this is txt filethis is txt file Z1898 July
page 193
July 15th
ZION'S
WATCH TOWER
and
Herald of Christ's Presence

ROCK OF AGES
Other foundation can
no man lay
A RANSOM FOR ALL

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

VOL. XIX.JULY 1, 1898.No. 13.


CONTENTS.


Views from the Watch Tower195
Mercy Rejoiceth Against Judgment197
The Royal Law199
This Law in Practical Operation201
The Royal Law During the Millennium202
Poem: I'll Do My Very Best202
Interesting Queries203
Christian Duty if Drafted, etc204
"Jehovah, He is the God"204
A Discouraged Reformer206
Elijah's Lesson Symbolically Considered207

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 194

THIS JOURNAL AND ITS MISSION.

THIS journal is set for the defence of the only true foundation of the Christian's hope now being so generally repudiated,--Redemption through the precious blood of "the man Christ Jesus who gave himself a ransom [a corresponding price, a substitute] for all." (1 Pet. 1:19; 1 Tim. 2:6.) Building up on this sure foundation the gold, silver and precious stones (1 Cor. 3:11-15; 2 Pet. 1:5-11) of the Word of God, its further mission is to--"Make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery which...has been hid in God,...to 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.

TO US THE SCRIPTURES CLEARLY TEACH

That the Church is "the Temple of the Living God"--peculiarly "His
workmanship;" that its construction has been in progress throughout the Gospel age--ever since Christ became the world's Redeemer and the chief corner stone of this Temple, through which, when finished, God's blessings shall come "to all people," and they find access to him.--1 Cor. 3:16,17; Eph. 2:20-22; Gen. 28:14; Gal. 3:29.
That meantime the chiseling, shaping and polishing, of consecrated believers
in Christ's atonement for sin, progresses; and when the last of these "living stones," "elect and precious," shall have been made ready, the great Master Workman will bring all together in the First Resurrection; and the Temple shall be filled with his glory, and be the meeting place between God and men throughout the Millennium.--Rev. 15:5-8.
That the Basis of Hope, for the Church and the World, lies in the fact that
"Jesus Christ, by the grace of God, tasted death for every man," "a ransom for all," and will be "the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world," "in due time."--Heb. 2:9; John 1:9; 1 Tim. 2:5,6.
That the Hope of the Church is that she may be like her Lord, "see him
as he is," be "partaker of the divine nature," and share his glory as his joint-heir.--1 John 3:2; John 17:24; Rom. 8:17; 2 Pet. 1:4.
That the present mission of the Church is the perfecting of the saints for
the future work of service; to develop in herself every grace; to be God's witness to the world; and to prepare to be the kings and priests of the next age.--Eph. 4:12; Matt. 24:14; Rev. 1:6; 20:6.
That the hope for the World lies in the blessings of knowledge and opportunity
to be brought to by Christ's Millennial Kingdom--the restitution of all that was lost in Adam, to all the willing and obedient, at the hands of their Redeemer and his glorified Church.--Acts 3:19-21; Isa. 35.
 
CHARLES T. RUSSELL, Editor.




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[R2327 : page 195]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER.


AS THE war with Spain progresses, it becomes more and more evident that "The Great Republic" is very thoroughly hated by her sisters in the family of Christian Nations so called. Their hatred and ill-will are scarcely restrained from pronounced utterance by the fact that she is their best customer who for financial reasons must not be too grossly insulted. Great Britain alone manifests sympathy: and even she is frank enough to intimate that her love is selfish, because she fears a European coalition against her and desires a wealthy and influential partner. Even the other republics of the world--France, Mexico and all those of Central and South America are jealous of their big sister.

The appeal to race prejudice and race pride has much to do with this condition of things and is most unwise. But we must remember that "the natural man" moves almost exclusively along grooves of pride and selfishness; he knows nothing of Love as a motive principle. And it is the same on both sides of the question: if one boasts of race superiority and valor, so does the other. And the more these selfish channels of thought are opened, the deeper the hatreds engendered and the more dangerous the possible results.

Another factor never to be overlooked is Romanism. The revenues of the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippine Islands are estimated at $50,000,000 per annum (silver). It is the real government, the silent but potent partner of the Spanish Governor General and army. Other religious teachings are not tolerated, and the natives so far as possible are kept in ignorance. Altho the Spanish government decreed that the Spanish language should be taught in the Romanist schools supported by government bounty, the order has been generally evaded. Papacy knows well that general intelligence is a foe to its institutions.

Of course, when the time comes for Spain to sue for peace, she will probably be instigated by the pope to relinquish Cuba and close the war on condition that the United States abandon all claim on the Philippines. It is doubtless to threaten a prolongation of the war there, and thus to make the United States the more willing to relinquish the islands, that the Cadiz squadron has sailed eastward. Moreover, it is realized that the soldiers carried by this fleet will be needed to put down the Philippine rebels. The latter are the more intelligent of the natives who are rebelling as much against the tyranny of Romanism as against the oppression and cruelty of Spain. It is our opinion that the Lord wills to break the power of Papacy there, and hence that he will not permit Spanish misrule to be continued.

To what extent the present war may be a waking up of all the world to an era of war which will impoverish all nations, and sicken all their peoples and prepare the way for the universal anarchy with which this age shall end, we know not; but such an outcome will not surprise us. If so, it will seem like the time mentioned in Joel 3:9-14. See the conclusion of the S.S. Lesson on Elijah, page 192.

Of one thing we may be sure: the affairs of this world while nominally left to the "gentiles" until the end of "Gentile Times,"* the end of their lease of power, are nevertheless subject to a divine surveillance, to the intent that naught shall be permitted that our God is not abundantly able to overrule for good. Divine providence has already been manifested on behalf of America and doubtless will continue to supervise [R2327 : page 196] her course. Who that is God-fearing and possessed of a knowledge of history can doubt that this land was kept hidden until due time; that it was purposely made an asylum for liberty-loving people and for the oppressed of all nations? Who can doubt that its unparalleled history thus far has been a lesson to the whole world--"Liberty enlightening the world?" Who can doubt that thus the Almighty has been gradually forcing open the fetters of Church and State, of superstition and ignorance, and emancipating the peoples of Europe?

*See MILLENNIAL DAWN, VOL. I., Chap. 13, and VOL. II., Chap. 4.

It was the influence of liberty and its blessings in America that led to the French Revolution--the French people being too ignorant, and too much under the influence of Romanism, to be able to appreciate and use the boon of liberty wisely. The same object lesson (America) has had a great influence upon Great Britain and Germany and upon the peoples of other countries in proportion to their intelligence and freedom from papal bondage.

As the reforms of Europe have been granted inch by inch by its monarchical aristocracy, under the glare of Liberty's torch (America), it is but natural that they very generally feel a hostility; "because the darkness hateth the light," as ever. There are exceptions to every rule, but generally speaking America is loved and appreciated only by the middle classes of Europe, and these chiefly in Protestant countries.

Nor should it surprise us if God has still some further work for America to do in pulling down the strongholds of error and waking up the mighty men and men of war. To some extent the torch of liberty may be a torch of war and destruction. This may sound strange to those who mistakenly have supposed that God is to be credited with all the peace and arbitration movements and Satan to be credited with all the moves toward war and violence.

It is necessary to our appreciation of transpiring events that we remember that God's dealings and commands are individual and not national since he abandoned fleshly Israel and removed the diadem--"until he come whose right it is." Meantime the nations are restrained in peace or let loose to vent their selfish passions in war as best harmonizes with the next step in the divine program. How aptly the poet expressed this, saying--

"See the mystic Weaver sitting
High in heaven--His loom below.
Up and down the treadles go.
Takes, for web, the world's dark ages,
Takes, for woof, the kings and sages.
Takes the nobles and their pages,
Takes all stations and all stages.
Thrones are bobbins in his shuttle.
Armies make them scud and scuttle--
Web into the woof must flow:
Up and down the nations go!
At the Weaver's will they go!

"Calmly see the mystic Weaver
Throw His shuttle to and fro;
'Mid the noise and wild confusion,
Well the Weaver seems to know
What each motion, and commotion,
What each fusion, and confusion,
In the grand result will show!

"Glorious wonder! What a weaving!
To the dull, beyond believing."

The present work is the selection of the Church, the royal priesthood, and incidentally the awakening and disciplining of the nations to prepare them for the Millennial reign of blessing and peace. Let us not forget, however, that God's people are all to be peaceable and to the extent of their opportunities peacemakers.


***

A brother has recently called our attention to Isaiah 5:26-30; inquiring whether or not we see anything to indicate that this refers to the United States. After examining the passage it seems to us not a forced or unreasonable application. The prophecy seems to apply to the present time--the end of this age--and its fitness to this nation is worthy of consideration also: it will probably not require long to demonstrate this. The following is a preferred translation.

"And he will lift up an ensign to the nations from afar, and will call for one of them from the end of the earth; and, behold, with speed, swiftly, it cometh.

"There is none weary nor stumbling among its men; it slumbereth not, it sleepeth not; not loosened is the girdle of its loins, not broken is the latchet of its shoes; whose arrows are sharpened, and all whose bows are bent; its horses' hoofs are hard like flint, and its wheels like the whirlwind.

"It hath a roar like the lioness, it roareth like the young lions; yea, it growleth, and layeth hold of the prey, and carrieth it safely off, with none to deliver.

"And it will rage against them on that day like the raging of the sea: and if one look unto the earth, behold there is darkness, oppression, and the light is darkened in the heavens thereof."--Compare Leeser's Translation.

When we remember the significance of sea and earth and heavens as symbols, it seems to add force to the above suggestion. The sea in symbol is anarchy: and while the United States is perhaps less anarchic than the old world, yet the freedom possessed here is in the estimation of many of the potentates of Europe "like the raging of the sea [anarchy]." The earth in symbol signifies society, the social structure. And surely, whoever looks at the social condition of Europe [R2327 : page 197] with open eyes sees little but superstition's darkness and oppression. Nor can we see grounds for hope for better conditions under the present order of things. The heavens are the nominal churches or religious powers, and by false teachings surely these have much to do with the trouble present and impending.



[R2328 : page 197]

MERCY REJOICETH AGAINST JUDGMENT.


"He shall have judgment without mercy who hath shown no mercy. Mercy rejoiceth against judgment."--Jas. 2:13.
THE word judgment here stands for sentence-- the sentence of sin, death. It therefore represents justice, because in man's trial it was Justice which inflicted the sentence of death. Mercy is the fruit or result of love, and therefore represents love. Hence the case, Mercy against Judgment is equivalent to Love against Justice. The thought would be that divine Love has secured a triumph over divine Justice.

At first thought there would seem to be an inconsistency in this view: for how could love triumph over justice, since the Scriptures, as well as reason, assure us that justice must be the very foundation of all divine government; and that to ignore it would mean the destruction of government and order,--anarchy, disorder. It is when we inquire of the Lord's Word, how his Love gains a victory over justice, that we gain an insight into the beautiful harmony and coordination of these divine attributes--Love and Justice. The Scriptures assure us that "God is Love," and that "Justice is the foundation of his throne," or government. (1 John 4:16; Psa. 89:14.) Since God himself is Love, he can do nothing that can be derogatory or opposed to love; and since his government is founded upon strictest justice he can do nothing that would not be in harmony therewith. His own character and law are the bulwarks on either side of the subject, each as high and as strong as the other.

How then, can love and mercy gain a conquest and rejoice over justice and the sentence? The Apostle answers the question, assuring us that our justification from the sentence is by divine grace, "through the redemption that is in Christ: whom God sent forth to be a propitiation [satisfaction of justice] through faith in his blood...that he might be just, and [yet be] the Justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.-- Rom. 3:24-26.

Here then, is the triumph of love and mercy, not through a failure of justice, not through conquering it, but through a satisfaction of justice, its appeasement by the payment of a ransom price, a corresponding price--a man's life for a man's life: the man Christ Jesus for the man Adam and those who were involved in his disobedience and its sentence or curse. From this standpoint alone would it be possible for love and mercy to triumph over divine justice and its sentence; a triumph in which the justice of God can equally rejoice.

The original trial of father Adam in the Garden of Eden was along the lines of strictest justice, and his sentence was without mercy: it was inflicted without the slightest deviation. Subsequently, when God introduced the Covenant of Law at Mount Sinai, with the nation of Israel, it also was along the lines of justice: it was an offer of eternal life to any Israelite who could and would live up to the divine law;--it was justice, without mercy. It had indeed an admixture of leniency as represented by the annual Atonement Day with its benefits extending to that nation for the ensuing year, but the sacrifices which were offered according to the Law, the Apostle assures us, "could never take away sin." It could cover the sin temporarily for the year, and furnish a new opportunity for a fresh start, but it could never cancel the sins past, nor atone for sins future; hence it was still a reign of Law, a reign of death, at the hands of Justice. Love did not and could not intervene to spare the sinner; the most it could do was to point forward, in promise and in type, to the coming Deliverer, who would satisfy the claims of justice, and set at liberty the prisoners of sin and death. God was Love before he sent his Son, just as truly as he is Love since he sent his Son; but God's Love was not manifested previously, as it was in that great act of love. "Herein was manifested the love of God, in that he gave his only begotten Son." The giving of his son to be our redemption price was in connection with the making of a New Covenant, a new agreement, a new compact, between God and those of his creatures fallen into sin who might desire to return to his favor.

The New Covenant was an arrangement by which God's love might exercise mercy toward the sinner. The language of the New Covenant is apparently an abandonment of strict justice in the Lord's dealing with the sinner, and the adoption of a course of treatment which deviates to some extent from strict justice, and shows mercy to those who desire mercy, and desire to come back into harmony with God, and desire to attain again the perfection lost through sin. The language of the New Covenant is, "I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more."--Heb. 8:12.

The Apostle assures us that this New Covenant could only go into force, could only become operative [R2328 : page 198] toward us, by virtue of the atoning sacrifice which the Father designed, and which the Lord Jesus joyfully and obediently fulfilled. He assures us, and so also does our Lord Jesus, that the death of Christ sealed or ratified or made binding and complete this New Covenant between God and man, of which Jesus is the Mediator. Thus our Lord himself, when speaking of his death, symbolized by the cup, said, "This is the blood of the New Covenant shed for many for [in order to] the remission of sins." Sins could not be remitted except as justice would first be met, and the one who met the claims of justice on behalf of the sinner would be the one who would have the right to remit the sinner's guilt, and thus to be the Mediator between Justice and the sinner.

The Apostle Paul gives us the same view of the matter; saying, that "the blood [death, sacrifice] cleanseth us" and for this cause he is the Mediator of the New Covenant: that by means of death for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first covenant, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. (Heb. 9:14,15.) We see, then, that since Calvary, since the sealing of the New Covenant with the blood of the Mediator, since that New Covenant was thus ratified or made effective, the triumph of love and mercy over justice, and the sentence of death originally inflicted, has been a fact. And since the offence and the sentence were of one man, and rested upon the many through him, even upon all his posterity, so likewise the New Covenant is by the one man, Christ Jesus, and is applicable to not only the first offence committed in Eden, but applicable to all the "many offences" since committed because of weakness and depravity, introduced by the one transgression.--Rom. 5:12,15-21.

But while the New Covenant is thus for Adam and all his posterity, nevertheless there are conditions attached to this Covenant, which limit its action.

(1) Faith in it--and acceptance of its provisions or demands: and this implies a knowledge of the covenant conditions, for no man can either accept or reject that of which he has no knowledge, as the Apostle says, "How shall they believe on him of whom they have not heard?"

(2) Obedience, as the result of faith, is required to the extent of ability--obedience to the law of the New Covenant.

Hence, although the New Covenant is for the entire race, it is not as yet available to any but a small minority. Few have the knowledge of God and of his arrangement in Christ under this covenant, which would permit of faith in it. And of those who have received some knowledge of the great fact, and who have with more or less clearness exercised a faith in the atonement, comparatively few have taken the second step of obedience. Those who have taken the first step of faith are, on this account, reckoned as justified--to the intent that they may take the second step of full obedience to the requirements of the covenant. Those who have taken the second step have not lost the first step of justification, but have added thereto the step of sanctification,--consecration,--devotion. And only to the latter class belongs the full benefit of this covenant.

These two steps, (1) Faith, and (2) Obedience, were illustrated in typical Israel, and in the institution of their typical covenants, at the hand of their typical mediator, and with the blood of their typical sacrifice for sins. The Lord made known to Israel his covenant, and they assented thereto, and said, "All these things will we do," accepting Moses also as their mediator. This was the first step, corresponding with us to the step of faith and justification through faith. Then Moses took the blood of the sacrifice of atonement,--the blood of their covenant, and sprinkled it upon the book; i.e., upon the tables of the law, as representing God and his Word, the law or basis of his covenant with them, which they were to observe and obey. Moreover, he sprinkled also all the people with that blood, saying, "This is the covenant which God hath enjoined upon you." This was not a meaningless performance. The moment the drop of blood touched the Israelite, it meant that the covenant was in operation, in full force and power, on him and toward him; that God was bound to him by the covenant, and he was bound to God by the covenant. So likewise in the antitype, after we have heard, known, and have exercised faith, then the Lord requires that if we are in harmony with him, and desire to enter into this new covenant, we shall take our position with those who receive the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things for us than any typical blood, and that by receiving this blood of sprinkling we shall not only be justified from our past sins, but thereby also we shall recognize ourselves as henceforth bounden, obligated, covenanted to the Lord, as his people.--1 Pet. 1:2.

Moreover, as Israel was bound by that covenant to the law of God, as promulgated by their mediator, Moses, so we spiritual Israelites, who have fully entered the New Covenant relationship, and who have had the seal of the New Covenant, the blood of Christ, put [R2329 : page 198] upon us, are thereby bound to all the terms and conditions of that new covenant,--to its obligations as well as to its blessings: and these obligations are expressed in the law of the New Covenant, promulgated by the mediator of the new covenant, namely the royal law of Love.

There are many false apprehensions respecting the New Covenant: one is to the effect that the law of [R2329 : page 199] the old covenant is also the law of the New Covenant. But not so: as the New Covenant is higher than the Law Covenant, and as its mediator is higher than the mediator of the Law Covenant, so the law itself is higher still and grander still than the law of the Mosaic covenant. Altho the latter was holy and just and good (Rom. 7:12), the law of the New Covenant is sublime. The Apostle declares that the law of the New Covenant is in full harmony with the law of the old covenant, that it is really the same law, only that our Mediator has magnified it, and made it still more honorable, adorable. The law of the covenant which Moses mediated reads, "Thou shalt not" do thus and so; the law of the New Covenant is briefly comprehended in one word, Love; "Thou shalt love."

O, how much difference there is between these two laws, notwithstanding all their many points of harmony. "Thou shalt not kill," "Thou shalt not steal," might be understood by some, perhaps, to leave room for a willingness or desire to steal, or a willingness or desire to murder, if the evil acts themselves were abstained from. But the one command, "Thou shalt love," not only leaves no room for stealing and murder, but leaves no room for any thought that would be akin to these evil deeds. More than this, it is not merely a law of negatives, commanding us to abstain from doing and from even thinking evil; but it goes much further in positively requiring of us to think good and do good--to fulfil "the royal law" "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God," and "Thou shalt love thy neighbor."

Many who think that they have entered into the New Covenant relationship with the Lord are evidently mistaken. They have perhaps believed in Jesus, and in his sacrifice for sins, and have desired his blessing and liberty from the curse of death; but they have not recognized nor accepted the corresponding obligations on their part. They have not stood up before the Lord to swear allegiance to him and to the law of his covenant, and to be sealed with the blood which seals that covenant. They are deluding themselves in thinking they are under the terms of the New Covenant, when they are not--not having taken the necessary second step to make them beneficiaries under its arrangement. They have heard of "the royal law of love," they know of it as the Golden Rule of the New Covenant, yet they have never, by consecration, put themselves under that law. They have never recognized it as being the law over them, by which they are to be controlled, and by which eventually they are to be judged. It is a work of kindness to such to point out to them clearly and distinctly that they are deceiving their own selves, and that those who do not accept of and come under the royal law of the New Covenant have neither part nor lot in the blessings which flow from that covenant.

It is time that all who profess faith and loyalty to the Lord and to the New Covenant should recognize themselves as Covenanters--those who have made a compact, a covenant, with the Lord through Christ Jesus, and who are bound by the law of that covenant. And if they have done this intelligently, it is high time that they should be measuring every act and word and thought of life by the Golden Rule of this Covenant, which our Lord Jesus expresses most succinctly, saying, "As ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise."--Luke 6:31.

THE ROYAL LAW.


Our Lord and the Apostles, in all their teaching and writing, inculcated this royal law of the New Covenant. It was along this line that our Lord said to the disciples, "Judge not [harshly, unmercifully, ungenerously,] that ye be not [so] judged; for with whatever measure of cold justice and mercilessness you measure others, the same shall be meted out to you. The Apostle James, in our text, repeats the same thought, saying, "He shall have judgment [just sentence] without mercy who hath showed no mercy." That is to say, if we have come under the blessed provisions of the New Covenant, it means not only that we have accepted of God's mercy through Christ in the forgiveness of our sins, but also that a condition upon which we receive divine mercy was that we ourselves would be governed by the same rule of love and mercy towards our fellow-creatures. If, therefore, we fail to follow the Golden Rule, we mark ourselves as rejectors of the covenant of grace, and as those who despise divine favor, and who trample upon and make light of the great sacrifice by which this favor of the New Covenant was made available to us.

Such a course, persisted in intelligently and intentionally, would seem to result in the Second death; for, as the Apostle declares, if we show no mercy to others, if we attempt to mete out justice without mercy, the result to ourselves will be that we will be treated without mercy,--on lines of strictest justice. This would mean that we would be without any benefit in the New Covenant, and without any covering or protection in the Mediator, and would fall directly into the hands of Justice, without a covering for our blemishes. This is the condition of affairs which the Apostle Paul points out to us, in connection with which he says, "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." It is a fearful thing for imperfect beings like ourselves to fall into the hands of strict justice and its judgment, and to obtain no mercy.

This would mean nothing short of the Second [R2329 : page 200] Death, for as the Apostle illustrates, the one who despised the typical covenant and the law given by its mediator died without mercy: much more, might we suppose, that he who has accepted the terms of the New Covenant, and who has intelligently heard from its Mediator the law which must govern all who would be blessed by that covenant (the law of love), and who willingly and intentionally despises and rejects the claims of that law, is worthy of death. And this death, as the Apostle intimates, would be a greater, a sorer, punishment than the one inflicted for the violation of the typical covenant--it would be sorer or more disastrous, in that it would be the Second Death, the end of all hope; because those thus condemned had enjoyed the opportunities and privileges of the New Covenant, and had despised and rejected them.

Nor should such radical treatment of transgressors against the conditions of the New Covenant surprise us: the same conditions will, we believe, obtain in the next age, in the Millennium. The world of mankind, when brought to a knowledge of divine grace, will be invited to fully subject themselves to all the terms and conditions of the law of love. Those who endeavor to make progress in this direction will have the blessing and the assistance of the great Mediator, while those who reject the principles of this law of love to God and love to man--"The law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus," will be rejecting this law, be rejecting the life which is attached thereto. And such rejectors of the law of the New Covenant are to be esteemed as rejectors of all the grace "which first contrived the way to save rebellious man." Such rejectors will be despisers of God, who was the Author of this plan of salvation. They will be rejectors of the blood of Christ, which sealed the New Covenant. And figuratively speaking, they may be said to trample upon that grace of God and of our Lord Jesus Christ. Very properly, eternal life is not intended for such. It would not be a real blessing for such, and they in turn would be an injury and a curse to all those who shall come into full accord with the Lord and with the spirit of his law of love.

Let us, then, who have heard of the grace of God in Christ, and who have accepted of that grace by entering into the obligations of the New Covenant--let us remember daily, hourly, to let this law of love rule in our hearts, and in all our conduct. Let us remember that it not only means supreme love to God, which places the will and Word of the Lord paramount not only to our own wills, but also to the wills of others, and thus makes us loyal in the highest sense of the word, and in every affair of life, to the King of kings and Lord of lords. Let us remember, secondly, that the law of love is to operate toward our fellow men, and to lead us to "do good unto all men as we have opportunity--especially to the household of faith." Let us remember that love not only would not kill the neighbor, nor steal from the neighbor, but that it would hinder us from speaking evil of the neighbor, from stabbing him with slander, and from stealing from him a good name, which is more to him than his purse. Let us remember that love would not only utterly repudiate and contradict and hinder such conduct, but that on the reverse, it would lead us to be kind, gentle, patient, forgiving, merciful, not only to them that love us, and who are gentle and kind to us, but also as our Master explained, to the unkind, to the unthankful, to enemies who injure us, and who say all manner of evil against us falsely. "Love suffereth long and is kind."

Love and its consequence, mercy, take hold upon the heart, the sentiments, the affections of life, and should ultimately permeate every channel of life. Thus love, mercifulness, would extend not only to the household of faith and our own family households, and to our neighbors, but also to the dumb animals. The man who has accepted love (mercy) as the ruling and controlling principle of life, the law of the New Covenant, which is to control in every act and word and thought, will be loving (merciful) toward his horse, toward his dog, his chickens,--toward everything with [R2330 : page 200] which he has to do. And if love (mercy) would restrain him from whipping his horse unmercifully, and if it would lead him to provide amply for the sustenance and comfort of the dumb creatures under his care, will not the same spirit of love extend also along to higher lines of the family, and lead him to be thoughtful of the comfort and welfare of all the human beings under his care, in matters both spiritual and temporal? And if it would stay his hand from smiting his beast an unnecessary blow, would it not much more stay his or her tongue from smiting the hearts and feelings of humanity with whom he or she may come in contact, with needlessly sharp, cutting words, irony, sarcasm, etc.--or still worse, with the poisoned blade of slander and suspicion and evil suggestion and surmise?

And all of this which applies to the beast, to the home circle and family, applies with equal or still more force to the family of God, the Church; hence the Apostle urges that evil speaking, bitterness, anger, wrath, malice, hatreds, strifes, envyings, which are all parts of the old nature, the nature of the world and of the devil, be put away. These are to be supplanted by the new spirit of Christ, in harmony with the law of the New Covenant,--Love--with its gentleness, meekness, patience, long-suffering, brotherly-kindness. "If these things be in you and abound they shall make you that you shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that [R2330 : page 201] lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore, the rather, brethren, give diligence [to the cultivation of these graces] to make your calling and election sure; for if ye do these things ye shall never fall: for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."--2 Pet. 1:8-11.

He who finds his heart not in harmony with this law of the New Covenant, love--mercy, kindness, gentleness, goodness--lacks the evidence of proof that he is in any sense of the word accepted as a son of God, and a joint heir with Christ. If he have not this spirit of love, he will find it impossible to go far in the footsteps of the Master, for the sacrifice of Christ was not vain-glorious, not for outward show, not for honor of men, but prompted by love--toward God and men. So likewise with us, if we have not love in our hearts for the brethren, and the love of gentleness and benevolence toward all men, and even toward the brute creation, we have not the spirit which will carry us through in making the sacrifices necessary under present conditions. It will only be a question of time with such when the power of pride or vain-glory, holding them in the way of sacrifice, will snap asunder, and selfishness take full control. He who would be faithful even unto death, walking in the footsteps of the Master, must receive of the Master's spirit of love, before he can thus follow him. As the Apostle declares, "He that saith, I love God, and hateth his brother, is a liar. He that loveth not his brother, whom he hath seen, how can he love God, whom he hath not seen?" Hence, the Scriptures place the love of the brethren as one of the evidences of our having been begotten of the spirit, and of our being in touch with the Master.

THIS LAW IN PRACTICAL OPERATION.


And love of the brethren does not mean merely love for a faction, or clique, or for some of the brethren who have natural qualities which we admire. It means love for all who have accepted the New Covenant and are seeking to walk by the Golden Rule of love. It means that if some have peculiarities of natural development and disposition, which are discordant to our ideas and sentiments, nevertheless, we will love and cherish them, and cheerfully serve them, because they are trusting in the Lord, and have been accepted of him, and have adopted the law of the New Covenant, the royal law of liberty and life, as their standard. We thenceforth know them not after the flesh, with its peculiarities and knots and twists: but after the new nature, as "new creatures." It means also that each of us in proportion as we discover our own natural crooks and twists, which are contrary to the law of love, will seek to get rid of these imperfections of the flesh as rapidly as possible, and to make them as little obtrusive and offensive to others as possible.

From this standpoint love will not be forever noting the defects of the various members of the body of Christ, nor holding them up to ridicule and scorn of others; but each will be, so far as possible, fully as anxious to cover the defects of others as to cover his own defects; and to sympathize with others in their conflicts with their besetments, as he sympathizes with himself, and desires that the Lord shall sympathize with him, in his own conflict with his own imperfections. "If any man have not the spirit of Christ [the disposition of Christ, love] he is none of his."--Rom. 8:9.

The object of the present call of the Church, in advance of the call of the world, to share in the benefits and privileges of this New Covenant, is to select in advance, not those that are perfect, not those who are the copies of God's dear Son, but those who desire and will seek to become copies of God's dear Son, "conformed to the image of his Son." That image is love itself, for as God is love, so Christ's character is love, the express image of the Father. This is the mold into which we are to be fashioned. But God will not impress us into this mold; he will not force upon us these lines of character: rather, the only influences which he exerts to this end are the "exceeding great and precious promises; that by these we might become partakers of the divine nature" and impress upon ourselves the divine character of love, and thus escape the corruption that is in the world through selfishness; or rather, we are to keep ourselves in the love of God while he causes the pressure of all things to deeply engrave it upon us.--Jude 21.

The matter is left open to us; we can either avail ourselves of these promises and permit them to mold and fashion us according to the copy, little by little, daily and hourly, in thought, in word and in deed, or we can resist their proper influence, and we can hold the truth in unrighteousness. Those who take the latter course are purchasing for themselves thereby bitter disappointment; for such are not of the kind to whom the Lord will say, "Well done, good and faithful servant, thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things." The degree of our devotion to the Lord, therefore, will be indicated in the degree of our love for him and his; and the degree of our love and devotion will be manifested by our activity in conquering self and its selfishness, in all its ramifications throughout the affairs of life, and bringing all our thoughts and talents, great or small, into active service, prompted by love to God and to his people. And such will appreciate the sentiments of the Apostle, when he said, "We [who have [R2330 : page 202] received of the begetting of the holy spirit of our Master, the spirit of love, and who have grown to some extent in the knowledge of him--we] ought also to lay down our lives for the brethren."

THE ROYAL LAW DURING THE MILLENNIUM.


These same principles will be applicable to some extent during the Millennial age: note some of the differences between then and now, in the operation of this New Covenant.

First, the Mediator shall then draw or call all men to a knowledge of the grace of God bestowed upon them in the provisions of this New Covenant; whereas now all are not called, but only "Whomsoever the Lord your God shall call," for no man cometh unto the Son now, except the Father who sent the Son draw him. (Jno. 6:44.) Not many great, or wise, or learned, or rich are called.

Second, the acceptance of the New Covenant then will be less a matter of faith and more a matter of knowledge, than now; because the Lord shall take away the vail of ignorance which now is spread over all the earth, and the blinded eyes shall see out of the obscurity.--Isa. 25:7; 29:18.

Third, nevertheless it will be equally necessary that each one who would then avail himself of the blessed provisions of the New Covenant shall for himself enter into a positive covenant with the Mediator, that he will obey the law of the New Covenant, Love. Love is the voice or command of the great Teacher, who shall then stand up with authority, and cause that all the world of mankind shall hear this message. "It shall come to pass that whosoever will not hear [obey] that prophet shall be cut off from among his people." All who will not conform themselves to the law of love, the law of the Millennial Kingdom, shall be cut off in the Second Death.

Fourth, but even in the Millennial age God will not compel mankind to be conformed to this law. He will compel them to bow to and acknowledge the rule of love, as it is written, "Every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess;" because, when the Kingdom is established, and righteousness is laid to the line, and justice to the plummet, every violation of the law of that Kingdom, the Golden Rule, will meet with swift punishment; to the intent that evil doers shall be afraid, and that the righteous shall flourish. But God will still not impress the law of love upon the hearts of any; he leaves that for each to do for himself, just as at the present time. Each then, as now, must "put away" from his heart selfishness and all of the concomitant evils resulting from sin. Each then, as now, must "cleanse himself from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the reverence of the Lord" (2 Cor. 7:1); because God seeketh not such as are merely forced into obedience,--he "seeketh such to worship him as worship him in spirit and in truth" [R2331 : page 202] --such as love the law of God with all their heart, and who are at warfare with selfishness and sin, especially in themselves.

Hence we see that at the close of the Millennial age, after the full opportunity has been granted to the world to have two-fold experience--now, with sin and selfishness, and their misrule, and the evil results; and then, with righteousness and love, and their blessed rule of peace and joy--when all shall have had fullest opportunity to develop in their hearts the spirit of love, then will come a test, a trial, in the close of the Millennial age, which will prove and demonstrate those whose love and fidelity to the Lord are of the heart, versus those whose obedience has been because of expediency. This trial, we may suppose, will not be a trial to see whether or not they will commit some open and flagrant wrong, but rather like the trial of father Adam in his perfection, a trial along the lines of obedience and disobedience, and whether love has been permitted to rule and take full possession of the heart, with resultant faithfulness to God and every principle of righteousness which would trust the Lord and follow strictly in his way.

The result will be that all of the world who then shall not have the spirit of love properly developed, will be cut off in the Second Death, as unfit for eternal life, or to go beyond the Millennium into the grand conditions;--respecting which God has promised us that there shall be no more dying, no more sighing, no more crying, no more pain, there; because all the former things shall have passed away--all the things of sin, and all who have sympathy or love for sin.

The victory in this race is not because of willing, nor for perfect running, yet it is only to him that willeth and that so runneth--through Christ. Thus Mercy rejoiceth against Justice, yet he that shows no mercy and who thus shows himself lacking in love shall receive no mercy. He that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and for such are all the riches of divine mercy and grace.


I'LL DO MY VERY BEST.


I may perform no deed of great renown,
No glorious acts to millions manifest;
Yet in my little labors up and down
I'll do my best.

I may not paint a perfect masterpiece,
Nor carve a statue by the world confessed
A miracle of art; yet will not cease
To do my best.

My name is not upon the rolls of fame,
'Tis on the page of common life impressed;
But I'll keep marking, marking just the same,
And do my very best.

And if I see some fellow traveller rise
Far, far above me, still with quiet breast
I keep on climbing, climbing toward the skies,
And do my very best.

Mine may not be the beautiful and grand,
But I must try to be so careful, lest
It fail to be what's put into my hand--
My very best.
--H. Guy Carleton.



[R2331 : page 203]

INTERESTING QUERIES.


WERE LINCOLN AND GRANT CHRISTIANS?


Question. In the WATCH TOWER of June 15, p.180, the intimation seems to be that Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant were not Christians, but noble specimens of the natural man; and that their opportunities in the future may be much more favorable than those of some who, professing Christ in church membership, deny him openly and continually in their daily life; but, nevertheless, that such moral people are in no sense counted by the Lord as members of his elect Church. Have I understood you correctly?

Answer. You have stated the matter very correctly. The Church is composed only of believers in the redemptive work of Christ Jesus, who, because of their faith, are reckoned as justified from all sin.

Moreover, the believer must subsequently consecrate himself to the Lord a "living sacrifice," ere he is reckoned as a member of the body of Christ, which is the Church. And this implies not only belief with the heart, but also confession with the mouth, and in the general course of life a manifestation of having (in will at least) died to sin and self and become alive as a new creature to the Lord and his righteousness.

We are well aware that the foregoing is very contrary to the general views of this subject, but the Scripturalness of our position cannot be successfully controverted. The popular, but very erroneous, idea of the name Christian was recently illustrated by the answer of a gentleman to the question whether or not he or any of his family were Christians. His answer was,--Well, I presume we are Christians, for we are not Jews, nor heathen.

The trouble with Protestants in general is that they assume that the Scriptures teach that all who are not of the Church are damned to eternal woe, and they reason correctly that Lincoln and Grant were too good to be everlastingly tormented, and so, without the slightest warrant of Scripture and in opposition to it, they crowd into heaven, as members of the glorified Church, "all the ring-streaked and speckled" of Christendom, excluding only the absolutely black.

And when we call their attention to the Scriptures which declare that the blessings of the Church's high calling are promised only to the sanctified in Christ Jesus, who strive to walk in the Master's footsteps of self sacrifice; and to the fact declared by the Apostle, that "without holiness no man shall see the Lord,-- then they abandon the Scriptures, declaring that they prefer their own judgments. However, if the Scriptures be rejected at all they should be rejected in toto. But in that case to be consistent they would have to abandon all hope in a divine plan of salvation, for there is no other revelation of it: and such is the general trend.

We most heartily agree that Lincoln and Grant were far too noble to be justly sentenced to everlasting torments: and we will go a step further, and assert that no man is or ever was bad enough to justly merit eternal torment. The Bible commends itself as vastly superior to the views and teachings of the heathen and of Christian sects, in that it does not teach so unjust and unreasonable a theory.*

*See What Say the Scriptures About Hell? Postpaid 10c. Watch Tower office.

Much more consistent is the teaching of Roman Catholicism than that of Protestants on this subject. It puts all except the "saints" into Purgatory for purification and development.

But the essence of consistency is found in the teachings of the Bible: that (1) the present age is merely "for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of service" in the age to follow this--the Millennium. (Eph. 4:12.) (2) That under that future ministry of the saints, for which they are now being perfected, "all the families of the earth shall be blessed," which will include the awakening of "them that sleep in the dust of the earth" (Dan. 12:2); for in that glorious day of blessing and restitution "all that are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son of Man and come forth."--John 5:28; Acts 3:19-23.

When the sleeping world comes forth from the grave it will be found that while all men inherit blemished characters, nevertheless, each has according to his knowledge and opportunities either builded and strengthened character or undermined and degraded the measure of character received from his parents. Among these will be noble characters, such as Lincoln, Grant, Plato, Socrates, Confucius and many others less notable. These will be recognized according to their true worth at a time when "every secret thing shall be revealed" whether it be good or bad. And amongst those who shall then come forth we are told there will be some exposed to "shame and lasting contempt." (Dan. 2:2.) Oh, how much meanness and perfidy and hypocrisy and selfishness will then be exposed: and what shame will be connected with this exposure--and what contempt in their own eyes as well as in the eyes of each other. Yet all this will be a part of their "blessing," which, to those rightly exercised thereby, will work out reform and gradually lead, step by step, up to full restitution of all the glorious likeness of God bestowed upon father Adam and lost by disobedience. The shame and contempt will [R2331 : page 204] continue so long as the shameful and contemptible conditions continue, and no longer. And all who refuse to go up on the highway of holiness then opened up to [R2332 : page 204] them "shall be destroyed from among the people"-- "the Second Death."--Compare Isa. 35:8; 62:10; Acts 3:23; DAWN I., Chap. 11.

WAS THE TEMPLE CLEANSED TWICE?


Question. From the various accounts would it not appear that the Temple was cleansed twice? I see that DAWN and WATCH TOWER always refer to the matter as tho there had been but one cleansing.--See Mark 11:15; John 2:13-17; Matt. 21:12,13.

Answer. Many take the view suggested--that there were two cleansings; but we do not share it. It will be noticed that Matthew, Mark and John each mention the matter only once; and each mention once our Lord's riding upon the ass in fulfilment of Zechariah's prophecy (9:9-12); but only one of them connects these two events--Matthew. Moreover, since all agree that the riding on the ass was in fulfilment, of Zechariah's prophecy, and that there our Lord assumed for the first time his title as King, it is but reasonable to suppose that the use of force in cleansing the temple followed and did not precede that assertion of regal authority. For the same reasons we accept that same day as the one on which our Lord wept over Jerusalem and said "Your house is left unto you desolate!" Note the Prophet's expression--"Even to-day do I declare I will render [the second half of thy] double unto thee;"--the day of the riding on the ass as King.

The disconnection so noticeable in the gospels may be accounted for (1) By remembering that the Apostles were "unlearned men," not regularly educated historians, men who recorded the wonderful words and works of their wonderful Teacher, but apparently saw little necessity for order or sequence. (2) By assuming that in this matter our Lord designed the confusion of the record, that only the faith-full and zealous might, under the leading of the holy spirit be led to "rightly divide the Word of truth" and to get from it "meat in due season."

CHRISTIAN DUTY IF DRAFTED.


Question. There are possibilities of a still greater war and of a draft which might include some of us who understand our Lord's commands to forbid our engagement in carnal warfare. What then, would be our duty?

Answer. "We know that all things shall work together for good to those who love God--to the called ones according to his purpose." If, therefore, we were drafted, and if the government refused to accept our conscientious scruples against warfare (as they have heretofore done with "Friends," called Quakers), we should request to be assigned to the hospital service or to the Commissary department or to some other non-combatant place of usefulness; and such requests would no doubt be granted. If not, and we ever got into battle, we might help to terrify the enemy, but need not shoot anybody. Meantime what an opportunity we might thus have for preaching "Jesus and the resurrection;" --for being "living epistles known and read by all" the camp;--examples of good soldiers of the Lord Jesus Christ, drilled and thoroughly equipped with the armor of God, loyal and courageous in the Christian warfare, against the world, the flesh, and the devil.



[R2332 : page 204]

"JEHOVAH, HE IS THE GOD."
--JULY 17.--1 KINGS 18:30-40.--
"And when all the people saw it they fell on their faces, and they said: Jehovah, he is the God."--1 Kings 18:39.
THE three and a half years of drouth no doubt had an humbling effect upon King Ahab, as well as upon the people of Israel. No doubt they began to wonder where the matter would end; and to recognize it as more than an accident--as a judgment. The question would be whether it was a judgment from Baal or a judgment from Jehovah; for the people, as a result of their extended acquaintance with idolatry had a comparatively weak faith respecting the unseen Jehovah, who permitted no image or likeness of himself to be made or to be worshiped. The Lord's time had come for awakening Israel, and starting a reformation movement amongst them, and Elijah, who had been sought by the King throughout the surrounding nations, was instructed to present himself before Ahab, with a promise that rain should follow; and was permitted to be the Lord's agent in drawing the attention of the people to the true God, who alone has power over the elements.

Altho Ahab realized that the famine was a judgment of the Lord, nevertheless, after the custom of the natural man, he ignored personal responsibility, and affected to charge the evils to Elijah, saying to him, "Are thou he that troublest Israel?" It is always so with the faithful mouthpieces of the Lord. Since they cannot prophesy smooth things, but must present the truth in reproof of unrighteousness, therefore the world and the nominal Israelite hate them. [R2332 : page 205] They do not seem to realize that the difficulty lies in themselves, and their sins, and their separation from the Lord. But Elijah, humble yet unabashed, did not hesitate to tell the king the truth of the matter, assuring him that the trouble in Israel came from his own wrong course.

The drouth had so humbled Ahab that he did not resent the Prophet's arraignment of his sin: perhaps also he hoped that through the prophet's favor the embargo of the drouth and famine might be lifted. At all events he very promptly complied with Elijah's request that the people of Israel be assembled at Mount Carmel, together with the priests of Baal. Accordingly there was a great concourse to the flat, table-top of Mount Carmel, where Elijah awaited them, the king also coming with them; but Queen Jezebel sullenly remained at the palace in the capital city of Samaria.

Elijah, full of zeal for the Lord, and full of indignation against the idolatry, and probably counseled respecting his course by the Lord, had a plan prepared by which to demonstrate to Israel which was the true God and which the false one. In the presence of the people he made a proposition to the priests of Baal for a contest to prove the question. This proposition was so reasonable, and the interest and expectation of Israel so great, that the priests of Baal dare not refuse. They, four hundred and fifty in number, were to build an altar and to make a sacrifice thereon to their god, Baal, while Elijah would build an altar and offer a sacrifice thereon to Jehovah, and whichever god would answer by fire would thus be attested as the true God. If Baal were powerful enough to answer the prayers of his priests and to accept the offering of the altar, then the people might understand that it was because Baal was offended with them that they had experienced the drouth and the famine. But if Jehovah had the power, and would answer with fire, it would be proof to the people that the drouth and the famine were from him, and signs of his indignation because they had worshiped Baal.

The proposition could not be rejected: the priests of Baal prepared their altar and their sacrifice, and had the advantage of the noon-day heat of a tropical sun, sufficient almost of itself to ignite the fat of the sacrifice. They desired and prayed that the test might be granted; they cut themselves with stones until the blood gushed out, claiming that it must be because some of them, as priests of Baal, had trespassed against him, that their prayers were not heard. They kept this up for hours, until near sunset--Elijah meantime, in the hearing of the people, pouring upon them the sharpest sarcasm--the sarcasm of truth, not of falsehood. He suggested that they pray louder, as peradventure their god might be a little deaf; he urged them to keep it up, peradventure Baal might be on a journey, or attending to other business, or asleep. Thus he was giving to Israel in general the most telling lesson possible, considering their lethargy on religious subjects. He was preparing them for the final demonstration which he was about to give, that Jehovah is the true God, the only God who had power to answer both by fire and by water.

Mark how thorough the Prophet's faith in God, and how thoroughly he demonstrated that there could be no room for deception in connection with his offering. Twelve stone crocks of water were poured upon the sacrifice and the wood, and filled the trench around about it; the sun was losing its power, and the offering was thoroughly drenched, and all things were thus ready for a thorough test of Jehovah's power to send down fire.

Elijah stated the matter to the people: "How long halt ye between two opinions? If Jehovah be God, follow him; but if Baal be God, then follow him." The test was to show which was the true God, and which was the false god, and incidentally which the true and which the false prophets. Then Elijah prayed a beautiful and proper prayer. He did not say, "O Lord, cause Israel all to know how great, I Elijah, am, as a prophet of the Lord," but "Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that thou art Jehovah God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again [--recalling them again by their experiences and these signs to be thy people]."

The answer by fire was prompt, and the effect upon the people great. They promptly acknowledged Jehovah, and slew the priests of Baal. Then, while Ahab and the people rejoiced in Elijah's promises that the [R2333 : page 205] long hoped for rain would come, and went to their homes to rejoice and feast, the prophet remained upon the mountain to pray for that which God had definitely promised. Once he prayed, and sent his servant a distance to look for indications, but no answer. Again he prayed, and sent his servant again, but no evidence of response. After having been used of the Lord so mightily, in the matter of the sacrifice, Elijah might have gotten to feel too much of his own importance, if his prayer for rain had been too promptly responded to. Opportunity was given for fear and doubt, that the Lord would fail to keep his engagement, respecting the rain. But knowing the sureness of the Lord's word, Elijah did not doubt; he prayed again and again, and sent his servant each time to see what evidences there were of the Lord's answers to the prayers, until finally, when he had prayed for the seventh time, and inquired for a sign, the young man returned, saying that he saw a small cloud about the size of a man's hand. Then Elijah ceased his prayer, and realized [R2333 : page 206] that the beginning of the fulfilment had come.

There is a lesson in this also for the Lord's people of to-day, that, as our Lord said, "We ought to pray and not to faint," not to grow weary in looking for, asking for and expecting the spiritual blessings which the Lord has promised us. Many of the prayers which fail of fulfilment, fail because the petitioners ask amiss; for things which God has not promised. Others fail, because of lack of faith. The prayer of faith is that which is offered, "nothing doubting," and whose hope is based upon a definite promise of the Lord. For instance, to us as new creatures, the Lord has declared, "Your heavenly Father is more willing to give the holy spirit to them that ask him, than are earthly parents to give good gifts [of an earthly kind] to their children." He that seeketh the spirit of holiness, the showers of divine grace, findeth them. To him that knocketh, the stores of divine favor shall be opened.



[R2333 : page 206]

A DISCOURAGED REFORMER.
--JULY 24.--1 KINGS 19:1-16.--
"Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him."--Psa. 37:7.
SUDDEN was the reformation which apparently in one day overthrew the religion of Baal, and destroyed his priests, and revived the religion of Jehovah, and brought his prophet Elijah most prominently before Israel. But the influence of the slavery to superstition could not be easily eradicated. Reformation was not accomplished, but merely commenced by the test which the Lord had given at the hands of Elijah, in accepting the sacrifice with fire, and subsequently sending the promised rain. The people were lacking in those qualities of liberty and nobility of mind which are essential to a quick and thorough reformation. They lacked the courage of their convictions, and consequently were easily brought under the influence of that wicked woman, Jezebel, whose evil spirit and self-will were courageous enough to combat anything, everything.

Ahab, and all Israel, seemed to be thoroughly humbled and converted, but Jezebel, fearing not God and regarding not man, was furious when she learned that the priests of the religion which she had championed had been put to death. Ignoring the king and the people of Israel entirely, she constituted herself the executive, and sent word to Elijah that he might expect to die also, as the priests of Baal had died, within twenty-four hours. It is altogether probable that this was merely a threat, intended to drive Elijah out of the kingdom; so that she might the better overthrow the reform movement which he had so recently begun. Had she not become fearful that the killing of Elijah might have brought some disastrous result, either through an insurrection of the people or through a divine judgment, no doubt she would have ordered his assassination, instead of notifying him of what she would do twenty-four hours later.

The notification had what we presume was the designed effect: Elijah, thoroughly frightened and discouraged, fled panic-stricken before a woman; whereas but a few days before he had courageously faced the king, and reproved him. Ah, who will say that a woman has no power in the world! And her power for evil is commensurate with her power for good. No one can read the history of the world without seeing that woman has played an important part in all the important acts of the world's great drama. Her influences have been potent, both for good and evil, truth and error, God and Satan. Let not the sisters despise their opportunities, but let them seek to use them ever and always on the side of the good, the true, the pure, the noble, the holy, and in harmony with the Lord's Word.

Elijah fled to the kingdom of Judah. Utterly discouraged, he went alone into the wilderness, and prayed that he might die. How severe his disappointment was we may judge. There had been three and a half years of preparation for this reform movement, and it had been inaugurated under such favorable conditions, and at first with pronounced results; and now to have the entire matter fail was certainly very discouraging.

But the Lord did not even chide the Prophet for his timidity, etc. "He knoweth our frame, he remembereth that we are dust;" he makes allowance for our unintentional imperfections. God realized, better than did the Prophet, the physical exhaustion which he had experienced in connection with the great work which he had done within the past few days. So now, instead of chiding him, he was permitted to take rest in sleep and was provided miraculously with nourishment, and then sleep again; and, his vitality replenished, he arose refreshed, and ate again, before commencing a long journey and a long fast, of forty days.

The lesson here to us is God's care over those who are fully consecrated to him, and who seek to do his will. He cares for our bodily necessities as well as for our spiritual wants. "Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of." Another lesson is found in the character of the food which the Lord supplied to Elijah. It would have been just as easy for Omnipotence [R2333 : page 207] to have provided dainties and luxuries for the prophet, but instead the provision was very simple --bread and water. The bread is called a "cake," for the customary food of that country then was, and still is, bread made about a quarter inch thick, and somewhat in the form of a pancake, baked on heated pebbles. Our Lord's promise to us, as his faithful people, is that our bread and water shall be sure; we are not to ask for more than this; whatever is received more should be accepted with thanksgiving and to the Lord's glory. Elijah's food also was a symbol of the Church's spiritual food: water is a symbol of truth-- water of life; the unleavened bread is a symbol of Christ, whom we appropriate to our needs, for our refreshment through all the journey of life.

Having journeyed to Mount Horeb (that is, Mount Sinai) the Prophet seems to have been without any special aim or purpose before his mind, for he simply dwelt in a cave there. The Lord brings this fact that he had no definite purpose or aim in life, to the prophet's attention by the inquiry, "What doest thou here, Elijah?"

Elijah told the Lord how discouraged he felt, and why,--that he had in his zeal for the Lord attempted to do all that he could, but that apparently everything was wrecked, and the people of Israel had lost their courage and their faith in the Lord, and that apparently nothing further could be done to help them. And the Lord proposed to give Elijah a little lesson on various methods of work--so he sent him out upon the mountain, and there exhibited his power to him in various forms: (1) "A great and strong wind rent the mountains and brake in pieces the rock before the Lord." Here was an illustration of power such as Elijah had probably never before seen--wind with a velocity to rend the rocks; yet notwithstanding all this power, this was not God; it was merely the power of God. (2) He showed him an earthquake--the power of God to lift and to shake the mountains; yet neither was this the Lord; but an exhibition of his power. (3) A wonderful display of celestial fire, lightning, was next presented; but this was merely another grand manifestation of omnipotence. (4) Finally, in a great stillness, he heard a small voice speaking to him. Ah, here he recognized God. It had an influence upon him that all the manifestations of power did not have. He wrapped his face in his mantle, and fled back to the cave.

We are not informed what the voice said to Elijah, but we see that he learned the lesson designed, namely, that God has a way of appealing to the heart of man more powerfully than by the wonderful gymnastics and phenomena of nature. Perhaps the small voice told Elijah that he should have had greater faith in God, and should have remained at his post, notwithstanding the threat of Jezebel, and that the Lord could have delivered him from her power. However, the Lord spoke to him again, intimating that he was doing [R2334 : page 207] nothing, and not in a place to do anything-- "What doest thou here?" Elijah made the same response as before, about his discouragement, but by this time he had learned lessons of the Lord's providential dealing, and was prepared for the mission given him. The commission indicated that there was to be a general change in the affairs of Israel--a new king instead of Ahab, and another prophet instead of Elijah. Hazael, who was anointed to be the new king over Syria was to be the divine agent in bringing the divine judgment upon Israel and its king, Ahab, thus compelling reform, and preparing for better conditions future.

The Lord's inquiry of Elijah may be variously emphasized, and may be applied fitly to each one of the Lord's consecrated people. It may be profitable to us if each one will ask himself the question, What doest thou here? What are we doing for the Lord and for his cause? What are we trying to do? Are we fleeing from the threats of the Lord's enemies? Are we discouraged in his service? Having begun in the spirit, are we hoping, contrary to his Word, to find earthly blessings and victories? Has the courage which enabled us for a time to fight the good fight deserted us? After being courageous for the Lord and his truth and his people are we in danger of being put to flight by a woman or a man, or any other creature? Is the Lord's arm shortened that it cannot help us and deliver us? Shall we receive of his marks of kindness and provision for our necessities of spiritual food, yet doubt his care and ability to supervise our temporal interests, and our endeavors to render service to his cause. Let us gather a blessing of instruction from the experience of Elijah, as delineated in this lesson, lest we be weary and faint in our minds. Greater is he that is on our part than all they that be against us. He will not suffer us to be tempted above that we are able, but will with the temptation provide also a way of escape. His grace is sufficient for us. Nevertheless, for these things he will be inquired of by us, and he demands that we shall exercise faith in him corresponding to his mercies and manifold favors to us, for "without faith it is impossible to please God."--Heb. 11:6.

ELIJAH'S LESSON SYMBOLICALLY CONSIDERED.


Recognizing that Elijah was a typical character representative of Christ in the flesh (the complete Church, head and body), should lead us to scan every [R2334 : page 208] feature of his experience, to note, if possible, the correspondence to it in the experience of the Church. We have already pointed out that the discouragement of the Reformer and his flight represent the discouragement of many of God's people now, in view of the rising power of Papacy and the tendency of so-called Protestants to sympathy with Papal methods, and the general abandonment of faith in the "ransom for all" paid at Calvary.

It seems, therefore, not unreasonable to suppose that the lesson given to Elijah, just examined, represents a lesson which God has for his people now--to keep us at work undiscouraged or to revive the fainting. The lesson we see is this.

Protestants obtained from Papacy the false idea that the whole world must be converted during this age. Experience and statistics prove that this is an impossible task;--that the population increases at a ten-fold more rapid ratio than even nominal conversions to Protestantism. Dismay and discouragement are followed by perplexity. But now as "meat in due season" the Lord gives his people an inkling respecting his plan for man's salvation and it restores confidence and zeal on the part of his people. He shows them that his power will first be manifested and that afterward he will speak to the people by the still small voice of the spirit of the truth which shall be surely heard.

The four exhibitions of the Lord, given to Elijah, represent, we believe, four manifestations, in which the Lord is about to reveal himself to mankind;--the first three of which will prepare men for the final one in which will come the desired blessing, to all the families of the earth. These are:

(1) The mighty winds rending the very rocks. Blowing winds seem to be used in Scripture as a symbol for wars. And Revelation (7:1-3) teaches us that the wars, whose dark clouds have threatened the civilized world so ominously for the past thirty years, have been miraculously hindered to give opportunity for "sealing" the Lord's consecrated people in their foreheads (intellectually) with the present truth. We are therefore to expect that when these winds of war shall be let loose, it will mean a cataclysm of warfare which shall divide kingdoms (mountains)--prefigured by the mighty wind shown to Elijah, which rent the rock. But God's Kingdom will not follow the epoch of war: the world will not thus be made ready for the reign of Immanuel. No, a further lesson will be needed and will be given. It is represented in

(2) An earthquake. Throughout the Scriptures an earthquake seems always to represent revolution, and it is not unreasonable to expect that an era of general warfare would so arouse the lower classes of Europe and so discontent them with their lot (and especially with the conditions which would follow such a war) that revolution would be the next thing in order. If so, the earthquake made known to God's people is the one referred to in Revelation 16:18. But severe tho those revolutionary experiences will be to the world they are not sufficient to prepare men to hear the voice of God. It will require

(3) The fire from heaven;--an epoch of divine judgments and chastisements upon a maddened but unconverted world wild in anarchy, as other Scriptures show us. The results of their wars and revolutions and anarchy--the failure of their schemes and the lessons of divine judgments will however, have an exhausting and humbling effect and prepare mankind for God's revelation of himself in

(4) The still small voice. Yes, he who spoke to the winds and waves of the sea of Galilee will, in due time, "Speak peace to the peoples." He will speak with authority, commanding the observance of his long neglected law of Love. "And it shall come to pass that whosoever will not hear that Prophet shall be cut off from among his people."--Acts 3:23.

Mark the harmony of Psalm 46 with these thoughts drawn from Elijah's lesson. After portraying in symbol the dashing of the kingdoms of this world, the shaking of society by revolution and the figurative melting of society under the fire of God's judgments, and after every hope of man in his own power is gone, the still small voice is heard, commanding,--"Be still and know that I am God! I will be exalted among the people, I will be exalted in the earth."

The difficulty with mankind is, in great part, their ignorance of God. And they fail to know him, partly at least because of their high opinion of their own wisdom and ability to get along without God. They will soon learn to the contrary and will then be willing to hearken to divine wisdom, and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain [kingdom] of the Lord's house. He shall teach us of his ways and we will walk in his paths."--Isa. 2:3; Micah 4:2.

"All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth." --Psa. 25:10.

The lesson to the Lord's people from these symbols is, that God has the power by which eventually he will "subdue all things unto himself," and bring order out of present confusion. We are to "wait patiently for him," and labor on diligently and fervently to the extent of our opportunities and abilities and to "hope to the end for the grace that shall be brought unto us at the revelation of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ" for "in due season we shall reap if we faint not."--Gal. 6:9.



page 209
July 1st

ZION'S
WATCH TOWER
and
Herald of Christ's Presence

ROCK OF AGES
Other foundation can
no man lay
A RANSOM FOR ALL

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

VOL. XIX.JULY 15, 1898.No. 14.


CONTENTS.


Special Items210
"Purify Your Hearts, Ye Double Minded211
How the New Mind Should Rule214
Poem: What Became of a Lie216
Interesting Queries216
Christadelphian Proof-Texts216
Immortal Vs. Incorruptible218
The General or First Resurrection?219
The Sin of Covetousness219
Elijah's Successor, Elisha221
Interesting Letters223

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

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

page 210

THIS JOURNAL AND ITS MISSION.

THIS journal is set for the defence of the only true foundation of the Christian's hope now being so generally repudiated,--Redemption through the precious blood of "the man Christ Jesus who gave himself a ransom [a corresponding price, a substitute] for all." (1 Pet. 1:19; 1 Tim. 2:6.) Building up on this sure foundation the gold, silver and precious stones (1 Cor. 3:11-15; 2 Pet. 1:5-11) of the Word of God, its further mission is to--"Make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery which...has been hid in God,...to 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.

TO US THE SCRIPTURES CLEARLY TEACH

That the Church is "the Temple of the Living God"--peculiarly "His
workmanship;" that its construction has been in progress throughout the Gospel age--ever since Christ became the world's Redeemer and the chief corner stone of this Temple, through which, when finished, God's blessings shall come "to all people," and they find access to him.--1 Cor. 3:16,17; Eph. 2:20-22; Gen. 28:14; Gal. 3:29.
That meantime the chiseling, shaping and polishing, of consecrated believers
in Christ's atonement for sin, progresses; and when the last of these "living stones," "elect and precious," shall have been made ready, the great Master Workman will bring all together in the First Resurrection; and the Temple shall be filled with his glory, and be the meeting place between God and men throughout the Millennium.--Rev. 15:5-8.
That the Basis of Hope, for the Church and the World, lies in the fact that
"Jesus Christ, by the grace of God, tasted death for every man," "a ransom for all," and will be "the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world," "in due time."--Heb. 2:9; John 1:9; 1 Tim. 2:5,6.
That the Hope of the Church is that she may be like her Lord, "see him
as he is," be "partaker of the divine nature," and share his glory as his joint-heir.--1 John 3:2; John 17:24; Rom. 8:17; 2 Pet. 1:4.
That the present mission of the Church is the perfecting of the saints for
the future work of service; to develop in herself every grace; to be God's witness to the world; and to prepare to be the kings and priests of the next age.--Eph. 4:12; Matt. 24:14; Rev. 1:6; 20:6.
That the hope for the World lies in the blessings of knowledge and opportunity
to be brought to by Christ's Millennial Kingdom--the restitution of all that was lost in Adam, to all the willing and obedient, at the hands of their Redeemer and his glorified Church.--Acts 3:19-21; Isa. 35.
 
CHARLES T. RUSSELL, Editor.




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OUR NEW TRACT--NO. 41.

This tract comprises the article "Must We Abandon Hope of a Golden Age?" (recently published in this Magazine) and three pages of Scripture texts, from "all the holy prophets since the world began," and from the New Testament, showing that there will be "Times of Restitution." It is very suitable for general distribution. [R2335 : page 210]

"THE DAY OF VENGEANCE"--IN GERMAN.

We have quite a few calls for the fourth volume of MILLENNIAL DAWN series in the German language. It was not our intention to publish this volume in any language except the English. We would say, however, to the friends who are anxious to have it in German that, if interest enough is developed to guarantee the purchase of sufficient books to amount to the cost of the typesetting (say $500) we will, on the strength of such subscriptions, proceed to get out a German edition of VOL. IV. One dear brother and sister in Germany are so certain that it is just the thing the Germans there need, that they have, in spite of our protests, proceeded to translate the volume; and they are now quite well on with the work. No money need be sent at present, but those interested may inform us at once what amount of money they wish to invest in this manner, at the same prices as the English editions. Postal cards will serve the purpose.



[R2335 : page 211]

"PURIFY YOUR HEARTS, YE DOUBLE MINDED."


"A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways."--Jas. 1:8.
BY NATURE all mankind have the depraved mind or will, whose chief characteristic is selfishness. And it is the desire to gratify this depraved will, including all selfish desires, that leads into sin in its every form. But those who have tasted of divine grace, and have come unto the Father through the Son and the merits of his sacrifice, and whose eyes have been opened to discern the difference between righteousness and unrighteousness, and the natural result of both under the operation of the divine law, and who have consecrated themselves to the Lord, are said to have a new mind, a new will,--sometimes called a clean heart and a right spirit. The natural, fallen disposition or will or mind is Scripturally termed "the mind of the flesh," while the renewed mind, disposition or will is termed "the mind of the spirit," because it is the result of the influence or spirit of the truth.

Nevertheless, this new mind or will, based upon more proper views of right and wrong, is evolved through the very same brain as the other; and these brains by which we do our thinking and reasoning and willing are very closely and sympathetically allied to our depraved physical conditions, so that it is more natural, more easy, for us under present conditions to exercise the will or mind of the flesh than to exercise the will or mind of the spirit. Nor can this connection between our depraved physical conditions and our wills be completely broken up: so long as we are in the flesh it will be impossible for us to completely deaden its influence upon our minds and wills: consequently the will of the flesh and the works of the flesh would be the most easy and the most natural to us-- the thoughts, words and deeds of the fallen disposition coming without seeking and without effort.

On the contrary, as the new mind or will was begotten or implanted in us by an outside influence, foreign to ourselves and our depravity, it, like all invaders, for a long time at least must hold its control, if at all, as would an invading foreigner--by force. The force or power by which the spirit of truth, the spirit of righteousness, the spirit of our God, gained a foothold in our hearts, was through the enlightenment of our minds and the quickening or revivifying of certain organs of the mind which had for many generations lain dormant and consequently become dwarfed and weak, and of other organs which for many generations had become distorted and perverted through misuse, under the domination of error, superstition, etc.

The spirit of truth, the spirit of the Lord, entered our minds as a great general might land upon a foreign shore, and recruit his army from amongst those whom he desires to conquer,--by lifting up and encouraging and enlightening the rightly disposed, and drilling these and arming them in his service, for the overthrow of a bad government, and the establishment of a righteous government. Such a new government, seeking the best interests of every citizen, and willing to have the cooperation of each, would nevertheless find it extremely difficult to control the lower elements of society, except by putting all of its affairs fully in charge and under the control of the rightly disposed: and so, too, in our minds, we find that there are certain lower organs or propensities which have maintained their strength and vigor, while some of the higher organs of our nature have lost their vitality and power to rule, and become dwarfed under the control of sin and ignorance. The spirit of truth, the spirit of the Lord, having gained entrance to our minds, has enlightened [R2335 : page 212] and quickened and is constantly drilling these better elements of our natural dispositions, and seeks to restore to them the control originally theirs, over the baser or lower propensities of our nature.

Nothing else need be expected than warfare between the new mind seeking under the Lord's direction to regain the control, and the depraved mind which obtained the control under the reign of sin and death. The Apostle mentions this warfare, saying:-- "The flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary the one to the other; so that ye cannot do the things that ye would." (Gal. 5:17.) The inspired Apostle here puts the matter very strongly, and yet experience proves to all Christians that he puts it very truthfully, "Ye cannot do the things that ye would."

So far, then, from being discouraged that our new minds cannot conquer an absolute peace, and come into such perfect conditions that a wrong thought could never rise up to assert itself and to tempt us, we should, on the contrary, while prompt to crush the slightest uprising of the mind of the flesh, nevertheless realize that our condition is the very one which the Lord designs as best for us. We should realize that our faithfulness to righteousness is attested, not by the fact that we have no trials or besetments from the evil mind of the flesh, but that by the grace of God we have a holy will, a holy desire to promptly resist and by the Lord's grace to overcome every evil suggestion.

There are a few people in the world, we believe, who claim to have become so dead naturally and so alive spiritually that they have no "motions of sin in the flesh;"--so that no evil thought or desire ever so much as suggests itself to them. In our judgment these people are deceiving themselves; not only because their alleged experience is different from the experiences of other Christian people, faithfully battling against every motion of the flesh to the end of life's journey, but more particularly because their alleged experiences are contrary to the Word of Truth which in many places assures us (concerning the new creature with the new mind, seeking to overcome the mind of the flesh, and to bring every thought and word and act into subjection to the will of God in Christ), saying, "Ye cannot do [perfectly] the things that ye would."

This implies not only that the Lord's people, the new creatures in Christ, will be liable to besetment on the part of the mind of the flesh, but it implies also, that the mind of the flesh (in spite of our best efforts to down it, to mortify it), while not succeeding in accomplishing its evil purposes, will nevertheless hinder us in divers ways from accomplishing all the good and great and noble things to which the new mind will prompt us. He who thinks that he is accomplishing great things, he who succeeds in accomplishing all that he would, all the things that he wills to accomplish, may be sure that he is not willing on a high enough plane; just as he who fancies that he has no besetments of the flesh is merely deceiving himself, and is so asleep as respects his new mind that he does not recognize sharply the distinctions between the new mind and the old mind, nor discriminate closely between truth and error, righteousness and sin.

THE DOUBLE MINDED.


A double-minded man or woman is one who has received the new mind and recognizes the difference between the mind of the flesh and the mind of the spirit, but who, instead of giving over the control of his life to either one, thinks erroneously that he can succeed better by dividing matters. The double mind is the compromising disposition. The old nature, as soon as it recognizes the presence of the new, is inclined to dissimulate, and to propose compromise and peace, fearing its own extermination. The new mind urges right, truth, the spirit, disposition, of God; and that these should have free course, and that every thought daring to assert itself in opposition to these recognized principles of righteousness should be summarily dealt with and put to death as a rebel. The mind of the flesh trembles at such thorough-going law and discipline, and raises various objections:

(1) It would cause an awful rupture and a lifelong war between the new mind and the tendency, mind or will of the fallen flesh. It would mean self-denial; it would mean the risk of breaking of tender [R2336 : page 212] ties, and the rupture of long cherished hopes and ambitions.

(2) It objects that such a course would be fanatical; that such is not the course of the world in general, nor even the course of the most respectable among those who are classed as Christians; and that to follow the course proposed would, therefore, mean, as gauged by worldly wisdom and customs, to become a fool for Christ's sake, and to be considered such by all the worldly-wise.

(3) It urges its own claims and rights: it admits that at one time it usurped full control improperly, but declares that it is reformed now. Its proposal, therefore, is that there should be a lasting peace as between the old mind and the new, that the new mind shall have the full right to control in all matters pertaining to religious worship, Sabbath observance and outward deportment, and that the old mind (reformed) shall continue to have full charge of business and secular [R2336 : page 213] affairs; and that in matters of conscience, respecting dress, amusements, etc., there shall be a compromise between the two minds, which, it suggests, would really be the happy medium and more desirable and in better taste than the extremes of either.

This is the condition represented by the Apostle, when he says, a double-minded man is inconsistent in all his ways. And alas, how many Christians are in this very condition of inconsistency: they profess on the one hand to be renewed in mind, and are actually so to some extent; yet on the other hand, in many of the affairs of life they are walking not after the spirit's direction but after the will of the flesh. They more or less feel this inconsistency, and their lives are not satisfactory to themselves, and far from satisfactory from the divine standpoint. Nor does the world appreciate them; for frequently it calls them hypocrites, pointing to their inconsistencies as proof. Their course is thoroughly disapproved by the Lord's Word which declares that none such shall constitute the Kingdom class, which shall be composed only of "overcomers," in whom the mind of the spirit has the control, the mastery, bringing even the thoughts of the heart into subjection to the will of God in Christ.

The double-minded man, the man who has two wills in control, and who is obliged to compromise matters continually, by "splitting the difference" between the two minds, will be apt to find the old mind more and more securing control in his heart;--until finally his mind or will becomes as fleshly as it was before grace and truth reached him--full of selfishness. The only trace of the "new mind" remaining in such will be an outward semblance of respect for righteousness, truth and honesty, a "form of godliness" which, as a mere veneer, will serve to keep up outward appearances and respectability, while inwardly the heart, the will, is completely reprobate. Such have reached the condition of the scribes and Pharisees of old--they have become mere hypocrites, "whited sepulchres, full of all manner of corruption."

What then is the right attitude of mind, what is the proper course to take? We answer that the proper course is to have only one mind, one will--the will of God--to permit the new mind, the new spirit, the new disposition, to have full control. As the Apostle says, "Let the mind of Christ dwell in you richly and abound," and it will bring forth good fruit, that will be a blessing to yourself and to others, and pleasing to the Lord: and such will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of the Lord. We are to place ourselves in every particular under the control of the new mind, and as the Apostle again declares, "Make no provision for the flesh, to fulfil its desires." (Rom. 13:14.) The mind of the flesh, the desires of the flesh, are to be considered as mortal enemies,--to be fought against and exterminated so far as possible, and with them there is to be no compromise, no terms, no covenant, no agreement. "Mortify [kill, deaden] therefore your members [your mental members, your depraved tendencies] which are upon the earth."-- Col. 3:5.

This same thought of the necessity of having only the one will, the one set of principles before our minds, if we would be successful in making our calling and election sure, was enunciated by our Lord, when he said, "If thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light." That is to say, if our eyes be focused in harmony together as one, the object before us will be seen in its true, proper light and shape, but if we were cross-eyed, our eyes glancing in different directions, every object looked at with both eyes would seem distorted. So with the eyes of understanding: if we attempt to look at matters from the heavenly standpoint, and at the same time from the earthly standpoint, the result will be unsatisfactory--confusion, uncertainty, incorrectness of judgment.

As we have found that the old nature, if permitted to have a voice at all, would eventually capture the citadel of the heart, so we find also that if the new nature be granted full sway to overcome the will of the flesh, to bring every thought and word and deed into subjection to the will of God, this also means a gradual development, a growth in grace and in the knowledge and the will of God. It means that the entire heart is thus seized in the name of the Lord, and reckoned as his, and reckoned a pure heart on this account; but it means also a progressive battle with and a progressive victory over the weaknesses, the frailties of our mortal bodies; and it means additionally the establishment, in every quarter of our beings, of fortified defences against the besetments of the world, the flesh and the devil. Thus the developed Christian, whose eye is single to the pleasement of God, and whose mind, purpose or will is single to the service of the one Master, shall, by the grace of God, day by day, month by month, year by year, find the ability, more and more, to hinder his flesh from rendering service to Sin. And not only so, but his flesh, once the willing servant of sin until mortified, rendered dead to Sin, shall more and more be quickened, energized, by the new mind, to its service, and thus more and more become a servant of righteousness and of truth: so that it not only will be passively the Lord's, in the sense of not being an opponent of truth and right and purity, but so that it will be the Lord's in a positive sense, aggressively and actively engaged in opposition to sin and error, and in the service of truth and righteousness.-- Rom. 8:11. [R2336 : page 214]

HOW THE NEW MIND SHOULD RULE.


Many gibes and taunts are thrown at the present House of Congress, whose Speaker and representative is the Hon. Thomas B. Reed, who is styled "the Czar and autocrat of the House." Nevertheless, and without attempting any discussion of the merits or demerits of the arrangement criticized, from their political and human standpoint, we see there a most fit illustration for our subject under consideration.

The human brain is scientifically, phrenologically, subdivided into various organs, representative of various propensities or dispositions: these may be illustrated by the various representatives of the various States, assembled in the House of Congress. Each different organ has its own particular thought or interest, yet the will is not the expression of any one organ merely, but the voice of the majority. When a motion or bill is offered in Congress, it may be of special interest to only a few of the members, and the State interests which they represent. In such event, if personal or sectional selfishness ruled amongst the members, the matter in question could not be passed, because the majority would not be sufficiently interested to favor it; and hence, to accomplish its end it would be necessary to appeal to the selfishness of the various other members, by agreeing to favor certain interests of theirs in return for their cooperation. Thus, Congress, if each member and each state stood entirely separate, and without any combination, would be comparatively powerless, unless a degree of patriotism should be shown larger than we would have any reason to expect. Hence the tendency has always been to party division and party cooperation; the party in the majority having the control of the situation, and being held responsible accordingly for the results. So with our minds: if each organ stood wholly separate from the others, it could move only on lines of selfishness, unless it were perfect, which we know it is not. Hence in the human mind, as in Congress, party lines have been established, and for very much the same purpose. In the mind of the Christian the party lines are, the old mind and the new mind, the old self and the new self, the old creature and the new creature, the old will and the new will, the mind of righteousness, and the mind of sin, the mind of love and the mind of selfishness. All these various names describe the same two minds.

In Congress it was found that as its number of representatives increased there was an increased tendency on the part of minorities to baffle or hinder the accomplishment of anything by the majority: the minority party would discuss the subject for hours, days and weeks, if permitted to do so, rather than let the matter go to a vote, in hope that in the end the will of the majority should be frustrated. But Speaker Reed, cooperating with the leaders of his party, concluded that it was not the intention of the law to hinder legislation, and that consequently the dominant party should have opportunity to proceed to enact the laws which it, as the majority of the body, deemed to be the proper laws. Consequently rules were laid down giving the Speaker, as the representative of the majority, certain privileges and powers, by which the opposition would be limited in its discussion of the various subjects, and the will of the majority more speedily and more thoroughly enacted.

Now this is exactly the condition of things in the human heart, where the teachings of the Lord have been accepted, and where the propensities or organs [R2337 : page 214] of the mind have come to a strict party division;--the one the party of truth and righteousness and love, in harmony with the Lord, and the other the party of sin and selfishness, with contrary sentiments. If conversion has taken place it means that the higher organs of the mind, sufficient in number or in influence, have gained the control of the mind; that these preponderate in number or in influence; that they constitute the majority, and the evil propensities the minority. Any heart in which the evil propensities are in the majority and in control is an unconverted heart.

And what was found in Congress respecting the disposition of minorities to baffle the will of the ruling majority is found also in our minds, namely, the disposition of our natural mind not only to be heard, but to foil and baffle and render void the will of the new mind, in respect to the control of the affairs of life. What the Scriptures propose to us, therefore, is illustrated again in Congress: the Scriptures propose that the new mind, having obtained the control, shall elect a Speaker, a head,--and that that head or Speaker for our every talent, directing all our interests and all our efforts, shall be Christ Jesus our Lord. They propose that we shall place full authority and power in the hands of the Lord, so that his word and will shall be our will, our law. And how safe it is for us to admit such a Czar, such an autocrat, to control us, since we have learned to know him as the very embodiment of justice, wisdom, and love. Safely we can trust our affairs in his hands.

There are other analogies which might be drawn: for instance, the power of the Speaker of the House rests solely in the fact that it is the power of the majority. If the majority which placed him in power and gave him the authority which he exercises should become a minority, his power would immediately terminate; and the opposition party might give its representative equal power in an opposite direction. So [R2337 : page 215] with our hearts; only as our hearts voted to have the Lord in control, did he take charge; and if our wills, the preponderance of our propensities, our judgments, cease to be on the side of the Lord, he no longer retains his power in our hearts and lives, and the evil majority appoint a successor, in line with the selfish propensities, favoring everything selfish.

In Congress, when any matter is brought up, each representative has an opportunity for expressing himself, either directly or indirectly, either on the floor personally, or through representatives in committee. And so with our wills: when a matter is presented by one organ of the mind, the other organs have a chance to respond, and to seek to influence the majority, and to overthrow the rule of righteousness. For instance, a suggestion is made to the mind by the organ of Combativeness, to the effect that there is a good, proper cause why the whole being should be angry, and undertake vengeful retaliation; and under the influence of the eloquence of Combativeness, various other of the lower organs would most surely be aroused; namely, Pride, Self-esteem, Destructiveness, Selfishness, etc., and in addition perhaps some of the higher organs might be temporarily swayed by the old sympathies, prejudice, antipathy, etc., to favor the angry, malicious and resentful course. Conscientiousness might excitedly declare that it was a righteous cause of indignation; Caution might join, and claim that if the thing were not now opposed violently, worse results would follow; even Spirituality and Veneration might be swayed into favoring the angry course, with suggestions that it was in the service of God, and a duty towards God, and toward righteousness, to be angry and to crush the opponent with retaliation and vengeance. Thus, for a moment the entire mind might be swayed toward the side of evil, yet without previous wilfulness or sin--because of the hereditary tendencies of the mind.

But here the gavel of the Speaker is heard, Memory calls attention, and points out that the will of the majority has already been expressed to the contrary of such a course; and calls attention to the rules already adopted;--namely, to put away all anger, malice, hatred and strife, as being in general works of the flesh and of the devil. Memory calls attention to the fact that the majority adopted as the rule of action the words of the Speaker, Christ, "Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you, and speak evil of you." Commit your way unto the Lord, remembering that he has said, "Vengeance is mine, I will recompense." Where the will of the majority of organs is loyal to its own previous decision, the effect of Memory's calling attention to that law will be instantaneous: at once Conscientiousness, Veneration, Spirituality, Caution, and all the higher organs realize that they were about to make a mistake; and immediately they change front, fully supporting the law of the Speaker, Christ. Selfishness, Combativeness, Pride, etc., may attempt to argue the point, but immediately they are called to order and reminded that by vote of the majority they are strictly under the law of Christ, and all further discussion of the subject is forbidden.

Similarly, illustrations might be drawn as representing other passions, tastes or desires of the flesh, which temporarily might seem to gain some control; but from the moment that Memory calls attention to the proposal as being in conflict with the law of the Master, there should be an instantaneous surrender. Such a course would prove that the will had all along been thoroughly loyal to the Lord, and that he reigns there. It proves the reign of Christ in that heart far better than if no suggestion to the contrary course had come up. And who cannot see that a life thus ordered, and under strictest control of the will of our Head, Christ Jesus, is not only the only proper life (the only one in which the new mind is properly exercised), but in addition to this the only mind which is a "sound mind." People who are continually carried from their moorings by their emotions show that their minds are unsound; such are continually proving to those around them that they have poor judgment. They are frequently angry, troubled, vexed, hurt; or continually falling into one wrong act or another, as they confess afterward. Indeed, the majority of the things at which they take offence, become angry, etc., prove to have been mistakes, nothing having been done or intended to anger, hurt, or injure them. And we know, not only from the Scriptures, but also from our own observation, that the world of mankind in general is thus of unsound mind; and, as the Apostle explains, the only ones in all the world who have even the spirit or disposition of a sound mind are the new creatures in Christ Jesus, who have the new mind, the new will, in control. These, as we have seen, would be liable to be carried away also, by evil passions, evil surmisings, etc., but those who have put themselves fully and completely under the control of Christ and his law of the New Covenant are kept from the extremes to which otherwise they would be as subject as others.

The Apostle's exhortation to the double minded, is in place, and should be heeded promptly by all who realize that they have a double mind or will which can never please the Lord nor bring joy and blessing either now or hereafter: "Purify your hearts, ye double minded;"--purge your consciences by hearty obedience to the truth, by the washing of water through the Word.

"Grant, Lord, a heart, submissive, meek,
My great Redeemer's throne,
Where only Christ is heard to speak,
Where Jesus reigns alone;

"A heart in every thought renewed,
And full of love divine,
Perfect and right, and pure and good,
A copy, Lord, of thine."
[R2342 : page 216]

WHAT BECAME OF A LIE.


"First somebody told it,
Then the room wouldn't hold it,
So the busy tongues rolled it
Till they got it outside.
When the crowd came across it
They onward did toss it,
Till it grew long and wide.
From a very small lie, Sir,
It grew deep and high, Sir,
Till it reached the sky, Sir,
And frightened the moon;
For she hid her face, Sir,
At the dreadful disgrace, Sir,
That happened at noon.

"This lie brought forth others,
Dark sisters and brothers,
And fathers and mothers
A terrible crew.
And while headlong they hurried,
The people they flurried,
And troubled and worried
As lies always do.
And so evil boded,
This monstrous lie goaded,
Till at last it exploded
In smoke and in shame.
While from mud and from mire
The pieces flew higher,
And hit the sad liar,
And killed his good name."
--Mrs. M. A. Kidder in Jewish Gazette.



[R2337 : page 216]

INTERESTING QUERIES.


Question. The fact that our Lord received worship is claimed by some to be an evidence that while on earth he was God the Father disguised in a body of flesh and not really a man. Was he really worshiped, or is the translation faulty?

Answer. Yes, we believe our Lord Jesus while on earth was really worshiped, and properly so. While he was not the God, Jehovah, he was a God. The word "God" signifies a "mighty one," and our Lord was indeed a mighty one. So it is stated in the first two verses of the gospel of John. It was proper for our Lord to receive worship in view of his having been the only begotten of the Father, and his agent in the creation of all things, including man.

Besides, he had come to earth under the divine arrangement and accepted the condition of Messiahship, presenting himself to God as fallen man's sin-offering; besides, at his baptism he was anointed of the holy spirit as the Messiah, and authorized to carry out the great divine plan and to receive homage from both angels and men. This alone would have rendered worship proper even aside from his pre-human greatness as "the only begotten of the Father."

CHRISTADELPHIAN PROOF-TEXTS.


Question. Some "Christadelphians" offer the following texts in proof that death ends all for a large majority of the human family--that the majority will never be awakened from the sleep of death.--Psa. 88:4,5; 49:14. Isa. 26:14; 43:16,17; Obad. 16.

Please let me have your explanation of the meaning of these texts. [R2338 : page 216]

Answer. These texts should be interpreted in harmony with the holy spirit's interpretations given us in the words of our Lord and the apostles recorded in the New Testament. These declare that the hour is coming in which all that are in the grave shall hear the voice of the Son of Man and come forth, some unto the resurrection of life and some unto a resurrection by judgments. (John 5:29.) And we are assured by the Apostle that it is the will of God that "All should come to a knowledge of the truth that they may be saved;" and that to this end "Christ died for the ungodly," "gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified [to all] in due time." (1 Tim. 2:6.) Indeed, the Apostle assures us that the Kingdom class (the Church) now being selected is appointed to "judge the world" (1 Cor. 6:2); and that "God hath appointed a day" (an epoch or age) in the which this judgment or trial shall take place (Acts 17:31); and the picture of this in the symbols of Revelation shows the dead, small and great, standing before the great white throne of justice, mercy and love, and being tried (during the thousand years of Christ's reign), according to the law written in the Book and according to their works. (Rev. 20:11-13.) In interpreting any of the Old Testament Scriptures we need all the light and help which God has deemed proper to throw upon them through the New Testament revelations. If we did not observe and use this New Testament key furnished us by the holy spirit, all of the prophecies and types of the Old Testament would be meaningless or worse to us. Looking at the passages you cite, from this the proper standpoint, we find as follows:--

Psa. 88:4,5. The writer is not declaring his own opinion, but is merely saying how he is regarded by others, "I am counted with them that go down into the pit: I am [counted] as a man having no strength --a cast away among the dead; [counted] like the slain that lie in the grave, whom thou rememberest no more: and like them that are cut off by thy hand."

The Lord reveals the fact, in the Old Testament as well as in the New, that there will be some who will be utterly cut off from life in the second death. But none will be in this class whose hearts are in the attitude of the Psalmist. The only ones who will be of this class will be such as have spurned the grace of God, after it has been made known to them. (Heb. 6:4-6.) The Psalmist is saying that he is disesteemed and disowned, as one who is the subject of divine displeasure, [R2338 : page 217] counted unworthy of any future life, remanded to the second death.

Psa. 49:14. "Like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them; and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning." The prophet David is here speaking of a certain class who vainly think to build up fortunes and to make their names endure, without realizing what is the true wealth of character which should be sought. But, there is nothing in this to indicate that death will end all for these. Quite to the contrary, the statement that "The upright shall have dominion over them in the morning," proves that death does not end all for these; but that in the morning of the Millennial Day, when Christ and the Church shall be granted the Kingdom under the whole heavens, then these shall be awakened and come under his dominion. This will be God's method of bringing them under the blessings of the seed of Abraham which he has promised shall come "to all the families of the earth."

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

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

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

Isa. 43:16,17. "Thus saith the Lord,...who maketh a way in the sea and a path in the mighty waters; which bringeth forth the chariot and the horse, the army and the power; they shall lie down together, they shall not rise: they are extinct, they are quenched as tow." Nothing in this statement bears upon the case of any individual in the world: it is a statement respecting horses, chariots and armies. The Lord will bring low, even to destruction, all the implements of war; as is written, "He maketh wars to cease, unto the ends of the earth." When once the armies of strife have been overthrown, they shall never rise again; but the individuals who compose those armies are members of the Adamic race, whose redemption was secured by the great sacrifice for sin; and in due time each and all who have not yet come to a knowledge of the truth, must be brought to that knowledge, and have the opportunity of believing, obeying, and obtaining everlasting life through Christ.

Obad. 16. "For as they have drunk upon my holy mountain so shall all the nations drink continually, yea, they shall drink, and they shall swallow down, and they shall be as tho they had not been."

The Lord through the prophet describes (verse 15) the events of "the day of the Lord," the approaching time of trouble, in which all the nations (improperly translated heathen) shall come into judgment, and be caused to drink of the cup of the Lord's anger. (Jer. 25:28,29.) When the nations fall during the coming time of trouble it will mean their utter destruction, as was illustrated in Nebuchadnezzar's image of these nations (Dan. 2:35,44,45). The same destruction of the nations is pictured in Daniel's dream respecting the same Kingdoms (Dan. 7:11-14,27). But altho the nations shall never rise up again, and altho only God's Kingdom will thereafter be recognized, yet the people who composed the various nations, "all the families of the earth," shall come forth from the grave to be blessed by God's kings and priests--"the holy nation, the peculiar people, the Seed of Abraham."

Question. Please refer me to any of your writings explanatory of Zech. 13:6.

Answer. We have nothing treating Zech. 13:6. From the connection of verse one with the preceding chapter, it would seem to imply that in this day of trouble already commenced, there will be a general change of front on the part of religious teachers who will be so greatly ashamed of the false gospel which they have proclaimed, that they will desire to disavow their previous occupation. In this view the wounds would seem to indicate severe usage received by them from their former flocks. The hand is a symbol of power, and the wounding of the hand would seem to [R2338 : page 218] imply injury or destruction of the power or influence once exercised by these "shepherds." The wounds here mentioned seem to have no reference to the wounding of the hands of our Lord at the crucifixion: there is no connection apparent.

Verse seven seems to begin a totally different subject, no longer treating of the false shepherds and reprobate prophets, but of the true servants of God and the fact that God would permit trial and tribulations to come against such for their proving and development, nevertheless covering the little ones, the weak ones, with his hand--power.

Question. Is not the denomination known as "Disciples" on a proper basis of freedom? Is there any cause for considering it a section or ward in "that Great City, Babylon," from which the call is, "Come out of her, my people?"--Rev. 18:1-5.

Answer. The denomination known as "Disciples" professedly stands just where we stand and where the early Church stood, as respects its declaration that the Bible is the only standard for faith and practice. However, all will agree that very few churches of this denomination practice what they all theoretically profess. While they have no written creed, they very generally have an unwritten creed which is most positive and arbitrary in many respects and particulars. Were this not the case, every one of their gatherings would be very glad to welcome any servant of the truth who would attempt to prove his teachings by the Word of God only: and in such event, the "Disciple Denomination" would very speedily be thoroughly impregnated with what we denominate "present truth"--the "harvest" message.

If you have been so fortunate as to find one of the few congregations of "Disciples" where the spirit as [R2339 : page 218] well as the theory of liberty prevails, you have been extremely favored and are to be congratulated. And if your articles to the Standard are received when full liberty has been exercised in their preparation, this will be another subject for congratulation. Perhaps the test for yourself, the congregation and the management of the paper, is still future. Perhaps, as you come to get clearer views respecting present truth, and as you do not shun to declare the whole counsel of God (wisely, but boldly), you may find that the attitude toward you may change. Let us hope that they may prove to be true "Bereans" and will search the Scriptures daily, to see whether these things be so: and that finding them they will lay hold of them with alacrity and zeal. If so, it will mean a great revival in the Church, a great blessing. But if the truth does not prove a savor of life unto life to the Church, it is very apt to prove the reverse--a savor of death unto death, and will mean violent opposition to you and to all others who in any manner or degree call in question the cherished dogmas of "Disciples."

We advise that you put the matter to the test earnestly, courageously, calmly; casting all your care upon the Lord. Let him mark out your way by his providence; on your part merely making sure that you are faithful to him--faithful to the truth as he sends it to you. We caution you, however, not to put your light under a bushel, and not to refuse further light for fear of consequences. "The fear of man bringeth a snare." Remember, that our Lord put his Word and himself on a parity, saying, "He that is ashamed of me and my Word, of him will I also be ashamed."

We shall expect to hear from you before very long, either that you have been greatly used and blessed to the good of the church you are connected with, helping them out of the darkness into the light of present truth, or that they have rejected your testimony and that you have stepped out of the system in order to preserve to yourself "the liberty wherewith Christ makes free."

IMMORTAL VS. INCORRUPTIBLE.


Question. The terms immortal, immortality, and incorruption, incorruptible are used in the Scriptures in a manner rather confusing to the average reader. Please state the distinction between them.

Answer. The translators have helped to confuse this subject by rendering the same Greek word whiles one way and whiles another: and while there are two Greek words used and with different thoughts, yet our English words Immortal, and Immortality, really represent the thoughts of both Greek words,--Aphthartos and Athanasia.

Coming down to the fine shades of meaning,-- Athanasia signifies, deathless, death-proof, that which cannot die. Aphthartos signifies, that which cannot corrupt.

(1) The following texts are the only ones in which Athanasia occurs:--

"This mortal must put on immortality," i.e., deathlessness. --1 Cor. 15:53.

"This mortal shall have put on immortality," i.e., deathlessness.--1 Cor. 15:54.

"Who [God] only hath immortality," i.e., deathlessness. --1 Tim. 6:16.

(2) The following texts show all the Scripture uses of Aphthartos and its derivative Aphtharsia:--

"Now unto the King eternal, immortal [aphthartos] --incorruptible]."--1 Tim. 1:17.

"A corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible [aphthartos]" one.--1 Cor. 9:25.

"The dead shall be raised incorruptible [aphthartos]." --1 Cor. 15:52.

"To an inheritance incorruptible [aphtharsia]."-- 1 Pet. 1:4.

"Not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible [aphthartos]." --1 Pet. 1:23.

"Seek for glory, honor and immortality [aphtharsia-- incorruption]."--Rom. 2:7.

"Who brought life and immortality [aphtharsia-- incorruption] to light."--2 Tim. 1:10.

"It is sown in corruption, raised in incorruption [aphtharsia]."--1 Cor. 15:42.

"Neither doth corruption inherit incorruption [aphtharsia]."--1 Cor. 15:50.

"For this incorruptible must put on incorruption [aphtharsia]."--1 Cor. 15:53.

"When this corruptible shall have put on incorruption [aphtharsia]."--1 Cor. 15:54.

Applying this information, we find that altho the two words represent in many respects the same thought, yet by antithesis the Apostle brings out their shaded differences in 1 Cor. 15:53,54, by using one word with reference to those saints who should be "asleep" or [R2338 : page 219] under the power of corruption and would put on a condition of incorruption by resurrection; while those saints who would remain until the "change" would pass from mortal to immortal (deathless) conditions. But both will be exactly alike, when the one group is resurrected and the other group is "changed" in the moment of death without an interim of sleep or corruption.

IS IT THE GENERAL OR THE FIRST RESURRECTION?


Question. Does the resurrection described in 1 Cor. 15:42-53, include the whole world, or only the overcoming Church?

Answer. It does not at all refer to the world, but exclusively to the first resurrection--the Church's. This is evident from the reading of the common version. All having a share in it get "immortality," "incorruption," "glory," "power," and "a spiritual body." See verses 42-44,53,54. None are to get such blessings but the overcomers, the "blessed and holy that have part in the first [chief] resurrection on whom the second death hath no power," the class which will live and reign with Christ a thousand years.--Rev. 20:4,6.

Furthermore, the Greek text guards against the supposition that the resurrection described could be other than that of the Church by using emphasis which expressed in English would make verse 42 read, "Thus also is the resurrection of the dead."

Question. Will deceased infants, begotten of justified parents in this age, have spiritual (angelic) being in the resurrection life? If not, what will differentiate them from other deceased infants? This question is suggested by the reading of the June 15th TOWER, page 181.

Answer. "That which is begotten of the flesh is flesh." Children under the conditions you mention are not begotten of the spirit, and hence will not be spirit beings. Their perfection will be of the human nature, accomplished (as with the remainder of the world) through the processes of restitution, during the "times of restitution"--the Millennial age. There will be no difference between these and the remainder of the world (children of unbelieving parents) during the Millennial age, except whatever may come to them in the natural way, in that they may be better born, less depraved in their natural organism. The justification feature mentioned by the Apostle (1 Cor. 7:14) and by us in the TOWER of June 15, page 181, applies merely to the present age, and to children before they reach years of discretion and personal responsibility. It merely signifies that the children of believing parents are subjects of divine providence, as well as their parents, during the present life, until they reach years of discretion; and that such will be under divine providence and leading, to the intent that they may be the better prepared for becoming obedient children of God on their own account at maturity. All mankind will ultimately come to favorable conditions, physical, mental and moral. This will mean no less favorable conditions for the children of believers in the next age, but more favorable conditions for others.



[R2339 : page 219]

THE SIN OF COVETOUSNESS.
--JULY 31.--1 Kings 21:4-16.--
"Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house."--Ex. 20:17.
JEZEBEL is marked by the incidents of this lesson, if we had no other record of her evil way, as being a most diabolical woman. The tenderness which belongs to her sex had entirely given place to the feeling of envy, pride and ambition, incident to her great exaltation to power as the wife of King Ahab. She was ready to instigate perjury, and the foulest of murder, to gratify her whims, or to please those who truckled to her vanity. And the terrible degradation to which the people of Israel and their elders, who were presumably of average or more than average intelligence, had descended, is shown by their willingness to obey their wicked queen, in utter disregard of their own consciences and of justice. It is doubtful whether our disgust should be greater with the queen, who instigated the evil, or with the elders, who so supinely became her tools to accomplish it. This shows, however, that where a people lose sight of the grand teachings of the law of the Lord, and come under the influence of the devil, through other religions, there is no knowing where the corruption of morals will end--all sense of justice and right seems to become obliterated in proportion as people are separated from the Lord and from the word of his testimony.

The fact that infidels of to-day are not always immoral is no contradiction of this thought, for altho they may reject the Lord in their hearts, they cannot reject [R2340 : page 219] nor get away from the influences of his law of justice which has come to be recognized throughout the entire civilized world, and made the basis of all civil law. Besides, they are continually in touch with Christian influences, and some of them (for instance, Robert Ingersoll) received from Christian parents a good moral basis of character, which would not exhaust in one generation, even tho the faith were lost from it.

The beginning of this crime perpetrated by Jezebel and the elders of Israel--the murder of Naboth-- was Ahab's sin of covetousness. He coveted Naboth's vineyard, and wished to purchase it, and, as the sequel shows, altho he did not perpetrate the crime of murder himself, he was quite satisfied with the crime and its results, and hastened to appropriate the murdered man's vineyard at the earliest opportunity. There is a great lesson here for Christian people to-day. While the crime of murder is recognized and [R2340 : page 220] thoroughly reprobated, the crime of covetousness is now not only general and common, but almost approved as proper. It seems to be generally practised, and almost without a suspicion as to its being wrong, sinful, condemned of the Lord, and fruitful of many evil works of the flesh and of the devil.

We do not mean to charge as covetousness a desire to prosper as well as one's neighbor: desires are covetous when we wish to possess and enjoy that which we see in the possession of our neighbor: it implies a willingness to take from him a part or all of his prosperity, and to appropriate the same to ourselves. This spirit of covetousness may be readily discerned among business men and manufacturers; less readily discerned, but nevertheless present, in the ranks of labor, and in the social circle. It is unnecessary to point out how business people envy one another success, and seek to attract from one another the trade which brings the success. And in the ranks of labor, especially where competition is open, it is not infrequently the case that the workman will disparage the work or character of a fellow-workman, in order to have favor with the overseer or employer, or in hope of personal advancement. These are illustrations of covetousness in operation.

In society it works very stealthily, very quietly, fearing that it should react upon the covetous one unfavorably; hence, in society, the effort to undermine the character of another and thereby to advance one's self in the good graces of others, is kept under cover, and ably assisted by its yoke-fellow, hypocrisy. When covetousness sees another occupying a preferred place, it stealthily conceals the dagger with which it would smite the Naboth that thwarts its ambitions. It sometimes assumes a mask of love, and strikes the dagger of scandal under professions of love and esteem, or of pity and sympathy. At other times it has the hypocritical mask of duty, religion, fidelity to God, etc., while it seeks to stab Naboth in his vitals, and to gain possession of the vineyard coveted,--or whatever it may be.

Nor is the Church of God free from those who have this spirit of covetousness. It inspires many petty jealousies and envyings and strifes as to which should be greater, for honorable positions, etc. And how many large and small scandals have been the results of covetousness, and a desire to break down the influence of one, for the purpose of establishing the influence of another, or of himself or herself?

Ahab's covetousness was of the most approved kind, in that it sought to act through others, and stoned Naboth to death by proxy, rather than directly by his own act. That Ahab fully endorsed the conduct of Jezebel is shown by his ready acceptance of the fruits of her villainy; and this fact, in connection with the fact that the Lord sent the reproof as much to Ahab as to Jezebel, leaves room for the inference that he had intentionally worked upon the feelings of Jezebel, with a view to getting her (more courageous for wickedness than himself) to devise and carry out plans for the satisfaction of his covetousness. So some to-day seem to feel free to covet the possessions of others --social, religious, financial or otherwise--and to take possession of these, if possible, but they strive to have the dirtiest part of the work done by others, or at least not directly by themselves. But such unquestionably are sharers in every crime to which their covetousness by any road may lead others.

Let all who have named the name of Christ be especially on guard respecting this deceptive covert sin; and the best ounce of protection that we can take against it (far better than any pound of cure after it has entered in) is to have our hearts permeated with the spirit of love, of which we are told, "Love worketh no ill to his neighbor." And more than this, "Love envieth not, seeketh not her own [interests merely, but is concerned for the interests of others] is kind, helpful, generous, good."

As an illustration of how hypocrisy usually accompanies covetousness, seeking to cover up the real motives and intentions not only from fellow-creatures, but from one's own conscience, and from the Lord, note in this lesson how Jezebel accomplished her purpose through the appointment of a feast, and the giving of Naboth, the victim, a seat of honor in connection therewith. Alas, that it must be said that religion has often been injured by being made the tool of hypocrisy and covetousness. And similar principles are still at work in the world, and the same great prime mover and instigator of evil is still master of ceremonies, and as willing as ever to help forward every wicked cause and to prosper the evil work and way of the covetous. "We are not ignorant of his devices."

"My soul, be on thy guard,
Ten thousand foes arise;
The hosts of sin are pressing hard
To draw thee from the prize."

But while the Lord did not interfere to protect Naboth, nor to prevent the machinations of the Evil One and his servants, he nevertheless took note of the evil, and did not permit it to pass unpunished. Accordingly, when Ahab went in to take possession of the vineyard, and to rejoice his heart that his covetous desires had reached accomplishment, the Lord sent Elijah to meet him in the vineyard. Ahab recognized the prophet at once, and evidently smitten by his conscience, exclaimed: "Hast thou found me, O mine enemy?" And Elijah answered, "I have found thee, because thou hast sold thyself to work evil in the sight [R2340 : page 221] of the Lord." Then follows the prophecy of violent deaths to his children, and that the dogs should eat Jezebel; all literally fulfilled later.

However, Ahab was learning to have great confidence in the word of Elijah, and in the power of Jehovah; and when he heard this prophecy, "he rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his flesh, and fasted, and lay in sackcloth and went softly." On account of this degree of repentance the Lord sent word through Elijah that the calamities prophesied would not be in Ahab's day, but in the days of his sons. The fact that sinners may for a time go unpunished, the Apostle Peter shows us, is a mark of God's patience and forbearance, and not an indication that he will not reward both the welldoer and the evildoer.

Some one has said, "Covetousness is like drinking the salt waters of the sea, which only increase the thirst; or like piling wood on the fire, which only makes it burn the fiercer; or like climbing higher, which only enlarges the horizon of the desires." The only covetousness encouraged by the spirit of righteousness and the Word of the Lord is that mentioned by the Apostle, "Covet earnestly the best gifts"--the gifts of divine grace, which neither rob others, nor make God the poorer.



[R2340 : page 221]

ELIJAH'S SUCCESSOR, ELISHA.
--AUG. 7.--2 KINGS 2:6-15.--
"How much more shall your Heavenly Father give the holy spirit to them that ask it!"--Luke 11:13.
IT WOULD appear that the lesson which the Lord taught Elijah by the wind, the earthquake, the lightning, and the still, small voice, was appreciated and acted upon. Elijah had expected the Reformation word to go forward like a terrific windstorm or like the earthquake, or like the fiery lightning, and when it did not take such form, he fled, discouraged, from the scene of his efforts, and wished to die. Now, he was to understand that the reformation was to work more secretly, more quietly, in the hearts of the people, before it would give great outward manifestations. The Lord's inquiry of him, "What doest thou here, Elijah?" evidently gave him to see that he had discontinued the Lord's work, and for the time was out of the service; but, under the Lord's direction, he returned, and began again his work in Israel, following more closely the lines indicated by his lesson, seeking to have the people hear "the still, small voice," the [R2341 : page 221] Lord's message to their consciences. Nor can we doubt that he was greatly encouraged to reengage in this work, by the Lord's assurance that altho his people were not courageous, not bold in defence of the truth, and in opposition to evil, but rather lacking in firmness and courage, nevertheless there were yet seven thousand persons in Israel who had not been so weak-kneed as to bow to Baal.

After attending to his commission, to anoint Hazael and Jehu, and Elisha, the prophet seems to have given his special attention to the founding of "schools of the prophets" in various parts of the land of Israel. These would appear to have been prophetic schools, gatherings of religious men, faithful to Jehovah, who desired to learn his will and word and law more particularly. And these in turn, we may suppose, exercised in their various communities a wholesome influence for righteousness, and the worship of the true God. Thus the "still, small voice" was operating. The gain in influence and respect for the true worship, as opposed to idolatry, is manifest from the fact that Jezebel, altho still as bitterly opposed as ever, seemingly made no effort to interfere with Elijah, or with the schools of the prophets; whereas, before, she had caused the death of a similar class. Public opinion, altho not very pronounced at that time, nevertheless had to be respected, and that in proportion as the truth set the people free from the superstitions of error.

There are many profitable lessons for us of the present day, along these same lines. The great antitypical Jezebel, "the mother of harlots," alarmed the reformers of the sixteenth century by her threats, and caused them to flee and to desert many of the prominent principles of the Reformation, for fear of the consequences; yet in the Lord's due time the antitypical Elijah--the Church--was refreshed in spirit, and learned the lesson that God's revolutions were not to be expected along the lines of wholesale conversions from sin to righteousness, from ignorance to knowledge, from error to truth; but that the truth was to be inculcated gradually, and was to do its work among the people, as the "still, small voice" of righteousness, of conscience, of God. It is along these lines that the truth has been progressing for the last three centuries.

Moreover, in connection with the present "harvest truth," many of us have been at first inclined to expect powerful reactions, social upheavals, lightning-like transitions "out of darkness into his marvelous light," as it is now shining. And the failure of such expectations is inclined to send us away into the wilderness, discouraged, as was the case with our prototype, Elijah. We, like him, are to learn lessons, that the inculcation of truth, according to the Lord's plan, is to be a gradual work, and we, like him, are to perseveringly engage in its gradual spread. Now, as then, "those who fear the Lord speak often together"-- [R2341 : page 222] come together as schools for the study of prophecy,-- for the study of the "good, acceptable and perfect will of God." Now, as then, these schools or gatherings of persons sufficiently interested to desire to know the will of the Lord, are on the increase.

The time came for the end of Elijah's work, and for Elisha to take his place and do the Lord's work along slightly different lines. Elijah and Elisha were men of totally different types; Elisha was an influential and comparatively wealthy farmer, as is indicated by the large number of oxen working under his supervision, and presumably upon his own farm--twelve yokes of oxen. We may presume him to have been a man of considerably more personal refinement than Elijah, and that he dressed differently accordingly. Elijah was known as the man with the leathern girdle about his loins, and a mantle, which sometimes he wore, and sometimes he removed,--generally living in wilderness places; and, we may presume that he had rather a rustic and wild appearance.

Elijah's method of announcement to Elisha that he was invited to become an associate in the work, and his intimation that he might be the successor in the office of servant of the Lord, as prophet, was indicated by throwing his mantle over Elisha's shoulder, Elijah removing the mantle again, and continuing on his journey. Elisha understood the matter, and quite evidently was whole-hearted, inasmuch as we see no evidence of halting between two opinions. He decided at once that he would accept the opportunity; telling Elijah that he would be with him directly, as soon as he had bidden farewell to his parents. Then, by way of manifesting to the Lord and to the people his appreciation of this call to the service of a prophet, he made a feast to the people, and shortly after joined Elijah.

As Elijah represents the Church of this Gospel age, so we understand that Elisha represents the successors of the Church of this age, the class which will take up the work of the Lord as successors to the Elijah class, after the latter has been joined to the Lord in the invisible heavenly Kingdom--"changed," translated, become spirit beings, according to the power of the first resurrection. In harmony with this view, we find that Elisha was not called until about the close of Elijah's service--"when the Lord would take up Elijah into heaven."

Our lesson shows that, while Elijah had called Elisha according to divine direction, and while Elisha had started to keep Elijah company, yet the latter seemed bent on separating himself from Elisha, requesting him frequently to tarry at the different schools of the prophets which they visited, namely, at Gilgal, at Bethel and at Jericho. But no argument persuaded Elisha to desert Elijah; he seemed to understand that the degree of his blessing would depend upon the closeness of his company with Elijah, and this evidently was the truth, and the attempts to have him stop at the various places on the journey were with a view to testing his earnestness and fidelity. Had he stopped he would not have received the great blessing which he eventually got.

Applying this as a type at the present time, we see that the time for the taking up of the Elijah class, "the overcomers," "the little flock," of this Gospel age, has arrived. An Elisha class mingles with the overcomers, yet is a separate class; and various trials, disappointments and siftings are encountered, the design of which is to have these, if they will, turn back, separate themselves from the Elijah company, and those who are sifted out by the way will neither be of the one class nor the other, according to our understanding of this type and also of the general Scriptures.

Elisha's special desire, above all things, was to have a large measure of the spirit of the Lord, the same spirit which had operated through Elijah, and this was his prayer: "I pray that a double portion of thy spirit may be upon me." Elijah's answer to this request implies that the faithfulness of the Elisha class will have to do with the measure of the Elijah spirit which will descend to it. So we understand it will be with all who become the successors of the Gospel Church as representatives of the Lord and his cause in the end of this age. The larger the degree of their sympathy and fellowship with the overcoming Church, the larger will be the blessing which will come to them consequently and the larger will be their future privileges in connection with the work of the Lord.

A chariot of the Lord, with horses as of fire, parted Elijah from Elisha. It is easier to understand the type than to fully comprehend what its antitype will be. The chariot of fire undoubtedly typified the chariot of glory--the change from human to spirit conditions, which will separate the little flock from humanity, and by which the Lord will receive them unto himself. But it may also signify more than this, for fire and brightness are not only used as symbols of glory, but also as symbols for the trials and difficulties by which the Lord's people are prepared for glory: thus, the Apostle speaks of "the fiery trials which shall try you." The chariot of fire may therefore signify also, that the last members of the Gospel Church will be separated from the world under very trying circumstances, fiery trials; but that these, nevertheless, will be merely the agencies, the chariots by which the Lord will receive them to himself.

Furthermore, the record is that Elijah was taken up in a whirlwind; and applying this to the last members [R2341 : page 223] of the Church, would seem to indicate trouble also, because whirlwinds are used symbolically in the Scriptures to represent trouble. We will, therefore, not be surprised if the last members of the Church, the body of Christ to be taken to the Lord, should be taken in the midst of fiery trials and a whirlwind of trouble. This seems to be indicated by another type of the same class, given us in the Scriptures--John the Baptist, who was imprisoned and finally beheaded.*

*See MILLENNIAL DAWN, VOL. II., Chap. 8.

Having seen Elijah to the last, Elisha understood that his request was to be granted, and that a double portion of the spirit of the Lord, which was with Elijah, should be upon him. He took up the fallen mantle of Elijah as his own, and coming to the river Jordan, smote it with the mantle, as Elijah had done, saying, "Where is the Lord God of Elijah?" That is to say, Is not the Lord God of Elijah with me? If so, then the same power of God exercised through Elijah will be exercised through me. And his faith was rewarded, for Jordan was divided, as for Elijah. Thenceforth he was the chief teacher in the schools which Elijah had established, and was so recognized.

We do not understand that Elijah was taken to heaven, in the same sense that the Gospel Church will be taken to heaven. Elijah was taken up into heaven physically, while the Church is to be "changed," because [R2342 : page 223] "flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God." But Elijah was flesh and blood, human; Elijah had no change of nature; he lived before the time of the call to the divine nature; which began with the Gospel age. He therefore did not go to heaven, in the sense that the Church will go to heaven. He was not greater than John the Baptist, of whom our Lord said, "There hath not arisen a greater prophet than John the Baptist, and yet I say unto you that the least one in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he." The Kingdom of Heaven class was not started until our dear Redeemer's first advent, when he gave himself a ransom for all, and began the selection of the little flock, the Kingdom class. And it was his own testimony through John, centuries after Elijah's day, that "No man hath ascended up to heaven save he which came down from heaven, even the Son of Man." (Jno. 3:13.) Elijah, therefore, according to the Scriptures, could have no higher position than that of the other prophets of his time, including John the Baptist, all honorably mentioned by the Apostle (Heb. 11:38-40): "of whom the world was not worthy: they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth,... and these all having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise [the things promised]: God having provided some better thing for us [the Gospel Church], that they without us should not be made perfect." Elijah, as one of these prophets, will be honored and blessed after the antitypical Elijah (the Gospel Church) has been glorified.

Nor does the fact that Elijah appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration have any bearing upon the case, or in any manner or degree prove that he did not die; for, as we have already shown, the scene on the Mount of Transfiguration was a vision (see Lesson in TOWER, April 1). If there were anything to prove that Elijah had not yet tasted death in the full sense of the word, it would still not prove that he had been changed to spiritual conditions, but merely that he had been carried physically away from the earth, and miraculously preserved elsewhere for a season or time: but inasmuch as we see nothing to be accomplished by this, it is our understanding that, while he was taken up from Elisha in the chariot of fire, he no doubt was buried somewhere by the Lord, just as Moses was buried secretly.

The story of Elijah, and especially of the record of the end of his career can only be understood properly when recognized as being typical of the matters connected with the Gospel Church, and the close of its career. Let each one who hopes to be of the glorified body of Christ seek to be faithful to the Lord, after the example of Elijah, and according to the instructions of his Word, and the leading of his spirit, to-day; that we may be among those who shall be accounted worthy to be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, in death. Faithful is he who has called us, who also will do for us all that he has so graciously promised, ultimately transforming us to the perfection of his own divine nature.--2 Pet. 1:4.



page 223

INTERESTING LETTERS.


Texas.

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--I found a good interest at the last two points where I preached. To our joy the prejudice of many people is cooling greatly, while the bigots and self-willed are enraged wonderfully.

At some places near here, where ten years ago I could not have gotten a hearing, they now invite me to meet them and preach for them. But those whose "craft" is in danger are not enjoying this. Our prayer is, Speed on the good work and let God's name be glorified.

Yours in the work,
S. WILLIAMS.

Georgia.

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--Your discourse in the TOWER, "Remember the Sabbath Day," presents a grand and wonderful view of the Christian Sabbath which my mind had never conceived. I truly join you in the earnest wish that all Christians could see it so: that our God is too gracious to us who are his to limit our Sabbath of rest to a single day of the week, but on the contrary extends it through all the days of all the weeks of all the years of our Christian life, during which we may rest in full assurance of the ransom paid for us by our great Redeemer, free from any passionate anxiety concerning our final deliverance, of which no man needs try to assure us, because God has been pleased to seal us with his own holy disposition --the earnest of our inheritance. It is marvelous light to me, giving me, if possible, a more exalted opinion of our infinitely gracious Heavenly Father.

Arrangements for my future colporteur work are page 224 quite satisfactory. The Lord continues to bless me in interesting some, and my course in the community produces great commotion, and a few have gone about to "trim their lamps." There is much here to be done. I find the leading "Reverends" among the most offended. But public ridicule and increase of opposition seem only to brighten the splendor of the prize which is spiritually discerned.

Very truly, Yours in the service of our present Lord,
J. A. BROWNE.

Denmark.

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--It is some time now since I last wrote to you about matters here in Denmark. We have had much sickness all around among our little company this winter; so much that we have had to stop our meetings for several weeks. Now Springtime is here, and with it comes new energy and a better feeling, and we are now a good deal better in health.

We are holding MILLENNIAL DAWN Meetings in a small hall every Tuesday evening, and these meetings are well attended. The people are glad to hear these good tidings we are proclaiming; the interest is constantly increasing among God's people here; many are reading the DAWNS and have accepted their teaching into good and honest hearts, and the fruit will surely come, in the Lord's own time, to his praise. I believe there are many of his true sheep here, many who realize the voice of the Shepherd; as Jesus says, "I know mine, and am known of mine." Yet, it is only a "little flock" that will be chosen and elected, out of these many millions of church people.

The WATCH TOWER is received here regularly, and is ever warmly welcome. I know of nothing to compare with it, as a herald of the glad tidings to God's people. With much Christian love to you all and kind greetings, wishing you God's blessings, and upon the harvest work,

Your brother and fellow-servant of Christ,
I. S. WINTER.

[R2342 : page 224]
Pennsylvania.

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--I have not written for a long time, but you have not been absent from my mind, and I now take this opportunity of thanking you for the benefit and pleasure received from perusing your last labor of love, DAWN, VOL. IV. I have read it carefully twice, and I received more pleasure and strength from the second perusal than the first. While I had already a very fair outline of the general features of the great time of trouble from the study of the TOWERS and DAWNS and God's Word in connection with them, and from observing the signs of the times through their light, yet I had no conception how much the leading thinkers of the world corroborated the prophetic evidences. It almost seems as if they were all ripe for the truth and must, perforce, accept it as soon as brought to their attention. But sober reflection, in memory of my poor success in interesting the most likely cases within my knowledge in the truth, endorses God's Word--that Satan is exerting a blinding influence on all but those whom God is calling. In this volume you have given us a systematic, logical, Scriptural and exhaustive presentation of this important subject; you have called up in evidence the opinion and conclusions and warnings of leaders of thought from every strata of society, and every creed and party and field of public life: and I hope that we shall all be blessed and edified and encouraged by the results of your labor and God's guidance: thereby realizing that we have not read God's Word amiss, not followed cunningly devised fables, but may in consequence be sure that our redemption draweth nigh.

By what some might think an odd coincidence, during the last few weeks, a large number of pamphlets have come to my hand, the work of writers apparently disinterested and earnest for the well being of others, which completely harmonize with the teachings of Scripture on these times: but who have no knowledge of either DAWN or God's Word in connection with current events, and yet who can see the present trend of events with startling clearness, but each imagines that his remedy is the one thing needful.

We have still some trouble occasionally here: chiefly from Mr. C. (I can no longer call him brother). For nearly two years at every possible opportunity he has forced us to listen to "holiness" theories and tried to compel us to accept a hash of present truth and Methodism until we were obliged to send him a written request to absent himself from our meetings and seek more congenial society, and this has been a rather unpleasant step. This he has declined to do on the ground that he is the father of the Church here and intends to look after us. He has often told us that none of our number were even justified, to say nothing of being consecrated, and has sometimes included himself in the same category. So far as I am capable of judging he held and taught the truth clearly some four years ago, but he has seemed to be getting gradually into denser darkness for half that time, and he seems to attend our meetings for the purpose of annoyance.

Jude intimates, in his epistle, that the falling away during the Gospel age will be on three lines:--typified by Cain, Balaam and Korah. Does this mean (1) approaching God under the cover of a different sacrifice to the one he had appointed, (2) covetousness, and (3) envy?

Your brother in Christ,
SMITH WALKER.

[It is for the Church (each little company meeting for communion, fellowship and the study of holy things) to decide the character of the meetings and the leaders of the same according to their best judgment of the Lord's will as expressed in his Word. Any attempted deviation from this Scriptural rule should be kindly but firmly resented. And, furthermore, only those who profess both justification and full consecration should be recognized as having a voice on such matters. Such as have not the Spirit of the Lord surely could not know the mind of the Lord.

I think that you correctly interpret Jude's teaching. And who cannot see that these three points are the causes of stumbling in nearly every instance--and especially among those who have talents and who aspire to be used in the Lord's service. Let us beware of these seductions of the Adversary, (1) a rejection of the ransom, (2) covetousness of wealth or honor or fame, (3) envy, malice, hatred, strife as against others more liberally endowed with talents or more favorably situated for service.--EDITOR.]



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