this is txt filethis is txt file Z1901 September
page 273
September 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

SEMI-MONTHLY.
VOL. XXII.SEPTEMBER 1, 1901.No. 17.


CONTENTS.

Views From the Watch Tower275
The Breach Widens278
A Modern Reformation279
Respecting Foreign Missions281
Preach the Gospel to Every Creature282
The Watered Lilies284
Quarterly Review284
Intemperance285
Interesting Questions Answered286
Public Ministries of the Truth288
Items: Preserve Your Towers, etc274

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

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

page 274

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.




LETTERS FOR THE EDITOR SHOULD BE SENT TO ALLEGHENY, PA., U.S.A.
SUBSCRIPTIONS AND BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS
--ADDRESS TO--
WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY,
"BIBLE HOUSE," 610, 612, 614 ARCH ST., ALLEGHENY, PA., U.S.A.
--OR TO--
BRITISH BRANCH, 131 GIPSY LANE, FOREST GATE, LONDON E. ENGLAND.

PRICE, $1.00 (4s.) A YEAR IN ADVANCE, 5c (2-1/2d.) A COPY.
MONEY MAY BE SENT BY EXPRESS, BANK DRAFT, POSTAL ORDER, OR REGISTERED.
FROM FOREIGN COUNTRIES BY FOREIGN MONEY ORDERS, ONLY. SPECIAL
TERMS TO THE LORD'S POOR, AS FOLLOWS:--

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


ENTERED AS SECOND CLASS MAIL MATTER AT ALLEGHENY, PA., POST OFFICE.

THE CLEVELAND CONVENTION.


Notice that lower rates have been secured--$1.00 per day. Inquire of your own ticket agent, in good season, respecting "G.A.R. Excursion Tickets." Notify us at once if you desire lodgings secured, as rooms will be scarce.

PRESERVE YOUR TOWERS.


Those who have preserved their WATCH TOWERS for some years back will be glad, especially in view of the new Bible with references to the DAWNS and past six years of TOWERS. Order sample copies for circulation among your friends. We advise friends to get their back TOWERS from 1895 to Aug. 1901 bound. Together they make a splendid volume. Any binder can do it.

WALL CHARTS IN FOREIGN LANGUAGES.


We have had some copies of "The Chart of the Ages" painted in German, Swedish and Dano-Norwegian to correspond with the English--5 ft. long. These cost 50c additional, namely, $2.00 each, carriage paid in U.S. Gotten up singly they would cost at least $5.00 each.

THE LEATHER BOUND DAWNS.


We are of the opinion that few have noticed the remarkably low price at which these are supplied. The present lot is very handsome. See next column.



[R2866 : page 275]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER.


RIGHT AND WRONG VIEWS OF THE PRESENT SITUATION.


IF WE but remember that nothing in the world's history offers any comparison to present social and financial conditions, we may well regard with a great deal of charity the conflicting views of able and conscientious men respecting the causes, the disadvantages, the proper remedies, and the outcome, of the movements now on foot throughout the civilized world. God's people, justified and sanctified and separate from the world, with new aims and spiritual ambitions before them, and with the instruction and enlightenment of the divine revelation--the Bible-- should be able to take a calmer, a clearer, a more comprehensive, and therefore a more true, view of affairs, past, present and to come, than others; for we are to remember that it is prejudice and self-interest which generally has much to do with the blinding of those who see not from the divine standpoint.

From this standpoint we see that neither the rights nor the wrongs of motive or of action lie all on one side of these questions; and, seeing this, we are better able to take a sympathetic position, and to exercise our influence amongst those with whom we come in contact, in the interests of peace. All of the Lord's people should be peace-makers; none of them should be strife-makers. There are generally a sufficient number of selfish forces at work in and about every individual to stir up his mind, to breed in him discontent, and to arouse the passions of anger and malice and hatred; there are few influences, at work, on behalf of gentleness, meekness, patience, brotherly kindness, love. Hence there is the more necessity that the Lord's people continue pouring oil upon the troubled waters--the oil of the holy spirit, with which their cup is to overflow; the oil of joy as opposed to the spirit of heaviness and discontent; the oil of hope, which illumines the future gloriously, and thus offsets and counteracts the darkness of present discouragements.

As an illustration of how good and wise men sometimes fail to get a correct view of matters, take the following extract from a Philadelphia journal:--

A SPECIES OF INSANITY.


"A terrible trouble is disturbing the earth at the present time. It more resembles a species of insanity than anything else. As we know, among members of an undeveloped society the maniacal tendency is not common; that tendency is an accompaniment of civilization. All must have noted the fact that the possession of extraordinary endowments and a facile loss of mental balance, or great wits and madness, as the poet has told us, are somehow near allied. They have a way of going together. Just so here. To-day it is not the dull nations, but the bright ones, the most advanced in refinement and everything of that sort, that seem craziest in the craze at this moment sweeping the world. The dementia is practically an exclusive possession of the Great Powers of Europe, troubling England worst, but reaching out and affecting [R2867 : page 275] us in this country in some ways, perhaps, worst of all. It seems a madness of the Anglo-Saxon, as he loves to call himself, more than of any other people. And plainly this madness is the result of a disease; it is the outworking of the greed microbe, or it comes from the yeasting in the human blood of the lust for property and dominion. And because of this frenzied, grasping tendency, which, as a sort of demonism, has taken possession of the leading nations of men, and of our own people and the ruling element among them particularly, the whole earth is plunged into a condition of singularly disastrous feud and conflict at the present moment.

Leading nations have simply fallen into a veritable madness in their scramble for trade. That is precisely the way things are. Commercial interests, so called, stand ready and are eager to sacrifice everything --untold treasures of the people at large, along with their highest rights and profoundest welfare--in order to keep or attain supremacy for themselves and [R2867 : page 276] for the furthering of their ends. Think what, under this influence, not only Great Britain and we in America, but Russia also, and Germany and France and Italy, are ready to spend in this desperate rivalry! Millions on millions of the people's money are these nations hot to lavish in outlay so as to buy or bribe the chief advantage in trade lines, the one against the other. This is at the bottom of our militarism. Here is what our wars mean....War, we may rest assured, is always precisely as General Sherman characterized it. There is no good in it for anybody; only evil--the consummation of evil. A trade war is the same as any other. Greed is behind it; and we have the highest authority for holding that greed is behind all wars. They come of men's lusts. But to-day, greed in the elaborations and marvelous complications of modern life has become an overmastering disease. The whole land is swept by it. Society quivers in its sway; so do our churches and our homes. Commerce is maddened by it. It is a craze in the heart of the nations. It has well nigh come to be a veritable demoniacal possession, driving the whole wide world, and especially the peoples that ought to be conspicuous in light and leading, into a desperate frenzy, making the immediate outlook for highest human welfare very dark and foreboding."

This is all a mistake. The present agitation and grasp for power and trade is not the result of a special disease of greed and selfishness--not a new form of insanity. On the contrary, it is the result of a larger amount of reasoning on the part of humanity in general, and especially on the part of statesmen and financiers, along lines which the writer of the above article, however otherwise intelligent, has not fully appreciated. The fact is that the present movement is the result of conditions, and not the result of theories. Theories, aggressive theories, selfish theories, have prevailed in the world for centuries, and probably prevail no more to-day than in the past. It is not a new microbe of greed that has attacked mankind, but new conditions which appeal strongly to what for a long time has been known as the first law of nature-- self-preservation.

Statesmen and financiers the world over have realized that the new conditions brought into the civilized world during the past fifty years mean a revolution --an irresistible revolution. They mean that machinery and steam and electric power have become the servants of men, and that these servants can be multiplied at a comparatively small cost, and that the necessities of Christendom can now or shortly be supplied by one-third the population; which means that, now or shortly, two-thirds of Christendom's population will be in enforced idleness. Statesmen and financiers seek to ward off such a condition of things, realizing that it would mean calamity, financial, social and political. This is the secret, then, of the effort on the part of the most highly civilized peoples in the world to obtain new markets for their goods and to retain their hold upon the markets already established, at home and abroad.

There are people who tell us that business should revert to old-time methods, moderation, fair prices, limited production, and general contentment; but such people fail to recognize the great change that has come upon the world in respect to conditions. They fail to see that the business pressure which is now exerted is not a voluntary one, but rather an enforced one; for those who would persist in following old-time methods in manufacturing or business would speedily find themselves bankrupt. Consequently all find it necessary to bestir themselves and adopt new methods of business adapted to our day. As they are pushed on by others, so others in turn are pushed on by them. The civilized world is like a great crowd; at the head are the world's notables, backed each of them by the hundreds and thousands and millions of humanity, willingly or unwillingly depending upon them for guidance, for life's comforts, yea, for its necessities. The entire crowd has tasted of the conveniences and blessings of civilization, and the determination of the whole is that they will not go back into barbarism and savagery, but will press on; and a fear of personal or class or national disadvantage is continually goading the great majority of this struggling mass, bidding each look out for himself and his own interests, and let no opportunity escape his grasp.

With the majority the impelling fear is an undefined one; and yet, in a general way, all seem to apprehend that some sort of a check to the world's advancement, and to their individual progress, is imminent. Whether they can discern the ramified influences connecting them individually as factors in the problem or not, they can realize that the more lucrative situations in life are few in comparison to the numbers of humanity; and they can see, too that prosperous waves come to the world occasionally, through an increased demand for the products of machinery and the soil. They can see that if the Chinese Empire, for instance, with its hundreds of millions of population, were thrown fully open to the commercial enterprise of Christendom, it would cause the wave of prosperity in Christendom to have that much longer roll, because it would require time for the Chinese to fully adapt themselves to the new conditions introduced by machinery; it would require time for them to learn how to install and to operate the machinery, and thus that the evil day of over-production would be put off the further into the future. Instead of calling these men "insane" shall we not, on the contrary, say that they are wise in their generation;--that they are acting out the only part they could be expected to take, as wise men of the world, laboring under the law of personal and national selfishness,--the law under which all the world has for centuries been operating? We hold that the energy of these politicians and financiers is an energy begotten of wisdom, and remember the words of Solomon, "The wise man foreseeth the evil and hideth himself, while the foolish pass on and suffer for it."--Prov. 27:12.

As our Master said at the first advent, so we may now repeat,--"The children of this world are wise in their generation"--wiser, sometimes, than are the children of light. Therefore the latter need to take the more earnest heed to the divine revelation, which is able to give them the "spirit of a sound mind" beyond all others. [R2867 : page 277]

The Scriptures give the key to the present situation: they show us clearly that the divine law of love has always condemned the law of selfishness, under which fallen humanity has long governed itself. The law of selfishness is no worse a law to-day than it has always been. It has been the cause of wars, injustices, sufferings, slaveries, etc., in all the periods of history. It is neither worse nor better to-day; but new conditions have come upon us: civilization has lifted one-fifth part of the world to a higher plane of thought and sentiment, and upon these, since the beginning of "the day of his preparation," 1799, the Lord has been gradually lifting the veil and granting a discernment of the secrets of nature, which has resulted in great chemical and mechanical discoveries. These, while proving great blessings to mankind, are sure eventually to bring great calamities, by reason of conflict with the law of selfishness now prevailing. All thinking men realize that under the laws of selfishness, competition, etc., it is only a question of time when the vast resources and possibilities of machinery in the hands of the brightest and keenest of the world's population will reach the point of a death-struggle with the masses of Christendom,--not even waiting to reach the masses of heathendom. All wish to avoid this crash, for all instinctively realize that it will be terrible when it comes; but many seek to avoid the matter by saying to themselves, It will not come in my day, anyway. And meantime each feels as though he is powerless to stem the current, or to resist the pressure which is behind him.


***

As an illustration of the forces at work in Christendom, a result of the new conditions introduced to the world during the nineteenth century, note the strife between the United States Steel Corporation and the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers. Much can be said on each side of the question, but it all resolves itself in harmony with the foregoing. The capitalists, representing the money invested and the machinery, are pressed by competition and seeking to maintain their own standing financially and to make progress. They do not desire the degradation of their workmen in any sense or degree; but [R2868 : page 277] would much prefer that they were all comfortable and provided with steady employment. The more intelligent amongst the workmen realize that captains of industry and accumulations of capital are necessary to progress and prosperity; and while wishing to be comfortable, well-to-do, and to share in the comforts and luxuries of life, the better class of workmen have no special complaint to make that their employers are better housed, surrounded with greater luxuries every way than themselves. They have no desire to bring disaster either upon their employers or the trade in which they are engaged, or the country which is their home. Their interests in large measure lie in the same direction as that of their employers --they desire prosperity, and extension of trade to this end. The majority of them are not so anxious to become wealthy as they are anxious lest they should become poor--lest they should lose, in whole or in part, the comforts and advantages which they now enjoy, and which are far beyond those enjoyed by their parents at any time in the past.

Why, then, is there need of a rupture? Why, with admittedly satisfactory wages, and admittedly satisfactory hours of work, should there be a strike and more or less of a paralysis of important business interests? The reason is fear. As the Scriptures declare respecting the present time, "Men's hearts are failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth." (Luke 21:26.) Present conditions are satisfactory enough, all will admit--both employers and employed. The whole question is one pertaining to the future--fear. The Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers demands that all the works of the United States Steel Corporation should be "unionized"--that the affairs and interests of all the workmen, nearly one hundred thousand in number, should be recognized as under the care and supervision, and subject to the arrangements and contracts, of the officers of the Amalgamated Association. The United States Steel Corporation refuses this demand, and claims that this in effect would mean that they would compel all of their workmen to join the Amalgamated Association; and, this they have insisted, would be an unreasonable thing to do, and one which they could not do.

To the unsophisticated it will seem strange that there need be any serious ruction or quarrel over a matter of this kind; for, on the surface, as stated by both parties, benevolence would seem to be the object of both. The Amalgamated Association benevolently wants to assist the non-union men, and the United States Steel Corporation also benevolently wishes to protect the non-union men in their rights. Where pure love and benevolence of this kind controls on both sides of the question, why need there be any dispute or strike?

Ah! there it is. In this question, as in nearly every other question, selfishness hides itself under a cloak of benevolence, and would fain deceive others, and itself also. Not pure benevolence, but almost pure selfishness, is actuating both parties. The United States Steel Corporation reasons that if all of its mills and employes were under the control of the union, it would be thoroughly at the mercy of the officers of that union, to whose generosity and justice they are unwilling to entrust themselves and their varied interests, valued at a thousand millions of dollars. They say, No! So long as some of the mills are independent and under our control it will not matter so much if others of them are under the control of the union, for then we will not be completely at the union's mercy, and the latter will be obliged to treat us with a measure of consideration and justice. It is, therefore, a very serious question with us, and we prefer to lose millions of dollars now, than to risk, to jeopardize, our interests under the complete control and perhaps tyranny of a labor union.

The Amalgamated Association is laboring, also, along lines of selfishness, and not from pure benevolence and good-will toward the non-union men. They say to themselves: It is all right as it is, so long as times are prosperous, as at present; but as there have been hard times before, so we may reasonably expect them to come again, when there will be overproduction, idle mills and idle men. At such a time we may [R2868 : page 278] be sure that the Steel Corporation, recognizing us as the protectors of skilled labor, and the maintainers of its interests as respects time and pay and conditions, and realizing a future time of still sharper competition and lower prices, would grasp such an opportunity to do all in its power to destroy our union, and thus to have labor unresistant at its command. We feel sure that in a season of dullness the non-union mills would be given the preference as respects steady employment, while the union mills would be at the disadvantage, to the intent that our organization might be disrupted. Now, therefore, is our time, while business is good, while our labor is in demand, while the mills are behind with orders-- now is the time for us to strike, if thereby we can unionize all the mills and place ourselves and all workmen upon a firmer footing for the maintenance of our rights in the future, when the final desperate struggle between capital and labor must come.

We cannot say that either party in the conflict is foolish or insane. We must admit that both are wise as respects their own interests.

If these were all Christian brethren; if the spirit of Christ dwelt in them all richly and abounded; if the spirit of love had wholly or even half supplanted the spirit of selfishness, the matter might very easily be adjusted; for we remember that love is not puffed up, vaunteth not herself, seeketh not her own, but is the very embodiment of generosity and kindness. But, again, it is not a theory we have to deal with, but facts. In theory the civilized world is all Christian, sometimes called, "The Christian World," and "Christendom." But these are misnomers; the fact is the world is not Christian except in name; they are still "kingdoms of this world," still children of this world, and only a remarkably few belong to the Kingdom of the Lord, and either know him or desire to be controlled by his spirit of love.

What can we do? Can we hope to convert these millions, to whom the message of the gospel has come with more or less clearness all their lives? We cannot so hope. We must remember, on the contrary, that this is not the divine plan; that in the divine plan part of the important lesson which the world is now learning is the very lesson which it was intended it should learn, viz., that selfishness always brings misery, --directly or indirectly. The world must thus learn the lesson that the only true peace and prosperity is that which God purposes, and will eventually establish through the Kingdom of his dear Son. The world is learning the lessons that wealth does not give complete happiness, but still leaves an aching void; and that all the comforts and conveniences of civilization, coming to the world of mankind, with good food, good clothing, and much advantage every way, do not change the heart nor bring in true happiness. In a word, the world must learn that civilization is not Christianization.

For centuries the Lord's wheatfield, the Church, has been overgrown with tares, who are not the offspring of the Lord's spirit at all--who have never been "begotten again," who are not of the "wheat" class in any degree. These "tares" have been passing under the name of Christian, while really and truly they are worldlings--not bad people, many of them, not all immoral by any means, some of them generous, kind, and, in a worldly sense, good--but not "begotten of the spirit." We are in the harvest-time, "the end of the age," and a complete separation must be made. For not one tare is to be gathered into the kingdom garner. On the contrary, a complete demonstration shall be made, as between the wheat and the tares. There are grains of "wheat," so far as we know, interested on both sides of this question, but the vast majority on both sides are of the "tare" class. The wheat, therefore, are not to expect to be understood, or to have the true position appreciated by the others; but nevertheless are to be content and to rejoice in what the Lord discloses to them through his Word, viz., that this time of trouble that the whole world sees impending, will be the final lesson by which the Lord will demonstrate to the world the difference between the reign of sin and the reign of righteousness--between the reign of selfishness and the reign of love.

In the great time of trouble, when all their various systems, religious, political, social, financial, go down in a maelstrom of anarchy, there will be a great opening of eyes,--a passing of present illusions. "When the judgments of the Lord are abroad in the earth the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness." They will come to see that the Lord's way is the right way,--the only satisfactory way; that the law of love is the only law which can bring everlasting happiness and blessing to any and to all who will obey it. They will come to see, what they do not now realize, that the Lord's true Church in the world was a "little flock," a "peculiar people," guided by the Lord's eye, and by his Word, who, through much tribulation, trials of faith, trials of patience, etc., will become heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ their Lord, in the glorious Kingdom which will be established upon the ruins of present institutions, for the blessing of all the families of the earth, with a righteous government. Let us then continue to pray, "Thy Kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it [R2869 : page 278] is done in heaven."

THE BREACH WIDENS.


Not long since it was announced that all "union workmen" would withdraw from the volunteer State and National Guards, lest they should be called upon to protect properties when strikes were on, or to suppress riots in which fellow-workmen might be engaged. Now we have the announcement that the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers will start a military organization of its own. Indeed the movement took definite shape on Saturday, August 3, as announced in the Wheeling, W. Va., Register of August 4, as follows:

"A.A. OF IRON & STEEL WORKERS TO FORM MILITARY COMPANIES."

A movement was started in this city yesterday for organizing a strong military branch of the Amalgamated Association of Iron, Tin and Steel Workers. The organization is designed to band the members closer together, to promote a better fraternal and social [R2869 : page 279] feeling, to protect the property of mill owners in cases of strikes, and for self-defense.

The Register has been in possession of information for more than a week, to the effect that the idea has been agitated among Amalgamated men both in Wheeling and elsewhere. Not until yesterday, however, did the matter assume anything like tangible shape. Crescent Lodge, comprising the workmen employed at the Whitaker mill, held a regular meeting in the afternoon, during which the subject was broached.

The matter was generally discussed, and several of the speakers were enthusiastically applauded. The details of the plan had previously been discussed among the men, and they were familiar with the subject when they came to the meeting.

Crescent Lodge heartily approved the idea, and decided to enroll membership in the military branch at the next meeting of the lodge. It is expected that other lodges in this section will take the same course, now that Crescent has taken the initiative, and endorse the military plan.

The discussion at the meeting evolved the following reasons for the organization of a military branch of the Amalgamation:

First--It would band the members into closer union, promote fraternal and social feeling, and familiarize the members with the manual of arms of the United States army. Military organizations are regarded as beneficial to other bodies, and the same degree of benefit could be extracted by the Amalgamation. The opinion was expressed that no difficulty would be experienced in organizing companies of 100 members each, in nearly all the lodges in the order. In a short time a National military branch would be the outcome, and beneficial features might be added.

Second--In cases of strikes and lockouts, the lodges would be in position to tender their services to mill owners for the protection of their property. It has been frequently charged, and it is claimed by Amalgamation men that it has been proven, that the lawless element has been incited to deeds of violence against capital, for the specific purpose of creating a public sentiment antagonistic to unions and strikers. In the discussion in Crescent lodge, it was stated that labor leaders have consistently contended for law and order, and that they have never sanctioned violence.


***

It is expressly understood among the members of Crescent lodge that the military body will not be subject to orders from any government authority, except as individuals. Their position is the direct antithesis of that. They will not place themselves in positions to be called upon by State authorities in cases of strikes and labor disturbances, but they take the position that labor troubles may be obviated if mill owners will accept their services in the spirit in which they are offered.

We cannot blame the managers of the trusts if they call in question the benevolence of this movement, and surmise that it means an eventual resort to carnage and anarchy between the two great companies of fellow creatures now being pressed into the vortex of strife for mastery by the inexorable laws of supply and demand and supported by constitutional selfishness, and both parties goaded on by fear.

Temporarily the power is in the hands of wealthy and wise captains of industry; who, at any cost, will strive to hold on to all the advantages they have already attained; for the mills may stand idle for a time with only the loss of dividends, while the mechanic's necessities continue and his credit is necessarily small. Besides, by the laws of nature, his competitors are increasing even in his own family, not to mention the attractions which his employment, and hours and wages present to labor from other fields, which can soon learn to operate machinery successfully.

Unquestionably capital must win in this contest under present conditions; but unquestionably also the ultimate result will be a grinding of the masses, between upper and nether millstones of supply and demand, until the danger point has been reached and the great explosion follows;--anarchy and destruction, born of fear and despair and not of preference or a love of lawlessness. "There shall be a time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation."--Dan. 12:1; Matt. 24:21.

Our advice to "brethren" in connection with all such troubles is, Yield--bend--submit to the inevitable as quietly and kindly and peaceably as possible. Seeing the outcome be "content" to let the Lord fight your battles. Accept whatever "rights" you can secure by lawful and peaceable means, and wait for the King Immanuel and his Kingdom of equity for the remainder of your "rights." Consider that you already have and enjoy more blessings and rights and privileges than your fathers, and more than as members of the fallen race you could justly demand; and be ye thankful. Additionally you can think generously of those on both sides of this conflict seeing that both are forced to the issue by present-day conditions. And thank the Lord for the light of his Word, which permits you to see matters thus in their true light.

A MODERN REFORMATION.


From the "London Daily Chronicle."

While the attention of the British public has been divided between South Africa and China, events of far-reaching importance have occurred in France, Portugal, and Spain. With little comment from the Press, and scant notice from people not directly affected, laws have been promulgated or revived in France and Portugal that aim a dangerous blow at the priestly brotherhoods whose directors are in the Vatican, and whose ramifications extend all through the Latin countries. Students of Continental life have seen the slow approach of an anti-clerical movement in the countries overrun by the powerful militant associations of the Latin Church, but not a few have thought that the agitation would spend itself in protests.

FRANCE AND THE RELIGIOUS ORDERS.


In France the feeling against the religious houses (Jesuits, Assumptionists, Dominicans, Benedictines, Carmelites, and other Orders) has been growing year by year. [R2869 : page 280]

It is unlikely that the full power of the Roman Church in matters beyond its proper jurisdiction was perceived by the men at the head of French affairs before the Dreyfus case, and then the gravity of the situation impressed itself upon the few strong men left on the side of the Republic. That the Church would overthrow the Republic if it could, was apparent to all thinking people, and in the meantime the Vatican's campaign was making the army unmanageable. It must be left to the historian to say what France owes to the Marquis de Gallifet and to M. Waldeck-Rousseau, who tempered courage with prudence at a very critical time, and to estimate the events that would have followed General Roget to the Elysee had he accepted the invitation of the half-mad enthusiast and patriot, Paul Deroulede. While the loudest outcry of the Nationalists has been directed against the Jews, at the instance of the Jesuits, who have never forgiven the Jewish financiers for breaking up the "Union Generale," it has been evident that the Republic is the offender in their eyes, the various groups that make up the National party finding, in hatred of the Republic, their one common sentiment. As the Latin Church has nothing to hope from the Republic, and everything to expect from a Pretender of the type of the Duc d'Orleans, it has befriended the Nationalists, and sought to capture the power in times of crises. And it has very nearly succeeded.

It is reasonable to believe that the new law for the regulation of Associations will be strictly enforced, and, unless the unexpected happens, the brotherhoods of the Latin Church, now working in Paris under orders from Rome, will become illegal communities by the end of the year, liable to suppression. Their members will be liable to fine and imprisonment. If M. Waldeck-Rousseau succeeds in a task that is well nigh completed, the Jesuits will no longer be able to train the young officers of the French Army; they will not be able to exert secret influence over the heads of the army, nor to evade taxes due upon such of their property as is not returned to them; they may even be unable to draw the hard-earned money of the French peasantry, as they and their brethren, the Assumptionist Fathers, have done so successfully in the past. Moreover, the Bill relating [R2870 : page 280] to Associations enables the Government to break up any union whose objects are deemed by the Cabinet to be inimical to the Republic, and thereby to control movements that, while they appear to be the outcome of the popular will, are in reality promoted or financed by the clerical associations through the medium of men of straw.

THE PARALLEL WITH PORTUGAL.


One of the curious points about the new French Law of Associations is that it is not an original conception, but is founded on the Portuguese law of 1834, which abolished religious congregations in Portugal, confiscated their property, forbade the formation of new congregations, and, out of the profits of confiscation, pensioned the monks and nuns whose property was taken away. Portugal, at the time when the law was enacted, had been passing through a terrible crisis. Queen Maria Gloria, a girl of fifteen, was hardly secure upon the throne; Dom Pedro was dying; Dom Miguel, the Pretender, had been defeated after a sanguinary campaign; the clergy had been active intriguers on his behalf; and the country was in an uproar. The Queen's advisers saw that they must break the clerical power, or be content to suffer rebellion to smoulder in every village, whose ignorance responded to priestly direction. A very curious parallel may be drawn between Portugal in the early thirties and France in the late nineties, the only difference being that the recent civil war in France was waged on paper. The Portuguese law was a success for a few years. Associations of nuns having less than twelve members were dissolved, and members sent to other convents, for the nunneries were not treated as harshly as the monasteries. The nuns were to die out, and in Lisbon to-day is an old lady in her ninety-second year, relic of those troubled times, and the last survivor of the old regime. She saw the uprising, and has lived to see the religious associations creep back to their old places, in spite of the law. Monasteries and nunneries have sprung up again, the power of the Jesuits has waxed strong, and their procedure has become so unbearable that a crisis was reached little more than two months ago. Some Jesuit Fathers, of Oporto, tried to remove a young girl to a convent against the wishes of her parents; the action was made public, and served to fire the smouldering discontent. There were riots and bloodshed on a scale that alarmed the authorities.

The popular feeling was strengthened by the regular clergy, whose antipathy to the foreign brotherhoods is very great. Queen and Cabinet have been on the side of the Jesuits; Dom Carlos, the King, alone is liberal in his views. Popular passion led to an unpleasant incident while the King was driving out in the early part of last month, and on the following day the Law of 1834 was put into force once more, Queen, Cabinet, and Jesuits being unable to stem the current of the King's anger. It was a striking episode in Portugal's latter-day history, more suggestive of the Orient, than the Occident. Several religious houses have been closed in the last few weeks, and the inmates sent away to their own countries. The Jesuits are fighting hard, but not wisely. They issued a proclamation a week or two ago calling upon the people to petition the Throne to restore their privileges. These proclamations have been torn down in several towns; at Setubal riots and bloodshed were the order of the day. In the meantime the King has ignored the tendencies of the Government, and assured a deputation of Liberals that the 1834 Law shall be enforced rigorously. They say in Lisbon that the beginning of the popular revolt may be dated from the exodus of the Assumptionist Fathers from France. Many came to Portugal, where their procedure served to exhaust popular patience. The Conservative and Reactionary Ministry of Portugal is tottering to its fall.

THE JESUITS AND THE CARLISTS.


In Spain the outcry against the clerical brotherhood is very strong. Throughout that unhappy country [R2870 : page 281] the very lowest orders of clergy seem to find a home. They have a comparative immunity from punishment, and are for the most part men of little or no education. So long as Carlism offered reasonable hopes of success, they encouraged the Carlists, by orders from Rome, for the presence of a Carlist King in Madrid would be meat and drink to the Vatican.

The revolt against the Latin Brotherhoods is a very serious factor in the social and political situation for the time being. It is not unlikely that the Franco-Italian entente will spread the trouble in Italy, and that we shall see the movement working from Paris to Madrid, and from Lisbon to Naples. But while Governments change and Ministers pass away, Rome remains, and it would be unwise to rely upon a permanent change in the relations between Latin Church and Latin countries until the standard of education is far higher than it is to-day. In the temporal service of Rome, Cardinal Rampolla marshalls some of the keenest intellects in Europe. Rome will bend before the storm of popular opinion, and when it passes, renew her stature as of old time. Financial crises are within view in Portugal, Spain and Italy, and the Latin Brotherhoods find plenty of material for denunciation of irreligious Governments when food is at a premium and the maximum of taxation pursues the minimum of wages. Yet in the hands of unscrupulous Governments crises are a two-edged weapon, and many Latin Governments owe the Latin Church little affection.


***

The above, taken in connection with the "Los von Rome" (away from Rome) movement, which, as already noted in these columns, is rapidly gaining headway in Austria, shows that the screws of superstition are being gradually loosened,--preparatory to the great, great political, social, financial and religious "earthquake" (Rev. 16:18), which is shortly to dismay all except those who have some knowledge of the final outcome of the divine plan of the ages.



[R2871 : page 281]

RESPECTING FOREIGN MISSIONS.


WE HAVE heard from three dear sisters in Christ, who have been for a long time deeply interested in foreign missions, to the effect that they were greatly disappointed that in our last issue we quoted certain criticisms of foreign missions. They find no fault with our own utterances in the article; but think the quotations false when they refer to the missionaries as having taken part in the looting of Peking. One of the Sisters says,--"I ask you, in justice to the missionaries, to publish in the Tower the enclosed extract from an article in the May number of the North American Review,--by Rev. Judson Smith, Corresponding Secretary of the American Board of Foreign Missions." We give the extract cheerfully, following, and will explain later on.

"THE MISSIONARIES AND THEIR CRITICS."


"The efforts of the Boxers were directed especially against the native converts, because of their connections with the foreigners. These converts were crushed by heavy fines, were robbed, were driven from their homes, and, in due time, were slain by hundreds and thousands. When the siege of Peking was raised the missionaries were left with large bodies of native Christians dependent upon them for everything. The missionaries themselves were left without homes, without resources, with these hundreds of homeless, helpless people looking to them for aid. Chaos reigned in Peking and in the country around it. The missionaries of different Boards felt that it would be intolerable for them to suffer these Chinese refugees, who had helped during the siege and had won encomiums for the share they had borne in it, to perish, as they must if something were not done in their behalf. The case was urgent. They were without food and without the means of obtaining it. Food and shelter for the very next day and then for days after that, must be found. Delay meant starvation and death. In the absence of all native authority with the knowledge and approval of Mr. Conger and other Ambassadors, two colonies were established in different parts of Peking, in courts abandoned by their owners, and were supported by the resources found in these courts, just as the Ambassadors and all others in the siege had been kept alive by what they found within their reach from the British Legation. As to the charge of looting by the missionaries, besides their own denials, we have the explicit testimony of one wholly outside their number whose position gave him exceptional facilities for knowing the facts. Mr. R. E. Bredon, Deputy Inspector General for the Imperial Maritime customs of China, who was in Peking throughout the siege and remained there some time afterward, wrote October 3, to the North China Mail, 'I heard in the Legation, before we were enabled to leave it, that missionaries had taken quantities of loot. I took special pains to investigate the truth of the assertion, and found absolutely nothing to confirm it.'"

LET THE TRUTH PREVAIL.


Although we quoted the Literary Digest article as a whole, we had no special desire to refer to the "looting" practiced at Peking. The leading journals have had much to say for and against the conduct of the missionaries in this respect; but for our part we considered that they treated the matter too severely,--seeming to overlook the fact that anarchy prevailed, and that it was not only necessary to take possession of palaces as temporary shelters, but necessary also to procure food for the starving--either by seizing food or by seizing goods which could be turned into money wherewith to buy food.

There is no doubt, however, that missionaries did adopt this plan of confiscating goods, called "looting"; for they have confessed it. The article by Rev. [R2871 : page 282] Judson Smith was called out as a defense of the course; and on close examination will not be found to be a denial of the facts admitted by missionaries Ament and Tewksbury. For instance Dr. Ament says,--

"In explanation of anything the missionaries may have done in the line of looting, it is only right to say that a famine was predicted for the coming winter, that they had hundreds of people in their charge who were in immediate need of food, clothing, and shelter, and who looked to the missionaries for assistance. It is but justice to them to say that if in the ardor of their desire to provide for their people, they did some things that attracted criticism, they did it with the best of intentions."

The New York Sun of May 4, says:--

"In an interview at Kobe, Dr. Ament, while on his way home to this country in Mr. Conger's company, gave an amazing picture of his experience in 'selling stuff' that did not belong to him. We are now quoting from the Kobe Herald of April 6:

'"The Tungchau mission, through Mr. Tewksbury, were selling things at Prince Yu's residence, and Miss Smith, of the London Mission, was selling off stuff from Boxer premises she had taken for her people. Mine was the last sale of the three. There were no especially valuable things on our premises --the owner was a broken-down Mongol prince; one sable robe, numbers of fox and squirrel-skin garments, and a large number of garments of inferior quality. The sale lasted two weeks."

'"Did you have it at stated times of day, then?"

'"No, at any time when the officers came. I had an experienced Chinaman put a value on the things, and I then charged about one-half or two-thirds of the value they would have brought in ordinary times. The officers were very glad to purchase at those rates."

'"Then there was no regular sale?"

'"No, the things were marked, and the officers would come and go prowling around the rooms, bringing to me what they wanted while I was going on with my work, and this, as I say, went on for about a fortnight. When they saw what things were wanted, some of our Christians borrowed a little money and went on the streets and purchased fur garments from Russians or Sikh soldiers, and brought them in and sold them to the officers at a good profit."'

"Thus was the palace occupied in the absence of its proprietor, by the Rev. Dr. Ament turned into a receptacle and mart for stolen goods; not stolen, he asserts, by the 'Christians' who brought the stuff in, but by them purchased on speculation from the original looters and sold under Dr. Ament's supervision at a good profit....If the Rev. Dr. Judson Smith blinks the word loot, the Rev. Dr. W. S. Ament doesn't. We wonder whether the first-named divine has really read all the evidence afforded by his own chief witness."


***

But while we thus give both sides to the looting matter and thus establish the truth of all we published in our last, that shocked some of our readers, nevertheless we have heretofore avoided all reference to the matter, feeling that considerable excuse should be made for departure from Christian and civilized usages, considering that anarchy prevailed and that money from other sources was probably not available. Nevertheless we cannot commend the course. It would have seemed questionable to a "business man" and should not have been even thought of by ministers of the gospel of justice are love. The missionaries evidently were misled by the worldly looting spirit prevailing in that anarchy and did what they would not do again, and would not have done then under less temptation.

NOT MEN BUT FALSE DOCTRINES DO WE ATTACK.


Our article was not intended as an attack upon missionaries, nor yet upon missions; but rather it was an attack upon the false doctrine which has been the mainspring of energy in connection with missionary efforts; viz., that the heathen are going into eternal torment by the hundreds of thousands yearly; --for lack of the knowledge carried to them by the missionaries. If Christian people desire to go to the people of China, Japan, India, Turkey, etc., as doctors, nurses, hospital-attendants, teachers of school-children, general teachers of morality, and illustrators of our Western civilization, well and good. And if incidentally then they get an occasional person or many to accept Jesus as their Redeemer and Lord so much the better. But it is high time that the false pretense, the pride and vanity bubble, of "converting the world" were burst, and that its baneful influence upon Christendom terminated.

The missionaries know full well that it is as reasonable to talk of a trip to the moon as to talk of "capturing the world for Jesus:" neither would be possible without a miracle,--the interposition of super-human power. It is time that Christian people learned that the only hope of the world's conversion --the only hope that the Lord's will shall ever be done on earth as it is done in heaven--lies in the promised second coming of our Lord Jesus, to be earth's King, and to set up the Kingdom of God which we are assured will triumph over Satan and sin and every evil, and scatter blessings to every creature, and make possible to all a full return to divine favor and life-everlasting.

PREACH THE GOSPEL TO EVERY CREATURE.



"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations."--
Matt. 28:19.
"Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to
every creature."--Mark 16:15.*
"The gospel which ye have heard, and which was
preached to every creature which is under heaven."--
Col. 1:23.
"This gospel of the Kingdom shall be declared in all
the world, for a witness unto all nations; and then shall
the end [of this age] come."--Matt. 24:14.

*This verse is not found in the oldest Greek MSS. They end with verse 8. Thus the basis of the Christian Science, and Christian Alliance, and Mr. Dowie's Christian Catholic systems falls.--See Revised Version, margin.

[R2872 : page 283]

If the expectation that the world is to be converted by missionary effort, before the Lord comes a second time, is a mistake, how shall we understand the foregoing Scripture statements?

We reply, that nothing in the above passages of Scripture or any others say one word about the world's conversion as the result of the preaching. On the contrary, the general tenor of Scripture is to the effect that this age will end as did the Jewish age--with a great time of trouble--because of the "tares" out of accord with the Lord and his Kingdom of righteousness.

The Lord's words here are to be viewed in the light of his previous instructions to the same apostles. He had told them to "Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not;" explaining that for the time his mission was exclusively to the Jews, "the lost sheep of the house of Israel" (Matt. 10:5,6; 15:24). Now he would give them to understand that the Jewish favor was drawing to an end, and that ultimately they would be privileged to tell the good tidings to all that have an ear to hear--to Gentiles, all nations, as well as to Jews.

That this is the correct view of the commission is evident from the third text quoted above. The apostle announces that the time had come when the gospel privileges were open to every creature under heaven who had "ears to hear" and a heart to appreciate it. To interpret his language otherwise would be to charge him with falsehood; for neither then, nor since, has it been a fact that even one in ten of the human creatures under heaven have heard the gospel.

The key is in the last of these texts. It points out distinctly that the mission of the gospel is not to convert the world, but to "witness" to it. The true converts under this witnessing will be in all but a "little flock"; but to these "elect, according to the foreknowledge of God, through sanctification of the spirit and a belief of the truth," God proposes to give a share with Christ in his Kingdom;--his agency for uplifting humanity and blessing all who, after being enlightened, seek a blessing--even unto life everlasting.

Anyway, it is the "Gospel of the Kingdom" that is to be preached in all the world, and not "another gospel"; and we fear that very few of the missionaries know much about the Kingdom gospel. Nevertheless the "gospel of the Kingdom" is clearly set forth in the Scriptures, which are now published in all the languages (not dialects) of earth. Furthermore, the Watch Tower literature is in the hands of all the missionaries in every quarter of the world; and through some of these--we know not--God can and will find the true "wheat" for his "garner."


***

One Sister inquires, Should not we carry to the darker parts of the earth our superior ideas respecting health, cleanliness, care of the sick, civilization, etc.?

If by we is meant the Lord's consecrated people, our answer would be, No. God's commission to us through Jesus and the apostles is restricted--"The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the meek,"--the teachable. "He that hath an ear to hear, let him hear!" We are not to force the gospel of the Kingdom upon any, by sword and gun, or in any other manner. Thus the Apostle Paul witnesseth for Jesus and the resurrection and the Kingdom to come, seeking only so many as the Lord our God had called. He gave special attention to the instruction of these few, to the intent that they might be made meet for the inheritance of the saints in light--the Kingdom. He never dreamed of general conversions and taking the world for Christ, knowing that such was not the divine plan,--except through the Kingdom.

As to whether the world (nominal Christendom) is doing well or ill for the heathen, is an open question. The fact that we, born and reared under Western civilization, would be miserable if obliged to live along the lines of Eastern civilization proves little; for so far as we can discern the people of China and India prefer their own methods, customs, etc. A canary bird, reared in captivity, may greatly enjoy its gilt cage with its swing, bath, etc., so as to feel lost indeed if deprived of them; but would the bird reared under other conditions, be happier in such a cage? We know that it would not. And may it not be so with different races of men, accustomed to different ideals and methods? Will the Chinaman be happier in a European cut of coat, shoes, shirt, collar and tie? Are we certain that the Chinawoman will be happier with larger feet, and shoes of our pattern and with corsets and Paris fashioned gowns?

Ah! you say, it is not these alone we would take them. We would supplant their Joss houses with what we term churches; and their weird musical instruments with our organs, and we would give them Jesus instead of Brahm and Buddha.

Even so! are we quite certain that this would increase their happiness? Are there not millions, in Europe and America, who have these very blessings, who are among the most discontented and unhappy people in the world? Are these foreign heathen either better or worse in God's sight than many in so called Christian lands who attend "church" regularly, wear fashionable clothing, etc., of whom the Lord says, "This people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precepts of men."--Isa. 29:13. Let us not forget the Lord's words to some very zealous for mission-work in his day;--"Ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he is made, ye make him two-fold more the child of Gehenna than yourselves."--Matt. 23:15.

"Even as many as the Lord your God shall call," said the apostle; and accordingly God's people, realizing that the chosen will be few, should seek to labor in harmony with the Lord's callings. Eighteen centuries show us that while no nation under heaven is refused or discriminated against, and some out of all have been called, nevertheless God's favors have been chiefly toward the white or Caucasian race. If we have done all we know how to do in this the Lord's special wheat-field, then by all means let us [R2872 : page 284] go into other fields. But if through the delusions of Satan the "gospel (?) of damnation" has been substituted for the "gospel of the Kingdom," so that the majority of those who profess the name of Christ have no knowledge of this gospel, then, by all means, let us who do know of it, bend all our energies to labor in this field which is "white already to the harvest," and its harvest work rapidly progressing.


[R2870 : page 284]

THE WATERED LILIES.


The Master stood in His garden,
Among the lilies fair,
Which his own right hand had planted,
And trained with tend'rest care;

He looked at their snowy blossoms,
And marked with observant eye
That the flowers were sadly drooping,
For their leaves were parched and dry.

But the Master saw, and raised it
From the dust in which it lay,
And smiled, as He gently whispered,
"This shall do My work to-day:

"My lilies need to be watered,"
The Heavenly Master said;
"Wherein shall I draw it for them,
And raise each drooping head!"

Close to His feet on the pathway,
Empty, and frail, and small,
An earthen vessel was lying,
Which seemed no use at all;

"It is but an earthen vessel,
But it lay so close to Me;
It is small, but it is empty,--
That is all it needs to be."

So to the fountain He took it,
And filled it full to the brim;
How glad was the earthen vessel
To be of some use to Him!

He poured forth the living water
Over His lilies fair,
Until the vessel was empty,
And again He filled it there.

He watered the drooping lilies
Until they revived again;
And the Master saw with pleasure
That His labour had not been vain.

His own hand had drawn the water
Which refreshed the thirsty flowers;
But he used the earthen vessel
To convey the living showers.

And to itself it whispered,
As He laid it aside once more,
"Still will I lie in His pathway,
Just where I did before.

"Close would I keep to the Master,
Empty would I remain,
And perhaps some day He may use me
To water His flowers again."



[R2872 : page 284]

QUARTERLY REVIEW.--SEPT. 29.

Golden Text:--"The mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting, upon them that fear him."--Psa. 103:17.

OUR TEXT is a forceful reminder of our studies in the past quarter. It was a lack of reverence for the Lord that permitted mother Eve to be deceived and to become the first transgressor. It was a lack of reverence for the Lord that led our father Adam into disobedience, into practical suicide, because of his love for Eve, and because he had not yet learned the proper reverence for God which would have led him to be obedient and to trust the results of Eve's disobedience to divine wisdom. It was lack of reverence for the Lord which operated in Satan to an evil ambition, and thus to his fall. It was lack of reverence for the Lord and for his rules of government that permitted the angels of the first dispensation to leave their own condition, and thus to get into sin with humanity. It was a lack of reverence for the Lord on the part of the world in general that caused the world to be full of violence and ready for destruction in the flood.

It was a proper reverence for the Lord that controlled Noah and his family, and kept them separate from the evil of their time, and that brought to them ultimately the divine blessing and preservation through the flood. It was a proper reverence for the Lord that enabled Abraham to forsake home and country in response to a divine promise, and that guided him throughout his pilgrimage and kept him separate from the Sodomites and the evil influences of that time. Similarly, on Isaac's part, it was reverence for the Lord which kept him in his father's footsteps; and we have just seen how fully Jacob was imbued with this reverence for divinity, and for all the gracious promises by which the Lord represented himself to him. We have seen the hand of the Lord with all those who had this reverence, and that even though they passed through numerous and severe trials, difficulties, etc., they were not forsaken, but upheld.

On the other hand, we have seen Lot's insufficiency of reverence, which permitted him to associate with evil-doers, and which ultimately brought upon him a share of their trouble. We have seen Ishmael's lack of reverence, and Esau's lack of reverence, and how these though not injured of the Lord, nevertheless missed greater blessing which a different course might have brought to them.

The lesson for us is that which Joshua expressed to Israel later, saying, "Choose ye this day whom ye will serve; as for me and my house we will serve the Lord." (Josh. 24:15.) Let others reverence whom and what they will; we, who have tasted that the Lord is gracious, we, who have come to know him through his Word, and through his providences, and through the power of the spirit by which we are begotten again to newness of life--we can do naught else than [R2873 : page 285] reverence our God; and reverencing him we must trust him implicitly; and trusting him implicitly we will gladly walk in whatever way he may mark out for us; and thus trusting, and thus walking we are content, whatever lot we see, since 'tis his hand that leadeth us. And let us be assured that following the true Shepherd after this manner, we shall ultimately reach the heavenly fold. In these assurances we have joy and peace and blessing of heart, even in the house of our pilgrimage, before we reach the heavenly city.



[R2873 : page 285]

INTEMPERANCE.

PROV. 23:29-35.--SEPT. 22.

Golden Text:--"Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging, and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise."--Prov. 20:1.

INTEMPERANCE is one of the most dreadful curses afflicting humanity, and even those who are its slaves will admit the force and truth of our text. It would appear that everyone coming under its baneful influence becomes more or less its slave-- the more so in proportion as he has become weak through the fall, and the six thousand years of increasing loss of physical and mental strength and vigor. Only those who realize that inherited weakness has much to do with drunkenness, can sympathize with a fallen one, or rightly appreciate why intoxicants have so much stronger influence over some than over others. But while pity and sympathy are properly called for, they must be exercised in moderation, if we would benefit the fallen and the weak. None are so weak, so degraded, as to be without some base of character; and our aim should be to strengthen and build up character, and encourage and stimulate resistance to these weaknesses, rather than too freely to condone them.

The weak and degraded should be encouraged to know that they have a will-power which will greatly assist them in the cultivation of character if they will but use it. But they and all should know that the greatest strength and stimulus to character comes from above; and that the weakest as respects depravity of the flesh, may obtain such help of heart and of intellect from the promises, exhortations, admonitions and encouragements of the Lord's Word as will make them strong in the Lord and in the power of his might. We need power and strength of our own wills every day in overcoming the weaknesses of our fallen condition; but we need more than this,--we need "grace to help in every time of need;" and we need to learn whence it is to be obtained, and how to approach the throne of heavenly grace with confidence, so as to obtain the needed blessing.

Here comes in the necessity for an appreciation of the doctrines of Christ--to assure us that our weaknesses are understood and sympathized with by the Lord in every proper sense, and that his provision in Christ is such that he can be just and yet justify believers in Jesus;--that he can be just, and yet forgive us our sins and grant us needed strength and help in overcoming.

To those who have friends or neighbors addicted to intemperance, over whom they desire to exercise a helpful influence, we advise that they appeal to the will, to the self-respect, and to the rewards of temperance and intemperance, viewed from a worldly and social standpoint: but we advise that they go further, and urge that in view of the weakness of their own wills, as manifested by their intemperance, they should recognize that while all men need the Savior, and the help which he alone can give, yet the weaker the will the greater the need. When we are weak in the matter of self-reliance, and are thereby led to make a covenant with the Lord, and to lean upon his strength, then we are strong.--2 Cor. 12:9,10.

We will make this lesson a short one, since we have no reason to believe that any particular number of our readers are slaves to intemperance; indeed, we know that whom the Son makes free is free indeed; and we urge upon all that the greater freedom which we receive in Christ, through a clear knowledge of the divine plan, should lead us more diligently to bring every talent and power of mind and of body into full subjection to the divine will, and into the service of the divine plan. And those who are imbued with this thought will surely realize that they have neither mental nor physical powers to dissipate--that they belong to the Lord, and are to glorify him in their bodies and their spirits, which are his (1 Cor. 6:20). They will perceive that they are merely stewards, and that any misuse of talents, either through intoxication or otherwise, would be a misuse of their stewardship, and lead surely on to that condition in which the Lord could not say to them, "Well done, good and faithful servant."

But while disposed to encourage temperance, and to discourage intemperance in respect to intoxicants of every kind, we feel that the special lesson needed by the Lord's consecrated people is in respect to the intoxicating influences of the world, as they come to and affect us as "new creatures." There is an intoxication in wealth, in luxury, in ease, which tends to say to the soul, "Take thine ease; forget they covenant of sacrifice--to walk in the footsteps of Jesus, and be dead to the world and its aims with him." There is an intoxication of pleasure, of fashion, of pride and fond desire, which appeals to the "new creature" very strongly, through various avenues of the mortal body, and seeks to intoxicate, to stupify, the new mind, to make us dull of hearing as respects spiritual things, to make us lax as respects our zeal for the Lord, for the truth, and for the brethren; and to make us covet the things that would be approved by the world, and pleasurable to our own flesh, and harmonious to the wishes and exhortations of our friends. To all of these intoxicating allurements the answer must be, No; we have sworn off, we have covenanted our lives that we shall henceforth be dead to earthly interests and alive toward God. Our joys, our pleasures, our intoxications, must be of the spiritual kind. We must become so enthused, enraptured, with the heavenly things, with the joy and [R2873 : page 286] peace and blessing which accompany the eating and drinking at the Lord's table, and being filled with his spirit, that the intoxications of earthly joys will have less and less attraction for us.--Eph. 5:18.

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



[R2873 : page 286]

INTERESTING QUESTIONS ANSWERED.


THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE RANSOM.


Question.--Is an understanding of the philosophy of the ransom essential to justification?

Answer.--Justification is the name for that standing in the sight of God in which He can accept us and deal with us no longer as sinners but as perfect human sons. This relationship or standing has been accounted to the friends of God ever since the day of Abraham, surely, and evidently to some others previously. Neither Abraham nor David nor Samuel nor the prophets understood the philosophy of the ransom. They could not understand it, for it had not yet been revealed in any sense or degree: it had merely been hinted at in types and through indefinite promises.

But they could and did have faith in God, and the Apostle Paul (Rom. 4) shows that it was that faith that justified them. They had faith to the full of the revelation of God's will and plan made to them. The extent of the knowledge of God possible to be possessed has increased considerably since Abraham's day. In Rom. 4:24, the Apostle makes faith in God the basis of our justification as it was the basis of their acceptance, though now faith in God includes faith in the Lord Jesus as our Redeemer. It was impossible for any to believe on Him of whom they had not heard; but Abraham believed God in His statement that in his seed (afterward shown to be Christ) all the families of the earth should be blest. Abraham's faith was reckoned as justifying him in God's sight. It was [R2874 : page 286] such an active, obedient faith as would have accepted Christ personally, as it accepted the promises concerning him. In due time his faith shall be perfected --at our Lord's second advent.

Coming down to the first advent of our Lord: His teaching evidently brought a great light to them that had the eyes of their understanding opened, and he declared the ransom. We have no reason to suppose that even those who heard our Lord speak in dark sayings and parables grasped the philosophy of the ransom; and so through the Gospel age to the present time. We must therefore suppose that in God's wisdom it was quite sufficient that his people should believe the fact which his Word does clearly state, that Christ's death paid the penalty for the sins of the whole world somehow or other, not understood.

The ransom was necessary, so far as God was concerned, as the basis of our justification. But so far as we were concerned, the thing necessary was to "believe God" and to accept God's statement, that through the death of Christ the reconciliation for the sins of the whole world was effected, for all who would believe it and act accordingly.

The philosophy of the subject is needful in our day, and is "meat in due season;" now, because we have come down to a time when there is in progress a special sifting and testing in connection with Christ and his sacrifice, and when it is necessary to have the philosophy of the subject in order to be able to appreciate and hold on clearly to the fact that we were redeemed by the precious blood.

It will be noticed that the prophet declares that all the tables of Babylon are full of vomit--rejected things. They had some very good things upon their tables, among others the doctrine of the ransom; but failing to be in the right condition of heart now, the Lord is rejecting Babylon; and those of his people in her are called away from her tables to the meat in due season, while her tables, served by those who are rejected from being the Lord's mouth-pieces ("I will spue thee out of my mouth"), are in the light of the dawning day being despised; and even the good things from the Lord's Word (the ransom, etc.), which once yielded them refreshment, are now defiled in their eyes along with the rejected nonsense of the dark ages.

THE TEMPLE OF HIS BODY.


Question.--What did the Lord mean when he said (John 2:19), "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up?"

Answer.--A suggestion as to his meaning is found in verse 21--"But he spake of the temple of his body" --the Church, he being the head of the Church.

A day with the Lord is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The first advent was in the beginning of the fifth day or thousand years (over four thousand years being past, and the fifth thousand begun). During the fifth and sixth days his Church has been selecting, and early in the seventh (the Millennium), the third day, his body, the Church, will be perfected with him--the spiritual temple. He himself was raised from the dead "on the third day," literally, but it was not by his own power--God highly exalted him. The words of the text can not, therefore, refer to our Lord's personal resurrection.

"WHOM NO MAN HATH SEEN NOR CAN SEE."


Question.--Do you believe that the restitution class will ever enter heaven, and "see the King in his beauty"?

Answer.--No, we have no reason whatever to expect that any of the restitution class will ever enter heaven, or ever see spiritual beings. It would be entirely contrary to their nature; man is adapted to the earth, as a fish is adapted to the water. If man were taken out of the earth into heaven he would be like the fish out of water--out of his element. Nor is there any suggestion in the Scriptures of any change [R2874 : page 287] of nature; human nature being perfection on its own plane, so designed by the Creator; and those perfect on the human plane will be just as satisfied with their perfection as will the perfect on the angelic plane, and those on other planes of being. They will see the King in his beauty in the same sense that we now see the Lord when we are "looking unto Jesus." More than this, when mankind is perfect they will see in each other the very image of God; and all through the Millennial Age they will see in the princes who will be in charge of their government, the likeness of God, for these princes or ancient worthies will be perfect human beings.

THE CHRISTIAN ALLIANCE.


Question.--How far are the Christian Alliance views correct?

Answer.--In our opinion not very far. They look for the second coming of the Lord, but mistakenly, as do many friends in the various denominations. They hold nearly all the false doctrines held by nearly all denominations. In our understanding many of the Christian Alliance people are earnest, and probably as a whole, a more holy people than most of the denominations; but this is about all that we can say for them. We must consider their system as a branch or ward of Babylon, and would warn all to come out of her, that they be not partakers of the woes that are shortly to come upon her, and that they be upon the Lord's side and accounted worthy to see further light of present truth.

Question.--What is your understanding of the call and work of a minister or preacher, as taught in God's Word?

Answer.--(1) That in a general sense all Christians are anointed of the spirit to be preachers, and are such in proportion as they exercise their talents in spreading the truth.

(2) That any Christian (man), having knowledge and ability as a herald, who feels drawn to devote all his time to the spread of the truth, an open door being seen, is justified in changing his field of labor from temporal to spiritual, in part or in whole, giving more and more of his time and energy to his direct vocation of an ambassador for God and less and less to his avocation earthly.

(3) That these heralds shall trust in God to supply their needs; and receiving only free will offerings from the brethren and others should "labor" for the things needful, accepting these conditions of the Lord's providence.

(4) That when one of these finds every door of opportunity closed, he shall accept it as an evidence of work done in that field and should seek to know whether for some reason his service is not acceptable longer or whether the Lord has another field for him, or whether all the work is done. In any case, he should recognize that his vocation is that of an ambassador for the truth, and that earthly affairs are only his avocations, and should seek to prosecute as best he can the ministry of the Word, through evil and good report, through trials and encouragements, through sorrows and joys.

WHAT WAS JEPHTHAH'S VOW?


Question.--What attitude are we to assume toward the account of Jephthah's reckless vow which brought death to his daughter? Is there any redeeming feature in the incident?

Answer.--We are to accept the scriptural statement that Jephthah was amongst the faithful--acceptable to God. As such he must also be acceptable to us. In respect to his offering his daughter in sacrifice our conclusion must be that the divine arrangement then and now differs materially. We may say, however, that as Abraham was about to offer his son Isaac, not willingly, but through obedience to what he understood to be the divine will, so did Jephthah with his daughter; and he was not hindered by an angel from the Lord. I do not know if the lamentation has any significance.


***

Answer.--A totally different view of this matter is possible, and we merely suggest it; namely, that the vow was one of full devotion to the Lord--one of chastity and sanctity--seclusion from society, deadness to the world as a priestess. The daughter's request for time for lamentation, and the subsequent annual celebration by the virgins, would agree well with this view. The chief objection to this view is the statement respecting "a burnt offering," and this seems almost insurmountable.

"WHOM NO MAN HATH SEEN NOR CAN SEE."


Question.--In what sense can the statement in Job 19:26 be true, since we understand he will not have power to "see God" as a human being?

Answer.--The passage might be understood in two different ways: (a) As an expression of Job's trust in the Lord that notwithstanding the serious disease with which he was afflicted, and the apparent utter destruction of his skin, by a loathsome disease yet he hoped for recovery and that he should yet praise the Lord in the flesh and in health. Or (b) it may be understood to refer to a future life and Job's confidence that tho his sickness should result in death, complete dissolution, yet it did not mean in him an everlasting extinction. As previously stated, God would call and he would answer in his flesh. His seeing God in the flesh should not be understood as that which is impossible, of which our Lord says, "No man hath seen God at any time," and of which the Apostle says, "Whom no man hath seen nor can see." It should be understood in the way in which it is commonly used today, viz., that God's people see him in his works, as we sometimes say, "I see God's hand in [R2875 : page 287] this." And again, we are informed that "all flesh shall see the salvation of God." And again, "Look unto me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth."



page 288

PUBLIC MINISTRIES OF THE TRUTH

UNDER THE AUSPICES OF THE

WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY.


THESE SERVICES ARE WITHOUT CHARGE, AND NO COLLECTIONS ARE TAKEN UP. THE FRIENDS AT EACH PLACE GENERALLY PROVIDE THE MEETING PLACES AND ARE PLEASED TO ENTERTAIN THE LORD'S SERVANTS (AND NOTHING UNUSUAL OR ELABORATE IS EXPECTED.)


THE CLEVELAND CONVENTION.


Our general Convention for the year is appointed for Cleveland, Ohio, commencing Thursday, Sept. 12 at 2 P.M., closing Sunday night, Sept. 15.

Special rail-road rates can be obtained;--on western roads as low as 1 cent per mile--account "G.A. R. Encampment"; but those using such tickets must reach Cleveland some time before midnight of Sept. 12.

Special arrangements have been made by the Cleveland friends for our comfortable entertainment at one dollar per day, each, for food and lodging (one-half what we had expected). And further, they kindly offer free entertainment to such as cannot afford this small price. Send us word, at once, if you decide to attend, that arrangements may be made for your party. The city will be crowded and accomodations hard to find at the time. State married couples and whether the others are males or females, for of course separate rooms, etc., could not be had for each at the price.

A VERY INTERESTING PROGRAM IS BEING ARRANGED.

We are looking for a large attendance from all parts of the country and from Canada. However, we are still more anxious for the Lord's spirit to be with us than that the numbers should be large,--tho there is an enthusiasm and inspiration in numbers also.

The general testimony is that each of these yearly conventions out-does all of its predecessors. We hope it may be so this time also. Why should it not be so if, as the Lord's people, we are continually growing in grace and knowledge and love? Come, seeking to bestow as well as to receive a blessing. "He that seeketh findeth." "To him that knocketh it shall be opened." "Your heavenly Father is more willing to give [increasingly] the holy spirit to them that ask [seek] it, than are earthly parents to give good [earthly] gifts unto their children."

FT. WAYNE, IND.--AUG. 25.

Morning session, specially for the interested, will be a Convention Welcome and Rally, at 10:30 a.m. Afternoon session, specially for the public, at 3 p.m. In the evening at 7:30 the discourse will be specially for the household of faith.

All meetings will be held in Knights of Columbus Hall, Lau Block, Cor. Calhoun and Washington Sts.

Friends from near-by places are cordially invited; and all in introducing themselves are requested to mention their home address, that we may the better identify them. Come praying the Lord's blessing-- seeking to receive a blessing, and to be used as a channel of blessing to others.


ROCHESTER, N.Y.--SEPTEMBER 29.

RICHMOND, VA.--OCT. 12, 13. Particulars in due season.



page 289
September 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

SEMI-MONTHLY.
VOL. XXII.SEPTEMBER 15, 1901.No. 18


CONTENTS.

Views From the Watch Tower291
The Outlook--War and Prosperity292
"Finally, Be All of One Mind"294
Fighting the Good Fight of Faith295
Faith and the Messages Essential297
The Blessed Inheritance for which We are Being Prepared298
"Hated Without a Cause"298
Poem: Pass Under the Rod301
Words of Cheer and Encouragement301
Public Ministries of the Truth304
Our Special Edition Linear Bible290

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 290

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.




LETTERS FOR THE EDITOR SHOULD BE SENT TO ALLEGHENY, PA., U.S.A.
SUBSCRIPTIONS AND BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS
--ADDRESS TO--
WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY,
"BIBLE HOUSE," 610, 612, 614 ARCH ST., ALLEGHENY, PA., U.S.A.
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PRICE, $1.00 (4s.) A YEAR IN ADVANCE, 5c (2-1/2d.) A COPY.
MONEY MAY BE SENT BY EXPRESS, BANK DRAFT, POSTAL ORDER, OR REGISTERED.
FROM FOREIGN COUNTRIES BY FOREIGN MONEY ORDERS, ONLY. SPECIAL
TERMS TO THE LORD'S POOR, AS FOLLOWS:--

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


ENTERED AS SECOND CLASS MAIL MATTER AT ALLEGHENY, PA., POST OFFICE.

[R2877 : page 290]

OUR SPECIAL EDITION LINEAR BIBLE.


We have received a sufficient number of orders for the new Bible to warrant us in proceeding with its publication. It is to be printed from the regular "Linear Bible" electroplates with special DAWN and WATCH TOWER references in the one-inch-wide margins. Additionally we will add a Topical Index giving Scripture references as well as DAWN and WATCH TOWER references. These were prepared by two sisters in Los Angeles, California.

Our readers are aware that these Bibles are being prepared at considerable trouble, for their convenience and spiritual assistance and not for financial profit: indeed we run the risk of losing something. We do not wish to urge any orders, but feel sure some who do not order will be greatly disappointed when they see the books in the hands of others and think of what they have missed. The price is only about one-third that of the same book without the wide-margin references which will so greatly add to its value among WATCH TOWER readers. See the illustration of type in our issue of July 15. Two bindings, $2.00 and $3.00 post-paid. We advise the better bound one to all who can afford it.

Orders may be sent in at these prices during September; but not later. Some will be printed, extra, for a party who believes they will be in demand at much higher prices.


page 290

THE LEATHER-BOUND DAWNS
are sold only in sets--5 volumes. This insures correspondence in shade of leather, finish, etc.



[R2875 : page 291]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER.


A WRITER in the Advance facetiously points out the antagonism between the Bible and its true friends on the one side, and the Higher Critics on the other. But he does not seem to realize that the followers of these higher critics are in most of the pulpits and in the most influential pews of Christendom; --that the secret of the prevalent skepticism and indifference of professing Christians is doubt. It is not the loud and foul-mouthed infidelity of a century ago; but much more insidious and dangerous, because it has a "form of godliness"--much more deceptive to such as are sincere truth-seekers. The writer says:--

"Beyond any question some unknown writer gathered up the legends of his time and used them to describe a hero, whom he named Abraham. A later writer used the same legends, but he called his hero Isaac. Without doubt all these stories were invented to account for the supremacy of Israel over Edom." So said a Rev. Dr. in his 'lecture' to some fifty ladies of his church a few days since--in a Congregational church not far from Boston! At the close of the lecture, among others this question was asked: 'Doctor, do you believe that any such persons as Abraham and Isaac ever lived?' 'Well, I don't know,' replied the Doctor. 'It is quite possible that persons bearing those names have lived, but probably these names represent nations or tribes. I should say that the weight of best modern scholarship is against the theory that any such persons as Abraham and Isaac actually lived.'"

Being from the backwoods and not familiar with the "best modern scholarship," I was wont to exclaim, "Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it!"

What a pity that Isaiah could not have heard a course of lectures like these before he prophesied! Then he would have been spared the mortification of making such a reference as we find in his prophecy--Chapter 41:8: "But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend." And another blunder worse than the first: "Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed him and increased him!" But it may be that "the best modern scholarship" will discover, if indeed it has not already proven, that no such prophet as Isaiah ever prophesied or lived even! This would do much in clearing the way for a solid foundation for our faith!

It is a great pity also that Matthew could not have heard or read a few lectures concerning the "higher criticism" before he wrote his book; for he would have omitted the first chapter which has deceived so many ignorant souls since his time! A great many people have lived in times past and "fell on sleep" believing that in some way Jesus was descended from Abraham! Alas, what ignorance! Why could not the wise men of the East have discovered this new knowledge ages ago?

Moreover, what a help it would have been to Jesus if He could have known the "last word of our best modern scholarship!" He would not have been deceived, nor would he have deceived others by quoting from those "old legends," as He did in Matt. 22:32: "I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob!" Nor would He have said: "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day; and he saw it and was glad. I say unto you before Abraham was I am." John 8:56,58. Then think of the unfortunate Stephen! Had he only known the results of "the best modern scholarship" he never would have spoken as he did in Acts 7:5--and so might have saved his life! If he was ignorant or so foolish as to rehearse as true a lot of "legends" about people who never lived, why should not the multitude gnash on him with their teeth, stop their ears, run upon him with one accord, cast him out of the city and stone him to death! James too was deceived and quoted as a fact a passage from those same "old legends": Jas. 2:23. [R2875 : page 292]

But the most deluded of all those poor, ignorant men, who lived and worked in the first century was Paul! How unhappy he must be even in heaven (if there is any heaven), if he now knows the "last word of best modern scholarship!" His ignorance first appears in quoting the same "old legend" that fooled James in his letter to the Galatians--3:6. He repeats the myth in his letter to the Romans--4:1-4. But worse than this, in the ninth chapter he digs up and palms off onto the innocent and unsuspecting Romans a whole string of "legends!"

Ah me! Four years of preaching and working does not seem to have brought any more light into his benighted mind! for then he wrote that strange epistle to the Hebrews! Who can read the eleventh chapter of that epistle in the light of "the best modern scholarship," with any degree of allowance for the ignorant writer?

Poor Paul!--To think of the sermons written and spoken from the "legends" quoted by Paul in that chapter is enough to give a man spiritual nightmare! And the preachers have believed those stories to be true, and so have deceived their flocks. "The blind leading the blind!" These deluded preachers have cited Abraham for an example of faith, living, saving faith, lo, these centuries past! And yet Abraham never lived! To buttress their sermons on prayer, these same preachers have quoted again and again Abraham's petitions as found in the "legends" recorded in Gen. 15, 17 and 18! What a debt of gratitude we owe to the "higher criticism," that our eyes have been opened and that with the very beginning of this glad new century "the best modern scholarship" has brushed away the myths and "legends" of the ages and given us a "new theology" founded upon the latest researches of "the higher criticism!"


***

The serious feature of the matter is, that Christian people in general are but "babes" as respects a knowledge of God's Word, and hence liable to lose their little all of faith; especially when the doubts are suggested by their leaders, to whom they have been taught to look too implicitly for guidance in matters of faith.

The Word of God clearly shows us that so great a falling away from the faith is to be expected here, in the end of the age, as will justify our Master's words,--"When the Son of Man cometh [is present] shall he find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:8.) These are the "perilous times" mentioned by the Apostle, and of whose deceptions our Lord said,--"If it were possible [if they were not divinely aided] the very elect would be misled by them."--Matt. 24:24; compare 2 Thes. 2:10-12; 2 Tim. 3:1-5.

The only safe-guard for the Lord's people now is the "present truth" with which the Lord is so bountifully supplying the "table" of his fully consecrated people. God has so arranged the outward evidences respecting the Bible that the world and all who have the spirit of the world can find plenty to cavil at and stumble over. The Lord's intention was and still is that only from the inside can his Word and plan be seen in their true beauty and strength. He intends it to be "sufficient, that the man of God may be thoroughly furnished unto every good work." But who are genuinely men of God, is the question. The difficulty is that many professing to be men of God are men of their own--not consecrated: and many of the consecrated are consecrated to a particular work or theory or sect instead of to God. Now the "hour of trial" has come which will show the real standing of each one professing godliness. God is now making it quite possible for every "man of God" to be thoroughly furnished, fully equipped, at the same time that he is permitting the Adversary to bring in error like a flood.--Isa. 28:2,18-20; 59:19.

In view of these conditions let all whose eyes are open, all who see where we are and what is coming, be alert first for themselves that they may be of the "brethren" who will see and be delivered, by giving the more earnest heed to the things which God has shown us, lest we let them slip; and secondly, for all who give any evidence of being "brethren," to assist them as much as lieth in us. Thus we may make our own calling and election sure, and minister grace to all with whom we come in contact.--2 Pet. 1:10; Eph. 4:29.

THE OUTLOOK--WAR AND PROSPERITY.


As our readers are aware, we credit the prosperity of the world during the past three years very largely to their wars, which have put hundreds of millions of dollars into circulation among the people, and stimulated manufacturing, shipbuilding, etc., at a cost of an increase of public debts, which, being put into the shape of negotiable bonds, is practically an increase in the world's circulating medium--money.

Our principal reason for looking for a further period of prosperity and inflation is, that in our judgment [R2876 : page 292] there is scarcely time enough to permit a panic and period of general prostration and then another period of prosperity and inflation and another panic, etc., by the time which we think the Scriptures indicate as the time for the great cataclysm of trouble; by which the present institutions of Christendom are all to go down in anarchistic chaos. The culmination of the trouble in October 1914 is clearly marked in the Scriptures;* and we are bound therefore to expect a beginning of that severe trouble not later than 1910;--with severe spasms between now and then.

*See MILLENNIAL DAWN, VOLS. II., III.

Should the severe trouble come in 1910 we may infer that it will be preceded by a period of gradual financial and social disturbances, similar to those of the past, and leading on toward the condition of desperation then, or sooner, to be reached. For these reasons we expect the present wave of prosperity to roll on a little while: and since it could not do so without war, or something of the kind, to put more money and more bonds into circulation--therefore we look for war, possibly numerous small wars, possibly great ones. It is a time for wars and rumors of wars, and of crying Peace, Peace; but the end is not yet,--a more pronounced federation of Protestantism is first to be expected, and a consequent persecution of such as will refuse to worship it. [R2876 : page 293]

In harmony with the foregoing, read the following extract from that very conservative London journal, "The Spectator:"--

"THE LITTLE CLOUD."


"One grand difficulty of the past, the insufficiency of useful products, is being rapidly obviated. The world is being searched for more pleasant things, and with the new facilities for intercommunication the search is well rewarded. As regards food, indeed, always the first of human preoccupations, the world has been pooled, and where absurd laws do not interfere bread is now so abundant and so cheap that the age-long ascendency of those who by owning the soil controlled its production is threatened, and will probably disappear. It is more than probable that the speed of human transit, and the inherent power of the instruments used by man to lighten toil, will be enormously increased--a new and lighter accumulator of electricity would effect that at once--while it is possible that the fertility of the earth itself, the locked treasure-house of all things, may be materially increased. The energy of white mankind, relieved of many superincumbent weights, has been developed beyond precedent, and the highest men of science see dimly that even man's power of thinking may be enlarged by a comprehension of laws as great as gravitation which are still hidden from his ken, but the filmy veil of which shows an inclination to disappear. The "rolling back of the heavens" in the fifteenth century, on which thinkers and rhetoricians have so often dilated, would hardly expand man's conceptions more than an accurate and fairly full comprehension of the nature and properties of the all-pervading though invisible substance which we have agreed to call the ether.

"In the midst of all these facts and prospects men remain silly, and a new and serious danger bewilders all who can think. The white world may fling its future away for the gratification of its spites and greeds. The nations have become conscious of each other, and they snarl. The fierce jealousies, the fiercer greediness, the distrusts fiercest of all, which in history are seen to have divided the dynasties, now divide the peoples. Each is as angry when it sees another gain anything as a dog when it sees a bone in another dog's mouth. Each thinks itself injured when another is enriched, and, what is worst of all, each believes in its heart that every other is plotting astutely and carefully to deprive all rivals of that which they possess.

"The new hunger for comfort, the new knowledge of the external world and the riches it contains, unite with the new freedom and rapidity of intercommunication to produce a hatred of rivals at least as strong as the ancient hatred of races or religions. Great nations are ready to fight to the death for transmarine acquisitions, for privileges of trading, and above all for profitable monopolies. Governments are forced to "interfere," usually with menace, to secure concessions for their subjects. The popular papers are full of profits about to be pilfered away. The more popular the representative the more angrily he pleads for objects which, in plainer language, are large profits to be reaped by his constituents. If the State buys anything abroad he is furious; if it is indifferent to a foreign tariff he is in despair; if it does not prevent a rival railway he asserts, and almost believes, in treachery in his rulers. It is impossible for him to believe that the claims of others may be well founded, and the imputations in which he indulges resemble nothing so much as those of priests against heretics, or scholars against each other in the Middle Ages.

In short, while the Governments are tranquil the peoples hate each other to the point at which the maintenance of peace becomes daily a more difficult performance. The spirit infects all countries alike, even Great Britain, usually so free in her inner pride from any impulse either of envy or apprehension; and if it cannot be allayed there will in the end be war. And war in England or with America now fully included in the circle of jealousies, would mean the disappointment for half the century of all the hopes with which it begins, the waste of the new resources upon competitive and skilful killing, and the diversion of all powers of thought from conquests over Nature to conquests over each other. Everything, in fact, in the time is propitious except the nature of man, which in its new freedom from the pressure of suffering is allowing the freest play to some of his meanest instincts. So far as safety and progress are concerned, the world has gained little by the exchange of royal ambition as the driving force in politics for popular jealousy and greed."

WHAT OTHERS ARE COMING TO SEE.


The "Grocer's Criterion" (Chicago) commenting on the fruit and vegetable scarcity resulting from the general drouth of the past Summer points out that this means deprivation to the poorer classes, and high prices for life's necessities, etc. It then concludes,--

"The cost of living everywhere will be enormously increased all over the country. With the coal trust putting up the price of coal and other trusts advancing the cost of the necessaries of life, the outlook for the masses is not very encouraging. The labor situation has not improved and there is a growing feeling of discontent among the poorer classes in every manufacturing locality.

"We have been enjoying a long period of prosperity, but over-reaching greed will soon result in bringing about an industrial revolution. Success has turned the heads of ambitious promoters, and they desire to control and monopolize the business of the world, which will eventually end only in universal disaster. We believe that the beginning of the end of the present era is at hand. We look to see want, misery and suffering in the near future. We expect to hear of outbreaks, riots and bloodshed at almost any time, and the conditions are ripe for a bloody conflict between capital and labor.

"The long drought will tend to aggravate the parties to the present struggle.

"We can not reasonably expect the difficulties now existing to be soon amicably or justly settled. Greed is apparent and uppermost and is crushing labor with [R2876 : page 294] an iron hand; labor is struggling for its very life with a fair prospect of being overcome--yet there are no immediate signs of a panic. There may be a slumbering volcano beneath us, but it has not yet burst into fiery eruption. Business men everywhere are entrenching themselves to meet the emergency when it comes, and to this conservative policy we may attribute the present calmness in the commercial world and the absence of anything like a panicky feeling among business men."

Watch Tower and Millennial Dawn readers have seen the above conditions for these many years in the light of the divine Word. The Editor has been proclaiming these things for nearly thirty years. It is an evidence of the ripening of the matter when the worldly can see them without the secret light of God's Word,--clearly discernible only by the "royal priesthood" in the "holy" place, in the light of "the golden candlestick." But our sorrow for the world in view of its coming catastrophe is mitigated by our knowledge of the grand results to be thus brought about under the administration of the coming Kingdom of Messiah. Praise God then even for "the day of wrath!"

PALESTINE'S MINERAL WEALTH.


COMMERCIAL AWAKENING OF THE HOLY LAND PROMISED UNDER THE TURKS.

Washington, Aug. 6.--The Department of State has received from Ernest L. Harris, Consular Agent at Eibenstock, a report on the mineral treasures of Palestine. The report says:

"Valuable mineral treasures have recently been discovered in Palestine, so it is safe to say that the industrial awakening of the Holy Land is no longer a dream. It is true that the greater part of the once flourishing country is a barren desert. The lines of communication are miserable, and traffic is unsafe, aside from the one railroad from Yafa to Jerusalem.

"The newly discovered mineral deposits lie on both sides of the Jordan and the Dead Sea. The salt deposits of the Dead Sea could be developed into an industry. The most important of all the deposits is [R2877 : page 294] phosphate. At present the phosphate mines of Florida almost supply the world's demand. The immense fields of phosphate to the east and west of the Jordan need only better means of traffic and communication in order to insure the development. This, it would seem, is not far distant, as the Turkish Government is planning a continuation of the Yafa-Jerusalem Railroad, and steamboats are already plying the Dead Sea."



[R2877 : page 294]

"FINALLY, BE ALL OF ONE MIND."


"Finally, be all of one mind [harmonious--in accord], having compassion one of another; love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous; not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing; but contrariwise blessing, knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing."--1 Pet. 3:8,9.

HARMONY does not mean alike-ness. Rather it signifies unity with diversity: and this is the meaning of the Greek word translated "of one mind" in our text. The Lord's will respecting his people does not contemplate exact sameness, wholly ignoring individual characteristics and peculiarities; on the contrary, a diversity with harmony is more desirable than a sameness; as, for instance, it is the harmonious union of the seven colors that constitutes the beauty of the rainbow. So also in music: one strikes a chord on the piano or the organ and the result is harmony, oneness, union--the variety of the notes gives a melody which could not be obtained from any one of them, or from a sameness of equal volume. This is the thought the Apostle's words give us in respect to God's people; they are of various natural temperaments and dispositions and peculiarities, and the divine alchemy by which the human is transmuted into the spiritual, the old mind into the new mind, does not wholly destroy, and is not intended to destroy, the elements of character and disposition; but is intended to take from each one its dross and imperfection and discordancy, and thus to permit all eventually to unite in and develop into a harmonious whole.

The Lord does not expect, however, that this condition of complete harmony, will be attained by his people the instant of their consecration. On the contrary, as the Apostle indicates in our text, this attainment of harmony is the result, the glorious consummation, --rather than the beginning of the work of grace in the Lord's people: he says, "finally," not primarily, we are to be all of one mind--harmonious. It requires long years, generally, in the school of Christ, for his disciples to so grow in grace and in knowledge and in love,--ere they reach the glorious condition expressed in our text, even "finally."

The Apostle Paul intimates that we are to continue so to grow in grace and in knowledge, and in love, as to attain in heart, in will, the stature of a perfect man in Christ. The "babe" in Christ has not the stature of a "man," and requires first the milk of the Word, and subsequently the "strong meat," that it may grow thereby, and finally attain to the ideal condition represented in our text,--a condition of harmony with the Lord and with each other, which indicates that the work of grace has well progressed-- that the mark of perfect love has been well attained in the heart, even though it be not possible still to fully express it in every word and act of life.

The Apostle Paul describes this transformation of life, this growth, saying, "Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind;" but while it requires only a short time to give this instruction, and does not require long to agree to follow the instruction, it does require patient perseverance in well-doing to comply with the instructions;--to fully attain to the transformed [R2877 : page 295] conditions even in our hearts--so that we will aright, however difficult it may be for us to always do right. And here arises a difficulty: many do not clearly see just what are the requirements, and hence go through life in a maze, in perplexity, in doubt, in fear, lacking the rest and peace and blessing which should come from a proper understanding and a consistent endeavor.

No doubt all have been struck with the fact that those who manifest the deepest interest in the divine plan are not always the most smooth and most agreeable people in the world: frequently they are so combative as to be continually distressing both themselves and their friends by their unwisdom or their disposition to wrangling and contention. The very quality which the Apostle mentions in this text as like-mindedness or harmony is peculiarly lacking, naturally, in the disposition of the majority of those who become deeply interested in present truth. And some have been inclined hastily to condemn the doctrines and to say, This is not the peaceable spirit of Christ. Where the spirit of Christ is there should be love and harmony. So says the Apostle: "Finally, be ye all of one mind." And this should be borne in mind as being the final result of discipline and instruction in the school of Christ; by our attainment of this disposition to harmony (while at the same time loyal and courageous for the truth), we may safely gauge our growth in grace, knowledge and love.

We want to suggest an explanation as to why it is that so many of the Lord's people are combatively disposed. A wrangling and contentious disposition is the result of large combativeness--misdirected-- unwisely exercised. Combativeness itself is not a bad quality. On the contrary, it is a good quality, --a quality actually indispensable to the attainment of the prize set before us in the Gospel. Those who lack combativeness, lack backbone; lack the ability to walk an upright life, under present conditions; they are like a boat on the river which has neither oars nor wheel nor screw-propeller. They can do nothing but float with the current, for they lack the apparatus necessary to stem it. There are many goody-goody people who lack firmness, lack character, lack combativeness, and who could not think of anything else than floating with the popular current; and these frequently are mistaken for "saints" when they are nothing of the kind. They are not even of the kind of material that the Lord takes to make "saints" out of. They are unfit for his purposes under the present call of this Gospel age; for all who are called now to be of the elect Church are called to be "overcomers;" called to be victors; called to stem the popular tide; called to fight a good fight of faith and obedience; and such as are totally lacking in firmness, in combativeness, in character, cannot possibly comply with these conditions, and are not in the race.

So then, if any of those who have grasped the truth, and who have been grasped and drawn by the truth to consecration to the Lord, have at times felt the perversity of their natural dispositions--their combativeness, contentiousness and wrangling disposition, and felt discouraged on this account, let them thank God and take courage. Let them realize that this very disposition constitutes one qualification for enlistment and service under the Captain of our salvation; --although such a service will mean the bringing of this contrary disposition into accord with the spirit of love, which, in the end, will mean that the wrangling disposition will be subdued, and the combativeness be properly turned to good account in another direction.

But while taking all the encouragement we can from the thought that the Lord is wishing and is seeking and calling out a fighting class of "conquerors," who could not be conquerors unless there were something to conquer, and who could not conquer unless they possessed something of the conquering or combative disposition, let us nevertheless, promptly take ourselves in hand, realizing that the good quality of combativeness has in every instance been misdirected, and that from the moment we enlist as soldiers of [R2878 : page 295] the Cross of Christ our combativeness is to be turned into new channels. We are to learn, first of all, that our combativeness is not to be exercised toward the Lord, that we should resist his will; but that, on the contrary, we are to make a full surrender to him of our thoughts and words and conduct. We are to remember that combativeness is not to be used toward the brethren; for to fight against the brethren is to fight against God, against the truth, against the fellow-members of our own brigade. Instead of fighting against the brethren, we are to love them, and to fight for them, even as we are to fight for the Lord and for the truth. We are to remember, too, that our combativeness is not to be exercised against our friends, our neighbors, or the world in general. No; all of these have plenty to contend against without having our opposition. On the contrary, they need our sympathy, they need our help, they need our encouragement, they need whatever we can render them in the way of uplift.

FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT OF FAITH.--1 TIM. 6:12.


How, then, and against what shall we exercise our combativeness, that it may be well directed to the Lord's pleasement and in the service of his cause? We answer, that our combativeness is to be turned against sin, and that its first exercise must begin with ourselves: the battle with self is the greatest battle, and we have the Lord's Word for it that he that "ruleth his spirit (his own mind, will) is better than he that taketh a city," because he has to that extent learned to exercise the combativeness of a true character in the right direction, in self-control. It is after we have had considerable experience in battling with sin and selfishness in ourselves, in casting the beam out of our own eyes, in subduing anger, malice, hatred and strife in our own hearts and flesh--it is then, and by means of this severe battle and experience, that we will be prepared to assist the brethren, and to assist our neighbors in their difficulties--to help them to overcome their besetments and weaknesses.

Whoever starts out by fighting even the sins of others before he has made a vigorous campaign against his own weaknesses and errors, is making a mistake. He needs humility and sympathy to assist the others to fight their battles, and this he cannot [R2878 : page 296] gain without first battling with himself and learning to appreciate how strong is the foe to be contended with, and how thoroughly entrenched is sin and selfishness in all the avenues of the flesh. He even needs to be worsted in some of his battles with self in order to have a clear appreciation of his own inability to overcome and to force him to go to the throne of the heavenly grace to obtain mercy and find grace to help. He needs this because, as the Apostle says, it is when we are weak that we are strong; and when we are strong in our self-confidence, and therefore neglect to go to the Lord, then we are weak and liable to make failure in the battle, and to be overcome by the enemy--Sin.--Heb. 4:16; 2 Cor. 12:10.

All those who have had any experience in the matter, and who have learned how and where to direct their combative energies, find that there is full scope for the exercise of every particle of combativeness he possesses. (1) In himself, continually; as the Apostle expressed it, "I keep my body under, and bring it into subjection; lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway" (1 Cor. 9:27). O, how much of energy and how much persistency in fighting the good fight of faith, and of loyalty to the Lord, is needful in the conquering of self--"bringing every thought [and so far as possible, every word and act] into captivity to the obedience of Christ" (2 Cor. 10:5). Plenty of room here for combativeness; plenty of room for all the contention and wrangling we want;--contention with sin and self-will, wrangling with the will of the flesh and opposing it at every step--mortifying it, killing its affections and desires. No wonder the Apostle speaks of these present experiences as a fight; no wonder he tells us that we must be prepared to endure hardness as a good soldier of the Lord Jesus Christ.

(2) As soon as the victory over self has been gained, and as soon as the new mind has put a garrison in every quarter of the conquered body, to guard it from rising in insurrection, to hold it in subjection to the King of kings and Lord of lords--forthwith all the remaining energies that can be spared from self-control will find ample opportunity for usefulness in battling for the Lord, battling for the brethren, battling for the truth, battling against error, battling against all the wiles of the devil, "for we are not ignorant of his devices," as the Apostle declares.

(3) As the eyes of our understanding get opened, wider and wider, we see the great conflict that is progressing throughout the world between righteousness and sin, between our Lord and the god of this world and his blinded representatives, who ignorantly think that they are doing God service and are often found fighting against the truth and against the true soldiers of the Cross, their brethren, even as in the case of Paul. We remember how he, as Saul of Tarsus, persecuted the Church, mistakenly misusing his combativeness in a wrong way. We remember how the Lord called to him in the way, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?"--Why are you fighting against God, opposing the truth and his cause? In Paul's case we see how that as soon as the eyes of his understanding were opened he became a most valiant soldier of the cross, hesitating not to lay down his life in the service of the Lord and the brethren, who once he had ignorantly opposed.

It was the same combativeness which made Paul a violent persecutor that subsequently made him the most valiant of the apostles in the defence of the truth. And so it was also with others of the apostles. Those who had the largest amount of combativeness naturally, when it was turned into the proper channels, became thereby the strongest and most valiant for the truth. Peter, for instance, full of combativeness, and at first seriously impeded by it, ready in defence of the Lord to smite off the ear of the high priest's servant, was very valiant subsequently in the use of his talents to the Lord's praise. James and John, two others specially favored and recognized of the Lord, and specially used in the service of the truth, were of combative dispositions, so much so that they were known as the "sons of thunder;" and it was these two who were so incensed at the Samaritans who refused to receive our Lord into their city, and who were so full of love and zeal for the Master that they inquired, "Lord, wilt thou that we call down fire from heaven to consume these men and their city?" They had the combativeness, they had the courage, they had the zeal; but they had not yet learned how to direct it, and so the Master intimated, when he said, "Ye know not what spirit ye are of. The Son of Man came not to destroy men's lives, but to save them." By and by, when they were anointed with the holy spirit at Pentecost, and had learned gradually what spirit they were of (what spirit the Master was of, and what spirit they must be of as his disciples), they understood better how their combativeness and zeal were to be used. And hence we find them loyal soldiers of the cross, shunning not danger, enduring hardness as good soldiers of the Lord Jesus, even unto death.

It was this natural combativeness consecrated to God, and rightly directed through the spirit, that led Peter and one of the others, when threatened, and charged straitly by the Sanhedrin that they should preach no more in the name of Jesus, to courageously withstand this illegal restraint upon their liberties and rights as Jews, under the Law, and to be obedient to the voice of the heavenly call, and to declare, "Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard" (Acts 4:19-20). The Lord knew whom he was choosing for his apostles, and we see clearly that weak, vacillating, nerveless men would not have served the cause as did these whom Jesus chose. And it is but reasonable that we conclude that the Lord similarly throughout this age, is seeking for and choosing strong characters, those who dare to do right; who dare to incur the frown of the world and its slights and sneers, its scoffs and its jeers, its persecution because of fidelity to the Lord and to the brethren. This is overcoming;--and to whatever extent any realize that they are deficient in these qualities let them cultivate this combativeness in this proper direction --to combat weakness, combat sin, combat subserviency to those things which are contrary to the Lord and his Word. [R2878 : page 297]

FAITH AND THE MESSAGES ALSO ESSENTIAL.


But combativeness alone would not be sufficient. It needs proportionate faith, in order to use the combativeness aright. Hence we hear our Lord's word, "This is the victory that overcometh the world, even your faith." Faith in the Lord must be the power that will move his people and energize them. Not faith in creeds, nor faith in men, nor faith in ourselves, but faith in the Lord and in his exceeding great and precious promises. As the steamboat wheels represent its combativeness, by which it battles against and pushes the water, and thus is enabled to go upstream, so its steam-power, through the engine, represents faith, which must be behind the combativeness, to exercise the combativeness--to lead us to endure hardness, to direct us in fighting the good fight and to hope for the rewards to be attained.

Similarly the fuel and the boiler generating the steam represent the Word and providences of God, which produce in us the cause, the power of the faith which energizes us in stemming the current. The exceeding great and precious promises of the divine [R2879 : page 297] Word were given to us as the basis of faith,--as the fuel to produce the power in us to will and to do God's good pleasure (Phil. 2:13). And hence these gracious promises must not be neglected; they must be continually used and must continue in us to energize us. And the energy must be applied, and we must progress proportionately against the course of this world, if we would attain to the glorious conditions to which we have been called.

While we should ever remember (lest otherwise we should be discouraged), that the attainment of a control of our own spirits, our own minds, and the bringing of these into full accord, full harmony, with the Lord and, so far as possible, into accord with all of the Lord's people who are in accord with him, is to be "finally," nevertheless we are not to delay our endeavor to reach that final and grand development to which the Apostle exhorts us in our text. We are to have it continually before us as the standard, the ideal, the aim, and although we may fail time and again, if we are rightly exercised in the matter we will be stronger as the result of every failure; for each failure will show us more clearly than we discerned previously the weak points of our characters, naturally resulting from the fall. And if each weak point be carefully noted and guarded against as respects the future we will come by and by, by the grace of God and under the direction of our great Teacher, by his Word and example, and providential leadings, to that subdued condition, that harmonized condition, which would accord to the expression of the text. And to such, looking back, even the failures which subsequently recognized led to greater fortification against the wiles of the Adversary and the weaknesses of the flesh, may be seen to have been overruled by the Lord for our blessing according to his promise that all things shall work together for good to them that love him.

As we finally, in larger and larger measure, attain to harmony--to the subduing of our natural dispositions toward contention, gradually getting these combative tendencies into accord with the Lord and his Word and his Spirit, and into accord with those who are his, our fellow-soldiers in this battle for the right, our condition will be what the Apostle here describes; viz., we will have compassion one of another. We will expect to see and will see "the brethren" striving for the mastery over self and we will be sympathetic, compassionate; so that if they err through weakness of the flesh, we will be glad to restore such in the spirit of meekness, remembering ourselves also lest we should be tempted (Gal. 6:1). We will love them as brethren ought to love--heartily, thoroughly --such a love and such a sympathy, such a compassion, as would lead us to do everything within our power for their assistance;--especially along the lines of spiritual assistance, in the conquering of sin, and in growth in grace and knowledge and love;--but, nevertheless, also in temporal matters as we have opportunity, as may be possible to us.

This compassion and brotherly love amongst the spiritual brethren, even as respects temporal matters, cannot surely be less than it would be amongst natural brethren. Indeed, inasmuch as the spiritual relationship is the higher, the nobler, the grander of the two, without detracting anything from the love and affection and obligations toward the fleshly brotherhood, it would imply that the spiritual would appeal to us still more strongly, so that we would do all for a brother in Christ in a temporal way that we would do for any earthly brother--and more abundantly. The Apostle sets this standard, saying, that we are to "do good unto all men as we have opportunity, especially to the household of faith."

This of course does not mean that we are to be negligent of those of our own immediate households and our special responsibilities to these; but it does mean that aside from these, the spiritual brethren should have the first place in our hearts and in our sympathies and in our love, and in all that this would imply in the way of sharing with them both the spiritual and the temporal good things which we enjoy, according to their necessities. Those who have reached this condition of heart-harmony with the Lord and with his gracious plan will have had such an experience in attaining to this position themselves that it will make them pitiful of others,--sympathetic in the difficulties and trials of others; and it will make them "courteous," polite, "gentle toward all."

In a word, according to the Scriptural standard, the elect Church of Christ should be the most polished, the most refined, the most polite, the most generous, the most kind, of all the people in the world;--and should be all these in the most absolute sense; not in the mere sense of an outward form and appearance of kindness, gentleness, etc., so common in the world; but a gentleness, a kindness, proceeding from the heart, proceeding from an appreciation of the Lord's spirit and the spirit of the truth, the spirit of love, and the spirit of justice, also. It is a great matter that we learn to be thoroughly just, and in all of our affairs to do unto others as we would wish them to do unto us,--that we accord them the same liberties that we ourselves would wish to enjoy. Truly, the law of God is a wonderful law, and truly the people [R2879 : page 298] who are taught of the Lord and trained in harmony with the divine will, must be a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Combative people will always (while in the flesh) feel a disposition to retaliate; but those who have learned of the Lord the lesson of self-control, and who have developed meekness and brotherly-kindness and pity, will thereby be prepared to fulfil the demands of our text,--to not render evil for evil, or railing for railing. And looking to the Lord as the pattern they will see how it was with him, that "When he was reviled he reviled not again." Not because his enemies had found in him something that could properly and justly be reviled and evil spoken of;-- nor because his enemies were so nearly perfect that he could find nothing in them to revile and speak evil of; but because he was so full of submission to the divine will that he was enabled to take the scoffs and railings of the people, and to bear these humbly and patiently, and to remember that even hereunto he was called, that he should endure patiently and learn the lessons, and prove himself faithful, and develop and demonstrate his true character, and feel and manifest his pity for the people, in their blindness and ignorance, and his love for them.

And so it must be with us as we grow in our Lord's character-likeness. We also will be less disposed to rail at those who rail, and to revile those who revile us. We also will be ready to suffer the loss of all things, and to do so with cheerfulness; yea, even to rejoice in the trials and difficulties of this present time, knowing, as the Apostle declares, that these are working out for us a far more exceeding and an eternal weight of glory. We note here the harmony between Peter's statement of this matter and our Lord's statement of it: "Bless them that curse you; bless and curse not" (Phil. 3:8; 2 Cor. 4:17; Matt. 5:44; Rom. 12:14). So the Apostle says we should rather render blessing. If we have not yet attained to this high standard which is at the end of the race, the mark of perfect love, where we love our enemies and are ready and willing and anxious to bless them, to help them, to desire their uplifting out of darkness and degradation, and to wish and do all that we can in harmony with this, the divine plan, let us not be discouraged; but let us press onward, that as soon as possible we may reach this point, which is the mark of perfected character. For, as the Apostle says, "even hereunto we were called, that we might inherit a blessing."

THE BLESSED INHERITANCE FOR WHICH WE ARE BEING PREPARED.


We were called to be the Royal Priesthood, under Jesus, the Royal High Priest of our profession. We are instructed in the Scriptures that this royal priesthood is to be God's agency during the Millennial age for bringing blessing to the world of mankind, and "hereunto we were called" that we might be fitted for this priesthood. The Apostle tells us that in the preparation of our Lord Jesus and his testing as to fitness for the position of high priest, it was necessary that he should be tempted, tried, and caused to suffer, in order that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest when the time should come to exercise the authority and power of his office. Similarly it is necessary that all who would be of this Royal Priesthood should have such experiences now as would develop in them also these principles of truth, righteousness--such experiences as would lead them to love righteousness and to hate iniquity--such experiences in battling with self and in gaining control (at least so far as the mind, the will is concerned), as would constitute them victors and develop in them these graces of the spirit mentioned by the Apostle, brotherly kindness, pitifulness, compassion. All these qualities will be requisite in dealing with the world during the Millennial age. They will be merciful and faithful high priests, because they will know how to sympathize with the poor world in its fallen condition, and how to make allowances for them in their various efforts toward regaining the standard of perfection then to be established through restitution processes.

We will be kings as well as priests then. As kings, we will be endued with power to control the world. This will be a further proper use of combativeness; but we are not fitted and prepared to so control the world in the present time; and therefore the Lord directs his people to wait, and long for, and pray for his Kingdom to come, and his will to be done;--to be enforced with heavenly power and authority. These "very elect" kings and priests will be fully qualified to exercise their power in moderation, for [R2880 : page 298] then they will have the new bodies in perfect accord with the new minds;--the new minds which are now being developed, disciplined and brought to that standard of perfect love, which is full of pity, compassion, brotherly kindness and harmony. How necessary, dear brethren, that we learn these lessons, if we would be prepared to be used in the glorious service of the Kingdom so shortly to be established.



[R2880 : page 298]

"HATED WITHOUT A CAUSE."
--GEN. 37:12-36.--OCT. 6.--

Golden Text: "The patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt: but God was with him."--Acts 7:9.

RACHEL, the dearly beloved wife of Jacob, was dead, but her first-born son, Joseph, was beloved by his father above his ten older half-brothers. And from the narrative it is not unreasonable to assume that this love was not merely on his mother's account, but that Joseph himself had a kindness and nobility of character which specially commended him to his father, and drew forth his affection. As a son of his old age, Jacob was inclined to favor Joseph in various ways, and amongst others procured for him an expensive robe, of a kind peculiar to that time, samples of which have recently been found in Egypt, in the tomb of Beni-Hassan,-- "long, richly embroidered robes in various patterns and colors, which seem to have been produced by [R2880 : page 299] sewing together small pieces of different colors. Herodotus describes one sent as a present by the king of Egypt, which 'had a vast number of figures of animals interwoven into its fabric, and was embroidered with gold.'"

Jacob probably did not realize to what extent his partiality was cultivating in his other sons a feeling of enmity and envy against Joseph; and, indeed, we may question if it would have been to Joseph's advantage, as respects development of character, to have remained at home under such conditions; he would probably have been a spoiled young man, just as grandparents are very apt to spoil grandchildren by too much petting and partiality, developing in the favored child a spirit of pride, to plague and injure it for the remainder of life.

The envy of his brothers over his father's partiality was intensified by two dreams which Joseph had, and which he told them of, apparently with all simplicity and innocency. In the one dream he saw twelve sheaves in the field, one for each of the sons of Jacob, and the other eleven sheaves bowed down to his sheaf. In the other dream he saw the sun, moon, and eleven stars bow down to him. His brothers were incensed at any thought of his ultimate superiority to them, who were his elders; and even his father repudiated the thought that the dream could have any meaning, since it would imply that Joseph would be greater than his parents, as well as greater than his brethren. We are not to account for these dreams as the work of the boy's imagination and ambition, altho such may be the case in respect to many dreams; rather we are to understand that those dreams were prophetic: that God was foretelling, foreshadowing the future--to the intent that Jacob and Joseph and his brethren might all eventually discern that the Lord's hand was connected with all the peculiar circumstances of his life;--that God foreknew and overruled them in the manner in which they ultimately resulted. This forestatement would make the lessons many times more weighty, when they would be understood, just as prophetic declarations respecting our Lord and his experience, are the more convincing on this account. The dreams were fulfilled later on, when Jacob and his family presented themselves before Joseph, a prince in Egypt, and made obeisance to him as to a king.

Well does the Apostle class envy as one of the works of the flesh and the devil. (Gal. 5:19-21.) It is a seed which thrives rapidly in any heart where it takes root, and who can tell what bitter fruitage it will produce? So rank had been its growth in the hearts of Joseph's brethren that when he came to them in the field at Dothan with a message from his father, their envy overflowed all bounds, and they premeditated murder. Subsequently, at the instance of Reuben, one of their number, his life was spared, and he was merely put into a pit, a dry cistern, to die of starvation; Reuben, however, premeditating his deliverance. Subsequently, at the instance of his brother Judah, his life was spared from the pit, and he was sold to some traveling merchants as a slave for the Egyptian market, where shortly afterward he was installed as a servant in the house of Potiphar. How hard must have been the hearts of these brethren, and how sore and affrighted the heart of Joseph, the favored child of his father! The narrative tells us nothing respecting his tears, his entreaties, and the refusal of his brethren, but an account of this is given us elsewhere (Gen. 42:21), for the guilty brethren, when in trouble themselves, exclaimed, "We saw the anguish of his soul when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us."

Whoever finds envy, hatred or malice in his heart in any degree should know that he is harboring an enemy; a spirit which, under certain circumstances, might quickly develop into a spirit of murder. The Apostle, therefore, urges all who have become new creatures in Christ Jesus to mortify, to kill, to bury, to put away, the spirit of evil, of hatred, of strife, of envy, and through the transforming influence of the Lord's spirit to put on more and more, day by day, the spirit of love, the spirit of Christ. We can see a lesson in the experience of Joseph's brethren; and even tho envy never led us thus far, it should be an illustration to us of its tendency, and we should hate it and proportionately eradicate it from our hearts.

The chief point of this lesson is its illustration of divine providence. It reminds the children of God of this Gospel dispensation of the promise of the Lord's word, that "all things shall work together for good to those who love God." It teaches us how implicitly we may rely upon divine power and wisdom and love, even when all things seem to be against us; and also how futile are all the powers of our enemies to do us real injury if God be for us. (Rom. 8:31.) Apparently the spirit of murder was in the nine brethren, and apparently had the Lord not so led the matter about, some of them would have killed Joseph quickly. But we are not to suppose that it was the only way God could have adopted for bringing Joseph into Egypt, and ultimately (Gen. 41:40) to its throne, to be the life-giver (bread-provider) for the Egyptians in their famine, and also for the Israelites, and thus to lead on to the captivity of the whole nation of Israel in Egypt, and to their discipline and education in the arts known to the Egyptians, and ultimately to cause their deliverance, as he did. We are to remember that the All-mighty is All-wise as well as All-powerful, and that he could have selected any of many ways to accomplish his purpose. The lesson illustrates, however, God's wisdom, by which he is able, not only to circumvent the machinations of evil men, but also to use their evil deeds to serve his purposes, to carry out his designs, and to bless those whom he is leading. Would that all of God's consecrated people, spiritual Israelites indeed, might obtain a great impetus to faith from this lesson, and henceforth rely more strongly and fully than ever upon the Lord and the power of his might. What a peace, what a joy, what a comfort it brings, to be able by faith to realize that the Lord is at the helm in respect to all of our interests and affairs, temporal and spiritual!

Those who can plan murder, and who are full of envy, malice and hatred, will not hesitate to support their evil way by fraud, deception, lying. And [R2880 : page 300] so it was with the ten brethren. They took the coat of many colors, they draggled it in blood, and sent it to their father Jacob, probably at the hands of a messenger. Never doubting them, Jacob assented at once to the proposition that his beloved son had been cruelly devoured by a wild beast, and he mourned his loss, apparently for years;--his other sons vainly endeavoring to comfort him, and, no doubt, suffering to some extent anguish on account of their deeds. Perhaps this experience with evil was beneficial ultimately both to Jacob and his sons. Indeed, the subsequent narrative seems to imply this. And there is a lesson here for us, to the effect that those who yield to evil influences may subsequently learn valuable lessons therefrom, and that we may entertain hope for their recovery to righteousness. This is a part of our hope respecting the world in the coming Millennial age--that present experiences with sin, envy, hatred and strife will prove valuable to them by and by, when they shall have experienced some of the retributions and have learned a more excellent way, under the judgments of that time.

As Joseph was hated by his brethren, and that without a cause, and figuratively killed, when sent to them by his father, so Jesus came to his own brethren, the Jews, came in their interest, as the representative of the Father, was hated without a cause, and was actually put to death, murdered. Nevertheless, in the Lord's providence this very hatred will ultimately bring him to the throne of earth, and to [R2881 : page 300] the place of power, and give him control over all the food, the "bread of life," and thus indirectly make him the life-giver, not only to the world of mankind, represented by the Egyptians, but also to his brethren, the Jews--to as many as will receive the bread of life upon the generous terms and conditions then laid down.

And "as he was, so are we in this world"--as members of his body--as his fleshly representatives now, and, if faithful, to be his joint-heirs in the throne by and by, and with him to dispense life to the dying world.

We are not to be surprised, therefore, if we find ourselves hated of the world; for, as the Master said, they shall say all manner of evil against us falsely for his sake. Let us remember his words, "If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you."--John 15:18,19.

As our Master was hated without a cause, so let it be with us, so far as possible, that the hatred, malice, envy and murder which may be poured out against us may be wholly unmerited by us--that our lives shall be as nearly pure as possible; that so far as possible our thoughts and words and deeds may show forth the praises of our Lord, and speak of our love for all men, especially for the household of faith. By and by, when the Church shall have been glorified, and a new dispensation inaugurated, those who hate us now, largely because they are blinded by the Adversary and misled, will bow before us, as the Lord's anointed, and we shall have the great pleasure of lifting them up, blessing them, encouraging them and forgiving them; and assisting them back to the full image and likeness of God.

In our Golden Text let us note the significant statement,--"But God was with him." Success in life may be viewed from different standpoints. To some the successful lives are those represented by Alexander the Great, and Caesar, and notable kings, emperors and generals; or by its money accumulators --Croesus, Carnegie, et al. But we write for such as have different conceptions of greatness from these;--to those who, without disdaining the merits and charities of any, have accepted the divine standard of greatness as delineated in the Bible;--Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Job, David, the holy prophets and apostles, and above all our Lord Jesus. And the secret of the success of each of these was,--"God was with him."

The same principle holds true to-day, in all matters connected with the divine service,--"Without me ye can do nothing." God's favor during the Jewish age was manifested in earthly prosperities; but not so in this age, when spiritual prosperity alone indicates God's favor, and when not many rich or great are called, but chiefly the poor of this world, rich in faith, heirs of the Kingdom. And, if God be with us and for us, who can be against us? What will their opposition amount to? They may indeed cause us pain or inconvenience, but they cannot harm us or injure our highest interests; because the Almighty has given assurance that "All things shall work for good to those who love him, to the called ones in his purpose."

But what must be the character of this class whom God is with and for; and for whose blessing he intervenes in all of life's affairs?

Ah! they are a peculiar people--zealous of good works--zealous for righteousness--zealous for God and his favor--zealous for his service and the smile of his face--faithful, trustful, meek. "Beloved, now are we the sons of God"; now we have these assurances of God's favors which will surely continue with us if we seek earnestly to follow the footsteps of our dear Redeemer--walking not after the flesh, but after the spirit. Let us, therefore, remember to purge ourselves of envy, malice, selfishness, including self-conceit; that we may be vessels unto honor and meet for our Master's service. [R2881 : page 301]

PASS UNDER THE ROD.


You said to your heart on life's golden morning:
"How bright is the sky and how happy the hours!"
The rich blood of youth through your pulses was throbbing,
The path at your feet was all radiant with flowers;
And life's golden chalice that brimmed with joy's wine,
Sparkled bright in the sunshine most temptingly sweet;
You raised it to quaff with delight from its depths,
But it fell! and its fragments lay strewn at your feet.

Its red wine was spilled and it stained all the flowers,
Like blood drops that ooze from a bosom of snow;
And the sun that so brightly had shone o'er thy pathway
Seemed suddenly robbed of its brightness and glow.
And night's gloomy shades seemed to gather about thee,
And through the deep shadows, the dark form of Pain
Loomed up, and his gaunt fingers clutched at thy heart-strings
And laid their cold grasp on thy shivering brain.

Ah, then did despair like the billows of ocean
Sweep over thy soul, oh, poor heart, sore distressed?
Did you cry out in anguish with tears and with sobbing,
With quivering hands o'er thy bleeding heart pressed?
Ah, yes, and the days dragged so weary along
Till they grew into months and at last into years,--
Till you learned to look up to the Father above,
And at last see the rainbow of hope through your tears.

And you learned that the truest and best of life's lessons
Are gained through the travail and pain of the soul;
That the rarest of graces bestowed on God's children
Oft grow where life's billows tumultuously roll.
And you saw that the stars in the blue vault of Heaven
Shine only when night's sable curtains enfold;
You learned that the fierce furnace heat of affliction
Is needful to sever from dross the heart's gold.

'Twas a wonderful lesson borne into thy spirit,--
This grand truth to know, though a fruit of thy pain;
It taught thee to soar where before thou hadst grovelled,
And the heart that had broken learned a heavenly strain.
O, thrice blessed sorrow that drives us to Jesus,
To find in His love a continuous peace--
A joy, that abides though all earthly hopes wither,
And brings from the nights of despair full release.

O, Heavenly Shepherd, how wise are Thy dealings--
Thy thoughts--far beyond human wisdom to know;
Thy rod and thy staff sure will guide and sustain us,
Held close in Thy love while we tarry below.
So we patiently wait while we bide in the shadows,
Our eyes looking up through the gloom of the night,
'Till the shadows shall lift, and the dawn of the morning
Of Heaven's full glory shall burst on our sight.
A. G. James.



page 301

WORDS OF CHEER AND ENCOURAGEMENT.


Dear Brother Russell:--To my mind the Oakland convention is the best I ever attended, due perhaps in some degree to the fact that it was in the country, amid nature's surroundings, God's own handiwork, instead of being in a city; and again, due largely to the fact that it was at Bro. Weber's home. We have much to be thankful for to the family who did so well by us all, and to the Lord be the praise for his "goodness and mercy (which) shall follow us all the days of our life." I cannot find words to express my gratitude in having been privileged to assemble with those of like precious faith on this blessed occasion. One brother remarked to me, "Surely this is a foretaste of how it will be in the Millennial age,-- such brotherly love everywhere manifest." Did ever a company of worldly people or even nominally Christ-professing people come together and mingle with each other as cordially and confidentially as if members of one household, leaving their valises and handbags open and their room doors unlocked? And did ever so many men, entire strangers to each other, sleep in one room on the floor and not tuck their valuables carefully away under their pillows? Why, such a thing was not thought of on this occasion, much less put into practice. Each brother recognized that in the other a change of heart had taken place--a heart that thinketh no evil, a heart that delights in giving rather than in receiving.

Again, there was no going out after meals to indulge in "a quiet little smoke." No tobacco here in evidence at all, not an unkind word heard. Truly, this was brotherly love according to the Scripture presentation of what brotherhood should be. Everybody had a glad smile for everybody, each recognized the other as one of the family of God, a member of the body of Christ. Surely all attending this convention gained a good appreciation of how matters will be when all shall know the Lord from the least to the greatest, and when the knowledge of him shall cover the earth as the waters cover the mighty deep. I want to tender you a word of thanks for the part you took to make this an occasion ever to be remembered with joy. The Lord grant we may have more such joyful gatherings, and finally meet to part no more.
Your brother in hope,
J. A. Bohnet,--Washington.


Charles T. Russell,

Dear Sir and Brother:--A small package of tract matter is at hand, containing the views of "Bill Arp" (a personal friend of mine) on Millennial Dawn. They are being distributed, mostly in letters; I can use a lot of them. I am often tempted to write you, but the belief that your time is too valuable in the Lord's work to read personal letters deters me. The seed is being constantly sown hereabouts by the few dear brothers who have been blest with sight; but though interest is stirred up in a few, no genuine results have been thus far noted, yet we keep steadily at it. We think that things are ripening fast enough to satisfy the most impatient, and the daily papers in their reports of lawlessness confirm us. God's work and Word are marvelous in our eyes.

Gratefully and sincerely yours,
Robert Ranson,--Florida.


Dear Brother Russell:--Your kind letter came to hand to-day, and my wife said when she read it, "That is like a pastoral visit." It has made her feel much better. Since we received a letter from our old (Lutheran) pastor, stating that the Book of Daniel is not a prophecy, but a kind of religious fiction, her faith has had a hard test; but we have gone to God's own Word and studied it out for ourselves, and now she says she has a firm foundation for her faith. And so page 302 the way is growing brighter day by day, and it is the earnest prayer of our lives that we may be guided into such a knowledge of the truth as will lead us into that perfect childlike submission of ourselves and all we have and are,--that we may fight a good fight and finish our course, as did the grand apostle Paul.

We have our little meetings regularly every Sunday at 3 p.m., only five, but the room always seems full, for we have one in our midst who is all in all. Oh! the blessedness of having our Elder Brother to guide and lead us by the power of his Holy spirit into all truth. How precious the dear Bible has grown! How as it possible for us to live so long in blindness? We can never thank you enough for your gracious teachings which led us to God's Word, and unfolded the beauty of it all to us. We pray daily that God will continue to use you, in his own way, to spread the truth.

Trusting that we may be used in God's hands in the spread of his truth we remain, Yours in Christ,
A. W. Goodrich and wife,--Pennsylvania.


Watch Tower, Bible & Tract Society:

I am very lonely here at present, having no friend in the truth thus far. I hope though to get some interested before a great while, although the majority of the people here in the north of Ireland are very "set" in their ways.

I am still rejoicing in the truth and giving diligence to make my calling and election sure.

The Watch Towers never were more appreciated than they are by me at present. They are all good and helpful in building me up in the faith and knowledge of the Lord. I am thankful I ever came under the influence and power inspired by the literature from the "Tower" office. I pray the Lord daily to continue to bless Bro. Russell and all his co-laborers as well as all those who have espoused the Truth in sincerity and godly reverence.

With best wishes for spiritual prosperity in the harvest-field of this dispensation, I remain your brother in the one Hope,
James Bright,--Ireland.


My dear Brother Russell:--I have long purposed to write you a letter concerning my coming into the Truth, but something always came to hinder me when I thought of it. Some 6 or 7 years ago two colporteurs came to Greenwich to sell Millennial Dawn. A friend of mine had a conversation with them and learned something of their doctrine, and the Colporteurs asked him to allow them to have a meeting in his office (he is a dentist) on the next Sunday; but he being a good Methodist would not hear of such a thing. He told me of this, and I was rather displeased with him, because he did not grant permission and invite me to be present, so that I might tear their newfangled doctrine to pieces. I was just foolish enough to think that I could do that, but I did not get the opportunity. However, a night or two after I had the conversation with my friend, I met one of the Colporteurs in the postoffice and went for him rather roughly, but when I saw we were going to attract a crowd I desisted.

I paid him for 3 vols. of Millennial Dawn and asked him to leave them in the office of my friend, which he did. He and his companion left for another town a day or two after, and I never have seen either of them since to my knowledge. At the first opportunity I got the books and began reading them for the purpose of condemning the teaching they contained, but had not read far before, to my astonishment, I was carried away with their Scriptural teaching, and found before I had the first volume half read that instead of condemning the teaching I was condemned myself and had such a blessing and uplift as I continued to read that but those who have had a like experience know how to appreciate.

I was convinced that I was reading the truth, and that it was not in harmony with the doctrine of the church of which I was an official member. At that time I was a class-leader and Superintendent of the Sunday-school in the M.E. Church. I had received the very best of treatment in the church, and had a great many friends in it whom I esteemed highly. How I was ever going to cut away from them was a problem that gave me a great deal of anxious thought, but to remain where I was was impossible. Finally I made up my mind to go to my pastor and tell the whole thing; and ask him to drop my name from the church register. But he would not hear of such a thing: he told me I had a perfect right to hold any views I chose and persuaded me to remain in the church: After a while I got relieved from being superintendent of the Sunday-school and took my place in the Bible class, of which the pastor was teacher. In the course of the lessons we had some pretty warm discussions in a friendly way, and while in the class I got some of the members down on me.

After a time the pastor decided to have a different class, and another teacher was appointed in his place. While the new teacher remained, I tried to avoid discussion as much as possible, but he left town after a few weeks, and the class was without a teacher. So they insisted that I should become the teacher. I demurred, but after some talk I consented on condition that I would teach what I believed to be the truth, to which they assented. I had the class for about a year and got along very well with it on the whole, considering that I did not hesitate to teach the truth, as I understood it in the lessons. Some, of course, were very much displeased, and did not come at all after I became teacher; others liked to hear the truth, but did not accept it. I am glad to say, a few did accept it. Things went along in this way till the pastor was changed and another took his place, who, to use his own words, was "determined to have a clean church if there was nothing left but the walls when he got through." The second Sunday he was here he fired a volley or two, but I thought it had come to him spontaneously, for he is somewhat of an orator, and I thought he was not long enough here to understand the state of affairs. I took my medicine feeling that I deserved to get it, and said very little until more shots were fired, and then I concluded that I, with some others, were the targets aimed at.

As soon as I arrived at that conclusion, I determined to hand a withdrawal letter to the pastor. This page 303 time I had my mind fully made up to be out of the M.E. Church, no matter what it cost. So when the pastor came to see me, I was prepared to take my stand, and I did it, and have never seen the day since when I was sorry for it. I have enjoyed more real spiritual life since than I ever did before; besides I have a more exalted idea of God than I ever could have, had I remained in the darkness and confusion of "orthodoxy." I am thankful to the Providence that ever put Millennial Dawn literature into my hands; and I hope to follow in its teaching as long as life here shall last. I will try to help the truth as long and as well as I can.

Pardon me for taking so much of your valuable time. I thought it was in order to write this before leaving this country, for the sole purpose of showing how the Lord is using your efforts to bless many who are desirous of doing his will. I pray that Heaven's richest blessing may accompany your labor of love for the Master's cause till he calls you to receive the reward of well doing. I enclose a donation for the "Good Hopes" fund.

Your brother in the faith once delivered to the saints.
James Bright,--New York.


Dear Brother:--I thank you for your kind words; be assured the "Tower" is a welcome visitor to me; enclosed find $1.00 for one year's subscription.

Last Sunday the church people here were supplied with the pamphlet "Food for Thinking Christians," by some friends from Lynn, who stood near the churches and passed them to the people as they came out. Just about a year ago a Tower was handed to me as I came out of church, and what a change has been wrought in my thoughts since then! God helping me I shall remain in his hands to be taught and purified.
Yours,
John W. Goodwin,--Massachusetts.


Dear Watch Tower Friends:--It is with pleasure I enclose the little I can spare for "Good Hopes"; I pray it may help to bring the good news to some hungry soul. Not a day passes that I do not think of you, and long to see your kind faces. Pray that I may be faithful even unto death. The more I read and study God's plans the more I love my Saviour, and I thank him all the time that I was found worthy to receive the true gospel.

Yours in our blessed Lord and Redeemer,
Mrs. O. F. Boyer,--Illinois.


Dear Brother Russell:--I don't wish to worry you with a long letter, but must tell you that we now have a "Dawn Circle" of seven, and more are interested. On the fifth Sunday I spoke where a debate between "Christadelphians" and "Campbellites" had just closed. There were five preachers present to listen to "Ransom and Restitution," and some of them gave close attention;--"Bless the Lord, O my soul"! God will gather his sheep--precious thought!

Bro. H. has the work started in Kerrville by making a special trip over there, and the Campbellite preacher, through the solicitation of some, has tendered me his day--fourth Sunday--and we anticipate a glorious time.

All my Sundays are occupied, and I can't fill the calls that come, for I must attend to my office duties. I will preach long enough to get the people interested, and to give the "sheep" a chance to come into "green pastures," and then I may close that part of my work;--the "Dawns" are all any one needs.

So far God has blessed my efforts; some are much interested, and a general Bible reading is going on in many homes. Some who have not entered the race for the prize say that what they have heard has blessed and helped them to live better lives. Pray for me. May God keep you to feed us!
J. A. Currie,--Texas.


Dear Brother Russell:--Although I have been interested in the Harvest Truth for nearly two years, I have never expressed my gratitude to you, the channel through whom this great blessing has reached me.

I was first attracted to this message by my sister, Mrs. Lee,--whom we believe now to be with our Lord--and since her death I, too, have given all I have or hope for respecting earthly things for joint heirship in God's Kingdom.

I do thank you for the helpful words and sound doctrines found in the columns of your journal. My prayer is for you to obtain grace, wisdom and strength to feed us unto the end of the Church's journey through the wilderness of sin.

I have much faith in the prayer of a righteous man, therefor ask you to remember me at the Throne of Grace that our Father may guide my every step and make me faithful unto death.

Enclosed please find my "Good Hopes" offering for this month. With Christian love I remain,
Gratefully yours,
K. M. Day,--California.


Dear Brother Russell:--Allow me to thank you with all the earnestness of my heart that by the grace of God you were enabled to give us meat in due season. The Millennial Dawn series has been to me a well in the desert. I cannot tell the joy, the blessing, the light and the strength it has been to me, a poor, hungry, struggling soul; and I am just as if I had not got through rubbing my eyes in wonder yet. It was in March Brother Bright put the books into my hands. For quite a while before that I had been perplexed and troubled because I felt I did not understand the Word. I have been praying to God to help me; to give me just the right light; and that He would make me ready when He came. My prayer was answered, far above what I could ever have asked or thought. My Lord is now,--"More dear, more intimately nigh, than e'en the sweetest earthly tie." It is far easier, now, to walk in the "narrow way." Dear brother, do not forget to pray for me that I may be kept faithful; it is such blessed thought that God does not judge us according to our weakness, but according to our spirit and mind.

May God abundantly bless you in your work for our King.
Mrs. Bessie Keyes,--New York.



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