. Peter should live to be an old man, for this was our Lord's prophecy respecting him. But the emergency proved a blessing to the Church, by way of stirring up their pure minds to an appreciation of the Lord's cause in general and for St. Peter in particular. A similar lesson may be drawn today. As we see some ripe grains taken and other ripe grains left, it may mean that the Lord can use the death of the one the better and the life of the other the better, in his dealings with the Church.


The time in which the holy angels were permitted to materialize still continued a power possessed by them, but, we believe, is not now permitted to be exercised. It was between three and six o'clock in the last watch, for Peter was not missed until sunrise (Vat.), when the guards were changed. St. Peter, sleeping peacefully, was awakened by the angel, whose features were radiant, because this was necessary in order that the Apostle might discern that his deliverer was a holy being. The Scriptures mention numerous appearances of angels as men without radiant appearances. Peter was bidden to rise up. Quickly and simultaneously the chains which bound him to the soldier by either hand were loosed. He was instructed to put on his wooden shoes, or sandals, and to put on his outer garment, or cloak, and to follow his leader. We read that he followed, realizing the facts as those of a dream. Thus [R4347 : page 75] he was led past the first and second wards, or doors until they came to the great gate of the city, which opened of its own accord, and then the angel left him.

It is worthy of notice that the miracles performed here were only such as were beyond Peter's natural power. Whatever he could do he was required to do, namely, putting on of his sandals and his cloak, and following the angel. He could have been transported. His own sandals or other sandals could have been fastened to his feet. A new coat might have been provided. But the lesson is a more profitable one as it was given. Similarly in the Lord's dealings with us today, we should remember that it is ours to do everything within our power, and the Lord's to overrule all things for our good, and to supply our deficiencies from his abundance. Thus still he gives us day by day our daily bread, in the rain and the sunshine and the seed; but he expects us to labor for it, to plow the ground, to sow the seed, to harrow it, to thrash it, grind it and bake it.

"When Peter was come to himself," when he realized the facts in the case, that he was free, he said, "Now I know of a surety that the Lord hath sent his angel and delivered me out of the hand of Herod and...of the Jews." St. Peter's faith was strengthened. Willing to die, he found that the Lord was willing that he should live and labor and endure, and he was equally pleased, rejoicing, we may be sure, for the privilege of further service, even though it would mean further sacrifices and sufferings for the Lord's sake and for the sake of his people.

Doubtless the angel started Peter in the direction of Mary's home, where the prayer was being made on his behalf. The description of the house with an outer gate implies that it was one of the better class. Peter's knock was heard by little Rose, for such is the meaning of Rhoda. So overjoyed was she that, forgetful to let him in, she ran first to tell the praying household [R4348 : page 75] that Peter was at the gate. Expecting no deliverance at such an hour, some thought the maiden mistaken, and then insisted that it must be his angel – in harmony with the prevalent thought that an angel had supervision of each individual of God's people and that such might personate the one under his protection.

The brethren were surprised at the Lord's answer to their petitions, because it came so unexpectedly as respects time. There was an outburst of excitement and questions, which the Apostle was obliged to silence by the shaking of his hands. Then he narrated the wonderful story of his deliverance and bade them tell it to the other James, the brother (cousin) of Jesus, and the other disciples. Then Peter went his way, whether to another city or to another house, we do not know. In any event, he exercised wisdom in not needlessly provoking Herod. There was consternation with the coming of daylight. Later on in the same chapter we learn of another visit of the angel of the Lord – this second time to smite Herod with disease (intestinal worms), from which he subsequently died. This chapter then shows us the power of Satan, the power of God, and the power of prayer.


Of course, our Golden Text is a symbolical statement illustrative of the Divine guardianship of all those who are truly his. The thought is the continual supervision of our affairs by the Lord. Whether we think of the angel of the Lord as one of the heavenly host specially appointed on our behalf, or whether we think of him from the standpoint of the various powers of nature, the levers of which are all in the Divine care, it matters not. We have the assurance that the Father himself loves us and that all the heavenly powers are pledged to those whom he has accepted in Christ Jesus, and these unitedly guarantee blessings to all those who abide in God's love. This means to abide in faith in the Redeemer. It means to abide loyal to our consecration, to do the Father's will to the extent of our ability. That will is declared to be that we shall love the Lord supremely, our neighbor as ourselves, and all the members of the household of faith, as Christ loved us.

page 75

I may not understand just why the clouds obscure the sun,
But I can trust him still, and feebly say, "Thy will be done."
I know not why each door of service he sees fit to close;
But I rejoice to find my will would ne'er his way oppose.
I can but wonder why it seemeth to my Father best,
To loosen from its resting place upon my throbbing breast,
The priceless jewel fastened there by his own hand--but then,
I joy to feel the mother-heart can still respond, Amen!

I do not always the lesson I should learn,
But hour by hour I'll strive to let the hallowed incense burn.
I know not why the sweet must turn to bitter in the cup;
But still I press it to my lips, and through my tears look up
To him who is "too wise to err, too good to be unkind,"
Assured that when the cup is drained, a blessing there I'll find.

*                         *                         *

Press hard, then, Master Workman, and refrain not, if I weep –
The marble's beauty grows beneath the chiseling
Yea, Lord, let skies be overcast, as seemeth best to thee;
Take from my arms the dearest thing Thy love hath given me;
Let sweet or bitter my cup, according to thy will;
I'll closer clasp thy hand in mine, and in the flame hold still;
And thus, although I will praise thee night and day,
I'll lay each burden at thy feet, and "bear a song away."

G. W. Seibert.

[R4348 : page 75]

HEBREWS 12:13. –

HEN the Apostle says, "Make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way," what does he mean? He does not mean that we should literally shovel a path smooth, nor does he refer to our literal feet. All will agree to this. Evidently the Apostle's teaching is that each one of the Lord's sheep has more or less of earthly blemish (imperfection), in consequence of which lameness it is difficult for him to make steady progress in the footsteps of our Lord. He urges that as we find out what our weaknesses are, physical and mental, we should endeavor to shape our course of life accordingly, so as to be able to overcome the difficulties of the way and the besetments of the Adversary. We make the straight paths by choosing such a course as will not unnecessarily aggravate and excite our weaknesses, and thus make us the more lame. We are to seek to overcome the lameness, and, to do so, are not only to pray, "Abandon us not in temptation," but are to seek to avoid the temptations in all ways. How do we do this? We answer, by the exercise of our wills, or determination – by mental resolutions; or, in other words, by making [R4348 : page 76] vows or solemn promises to the Lord respecting our determinations to take the proper course. Anyone, therefore, who has followed the Apostle's injunction in our text has made vows to the Lord, which he should be faithful in performing, if he would come off a victor and have the Divine approval.

The Lord does not lay these vows upon us, commanding us to do thus, and not to do so. This would be placing us under law and would hinder us from offering sacrifices as an antitypical priesthood. Only in general terms, therefore, does the Lord speak to his people, indicating to them the right path and leaving to them the matter of making their vows, according to their necessities, and paying their vows, and thus making progress in grace and knowledge and in character development. Whoever has not seen his need of making resolutions, making vows to the Lord, has not recognized the first principle of Christian development. He who finds from the Enemy's attack where his wall is weakest, and who then repairs the weak places as quickly as ascertained, does so by resolution to the Lord – by vows. He who has not discovered any weaknesses in his character is duly blind and "cannot see afar off." He who has not attempted to correct his weaknesses by resolutions to the Lord, vows to the Lord, has not yet begun that character development which must be completed before he can be pronounced an overcomer.

Let us here present two dialogues bearing upon this question of character development by the aid of vows or resolutions: –

Bro. A – Have you taken the Vow recently suggested to us in the WATCH TOWER?

Bro. B – No. It seems to me that however useful it may be to others, it would not be so for me.

A – Does the old man rebel against being tied down too tightly?

B – I hope that is not the case. It seems to me that I already am doing practically everything that is stipulated in the Vow, and hence, that I need not take it. With reference to the first section, of praying for God's will to more thoroughly control my life, I already do that. Section two I already observe to the full – remembering my dear colaborers in the Harvest Work every day and striving to appreciate more fully my own privileges in it. As for section three, I certainly strive daily to scrutinize thoughts and words and actions, as I believe that every Christian should do. How can we do otherwise? Referring to section four, I long ago resolved to have nothing to do with Occultism or Spiritism, recognizing them as having to do with the Adversary. I have long observed the spirit of this section and, I might say, its letter also, with the exception of the reference to being in a room alone with one of the opposite sex, with the door wide open. I have not always followed that plan, but am free to confess that it would be a very good general rule to follow, and that it would save many people from trouble and, perhaps, be advantageous to myself.

A – Why, Brother B, as I understand you, you have already taken these various parts of the Vow as mental resolutions to the Lord, in their spirit, if not in their letter. The difference seems to be that you have made separate vows of each point, whereas the WATCH TOWER has aggregated these various points into one Vow!

B – Perhaps that is a proper way of stating the matter and yet, understand me, I have not bound myself as respects the future, but merely have this ideal before my mind as a proper course; then, as each case comes before the bar of my judgment, I decide it on its own merits entirely, and accordingly, if you please, resolve respecting that one case, or vow respecting that one case, that I will follow such a course.

A – I see; but, dear Brother, that course gives you a whole lot of vowing many times a day, and gives you the bother of deciding many times a day. It may be that you have an extraordinarily well-balanced mind and that you have little difficulty in recognizing the line of principle in all of life's affairs, thus being able to decide each little question as it comes to you quickly, promptly, correctly, and that your mind is not liable to swerve from the principles of righteousness, even under pressure of temptations. If so, I can see that your plan of testing each little question as it comes and vowing or resolving on each point, and thus making many vows for one day, may, perhaps, be a safe enough plan for you, but would that plan be the safest and best for everybody, do you think? Surely you and I know some of God's dear people who are not very quick in their application of principles and doctrines to the affairs of life, some who are quite likely to be a little unbalanced and swerved in the presence of temptations. Would it not be wise for such to make their vows with cool deliberation, in harmony with the Divine will, when not beset with temptation, and thus to guide their footsteps, not merely for that day and moment, but for all the future days of life? Would not this be in full accord with the Apostle's exhortation of our text, "Make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way"? Further, dear brother, if you already are recognizing these principles in your daily life, are you not leaving open a door to the Adversary, through which some time he might intrude upon you and pervert your judgment, under some kinds of temptation which we cannot now surmise in detail?

If you are already bound by the principles which obtain in this Vow, as you admit, would it not be fastening on the armor, as it were, for you to take the Vow and thus relieve yourself from an interminable amount of consideration, questioning and deciding left to be done at the most unguarded and unfavorable moment, when the Enemy is before you, with his temptations? Besides, dear brother, as St. Paul declares himself willing to resolve or vow to eat no more meat, if thereby he would help a weaker brother, would not that be a valuable consideration for us in respect to this Vow, and an assistance to us in determining what we would best do to help the brethren, especially if we perceive that the Enemy is assaulting the flock, and particularly when we remember [R4349 : page 76] that it is a part of our covenant with the Lord, not only to assist the brethren in so slight a matter as this, but, if necessity calls for it, to lay down our lives for them?

Brother C, what do you think of the Vow? Have you declared or subscribed it to the Lord as yours? Is it your solemn resolution before the Lord that you will follow the various points outlined in the suggested Vow?

C – No; I have not taken it. I confess that I am afraid of it – fearful that I could not keep it.

A – Why, dear brother, I am surprised at your expression. Did I not understand aright that you had made a full consecration of your life, your rights, your liberties, your all, to the Lord, even unto death? If so, that Vow, or Resolution, which you probably also symbolized in baptism, and which, therefore, is termed your baptismal Vow, is still upon you and is all-comprehensive? If you can keep that Vow, you certainly will have little trouble in keeping the Vow suggested in the WATCH TOWER. Tell us, please, what features seem to you so burdensome, so impossible? Surely not the first? [R4349 : page 77]

C – No; I desire, surely, God's will to rule more and more in my heart and in my mortal body.

A – Well, surely it is not the second point of the Vow which you object to – so surely as you are consecrated to the Lord and enjoying the light of the present harvest work and your own privileges in connection with it and all the dear colaborers! You surely remember these every day, or ought to. You are surely losing a blessing, if you do not do so. I advise that you so resolve at once and that you note carefully the blessing that will thus come to you, as you think about the work of the Lord and his people and your own harvest privileges and opportunities. Quite a good many report that they are having blessings along this very line – that as they think daily of their privileges in the harvest field, it strengthens their resolutions and gives them courage to thrust in the sickle of Truth. Tell me, dear brother, that you do not oppose, but fully endorse that feature of the Vow.

C – Well, of course, when you put it that way, I agree partly. But suppose that I should fail some day to thus think and pray, either because of forgetfulness or because of sickness, or what not?

A – If you should be delirious or lie unconscious, so that you could neither think nor pray, you would not be responsible. Likewise, if, in spite of your very best endeavor or resolution, the matter slipped your mind, you would not be responsible, because no man can do beyond his ability, and the Vow expressly declares for things that are reasonably possible by God's assisting grace. However, after taking the Vow you would assuredly find yourself living in that higher atmosphere in which you would be as unlikely to forget the harvest work and colaborers, as to forget your meals. More and more it would become a part of your very life, and help to raise your thoughts from the things of earth to the heavenly things and to reset frequently your affections on the things which are above. Look, now, at the third section of the Vow. Surely, dear Brother C, there is nothing in that section which your heart would not approve. Have you not already resolved to God and vowed to him to scrutinize your thoughts and words and doings, with a view to better service to him and to the brethren? I surely hope so, dear brother, for otherwise how could I think of you as a consecrated Christian at all?

C – Oh! yes. I agree to it that that is all very fine, but can I watch every thought and word and act?

A – Remember, dear brother, that you, the New Creature, have an enemy very close to you all the time – your old self. That old self would like to have you, the New Creature, off guard, so that you would not so carefully scrutinize every thought, every word, every act. It is that old self that is now fighting the Vow and saying, "Don't bind me any tighter, I have little enough liberty now." You must not mind what the old man says, dear brother. Listen, instead, for the Lord's voice. Through the Apostle, he tells us to kill the old man. "Mortify, therefore, your members, which are upon the earth." (Col. 3:5.) A large part of your difficulty, dear brother, and of the difficulties of all who seek to walk in the narrow way, is that the old man cries out and wants to retain liberty and life, but it is contrary to the interests of the New Creature that any attention should be paid to it. Tell him at once that you thought that he was dead and buried long ago, and are only finding out to the contrary now, and that by this Vow you intend to kill him outright and screw down his coffin-lid. It is your old man that does not like the Vow, dear brother, and not you, the New Creature, who must certainly approve it as being a help to yourself and to all the dear household of faith.

Brother C, I understand that you said some very unkind things in respect to those who took the Vow – that you both thought evil and spoke evil, and acted in an improper manner. Dear Brother, this was surely not you, the New Creature, but the old creature, in command. How beneficial it would have been to you had you taken the Vow, and thus have impressed upon your mind a careful scrutiny of your every thought and word and act! It is useless for us to pray, "Abandon us not unto temptation, but deliver us from the Evil One," if, when the Lord shows us how we may ward off temptation and put a barrier between the Evil One and ourselves, we refuse to heed his counsel.

I cannot think that the fourth part of the Vow is impossible to you, dear Brother C, nor that you really consider it unwise, in view of what we know of our Adversary and his various wiles, and in view of what the Scriptures tell us of his greater power in the closing of this Harvest time; you surely would not consider it wise to be careless in respect to the particular traps which we recognize are already set and baited for the world and for the Church during "the hour of temptation" which is now upon the whole world. Surely you are agreed that there are only two Captains, the Lord and the Adversary, and that it is a part of our duty, if we would be faithful soldiers of the cross, to oppose Satan's tactics and devices in every way, shape and form, do you not?

C – Surely so, dear Brother A. And I believe that I can think of no objection on that score, either.

A – Now, Brother C, we are to the last paragraph of the Vow. Your objection must be here, or you have none. What is the objection? You say you are afraid you cannot keep it. My thought, dear brother, is the very reverse – that you need not be afraid if you do not keep it. Are you afraid that you cannot conduct yourself always toward those of the opposite sex in private, as you do in public, in the presence of the Lord's people? If you have weaknesses along that line, dear brother, it is the very point which you need to fortify by just such a Vow as this.

C – I fear that I should forget, or that, if I remembered, I would not be equal to the test.

A – Dear brother, it is the New Creature that would make this Vow. The old creature would never make it. The New Creature resolves to do its best, resolves to God that, to the best of its ability, it will follow this course. And God says to the New Creature in return, "My grace is sufficient for thee; my strength is made perfect in weakness." What remains in the way, dear brother? Nothing, except it be a lack of faith on your part to accept the necessary grace and strength, or unless it be a lack of determination, which would mean a lack of consecration, which would imply that you were living in neglect of your original consecration vow, or baptismal vow. By all means, dear brother, remedy this matter. Exercise faith and determination to keep your original covenant, to keep your human will dead. This Vow will undoubtedly assist you in the carrying out of such a determination, and, if so, it will help you to make your calling and election sure. Without such a determination, apparently, you could never make it sure.

Now, for the last clause of the Vow. What is the objection here? Is there any?

C – My pride objects a little to the suggestion, though I acknowledge that the arrangement would be a safeguard and that, under its operation, no doubt, many would be preserved [R4349 : page 78] from indiscretions whose tendencies might not be spiritual, and might even be toward carnality.

A – Well, my dear Brother C, your two arguments in opposition are the strongest arguments in favor of the Vow. If you have any pride on the subject, mortify it, deaden it. "Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God." Do it for the sake of others, if not for your own sake, though you admit that you have need of it for your own sake. As for the second point you make, surely that is an argument in favor of the Vow. It is a barricade, coming between the Lord's people and special temptation. If it should save from injury only one for whom Christ died, would it not be worth while for us all to take the Vow? But I assure you, dear Brother C, that I have information which leads me to think that hundreds of the Lord's people would be safeguarded by that Vow, and be nearer to the Lord, more closely "Under the shadow of his wings," and, consequently, farther from the great Adversary, the Fowler of Psalm 91. I urge you, dear brother, to take the Vow, not as a new one, for your original vow of consecration was all-inclusive. It is positive. This Vow is in a sense negative. In this Vow we formulate a list of some of the things we will not do, because we believe that by their avoidance we would be brought nearer to the Lord and separated from the power of the Adversary, and be ready more fully to render assistance to the brethren, who, with ourselves, are struggling up Zion's Hill in the narrow way.

Do not take the Vow to please Brother Russell, nor as [R4350 : page 78] a fetish or charm to ward off the Adversary, but take it intelligently, as unto the Lord, and throw your influence in favor of it to all the dear brethren in Christ. There is a blessing in it, and the quicker you take it, the quicker you will share in that blessing, which many others are already confessing. "Make straight paths for your feet."

[R4350 : page 78]

HESE two words in our English are the same word in the Greek. The explanation of the matter is this: –

The blessings of God upon Abraham were ostensibly given to the Jewish nation, but not actually so. A hidden meaning, or spirit, made that blessing, under the Law, applicable only to Jesus, who alone kept the Law and inherited its blessings.

Secondly, That spiritual inheritance of the Law blessing came to all those who accepted Christ as the end of the Law and became united to him by consecration unto death. Thus, Spiritual Israelites are the heirs with Jesus of everything pertaining to the Abrahamic Covenant.

However, our Lord's object in keeping the Law was not merely to gain life for himself, but by dying and getting the new nature for himself to be able to give to natural Israel, in harmony with the Divine law, the blessings which they had originally received, but were unable to retain through weakness of the flesh. Thus, through Jesus' death, a testament – good-will – or blessing, was entailed upon natural Israel; but instead of giving them that blessing at once, by Divine arrangement it is given first to Spiritual Israel, the "Holy Nation," the "Royal Priesthood," the "Peculiar People;" it is given to these conditionally – that they will not keep it to themselves, but dying as members of the Body of Christ, they will join with their Head in his will, or testament, giving all those earthly rights as the Seed of Abraham, to fleshly Israel. As soon as all the members of the Testator shall have died, this New Testament or New Covenant will thereby be sealed, or made effective, operative toward natural Israel.

Thus Jesus was the minister, or servant, of the New Covenant which God proposed to make with Israel. Although he had a right to all that is to go to Israel, he kept it not, but freely surrendered it for us and them. We as his brethren, justified through faith in his blood (not through faith in the New Covenant), were permitted to become "able ministers of the New Covenant or New Testament" – able or fully qualified by our justification and by the terms of our sanctification, to be associated with our Lord and Head as sharers in his sufferings, proclaimers of his grace, announcers of the New Covenant, and assistants one of another as members of his Body in the filling up of the sufferings of Christ to the intended end.

[R4350 : page 78]


Enclosed newspaper clipping from a Dayton, Ohio, paper is worthy of more than passing notice as a piece of church news: –

"Rev. E. E. Baker, formerly of this city, but lately of Los Angeles, Cal., has withdrawn from the ministry to become western manager for the school of salesmanship. In his farewell to his congregation Mr. Baker said: –

"'The pastor of the present day has to preach what his congregation wants him to, or he won't keep his job. If a minister were not dependent upon the people he is supposed to uplift, we would have a broader, truer and more effective work from the pulpit to-day.'"

Mr. Baker was pastor of the First Lutheran church of Dayton and was one of the most popular clergymen of the city. He resigned his charge to accept a call to the Woodward Avenue Presbyterian church in Cleveland, and later accepted a call to the Los Angeles church.

About ten years ago Rev. Baker accepted from me, for criticism, a copy of your "What Say the Scriptures About Hell." After looking it over, he not only failed to criticise, but stated that a person could not preach from the pulpit all one thought. His taking this stand at this time seems to me to be the result of a ten-years' battle in his mind, and I am pleased to note that he now has the courage to stand by his convictions.

Your brother in Christ,



We again express to you our continued and growing love for yourself, and also for the work entrusted to your hands. We would also like to express our satisfaction with "the Vow" in many, many ways; and particularly blessed have we been by the prayer for you all there and the work in your hands and our humble part therein.

This Vow has been also the means of bringing home to us the fulness of the Consecration Vow long since made, and has caused us to be much more careful in our scrutiny of our daily life, not only in the home, but before the world as well. The Word has been made more precious to us than ever before, and we cannot but feel that the Vow has been instrumental in a large measure in this.

We are indeed pained to know that some are offended by that which it would appear could not offend any who do not desire to be somewhat entangled in the yoke of sin. The blessing to those who take it in its fulness will surely be manifest in the general Church.

With kindest regards to yourself and the friends, and especially to Brother Page, who, we note, is with you again, we are,

Very sincerely yours,

page 79

*Five years ago DAWN-STUDIES, VOL. V., was reset, and unfortunately the type was not exactly same size as before; and hence page for page they differ. The references given in these Berean Studies apply to the present edition, a copy of which postpaid will cost you but 30c. But keep your old edition, for unfortunately the new Bible Helps refer to its pages.
Questions on Study V. – The Baptism Witness of the Spirit

(1) What particular thought is marked by "The Day of Pentecost"? P. 209.

(2) Why is the blessing of the holy Spirit called a "spirit of adoption"? Who are adopted? And why? P. 210.

(3) When the holy Spirit of God is said to have been shed forth, does it convey the thought of personality or not? Are persons ever shed forth or can a person be shed forth? Could a spirit or influence be shed forth? P. 210.

(4) If the Father, the Son and the holy Spirit are really, as some claim, "one in person," how could the Son receive the holy Spirit from the Father and shed it forth? Is it not much more reasonable and much more in harmony with the teachings of the Scriptures to understand that the Father is one person, that the Son is another person, separate and distinct, and yet one in the sense of being fully in harmony? And is it not reasonable to think of this holy influence, this Divine power, as proceeding forth from the Fountain of all Grace, the Father, and coming properly to the Son, highly exalted to Divine glory and power? And is it not proper to think of the Son receiving this holy Spirit as the Advocate or Attorney for the "household of faith," and as the members of his Body, the Church, and dispensing it upon them? P. 211, par. 1.

(5) Some urge that Christians pray for fresh Pentecostal blessings. Is this suggestion Scriptural or not? Give the reasons. P. 211, par. 2.

(6) Which was the first baptism of the holy Spirit and what was its effect? And how was it manifested? P. 211, par. 3.

(7) Who did the baptizing of Jesus with water? Who with the holy Spirit? Who baptized the Church at Pentecost? P. 212, par. 2.

(8) What was the outward evidence of the spirit's baptism in Jesus' case? What in the Church's case at Pentecost? What in the case of the first Gentile convert, Cornelius? P. 212, par. 2; P. 213, par. 1.


(9) Why was there a special manifestation of the holy Spirit in the case of Cornelius? P. 213, par. 2.

(10) If a special manifestation by spirit baptism had not been granted to Cornelius, what would have been the effect upon all of us, who by birth are Gentiles and not Hebrews? P. 213, par. 3.

(11) Do we know of any other baptism of the holy Spirit than these three that apply to the Gospel Age? And are we not deprived of some blessing in that we have no such outpouring? If not, why not? Explain the philosophy of it. P. 214.

(12) What relationship subsists between water baptism and baptism of the holy Spirit, which we are now discussing? P. 215, par. 3.

(13) How should we regard the views of some who, contrary to the Scriptures, pray and agonize for a Pentecostal blessing? P. 216.

(14) Will there ever be another baptism of the holy Spirit? If so, when, where, upon whom? P. 217.

(15) What will be the effect of that spirit baptism? P. 218.


(16) Will the outpouring of the holy Spirit upon all flesh signify that all will be received into eternal fellowship with God? P. 218, par. 1.

(17) Is there anything peculiar in the phraseology of Joel's prophecy? State it. Then explain the statement in harmony with other Scriptures.

(18) In what sense can we properly consider the old men said to dream dreams as being the Ancient Worthies, whose philosophies were but vague visions – presentations of the wonderful Millennial facts which shall yet be fulfilled?

(19) In what way can we say that the young men of the future will see with clearness of vision and actually the things of which the Ancients but vaguely dreamed"? P. 220, par. 1.

(20) Will the holy Spirit, granted during the Millennium, be the same spirit or power or influence of God that Christians of the present age enjoy? P. 220, par. 1.

(21) Will those receiving it be similarly thrown out of harmony with the world? Why not?

(22) Will that baptism of the Spirit cost the baptised one suffering and self-denial, as the baptism of the Spirit now affects the Church? If it will not, why not? P. 220, par. 2.

(23) Will the baptising during the Millennium mean, as now, the begetting of the holy Spirit to a change of nature? If not, why not? P. 220, par. 3.

(24) What will it signify? P. 221.


(25) Was our Lord in the flesh the Second Adam? P. 221, par. 3.

(26) When did our Lord become the Second Adam? Cite the Scriptural proof. And explain how the Second Adam, a spirit being, could be the father of restored humanity on the earthly plane.

(27) While we are not to pray for fresh Pentecosts or spirit baptisms, may we pray for a filling of the holy Spirit? P. 222, par. 1.

(28) Cite a Scripture which authorizes us to pray for the holy Spirit. P. 222, par. 3.

(29) Would such prayers be miraculously answered, or by what means should we expect that the seeker would find and the knocker have the door of blessing opened up to him? P. 223.

(30) Is more than prayer necessary to the obtaining of the holy Spirit? If so, what more is essential? P. 223, par. 2.

(31) Quote and cite a Scripture which urges us to be filled with all the fulness of God? P. 224, par. 1.

(32) When our Lord assured us that our heavenly Father is pleased to give the holy Spirit to them that ask him, can this be properly understood to mean that the Father would wish us to ask for another God, a third person to the trinity of God? Is such a thought reasonable or connected with the promise? P. 224, par. 2.

(33) Where and how are we to seek and find God's further blessing and holy Spirit? P. 225.

page 80



Morning sessions in Concert Hall, Guernsey Building, 316 Washington avenue. Special service of Prayer, Praise and Testimony at 9:00 a.m., and discourse for the interested at 10:30 o'clock – Brother Russell will address the friends.

Afternoon session for the public at 3:00 o'clock in Lyceum Theatre. Subject, "Where are the Dead?"

Visiting friends cordially welcomed.


Discourse by Brother Russell at 3:00 p.m. Evening meeting for the interested at 7:30 o'clock. This will be a Question Meeting. Visiting friends cordially welcomed.

All meetings will be held in the Brooklyn Tabernacle, Nos. 13-17 Hicks street. Convenient to all cars and ferries – close to the old bridge terminus.

PITTSBURG N.S. (Allegheny), PA., MARCH 28

Session for the public at 3 p.m. in Allegheny Carnegie Hall, Corner Ohio and Federal Sts. Visiting friends heartily welcomed. Baptismal services for those desiring same and notifying, at 10:30 a.m. Question meeting at 7:30 p.m., Bible House Chapel, 610 Arch street.



Preaching at 3:00 p.m. Praise service at 7:00 p.m.; Berean Bible Study at 7:30 p.m. Convenient to New York via Subway, and Jersey City via P.R.R. Annex Ferry.


SERIES I., "The Plan of the Ages." gives an outline of the divine plan revealed in the Bible, relating to man's redemption and restitution: 386 pages, in embossed cloth, 25c. (1s. ½d.) India paper edition, 75c. (3s. 1½d.)

This volume has been published as a special issue of our journal – at the extremely low price of 5c. a copy, in any quantity, postage included. (To foreign countries, 9c.) This enables people of slender purse to herald far and wide the good tidings in a most helpful form.

SERIES II., "The Time is at Hand," treats of the manner and time of the Lord's second coming, considering the Bible Testimony on this subject: 370 pages, in embossed cloth, 25c. (1s. ½d.) India paper edition, 75c. (3s. 1½d.)

SERIES III., "Thy Kingdom Come," considers prophecies which mark events connected with the "Time of the End," the glorification of the Church and the establishment of the Millennial Kingdom; it also contains a chapter of the Great Pyramid, showing its corroboration of the dates and other teachings of the Bible: 384 pages, in embossed cloth, 25c. (1s. ½d.) India paper edition, 75c. (3s. 1½d.)

SERIES IV., "The Day of Vengeance," shows that the dissolution of the present order of things is in progress, and that all the panaceas offered are valueless to avert the predicted end. It marks in these events the fulfilment of prophecy, noting specially our Lord's great prophecy of Matt. 24 and Zech. 14:1-9: 660 pages, in embossed cloth, 30c. (1s. 3d.). India paper edition, 85c. (3s. 6½d.)

SERIES V., "The At-one-ment Between God and Man," treats an all- important subject – the hub, the center around which all the features of divine grace revolve. Its topic deserves the most careful and prayerful consideration on the part of all true Christians: 507 pages, in embossed cloth, 30c. (1s. 3d.) India paper edition, 85c. (3s. 6½d.)

SERIES VI., "The New Creation," deals with the Creative Week (Genesis 1 and 2), and with the Church, God's "New Creation." It examines the personnel, organization, rites, ceremonies, obligations and hopes appertaining to those called and accepted as members of the Body under the Head: 740 pages, in embossed cloth, 30c. (1s. 3d.) India paper edition, 85c. (3s. 6½d.)

The above prices include postage.

IN FULL LEATHER BINDING, gilt edges, the set (6 vols.) $3.00, (12s. 6d.), plus postage, 60c. (1s.).

MILLENNIAL DAWN is published in foreign languages as follows: German five vols, in Swedish, vols. 1, 2, 3 and 5; in; Dano-Norwegian, three vols.; in French, two vols.; in Italian, one vol.; in Greek two vols.; bound in cloth, uniform with English edition, prices the same.

The volumes in English are bound in two styles, MILLENNIAL DAWN in green cloth binding and SCRIPTURE STUDIES in maroon cloth. Specify which you desire.

page 81
March 1st

Herald of Christ's Presence

Other foundation can
no man lay

"Watchman, What of the Night?"
"The Morning Cometh, and a Night also!" Isaiah 21:11

A.D. 1909 – A.M. 6037
Views from the Watch Tower 83
Christian Nations Perplexed 83
Occult Phenomena 83
Another Harmony Suggestion 84
Brother Russell's Sermons 84
"Why Persecutest Thou Me?" 84
How Noble His Conversion! 85
Ransomer, Redeemer, Sin-Offering, Atoner, Advocate, Mediator 87
Confusion of Tongues in Babylon (Illustrated) 89
Christians First at Antioch 90
Christ Our Passover (Poem) 92
Missionary Spirit of Christianity 93
Reasons for a Layman's Change of Belief 94
Some Interesting Letters 95

"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 82

HIS Journal is one of the prime factors or instruments in the system of Bible Instruction, or "Seminary Extension," now being presented in all parts of the civilized world by the WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY, chartered A.D. 1881, "For the Promotion of Christian Knowledge." It not only serves as a class room where Bible Students may meet in the study of the divine Word, but also as a channel of communication through which they may be reached with announcements of the Society's Conventions and of the coming of its traveling representatives styled "Pilgrims," and refreshed with reports of its Conventions.

Our "Berean Lessons" are topical rehearsals or reviews of our Society's published "Studies," most entertainingly arranged, and very helpful to all who would merit the only honorary degree which the Society accords, viz., Verbi Dei Minister (V.D.M.), which translated into English is, Minister of the Divine Word. Our treatment of the International S.S. Lessons is specially for the older Bible Students and Teachers. By some this feature is considered indispensable.

This Journal stands firmly 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." (I Pet. 1:19; I Tim. 2:6.) Building up on this sure foundation the gold, silver and precious stones (I 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.

Address Business Communications and Remittances to
610, 612, 614 ARCH ST., ALLEGHENY, PA.
– OR TO –


[R4360 : page 82]




As the friends are learning the tunes of the Hymns of the Millennial Dawn, they are coming to a fuller appreciation of the fact that there is not another collection in the world its equal – either in high standard of quality or in lowness of price. These are well termed "333 Ageless Hymns"; because they never grow old. The tunes, too, are grand and never wear threadbare.

The suggestion that all sing the same hymns, and all know the tunes at our Conventions, has borne good fruit also. All this has led up to a demand for the hymnal in very cheap form. This demand we can now meet. Orders may be sent in at once. Prices as follows: –

Paper covered, 4 cents each, postpaid; per 100, charges collect, $2.00. In Great Britain, (2d.) per copy; (10s.) per 100.

Cloth covered, 6 cents each, postpaid; per 100, charges collect, $3.50. In Great Britain, (3d.) per copy; (12s., 6d.) per 100.

[R4383 : page 82]


By April 10th we hope to have the Vow Poem and also in Prose in good supply. We can fill your orders by mail, postage prepaid, as follows: –

On Satin Ribbon, 10 cents; three for 25 cents.

On silk finished paper, 25 cents per 100.

page 82


On account of the moving which is now in progress, the friends would do well to remember that quite probably there will be delay in the filling of orders now being received, and also in the answering of correspondence – for a few days only, we trust.

[R4350 : page 83]


UR dear friends, who do not believe in a future Millennium, attempt to prove that we are now enjoying the blessings of Christ's Kingdom, and point us to the Christian nations of the world, called "Christendom." They are greatly perplexed when we inquire why if Christ is King he should have different forms of government, and why his different governments for centuries have fought each other and today are wasting the blessings of our day on armies and navies and fortifications?

Alas! the name "Christendom" is a delusion. Satan is still "the prince of this world" and the term "Satandom" would be the truer title. But our "wily" Adversary is so crafty that he puts darkness for light and deludes the poor world. Thank God that soon Satan shall be bound for a thousand years that he may deceive the nations (peoples) no more, until the thousand years are finished. – Rev. 20:3.

Meantime, however, some useful purposes are being served by the military expenditures. Employment is being given to millions of men not only in military and naval services, but also in the building of guns and forts and battleships, – the mining of the ore, the smelting and rolling of the steel, etc. And not the poor, but the rich, foot the bills in taxes. The following from the Atlantic Monthly is interesting: –


All the great nations are today facing deficits, caused in every case by the military and naval experts. Into what a tangle the finances of Russia and Japan have been brought by militarists is known to everybody. Germany has, in a single generation, increased her national debt from eighteen million dollars to more than one billion dollars. The German Minister of Finance looks wildly around in search of new sources of national income. Financial experts confess that France is approaching the limit of her sources of revenue. Her deficit is created by her army and navy. The British government is always seeking for new devices by means of which to fill a depleted treasury. Her Dreadnoughts keep her poor. Italy has for years staggered on the verge of bankruptcy because she carries an overgrown army on her back. Even our own rich republic faces this year a deficit of over a hundred million dollars, largely due to the one hundred and thirty millions we are spending on our navy. Mr. Cortelyou has called our attention to the fact that while in thirty years we have increased our population by 85 per cent. and our wealth by 185 per cent., we have increased our national expenses by 400 per cent.


Ecclesiastical circles in Germany are much exercised at the rapidly increasing desertions from the State Church.

Although the process of official separation from the Church is one of the greatest difficulty, delay and expense, it is computed that in Berlin alone considerably over 10,000 persons have severed their connection with the Church during the past year. So great is the number of those who are notifying [R4351 : page 83] their intention to terminate their membership that special offices have been opened in Berlin to receive their applications, which now number between 300 and 400 daily. These applications are almost altogether from members of the Lutheran Church, and hardly affect the Roman Church at all. Added to this is the significant fact that the numbers of communions, baptisms, and church marriages are rapidly diminishing. It is computed that for every five marriages celebrated five years ago in church and registry office only three are now celebrated in both places, the other two being satisfied with a civil ceremony alone.

Among the working classes, especially those attached to the Social Democratic party, there exists a bitter hostility to the clergy and all institutions which they control. The clergy have not shown themselves sympathetic to democratic wishes, siding on almost all occasions where conflict exists between poor and rich, between possessors and dispossesed, with the class in power. There is, moreover, a widespread feeling that the clergy are paid far too high salaries, yet notwithstanding this large additions have been made recently to their incomes.

Much dissatisfaction is also felt at the methods employed by the ecclesiastical authorities in collecting those dues assigned to them by law. Defaulters are as ruthlessly treated as though their debt were a civil one, and it not infrequently happens that defaulters' goods and chattels are sold to meet church demands.

But probably the chief cause of the movement against the Church is the spread of agnosticism among all classes of the population, and the fact that even in those universities where until recently an orthodox theology was taught, there are now few chairs from which ultra Liberal views are not proclaimed. – London Daily Chronicle.


The newspapers far and near are publishing the following item, which can be understood only from the Bible standpoint, namely, that humanity is beset by the fallen angels ("demons") except as protected by the divine power. And that now, in the end of the age, as a part of the great test or trial of the world, the divine protection will be relaxed in considerable measure. And that as a result occult phenomena will increase human delusions with a view to various ensnarements, mental and physical. The "very elect" will be shielded by the Truth and by its holy Spirit, keeping their hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (Matt. 24:24.) We read: –

"Fred E. Foskett, a young machinist of Orange, Mass., has attracted the attention of Prof. James, of Harvard, and other leading members of the Boston branch of the American Society of Psychical Research, who gave him tests recently.

"The first of the tests was held at the home of Prescott F. Hall on Saturday afternoon. Prof. Wm. James and several well-known professors were there, and test conditions as nearly perfect as possible were made. Foskett was seated in the center of a room before a small table. There he performed every feat of the Hindu fakir and the Buddhist adept.

"On the table was an ordinary kerosene lamp with a chimney and a flat wick, a pan and several quarts of alcohol. According to the reports of those present, Foskett succeeded in every test. The first test was made with ordinary sulphur matches. Foskett lighted half a dozen, one after the other, [R4351 : page 84] holding them with one hand so close to the fingers of the other that the flames curled around them. He then lighted the lamp and held his hands above the wick, while the flames curled over them and the soot completely blackened them.

"From one of these tests to another Foskett went, while the scientists held their breath and watched every motion until he came to the climax. In this he poured a quart of alcohol into the basin, lighted it and then washed his hands, bathing them for nearly ten minutes in the burning fluid, washing it up over his arms and to his face – literally bathing himself in blazing alcohol. That completed the tests for Saturday. As soon as they were finished the physicians present examined Foskett, and they could not find the slightest trace of a burn or blister. Foskett then told them that the flames did not give him the slightest sensation of burning, that he felt comfortably warm and pleasant, and nothing more.

"The second tests were made at the home of Prof. James in Cambridge, and under the same conditions as the day before. Considerable mystery is thrown about them. Mr. Hall said they were so startling that he did not care to discuss them until they had been tried again. Another scientist who was there said that Foskett performed all of his experiments of the day before, and then 'ABSOLUTELY AND POSITIVELY DEMATERIALIZED.'" "He seemed to dissolve into thin air as we watched him. Was gone forty-one seconds and then materialized."


A brother in Present Truth had a peculiar experience lately. He was called to the house by cries of Fire! He found that the lighted lamp had fallen over on the bookstand. The oil was blazing over the little table, burning the books, etc. In desperation he carried the stand out and threw it, lamp, books and all, into the snow. The blaze encircled his arms and came into his face and he expected to be terribly burned. To his surprise not even the hair of his arms was singed.

After smothering the burning carpet he went to pick up the things thrown into the snow and found his WATCH TOWER Bible and Diaglott still burning, whereas the Bible of his wife (a Methodist) was not at all burned, though on the same table.

The wife reasoned that this was a mark of God's displeasure against our publications. We argue reversely, that it marked Satanic displeasure.

This reminds us of the case of a young man obsessed of evil spirits. A brother in the Truth heard of his case and called to advise him how to get rid of the evil spirits – taking along the Spiritism pamphlet and a copy of the WATCH TOWER. When he attempted to enter the room where the youth was, the latter became so agitated that the Brother retired. Later he entered without the literature all right. By conversation he got the youth to exercise his will against the spirits and finally got him reading.

Gradually he regained his freedom, and when last we heard, he was rejoicing in the Lord and had symbolized his full consecration by water baptism.


Some who have visited the Bible House and participated in our morning hymn and prayer, and the subsequent thanksgiving at the breakfast table and reading of "The Vow" and discussion of the MANNA text offer a suggestion. They desire "The Vow" in some form convenient for reading with the MANNA, and to know the numbers of the hymns to be sung, that they may join with us in voice as well as in heart.

Undoubtedly this spirit of oneness and brotherhood will increase as we get the love of God more and more shed abroad in our hearts. The Bible House Family – henceforth the "Bethel Home," deeply reciprocates these precious sentiments, and will sing and pray and discuss with the more pleasure because of this fresh evidence of the oneness of the family of God everywhere.

Our worship hour is 7:00 a.m., except Sundays, at 8:00 a.m. We have long given the choice of hymn to each in turn. Hereafter we will permit each to choose in advance and publish in advance the choice monthly, as follows: –


(1) 19; (2) 121; (3) 155; (4) 105; (5) 198; (6) 193; (7) 7; (8) 179; (9) 176; (10) 224; (11) 263; (12) 307; (13) 312; (14) 233; (15) 208; (16) 325; (17) 119; (18) 87; (19) 144; (20) 268; (21) 114; (22) 273; (23) 116; (24) 63; (25) 313; (26) 4; (27) 72; (28) 194; (29) 93; (30) 217; (31) 264.

Our provision for copies of "The Vow" for use in the MANNA book is in the form of Book-marks, described on second page of this issue.


Some of the dear friends appear fearful lest Brother Russell should become popular and then vain. Take no anxious thought on the subject, dear friends. Leave matters in the Lord's hands. He can give you rest and keep you from stumbling either into cold opposition or even lukewarmness.

As already expressed, our expectation is that the Truth will have a very brief season of wonderful prosperity, which will draw the attention of Christendom to it through the pens and tongues of friends and foes. Even so it was in the close of our Lord's ministry, until the "rulers" said, "The world is gone after him," and took counsel to kill him. As the change of sentiment came quickly and those who hailed our Lord as King five days later cried out "Crucify him," so here the change may come quickly also.

What the Newspaper Syndicate now handling Brother Russell's sermons may sometimes say of him in laudatory terms, by no means represents Brother Russell's humble estimate of his own talents. Publishers must be allowed to use their own ideas of what they publish and how they introduce it. They recognize the fact that the sermons are striking a responsive chord with many of their readers; and they must make the unresponsive feel that there is merit and dignity in the service so that they will not oppose it.

Brother Russell has tried sending out the sermons without his name – merely as sermons from Brooklyn Tabernacle. But some of the newspaper publishers object to this, declaring that the personal feature is necessary. Let us then worry less over each other and specially guard our own hearts in this evil day; lest any root of bitterness and fault finding spring up to turn us aside. In a word, let us leave to God his supervising work and look for and thankfully use the opportunities he may be pleased to grant us in his blessed service. We "hold the Head" when we thus recognize the Lord's headship of his own work. Any other attitude is dangerous.

[R4355 : page 84]

ACTS 9:1-19. – APRIL 18 –

Golden Text: – "And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?" – V. 4.

AVING already noted the establishment of the Gospel in Judea and Samaria and the opening of the door of opportunity to the Gentiles, we come now to the consideration of the spread of the message amongst the Gentiles. This brings us into touch with the great Apostle Paul, whose labors in the ministry will be the theme of the International Lessons for the remainder of this year.

The Apostle to the Gentiles had two names, Saul and Paul. Of Jewish parentage he was named after Israel's first King, Saul; but, as his father was a Roman citizen, it was proper that he should receive a special name with such and Paul was chosen – possibly because in the Greek language the name Saul (Saulus) signified "waddling." We find that after St. Paul's ministry reached to foreign lands he adopted and used his Roman citizenship name exclusively.

His family stock was strongly Jewish and religious – Pharisees. This accounted for his not being sent to the University of Tarsus, but instead to Jerusalem to the School of Gamaliel. Nevertheless, quite probably his early association with learned Greeks helped to give him mental poise, which [R4355 : page 85] was afterward helpful to him when he addressed all classes.

Tradition has it that his parents were quite wealthy, as their position of Roman citizenship implies. Paul's education in Gamaliel's School further implies this, as that was an advanced School or Seminary, attended by few except the sons of the rich. It is surmised that Paul's conversion to Christianity isolated him completely from his home and family and deprived him of an income previously enjoyed, all of which he gladly forsook for Christ's sake. The fact that he had a trade at tent-making is not out of harmony with this, for it is the custom of the rich to give their sons trades. The fact that St. Paul was poor and needed to use his trade seems to imply that his financial allowances were discontinued. His later condition, on the contrary, seems to imply that he afterward inherited a patrimony, which enabled him to live in his own hired house, with numerous conveniences, enjoyed at that time only by the wealthy, and surely not by prisoners in general. It is remarkable that money matters are scarcely mentioned in connection with our Lord and the Apostles, the coins in sufficient amount for taxes and the collection of donations for sufferings at Jerusalem at one time being the only exceptions we recall. We are glad to follow this same course in connection with the present Harvest Work and to commend it to all the Household of Faith everywhere.

Although St. Paul declared, as his enemies would be inclined to say, that in bodily presence he was weak and his speech contemptible, nevertheless, in offset to this, we recall that at Lystra the populace compared him to their god Mercury and thus impliedly complimented his general brilliancy and vigor of manner or both. Dr. Peloubet summarizes this great man's character in the following glowing terms, which we fully endorse: –

"He was deeply religious, whole-souled, ardent, energetic, persevering, broad-minded, affectionate, loving. He was great in more ways, probably, than any other man of human history. He was a great traveler, a great author, a great orator, a great organizer, a great missionary, a great philosopher. All of this genius was yielded in absolute consecration to Jesus Christ. He is the Moses of the New Testament. The two stand supreme amongst men."


We must not use this word conversion in its ordinary sense. We must remember St. Paul's own words to the effect that he was a strong believer in a true God and fully consecrated to his service, not in a formal or nominal sense, but heartily, energetically, with a zeal which persecuted the Church. He had a zeal toward God, but it was not according to knowledge. When God supplied him with the knowledge, it did not change his heart, his impulse, his devotion; it merely changed the direction of his activities. The word convert signifies to turn around. Paul was not turned from a wrong condition of heart to a right one, but he was turned about in his course of action. He served the same God, and with the same zeal, but intelligently and correctly. It is important that we note this carefully, so that we shall not expect God's dealings to be after this manner with unbelievers. He does not smite them down, but, as the Scriptures say, draws them. And he draws only such as are in the right attitude of heart – "Feeling after him." – Acts 17:27.

St. Paul's experience may find more of a parallel in the Christian Church, amongst those consecrated to the Lord, but blinded by superstition. Such may violently persecute those of "this way," and may do so in all "good conscience," as did St. Paul. There is hope for all such, that in some manner the Lord will cause the eyes of their understanding to open. We have more hope of the conversion from error to Truth of those who, in their blindness, are bitter persecutors of "this way," than we have for those who are cold and indifferent or lukewarm. The Lord stands pledged to help those whose hearts are right toward him. True, many, like St. Paul, may weep bitter tears in future years over their misdeeds of ignorance, over their failure to give proper heed to the instructions of the Scriptures, but in the end the Lord will deliver them. On the contrary, however, there is little hope for any who have once tasted of the good Word of God and the powers of the coming age and been made partakers of the holy Spirit – if such shall fall away we may do all in our power for their recovery, but cannot have much hope. As the Apostle remarks, it will be impossible to renew those who have gone to this length.


The previous lesson narrated the progress of the Truth, the Lord blessing the activities of its followers; but still Saul of Tarsus was energetically opposing the Lord's followers and, as an authority in the Law before the Sanhedrin and the high priest and the people, he was carrying the persecution with a high hand. It was evidently because of his consent that Stephen was stoned. His latest move was to get orders from the high priest to bring the Christians of Damascus to Jerusalem to be tried before the Sanhedrin, rather than that they should be tried in their local synagogue. The authority had been secured and Paul, as a representative of the highest Jewish authority of the time, accompanied by a band of men, possibly zealots like himself or possibly commissioned servants, a sort of police squad, neared Damascus at about midday. Suddenly, in the midst of the noonday brightness, came a still brighter light, which fell specially upon Saul, and in the midst of which he sank to the ground quite overcome. Was it a sun-stroke? No! It was a vision "Above the brightness of the sun at noonday" – a vision of the Christ, the Son of God in Glory. A voice was also heard, not only by Saul, but by his companions, though they comprehended not the words as he did. He heard in the Hebrew tongue the message from the Lord, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?" The bewildered Saul queried, "Who art thou, Lord?" And the answer came, "I am Jesus, whom thou persecutest." [The remaining words, "It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks; and he, trembling and astonished, said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" are not found in the old manuscripts.] "Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do."

What an opening of the eyes of Saul's understanding occurred at that moment, when he lost his natural sight by reason of the Lord's mercy upon him! We can better imagine than explain what must have been the course of his reasoning. With a self-righteousness he had been a believer in God against heresy and heretics. He had thought of himself, doubtless, as having a specially large degree of Divine approval, because of his untiring zeal – and now suddenly to be told that Jesus was really the Messiah! This was the significance of our Lord's first reproof, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me!" Saul thought verily that he had been doing God service in persecuting those whom he believed were a little band of heretics, amongst whom were not many great, wise, learned or noble. Now, to his astonishment, he found that the Glorious One of the vision claimed generally the unwise, ignoble, poor as his brethren, his "members," whose sufferings were a part of his own.


The zealous Pharisee, loyal and appointed to the putting down of heretics, who so prided himself upon his zeal for the Lord, in one moment was humbled to the dust, not only literally falling to the ground, but crest-fallen in his mind and [R4356 : page 85] self-esteem. The city of Damascus, which he had expected to enter with great dignity as the representative of the Jewish High Priest, the head of the Jewish religious system, he entered very differently. Opening his eyes after the voice had told him to go into the city, Saul found himself totally blind, so that he required to be led by the hand. So overwhelmed was he that for three days he did neither eat nor drink. He was doubtless acquainted at Damascus or possibly stopping at a hotel, but evidently on the most aristocratic street of the city, called "Straight," because it was really straight, as were so few of the streets of old-time cities. It was a very noble thoroughfare for those times of narrow streets. Its width was one hundred feet and it had a colonnade of marble columns separating the roadway from the building.


If one mentioned Ananias in the Scriptures was convicted of falsity toward the Lord, another of the same name was found faithful. He resided at Damascus. To him the Lord appeared in a vision directing him fully as to how he [R4356 : page 86] should find Saul and what he should do to him for the opening of his eyes. Ananias protested that there must be some mistake, because this man Saul had done much evil to the saints of Jerusalem. He knew also the purpose of his visit to Damascus.

The Lord's commendation of Saul to Ananias was, "Behold, he prayeth!" Ah! how much of a story is told in those three words! How sure we may be that those who similarly humbly address the Almighty are in no injurious mood! True, there are hypocritical prayers, just as our Lord illustrated in the parable of the Pharisees and the publican, but, taken as a whole, private prayer may be considered a sure index to an honest, contrite heart. In our estimation, only the praying ones, even of the Lord's consecrated people, are at all likely to win the prize. If they do not love the Lord enough to render thanks for his mercies and to approach the throne of the heavenly grace and obtain mercy and strength to help in every time of need, then they are not likely to have sufficient strength to stand the trials and tests. We wish that we could feel sure that all of our readers are faithful and earnest in the practice of prayer. We are sure of many of them, but as we long for their progress, we urge them to embrace this great privilege heartily.

Ananias is the first one accredited with the use of the word "Saints" in connection with Jesus' followers. As we well understand, the word signifies "holy ones," "sanctified ones." Surely it is a fitting name for all who profess and endeavor to follow in the footsteps of their Master. Let us each try to be worthy of the name, whether it ever be applied to us or not.


In answer to Ananias' protest, in the vision the Lord said to him, "Go thy way, for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel, for I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake." Saul was peculiarly fitted by birth, by education and by temperament for the service for which the Lord chose him. He was a chosen vessel, and one of large capacity. And yet he was only a vessel. The good things that vessel was to carry were the Divine message of love and mercy. So it is with all the called "members" of the Church. We are merely vessels. The excellency, the merit, the worth, is of our Lord. We are merely servants to him and to his Church. We are not to understand that Saul was chosen to go to heaven, but chosen to be a vessel of mercy. But even in this respect his choice was dependent upon his own willingness. Speaking of the matter himself he declares, "I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision." Elsewhere the Apostle tells us that the "Lord called me from my mother's womb." Presumably he meant that the Divine providence evidently had ordered and arranged that he should be born under certain conditions and environments which tended to make of him just such a vessel for the Gospel as he now was. This choice did not interfere with his free agency, however. He himself declares that he might still become a castaway, even after he had preached to others. The same lesson is appropriate to all of us. The Lord may order our affairs so as to give us special opportunities and privileges in connection with his work, but he never interferes with our hearts – to be in his service against our will. We may at any time draw back from the service, "But," said St. Paul, "if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him." – Heb. 10:38.

The chosen vessel was to bear the message of grace

(1) To the Gentiles;

(2) To Kings;

(3) To Israel.

We can see the propriety of preaching to the Gentiles first in order. We can see also that such a person as St. Paul had special opportunities for serving the Truth, on such occasions as those in which he appeared and reasoned before Felix, Augustus, Agrippa and others – possibly before the Emperor Nero. (2 Tim. 4:16,17.) His commission also mentioned Israel, and we remember how his preaching in various quarters was "to the Jew first."


How strangely it sounds, "For I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake!" Is any other service than that of our Lord ever entered on these terms – promises of suffering? Surely not. Yet how honest for the Lord not to call his disciples under any misapprehension of the facts! We are called to suffer with him – to sacrifice ourselves, our earthly interests – to share his Cross and, by these experiences, to prove that we have been begotten of his Spirit, and that it has been shed abroad in our hearts and constituted us copies of God's dear Son. Faithfulness to this cause insures the reward of joint-heirship with our Redeemer in his Kingdom; nor can those Kingdom honors be hoped for on any other terms. The Apostle understood this and seems to give the thought, also, that the more any of the Lord's followers can share of the sufferings of Christ, in the flesh, proportionately will be his share in the glory which by and by shall be revealed to us – in the "members of his Body."

The expression, "For my name's sake," is comprehensive. It includes everything connected with the Divine Plan, of which Jesus, the Messiah, is the center. It includes sufferings for the Truth's sake, because the Truth is vitally connected with the "only Name." It includes the brethren because they have named the name of Christ and they are under his name as members of his Body. It includes all the work of the Millennial Kingdom because he is the Head of it all, and his name, his honor, is associated with it all. Let us, therefore, be glad of any sufferings which come to us directly or indirectly, because of our faithfulness to the "precious name" and these various interests which are associated with it.


Assured by the Lord's leadings that the way was open to him to serve the Truth, Ananias hesitated no longer. In full confidence of faith he addressed Saul in the most kindly terms, saying, "Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the holy Spirit." (V. 12.) Promptly there fell from Saul's eyes something resembling fish scales. Evidently the intense light had destroyed the surface of the eye, which now peeled off. His sight was restored, though to what degree of perfection is questionable. It seems evident that for the remainder of life he was afflicted with weak eyes, which hindered his writing his own epistles, except one which, he remarked, was written in large characters. We can fancy the disadvantage he would be under in some respects by reason of this affliction, that his bodily presence would be much less attractive than before, and that nothing but the Truth behind his words could longer influence his auditors.

We can fancy the sympathy which St. Paul's affliction called forth among the loving brethren. "I bear you witness, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me." – Gal. 4:15.

The Apostle as a chosen vessel was to have a very conspicuous part in the Divine program, in the introduction of the Gospel, and his own humility was a very essential matter. Doubtless the Lord foresaw that this remnant of his eye trouble would ever keep him in remembrance of the great blunder he made in his zeal without knowledge, and of the Lord's mercy to him. These two thoughts would doubtless keep him humble and trustful and probably provide a great blessing to him, even though he entreated for its removal, until the Lord indicated otherwise, saying, "My grace is sufficient for thee." (2 Cor. 12:9.) Ah, says the Apostle, if having this affliction means more Divine grace, then I am content to keep it and would be sorry to part with it. Let us, dear friends, view our trials, persecutions, difficulties, thus – as of Divine permission for our good. Let us be assured that he who has accepted us in the bonds of love and who has begotten us with his Spirit and called us sons, is not unmindful of our highest interests and would not suffer us to be tried and tempted except as he would make all such experiences work out harmoniously to our highest welfare.

Saul had been praying and fasting for three days and nights and now realized the Lord's forgiving love, as manifested in the sending of Ananias, in harmony with his dream and with a recovery of a measure of his sight. With this evidence of Divine favor he would start afresh. First he would be baptized and thus symbolize his allegiance to the [R4357 : page 87] Crucified One. Then he would eat for the refreshment of his body that the strength might be used in the service of his new Master.

We read that forthwith Saul preached Christ in the synagogue of Damascus. We admire his courage, his honesty! We do well to let the illustration quicken our own minds and hearts with appreciation that we may be fortified for similar and all emergencies – to use every opportunity to serve the Lord and to undo anything that we have previously done amiss. Presumably the Apostle felt his need of special preparation for the ministry of the Cross of Christ. At all events it is presumed that it was shortly after his conversion, shortly after his preaching at Damascus, that he turned aside into the desert of Arabia. It is possible that those three years were spent studying out the various features of the Divine Program. Doubtless there he received visions which filled him with enthusiasm for the work of his great message, the blessings of which have come down through all age and are still with us.

"Lives of great men, all remind us,
We should make our lives sublime;
And, departing, leave behind us,
Footprints on the sands of time."

[R4352 : page 87]

DMITTING that we are not justified by the degree of our knowledge of the Divine Plan, but by the fulness of our faith, we are, nevertheless, deeply interested in every expression of the Scriptures bearing upon the philosophy of the great fact which the arms of our faith have grasped as a whole. The fact was as large when first we laid hold upon it as it is today, but we did not see its details as we now see them. And quite possibly there may be certain features which will yet more fully open to our eyes of understanding in the future. Our proper attitude is one of gratitude to God for knowledge of the blessed fact that his forgiveness of sins is somehow or other made possible to us through the death of Jesus. It was the appreciation of that fact which justified us and drew us to the Lord in consecration, saying, "The love of Christ constraineth us." (II Cor. 5:14.) Since that blessed moment it has been our privilege to go on and on, growing in grace and in knowledge and appreciation, in love and self-sacrificing obedience. Let us continue in this way and permit no amount of philosophizing to rob us of the blessings and privileges already secured. Some seem in danger of so doing – in danger of quarreling over philosophies which they cannot see; and, by the wrong spirit fostered through the quarreling, they seem in danger of losing all the blessings ever enjoyed. Let us not follow such a course, but, while maintaining our justifying faith and spirit of devotion, let us seek to appreciate every feature of Divine Truth presented to us in the Divine Word.

The Gospel message is the good tidings respecting a Ransom sacrifice, on account of which God may be just and yet be the justifier of the believer. Of the Ransomer God gave the first intimation to father Abraham, yet without explaining the particulars. He merely intimated that in some manner Divine Justice would be satisfied by Abraham's offspring, the Messiah, and that in consequence a blessing would go through his Seed to all the families of the earth. When our Lord was introduced as the Seed of Abraham he made the first statement of the philosophy of the Divine Plan by which, as Abraham's Seed, he was to bring the promised blessing. He declared, "The Son of man came to give his life a ransom for many." (Matt. 20:28.) This comprehensive statement of the Ransom was not elaborated – no details were given. However, in the Law to Israel, God prefigured and elaborated the Ransom, not in such a manner that all would understand it, but in types and shadows, which in his "due time" he proposed should be made clear and plain to such as would have the proper eye of understanding, enlightened by the holy Spirit.


The word Ransom, as we have already pointed out, signifies a price to correspond. Adam, disobedient and a sinner, was condemned to death and needed to be Ransomed or Redeemed or Purchased back from death and from the condemnation of Justice. As he was but one man, so it needed but one man to Redeem him, to Ransom him. But it needed a perfect man, and there was none such. And so God sent Jesus, holy, harmless and undefiled, to be the Ransom of Adam and incidentally of his race, because all were involved through his disobedience. When, therefore, Jesus "died, the just for the unjust," on Calvary, a price sufficient had been laid down to redeem Adam and his race.

But this merit has not yet been placed in the hands of Justice. Merely the merit of the sacrifice of a perfect human life was laid down in death, and it belonged to our Lord Jesus when the Father raised him from the dead by his own power.

What did the risen Jesus do with the merit of his own sacrifice? We answer, that forty days later he ascended up on high, there to appear in the presence of God for us – believers, the "household of faith." This was pictured in the Law. As Jesus said, "Moses wrote of me." (John 5:46.) In the type Aaron, the high priest, typified the consecrated Jesus anointed with the holy Spirit, the High Priest of our profession. As Aaron took the blood of the bullock, which represented his own blood or life or sacrifice, and went with it into the Most Holy and sprinkled it upon the mercy-seat to make for himself (and the under-priests) and for his house (the tribe of Levi) atonement for sins, so did our Lord Jesus do in the antitype. He took not the blood of the bullock, but "his own blood," the merit of his own sacrifice. He sprinkled it not for the literal priests and Levites, the typical people, but for the antitypical Royal Priesthood, and Levites (or servants) of the "household of faith."

What has this to do with the Ransom? We answer, This is the philosophy of it, as set before us in the Scriptures. It is not God's intention nor our expectation that all or many will be able to understand this Divine philosophy. As our Lord says, It is "given" to some to understand and not "given" to others. (Matt. 13:11-17.) We write in hope of assisting only those to whom it is "given to know the Mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven." We write not to those outsiders to whom it is not intended these mysteries shall be understood or made known – either because they never came into the right attitude of heart to receive them, or because they subsequently left that proper condition of loving devotion, humility and teachableness.

So, then, our Ransom sacrifice was presented before the Father when Jesus ascended up on high after his resurrection; and, according to the God-given type, it was presented, not for all the people, but merely for the antitypical "household of faith." The Sin-Offering, the offering which Christ made to Divine Justice in offset to man's sin, was the Ransom. None but he could have given it, as we have shown, and he could have given it for one of the race only, or for all of the race of Adam, as he might choose to apply it. As a price it was sufficient for all, but for how many of the all he would choose to apply it rested entirely upon himself and the Divine Plan, which he was following, although, as the type shows, he did not apply it for all, but for merely the "household of faith" – "for us." Nevertheless it is ultimately to apply for all, "a ransom for all," not only in the sense that it was sufficient to meet the penalty for all, but additionally in the sense that it will yet be made available to all – indirectly – by passing the merit through the "household of faith," through the "members of his Body."

The waters of a great spring are set apart for the supply of a great city. To serve the intended purposes it is passed through numerous pipes and spigots. It is the same water in each spigot because from that same spring. In partaking of its refreshment we might indeed refer to the spigot from which we drew it, or we might refer to the spring itself or sometimes to the one and sometimes to the other. So in thinking of the merit of our Lord Jesus' sacrifice we should remember that all sin-atonement merit sprang from our Lord's sacrificial death – whenever applied and however. He is the Ransomer. His blood is the blood of Atonement [R4352 : page 88] for the sin of Adam, which brought the death sentence upon him and his race. No one adds to that Ransom and no one takes away from it. In the divine plan it is appropriated to the Church, "the elect," in order to let us have the privilege of joining our Lord as his "members" and by dying with him; as sharers of his sacrifice we merely pass his merit on to natural Israel and the world through the New Covenant. He is the spring, we are the pipes.


In Tabernacle Shadows of the Better Sacrifices (published in 1880) we have already elaborated this subject. We therein show that Christ, instead of applying the merit of his sacrifice directly to the whole world, eventually effects the same thing by applying his merit to the comparatively small class drawn of the Father during this age. The Father draws (John 6:42) to the Son for "justification by faith in his blood" those who love righteousness and hate iniquity, and who are feeling after God, if haply they might find him. The Son receives these and acquaints them with the fact that he has already made atonement for sin and presented it on behalf of "every one that believeth." And then he guides them to the further privilege of this Gospel Age – that they may become joint-sacrificers with him and thus become his Bride and Joint-Heir in his Mediatorial Kingdom, which is soon to be established for the blessing of the unbelieving world – yet undrawn, unjustified, unblessed. The Son will draw them during the Millennium. – John 12:32.

Why should the merit of Christ Jesus be thus placed upon the "household of faith" and not upon the world of mankind in general?

We answer that this feature of the Divine Plan of the Ages is, as yet, a "Mystery" to all except the "saints." To the latter God reveals this great privilege – that by it he will "bring many sons to glory," under the Captaincy of Jesus, and that these will be called "his brethren," "his members," "his bride," according to the various standpoints of observation. In order that they may share his nature and its glory they must share his sufferings, "his death"; thus, since he must suffer, the just for the unjust, so these, being justified through faith in his blood, must similarly suffer, the just for the unjust, as his "members," and as "filling up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ;" not afflictions left behind in the sense of the Redeemer's incompetency to make the full Atonement for the sins of the whole world, but sins left behind in the sense that our Lord did not apply his own merit directly to the world of unbelievers. Their sins are left behind that the merit of Christ, passing through the elect Church, might benefit them just as much in the end, and additionally might give the "elect" of this age the opportunity of suffering with their Lord and Head, in order that in due time they might be glorified with him. – Col. 1:24.

This is all clearly shown in the type of Leviticus 16. As [R4354 : page 88] the High Priest's own personal sacrifice is represented in the bullock, so the sacrifice of his adopted members, justified by his blood, is shown in the secondary or supplemental sacrifice of the goat. All who have studied the subject remember well that everything that was done to the bullock was done to the goat, and that thus our Lord in advance foretold and illustrated that all who will be members of the "elect," the Royal Priesthood, must be copies of God's dear Son, the great High Priest, by whose sacrifice they were justified. Again, these are they who are called to walk in the footsteps of Jesus, in the "narrow way" – the way of self-sacrifice, self-denial, the way of the cross.

We have repeatedly called attention to the fact that these highly honored ones were originally "children of wrath even as others," and many of them "strangers and aliens from God," but brought nigh unto him "by the blood of the cross" and still closer through the sufferings of this Gospel Age, this antitypical Atonement Day of sin-offerings.

Who cannot see that our Lord offered himself once for all, a sin-offering? and that Christ dieth no more than "once for all"? Who cannot see that there were two distinct sin-offerings in the type – the bullock and the goat? Who cannot see that there are two sin-offerings during this Gospel Age, our Lord, our Redeemer, the center of all the merit, and the sacrifice of his Church, his Body, to whom his merit is applied? Who cannot see that these two offerings, the bullock (Jesus) and the goat (the members of his Body), are the "better sacrifices" mentioned by the Apostle Paul? (Heb. 9:23.) Who cannot see that these are the sin-offerings which alone were burned outside the camp? (Lev. 16:27.) Who cannot see that the Apostle urges us to present our bodies living sacrifices and to "Go forth unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach"? (Heb. 13:13.) So surely as two and two make four, we who go without the camp with our Lord are therefore participants in the sin-offerings, exactly as the Apostle declares.


We have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous. The world has no advocate with the Father, because they do not believe and have not accepted Jesus as their Redeemer and Advocate: he has not "appeared" for them, but "for us." When he appeared in the presence of God for us, just after his ascension on high, he presented his merit for believer's "sins that are past by the forbearance of God." He did not apply his merit for our future sins, transgressions, trespasses, weaknesses, ignorances, etc. As the basis of his work as our Advocate, our Lord retained a measure of his abundant merit for this purpose, with a view to having us come daily to the throne of the heavenly grace to obtain mercy – not for the original sin, which for believers is past, through the forbearance of God, but for our daily trespasses of ignorance or weakness. So he encourages us to remember that the imperfections of our earthen vessel need be no hindrance as New Creatures, spirit-begotten, because for all these human weaknesses "we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous." Thus we are exhorted to keep our garments unspotted from the world, because if we are in the right condition of heart we may appreciate the privileges of going to the throne of grace and having every trespass of weakness and ignorance blotted out, washed away.

Thus our Lord is the Atoner "for our sins and also for the sins of the whole world." But there is a difference. Our sins are represented in one part of the sin-offering, the bullock, and the sins of the whole world are represented in the other part, the goat. (Heb. 13.) He has already made satisfaction for our sins. Now he is offering his "members" in sacrifice that we may share his sufferings and glory. He is passing his merit through us that he may apply it "in due time" "for the sins of the whole world." Surely the merit of the Atoner is not decreased in any wise by reason of its passing through those whom he accepts and whom the Father accepts as his "members" on the larger scale!

This is the thought which our Lord suggested, saying, "Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit." (John 12:24.) The immediate fruitage of our Lord's death was the bringing forth of the Church and the "household of faith." The dying in turn of those grains accepted as part and parcel with the original is to bring forth in the Lord's due time the appointed crop suggested by the Prophet, saying, "There shall be an handful of corn in the earth upon the top of the mountains; the fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon." – Psa. 72:16.


The word "Mediator" is not synonymous with the words "Ransomer," "Redeemer," etc. On the contrary there could be no use for a Mediator until first a Redeemer had ransomed mankind. The word "mediator" is Scripturally used in connection with the establishment of the Covenants, and never otherwise. For instance, "Moses, the mediator of the Law Covenant," and Christ, "the Mediator of the New Covenant." Notice, however, that Aaron, the priest, did not mediate any Covenant; neither does Jesus, as the antitypical Priest, mediate a Covenant. It was the work of the priest to offer sacrifices for sins, and this our Lord has been doing for nearly nineteen centuries, as the antitypical High Priest. All of the antitypical priesthood must offer up "sacrifices holy and acceptable to God," else they cannot be of the "Royal Priesthood." – Rom. 12:1.

But notice further that Moses typified the greater Christ [R4354 : page 90] – Jesus the Head and the Church his "members." As, for instance, in Acts 3:23 St. Peter says, "For Moses verily said unto the fathers, a Prophet (Teacher and Mediator) shall the Lord your God raise up unto you from amongst your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye obey in all things, whatsoever he shall say unto you; and it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not obey that Prophet, shall be destroyed from amongst the people." The antitypical Moses here pictured was undoubtedly the glorified Christ, Head and Body, in his instruction of the world during the Millennium. It is certainly not true that all are destroyed who disobey the Lord at the present time. It is this antitypical Moses taken from amongst the brethren that God has been raising up during this Gospel Age. Our Redeemer and Lord was raised up first to be "Head over the Church which is his Body." Since then the members are being raised up from the world, separated from the world to the Lord and the Millennial work. – Eph. 1:23; 4:4,12,16; 5:30; Col. 1:18; 3:15.

Moses was not the typical priest and made not the typical atonement for sin; that was the work of the priest – Aaron. Moses as the mediator of the Law Covenant typified The Christ, Head and Body, Mediator of the New Covenant.

However, that it might be seen that the work of the Mediator of the future in the sealing of the New Covenant will be vitally identified with the Atonement work, we have the declaration of the type that Moses used in sealing the Law Covenant, the typical blood of both bulls and goats. The lesson of this most distinctly is that the greater Mediator, Jesus the Head of the Church, his "Members," will seal or sprinkle the New Covenant with the blood of both of the sacrifices the meritorious blood of the antitypical bullock (our Lord, our Redeemer), and also the blood of his "members" (the Church), the antitype of the goat.


Looking back at the original Covenant made with Abraham, it is like a closed-up telescope. For hundreds of years natural Israel seemed to be the Seed of Abraham, to whom the promises were made and through whom all the nations of the world would be blessed. Yet after more than sixteen centuries the telescope was slipped out a notch and matters so completely changed that the Jew does not know what happened unto this day. The thing which did happen was that Christ Jesus came and personally became the Seed of Abraham, by obeying the Law. Then, by dying for Adam's race, he was exalted to be the Spiritual Seed of Abraham. Then he was ready to give the earthly part of Israel's blessings to as many as would receive them – by justification by faith. Bewildered Israel held off and the favor went to the few of that nation and to thousands of others previously in darkness – Gentiles. These, after accepting the blessed privilege of human justification, were invited to surrender it, to sacrifice it, as their Redeemer had done.

This work of sacrificing has been going on for more than eighteen centuries, and soon will be finished. When the sacrificing finishes, to whom will the blessed privileges of fellowship with God and Covenant privileges then be given? We answer that the Apostle and the prophets declare that it will be given to Israel again, but not by their own Law Covenant, but by a Law Covenant which the Lord will make with them at that time. The Redeemer and his sacrificing associates, his "members" or "Bride," will act as Mediator of the New Covenant between God and Israel. – Ezek. 16:60,61; Rom. 11:27-32.

Furthermore, the blessed privileges of that New Covenant will not be confined to those of Jewish birth, but all the nations of the earth will be privileged to become "Israelites indeed," without guile, and to come under the terms, conditions and blessings of that New Covenant.

Thus eventually the blood of Christ shall extend in its efficacy and blessing, not only to the "household of faith" of this present time, but to the Jews in the next age and through them to all nations. It will be none the less the blood of Christ that will bless and whose efficacy will restore all nations to fellowship with God because (1) Spiritual Israel and (2) Natural Israel shall have been associated in conveying the blessing to all nations. [R4355 : page 90]

Have in mind, then, that a priest never is a mediator of a Covenant and that a mediator of a Covenant is never a priest to offer sin-offering and make atonement. What God has thus distinctly separated in his Word, we do well to keep separate in our thoughts and words, else our poor heads will become confused over terms, even while holding fast to certain facts.

[R4353 : page 89]


[This page is an illustration of a "BIBLE BELIEVER" holding "THE WORD OF GOD" "HOLY BIBLE" standing in front of various mountains while people walk up to the monuments on top of the mountains. The following signs are placed on the mountains.]




The above illustration, sent us from an unknown quarter, is too good to pass unnoticed. We regret that we cannot give proper credit. The lesson is so plain as to require no detailed comment. Truly the world is passing by the Bible to worship at every other shrine than that of the Divine Truth. Yet even such falling away is less deplorable than falling from the pinnacle of Truth into bitter envyings and hatred, strife and vainglorying contentions. The changes of the last century are taken by Evolutionists and all "Progressives" to prove that a gradual progress of our race has been in operation for thousands of years, whereas there is no such evidence. They see not, neither can they understand, the true philosophy of the great advances of the century past in the arts and sciences. The Bible alone reveals the secret; and the secret of the Lord is with those that reverence him and his Word. Only such as have humble hearts, have the hearing ear to discern the message of the Scriptures. It declared long ago that this wonderful epoch would come, and explained that it would mark the end of the present age and the inauguration of the Millennium; that this would be the "day of God's preparation" for the reign of righteousness. It tells that the knowledge born of the travel and commingling and printing would bring present developments. It shows, too, that present blessings to the unregenerate hearts will mean discontent, and that they in turn will bring the great time of trouble which will shake the present social structure to its foundations and pave the way to the long-promised Kingdom of God under the whole heavens. – Dan. 12:4,9,10.

[R4357 : page 90]

ACTS 11:19-30; 12:25. – APRIL 25. –

Golden Text: – "The disciples were called Christians first in Antioch." – Acts 11:26.

NTIOCH, on the sea coast north of Jerusalem, was once a very prominent city – the third city in the Roman Empire, only Rome and Alexandria taking precedence. Our Lord narrates the introduction of the Gospel there, giving us a glimpse of the simplicity of the early Church under the guidance of the holy Spirit and the instruction of two of the ablest teachers of the Gospel. From it, therefore, we may advantageously gather suggestions and helpful lessons respecting what the Church of Christ should ever be in faith, simplicity, love and zeal.

First we notice the hand of providence. The stoning of Stephen spread to a general spirit of opposition to Christianity amongst the Jews. So far from this being accidental, it was the Divine purpose that thus messengers of the Gospel might be scattered in every quarter, carrying with them the message of good tidings on their lips and its spirit in their hearts and lives. Remembering our Lord's words, When they persecute you in one city or place, depart for another, his persecuted followers obeyed, and thus a blessing was carried beyond the boundaries of Palestine. Knowledge of the fact that "the middle-wall of partition," separating the Gentiles from the blessings and privileges of the Jews, had been broken down, had not yet become general. Hence the earliest preaching of the Cross of Christ was to the Jews only, and this was of Divine intention also; as St. Paul points out, It was necessary that the Gospel should be preached first unto you – the Jews – the natural seed of Abraham, to whom the promise was made. However, in the Lord's providence, some of these Antioch believers were Jews of Cyrene and Cypress, converts to Christianity; these being more familiar with the Greek language and less familiar with the Hebrew, overflowed the joy of their hearts, the good tidings of the Gospel message, upon their Gentile neighbors, who, to their joy, responded in a remarkable manner. "A great number believed, and turned unto the Lord." – Acts 11:21.

The secret of their success lay in the fact stated, "The hand of the Lord was with them." The word hand, as a symbol, signifies power and direction. Here we have the true secret of all successful Christian work which will have the Divine approval. Each individual Christian, so to speak, is a finger of the Lord; as our dear Redeemer expressed the matter, "I, as the finger of God, cast out demons." (Luke 11:20.) If we would be used and useful as God's agencies, ambassadors, we should seek to be impulsed and guided by him. We are to hear his voice through the Scriptures and we are to realize his energizing power in the spirit of the Truth. As it is written, "I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him; but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you." (John 14:16,17.) Whoever forgets this, to that extent fails to render acceptable service, which will bring forth the proper results. Nor are we always to gauge the success of our endeavors by the "great numbers," as in this case, which was quite exceptional. We should, however, expect some fruitage to our labors, and if, [R4357 : page 91] peradventure, by unwisdom in our methods of presenting the message we have lost our influence as "ambassadors for God," we should seek to appreciate the lesson of greater wisdom and should look to the Lord for an open door to service along some other lines or in some other place, where our lessons of experience could be put to practical effect.


The oneness of the Body of Christ, the Church, is illustrated by the fact that this progress of the Truth at Antioch speedily became known to "the ears of the Church at Jerusalem." This reminds us of the Apostle's illustration in I Cor. 12th Chap., where he likens the Church to a human body, whose active members are hands, feet, eyes, mouth, etc. The Apostles at Jerusalem were on the lookout to help, to encourage, to assist in forwarding the Gospel in every quarter, just as we of the WATCH TOWER today feel an interest in and give attention to the progress of the Truth in every quarter. Christianity is not selfish, but the reverse. When selfishness is seen – avarice, self-seeking – it is so much of the Antichrist spirit creeping in. "To do good and to communicate, forget not," writes the Apostle.

God uses means – human means so far as possible. And so he wishes that we, as his representatives, should follow his example. The decision was to send the new converts the help which it was realized they would need, to encourage them, to forewarn them of dangers, and to assist to clearer knowledge of the Divine Plan, that thus they might become a force for good and not for evil under the Lord's banner. A disciple named Joseph was chosen, one who had shown great zeal for the Lord and for the Church and who had given considerable of his property for the assistance of others. They gave him a new name, Barnabas, which signifies Son of Consolation. How beautiful! This testimony of itself draws out our love to Barnabas in a manner that would have been impossible if the record had been to the contrary – that, although a follower of Jesus, he was quarrelsome, disputative, a stirrer-up of strife and contentions.

It may be said that none could have such discordant character and yet be a Christian at all. We agree that no matured Christian could be of such a character, yet we know of some who naturally are very contentious, who, by the grace of God, have received the Truth. These need to be the more vigilant in cultivating amiability and humility. And assuredly the brethren should have considerable patience with such, especially if they note in them loyal-heartedness toward God, the Truth and the brethren – and particularly if they see evidences that they are striving to overcome their natural contentiousness. However, it would be mistaken kindness to encourage such or to fail to indicate to them the unloving manner wherein they injure the cause they wish to serve. Such should never be chosen to positions of leadership or otherwise encouraged until they show evidences of victory along this line. Assuredly such should never be chosen as missionaries or representatives of the Church to others, for they would misrepresent the Lord and his Spirit, which is one of humility, gentleness and patience, even while strong and resolute for the Truth.


Barnabas was evidently a most wise selection to be a representative of the brethren at Jerusalem, a Pilgrim to the newly interested brethren at Antioch. The narrative indicates that he stopped to visit other groups of the Lord's people enroute, Antioch being the end of his prescribed journey. On his arrival several things resulted:

(1) He himself received a blessing. "He perceived the grace of God and was glad."

(2) He exhorted them all that with purpose of heart they should cleave unto the Lord. They had already separated themselves from heathenism and Judaism, and by faith and obedience and acceptance of the holy Spirit had been joined to Christ. The exhortation was that they should thus abide, separated from further affiliations and bound unto the Lord – with purpose of heart – not temporarily nor because of mental conviction of the logic of Christ's religion, but that their hearts should be fully given over to the Lord in the fulness of consecration.

Such consecration was the subject of Barnabas' preaching for quite a little while, and the result was "Much people were added unto the Lord." Now notice another beautiful tribute to Barnabas' character, and let us each see to what extent we can find these characteristics predominant in ourselves, and to what extent we can, by God's grace, have them still more abound. We read, "For he was a good man, and full of the holy Spirit and of faith." What more could be said to the credit of any child of God? This testimony is far richer than if we read, "For he was a learned man, or a brainy man, and [R4358 : page 91] full of self-confidence and a mighty collector of monies for the Church." His heart was full of the spirit of holiness and he was full of faith as respects God's power and God's Truth.

We remark that the usual signs of prosperity amongst nominal Christians are not here mentioned – Church building, collections, etc. The success of the early Church lay greatly in the fact that the money question was ignored, likewise the building of great temples for worship. The work was one of proclaiming Christ and turning the hearts of men from sin to righteousness, from ignorance to knowledge and unbelief to faith – from devilishness to saintship.


Barnabas perceived the largeness of the field of opportunity at Antioch and bethought him of Saul of Tarsus, whom he sought out and brought to the new field of labor. Evidently the Lord had allowed Saul to rest in quietness for a time to digest certain features of the Truth, to get himself properly gauged up. No doubt these lessons were needful for the development of humility and faith and obedience. Now, however, the time had come for Saul to be introduced into the Gospel work. Again God used instrumentality. Barnabas did not trust to writing a letter, but went to see him personally, to urge upon him activities in the Master's service and to point out to him the open door of a still greater work at Antioch, where Saul's learning and talents would be an additional fortification to the Truth and inspiration to the brethren. For a year he assembled with the Church at Antioch and taught much people publicly and privately.


The name "Christian" was first applied to the Lord's followers at Antioch. Such a name would not be given to them by the Jews, nor in any place where Judaism was paramount, because the Greek word Christ is the equivalent to the Hebrew word Messiah. And the Jews would be the last in any sense of the word to intimate that Jesus was the Messiah, or that his followers were Christians or Messiahans. We do not read that Christians first assumed this name at Antioch, but that they were first called it by others. Would that the custom had continued to prevail, and that still the only name by which the Lord's followers throughout the world would be known would be his name! Dr. A. McClaren correctly suggests, "If the men at Antioch had called Christ's followers 'Jesuits' that would have meant the followers of the mere man. They did not know how much deeper they had gone when they said, not 'followers of Jesus' but 'followers of Christ'; for it was not Jesus the man, but Jesus Christ, the man with his Office, that makes the center and bond of the Christian Church."

There is a forceful lesson in the following from the pen of Rev. Peloubet, D.D.: –

"John Wesley was said once to have dreamed that he saw a great throng entering hell and he asked whether any Methodists were among them. Yes, he was told, and plenty of them. And Baptists? Yes. And Presbyterians? Yes. Then in his dream he found himself suddenly at the gate of heaven and earnestly asked the porter who were inside. Methodists? Not one. Presbyterians? Baptists? No, not one of these. Catholics? No. 'Then who are inside,' he asked. 'Only Christians,' was the reply."

We are not endorsing Brother Wesley's dream of the crowds entering heaven and hell; believing as we do, that all go to the Bible hell, the grave, the tomb, and that the First Resurrection will be composed only of the saints victorious. We do, however, feel sure that in that Resurrection of the Blessed and Holy, sectarianism and membership in sectarian institutions and worldly lodges will not be recognized as giving [R4358 : page 92] such members any priority, honor or glory, but possibly the reverse. The name that will stand will be Christians. They will all be that. Why should Messiah's Bride, after taking his name, confuse matters in any degree by adding to it the name of any human being or institution? We urge them all to stand free from all human titles and bondages in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free. Our bondage is to the Head and under his direction, and by his Spirit we are firmly bounden by all the principles of righteousness and to all those who have his Spirit, his mind, his disposition, as living members of the one Body. To separate ourselves from these bonds of love and sympathy and fellowship and obedience would mean our starvation and death, even as a branch cannot abide itself, nor bear fruit, except it abide in the Vine, in fellowship with the other branches of the same Vine, and as a participant in the juices (the graces, the blessings) which come to all the true branches through the root.


In the Lord's providence the Antioch brethren were advised in advance of impending famine throughout the civilized world. The scarcity would affect all parts and classes, but especially be severe upon the poor, by reason of the high prices. Immediately the Antioch brethren bethought them of the fact that the brethren at Jerusalem, specially poor and persecuted, would be special sufferers from that famine and they desired to aid them and made a collection accordingly. They did not hesitate, because, not wealthy themselves, they would probably also feel the severity of the famine. The love of God shed abroad in our hearts overcomes much of our natural selfishness and tends to make us generous and thoughtful of others. How beautiful, how Christlike, the spirit! We must love these brethren for this and seek to emulate their example and to be of willing mind as respects any assistance to be rendered to any of the fellow-members of the Body of Christ, near and far.

The Apostle truly intimates that if any professed follower of Christ see his brother have need and close up his heart of compassion against him and refuse him aid, this would be an indication that he lacked the spirit of the Head, the spirit of love, the distinctive feature which our Lord said would indicate his disciples as different from all others in the world. "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one for another." – John 13:35.

Whenever an opportunity for doing good comes to our attention it should not be slighted, but reasonably investigated with the thought that possibly the Lord has brought this matter to our attention as a test of love for him or for the brethren. Indeed it will profit us greatly if we can learn to look at all of life's affairs from this standpoint. If trials and difficulties, joys and pleasures, are all scrutinized with the thought of the Lord's oversight and guiding care in respect to our interests and affairs it will greatly increase our faith and our spiritual joy.

Paul and Barnabas were the chosen agents to see to the transportation of the food supply for the aid of the Jerusalem brethren in the approaching period of famine. In due course they returned, bringing with them John Mark as a further helper in the good work.

[R4358 : page 92]



In the dark night, when Egypt lay asleep,
Forth went the angel, God's command to keep:
Slay all the first-born, even from the throne,
Down through the realm to the humblest home.

Swift was his work; and on the midnight air,
Oh, what a cry of anguish, and despair
Rose, from the hearts of those in every home:
God's word was sure; the last great plague had come.

But in the homes of Israel, what a sight!
Darkness without, in every dwelling, light.
Clad for a journey; shoes upon their feet;
With staff in hand, a solemn feast they eat.

Their father's God had heard their cries at last:
His time had come; their bondage now was past;
So in that night while Egypt mourned her dead,
They ate the lamb with bitter herbs and bread.

But why this blood we see on every door?
Why does the angel, seeing, pass it o'er?
Israel's first-born in Egypt's danger shared;
And only through that blood could they be spared.

Centuries passed; and still by God's command,
Each year they slew, and ate the paschal lamb.
Not that its blood could for their sins atone,
But as a type of one that yet should come.

*                         *                         *
That sinless one, who, hanging on a tree,
Bore all earth's sins, to set the prisoners free;
That Righteous One, that perfect Lamb of God,
Who for the world gave his most precious blood.

Our blessed Lord, with those whom he loved best,
On that last night, sat down to keep the feast.
"With great desire," he told his chosen few,
"Have I desired to eat this feast with you."

[R4359 : page 92]
"My heart is grieved; for I betrayed shall be
By one of you, my chosen company."
"Lord is it I?" each asked in trembling tone,
"Nay, Lord, we'll die with thee! cried every one."

But in great sorrow, still our Lord did say,
"One shall deny; another shall betray;
All be offended, and flee unto their own –
But for my Father, I should be alone."

After the feast, he took the Cup, and said
"Drink ye of it; for you my blood was shed.
I drink no more, until I drink with you,
In that glad day, when we shall drink it new."

Then blessed the bread, and as each one did take,
"This is my body, broken for your sake."
Oft as ye drink this wine, and eat this bread
Ye do show forth the suffering of your Head.

Bearing the whole world's load of guilt and shame,
Knowing his own would soon deny his name;
Knowing, by God, he would forsaken be,
Thus our Lord went to his Gethsemane.

And still that sacred feast down through the years,
Thy saints commemorate with holy tears.
Keeping the words of him, who said, "This do
In mem'ry of my dying love for you."

In this dark night, Lord, we, thy first-borns meet,
With staff in hand and shoes upon our feet.
Thy precious blood is sprinkled on our hearts;
Thy broken body life to us imparts.

Come, dearest Lord, and bless us while we feast;
Around this board, be thou our honored Guest.
We eat, and drink, and here our vows renew;
Oh to our vows, Lord, keep us ever true!

All earthly hopes and joys, behind us lay;
Lord, we would walk with thee, the narrow way.
What is earth's joys and what its glittering dross?
We gladly leave it all for thy dear cross.

Thy matchless sacrifice doth us afford,
A chance to share thy sufferings, dearest Lord.
Broken with thee, we claim this privilege rare,
That in thy joys we may obtain a share.

On this Atonement Day, we would lay down
Upon the altar, Lord, beside thine own,
Our sacrifice; it is so very small;
Take, Lord, and offer it; it is our all.

Day after day, our testings, Lord, increase:
This side the veil, we know they must not cease.
Scourging, or sword, or flames, whate'er it be,
Help us, dear Lord, in our Gethsemane.

[R4359 : page 93]The bitter cup that to thy lips was pressed,
We, too, would drain, nor shrink at bitterness.
These marks of sonship share with our dear Head;
To live with thee, we must with thee be dead.

We'll take the cup tho' filled with grief and pain;
Drink the last drop, and, dying, drink again;
Oh wondrous joy! this time, the cup shall be
The cup of life, and immortality.

Lord, we have had a blessed feast with thee;
Now we go forth that we may tested be.
Help us, that we do not our Lord betray;
When Satan tries to sift, Lord, for us pray.

*                         *                         *
Some solemn night, mid scenes of dread, and woe,
While the fierce winds from every quarter blow;
While passions rage, and tempests onward sweep,
Their last memorial, thy saints shall keep.

They may be few who gather round the board;
Many, be entered into their reward.
Praising the One who led them safely home;
Waiting, until the marriage hour shall come.

Some, weary grew, before the fight was o'er;
Some, through offence, would walk this way no more.
Zealous awhile, methinks, they did run well,
But at the test of Love, they stumbled – fell.

Those who are left, the last of thy dear "feet,"
Keep the last feast before the mercy seat;
Gathering strength for what before them lies,
When they complete in death, their sacrifice.

Some glorious morn the angelic host shall sing!
Some glorious morn the bells of heaven ring!
The Church of Christ has passed her trial stage;
Eternal bliss is hers from age to age.

Before his Father's throne, with love and pride,
Christ shall present his perfect, spotless Bride.
The feast begins; the marriage hour has come;
Christ and his faithful, are forever One.

On that blest day, the Bridegroom shall sit down,
With his dear Bride beside him, on the throne.
To share his joys; to see his blessed face;
In that blest throng, oh Lord, give us a place.

February 21, 1909.

[R4359 : page 93]

ACTS 13:1-12 – MAY 2. –

Golden Text: – "Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be damned." – Mark 16:15,16. – (Omitted in the old Mss.)

HIS verse and all this chapter from verse nine to the close is acknowledged by all scholars to be an interpolation – an addition to the Scriptures – not written by Mark, but added centuries later. The words are not found in the oldest Greek manuscripts. We would better use the well-authenticated words of Matt. 28:19, "Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit."

The spirit of Christianity is an aggressive one. The Gospel sets before the true believer an object, a motive, which inspires to an enthusiasm of the highest degree. The message becomes a burning one which must flame forth as a true light to enlighten others. Otherwise it would become extinct, smothered. "Quench not the holy Spirit, whereby ye are sealed," may surely be applied to a proper missionary spirit, as well as in other ways.

Missionary endeavor in foreign lands certainly has been in harmony with the Divine intimation, that a knowledge of the grace of God might be scattered abroad so as to select God's "elect" from every quarter. We are not by these words endorsing everything connected with the methods or the message which have been sent forth in the name of the Gospel. We do believe, however, that a blessing has resulted even through the use of wrong methods and impure teachings. Those who have given money to the cause have surely received a blessing, compensating every endeavor to serve the Lord. The sacrifice of earthly means has brought its blessing and compensation in fervency of spirit. We are not certain to what extent the heathen have been benefited by the lessons civilization has brought them; some, more; some, less. Only the Lord will know how to determine the actual results and to apportion the rewards for services in his cause.

It is our thought that while there is so much to be done at home in civilized lands, those who have their hands full do well to content themselves therewith, leaving it for the Lord to open up the way later, according to his wisdom and grace, for the heathen to hear the message. Our readers will remember that in the Lord's providence it seemed wise that Brother Booth and wife should go to Africa as representatives of the Truth. This seemed to be no hindrance to the work in civilized lands, and the evidences were that the Lord had some ripened grains of wheat in far-off Africa. Word from Brother Booth and others of Cape Town and vicinity assure us that the proclamation of the good tidings of great joy is making fairly good headway in that region. Three white brethren there are now preaching to mixed audiences continually. Some half dozen little congregations are rejoicing in a growing knowledge of the Divine Plan of the Ages. Further, three black brethren have espoused the cause [R4360 : page 93] and zealously begun its proclamation. One is laboring near Cape Town. One has already journeyed nearly two thousand miles and is exerting a considerable influence amongst his people near Lake Nyasa. Another has just started for the same vicinity on foot, a journey of about a month. With him go six or eight other young black Christians who thus journey, that they may have the benefit of his indoctrination on the way and be the better prepared to tell the tidings of great joy when they reach their fellow-countrymen. Our missionary efforts, however, both at home and abroad, are of a different character and different inspiration than other missionary efforts. Ours is not a proclamation of a fierce God and a great place called hell or Purgatory into which all their forefathers have gone and into which they must go unless they receive our message. Ours is the missionary message of St. Paul and Barnabas – an announcement that the God of love has provided a Redeemer; that in due time the Redeemer will establish his Kingdom and through it bless all the families of the earth with a knowledge of his grace, and grant assistance back into harmony with God and thereby an opportunity for eternal life.

Ours is a message of special favor now being given out to any who have the "ear to hear" and the heart to appreciate and accept it. Ours is the missionary hunt for the Lord's jewels, for his "Royal Priesthood," his "little flock," his "elect" – that these may be enlightened and assisted to a clearer knowledge of the Truth, that they may make their calling and election sure to joint-heirship with their Redeemer in his coming Kingdom. Our chief work is at home or in places where the Gospel has already been proclaimed, because we understand the Scriptures to teach that we are in the Harvest time of this Gospel Age, just as the work of the Lord and his Apostles was in the Harvest time of the Jewish Age. To his disciples Jesus said, "I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labor." Other men labored and ye are entered into [the fruit of] their labor – harvesting the ripened grain. It will not surprise us to learn in due time that as many as two hundred new believers in Africa celebrated the Memorial Supper this year in excess of the number that partook of it last year. Of course, two hundred are not many, nor can we hope that they will all be ripened grains of wheat. However, we consider this a very favorable opening, considering the length of its establishment.


Our lesson tells us that there were three public speakers at Antioch, besides Paul and Barnabas, and that as they [R4360 : page 94] served and practised self-denial, the holy Spirit indicated that Barnabas and Paul should have a special work to do in carrying the message of God's grace to others. And in this way we have a suggestion in respect to the proper course to be pursued amongst the Lord's people generally, wherever it is found, that the number of public speakers and teachers, Berean Lesson leaders, etc., is greater than is really needed. Instead of wasting valuable time and energy all should recognize the facts of the case, and square them to the instructions of this lesson, and separate some to special missionary effort. A failure to notice the breadths of the Lord's work and the privileges of service has proven a temptation to some, and led to fault-finding and bickering, heart-burnings and discouragements, instead of mutual encouragements, sympathetic aids, and increase in the joy of the Lord and spread of the Truth. Each member of Christ, and especially each one of teaching ability, should seek to take the broadest possible view of the Lord's work and the most loving and appreciative view of every fellow-servant's endeavors. This course leads to mutual upbuilding, while the other course tends toward coldness and leanness, if not to back-biting and devouring one another.


The Church ordained the Apostles for this missionary service. The laying on of hands did not signify the impartation to them of any spiritual or occult powers. It did not mean the giving to them of authority to preach. It did mean that the congregation of the Lord at Antioch recognized these two men as God's servants and authorized them to go forth as their representatives, and impliedly at their charges, to carry the message of good tidings to others. As the priests laid their hands upon the animals which were to represent them in sacrifice, so the Church laid their hands upon those who were to represent them in the service of the Truth.

Similarly today we are following what we believe to be the direction of the holy Spirit in sending forth the Pilgrims to proclaim the good tidings. They go forth, as the apostles expressed the matter, not authorized to preach by man or men or human systems, but by him who said, "Go ye, disciple all nations" – people of all nationalities, and not merely the Jews, as at first. Nevertheless the Church in general lays its hands upon these Pilgrims in the sense of saying, "You go with our approval, as our representatives, and all of your expenses will be met out of our donations to the Tract Fund. Serve the Lord faithfully and make reports to us through the Society's channels.


They decided to go first to the Island of Cyprus, probably because Barnabas was a native of that Island and because it would be their proper route in going into Asia Minor. Apparently nothing of special moment occurred until they had gone almost the length of the island, where they came in conflict with a Jew, a sorcerer, known as Elymas or magician. Much of the trickery of that time and today is aided and abetted by the fallen angels or demons. Elymas perceived that the reasoning of the Apostle was having its effect upon the governmental deputy or pro-consul and sought to gainsay the Truth, recognizing that the success of the Apostles meant the loss of prestige to his own presentations of falsehood. St. Paul, imbued with a special power of the holy Spirit, fastened his gaze upon Elymas and said, "O full of all guile and all villainy, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season."

It was not Paul's power, nor Paul's judgment, but the Lord's, and Paul was merely his mouthpiece. Nor does the Lord always thus punish his opponents now, but rather this was an exceptional occurrence, intended to assist in the establishment of the religion of Christ as well as to encourage the apostles in their further ministries. It is not for us to seek to emulate St. Paul's course in this matter. He was an Apostle, specially empowered and specially used in a sense that we are not. It is ours to preach the Word and to leave the results to the Lord. However, the day is not far distant when, under the power of the Kingdom, those who resist the Truth will be dealt with vigorously and feel the heavy hand of Divine judgment on them. We are glad, however, that there will be a recovery from those judgments, even as there was in the case of Elymas; even as his blindness was only for a season. Of that future Age it is written, "When the judgments of the Lord are abroad (everywhere) in the land, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness." No doubt Elymas learned something by his experiences, and the narrative indicated that the matter was of great assistance to the pro-consul. But his belief was aside from the miracle. As we read, "The deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the teaching of the Lord." We remark here that this is the proper influence which we should seek to leave in every heart; not astonishment at our ability or oratory or other powers, but astonishment at the teaching of the Lord's Word. Indeed, there is no doubt that this is the secret of the progress of the Harvest message today. People are astonished at the doctrine. Our Pilgrim speakers are not beyond the average. Many would say, perhaps, not up to the average of denominational ministers, but they have the teaching. They have the Divine Plan of the Ages – and this it is which impresses and astonishes those who hear.

[R4361 : page 94]


If any one had approached me four months ago with any "new" or different religious belief than I then had, I would have stated that I was a Congregationalist and satisfied with that belief; that I did not think there was any belief nearer right or nearer to Bible truth. Not that I think Congregationalism better than the faith or belief of other denominations, but certainly just as good.

But recently the unexpected happened. A "new" belief was brought to my attention, one concerning which I knew but little. This was Pastor Charles T. Russell's first volume of SCRIPTURE STUDIES, known as "The Divine Plan," of which I was hearing much from day to day. I had always considered myself quite liberal in my estimate of those of a different Christian faith, but toward these books I found myself bitterly prejudiced.

Some things were brought to my attention which I thought, if true, every one ought to know. But were they true? Could they be true? I did not want to be won over to any "new thing," but there were some things of which I wanted to know more, and to these I listened and read, but not wanting to be convinced.

Finally replying to inquiry, I said I was not so obstinate or headstrong as to refuse to believe or to be convinced, if I was in error in regard to Scripture teaching, provided the statements presented to me were Scriptural and would lead to a better understanding of the Bible and of God's plan, and provided also the proofs could be produced.

In this spirit I began the reading and study of the MILLENNIAL DAWN-SCRIPTURE STUDIES. I found each volume of the series intensely interesting, as God's wonderful plan and truth was unfolded. After reading the series of six volumes I can say that if these books are true they certainly are the most wonderful and important books ever written – outside the Bible. And I believe they are true! If they are true every one ought to know the Bible teaching.

I found that the chronological results are reached by five separate and distinct lines of computation, and the same careful and conscientious handling of every subject is manifested throughout the series.

Pastor Russell rids religion of error, the error which has crept in little by little through the Church of Rome, etc. He rids religion of tradition and man-made creeds and seeks to make plain God's way in all Scriptural purity, proving all teaching by Scripture, and by unperverted Scripture alone.

He does not exalt self. He exalts Christ alone, with the Father. He tears down nothing taught in God's holy Word. He builds up no creed nor religious system, but takes the Scriptures and the Scriptures alone for our spiritual guide, [R4361 : page 95] proving and testing all things by that standard. He combats evil of every kind, and every shade of infidelity, Spiritualism, Higher Criticism – every form of unbelief.

At first thought some conclusions seem radical to one accustomed to the usual so-called "orthodox" interpretations, but in every instance they will be found to be soundly Scriptural.

Believers in MILLENNIAL DAWN do not teach, as some seem to think, that those who believe and faithfully follow these teachings are the only ones to be saved. They not only teach that all such must follow the Master in the strait and narrow way, but teach also a more compassionate gospel and a broader plan of salvation for all who will be saved, than is usually understood and commonly taught by others.

MILLENNIAL DAWN does teach that there are other truths than those commonly taught by the various churches and religious systems, truths that are important, and these it seeks to make plain.

Not one more creed to add to the world's diversified religious beliefs, but the one interpretation, which means harmony of all Scripture and unity of belief and purpose to all Christians of whatsoever name – to all seekers after truth who are willing to forsake all and follow Christ.

J. M. M. – Ia.

[R4361 : page 95]


May the richest blessings of the Living God rest upon you, and upon all who are determined to cooperate in the doing of the Lord's will. My prayers are for you and them many times every day. Your name is continually being pressed before the Throne.

Let me take this opportunity to thank you and the dear Lord for the full and beautiful – yea, gorgeous light turned upon the Covenants – another proof that the Word of God is being fulfilled: "The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day." "The way of the wicked is as darkness; they know not at what they stumble."Prov. 4:18,19.

This last clause brings a measure of sadness. They stumble at the light, the very thing that should be a blessing to them. No doubt this precious light will also prove offensive to the spiritual vision of some whose eyes are weak and cannot, therefore, stand the full glare of the light of God's Truth. If so, it shows they are unfit for the Kingdom. But it makes the heart ache.

I am truly your servant in love and service of our Lord and King,



It has been on my mind for some time to write you of the extreme thankfulness to our heavenly Father and to you for the experience I have had in connection with "the Vow." After reading February 15th TOWER, I can no longer refrain from writing. My heart overflows with gratitude after reading dear Brother Gibbs' letter, which surely needs no explanation.

He has exactly expressed my heart sentiments. I have been in one of the same traps in which he was. I also quickly ate of the bait which appeared so good, but now see the course I was following. I had not yet become a "first-rate back-biter," but was working my way rapidly toward one. Oh, Brother Russell, it grieves me to think of the untrue things I believed and thought of you. I am now deeply impressed by your sincerity and daily manifestations of the Christ-like spirit and tender love and care over the entire flock, as expressed in the TOWER.

I am so thankful for the Lord's guidance of you in sending our dear Brother Herr among us, for it was through him I have been delivered from the snare of the Adversary. He showed me in a most loving manner how all such evil surmises and back-biting (against you in connection with "the Vow") were not fruits of the Master's spirit of love. By these fruits we can know them. After clearing my mind of those evil thoughts, I then could not see any objections to the Vow.

I cannot see how a true child of God could oppose it, or your presentation of it in the TOWER. I have now made "the Vow" "my Vow" unto the Father, knowing what it means to me the rest of my life. I would prefer making it as a Vow instead of a resolution, as I feel a vow more binding than a resolution. Need we hesitate to be bound in any way closer to the Lord! I would not exchange the precious blessings enjoyed since making "the Vow," for the spiritual coldness endured while having the spirit which opposed it. Everything is with new beauty and clearness. I press onward with renewed zeal, realizing more clearly how very carefully we must guard our every thought (as we build character by thought), to bring every thought into captivity to the will of Christ, and think only of the things that are pure, holy, lovely and of good report. And with the holy things always uppermost in our minds, how can we find any time for evil surmising and speaking!

It is with great sorrow I see some taking the course they are in their oppositions to "the Vow," those noble and esteemed ones, who have been particularly dear to me as brethren in Christ. It is with very much heartfelt sympathy for you, Brother Russell, as I know what it has been to you, but I also know of the Lord's special care and guidance over you to keep you in such peace of mind and love amid such fiery darts of the Adversary.

It seems that you have done all in your power to tell them of the course they are taking and they cannot yet see the unreasonableness of their arguments. Let us continue to pray for them.

I have made apology for my former stand to all those to whom I particularly slandered you and "the Vow," so I do not especially request that this letter be published, although I would not be ashamed to give such a testimony to the whole Church. I am assured of your forgiveness of my sin.

May our dear Lord continue to bless you richly and use you in his service unto the end. You may know of my daily remembrance, and Christian love for you and the whole Bible House Family.

Your sister in the One Hope,



I feel that I must write you, if only a few lines. I have been thinking daily about "the Vow." It seems to me it is the sixth volume in a "nutshell." – Rev. 21:9.

Do you realize how much I need your prayers, and the Lord's grace as my eyes open – are being opened? May grace abound.

Your brother,


page 96


PITTSBURG N.S. (Allegheny), PA., MARCH 28

Session for the public at 3 p.m. in Allegheny Carnegie Hall, Corner Ohio and Federal Sts. Visiting friends heartily welcomed. Baptismal services for those desiring same and notifying, at 10:30 a.m. Question meeting at 7:30 p.m., Bible House Chapel, 610 Arch street.


Discourse by Brother Russell at 3:00 p.m. Evening meeting for the interested at 7:30 o'clock, when the annual Memorial Supper will be celebrated. Visiting friends cordially welcomed.

All meetings will be held in the Brooklyn Tabernacle, Nos. 13-17 Hicks street. Convenient to all cars and ferries – close to the old bridge terminus.


Morning and evening meetings in Faneuil Hall. Take surface cars from depots going through Dock Square. Local friends will be at stations to assist visiting friends. Meeting at 10:30 a.m. for Prayer, Praise and Testimony.

Afternoon session for the Public in Tremont Temple, Tremont street, between School and Bromfield streets, at 3:00 o'clock; subject, "Where are the Dead?"

Evening meeting for the interested at 7:30 o'clock. Arrangements have also been made for a meeting in Tremont Temple Building, on Saturday evening, for the benefit of those who may have to come to the city at that time. When purchasing railway tickets inquire for reduced rates, account of Bible Students' Convention.



Preaching at 3:00 p.m. Praise service at 7:00 p.m.; Berean Bible Study at 7:30 p.m. Convenient to New York via Subway, and Jersey City via P.R.R. Annex Ferry.