this is txt filethis is txt file Z1904 July
page 193
July 15th
ZION'S
WATCH TOWER
and
Herald of Christ's Presence

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

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

SEMI-MONTHLY
VOL. XXV.JULY 1, 1904.No. 13.


CONTENTS.

Views from the Watch Tower195
Arguments for Christian Unity195
The Judgments of the Lord196
Effect of the Eastern War196
The Hamilton Convention197
Universal Anarchy--Just Before or After October, 1914197
The Atonement for Sin--A Scientist's View199
Praying for Help in Time of War202
A Good King's Error205
Report of British Convention207

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

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

page 194

THIS JOURNAL AND ITS MISSION.

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

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

TO US THE SCRIPTURES CLEARLY TEACH

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




LETTERS FOR THE EDITOR SHOULD BE SENT TO ALLEGHENY, PA., U.S.A.
BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS AND REMITTANCES
--ADDRESS TO--
WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY,
"BIBLE HOUSE," 610, 612, 614 ARCH ST., ALLEGHENY, PA., U.S.A.
--OR TO--
BRITISH BRANCH--24 EVERSHOLT ST., LONDON, N.W.
GERMAN BRANCH--MIRKER STR., 45, ELBERFELD.
AUSTRALIAN BRANCH--32 JOHNSTON ST., FITZROY, MELBOURNE

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

THIS JOURNAL IS PUBLISHED IN THE
FRENCH, GERMAN, SWEDISH, DANISH AND ITALIAN LANGUAGES.
SAMPLE COPIES FREE.



PASTOR RUSSELL'S DISCOURSES EVERY MONDAY.


By a special arrangement with The Pittsburgh Gazette a stenographic report of Pastor C. T. Russell's discourses will be printed on Mondays. We will send you "The Pittsburgh Gazette" (daily) and ZION'S WATCH TOWER twice a month for a period of 12 months for $3.25, which is about the price of The Gazette alone. The subscriptions must be paid in advance and sent to us. For terms for extra copies of the Monday Gazette, see our issue of January 15th.

NOTICE.--Where Gazette agencies are established the issues desired can be readily obtained through them. The Gazette refuses to mail papers to towns where they would interfere with the agents already located.

MARKED NEW TESTAMENTS.


We have a good stock of these on hand--cloth binding, red edges, minion type. Convenient for the pocket. The special feature is the marking in red and black of the passages which refer to salvation through Christ. Price, 15c.; 2 for 25c., postpaid. They are not our publication, nor marked exactly as we should have preferred.



[R3388 : page 195]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER.

ARGUMENTS FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY.


RECENTLY at a Protestant Ministers' Meeting in the Y.M.C.A. building, St. Louis, Mo., the following argument was presented by Rev. Gilbert Dobbs, of the Coliseum Place Baptist Church:--

"The churches of Jesus Christ are confronted by a gigantic problem. Nineteen centuries have passed since our Lord came in the flesh, and taught and wrought and died; nineteen centuries since he arose from the dead and said, 'Go, disciple all nations,' and yet the nations are still stumbling on the dark mountains. Only the apex of the great pyramid of humanity has thus far been brightened and transformed by the Gospel light, a diamond point flashing in the sun. But what about the great pyramidal base, the black carbon of ignorance and superstition and sin and all the marks of a lost and benighted race?

"Nineteen centuries, and only 390,000,000 nominal Christians in all the world, and only 116,000,000 of these belonging to all Protestant denominations. That leaves more than one billion souls absolutely destitute of the bread of life. What a sad commentary on the sloth and strife of Christendom! This is the problem: How shall the great black pyramid be transformed by light? What concentrated energy and fervency must be displayed before the black can be burned out, and the huge mass become, as it were, a colossal kohinoor of divine splendor and glory?

"You remember the part of that remarkable prayer of Jesus recorded by the Evangelist John, where he prays: 'That they all may be one, as Thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee; that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me,' and again he repeats it, 'that the world may believe that thou hast sent me and hast loved them as thou hast loved me.' The great utilitarian purpose of Christian unity is, therefore, that the world may believe....

"We must get closer together. We must cease looking at our denominational difficulties through the magnifying microscope of bigotry and prejudice, and at our essential agreement through the inverted telescope of indifference and selfishness. Of course Christian unity does not mean uniformity. The latter is perhaps not desirable; and at present it is certainly not feasible. It is not one form that we need, but one spirit, a spirit of brotherly kindness and a broad Christian charity. All arbitrary and coercive methods of attaining uniform religious observances are anti-Christian. God's children are freemen, and their service must be rational and voluntary. There is nothing more uniform than penitentiary life. The same shaven face, the same cropped pates, the same stripes, the same dull, slavish tasks. It is not the unity of the prison that we covet, but the unity of the family, where each preserves his individuality, and yet where all dwell together in love, sharing a common life and hope and purpose.

"And just as there cannot be any uniform ritual, so there cannot reasonably be any uniform creed. Of course, we all admit that God's Word is our all-sufficient guide in matters of faith and practice, an infallible and inerrant standard by which we must be led; but as each man must interpret that Word as his mind and conscience shall direct, we cannot expect that all will see alike. The domain of God's truth is so wide, and the various paths of interpretation are so numerous and intricate, and the human understanding is such a complex matter, that all of us may not be expected to traverse the same paths. Perhaps God has so ordained it that every part of his divine truth shall have due emphasis by raising up different schools of interpreters.

"You know the parable of the blind men and the elephant. In describing the elephant one felt his leg and said, 'He is like a tree.' Another felt his trunk and said: 'He is like a huge snake.' Another his ear: 'He is like a blanket.' And still another said: 'He is like a rope,' as he felt his tail. They were all right and all wrong. The part is never equal to the whole. Let us not suppose that our distinctive views are of more importance than the sum total of accumulated knowledge which the whole body of Christian theology sets forth. I think, however, that an occasional ecumenical council for the purpose of discussing in a brotherly manner our doctrinal differences with a view of arriving at a clearer conception of the truth, and the bringing of the various [R3388 : page 196] denominations into a closer sympathy and affiliation, would have an admirable effect....

"The most inspiring utterance on the subject of Christian unity, aside from the beautiful prayer of our Savior, to which we have made reference, is from Paul. Writing to the saints at Ephesus, he says: 'I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.'

"The argument is this: As the body of Christ is one, and all of God's people are members of that body, made members by the divine Spirit, whose sovereign call they have heard and obeyed; as they all have the selfsame hope of eternal life and the glad expectation of entering into the joys of their Lord, whom they love and serve in common; as they acknowledge but one Lord and master, Jesus Christ, and have exercised the same saving faith in him, and have been brought into his Church through baptism, the one symbol of their renewed nature; as there is but one God who rules over all, everywhere guiding and directing his people by his loving providence, and who has made his habitation in every renewed heart; then ought not all his people endeavor to recognize and preserve this spiritual unity, and live and labor together in peace?

"The Indians speak of friendship as a golden chain. So may all God's people be linked together in the closest ties of fraternal love, and by keeping the golden chain forever bright, we will the best be able to bring a captive world in loving servitude to the feet of our God and Savior."--Times-Democrat.


***

The above shows how easy it is to have "a form of godliness and deny the power thereof;" how easy it is to have a form of sound doctrine, but to misapply it!

Neither our Lord nor the Apostle Paul referred to a union of denominations. They preached an individual union with Christ, and a consequent relationship of all justified and consecrated believers to each other in the one Lord, one faith and one baptism.

This union already exists, except to the extent that denominational creed-fences and social usages separate the Lord's sheep. Wherever and whenever the Lord's sheep meet they may and do quickly identify themselves to each other, and the heart union and fellowship and joy in the Lord they experience cannot even be imitated by creedal bonds.

The union of the Church to which our Lord referred in his prayer, "That they all may be one," was this union of heart already and always experienced by the true members of the "one body,"--and additionally he referred to the actual union of all such with himself by the resurrection "change" from flesh and blood to spirit being--to be with him and like him and to share his glory and power and great work for the world, which he mentions just following, viz.: "that the world [during the Millennium] may believe."

THE JUDGMENTS OF THE LORD.


The Scriptures declare that "when the judgments of the Lord are abroad in the earth the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness" (Isa. 26:9), and the coming Millennial age is pointed out to us as the world's Judgment Day; and our Lord tells us that the dead world will be awakened from the death-sleep --"come forth" unto a resurrection [anastasis, an uplifting out of sin and death] by judgments.-- John 5:28,29.

Now we have an illustration well authenticated by the Chicago journals, showing one kind of judgments which will prevail during the world's Judgment Day, as follows:--

Julian Renfro, 21 years old, while engaged with three chums at a game of cards, declared his unbelief in a God. He was a "higher critic" of the Ingersoll school and said: "Fellows, if God would demonstrate himself to me in some way--for instance, if he would strike me deaf and dumb, or blind--I might admit his existence." One of the young men was about to reply to the argument when he noticed Renfro turn pale. The next moment the skeptic threw his arms out before him as if warding off a blow, then he convulsively placed his hands before his face. An instant later he fell forward off his chair, and on to the floor. Since that time he has been unable to speak or hear. In writing he afterward expressed faith in the Lord and declares his intention to study the Scriptures, and if the Lord should grant a recovery he hopes yet to preach Christ.

When the time shall come that the Lord's judgments of rewards and punishments will be promptly meted out, and in no uncertain manner, the whole world will be speedily converted and, like this young man, be glad to preach the One once blasphemed. But we must wait for this to become general until the Kingdom class shall be completed and the general "Judgment day" or age fully inaugurated.

THE EFFECT OF THE EASTERN WAR.


The London Spectator, commenting on the recent successes of Japan, in the battle on the Yalu river, says:--

"It is the moral effect upon the world at large which is, and will be, so tremendous as to modify, possibly for all time, the relation of Europe to Asia. Until that battle had been fought the white race, though deeply impressed with the capacity of the Japanese and the devoted courage of Japanese sailors, was still unconvinced that a Japanese army could rival or defeat a European force of anything like adequate dimensions. The pride of the white continent had for three centuries [R3389 : page 197] seemed to be justified by history, and it created, consciously or unconsciously, a mass of belief which was perhaps the cause of many of its victories, and certainly of much of its daring. The struggle on the Yalu provides precisely the concrete evidence needed to dissipate this confidence. A Japanese army has crossed a mighty river in the teeth of European defenders, and then has marched upon those Europeans entrenched in a splendid hilly position; has driven them out by the close fighting which we still call fighting with the bayonet; has overwhelmed the European fire by the superior weight of cannon and shells made in Japan itself; has captured whole batteries of European guns; has driven European artillerymen in what seems to have been headlong rout: and--most notable fact of all-- has taken hundreds of European prisoners, who have surrendered, not by a capitulation, but while fighting on the field. In other words, an Asiatic Power has arisen which, besides defeating a European war-fleet, is proving itself able to use three great armies of invasion, each sixty thousand strong, with the careful provision, the strategic skill, and the clenching courage of armies directed by the great masters of European warfare."



[R3389 : page 197]

THE HAMILTON CONVENTION.

THE One-Day Convention held at Hamilton, Canada, was quite a success in its way. Delegations were present from every quarter of Ontario-- sixty-seven from Toronto, thirteen from Buffalo, about the same number from Brantford, and ones, twos and threes from many points.

The morning session was for the interested only and was not advertised. The attendance was about 400. A praise and testimony meeting for 45 minutes was followed by a discourse on the divine promise,--"No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the people of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord." (Isa. 54:17.) A full report of this discourse appeared in the Pittsburgh Gazette of the day following, and many of our readers thus have it. We still have a few copies of the Gazette and will be pleased to send a sample on request.

The afternoon session at 3 o'clock brought out a closely packed house, chairs being crowded in the aisles and probably fifty persons were seated on the platform behind the speaker. The friends estimated that at least 1,100 were present. Profound attention was given to our discourse on "God's Oath-bound Covenant to Abraham and His Seed." (Heb. 6:17-20.) This discourse appeared in full in the Hamilton Times of the next day, and thus reached many more than were able to hear it.

The "Truth" people all looked and felt joyful in the Lord, and, as our train pulled away from the station, about fifty of us joined in singing, "God be with you till we meet again."



[R3389 : page 197]

UNIVERSAL ANARCHY--JUST BEFORE OR AFTER OCTOBER, 1914 A.D.

WHAT seems at first glance the veriest trifle and wholly unrelated to the matter, has changed our conviction respecting the time when universal anarchy may be expected in accord with the prophetic numbers. We now expect that the anarchistic culmination of the great time of trouble which will precede the Millennial blessings will be after October, 1914 A.D.--very speedily thereafter, in our opinion --"in one hour," "suddenly."

Our readers familiar with the presentation of the subject given in MILLENNIAL DAWN, will recall that the date, October, 1914 A.D., is very sharply defined by two lines of evidence: (1) The Times of the Gentiles--2,520 years from the overthrow of the government of Zedekiah, the last typical king of the Jews, in 606 B.C.; and (2) the Parallels, both the length and various features of the Jewish and Gospel ages. We have found no flaw in either of these prophetic testimonies, nor do we believe that fault can be found with them along Scriptural lines by anybody. The matter that has just come to our attention is that in counting the forty years' harvest of the Jewish age, from October, A.D. 29, to October, A.D. 69, where the year 70 in Jewish reckoning began, we spoke of that harvest time as ending A.D. 70. This is a correct enough statement, because the full end of 69 A.D. is up to the beginning of 70 A.D. We pointed out that the parallels of time in the harvest of this Gospel age began October, 1874, and will end October, 1914-- at the beginning of 1915, Jewish time.

All these matters stand just as they were--we have nothing to fault or to alter. But in a recent examination of the closing of the Jewish harvest, with a view to closer scrutiny as to what might be expected in the end of the present harvest of Christendom, we noticed that the actual fall of the Jewish polity was not at the beginning of A.D. 70, but towards its close, and at once we perceived that the forty-year harvest ending 69 A.D. closed before the destruction in its fullest sense came upon the typical people. Instantly we thought of the parallel here and perceived, as above stated, that our forty years' harvest, ending October, 1914 A.D., should not be expected to include the awful period of anarchy which the Scriptures point out to be the fate of Christendom. The matter seems so plain and simple now that we wonder that we or our many critical readers did not notice it long ago. The only plausible explanation is that in the divine will our eyes were holden for the time respecting this matter--possibly [R3389 : page 198] with a view to our expectations that the harvesting opportunities would sooner close, causing our consequent greater zeal in the service.

Looking back to the prophetic testimony respecting the Times of the Gentiles, we perceive that, although the Lord did not give to worldly governments a definite lease of power until 1914, nevertheless our Lord's words, "Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be filled full," gives the intimation broadly enough that the determined times or years in which the empire of earth would be in the hands of Gentile governments was a fixed one from the divine standpoint. And if, as we believe the Scriptures to teach, Gentile domination was provided for up to October, 1914, it would seem but a reasonable interpretation that divine power for the overthrow of the kingdoms of this world would not be exercised to their dethronement until after the time allotted for their reign had ended--October, 1914.

True, it was to be in the times of these kings that the God of heaven would take from the mountain, without hands [not by human power], the little stone which should eventually smite the image in its feet. True, also, it was to be in the days of these last kings--represented in the toes of the image-- that the God of heaven should set up his Kingdom, which should break in pieces and consume all; but the setting up of that Kingdom we understand has been in progress throughout this harvest time, especially since 1878, since which time we believe that all the overcomers of the Church who die faithful are changed "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye," and are immediately constituted members of the set-up Kingdom on the other side the veil. Quite probably this setting up will consume nearly or quite all of the forty years of harvest time apportioned to it; but in any event, the time for the smiting of the image in its feet will not come until October, 1914 A.D., however much trouble and distress of nations may result from the prior awakening of their peoples under the enlightening influences of the dawning of the Millennial morning. Already such distress or perplexity is felt in quarters national, financial and religious.

Our previous expectation was that the anarchistic period would last some three or four years, and in our mental calculations of the opportunities for harvest work, we naturally cut off those years, and the time thus appeared shorter to us. Now, however, we see clearly that for some of the Church there probably remain fully ten years of experience, opportunities, testings, victories, joys and sorrows. Each year, however, we may expect that the signs of the times will more and more demonstrate the accuracy of our expectations both for the Church and for the world. As already pointed out, the harvest dates shown us in the Scriptures are October, 1874, as the beginning of the harvest; April, 1878, as the parallel to our Lord's death; October, 1881, as the parallel to the termination of the special favor to natural Israelites in the sending of the Gospel to the Gentiles, Cornelius being the first; and October, 1914 A.D., as the end of the forty years' harvest. Any other dates than these are purely speculative. We have never set forth any other dates as being presented by the Scriptures. We did indeed call attention to the date suggested by one of the measurements through the upper step of the Great Pyramid's "Grand Gallery," but in conjunction with the suggestion we particularly intimated that it was merely speculative. [R3390 : page 198]

Our estimate of what may be reasonably looked for as the order of events in the next ten years is, of course, based upon what the Scriptures indicate to be coming, and is the result of our endeavor to put together these coming events in their seemingly logical order or sequence. We have already pointed out that the "symbolical image of the beast" began 1846.* We are now anxiously looking for the vitalizing of that image as foretold in Rev. 13:15. Our expectation is that this causing of the image to have life, speech and power will have its fulfilment in some pact or union or agreement amongst so-called Protestant denominations, with a sympathetic alliance and cooperation with the Church of Rome. Our expectation is that the spark of life to the organic union begun in the Evangelical Alliance will come from the Episcopal Church, which claims divine authority through apostolic succession--a claim which other Protestant denominations would be glad to be able to make. The Episcopal Church is quite ready to confer the spark of authority and vitality, and we opine that three or four more years will so greatly increase the tendency toward union and toward power amongst Protestants that they will be willing in some form to accept the so-called apostolic ordination and authority. If this be not accomplished by 1910, or evidently be very near to accomplishment at that time, we shall feel a measure of disappointment.

*See Millennial Dawn, Vol. III., p. 119.

Meantime Socialism (which, although not so intended by its best and ablest leaders, is incipient anarchy, because even its best propositions would prove unworkable under present selfish conditions) will be making strong headway throughout Christendom, and will be causing more and more perplexity to the great, the rich, the mighty, the wise, the influential, according to the course of this world. The quickened "image" will be closely related to the chief captains [R3390 : page 199] of industry, finance and politics, and the dread of Socialism and irreligion and anarchy will draw them more and more closely together and make each the more energetic in support of the other.

As a result of these conditions we may expect an increasing disregard of the rights and constitutional prerogatives of all who are not directly active supporters of the powers that be, political, financial and religious. The freedom of speech and freedom to circulate literature will be greatly abridged, under the plea that such abridgment is necessary for the public welfare, which in some respects will be the truth. Anything not fully in line with the rulers of that time will be reckoned as in opposition; and notwithstanding our disposition for peace, and our good will toward all men of all classes and stations, the WATCH TOWER publications will probably come under the ban with those of Socialism--though their teachings be as opposite as the poles. The period following will seemingly be the time when the door will be closing --and opportunities for service will be increasingly diminished, though opportunities for suffering for the Truth's sake may increase.

The lesson to us each and all seems to be that during the next five or six years we should labor with intensified zeal, because we know that the night is coming wherein no man can labor. How glad we are that in divine providence our lot has fallen in the present time! How glad we are that our eyes have seen and our ears heard the precious messages peculiar to this time! How glad we are that we are permitted even at this "eleventh hour" to engage in the harvest work! How glad we are for the prospect of continued opportunities for service--a little longer than we had previously supposed! How glad we are that, no matter how infinitesimal our talents and opportunities may be, the great Reaper deigns to use us still as his co-laborers, and has provided various instruments by which even the smallest, the weakest, the humblest, may through tracts or books or otherwise engage in the wonderful opportunities of the harvest of this age.

In answer to many inquiries respecting the progress of the work, we take this opportunity of assuring the dear co-laborers that it is progressing greatly. The Volunteers are very energetic and we are continually noting favorable results: some of the Lord's truth-hungry sheep are being found and revived; the Colporteurs are finding more and more a readiness to hear as the people awaken to the fact that their theological professors and ministers and many of the membership of the various denominations are drifting farther and farther from faith in God and in his Book. As the chasm between faith and unbelief widens and deepens, as the higher critics become more and more bold, and the evolutionists more and more assertive, the true sheep are getting to listen more and more attentively for the Shepherd's voice, and to realize that they have been following to some extent false guides and have been too careless of the voice of the Shepherd. Now is the time for reaching these hungry sheep, who if not speedily nourished with the Truth will fall into the evolution theories and the higher critical pit of infidelity.



[R3390 : page 199]

THE ATONEMENT FOR SIN.

--A SCIENTIST'S VIEW.--

SIR OLIVER LODGE, F.R.S., D.Sc., of Birmingham University, England, has recently expressed his views on the above fundamental feature of the Christian religion. Such gentlemen in the past have kept their unbelief somewhat secret, but now they are encouraged, emboldened, by the temerity of the "higher critic" infidels in pulpits and seminaries, and are speaking their minds more freely. This man learned in worldly lore, and the trusted educator of many good people's sons, expresses his unbelief in the first proposition in his published article, thus:--

"In the days when the vicariousness of sin could be accepted, and when an original fall of Adam could be held as imputed to the race, it was natural to admit the possibility of a vicarious punishment and to accept an imputed righteousness. In the days when God could be thought of as an angry Jehovah who sent pestilences until he was propitiated by the smell of a burnt-offering, it was possible to imagine that the just anger of an offended God could be met by the sacrifice of an innocent victim....

"As a matter of fact, the higher man of today is not worrying about his sins at all, still less about their punishment. His mission, if he is good for anything, is to be up and doing, and in so far as he acts wrongly or unwisely he expects to suffer. He may unconsciously plead for mitigation on the ground of good intentions, but never either consciously or unconsciously will any one but a cur ask for the punishment to fall on some one else, nor rejoice if told that it has already so fallen.

"As for 'original sin' or 'birth sin' or other notion of that kind, by which is partly meant the sins of his parents, that sits absolutely lightly on him. As a matter of fact, it is non-existent, and no one but a monk could have invented it. Whatever it be, it is not a business for which we are responsible. We did not make the world; and an attempt to punish us for our animal origin and ancestry would be simply comic, if any one could be found who was willing to take it seriously. [R3390 : page 200]

"Here we are; we have risen, as to our bodies, from the beasts; as a race the struggle has been severe, and there have been both rises and falls. We have been helped now and again by bright and shining individual examples--true incarnations of diviner spirits than our own--notably by one supremely bright Spirit who blazed out nineteen hundred years ago, and was speedily murdered by the representatives of that class whose mission it appears to be to wage war against the prophets, and to do their worst to exterminate new ideas and kinds of goodness to which they are not accustomed. Fortunately for the race, they are only able to kill the body; the soul, the inspiration, the germ of a new and higher faith seems forever beyond their grasp."


***

Here we see the wretched effect of false doctrine: we see a noble mind poisoned against the Bible and its grand plan of redemption through the death of Christ. The time will come when grand men like this one will be relieved of their blindness. "All the blind eyes shall be opened and all the deaf ears shall be unstopped." Thank God! Now we cannot hope to influence such: we cannot hope to antidote the poison of error in those already poisoned, but we do hope to forewarn and forearm and put on guard those not already prejudiced and poisoned. This is our constant aim in this "evil day."

Sir Oliver Lodge will not deny that "pestilences" and other forms of disease--death--have reigned over the world for centuries. He may deny that there is any personal God, and call Nature his God, and thus charge to irresponsible Nature all the evils that afflict men: but so surely as he admits a personal and intelligent Almighty God he must also admit that this Almighty being causes "pestilences," diseases, death, or else that knowing of these he is careless or indifferent to the interests of his creatures. This issue cannot be honestly dodged. The answer is one of the keys to the argument.

The spiteful animosity against the Biblical teaching of vicarious atonement by Jesus for the sin of Adam is undoubtedly engendered by the labyrinth of hateful and unscriptural errors which ever since "the dark ages" has been associated with the doctrine of the vicarious atonement in all the creeds of Christendom.

This wrong view (which has misled many honest minds into opposition to the true view) is briefly stated thus: God became enraged at Adam and Eve for their disobedience and damned them to an eternity of torture, and, still not satisfied, he included all their children [R3391 : page 200] that should ever be born. Later on Jesus, by his sufferings, caused a cancellation of part of the sentence so far as part of the people were concerned. Or, as some view it, God declared that he would never recede from his anger, would never forgive any, but let all roast forever unless Jesus would suffer for some and release them. No wonder every true man would reject such a conception of God, or if he accepted it would refuse to worship him or to regard him as even an equal with honest manhood. This is not the view of "vicarious atonement" which we defend, nor the one which the Bible presents.

HOW DIFFERENT AND HOW REASONABLE IS THE BIBLE VIEW OF THE MATTER!

The divine decree is, that absolute obedience to the divine commands shall be required of all and for the good of all. Because all unrighteousness is sin, therefore the decree, "The wages of sin is death"-- to the intent that sin and its attendant misery may not be eternal--to the intent that perfection in holiness, perfection in life and perfection in happiness may forever be indissolubly connected.

With such a righteous indignation against sin, with such a just and holy desire that it might not be perpetual, God made his law and explained it to Adam, and, when the latter had violated that law, pronounced the sentence, and has for six thousand years backed up the forces of nature which executed that decree, "Dying thou shalt die."

Who can find fault with the sentence for original sin as it is expressed in the Bible--a death sentence. No reasonable man could deny that God has the right as well as the power to destroy in death any creature who will not conform to his just and wise law. This is the case as stated in the Bible, exactly. "The sting of death [the sting, or virus, which produces death and all its attendant sufferings] is sin; and the power of sin [to thus sting to death] is the Law,"-- "The wages of sin is death."--I Cor. 15:56; Rom. 6:23.

The dying processes affected the first perfect pair in every way--mentally, morally and physically. Degeneracy began at once, and once, and of course affected their offspring according to the laws of nature. Nothing can be charged to the dishonor or injustice of the Creator. In every particular he was well within the rights of his position--yea, he was in duty bound to make the condition such that the sinful and imperfect would not live on forever. And so it was that father Adam died "in the day" (the thousand year day-- 2 Pet. 3:8) in which he became a sinner, and none of his posterity ever lived more than 969 years.

Now, let us not complicate the question by theological "smoke" from the "dark ages," but standing by the simple narrative of the Scriptures,--that "by one man's disobedience sin entered into the world, and death by [as a result of] sin, and so [thus] death passed upon all men, because all are sinners" (Rom. 5:12), let us inquire respecting the vicarious atonement [R3391 : page 201] and its necessity under the conditions set forth in the Scriptures as above.

Granted that God did pronounce a just sentence of death upon Adam, the question is, How could he get rid of that sentence so as to ever grant mankind a resurrection from death to life, and all that was lost by the disobedience under its sentence? God is "unchangeable," he assures us; hence this sentence of the great Supreme Court of the Universe is unalterable, unless it can be shown to be unjust or unwise. Neither of these could be acknowledged and hence the sentence is unalterable.

But could not God devise some method for the rescue of Adam if he so desired? Although human wisdom could see no way, could not divine wisdom and love aid and find a way out of the dilemma? The Scriptures say, Yes; and proceed to tell us that it was in order "that God might be just and the justifier of them that believe in Jesus" that God provided a vicarious atonement (blood atonement) for Adam's sin. Blood-atonement means atonement by the sacrifice of a life to pay for the condemned life.

Now, Professor Lodge acknowledges Jesus to have lived and to have died--there is no dispute as to the facts. The question at issue then is, Did the fact that Jesus died for Adam's sin make his death any the more severe or unjust or improper?

We concede at once that God could not have justly demanded that his Son become a man, and then as a man die for the sins of the one man, who had been sentenced to extinction because of sin, and whose race in his loins at the time of his transgression shared his penalty and would equally share anything done for his relief. However desirable such a result, or however impossible to reach that result otherwise, Justice would forbid such an exaction.

But the case is otherwise stated in the Scriptures, --and their testimony respecting the divine program must be taken as a whole. The Bible account shows that, so far from compelling the great sacrifice, God induced it: he offered the Only Begotten Son a great reward as compensation for the faithful performance of the service. The statement is, that "for the joy that was set before him [Jesus] endured the cross, despising the shame." Read carefully the context also.--Heb. 12.

As to what the reward or "joy" consisted of, we may draw from the Scriptures very satisfactory conclusions. (1) "Lo, I come to do thy will, O my God. Thy law [will] is written in my heart." This undoubtedly would be the first moving impulse. (2) "He was moved with compassion for the multitude," and said, "The good Shepherd giveth his life for the sheep." "I lay down my life of myself,--no man taketh it from me." (3) At his resurrection the Father gave him a still higher form of life than he had ever previously enjoyed--life on a higher plane--"far above angels, principalities and powers;"--although he had always been the first and highest of all the heavenly sons of God--"the First-begotten," "the beginning of the creation of God," and who in all things had always had preeminence over others and been next to the Father. Henceforth, as a reward for his obedience, love and zeal, he was made a "partaker of the divine nature" with "life in himself"--a life inextinguishable and needing no supply or sustenance --immortality, in the strictest meaning of that word.

What fault can be found with such a substitution, with such a vicarious atonement for the sinner? Had Jesus been compelled to "suffer for us, the just for the unjust," we might plead injustice. Had he even willingly died for us, but never been raised from the dead, we might have murmured that he was more obedient than the Father was kind. Had he been raised from the dead a man, and not as the Apostle declares, "a life-giving spirit," it would have meant the taking back of the "price," and would have implied also his perpetual degradation to a lower plane of being, because of his obedience to the Father's will. But, as the matter is outlined in the Scriptures, neither of these objections can be urged, for our Lord was raised from death "to die no more--death hath no more dominion over him." He could not die now because made possessor of immortality, "the divine nature," which cannot die, being death proof.

SUFFERING FOR UNWISDOM ONLY?

If it were only the foolish and the wicked that suffered now the Professor's logic would be more apparent: but if a man should expect to suffer for wrong and unwisdom should he not expect to prosper for well doing? But we all know that the wicked often prosper most, and that the good and the pure and the wise frequently suffer; witness the cases of the prophets of old and of our Lord and his apostles, and of all his faithful followers, of whom it is written: "All that will live godly in this life shall suffer persecution." (2 Tim. 3:12.) Indeed, is not almost all of the wickedness of the world practised at the expense of the innocent?

How about the pains and death of infants, who constitute nearly one-half of our race: are they suffering for their wrong-doing? If not, for whose error do they suffer? Who gives a better answer to this query than the Bible gives--that they die because they have inherited the weaknesses and blemishes of Adam? The fact is that sin and death are upon our race, and that we are born to their influences. [R3391 : page 202]

Men who think have indeed, as the Professor declares, ceased to concern themselves about "original sin" or "birth sin," but not because a monk invented the thought. They know that they were "born in sin," "prone to sin," and that its bonds are fast upon their every power. They know, if they will but think, that Moses, who first told of original sin, was not a monk. Neither was our Lord, who declared that he "came to seek and to save [recover] that which was lost." Neither were the apostles monks: least of all that logical man the Apostle Paul, whose words we have quoted foregoing.

EVOLUTION THEORY THE PROFESSOR'S SNARE.

The Professor's difficulty and how he fell into it are clear from the paragraph last above quoted. He was too logical to be held long by false conceptions of the atonement as a means of rescue from eternal torture, and in discarding that he discarded the Bible which he believed so taught. Next he was ensnared by human speculation and science, falsely so-called, into the Evolution theory. This is shown by his words, "Here we are. We have risen, as to our bodies, from the beasts."

Illogically and without evidence the Professor is led into Theosophy--into the belief that each man is the incarnation of a previously unknown spirit being. This is evident from the words "true incarnations of diviner spirits than our own." Alas! how liable all of us would be to fall into confusion of thought if we were to reject the divine Word of revelation. How quickly such folly manifests itself, no matter how learned or brilliant the individual! [R3392 : page 202]

The Professor's closing reference to "the germ of a new and higher FAITH" seems peculiar in view of the fact that he appears to have no faith in the Bible, very little confidence in a God of Nature. We are forced to the conclusion that the Professor's "germ of a new and higher faith" is self-faith or self-confidence respecting "reincarnations," and a gradual evolution from microbes to beasts and from beasts to men and from men to gods. Those who can be satisfied with such faiths are welcome to them. As for us, we prefer "the faith once delivered to the saints;" but we want it pure--free from traditions of the dark ages, which dishonor God and insult reason and lead on to such darkness of worldly wisdom as we are here criticising.



[R3392 : page 202]

PRAYING FOR HELP IN TIME OF WAR.
--2 CHRONICLES 14:1-12.--JULY 17.--

Golden Text:--"Help us, O Lord our God, for we rest on thee."

OUR lesson relates to the two tribe kingdom of Judah under its good king Asa, the great grandson of Solomon. We have already noticed the tendency to idolatry stimulated by Solomon's marrying heathen women, and then, to please them, introducing their heathen religions. We have seen how only a small portion of the kingdom was left in the hands of Solomon's son Rehoboam, and that true religion for a time was stimulated by the adversities of the government. Nevertheless, idolatry flourished, not only in Israel under Jeroboam, but also in Judah under Rehoboam, and also under the reign of his son Abijah, mentioned in the opening verses of our lesson.

CONFLICT BETWEEN LIGHT AND DARKNESS.

Under all the circumstances one is inclined to wonder whence Asa received his aspirations for righteousness and loyalty to God. We are to remember, however, that the gathering to Judah of many of the religious people of the ten tribes and the Levitical tribe gave true religion a strong foundation in Judah. The heathen religions were fascinating to the people, not only because they were showy, but because they contained a large element of licentiousness, and it is a weakness of the fallen human nature to want to be right and yet to be wrong at the same time --to pretend to be doing good and serving righteousness and exercising the religious elements of human nature, while at the same time gratifying the lower and baser instincts. The entire human family is weak in this direction, as is evident by all the heathen religions of the world. The religion of the Bible is the only one that lifts its standard far above all baseness, and which demands of its followers the highest ideals, as represented in our text for the year,--"Brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are reputable, if there be any virtue, or any praise, think on these things."--Phil. 4:8.

Our Lord, in telling us to let our light shine before men, informs us that the darkness will hate the light, that there will be continually a conflict between the two, and that this will cause the "children of the light" continually to walk in the narrow and difficult way. Nevertheless the light reproves the darkness wherever it shines. We may be sure that some such conditions prevailed in the kingdom of Judah when the best people of the whole twelve tribes had gathered in Judah and were letting the light of their faith in God shine before their fellows. The influence of the Truth took hold upon the heart of Asa, and upon his reaching the throne, at the death of his father Abijah, he promptly availed himself of the opportunity to strike a blow at idolatry--to take his stand on the side of the Lord and his Law, which the nation centuries [R3392 : page 203] before had accepted as the basis of their government with God through Moses.

ASA'S COURSE NOT A PATTERN.

The work of reform consisted in the destruction of the altars erected on various hilltops, at which the orgies of heathendom were practised. These altars were surrounded by groves for the worship of Baal and Ashtaroth by those who affected to be in a large sense worshipers of nature, and groves of trees on hilltops were their temples. Asa not only destroyed these unlawful accessories to a false worship, but he caused a proclamation to be made throughout the kingdom calling the attention of the people to the true God Jehovah, the God of their fathers, and to his Law and all the commandments connected therewith.

Such action on the part of Asa has been misunderstood by many well-meaning Christian people to imply that other kings and rulers in other countries should similarly take active measures for the destruction of all false religion and for the establishment of what they conceive to be the true religion. This has meant religious persecution throughout the past. For instance, in Great Britain, Germany, France, etc., time and again Roman Catholics coming into power have overthrown Protestant worship and persecuted Protestant worshipers, and, reversely, Protestants coming into power have endeavored similarly to persecute Catholics. Sometimes the persecution has been between various sects of Protestants, sometimes between Mohammedans and Christians, etc. Of late years a more tolerant spirit has disposed intelligent people to let each other worship different gods or the same God according to the dictates of the conscience of each. Nevertheless there are many today, who, if they had the power, would feel it to be their duty to emulate the example of Asa, and destroy any and every religion disapproved by their consciences.

Such misapprehensions of proprieties are built upon misunderstanding of the course of Asa and others of his time, who had God's approval in their course of opposing false worships. In order to grasp the situation thoroughly and to see the principles underlying it, we should remember that no nation in the world today occupies the same position toward God that Israel occupied in its day. God chose Israel--the natural descendants of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob--to be his peculiar people, to be his nation. They were thus separated from all other nations of the world, which were accounted heathen. In this his chosen nation God established his Law, and made a covenant with that people by which they were to be obedient to certain directions and to receive from him certain blessings, protection, guidance, etc. It was in harmony with this special arrangement that Asa was properly doing his duty in destroying any and every religious system in his nation contrary to the divine Law and Covenant.

"YE ARE A HOLY NATION."

However, Israel has ceased to be God's people since the time of their rejection of Messiah, and God has not adopted any other nation of earth to be his nation instead of Israel, and he is no longer in covenant relationship with any other nation. Believers in the Lord Jesus, consecrated followers in his steps, are, from the Lord's standpoint, his "holy nation," his "Royal Priesthood"--spiritual Israel. But these do not constitute a nation from the worldly standpoint. They are the embryo members of the coming nation, the Kingdom of God's dear Son, which will be established in power and great glory at the second coming of the Lord and the establishment of his Kingdom. For this reason it would be entirely improper to any king or governor or president or emperor of earth today to attempt to use any such power as that exercised by Asa with divine approval. During this Gospel age the Lord's plan is that his people shall be as lights in the world in the midst of the darkness of sin and error, and that the light which they let shine shall reprove the world of sin, not nationally but individually, so that those who experience conviction of sin and who go on to repentance may become associated with the light-bearers, the Lord's people, and while still in the world and still of the world, according to the flesh, and still bound to it by certain obligations and laws of men, nevertheless as our Lord expressed it, such, from the time they become members of the Royal Priesthood, the holy nation, are not of the world even as Jesus was not of the world, because he has chosen them out of the world.

King Asa built fortress cities in the highways connecting the land of Judah with the outside world, as a protection against attack from Egypt on the south and west, from Syria on the north and east, and from the ten-tribe kingdom on the immediate north. He organized also a militia army subject to call. These preparations for war had the divine approval, but in no sense of the word indicated that we, the antitypical Israelites, should take a similar course. On the contrary, as the Apostle points out, we are to have on the armor of God, the armor of righteousness; we are to fortify our hearts against the attack of spiritual enemies in every direction; we are to note the quarter from which the enemies are to be expected--the world, the flesh, the Adversary. The battles of typical Israel represented or prefigured and illustrated the battles in which we spiritual Israelites are to engage and the victories which we are to win on a higher plane, for we contend not with flesh and blood, but with principalities and powers and wicked spirits in places of influence.

The ten years of quiet mentioned in verses 1,5 and 6, in which Asa instituted reforms amongst the people and equipped them for defence, were evidently all needed for the struggle recorded in verse 9. Zerah, the Ethiopian, with an army of 1,000,000 men, is supposed by some to have been Osorkon II. of Egypt, who was of Ethiopian descent. Others suppose that Zerah was the general of this king. In the days of Rehoboam the king of Egypt [R3393 : page 204] had invaded Judah and conquered it, and had taken away from it an immense treasure in gold accumulated by King Solomon, including the solid gold shields which Solomon had hanging from the pillars of the Temple. It is assumed that Judah became practically a vassal nation to Egypt as a result of this war, and that Asa's organization of the nation on a military basis and the erecting of fortifications meant a declaration of independence and a refusal to pay tribute to Egypt, and that Zerah's army was sent to punish him, to bring away more spoil and to reduce the nation again to the condition of a vassal.

KING ASA'S PRAYER FOR VICTORY.

Asa called into requisition his army, which numbered only about one-half that of the invading foe, but his confidence was in the Lord, and he cried unto him in prayer for help that the war might result favorably to the Lord's people, the Jews. His recorded prayer is beautiful for its simplicity of faith:--

"Asa cried unto the Lord his God, and said, Lord, there is none beside thee to help between the mighty and him that hath no strength: help us, O Lord our God; for we rely on thee, and in thy name are we come against this multitude. O Lord, thou art our God; let not man prevail against thee."

The Lord blessed the forces of the Jews. The enemy was discomfited, scattered, routed, and pursued through the land of the Philistines, who evidently were in league with them as enemies of the Jews. This was one of the most remarkable victories ever achieved by the Jews over any foreign nation.

Following the custom of Asa and David and Moses, and others of bygone times in Israel, it is the habit of Christian peoples of our day to offer up prayers for success in war. We recall well the prayers that were offered for the armies during the civil war of this country; we remember the accounts given of the prayers of the British and Boers during the recent British war; we remember in the Spanish war the prayers of the Catholics of Spain and of Italy for the success of the Spanish forces, and how the Pope's blessing was given to the Spanish war vessels. We have heard lately of how the Czar of Russia, on learning of the outbreak of the war, repaired to the Cathedral for prayer to God, and how the leading Russian generals have similarly gone to confession and to prayer and for other public recognitions of the Almighty and appeals to him for success to the Russian arms in the present war with Japan. We have seen pictures in the public press of how the regimental standards, flags, are blessed by the Czar and assisting priests, and the telegraphic reports declare that an image of the Virgin Mary, which was taken with the army in wars of long ago that were successfully waged, is to be taken to the far East as a kind of talisman to give good luck to the Russian side of the warfare. How shall we view these appeals? Shall we view them as others do as being on a parity with the appeal of Asa in our lesson? Shall we consider that they are equally appropriate in God's sight and that they are bringing a blessing and victory? We answer, No. The prayers offered for the success of the Confederate armies did not bring them victory; the prayers and blessings upon the Spanish forces and vessels brought them no victory; the prayers of the Boers brought them no victory; the prayers of the French in their war with Germany brought the former no victory; the prayers of the Russians have in no sense of the word stayed or turned the tide of battle as yet.

GOD'S INTEREST AND CARE AND OURS.

We would not be understood as declaring or even implying that God has no interest in the affairs of the world, and that he does not in any measure take a hand in the results of the wars of our time. Quite the contrary. We believe that the Lord's power, especially in this day, especially in this time of "harvest," is supervising and shaping the affairs of the nations with a view to bringing about the grand consummation of the age so long foretold in the Scriptures, which will result in a great time of trouble through a social, political and financial upheaval which will prepare the way for the Kingdom of God's dear Son in its due time. But we deny the propriety of Christians attempting to pray or otherwise direct the Lord in connection with these matters, and the outworking of the divine program, which we cannot fully and clearly comprehend. No nation in the world today is God's nation in the sense that Israel was his people. With no nation in the world today has God made a covenant such as that which subsisted between himself and Israel for the centuries between the giving of the Law at Sinai and the rejection of the Lord at the time of his crucifixion. No nation or kingdom in the world can claim divine authority or right or backing. The title, "Christian nations," is entirely a misnomer, unauthorized by anything in God's Word. All these nations, from the Scriptural standpoint, are "kingdoms of this world," Gentile kingdoms. The Lord acknowledges none of them, but describes them unitedly as great Babylon, which in due time would fall and give place to the glorious kingdom which the Lord has promised--the antitype of the Jewish kingdom under a still more favorable covenant, under a still better Mediator, under a still more grand and glorious king than David or Solomon or any other.

The proper attitude, therefore, for the Lord's consecrated people to occupy is that of neutrals. "Ye are not of this world, even as I am not of this world; for I have chosen you out of the world, and ordained you, that you should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain." The fruit which the Lord's people are to bear is not strife and enmity and vain glory, but love, joy and peace in the holy Spirit. This does not mean either that we are to quarrel with the world and seek to bring all mankind to the same position that we occupy. On the contrary, we are to realize that the [R3393 : page 205] world is of one nature and the Lord's consecrated and accepted ones are of a new nature; that the Lord has not given to the world the same law that he has given to his consecrated ones, and that he is not expecting of the world the same course of conduct that he is expecting of the house of sons begotten of his Spirit, adopted into his family and guided by his Spirit and his Word.

Let the world fight its fight: the Lord will supervise and the results will be glorious eventually. Let us who belong to the new nation, to the new Kingdom that is not of this world, who use no carnal weapons, but the sword of the Spirit--let us fight the good fight of faith, lay hold upon the glorious things set before us, and not only stand ourselves, but help all those begotten of the same Spirit and members of the same heavenly army corps to stand, complete in him who is the Head of the body, the Captain of our salvation. By and by God's loving care over all his creatures will be manifested in the glorious Kingdom of his dear Son, which shall bless and rule, instruct and uplift mankind in general. "The groaning creation" will then be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the sons of God--so many of them as will then accept the blessing. Then all will see that God so loved the world as to give his Son to die for us and to thus open the way for his Kingdom blessings.



[R3393 : page 205]

A GOOD KING'S ERROR.
--2 CHRONICLES 19:1-11.--JULY 24.--

Golden Text:--"Deal courageously, and the Lord shall be with the good."

JEHOSHAPHAT is noted as one of the best kings in the history of Judah. He was the son of Asa, of our last lesson. He had been reigning twenty years at the time of the events narrated in this lesson. He was a still more vigorous reformer than his father Asa, his record being that he utterly destroyed all the groves where idolatry was practised, the implication being that his father had permitted some of them to remain. Additionally he established the true religion throughout his kingdom, and evidently was zealous for righteousness in every sense of the word. The record certainly shows his reign in the most favorable light.

He got into error through ambition. He made a marriage alliance for his son with the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel of the ten-tribe kingdom--Israel. Doubtless his ambition was that ultimately through this union the two nations might become again united as one under his son. Alas! how many good men and good women have been injured by ambition and expediency. How many parents think more of the earthly prospects of their children than of their real happiness and spiritual prosperity. However good and noble and well intentioned such parents may be, their course in such matters indicates lack of faith in God or lack of submission to his will, without the realization that his arrangements faithfully carried out will mean greater blessing than any other.

ALLIANCES WITH EVIL DANGEROUS.

The ambition which led to the intermarrying with the royal family of Israel led also to fellowship and sociability between the two royal families, and the effect, as might have been expected, was an evil one. "Evil communications corrupt good manners," says the Apostle. A son once asked his mother why she did not permit him to play with certain boys of the neighborhood. She replied [R3394 : page 205] that she feared their influence over him would be for evil. He inquired why she should not expect that his good example would influence these neighbor boys rather than that their example would influence him unfavorably. By way of illustrating her thought, she requested her son to bring her a tumbler full of clean water and a bottle of ink and a pen. When he had brought these she asked him to put a drop of the ink into the tumbler of water. He did so, and she asked him to notice the clouded effect that even a drop of the ink produced; and then suggested that he put one drop of the water into the ink bottle and note how little change would be manifested. The lesson is a good one: there is a corrupting power in evil, a downward tendency to which nothing in righteousness corresponds, and reversely.

The lesson to us is that we need to "keep ourselves unspotted from the world," and, more than this, to seek divine aid in so doing--to appropriate to ourselves the instructions and encouragements, the reproofs and exhortations of God's Word. A little leaven of sin can affect a whole community; it has a power of self-development in fallen human nature that righteousness does not possess. The more we realize this the more we are led to look to the Lord for the great relief that the world needs, and the more we are inclined to pray as well as to labor that the Lord's Kingdom may come, and that through it righteousness may be established in the world, and the divine will be done eventually on earth as it is done in heaven.

The sociability between the king of Judah and the king of Israel led the former to visit the latter, and on such an occasion the host proposed that he would attempt to retake from the king of Syria a certain city that had once belonged to Israel. He requested his guest, the king of Judah, to accompany him to the battle, which was evidently expected to be a victory. Out of courtesy, and from his desire to cultivate the friendship of Ahab, Jehoshaphat yielded and accompanied him, the result being a disastrous battle from which the king of Judah barely escaped. The Lord, through the prophet Jehu, sent him a message on his return from the battle, saying, "Shouldst [R3394 : page 206] thou help the ungodly and love them that hate the Lord? therefore is wrath upon thee"--indicated by his ignominious return without any evidence of divine favor especially promised to the kings of Judah so long as they were in harmony with God.

BE YE SEPARATE, SAITH THE LORD.

This whole matter teaches an important lesson for the Lord's people: it is for us to seek first the Lord's will in every matter and to leave to him the direction of our affairs and interests. We should be specially on guard against associations with the ungodly--against fellowships, matrimonial alliances, etc., as between them and ourselves and families. We are not to wonder so much that one of the best kings of Judah should commit such an error, but we do wonder that members of the Royal Priesthood, begotten of the holy Spirit, could ever be so negligent of their relationship to the Lord and responsibility to him and to their children, that they should to any extent follow the course of Jehoshaphat; and yet we well know that those who thus attempt to take the guidance of their own affairs and the affairs of their children into their own hands, and hence to ignore the Lord in the matter, are a considerable number. As we grow in grace and in knowledge, and sometimes profit by our mistakes, we should be more and more free from them and therefore more and more pleasing to the Lord.

The Lord's instruction to the new creation is that we should not only love righteousness, but hate iniquity; we should not only love and fellowship with all who are the Lord's people, but we should strictly avoid the fellowship of those who are not his people, who are enemies of righteousness. This does not mean that we are to hate the wicked, but that, hating the wickedness, we will avoid any fellowship with those who are in sympathy with it, realizing that they are either blinded to the right or ensnared and influenced by the Adversary. What fellowship hath light with darkness, truth with error, righteousness with sin? Let all who love righteousness depart from iniquity: "Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord's house."

While thus reproving Jehoshaphat, the Lord graciously mentioned his approval of his course in destroying the idolatrous arrangements and the tendency of the king's heart to seek the Lord. Evidently the experience was a profitable one and led Jehoshaphat to still greater zeal for righteousness, for he went out amongst the people, either personally or through heralds and representatives, and effected a religious revival, bringing the people back to a higher appreciation of the Lord and observance of his statutes. Evidently the king had a very high sense of justice and honor, as indicated by his judicial appointments in all the cities of his kingdom. His message to the judges, "Take heed what ye do: for ye judge not for man, but for the Lord, who is with you in the judgment. Wherefore, let the fear of the Lord be upon you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with the Lord our God, nor respect of persons nor taking of gifts." These are grand sentiments, worthy of a saint of this Gospel age! Surely such a king would be a blessing to any people because of his approximation to the divine ideal of righteousness. What may the world hope for when the great king Immanuel--whose right the kingdom is, and who shortly will take it in the name of Jehovah--shall exercise the powers of the kingdom, and with superhuman knowledge and wisdom shall order the affairs of the world in the highest interests of every creature, in accord with the principles of righteousness.

JUSTICE IS THE FOUNDATION OF GOD'S THRONE.

Very evidently the majority of people--even Christians, "saints"--have not sufficiently high ideals respecting justice. The more we realize what a detestable thing injustice is in the sight of the Lord, the more must we strive to exercise ourselves continually along this line. Justice is not so high an attribute in some respects as love, but it is of primary importance, for the adage is a true one that we should be just before we are generous. The Lord's people should make sure that they render to no man in any respect less than is due him in business transactions, in social affairs, in private conversation, in every way. The saint is to go beyond this, and not only be just but generous--to render nothing less than justice to any, and to be willing to accept from others less than he might justly demand if they seemed not so highly to appreciate the principles of Justice.

We are to remember the wide difference that exists between the Lord's people and the world, and are not to measure ourselves with others in this respect. The majority of the world have not been in the same school as we-- the school of Christ--as it is written of the Lord's people, "They shall all be taught of God." As we have been learning in the highest school from the best of teachers for years, it would be strange indeed if we did not have a higher standard both of justice and of love than that which generally prevails amongst men. Let us learn to cultivate justice, let us be diligent students in the school of Christ, that we may be fitted for the graduation tests and thus be accounted worthy to be associated with our Lord as teachers in the great Millennial age school, in which the whole world of mankind shall receive instruction along these lines.

The officers of the court were largely selected from amongst the Levites--the tribe specially consecrated to the Lord's service. Apparently the king could not have acted more wisely in all these matters; nevertheless we are not to expect the kings of Christendom to follow his example and select only consecrated men for judges, court officers, police duty, etc. The kingdoms of this world will by and by become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Anointed, and then undoubtedly during that Millennial period only the consecrated will be granted positions of power, authority or responsibility in connection with [R3394 : page 207] the government of the world. At present, however, the "god of this world," the "prince of this world," Satan, has largely to do with all the politics of the world, and sees to it that the majority in places of influence and power are faithful to himself.

True, there is today outwardly a good moral tone and a general desire on the part of the public not to be abused or defrauded by those in ruling positions, and a certain amount of decency and order must be maintained and a high standard must be claimed. Nevertheless, we are all witness to the fact that there are various standards of honesty, and that the majority of people both in and out of office have standards that are too low. It is not for us to specially pry into the present condition of things, which rather seems to us to be as good as we could expect, better than we could have hoped, all things considered. We rejoice, nevertheless, that the time is coming when absolute perfection will be secured in the conduct of the world's affairs. God is now selecting his Royal Priests to be his kings and ministers in the administration of the affairs of the Kingdom of his dear Son. Let us be faithful, and learn well the lessons of the present time, that we may be counted worthy a share in this honor.

"JUDGE RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENT."

Jehoshaphat's charge to the Levites who constituted this superior court at Jerusalem is grand also. "Thus shall ye do in the fear of the Lord, faithfully, with a perfect heart. And whensoever any controversy shall come to you from any brethren that dwell in their cities, between blood and blood, between law and commandment, statutes and judgments, ye shall even warn them that they trespass not against the Lord, and so wrath come upon you and upon your brethren." The judging between blood and blood would signify the decision as to the degree of culpability in the event of a murder--to determine, [R3395 : page 207] as we do today, whether or not the death were manslaughter, accidental killing, or in the second degree--murder unpremeditated or incited by anger or fear--or, third, if it were murder in the first degree, intended, premeditated. Similarly they were to discern which offences were against the common law, which against the divine law, and which against the usages of society, and were to see that justice would be meted out to all. As we think over those conditions of olden time, we wonder how such matters as these-- such evidences that people of thousands of years ago were just, noble, thoughtful, reverential--are regarded by our Evolutionist friends. They seem inclined to think that at that time mankind must have been near the monkey scale of intelligence, but the facts are against them. Here was a king in whose empire justice was no doubt dispensed equally as well as it is with us today in this most favored land at this most favored period.

The closing words of the lesson constitute our Golden Text--"Deal courageously, and the Lord shall be with the good." We commend these words to the Lord's faithful people. Whoever has a duty to perform let him not fear, and while seeking to do unpleasant tasks in a kindly manner, both justly and lovingly, let us fear not man, but rather fear the Lord and be intent on pleasing him. May the words of our mouths as well as the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, our strength and our Redeemer!



[R3395 : page 207]

REPORT OF THE BRITISH CONVENTION.

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--

Our first British General Convention has come and gone! It brought us much joy in the Lord, and left us with a greater desire to "spend and be spent" in the Master's service. With general consent it is acknowledged that the meetings have been the best we have had in this country. But this was according to expectation, for the convention brought together a larger number of friends than has hitherto been the case, and because all should have more of the holy Spirit now than ever before. The predominant feeling was the love of the brethren for each and all, and with it was the appreciation of the grace of God which produced such a grand result. Each of the meetings added its quota to the good derived from the Convention: the Praise and Testimony, and the Colporteurs' and Workers' meetings being specially helpful. Already we have heard of fresh or renewed efforts as a result of these talks with each other. On the Monday morning forty-three brothers and sisters signified by immersion their consecration to the Lord, and their desire to be accounted worthy to suffer with him. It was a most impressive time as we reviewed with each other our privilege of suffering with the Lord, as well as believing on him. And we rejoiced in anticipation of the "glory to follow."

All the meetings were well attended, and there was the usual eagerness to get as much as possible of the food the Lord provided. The largest contingent of friends came from Glasgow, the most distant place represented. Ireland was represented by Bro. Walker, while England was represented by friends from all parts. We were glad to have Bro. Koetitz with us. It was hard to part, but we all realized that the Lord had given a work to our charge, and that the King's message demanded haste. A good proportion of the Colporteurs were with us also, and to these we bade "God-speed," commending them to the grace of God. We felt the shortness of the time, and the coming of the Kingdom for which we work and wait and there was a greater determination to do all possible for the accomplishment of the work committed to the hands of those who know the Lord.

You and your work were specially remembered. We would have been glad to have had you with us, but we shall hope that, in the Lord's providence, you may be permitted and we may be privileged to have you with us in our next convention. The friends desired me to express on their behalf the gratitude they felt towards the Society.

Your brother in the Lord,
J. HEMERY.



page 209
July 1st

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

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

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

SEMI-MONTHLY.
VOL. XXV.JULY 15, 1904.No. 14.


CONTENTS.

Views from the Watch Tower211
Japan a Christian Nation211
Toward Church Unity212
Effect of Present War Far-Reaching212
The Bible and Criticism213
Heathens in Heaven215
The Downward Course of Sin217
"He Careth for You"218
Courageous and Timid Servants of God220
Letters222

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

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

page 210

THIS JOURNAL AND ITS MISSION.

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

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

TO US THE SCRIPTURES CLEARLY TEACH

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




LETTERS FOR THE EDITOR SHOULD BE SENT TO ALLEGHENY, PA., U.S.A.
BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS AND REMITTANCES
--ADDRESS TO--
WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY,
"BIBLE HOUSE," 610, 612, 614 ARCH ST., ALLEGHENY, PA., U.S.A.
--OR TO--
BRITISH BRANCH--24 EVERSHOLT ST., LONDON, N.W.
GERMAN BRANCH--MIRKER STR., 45, ELBERFELD.
AUSTRALIAN BRANCH--32 JOHNSTON ST., FITZROY, MELBOURNE

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

THIS JOURNAL IS PUBLISHED IN THE
FRENCH, GERMAN, SWEDISH, DANISH AND ITALIAN LANGUAGES.
SAMPLE COPIES FREE.



[R3398 : page 210]

A HELPFUL SERVICE.


Realizing that bereavement prepares the mind for the Truth, some dear friends watch the death notices of their city papers and send tracts which thus reach the relatives of the deceased--sometimes opportunely. In our judgment the best tracts for such service would be two, No. 54, "A Dark Cloud with a Silver Lining," and No. 49, "Which is the True Gospel?" We commend the plan to you all. Confer together; and in large cities take weekly or monthly turns at it. If the names are written the "long way" on wrappers 6-1/2 x 7-1/2 inches, they may be mailed to us and we will wrap the tracts and paste them.

"MILLENNIAL DAWN READERS MEET," ETC.


The Cleveland friends inform us that in their announcements of meetings in the daily papers they have long been in doubt as to how to mention their meetings. Lately they have adopted the above style with good results.

We can see the advantages in it. (1) Those who have read the DAWNS will know at once what it means. (2) Some who have the DAWNS but have neglected reading them may be aroused to investigate them. People like to go where others are going and to read what others are reading.



[R3395 : page 211]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER.

JAPAN A CHRISTIAN NATION.


THE Japanese are such valiant fighters on sea and land that few any longer doubt that they must be "Christians"(?). They are very desirous of ranking with Europeans and Americans, and feel that to the prowess they have shown in war they now merely need to avow themselves a "Christian nation" in order to be all that any "Christian nation" could be expected to be.

The Japs are a very practical people in this as in other respects. They are quite right; they are a "Christian nation" as truly as is any other nation, for there are no "Christian nations" in the proper use of that term. The "holy nation" is only in embryo, only being formed, and will not assume its power and place as God's Kingdom under the whole heavens until the number of the "very elect" is completed and glorified. The best of earthly kingdoms are only "kingdoms of this world," as the Scriptures designate them.

The Emperor of Japan is expected to make his nation Christian by proclamation, and as a preparation to this end public meetings have been held in Japan to arouse public sentiment on the subject, and in these great enthusiasm was developed. We must not sneer at the Japanese misconception of the subject: rather we must remember that some very prominent people in these United States have for years been petitioning Congress that the constitution be changed so as to have in it somehow the name of God, and thus to imply at least that this is a "Christian nation." The whole matter shows how gross is the blindness prevalent even among the civilized.

Let no one get the idea that the Japanese are converted to Christ: they are merely bent on getting a good name among the nations; for patriotism is the chief "religion" of the Japs. Various religious journals are commenting on the situation. The Methodist Protestant Conference received a report on the subject from its Board of Foreign Missions, which said: "The opinion held by some that Japan has become a Christian nation is far from correct. Idolatry, superstition and atheism largely prevail. The great mass of the population has not become impressed with Christian teaching."

The Globe, New York, says:--

"Travelers, listing the peculiarities of the Sunrise Kingdom, have often noted that the Japanese were not so much irreligious as non-religious. The habit of personal devotion, as we understand that state, seems almost altogether absent. The Shintoism and Buddhism which exist are secular rather than sacred. Hence it is that the Christian missionaries, although the Government and the people are tolerant, have made little progress, the number of converts being pitifully small. Hence it also is (religion being deemed a public rather than a private thing and one form being thought about as good as another) that the majority of the population would probably loyally obey the edict if the Emperor, for secular or other reasons, should proclaim Christianity as the state religion. The clew to the Japanese character is patriotism. To the demands, or supposed demands, of this everything else is subordinate."

The Boston Watchman (Baptist) says editorially:

"Of course, there is no spiritual element in this movement. It does not indicate an adoption of the Christian life, or even an intellectual acceptance of the truths of Christianity. What is proposed is merely a formal adoption of the Christian name, so that Japan may be called a Christian nation and rank with England, Germany and the United States. The Japanese hate the name pagan; they have now no national religion, and there would be nothing strange in their adopting the name Christian; but how much it would really advance the interests of pure and personal faith in Christ is doubtful."

[R3395 : page 212]

TOWARD CHURCH UNITY.


"With the Methodist Protestant church conference enthusiastic for union with the United Brethren and Congregationalist denominations and gravely considering amalgamation with the Methodist Episcopal; with the Methodist Episcopal, south, discussing consolidation with the same denomination, north; with the Presbyterian assembly considering absorption of the United and Cumberland Presbyterians, and with a movement toward the adoption of rituals, one may well believe the churches have caught the spirit of combination so marked in the industrial world. It is no less true of the churches than of the commercial corporations that in union there is strength and in combination there is economy of operation....

"Universal church union has been broached by bold theologians. The time is not ripe for that. It may never come. But the tendency is yearly toward greater tolerance and closer fraternal relations. The time is favorable for wiping out minor distinctions and organizing upon broader lines. The signs are altogether favorable for larger conceptions of religious duty and for more concentrated effort in spreading the gospel. The war of the creeds is a [R3396 : page 212] waste of energy that might better be devoted to the conversion of the heathen at home and abroad."--Pittsburg Gazette.


***

The above editorial fairly represents the usual worldlywise view of this question--the view entertained by the majority of church members. All are dissatisfied with their creeds, made in or shortly after the "dark ages." All, or nearly all, regard their creeds as fair expositions of the Bible's teachings--and in thus dropping these creeds as no longer serviceable in this twentieth century they are also practically discarding the Bible. The Lord, foretelling their present discomfiture and disgust with what were once their spiritual delicacies, says, "All their tables are full of vomit" --full of matters and doctrines they have rejected. --Isa. 28:8.

How different is the condition of those whom the Lord is now specially feeding with "meat in due season," "things new and old." Of this our table it is written, "My table thou hast furnished [supplied] in the presence [sight] of mine enemies." They see our bounties and feel jealous, but refuse to accept the good things we would so freely share with them.-- Psalm 23.

Well, soon we will have their "union" or "Confederacy" (Isa. 8:12), and the bitter fruits of Union in error will speedily manifest themselves in tyranny, as during the "dark ages,"--though perhaps affairs will never grow quite so black as then.

FRANCE AND GERMANY IN OPPOSITE COURSES.


It seems peculiar that France and Germany are doing opposite things for the same reason. In France the government realizes that the Roman Catholic religious orders (Jesuits and others) are the active agents of the monarchists, who seek the overthrow of the French Republic and the restoration of the Empire. For this reason--to secure the stability of the Republic--the religious orders are forbidden longer to teach in French schools, and, cut off from this revenue, many of the monks and nuns are expected to seek other homes. The strain between the Government and the Papacy is seriously increased, and the threat is made that about the beginning of next year the Government will cease to be Roman Catholic--will cease to pay salaries to Romish priests and leave to the people the support or non-support of their clerical advisers, as is the uniform custom in these United States.

Germany, on the other hand, for similar reasons banished the Jesuits and other orders in A.D., 1872; in 1894 some orders were permitted to return, but not the Jesuits. This action was forced upon the German government in its endeavor to secure votes for naval extensions--the price of the Catholic party's vote.

Now the Emperor makes the final concession-- permitting the return of the Jesuits--in the following terms:--

"We, William, by the grace of God, Emperor of Germany and King of Prussia, order in the name of the Empire and in accordance with the decision of the Bundesrath and of the Reichstag, as follows: 'Paragraph 2 of the law of the 4th of July, 1872, concerning the order of the Society of Jesus, is abolished.' Given at the Palace of Berlin the 8th of March, 1904."

Why this concession, do we ask? It is wrung from the Protestant government of Germany as the price of the aid of the Catholic party in legislation. Furthermore, the Jesuits will be expected to work secretly against the Socialists and in favor of the Emperor. The Socialist gains in late years have been enormous, and their ultimate control of the German Parliament is feared.

EFFECTS OF PRESENT WAR FAR REACHING.


"A dispatch from India a few days ago said that the people of India are taking a keen interest in the Russo-Japanese war and that the victories of the Japanese are hailed with delight simply because they are Asiatics and the Russians are Europeans. This suggests the possibility that the day may come when the people of India will try to throw off the British yoke. In this connection it is interesting to learn that for eight years past, the Hindus have taken great interest in the development of Japan. Since the wonderful victory of the Japanese over the Chinese in 1894, some of the Hindu papers have maintained correspondents in Japan.

"The London correspondent of the Novoe Vremya, St. Petersburg, says that the people of India were [R3396 : page 213] further interested in the Japanese by the hundred-tongued rumor that in the operations against the Boxers the Japanese army proved superior in courage and in humane treatment of the conquered to all the European armies. 'From this time on,' says the correspondent, 'the whole Hindu mass began to be fascinated by Japan and to place upon her hopes of deliverance. Hindus began to travel in Japan, to reside in Japan and to study in her schools. At present the fashion among well-to-do Hindus is to send their boys to Japan, where they formerly sent them to England. On the other hand the Japanese began to travel through India and to stay months and even years in its cities. The English observed and rejoiced at the sympathy of the Hindus for the opponents of her rival in Asia. The Japs they thought would serve them in good capacity for the estrangement of the people of India from sympathizing with Russia. But recently the English were thunderstruck by some sufficiently eloquent facts. An article on Japan, written by an Englishman returning from travels there, evoked a whole mailbag of letters to him from editors of other gazettes, nabobs, rajahs, etc. They had taken him for a Japanese and expressed their delight that at least one of the future liberators of their country had arrived. Some even sent presents, and offered subscriptions for the prosecution of the secret propaganda. The whole correspondence fell into the hands of the Anglo-Indian government, which could not contain itself in its astonishment. Lord Curzon viewed the affair seriously, but smothered it in order to prevent its dissemination. But there is a plan afoot to prohibit Hindus from attending Japanese schools, and principally the University of Tokyo."-- Exchange.

THE GERMAN WAR IN SOUTH-WEST AFRICA.


Germany has on hand a small war with some of her dependent and subject peoples in South-West Africa, in a territory twice the size of her home country in Europe. She already has soldiers on the spot who are unable to hold their own, and they are to be reinforced by 2000 soldiers and 2400 horses, which are expected to arrive at the scene of action about the middle of July.

A visitor from another planet might suppose the white race most noble, most generous, to impose upon itself "the white man's burden" of ruling the darker races. Doubtless the results will bring valuable lessons to all concerned, and prepare the way for Messiah's Kingdom, which will bless the world with an unselfish reign of righteousness, which shall "bless all the families of the earth." "The desire of all nations shall come."

ORIENTAL VIEWS OF MODERN CHURCHIANITY.


WEALTHY JAPANESE ON A TOUR OF INSPECTION.

Associated Press dispatch.--"A party of wealthy Japanese have arrived to visit the principal centers of the United States, inspect rolling mills and factories of all kinds, look into the condition of the poor, examine the practical working of the laws, and ascertain, if possible, whether religion enters to any appreciable extent into the actual daily life of the people.

"One of the party, a graduate of Tokyo University, said that after most careful examination, absolutely unprejudiced and free of preconception, the Japanese had unanimously and unhesitatingly rejected the religion of the Europeans as something they did not want and did not need."

AUSTRIA-HUNGARY PREPARES FOR WAR.


Without claiming to anticipate any war near at hand, but evidently determined to be better prepared for war should it come than was Russia, Austria has decided that she should devote $75,000,000 (seventy-five million dollars) to war preparations--chiefly for naval reinforcement. As the Scriptures say, "Let all the men of war draw near. Wake up the mighty men." (Joel 3:9.) Anyway, it will increase the demand for labor--skilled and unskilled.



[R3396 : page 213]

THE BIBLE AND CRITICISM: IS THE BATTLE ENDED?

--THE PRESENT STATE OF THE QUESTION.--

MUCH is said at the present time of the overthrow of traditional beliefs, and of the necessity under which every intelligent man now lies of adapting himself to the new condition of things. But has criticism already and finally won the battle, and has the time really come to divide the spoil? That is a question which should not fail to be asked by those who are seeking to adjust their theological bearings. If the last word has indeed been spoken, and if that word has confirmed the critical verdict, the outlook is one which we can hardly contemplate with a light heart. The Bible has made our country. The best manhood and womanhood in it have been awed, warmed, changed and cheered by its words. It has repressed what we thought was baser in us, and strengthened what we thought was nobler. It has humanized us. It has laid upon us the bands of brotherhood. It has done all this because it was received as God's Book, and because we felt that conviction of its sacred character deepened the more we studied its pages. If it is to be to our children all that it has been to us and to our ancestors, we may count upon the same national strength and honor, the same quiet reserve of power, the same hatred of wrong, the same endurance for right. But, if that belief in the Bible is to pass away like a dream, there is little to reassure us in the usual lofty talk. The ancient world had its philosophies and its culture. But the multitude was dropped as a weight which no philosophy or culture was able to carry; and the best efforts could not save the cultured classes themselves from sinking down into pollution which placed the civilization of the time infinitely beneath its barbarism. [R3397 : page 214]

I am quite aware that truth has its sacrifices, and that no regard for consequences can make us keep on believing that two and two make five. But regard for consequences has its place. It enforces caution. It commends sobriety and earnestness in judgment. Is it really true that science has discredited Scripture? I know that this is confidently asserted, and that it is oftener assumed as being as much beyond argument as the Copernican theory. But I happen, also, to know that the science which is supposed to have discredited the Bible is the science of sixty years ago. I know that its indictment of the Creation history in Genesis cannot be sustained by the science of to-day; that authoritative geology has recently brought back the Flood and finds in it the great dividing line between paleolithic and neolithic man; that, in the brighter light shed by recent research, supposed differences between Scripture and science have disappeared, and left an agreement apparent which is one of the marvels of our time. The man who begins to settle his theological bearings under the belief that science has hopelessly discredited the Bible will, therefore, settle them under an unhappy delusion.

The higher criticism has worked along its own lines and has had its conclusions summarized for the reading public in a Bible Dictionary, in a couple of Encyclopaedias, and in the Polychrome Bible. In this last, which is also the most important of the critical publications, we are presented, not with the results of a discussion, but with the demands of a revolutionary junta. This thing of many colors and shreds and patches, which is really the reductio ad absurdum of critical methods, is the only Bible which is now to be left to the churches, the Sunday-schools, the educational institutions, and the homes of our country. And this is no empty threat. This "Bible in Tatters" is being handed to ministers and teachers all over the land as the new critical Revelation. It is being presented and accepted as "the truth about the Bible." It has even entered the mission field. It is easy enough to calculate the results of this movement. When the teacher's place is taken, and the pulpit is filled, by honest men who have no longer faith in a God-given Bible, how long will that faith linger among the people?

An important decision is consequently forced upon us as a nation. What is to be our attitude toward the new propaganda? Is it to be tame submission or strict inquiry? It may be asked, however, whether a choice is possible? Have not these questions been threshed out by scholars in every way competent to deal with them? Is not the discussion closed, and does not the Polychrome Bible simply gather up the now unchallenged results of a prolonged controversy? No representation could be more misleading than that. There has been, properly speaking, no controversy. The critics have evaded discussion. There are works of undoubted scholarship which have traversed their findings, exposed their unproved assumptions, and triumphantly vindicated the universal convictions of the Christian Church with regard to the Bible. But the critics have not replied to these assailants; they have ignored them. What need is there for argument when you can quench opposition by applying the extinguisher of authority?

The lay mind knows something of the Shakespeare controversy, and has a lively sense of its inherent absurdity. But ridicule has not killed that craze. It has increased in boldness, and now questions the reality of "William Shakespeare." "There is no such historical man," says one, "no individual known who bore that name." It is quite within the limits of possibility that this craze may become fashionable, and that the tradition of the Shakespearian authorship may be given to the winds. There is an infectious exhilaration in paradox; and this is not without a respectable show of literary research and seemingly forcible arguments. Let us suppose that one professor of English literature after another is won over to the new views; that by well-directed influence those chairs are all gradually captured; that the literary class is impregnated with the new notions, and that by editors and reviewers the question is regarded as closed. History would then have repeated itself. For such has been the story of the critical movement. It has won its supposed triumph, not by scholarship or argument, but by sheer audacity and adroit manoeuvering.

Yet a temporary success of that kind is not a victory. If the views maintained rest upon solid fact, then the triumph, however achieved, may be expected to endure; but if its basis is only empty theory and mere assumption, the triumph is but the illusion of a moment. How much the imagined victors of today have to fear the future the following pages will reveal even to the lay mind.

THE LIMITS OF CRITICAL ABILITY.

The critics assume that they are able to dissect with accuracy manuscripts which are made up of the work of various writers. This is, in fact, their professed business; and it is in the exercise of it that they expect to benefit mankind. They are so conscious of their power in this matter that they assume the name of "experts." By attention to the subtleties of style, and to the peculiarities which distinguish the writing of one age and of one author from that of another, they tell us that they are able to say where the words which flowed from the pen of one writer stopped, and where the words of another writer began. It is this power which has enabled them, they say, to separate Isaiah, not merely into two, but into many portions; to break up the book of Genesis--the first of their achievements, and to partition the book of Revelation --among their last. In short, they fully confess that, without this power of what I may call literary divination, their work would never have been done, and the higher criticism could never have claimed the name of a science.

To see how unquestioningly they believe in this ability of theirs, we have only to open their "Polychrome Bible," Bacon's "Genesis of Genesis," or Addis on "The Documents of the Hexateuch." Here are some of the results gathered in this fierce light which beats upon the Bible. In a single page of "Joshua," by Prof. Bennett, besides the main divisions, I find the following instances of penetrating insight. The words: "And all Israel stoned him" (Joshua 7:25) are separated from the text, and are given to a writer who is supposed to have lived about 500 B.C. These three words, "Then Jehovah relented" [R3397 : page 215] (ver. 26) are similarly selected, and are said to be the work of an author who lived about fifty years earlier. This, it will be confessed, is delicate work; but it is only an illustration of the sharp decisiveness and the firm--I might call it the sublime-- assurance which marks all the productions of this "expert" school. Bacon's work is equally astonishing. The passage, "In the day that the Lord--God made the earth and the heavens, (see Genesis 2:4) is dissected as follows. A stop is made after the word Lord, thus dividing the divine name in two. The words, "In the day that the Lord"--are assigned to a writer of 800 B.C. Those which precede are said to have been written three hundred and fifty years later; and those which follow, including the word "God," the second part of the amputated divine name, are alleged to be due to a third writer, an editor, about whose exact date there is still some difference of opinion among the "experts."

But to stop even here would give the general public no adequate conception of critical self-confidence. They are not only able to judge of what they see, but they can with equal imaginary infallibility divine what they cannot see. We used to be told that, when the Genesis narrative was separated, the critical analysis justified itself in every unbiased mind. The two accounts were said to be so beautifully complete! That superstition still lingers in many quarters; but everybody has not read Bacon's Genesis. It needs some painful but pretty patching to make up "the two narratives." There we find that "The Judean Prophetic Narrative" opens thus: "When as yet there was neither earth nor heaven but only the limitless abyss, Yahweh set fast the foundations of the earth, and raised up its pillars in the midst of the waters. And over its surface he spread out the dome of the heaven, establishing there the courses of the sun and the moon and the stars; but upon the surface of the earth beneath there was neither motion nor life: all was yet a solitude."

The reader rubs his eyes. He thought he knew the opening chapters of Genesis. He casts his eye down to the foot of the page and finds that the above is a critical make-up! Here is the note which meets his glance: "Conjecturally restored from indications in the earlier literature...and by comparison with the Babylonian cosmogonic myths." One is able to comment upon many things. This is beyond me. It must be left in its naked effrontery. Let "CONJECTURALLY RESTORED" be its only inscription and its epitaph.

It will be clear, however, that everything is based upon the assumed possession of this marvelous power to say where one writer's work ends and another's begins. Without this there would have been no discrimination of "sources;" no partition of documents, and, in a word, no higher criticism. Let this supposed ability be successfully questioned, and the painfully-piled-up edifice is not merely shaken to its foundations --it lies in irremediable ruin. But it is already demonstrated that there are, and can be, no "experts" of this sort. The assumed possession of this [R3398 : page 215] power has been put to test again and again, and the results have made these pretensions utterly incredible.

There exists, for example, a confessedly composite work in Finnish literature. Dr. Lonnrot, the collector of the Finnic Folk-poetry, formed a great epic, the Kalevala--by fusing together a large collection of those ancient songs. He bequeathed his manuscripts to the Society of Finnish Literature, so that what he borrowed and what he added are made perfectly clear. This work afforded too good a test of this imaginary critical power to be left unused. The critics were set to work; and with lamentable results. "While ignorant of the actual facts of the surviving songs," says Andrew Lang, "critical ingenuity could only give us, at many hands and from many sides, its usual widely discrepant results." And he adds: "We cannot trust it when the tests of facts, of documents, cannot be applied."

Not very long ago, an enthusiastic admirer of Thackeray (every characteristic and trick of whose pen he believed he knew) engaged in a search for papers which had not been embraced in that writer's collected works. He at last discovered a number in some early volumes of Punch. He had no doubt whatever as to the authorship. The mark of the master hand was everywhere; and he was certain that, to any man who knew Thackeray's style, doubt was impossible. Arrangements were made for the re-issue of the newly-discovered writings in a leading literary organ in America. Some of the papers had already appeared, when a communication was received from the Punch office, saying that the treasurer's books made it plain that the articles were not Thackeray's. The re-publication was immediately stopped, and the editor retired from an ignominious position with as much grace as the circumstances permitted. The history of literature abounds with such facts. Critics, who can be trusted to divine the authorship of documents, have never existed. They do not exist now: and a "science" built upon that assumption rests upon what is considerably less substantial than air. I say nothing of the professed ability to furnish verbatim copies of manuscripts which no man has ever seen. I believe that the records of the higher criticism contain the only example of such a pretension outside the annals of a lunatic asylum.--Rev. John Urquhart, Scotland.



[R3398 : page 215]

HEATHENS IN HEAVEN.

AT Chester Heights camp meeting Dr. Johnson [Methodist, of Philadelphia] on Thursday preached a notable sermon, in which he said: "There will be all denominations and kinds of people in heaven--even the heathen! All that is necessary to be done is to follow the true light."

We call the attention of our esteemed contemporaries to the fact that the above is true Pauline doctrine, readily provable by his epistle to the Romans. If that was sound doctrine for the Jews and converts at Rome it ought to be good, practical doctrine for us Americans of the present time. If the heathen has within himself a law of righteousness, revealed from the Creator, whereby they accuse and excuse one another, and so [R3398 : page 216] living up to their truest light are admissible to heaven, why may not a man of this age, living up to the light of the gospel revealed in the life of Jesus have an equal chance for salvation and eternal life?--Atlanta Constitution.


***

It is remarkable that so many people of ordinary mental discernment so completely misunderstand the Apostle Paul's argument above referred to.-- Romans 2:15.

What is the gist of the Apostle's logic? He was arguing with Jews who claimed that because God made a Law Covenant with their nation only, therefore they were acceptable to God and other peoples were not. The Apostle seeks to break up all such self-assurance, and to convince them that a Jew needs God's mercy in Christ the same as other nationalities. His argument is that their being the recipients of the Law Covenant could bring them no blessing (no hope for everlasting life) unless they could keep that Law Covenant perfectly. This they did not claim to be able to do. As the Apostle again declares, "By the deeds of the Law (Covenant) shall no flesh be justified before God."

The Apostle pursues the argument, and supposes that they would claim that, while none could keep the Law perfectly, they kept it much more nearly, much more fully than the heathen.

The Apostle challenges that claim, and argues that some heathen people could properly claim to be doing the best they knew how and a Jew could claim no more. He shows that this is the case by saying that the heathen sometimes try to excuse themselves (thus acknowledging wrong-doing) and sometimes to accuse themselves (again acknowledging wrong-doing). What does this prove? asks the Apostle. It proves that while the Jew had considerable light of conscience and the written Law, the heathen, though not having the latter, had the former.

The Apostle nowhere in the argument claims that the Jews were justified by the Law, nor that the heathen were justified by their light of conscience. All were imperfect, and hence unworthy of everlasting life under the divine arrangement. The heathen, with his light of conscience ONLY, could not dispute this. The Jew, with his additional light from the written Law, having all the more enlightenment should all the more realize his condemnation.

The Apostle's argument with the Jews then resolves itself into this statement: You are not justified to life because God gave you the Law any more than are the heathen to whom he never gave any special favors. Mark the continuation of the argument (Rom. 3:9), "What then, Are we [Jews] better than they [the heathen]? No; in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin. As it is written, "There is none righteous, no not one," etc.

After quoting the Scriptural summing up of the general depravity of mankind down to verse 18, the Apostle adds:--

"Now we know that what things soever the Law saith it saith to them that are under the Law: that EVERY MOUTH MAY BE STOPPED and all the world may become [or realize that they are] GUILTY before God. Therefore by the deeds of the Law shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the Law is the knowledge of sin."--Vss. 19,20.

Thus the Apostle proves to his Jewish hearers that all are sinners (Jews and Gentiles), and that all need salvation, which can be procured only through Jesus,--"through faith in his blood"--faith in his atonement sacrifice. Where, then, is the argument for the fitness of the heathen for heaven? Where does the logical Apostle Paul so teach? When we remember that the Apostle Peter declared that David the prophet, one of the most prominent Jews, did not go to heaven (Acts 2:34), it would, indeed, have astonished us if we had found the Apostle Paul teaching that the heathen had passports. We have only to remember our Lord's words to the effect that up to his time "no man hath ascended up to heaven."-- John 3:13.

What a peculiar place some people must fancy heaven to be, anyway: full of infants, idiots and heathens, with an occasional "saint" from civilized lands. Thank God for the light upon his Word which frees us from such absurdities.

Well, where are the heathen, idiots, etc., if not in heaven? Should they be in torment because ignorant or non compos mentis? By no means. They are under the curse or sentence of death,--they are dead, in the great prison-house, the tomb,--in sheol,--in [R3399 : page 216] hades--the very place in which Peter declared David to be. But Christ has died for all of Adam's race, and the blessing of an opportunity or trial for life shall yet be granted to all--by Jesus as King on account of his redemptive work, his death for our sins.

The present work, the work of this Gospel age, is to gather from among men "a Royal Priesthood, a holy nation, a people for a purpose." This offer went first to natural Israel, but after a time was thrown open to Gentiles as well,--"the middle wall of partition being broken down." It was this that the Jews denied --that after God's favors had been to their nation only for over 1600 years outsiders were granted just the same privilege as they to become "Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise." (Gal. 3:29.) [R3399 : page 217] It was this that the Apostle combated, and showed that Jew and Gentile could become sons of God and joint-heirs with Christ--not by the Law Covenant, nor by heathen ignorance, but by faith in the only name given under heaven and among men whereby we must be saved.--Acts 4:12.



[R3399 : page 217]

THE DOWNWARD COURSE OF SIN.
--I KINGS 16:23-33.--JULY 31.--

Golden Text:--"Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people."--Prov. 14:34

A PREVIOUS lesson showed us the start of the ten-tribe kingdom of Israel under Jeroboam as a split-off from the king of Judah. We noted Jeroboam's changes of the religious customs, so as the more effectually to separate the two peoples and thus to establish himself in power. We notice that although at first the holy places he established and the images he set up were to represent the true God, nevertheless these symbols led the people more and more to the general idolatry of the surrounding heathen nations. Jeroboam reigned twenty-two years, and was succeeded by his son Nadab, who reigned only two years and was assassinated. The assassin, a general named Baasha, became king and reigned twenty-four years, continuing in the course of Jeroboam and warring with the king of Judah. He was succeeded by his son Elah, who in turn was assassinated, after two years' reign, by Zimri, one of his generals. The latter ruled for only a week and suicided, chagrined that he did not have the support of his army. A civil war ensued, as the result of which Omri came to the throne, as stated in the first verse of our lesson.

Omri was evidently a shrewd king, and unscrupulous respecting the divine will and the covenant obligations of the nation to Jehovah. He followed the course of Jeroboam in seeking to alienate the people from the true religion, and went still further in the matter of introducing idolatry and licentious practices connected therewith. He was, nevertheless, what would be termed a successful king from the worldly standpoint: he strengthened his hold upon the people by the building of a new capital city, Samaria, and was generally reputed amongst the outside nations as a powerful king. Had his executive abilities been combined with reverence for the Lord and a consecration to do his will, Omri would have been a great ruler in the true sense of the word. But, instead, he led Israel into what our lesson terms displeasing "vanities"--vain religious ceremonies, that not only amounted to nothing good, but on the contrary were provocative of greater evils.

"HE SLEPT WITH HIS FATHERS."

Omri died after eight years' reign, the record being that "he slept with his fathers." This was the common form of expression in noting the death of all prominent people, whether good or bad. The Grecian theory, that when people die they become more alive than ever before, had not yet been introduced. The Israelites held the matter in its true and simple form--that death is a cessation of being, but that God had intimated a future re-living by a resurrection. In view of this hope those who died were figuratively spoken of as falling asleep--to await the resurrection morning. Abraham slept with his fathers as did Omri; and so the Scriptures teach that, when the awakening time shall come at the Second Advent of the Redeemer, all that are in their graves shall hear the voice of the Son of Man and shall come forth--those approved of God and those disapproved of him, the just and the unjust. Omri will evidently be amongst the latter class, of whom the Prophet declares that they shall come forth to "shame and lasting contempt." (Dan. 12:2.) Abraham as evidently belongs to the former class, and will be amongst those who will come forth unto the resurrection of life.

Abraham's trial is past, and we have the testimony that he pleased God. Omri, on the contrary, has the record that God was not pleased with him; but since Christ has redeemed all, Omri is to have a full and impartial knowledge of God's grace that he may thereby be tested and proven--whether, with a clear knowledge of the divine character and will, he will accept the opportunity and come into harmony with the Lord, and during the Millennial age will by obedience gain life everlasting or whether he will, with full light, still choose an evil way. If so, "the end of that way is death"--the Second Death--extinction. The measure of Omri's knowledge of right and his perversion of that knowledge will proportionately measure disadvantage to him when he comes to trial during the Millennial age; and so it is with every human being. In proportion as right and conscience are obeyed, character for good is formed that some day will be helpful; and in proportion as sin and wilfulness in wrong doing have control, in that same proportion will character be undermined and the course of repentance and reformation in the future be difficult.

JEZEBEL AND HER HUSBAND.

Omri was succeeded in his kingdom by his son Ahab, the notorious. He also was an able man, skilled in state-craft and unscrupulous. He was helped along in the downward way of his father and predecessors by marrying the daughter of the king of Tyre, Jezebel, who in the Scriptures is noted as a desperate character, and in the book of Revelation is used to symbolize the great mystery of iniquity which persecuted spiritual Israel during the dark ages. Jezebel's father was a priest of Baal, who murdered his father, the king of Tyre, and then succeeded him. [R3399 : page 218] Thus Jezebel inherited in a natural way her perverse and idolatrous disposition, and in marrying her Ahab secured an able accomplice in evil. Indeed, the woman may be said to have been the prime mover and instigator of much of the evil later developed in that kingdom.

Ahab built a temple to Baal at Samaria, and established in it an altar where sacrificing was done. Four hundred and fifty priests of Baal attended the altar and services, clothed in special priestly vestments. Thus was the true Temple at Jerusalem, the true altar of God, and the true priesthood appointed of God in connection with the same, counterfeited by Ahab at the instigation of Jezebel. Similarly we have in nominal Spiritual Israel a great counterfeit system misrepresenting the true on a gorgeous scale. We shall say more along this line in succeeding lessons.

The Golden Text is the pith of this lesson, illustrated on all the pages of history. The kingdoms of this world are not the kingdoms of our Lord--he is not their ruler; nevertheless the general principle expressed in the Golden Text prevails. In proportion as any nation conforms to principles of righteousness, justice, in that same proportion the nation is exalted; while in proportion to the prevalence of sin in any nation will be its tendency to downwardness in every respect.

When we look about us in the world and perceive that national policies are shaped by absolute selfishness, and that the rulers amongst men are very generally consecrated to doing their own wills so far as possible, we may well be astonished to see to what extent the influence of the righteous, the salt of the earth, exercises a preservative effect upon them. So far from wondering why the kings of earth are not better than they are, we are inclined to wonder that the laws and regulations of Christendom are anything like as good as they are. Undoubtedly there is in the great majority of the human family, at the bottom of their hearts, a respect for righteousness and truth and goodness; and were it not that this is overbalanced at the present time by prevalent selfishness and evil influence from every quarter, we might have hope for such reforms as many seem to expect, but which the Scriptures do not warrant us in expecting. Our hope, on the contrary, is that the Lord, according to promise, will establish his own Kingdom in power, superhuman power; that the great King Immanuel will subdue all things unto himself; that thus released from present bonds of selfishness, evil surroundings and Satanic deceptions, the great majority of mankind will choose righteousness--choose obedience to the Lord--that their experiences under the blessings of the Kingdom shall, in the majority of cases, fix character in accord with the principles of righteousness.

All of the Lord's people, in proportion as they see the downward and degrading influence of sin, become more and more strong in their determination to uphold righteousness in their every thought, word and act, and to throw their influence upon that side of every question in every appropriate manner. In so doing they will be seeking first, primarily, the Kingdom of God and its righteousness, and be in process of training for the great privileges of the Kingdom time, that they may be associated with the Lord in the bestowment of the blessings of that Millennial Kingdom upon all the families of the earth.



[R3400 : page 218]

"HE CARETH FOR YOU."
--I KINGS 17:1-16.--AUG. 7--

DURING the period of Ahab's prosperity in his wicked course, leading the people of Israel further than ever into idolatry, the Lord sent him and the whole nation a rebuke and chastisement through Elijah the prophet. In order to thoroughly appreciate the Lord's interposition in the affairs of Israel--the sending of famines, etc.--we must remember that he entered into a special covenant with that nation at Mount Sinai when the Law was given them. According to that covenant, the obedience of the nation to the Lord guaranteed it earthly blessing and prosperity, while disobedience, idolatry, etc., insured it tribulation, chastisement, famine, etc. It is necessary to remember this special relationship of Israel to God, that we be not confused in supposing that every famine in the world's history, every pestilence, every war, etc., has been similarly of special divine imposition in chastisement, etc. God's relationship to that one nation was peculiar, as expressed by the Prophet, "You only have I known [recognized] of all the families of the earth."--Amos 3:2.

THE DROUTH PROPHESIED

Elijah went to the capital city, Samaria, and presented himself in the presence of the king as the Lord's mouthpiece, as expressed in the first verse of our lesson by the words, "before whom I stand"--or whose representative I am. The announcement was respecting the dearth of rain, which, to people in that part of the world, meant famine and death; and this dearth of rain and dew was to last for years. The Lord might have withheld rain without using Elijah as his mouthpiece in the matter, but in that event the lesson would have been measurably lost upon the people. By sending the message in advance of the drouth it would be evident to Ahab and to all who should ever come to know of the circumstances that the drouth was a judgment from the Lord, a punishment for sin. The drouth and the consequent famine lasted three and a half years, and it is difficult to imagine how the people could have subsisted for that length of time had no rain whatever fallen, as would seem to be implied by the language of the Prophet. However, it is remarked that of the four [R3400 : page 219] Hebrew words used to represent rain, the one here used is the one which is generally understood and translated to mean the early rain, the principal rain, which usually came in the fall of the year.

After the delivery of his message the Lord directed his Prophet to go eastward beyond the river Jordan to a brook which cannot now be accurately located. The Prophet was to hide himself--to keep his identity secret, his whereabouts unknown to the king. This was probably for two reasons: (1) To preserve him from special persecution as the one who had brought the trouble, and the one who, if he would, could remove it. (2) The inability of the king to find the Prophet, whose word alone could, under the Lord's arrangement, revoke the drouth and famine, should cause the king and the people to appreciate the matter as a judgment of the Lord and lead them to look to the Lord for relief from their chastisements.

RAVENS GOD'S MESSENGERS.

It is estimated that the Prophet spent about a year in the vicinity of the brook Cherith--miraculously supplied with food by ravens and with water from the brook until it dried up. There have been various speculations respecting these "ravens"--whether or not the word raven is here used in a figurative sense to represent various assistances, or whether ravens literally fed the Prophet. It is a matter of fact that the highland country to the east of the Jordan is just such a place as the ravens usually inhabit, and that bird is noted as "the most highly developed of all birds, quick-sighted, sagacious and bold." In defence of the thought that the Prophet was supplied by ravens, just as the account reads, the following stories are told as illustrating not only the sagacity of this bird and its natural disposition, but also as illustrating the Lord's providences in respect to other persons than Elijah.

A missionary writes to the S.S. Times respecting ravens that they had frequently snatched food from his children while they were eating. He tells the following story: "Our nurse one day prepared a fowl to be grilled, and, standing in the doorway, plate in hand, called the cook to come for the fowl. When the man came the nurse discovered that her plate was empty. A kite or crow had carried away the fowl without her knowledge." The same journal relates a story of an English nobleman, imprisoned and nearly starved, fed by a cat which "appeared at the window grating every day with a pigeon from a neighboring dovecote, and dropped it there for his benefit; this act was repeated day by day during his imprisonment." Stanley's History of Birds tells of an injured Newfoundland dog which was visited at his kennel constantly by a pet raven that brought him bones.

The child of God will have no difficulty whatever in accepting the fact that our heavenly Father was quite able to use the ravens in supplying the needs of his servant. The lesson to the Lord's people in this connection is expressed in the inspired words, "He careth for you" (I Pet. 5:7), "My God shall supply all your needs." (Phil. 4:19.) The Lord did not supply Elijah with luxuries, but with the absolute necessities. And so it may be at times with us. We may not have the superfluity and delicacies of the king upon our tables nor in our wardrobes, yet it may be well with us because of our relationship with the Lord, our realization that we are his servants and that he careth for us, and is making trials and disciplines of present experiences to work out for us much advantage every way for the future, as well as rest and peace of heart for the present. Let us remember in this connection the words of the Apostle, "Be content with such things as ye have." (Heb. 13:5.) We would not be understood as meaning that we should not note and avail ourselves of any providential doors that the Lord might open before us for a betterment of our condition, but we would impress the thought that contentment with godliness is great gain, and should always be the portion of the Lord's faithful people, as expressed by the poet, "Content whatever lot I see, since 'tis my God that leadeth me."

HEATHEN FAITH HONORED.

Those who neglect thus to look for the Lord's leading and guidance in their affairs are not only missing a blessing to their hearts in the present time, but are failing to be prepared for the glorious things which the Lord has in reservation for his people in the future. The Lord could have continued the miracle wrought in Elijah's case--supplying the water and the food indefinitely had he so chosen --but in due time he permitted the drying up of the brook and sent his servant elsewhere, and the facts show and the words of our Lord Jesus prove that he was specially sent to the other location in the interest of a poor widow. This widow lived at Zarephath near the sea coast, in about the same locality as the Syrophenician woman whose daughter our Lord healed. Zarephath was outside the kingdom of Israel, and the widow was evidently not an Israelite, but a godly Gentile--like the Syrophenician woman, of greater faith than many in Israel. Our Lord's miracle, giving some of the crumbs of divine favor to the "dogs," Gentiles, indicates to us the Lord's appreciation of well-intentioned people outside of Israel, although under his covenant with that nation they were considered strangers, aliens, foreigners from God and not heirs of the promise made to the children of Abraham.

The widow to whom Elijah was sent had a little son, and the famine, which was heavy upon the land of Israel, naturally extended also to the land of Sidon, which lay along the Mediterranean seacoast. Doubtless the wealthy, both in the land of Israel and in the land of Sidon, could procure the necessities of life, and the burden doubtless fell specially upon the very poor. The widow in question was gathering some firewood when the Prophet met her and requested a little water. The streams of that vicinity from the mountains of Lebanon had evidently not completely [R3400 : page 220] dried up, as had the brook from which the Prophet had just come, and the widow was able to supply him refreshment; but when he asked her for bread she was compelled to tell him the truth, that she was nearly as poor as himself--that the earthen pot in which she kept her store of meal (called in our text a barrel) was nearly empty, and that she was just preparing to cook the last of it, expecting thereafter that herself and her child would die of famine. The Prophet suggested that she first of all make a little cake for him, and that afterward he would guarantee as a Prophet of the Lord that her meal should not decrease nor her bottle of oil diminish until the Lord would send rain upon the earth, which would break the famine. It required great faith on the woman's part to accept this statement and give to the Prophet of her little store of food. No wonder the Lord was pleased to bless such an one-- pleased to send his servant to her, though in going to her he passed by many widows in Israel, as our Lord indicates. No wonder her faith is mentioned as a memorial of her.

THE LORD LOVETH THE CHEERFUL GIVER.

There are several lessons in this connection for the Lord's people: First, the spirit of generosity--readiness to give to those who are worthy and are in need. We are not attempting to hold up the case as one having a parallel every day. We are to remember, on the contrary, the famine stress of the times, for, had it been otherwise, quite probably the woman would have been justified in asking the Prophet why he did not labor for his own food instead of asking to share her bite. It was, however, a time of distress, of general lack of employment, etc., and the woman showed forth a noble sentiment of heart. Neither would we advise that the word of every stranger be taken so implicitly as this widow accepted the Prophet's word. Nevertheless, faith in humanity and faith in God and generosity [R3401 : page 220] of heart--willingness to divide our little all with those whom we believe to be the Lord's people and in need--will surely today as then bring a divine blessing, and we hold that it is better to err on the generous side than the reverse. Our heavenly Father is generous, giving continually of his substance to us all, and we are exhorted to be like unto our Father in heaven--kind even to the unthankful--generous to those who are not generous to us. Whoever cultivates this spirit cultivates the God-like quality, and thus is drawn nearer to the Lord and closely into fellowship with him, and is prepared for greater blessings to come.

It is estimated that Elijah's stay at the home of the widow, and their mutual participation in her little store of meal and oil, lasted about two to two and a half years. The Lord continually worked a miracle for their sustenance, and he is equally able to work such a miracle today in our interest if in his judgment it were necessary. But such miracles are unnecessary today and under present conditions, and should not be expected. Rather the hearts of the Lord's people should look for divine interposition in their interests as New Creatures in Christ Jesus. How often has the Lord used figurative ravens and wolves to bring to his children needed spiritual nourishment! How often have the trials and difficulties and persecutions of the evil one and his blinded followers been overruled of the Lord for good to those who trust in his name. This thought is expressed by the Psalmist in that beautiful twenty-third psalm, in which he represents the Lord's consecrated ones as his sheep, led by green pastures and still waters: then changing the figure he says: "Thou preparest for me a table in the presence of mine enemies --my cup [of joy, spiritual refreshment] runneth over."

The Prophet's experience at Zarephath also represents spiritual experiences of the Lord's people today. How often has the Lord provided his people with spiritual refreshments, encouragements, etc., through those who are not his children! As such experiences bring blessings to the Lord's people, they also bring blessings to those who are used to minister them, and thus the same lessons of experience today are continually ours as they were those of the Prophet twenty-five centuries ago. The lesson for us is the Lord's care and the propriety of confidence in him, and the realization that he is able to use any means he may desire in sending us his favors.



[R3401 : page 220]

COURAGEOUS AND TIMID SERVANTS OF GOD.
--I KINGS 18:1-16.--AUGUST 14.--

"I thy servant fear the Lord from my youth."

IN the third year of Elijah's sojourn at Zarephath--the fourth year without rain--really three and a half years after Elijah's pronouncement to King Ahab (Luke 4:25; James 5:17)--the Lord sent his Prophet back into the land of Israel to Ahab. A less courageous man than Elijah might have hesitated, for he doubtless had knowledge of the fact that the king had instituted a search for him in every direction, probably with the intention of securing his revocation respecting the cessation of rain--of having him break the spell upon the weather and bringing rain--or to put him to death in the event he did not do so, or both. Elijah seems to have been a most courageous servant of the Lord in executing whatever commands he received from the great King, and in the present instance he would be encouraged with the thought that his mission to Ahab would be a most acceptable one, since the Lord had assured him that the due time had come for the sending of rain. Doubtless the Prophet, too, as a lover of humanity and particularly of his nation, would have both a humane and appropriate sentiment that he would be pleased to serve in such a manner.

The famine, which was over all the land of Israel, was [R3401 : page 221] keenly felt at the capital city, Samaria. The king was finally aroused to an appreciation of the fact that something must be done or soon all the cattle would die of thirst. Apparently he was more solicitous for his beasts than for the poor of the people. The dying of his herds and the dying of his horses and mules would impair his power and dignity as a king as well as his wealth. Hence the proposition to seek for springs or brooks not yet dried up, where water could be found for the king's beasts. He sent the chief servant of his palace, one in whom he had absolute confidence, in one direction, while he himself, probably with a good retinue of servants, etc., went in another direction.

OBADIAH, THE TIMID SERVANT.

Obadiah, who was intrusted with this service, we are informed, was a true worshiper of the Lord--not only so, but one who at the risk of his own life had protected the lives of a hundred of the prophets of the Lord on an occasion when the Queen, Jezebel, had ordered the slaughter of all such. Obadiah, therefore, should be reckoned not only as a true and noble, but also as a courageous servant of God in some respects, and yet we note a wide difference between his disposition and courage and that of Elijah. That he maintained his position in the king's family not only implies that his loyalty to the Lord made him a trusted and useful man in the king's service, but it implies also that in a household so given up to idolatry, he must have in large measure put his light under a bushel and avoided the advocacy of the Truth, else he never would have been acceptable and retained his position. We may be sure that the king, and specially the queen, never knew that their chief servant had negatived the commanded death of one hundred prophets.

Comparing the characters of these two servants of the Lord, Elijah and Obadiah, we can find items to commend in both, but especially in Elijah. It is not for us to condemn Obadiah, and, indeed, we have no doubt that the Lord gave him in his life-time a blessing or reward for his service to his cause, and that he will give him a still further blessing and reward in the future. But if we would have before our minds the proper example to be followed, the proper courage to be exercised, our pattern would be Elijah, whose loyalty to God was so thoroughly attested on every possible occasion. There are Christians of both of these types today, but Elijah stands for or represents the little flock with whom the Lord is specially pleased and who will with the Redeemer constitute the Kingdom class by and by. We rejoice also with the believers, the partially consecrated ones, represented by Obadiah, yet we could sincerely wish for them the blessing of greater zeal in the Lord's service--less care for the friendship of those who are God's enemies and greater boldness in the advocacy of the Lord's cause and in proclaiming themselves in every proper manner his servants. We fear for such that being ashamed of the Lord to some extent, preferring advantages as respects the present life--to be in a prominent position, in good society, and surrounded by luxury maintained at the expense of a failure to properly confess the Lord--will mean to such eventually the loss of the great prize for which we are called to run in this present life. As already intimated, our expectation would be that such a class would eventually get a blessing from the Lord and a good position; but such a class surely, unless they turn about and become more courageous, will lose the great prize for which we have been called to run--joint-heirship with God's dear Son in the Kingdom.

ELIJAH, THE COURAGEOUS.

While en route in quest of the springs, etc., Obadiah met Elijah and at once recognized him as the special servant of the Lord and prostrated himself at his feet, saying, "Is it thou, my lord, Elijah?" and he answered, "It is I. Go tell thy lord Ahab that I am here." Immediately Obadiah's fear and caution came upon him as he thought of how Ahab would be anxious to find Elijah, and he surmised that Elijah would in some manner disappear during his absence and that in consequence the king's anger would be against his servant Obadiah, believing that he had deceived him in the matter or because he had not insisted on bringing Elijah as a captive to the king, knowing that he was searching for him. He feared that Elijah was thus inclined to do him injury, and related to the prophet that he was a servant of the true God and not an idolater, and that he had protected one hundred young men of the school of the prophets, delivering them from death because of reverence for the Lord. Elijah assured him that this was not his intention, and that he would without question meet Ahab. His word was believed and the meeting of the king and the Prophet resulted.

When the king arrived where Elijah was he saluted the latter in a bold manner, implying that all the trouble that had come upon the nation was properly chargeable to him, and that he should feel guilty of it. The king ignored the Lord's hand in the matter and ignored his own responsibility. He was a very different type of man from either of the others discussed in this lesson. Elijah was courageous for the Lord and for the Truth; Obadiah was less courageous and in some respects weak-kneed-- lacking many of the qualities approved of the Lord; but Ahab was bold and defiant of the Lord and his Prophet, and after all the experiences through which himself and his nation had passed for three and a half years, his salutation to Elijah was, "Art thou he that troubleth Israel?" Elijah met him on his own ground exactly and replied, No, it was the king who troubled Israel through the institution of idolatry. The king's boldness appears to have wilted in the presence of the Prophet's lance-like thrust of the Truth, and the latter, assuming the place of command as the Lord's representative, ordered the gathering of the chiefest of the people of Israel from every quarter and with them all of the prophets of Baal, to meet at Mount Carmel. This evidently was a challenge as between the forces of Baal, represented [R3402 : page 222] by the king and government and all the heads of the ten tribes and all the prophets of Baal, and the one Prophet representing Jehovah.

Evidently King Ahab was considerably humbled by the experiences through which he had passed, and was now hopeful that at last the difficulties were to reach a conclusion. Doubtless the Prophet had told him that this was his mission, to bring blessings and refreshment through rain. At all events, there seems to have been no parley on the king's part, but a prompt compliance with the Prophet's demands.

The principal lesson we see in this narrative is that of character and positiveness on the part of those who profess to be the Lord's people. It is not sufficient that we should not sympathize with Ahab's course of violence and opposition to the Lord and subserviency to his wife Jezebel, the head and leader of the idolatrous worship. It is not sufficient for us, either, to copy after Obadiah's course and to serve and fear the Lord in secret, even though in secret also we strive to do good to some of the Lord's people. Obadiah's course is very much more honorable than that of Ahab, but still it is not sufficient. We all want to copy the general courage and loyalty of Elijah, and in a subsequent lesson we shall see that he is particularly a type of all the Lord's favored ones of this Gospel age.



[R3402 : page 222]

ENCOURAGING WORDS FROM FAITHFUL WORKERS.

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:

I write to tell you an incident which lately took place and which shows the DAWNS are exercising more influence than appears on the surface. At one of our meetings a short time ago a lady came who had never before been amongst us. She told us she was a member of a missionary society in connection with the Baptist Church. At a recent meeting she had asked the opinion of the other ladies present as to the future state of the heathen who had died without believing in Christ. All admitted that they had at one time believed they were lost, but now believed that in some way God would give them a future opportunity. On inquiring further as to what had caused them to change their opinions they said it was through reading Volume I, MILLENNIAL DAWN. There were seventeen ladies present.

Yours in the one Faith, W. HOPE HAY, Pilgrim.


DEAR BRETHREN:

I received "The New Creation" a short time ago and have read it over half through now. It is very precious indeed. I am sure it is just what I need, as well as all who "see eye to eye" in Zion. It has answered and settled a number of questions for me that I have been bothered about. I thank God for the rich spiritual food he is giving me and others in the present time, and that the world's supply is coming soon. It is my desire, and I believe the Lord's will, that I should enter the Colporteur work.

Your brother in Christ,
JOHN W. TREMAIN, JR.--Washington.


DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:

You will doubtless have so many letters of thankful appreciation for Vol. 6 that my poor words will not be needed. Nevertheless, I want to thank you for it. Surely the Lord's hand directed the pen that wrote it, for it is truly "meat in due season," not only to individuals but also to the Churches of God. It will help many of the separated brethren in different communities to see more nearly "eye to eye," I believe, and thus we shall all be more closely knit together in the "unity of the faith in the bonds of peace." The book will also enable you to use more time for further study of the divine Word, and less in replying to perplexing questions from the brethren.

I finished the reading Sunday evening about eight o'clock. Oh, for that blessed day when with our resurrection bodies we can love and praise him as we ought! With much Christian love to yourself and all the other dear friends at the Bible House, I remain as ever,

Yours in the hope of "the First Resurrection,"
GERTRUDE W. SEIBERT,--Pennsylvania.


DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:

I am sending you five dollars for the Tract Fund-- the money that I received for a pair of gold bracelets. I don't think that I could use it in a better way than to give it to the dear Lord, to be used in his service.

I am studying his plan and I want to know more and more day by day of his precious Truth. I can fully appreciate what he has done for me, and all I am and have is consecrated to him. I am only twelve years old, but I know that he will take me under his care.

This small offering may help some in the Pilgrim service. With love,

Your little sister in the Lord,
A.V.B.,--New Jersey.


DEAR MR. RUSSELL:

Have great pleasure in thanking you for sending along the things asked for, especially the favor of receiving the 6th volume, "The New Creation." I have read it right through while most round here are hanging their tongues out, as it were, to get a taste, and the privilege is still in anticipation.

If commendation is allowable, should say that this your last labor of love will prove a most effective thirst quencher. The tenth chapter particularly interested me and think that you have dealt beautifully with the subjects in the entire book. God bless and keep you and all workers in Allegheny for the strengthening of the brethren is my earnest prayer.

Yours very sincerely,
ALEX. MILES,--England.


DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:

To the glory of God and his dear Son be it known to the participators in this harvest work for their encouragement that also here, far north in Norway, we have received the illuminating beams from the Sun of Righteousness through his Word by the instrumentality of the books MILLENNIAL DAWN. We have now indeed tasted the sweet influence of a pure doctrine in Christ. Heartily and intelligently five of us (seven were present) partook of the emblems representing our Lord's broken body and considered the cost with our privileges [R3402 : page 223] as members to suffer with him and for each other.

Receive this as an expression of our praise to the Lord that we have received fruits from your ardent labor, love and defense for pure doctrine, in this evil day.
THE CONGREGATION IN T__________, Norway.


DEAR SIR AND BRO.:

The sequel to the Eaton-Russell Debates, which you so kindly sent me, is carefully read, and has indeed proved "meat in due season" to me. Having been an active worker in Church and Sunday-school work, a sample copy of the WATCH TOWER, February edition, 1901, was handed me for examination, which I read in part and then threw away as poisonous stuff, contrary to Christian principles and detrimental to the Church. But thinking myself cowardly not to read it, I picked it up again and read it carefully, determined to give my decision when through. The themes being backed by so many Bible quotations, present phenomena and my own Christian experience, with so many blighted hopes for the future--eternity appearing at times synonymous with misery and woe to the majority--my decision was slow in coming, and the opposite of what I thought. I handed the same copy to Prof. W__________ and told him of my experience with it. He approved of its Scriptural and logical reasoning. Brighter hopes began to animate my soul. I subscribed and my "poison" became a "light to my feet." But it cost me dearly. Naturally I told the "good news" to the most conscientious of the brethren. They "knew it all," and, of course, my sails were turned against the current. My church standing was threatened; they pitied me and denounced you. Finally I was considered on the verge of infidelity, and by some declared a free thinker. I pitied them, for I could appreciate their fears, but they could not or would not understand me. Feeling that I could do no good in the Church, I left it. I am persuaded that some are meditating, and I would be obliged if you would send me more copies of the Sequel and any other literature you deem fit.

Fraternally yours,
G. S.,--Pennsylvania.


PASTOR C. T. RUSSELL:

Dear Sir,--I read your sermons weekly; that is, I cut them out and read them carefully. Often it takes me two or three days to read and meditate on them. I am and always have been a Bible reader. Am middle aged. Always have been in business, taking up all my evenings and Sundays. Never having the pleasure of hearing you or seeing you...I have felt it my duty to tell you how much your sermons have done for me, in giving me great spiritual light, bringing me nearer to my Maker and Master. I could never tell you how much inward joy and gladness a spiritual truth brings to my whole being, and I find so many in your discourses on any subject.

Your explanations of the Scriptures are delightful to my heart and mind. I feel it would be almost theft to receive so much from you and not tell you or acknowledge to you with heartfelt thankfulness how much spiritual food I am receiving daily from you. With the spirit of prayer and supplication I pray our Father and his dear Son to perfect you in all things.

Pray the Father that he will give me more and more light, that I may love him and his dear Son more and more. Pray for me. The Father and Son will know whom you are praying for.
__________, Pittsburgh, Pa.


DEAR UNCLE:

I know that you will be glad to learn that I have consecrated my all to the Lord on my twenty-fourth birthday, June 12th. Believing on him as my Savior, having faith in his promises, knowing his grace will be sufficient in all times of trials, and truly repenting of my sins, I made my covenant with him and now wish to do only that which is his pleasure. I feel that he has already strengthened me and I rejoice to have been privileged to come and join in the grand forming of the "little stone" out of the mountain. I have almost finished the first volume of DAWN, and it is so grand! I think I will go over it again before taking up the second.

I feel that the Convention here was such a help to me, and I praise the Lord that he has led me to a knowledge of my need of a Savior, and I will by his grace spend the remaining years of life for him.

I would ask an interest in your prayers and in those of all the Bible House friends, that I may grow in grace and patience and love. I am glad to say that I have received much contentment of heart already and I rejoice to be one of the brothers.

May the Lord abundantly bless and comfort you is my prayer.

With love, your nephew,
JOS. R. LAND,--California.


DEAR FRIENDS:

I greatly desire again to join in the blessed work of distributing tracts from house to house this summer. I believe this service has been the channel of bringing quite a few into the light of Present Truth.

We heard a few days ago of some results of our last year's service, in which a tract placed under a door was the means of leading a man and his wife to send to the TOWER office for five volumes of DAWN. And the fact that they were interested came to us in a very peculiar way.

One day last week a neighbor of ours--a woman of the world--asked Sister C. for some of the tracts that we give away. Sr. C. inquired for what purpose she wished them. She replied that she was going out calling, and desired to take some to a friend. Sr. C. then inquired if her friend was religiously inclined, and learning that she and her husband were both religious people, gave the neighbor three or four tracts for them.

When the tracts were handed the lady she said: "Why, we have five volumes of MILLENNIAL DAWN, and there [R3403 : page 223] are no books in the world like them! They are just what we need!" This so surprised and delighted our neighbor --to think that she had found some who held to our belief--that she could hardly wait until she reached home to tell us about it. "Why," she said, "I invited them right over to your house, and told them that a man (meaning Bro. Samson) was to be at your house, and that they should come out to the meetings."

This incident has encouraged us that our labors are not in vain in the Lord; and another thing it has demonstrated to me--that the Lord uses various agents in gathering together his elect.

I have been myself greatly blessed giving out the healthful food. May the dear Lord grant us grace to continue in his service to the end.
JOS. COOCH,--Indiana.



Prev Top of Page Next