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. XXVIIJULY 1No. 13
A.D., 1906--A.M., 6034


CONTENTS.

Views from the Watch Tower195
The Wail of the Russian Peasant Woman195
Drifting to Socialism195
Anger, Hatred, Strife, and Murder195
Sacred Relics Recovered196
Berean Bible Study on Love196
One-Day Convention Reports197
The God-Likeness of Forgiveness197
What the Unmerciful May Expect199
Who Is My Neighbor?200
The Golden Rule202
"Lord, Teach Us to Pray"203
"Ask and It Shall Be Given You"206

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.
AUSTRALASIAN BRANCH--32 JOHNSTON ST., FITZROY, MELBOURNE.

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

All Bible Students who, by reason of old age, or other infirmity or adversity, are unable to pay for this Journal, will be supplied FREE if they send a Postal Card each June stating their case and requesting its continuance. We are not only willing, but anxious, that all such be on our list continually and in touch with the Studies, etc.


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.



ASBURY PARK, N.J., CONVENTION, JULY 22-29


(For information respecting meetings, see last page, this issue.)

RAILROAD RATES

We have secured fare-and-one-third rates on all lines of railroad east of and including Chicago and St. Louis, on "Certificate Plan." Ask for ticket for "Watch Tower Convention, Asbury Park, N.J.," for which you pay one way full fare and receive a Certificate in addition to your ticket. The Certificate, after endorsement by proper officers at the Convention and payment of 25 cents, entitles you to one-third fare on return trip. From some points cheaper rates than these may be obtainable, via Atlantic City or other ocean points. Enquire of your railroad agent.

ACCOMMODATIONS

Board and lodging can be procured for $1, $1.25, $1.50, $2, and upward to $5 per day.

Write at once if you wish us to procure accommodations, stating briefly and pointedly what kind, number of persons, sex and color, and if married couples wish to room together. Do not expect any alteration of your party's location after writing. If others join it later they will be accommodated in the order of notification. Address all letters to "Convention Dept.," WATCH TOWER B. & T. SOCIETY, Allegheny, Pa.



[R3799 : page 195]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER.

THE WAIL OF RUSSIAN PEASANT WOMEN


CZAR NICHOLAS received recently the following remarkable document. It is a petition from the peasant women of the village of Nikolskaje, in the government of Warquesch. It reads:--

"For generations the women of the peasant class have lived without having any rights whatever. From birth to death they have been and are subject to the will of fathers, grandfathers, husbands and sons. We are not even considered human beings, but simply beasts of burden.

"We demand to be taught to read and write; we demand that our daughters be given the same facilities for learning as our sons.

"We will no longer be forced into marriage; we demand to be given land to cultivate that we may become independent and able to earn our own living.

"We know that we are ignorant, but we are not to blame. We demand to be told what is happening in the world around us, and we demand the right to be represented in the Douma."--Cincinnati Enquirer.


***

While the worldly spirit of Selfishness is goading on the whole world to battle for "rights," the Word of God directs the children of God to be not strife-breeders but peacemakers. It says: "Be patient, brethren; the coming of the Lord draweth nigh." His Kingdom will soon give to all absolute justice and right every wrong. Do all you can kindly, peaceably, lovingly to "follow peace with all," but expect to suffer and to bear considerable for righteousness' sake. "Think it not strange." "Rejoice in tribulation," trusting your affairs to him who has promised to make all your experiences work out for your everlasting advantage. He who takes to the sword will perish by the sword. He who trusts in the Lord will have peace now and hereafter.

DRIFTING TO SOCIALISM


"The revolutionary movement in Russia has been going on for nearly a year, and as conservative authority as the London Spectator predicts that it may last five years longer, and it further suggests that some young Russian lieutenant of artillery may today be studying the career of Napoleon Bonaparte and be qualified to act at the end of that time. The French revolutionists talked of constitutions and the rights of man. The Russian revolutionists are talking of these things, too, but they go further; they are talking of division of land, of equalizing the distribution of wealth, of other crude and half-formed ideas of economic change--in a word, Socialism. Tolstoi says that Russia is in better condition than any country in the world to attempt common ownership of land.

"Should Russia in course of time and after a glut of horrors become a Socialist or semi-Socialist state, the revolutionary wave would spread, for good or ill, to other nations.

"Already we read of Austrians and Hungarians insisting upon universal suffrage, and a delegation of no less than 200,000 workingmen filling the Vienna ringstrasse to impress parliament with their earnestness in making the demand.

In Germany the Socialists, inspired by events in Russia, have begun an agitation for the reform of the [R3800 : page 195] election laws which will give them the representation in the reichstag, possibly a majority of that body, to which they are entitled.--Scranton Times.

ANGER, HATRED, STRIFE, MURDER


Lodz, Russian Poland.--Thirty-four girls working in Kindler's mills at Pabianice, near here, on refusing to join a strike, were poisoned by a powder that was strewn upon the floor of the mill. One of the girls died and the remainder are seriously ill, ten of them not being expected to recover.
***

Russia is one of the newest countries to come under the influence of "strikes," but the above shows that no other nation could teach it much along the line of the "works of the flesh and the devil." What may we not expect, the world over, very shortly in the great "time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation." The veneer of civilization, miscalled Christianization, is quite thin, even in Churchianity. Then the works of the flesh and of the devil will show in marked contrast to the fruits of the Spirit of Christ--joy, peace, brotherly kindness, love. Let us not measure ourselves with the poor world, but with the perfect Lord, whose Spirit we have received and in [R3800 : page 196] whom we are seeking to be perfected in the Chief Resurrection.

SACRED RELICS RECOVERED


According to recent accounts the golden candlestick and other articles used in the Temple service, by the Israelites, have been recovered from the River Tiber, where they were thrown by the ancient Romans when the sacking of Rome by the Goths seemed imminent.

"In the box were discovered many vessels and trumpets which exactly answer the descriptions in the Old Testament. Should the identification be accepted this candlestick would become one of the most valuable treasures in the world.

"The value of the gold alone is more than $30,000, and, in addition, the rich working enhances its value, being of the finest. It stands nearly three feet high."


***

It is claimed that the ancient Romans more or less worshiped the River Tiber and frequently cast valuables thereinto as sacrifices. A systematic effort is being made to recover those valuables, and the foregoing is the first important recovery we have learned of. It is hoped that the golden Ark of the Covenant from the Temple may yet be recovered also.



[R3800 : page 196]

BEREAN BIBLE STUDY ON LOVE.

WE are hearing good reports of blessings from the use of these Berean Studies in the Scriptures. We urge that each little group have one special session for these lessons and that one leader be selected for at least three months;--a leader who will enter into the spirit of the studies and who knows how to draw the answers from the class and then can briefly summarize at the close of each question. Following this course the Allegheny Church has adopted these studies for every Sunday evening, and the interest is shown by the fact that the attendance has about doubled during the past eight months.

If good readers are numerous in the class, assign one reference to each; if few, several references to each. (The reading must be clear and distinct or the profit of the lesson will be sacrificed.) The Scripture references come first, then the DAWN references: the six volumes of DAWN being indicated by the first six letters of the alphabet, A, B, C, D, E, F. Similarly, T represents "Tabernacle Shadows," and S "Spiritism." The letter Z represents the WATCH TOWER, '02-152 signifying page 152 of the year 1902. The columns and paragraphs are indicated thus: col. 2, par. 3.

JULY 1

1. What is love? Z.'03-55 (2nd col. last par.); Z.'03-58; (1st col. par. 2).

2. How does the Apostle describe love?
I Cor. 13:1, Z.'03-56 (1st col. par. 1).
I Cor. 13:2, Z.'03-56 (1st col. par. 2).
I Cor. 13:3, Z.'03-56 (1st col. par. 3; 2nd col. par. 1).
I Cor. 13:4, Z.'03-56 (2nd col. par. 2, 3); Z.'03-57 (1st col. par. 1, 2);
Z.'97-247 (1st col. par. 1-4).
I Cor. 13:5, Z.'03-57 (1st col. par. 3 to 2nd col. par. 3);
Z.'97-247 (1st col. par. 5 and 2nd col.)
I Cor. 13:6, Z.'03-57 (2nd col. par. 4);
Z.'97-248 (1st col. 1 to 3).
I Cor. 13:7, Z.'03-58 (1st col. par. 1);
Z.'97-248 (2nd col. par. 1 to 3).
I Cor. 13:8, Z.'03-58 (1st col. par. 3);
Z.'97-248 (2nd col. par. 4).
I Cor. 13:9-12, Z.'03-58 (2nd col. par. 1, 2);
Z.'97-249 (1st col. par. 1 to 3).
I Cor. 13:13, Z.'97-249 (2nd col. par. 1).

JULY 8

3. How does the illustration of the spectrum assist us to comprehend love? Z.'97-245 (2nd col. par. 2, 3); 246 (1st col. par. 1).

4. What is the distinction between natural, or human love, and spiritual, or divine love? Z.'00-182 (1st col. par. 5); Z.'03-333 (2nd col. par. 1 to 3).

5. What is the difference between duty-love (phileo) and disinterested or divine love (agapee)? Z.'01-149, 150.

JULY 15

6. What is the three-fold manifestation of the spirit of love? Z.'96-212 (1st col. par. 3); Manna, June 27.

7. How may we distinguish between true and false love? Z.'95-210 (1st col.).

8. What is the importance of this grace? Z.'97-244 (1st col. par. 1 to 3; 2nd col. par. 2).

JULY 22

9. How is love attained? Z.'97-246 (2nd col. par. 1, 2); Z.'00-183 (1st col. par. 1); Z.'98-8 (2nd col. par. 2).

10. Why is an "aggressive warfare" necessary to attain unto love? Z.'95-03 (2nd col.); Manna, Apr. 9.

11. What is the relative importance of the early "gifts" of the Spirit, and the spirit of love? F.238, par. 2; Z.'97-289 (2nd col. par. 2).

JULY 29

12. Why should love be the mainspring of all our actions? Z.'03-91 (1st col. par. 2).

13. What is the relation between love and purity of heart, and how may we purify our hearts? Titus 1:15,16; Z.'99-214 (2nd col. par. 1); 215 (2nd col. par. 1) to 217; Z.'05-216 (1st col. par. 3, 4).

14. How is love the seal or evidence of our begetting as New Creatures? E.286, par. 2; 267-270; Z.'97-289 (1st col. par. 1 to 2nd col. par. 1).

Each one appointed for reader should have his BIBLE or DAWN or TOWER on hand, previously read, and should be prepared to respond at the leader's call without stopping to hunt his place. All of course have BIBLES and DAWNS, and some one in each company is likely to have old TOWERS and will be glad to loan them for the benefit of the class.

Opportunity for discussing each question should be given after the references have been read and before the leader makes a brief closing summary of the answer and proceeds to read the next question. It is urged that the questions as printed be strictly adhered to until they have all been discussed. It will generally be found that all questions are included on the subject. The reason for care on this point is that if the questions are intruded that come later the subsequent lessons are considerably spoiled thereby. The leader should be expected to kindly, gently, but firmly hold the class to the question under discussion, and in this he should have the cooperation of all who recognize the value of order in the study of the Divine Plan of the Ages.

Study Continued



[R3800 : page 197]

ONE-DAY CONVENTION REPORTS

THE failure to give reports of the One-Day Conventions recently held should not be understood to signify that they were unworthy of reporting: other matters claimed our attention and the WATCH TOWER space. We here very briefly record that in the various places, namely, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Pa., Indianapolis, Ind., Huntingdon, Pa., New York City, N.Y., Cleveland, O., Springfield, Ill., the dear friends of the cause put forth strenuous efforts, and under the Lord's blessing numbers of new hearers were reached with the Gospel message, and a few of these, we trust, were brought from darkness to greater light and started in the good way toward the Kingdom. Others, we may hope, were relieved of some measure of previous blindness and hindered from stumbling into infidelity and led to a more reasonable and appreciative view of the divine character and that blessed book, the Bible. [R3801 : page 197]

As usual there was one public service at each place aside from the meeting specially for the interested. The latter were attended not only by the friends of the local churches, but also by representatives and delegations from surrounding territory within a radius of sometimes 200 miles or more. The impression is a growing one with these that these One-Day Conventions are blessed of the Lord and being used to the pulling down of the strongholds of error and misunderstanding of the Truth and to the upbuilding of those who are already of the Lord's consecrated flock and in the enjoyment of light upon his Word.

You will all be interested in knowing that by dint of wisely directed and diversified forms of advertising and at considerable expense, large attendance was secured in all of the public meetings at these Conventions. The estimated numbers in attendance at these public services were as follows:--

Washington, 2,500; Philadelphia, 1,600; Indianapolis, about 2,500; Huntingdon, about 450--a very large attendance for a wet day and a small place; New York City, 2,000; Cleveland, O. 2,500.



[R3801 : page 197]

THE GOD-LIKENESS OF FORGIVING.
--MATT. 18:21-35.--JULY 8.--

"Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors."--Matt. 6:12.

OUR last lesson forewarned us that offences, snares and stumblings would come to the Lord's people, and cautioned us against being in any sense or degree the causes of these offences--against any conduct which would prove a stumbling-block or in any way be injurious to others. Today's lesson takes up the matter from the opposite standpoint, instructing the Lord's followers how they should deal with the injurious persons when they are of the household of faith, "brethren." Feeling the great importance of this subject, we have heretofore repeatedly made it prominent in these columns and associated publications, and especially in DAWN, Vol. VI. This seemed the more necessary because the matter has been apparently so generally neglected by others. Now, having seen some good remarks on the subject by Dr. Peloubet, we take pleasure in quoting the same in preference to repeating our own arguments, which to some might become wearisome. Dr. Peloubet says:--

"Every one receives criticisms and wrongs which try his temper to the utmost. Especially is this true of the ambitious spirits who seek to be first, as described in our last lesson. As Professor Bruce says, 'An ambitious man is sure to be the receiver of many offences, real or imaginary. He is quick to take offence and slow to forgive or forget wrong.' But the danger assails all classes.

"Go to him privately and alone. If our object is to gain our brother and help him to do right, we will not make known the wrong to others, make it a matter of notoriety, for that makes the settlement far more difficult. The offender's pride, or even self-respect, will tend to keep him from acknowledging his fault. This is a most important principle. The wise head of a great asylum told me that in dealing with the insane it was of the utmost importance to keep away the audience, and that almost every one was influenced by the presence of others. The wisest teacher of my acquaintance deals in the same way with his boys. Deal with them alone whenever it is possible. Thus thy brother will be more likely to hear thee, and thou hast gained thy brother, gained him for righteousness, for salvation, for a Christian life, and probably as a friend.

"If this fails then the next step is to get help from one or two others; and if this fails, from the larger community. If this fails, he is to be to you as a heathen and a publican, outside of your religious and social company, but not outside of your love and care and desire to help. (See Rom. 12:19,20.) In all cases the object is not revenge, but to save and help the offender. Henry Ward Beecher used to say that he looked upon those who maligned him and said bitter things against him as sick people whom he must try to cure of their moral disease."

"SEVENTY TIMES SEVEN"

After explaining to his followers how best to avoid taking offence from the brethren and how best to help brethren out of the wrong position of being offenders and being injurious, the matter is brought up afresh by Peter's question regarding the number of times that we should be willing to receive injuries from another and take them patiently, and, exercising a forgiving spirit, should try to have the injuries discontinued. It will be noticed that the Lord is not laying down any rule by which we may deal with the world, but merely the rules which should govern amongst his followers. As respects the world we are to expect opposition, misrepresentation, slander, opposition of every kind. "Marvel not if the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you"--"Whosoever will live godly in this present life shall suffer persecution."--John 15:18; 2 Tim. 3:12.

Such oppositions from the world we are to take as a matter of course, and not be surprised at the fiery trials that will try us, but to consider that the Lord is wise in permitting such experiences and able to make them all work out for our good. It is within the household of faith that the special trials sometimes come, from the very quarter whence we least expect them, but these also must be taken patiently; we must not render evil for evil nor railing for [R3801 : page 198] railing toward the Lord's members nor toward the world; we must, as the Apostle says, be patient toward all.

Notice that Peter's query is, If my brother trespass against me how often shall I forgive him? Seven times? Peter no doubt had in mind the thought that seven was the symbol of perfection, and that this might mark the reasonable limit of mercy and forgiveness. He did not, of course, consider that if that were a divine law it would mean that he himself might be forgiven of the Lord not more than seven times for imperfections, shortcomings, etc. Our Lord's answer is broad and sweeping--"I say not unto thee until seven times, but until seventy times seven." Some are disposed to translate this until seventy and seven times, but evidently the Lord's intention was to imply that forgiveness should be granted as often as it is sought with any manifestation whatever of sincerity.

This is not merely advice from the Master to his followers --it is a command. It is not optional with us how we shall do toward our brother, for the great Teacher has assured us that if we have not the forgiving spirit we cannot be his disciples. His words are, "If ye do not from the heart forgive men their trespasses neither will your heavenly Father forgive your trespasses." All, then, who realize their need of divine mercy and forgiveness and who receive the great Teacher's instruction on this point will be careful to cultivate in their hearts in every sense a forgiving spirit, a loving, generous disposition. And by this all men may know the disciples of the Lord of mercy. We quote Dr. Peloubet again:--

"Our hearts are like reservoirs, and outward occasions draw out whatever is within and only that. If they are full of love and forgiveness, kindness and desire to help, then no matter how often--seventy times or seventy times seven-- some act of others call forth the feelings of the heart, it will be met by love and forgiveness and help. As all need to be forgiven, so all need to forgive. There are enemies who injure us by word and deed. There are others who say evil things about us carelessly and attribute wrong motives, pervert what we do and say. 'They speak daggers.' Insults are offered, even friends sometimes do the most annoying and trying things, that are apt to remain in the memory and fester like a thorn in the flesh."

"The kindest and the happiest pair
Will find occasion to forbear;
And something every day they live
To pity--and perhaps forgive."

Dr. Hale refers to people who "have given a new turn to an old text. In their own private 'R.V.' of the New Testament they read: 'Whosoever speaketh a word or committeth a wrong against God, it shall be forgiven him; but whosoever speaketh a word or committeth a wrong against me, it shall not be forgiven him.'"

"The forgiving spirit seeks to do all the good possible to the one who has wronged us. It yearns to help him and to save him from his sin. It proves this feeling of forgiveness and love by doing good, as God sends the rain and sunshine on the evil and on the good."

"Always and under all circumstances we must have a forgiving heart, whatever the offence against us or the attitude of the offender. We must never have the spirit of hatred or revenge or retaliation. We must never brood over wrongs, but must make all possible allowances and excuses. 'If thou [R3802 : page 198] canst not make thyself such an one as thou wouldst, how canst thou expect to have another in all things to thy liking?'"

"Heir of the same inheritance,
Child of the selfsame God,
He has but stumbled in the path
We have in weakness trod."

"An old Spanish writer says, 'To return evil for good is devilish; to return good for good is human; but to return good for evil is Godlike.'"--Archbishop Whately.

"I have known a man to nurse the tiny cocatrice egg of unforgiveness till it has burst into the fiery serpent of crime."--Farrar.

THE DEBT OF A KING'S OFFICER

By way of impressing this lesson our Lord gave a parable to his disciples. This parable represented a great king who, making an accounting with his officers charged with the collection of taxes, found one of them short in his accounts in a very large sum, ten thousand talents, estimated to represent nine million dollars. Justice laid hold upon the debtor and was about to execute its penalty when he appealed for mercy and extension of time in which to make good the deficiency. The king was compassionate, forbore the collection of the debt and let the servant go free.

This is our Lord's illustration of the proper exercise of mercy. The one thus dealt with does not represent the world of sinners, Adam and his race, for whose deliverance from the penalty a ransom price is demanded from justice. This parable is often thus used improperly against the Bible argument of the teaching of the ransom, that the death penalty against Adam and his race could not be lifted or set aside except by the payment of the ransom price, the corresponding price, our Lord's death. That this is not the teaching is clearly shown by the statement, "The Kingdom of Heaven is likened unto a certain king which would make a reckoning with his servants," etc. This declaration respecting the Kingdom of Heaven lifts the parable entirely out of connection with the world in general, which is not either in embryo or otherwise the Kingdom of Heaven: it definitely locates the parable in the Church, and these servants of the king as amongst those who have already been justified through faith in Christ and who have already made consecration of themselves to the Lord and become thus his servants entrusted with his goods. The signification of this feature of the parable, then, is that if any of the Lord's people, his disciples, come short they have a throne of grace and mercy to which they may approach that they may "obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need."-- Heb. 4:16.

THE DEBT OF A FELLOW-SERVANT

As representing the wrong course, the reprehensible course of some, the Lord in the parable before us pictures the forgiven officer as going forth from his king's presence with the latter's kind words still ringing in his ears and in the exercise of his unmerited freedom, and, finding a fellow-servant who owed him an hundred pence--a small bet probably representing not more than a hundred dollars proportionately in our money and time. Instead of a proper and generous feeling toward his fellow-servant, instead of sympathy and love for him corresponding to that which had [R3802 : page 199] been bestowed by the king upon himself, this servant caught the lesser debtor by the throat saying, "Pay me that thou owest." The fellow-servant used toward him the very same words that he had used to the king, saying, "Have mercy upon me and I will pay thee all." But he did not, but cast him into a prison. He was hardhearted, not at all after the likeness of his generous master, the king. Even his fellow-servants recognized this; they felt a pity for the unfortunate one and told it unto their lord. They knew well enough the king's generous disposition to be sure that he would not favor such an intemperate exercise of justice.

The king sent for his officer and upbraided him for the matter, saying, I remitted thy debt because thou besoughtest me; I showed mercy to you. Should you not also have shown mercy to your fellow-servant? The question was left without an answer--the answer was clearly enough implied. He who had received so great mercy should have been moved with compassion toward a fellow-servant in a small affair. The king was wroth, was angry, with that servant, justly so. He had proven himself unworthy of the mercy bestowed upon him. Nor was it too late yet to punish him for the matter, for his debt had merely been remitted or set aside and not blotted out. Thus it is with all of the Lord's people; we are dealt with on the basis of faith; God is in earnest if we are in earnest. Our blemishes and shortcomings will not be permitted to stand between us and the glorious things to which we have been called if we are faithful to the extent of our ability, and if as a part of that faithfulness we have the Spirit of Christ, for if we have not the Spirit of Christ, the spirit of love, the spirit of forgiveness, gentleness, etc., we are none of his.

It is in line with this that the Apostle writes that sins shall be blotted out at the second coming of Christ. (Acts 3:19.) They will be blotted out when in the resurrection we come forth as New Creatures, sown in weakness, raised in power; sown in dishonor, raised in glory; sown natural or human bodies, raised spiritual bodies, glorious. Then that which is perfect having come, all the imperfections and blemishes will be fully blotted out, never to be revived either by the Lord or others. But meantime, while we have our standing of faith, our blemishes are merely covered while we are permitted to give a demonstration of the loyalty and sincerity of our consecration and earnestness of desire to walk in the footsteps of the Lord.

WHAT THE UNMERCIFUL MAY EXPECT

Our Lord, after concluding the parable, makes a direct application of it to his disciples, not to the world, although in a certain sense or degree there is a general principle expressed which is applicable to the world in proportion as each comes under enlightenment and instruction. Our Lord says, "So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you if you from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses." How solemn these words, how clear cut, how unmistakable their import. In no uncertain terms they assure us that whatever our faith, whatever our works, they all amount to nothing if we do not attain to that spirit of love which is merciful, generous, long suffering, patient toward those who do injury to us, whether they be brethren of whom we might expect the more, or whether they be enemies of the world from whom we must expect less, consideration. Mercy is an element of love, and Love is the fulfilling of the whole law of God.

The propriety of the Lord in thus dealing with us is evident. He is seeking a special class for the Kingdom-- to be associates with our Lord Jesus in the great work of ruling and blessing the world. Only those who possess the divine character of patience, forbearance, sympathy, compassion, mercy, love, could possibly be suited to the divine purpose in respect to the great work of blessing all the families of the earth. We are accepted in Christ because of our profession that we love these qualities in him and desire to be copies of God's dear Son. If we fail to improve the various lessons and opportunities afforded by the Lord, to cultivate this character, then in the same proportion we fail to make our calling and election sure.

The king delivered the unmerciful servant to the tormentors. Such was the custom of oriental countries at that time and to some extent still. We are not to understand that our Lord had sympathy with those barbarous customs, but that he was speaking to the people from the standpoint of custom which they would understand. Elsewhere the Scriptures assure us that any who are the true servants of the Lord and who fail to come into accord with his Spirit willingly, will be turned over to Satan, to tribulation, to hard experience, that by these they may be profited and learn to appreciate things from the Lord's standpoint. (1 Cor. 5:4,6.) For instance, Revelation 7 first speaks of the little flock, the Bride class, as composed of 144,000--the nucleus of which were Natural Israelites, in whom was no guile, and who became the nucleus of spiritual Israel, and to whose numbers since throughout the Gospel age the Lord is gathering those from amongst the Gentiles who enter into covenant relationship with himself and manifest his Spirit. Aside from these so selected, the same symbolical picture shows us a great company whose number is known to no man--whose number was not predestinated--these are out of every nation, people, kindred and tongue. These, unlike the 144,000, do not sit with Christ in the throne, but are pictured as being before the throne. These have not, like the others, kept their garments unspotted from the world, have not had the Spirit of Christ dwelling in them richly, so that his merit constituted the robe of forgiveness for them without blemish, that by a wrong spirit and a wrong course they have bedraggled their robes, and therefore, we are told, they must wash them and make them white in the blood of the Lamb, and this washing is represented as being done in "great tribulation." These tribulations correspond to the torments of the parable upon the servant who did not exercise toward his fellows the spirit of mercy. As again it is stated, "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy."--Matt. 5:7.

"FORGIVE US AS WE FORGIVE OTHERS"

It will be remembered that in our Lord's prayer he sets forth this principle for our instruction and guidance, that we must not expect of the heavenly Father mercy for our shortcomings and blemishes and continuance in his favor and ultimately joint-heirship in his Kingdom, unless we cultivate in ourselves the same spirit. How beautifully and how simply the Lord states this matter in the prayer, "Forgive [R3803 : page 200] us our debts as we forgive our debtors." (Matt. 6:12.) How emphatically the Lord states it again, saying, "If ye forgive men their trespasses your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if ye forgive not men their trespasses neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." (Matt. 6:14,15.) These trespasses, be it noted again, do not refer to the one original sin on account of which condemnation of death passed upon the whole human family and on account of which Christ died and on account of which the curse is ultimately to be rolled from every member of the race so that there shall be no more curse. (Rev. 22:3.) These trespasses are our own individual shortcomings and blemishes which we have inherited and which the Lord is very willing to overlook and excuse for those who will comply with the conditions of their Covenant and be followers of the Lord Jesus, filled with his Spirit and striving to walk in his steps.

Archbishop Hare has represented the attitude of the unforgiving many as implying their prayer to the Lord thus,--

"O, Lord, I have sinned against thee many times; I have been often forgetful of thy goodness; I have broken thy law; I have committed many secret sins. Deal with me, I beseech thee, O Lord, even as I deal with my neighbor. He hath not offended me one hundredth part as much as I have offended thee, but I cannot forgive him. He has been very ungrateful to me, but not one hundredth part as ungrateful as I have been to thee, yet I cannot overlook such base ingratitude. Deal with me, O Lord, I beseech thee, as I deal with him. I remember and treasure up every little trifle which shows how ill he has behaved to me. Deal with me, I beseech thee, O Lord, as I deal with him."



[R3803 : page 200]

WHO IS MY NEIGHBOR?
--LUKE 10:25-37.--JULY 15.--

"Golden Text:--"Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy."--Matt. 5:7.

JESUS was a teacher and expounder of the Law to the common people, but he did not class himself with the Scribes and Doctors of the Law amongst the Jews. He had a different view of the Law from theirs and taught in a different manner. The common people heard him gladly, whereas the Jewish Doctors of the Law did not appeal to the common people at all or attempt to teach them, but merely discussed the great problems of divine law amongst themselves and with the more ascetic of the people --the Pharisees.

The common people, although they heard the Lord gladly, did not clearly comprehend his teachings, for he spoke to them in parables and dark sayings to the intent that the mass might not understand, but that the specially zealous Israelites indeed might be attracted to closer study and inquiry. To these he explained the parables, saying, "To you it is given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom, but to all those without [outsiders, not specially interested followers] these things are spoken in parables." (Mark 4:11.) Nevertheless, there was something very attractive in the Master's style, so that even those who did not fully comprehend his teachings said, "Never man spake like this man"; and again we read, "They wondered at the gracious words that proceeded out of his mouth," "For he taught them as one having authority [as one who understood his subject thoroughly] and not as the Scribes [not doubtfully]." --John 7:46; Luke 4:22; Matt. 7:29.

For this reason jealousy of Jesus sprang up amongst the Doctors of the Law. To them he was a rival teacher, and accordingly they sought to entrap him, with a view to exposing him to ridicule before his followers, whom they recognized as "unlearned men." But in no case did they succeed; in every instance recorded the Lord's wisdom was too great for them--he entrapped them in their own arguments. The present lesson is an illustration of this. One of the Doctors of the Law, evidently thinking that our Lord's teachings along the lines of love and mercy were contrary to the rigid lines of justice as laid down in the Law, thought to entrap our Lord by a question. He would ask him upon what terms he could have eternal life. He expected Jesus to answer, "Eternal life will be given to all who manifest a God-like, loving, generous character," or that he would say, "You can have eternal life by becoming my disciple and practising my teachings." Thereupon this Doctor of the Law would at once call attention to the fact that the teachings of Jesus abrogated the Law, made it null and void-- that he ignored the Law.

"WISE AS A SERPENT, HARMLESS AS A DOVE"

Our Lord answered this Scribe thoroughly out of his own mouth: he said to him, "You are a teacher of the Law; give us your statement of what the Law says respecting how eternal life may be obtained?" This was a pointed reply, and the lawyer was fully prepared to answer it, for, What saith the Law? was a common question amongst the Jews who quoted from the Law. (Deut. 6:5; Lev. 19:18.) This was the very definition which our Lord a short time before quoted to the rich young ruler who came to him on one occasion. The lawyer evidently repeated a well-known formula of the Law, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, with all thy strength, and thy neighbor as thyself." Jesus replied, "Thou has answered right: this do and thou shalt live"--have eternal life.

THE LAW VERSUS THE GOSPEL

Why did Jesus thus refer to the Law? Why did he not avail himself of this opportunity for preaching the Gospel? Why did he not say to the lawyer--"The only way to obtain eternal life is through faith in me, followed by a full consecration to walk in my footsteps as my disciple"? Why did he not tell the lawyer, "There is no other name given under heaven whereby men must be saved but the name of Jesus"? Why did he not tell him, "He that hath the Son hath life; he that hath not the Son shall not see life"?--Acts 4:12; 1 John 5:12.

We answer that this would have been too strong meat for the lawyer in his condition of mind. It was necessary that first he should realize his own inability to keep the full letter of the divine Law, so that he might be prepared [R3803 : page 201] to look for divine mercy through Jesus. The difficulty with the Pharisees and Scribes was that they were pretending to keep the Law, pretending that they were justified by it, pretending to gain eternal life by it, although they very well knew that they all died like other men, and knew also, when they would reflect upon the subject, that the divine Law was so high, so grand, so complete, that in their weak and fallen condition they were unable to meet all of its requirements perfectly.

There are some people of the same kind today, who are ready to acknowledge that God has a perfect standard and that none can expect eternal life except as they harmonize with that standard; and many today, as well as formerly amongst the Jews, believe that they are sufficiently near the divine standard to have eternal life, and are therefore not looking for any Savior--not looking for a Redeemer to pay a ransom price for them and to grant them immunity and forgiveness of sin and reconciliation through him to the Father--the covering of their blemishes. It is necessary for all such to learn first the lesson that divine justice has but one standard and that is a very high one. When they find how high God's standard is and how imperfect are their best endeavors to measure up to their requirements, then and not until then do they begin to look for help from the Lord in the attainment of life eternal. The Lord wished the lawyer to learn this lesson, and therefore exacted from him a statement of what the Law required.

The lawyer did not stop to haggle over what would be included in loving God with his entire heart, soul, strength and mind. Some one might claim to be loving and serving God and others might doubt the truthfulness of the claim, though unable to prove anything, since only the Lord and the man's own heart could judge perfectly in this matter. The lawyer passed over that great question as though it were nothing, as though it were settled, but had he sought to critically examine what such a complete consecration to the Lord would signify he would doubtless have found himself far short of its standard.

Let us not pass the question too quickly or too lightly --let us know that to love the Lord with all our heart would mean that the sum of all our affections would center upon the Lord, so that our love for him would far excel all of our love for the dear ones of the home and the family and of the whole world. To love the Lord with all our soul would signify with all our being--to manifest our love not only by our words and looks, by our praises, but by our services and all of our conduct in life, everything testifying that God is first in our affections and in all of life's interests. Thirdly, to love him with all our strength would signify that time and talent and influence would all be at the service [R3804 : page 201] of our God, that in everything we would be ready to be used, spent, in glorifying his name, in serving his cause as we might understand it to be his will. Fourth, to love our Lord with all our mind would seem to imply that we are to intellectually attempt to appreciate the Lord, to understand his divine laws and to enter into heart sympathy with them, so that our service and worship would be the more intelligent, after the kind described by our Lord when he said, "They that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth"--intelligently.

"LOVE THY NEIGHBOR AS THYSELF"

The Scribe, passing over the obligations to the Lord, seemed to realize that his daily conduct would condemn him as a violator of the latter part of his own definition of the Law, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." He apparently recognized this as his most vulnerable point, and that the Lord had entrapped him in his own answer. He knew how in his daily life he was not loving his neighbor as himself--that he was making a wide discrimination between those of his own class and the common people, the publicans and the sinners; and that even in his present endeavor to entrap Jesus he was not loving him as himself, as his neighbor, but treating him as an opponent. He felt that, like others of his class, he had a haughty, disdainful attitude toward the lower classes of his own race. He was skilled in the Law, however, and this was not a new point for him to evade. He had the same explanation of the matter that was common to others of the Scribes and Pharisees, namely, that their neighbors whom they were, according to the Law, to love as themselves, were those who belonged to their class, to their set, to their station in life. Apparently, therefore, with considerable confidence he replied to Jesus, "But who is my neighbor?" as though he would say, "That is a point, I presume, upon which we might possibly differ. I think that I keep the Law when I love and respect and fellowship those of my own class, and treat others with more or less of disdain. How could you apply the Law of Moses differently? I feel sure that you will agree that the Law meant that each person was to consider those of his own class as his neighbors, and to love them and cooperate with them and not with others of the outside world."

With marvellous wisdom the Lord framed a parable, such as the Scribe of the Law well knew might take place any day. He pictured the road between Jerusalem and Jericho, a bridle-path, in some places quite steep, passing through a gorge in the mountain--a vicinity infested with robbers, who lived in the numerous caves, and who not infrequently attacked passengers. Even today it is the custom for travelers to have an armed escort of Arabs on this journey to Jericho. Our Lord pictured a traveler on this road beset by the robbers, beaten into helplessness, stripped of his clothing. He pictured a priest passing by, seeing the man and hastening on, lest he also might be beset by the robbers; similarly a Levite passes by, unwilling to spend the time necessary to render assistance. Then a man of Samaria comes along, and, moved with sympathy, assists the injured one, binding up his wounds; and finally, taking him on his own beast to the nearest inn, he cared for him over night and made some provision for his further care.

The force of our Lord's illustration is only seen when it is remembered that the Levites were specially set apart for holy service to the Lord as instructors of the people, to guide them by word and by example in the ways of the Lord, and when it is further remembered that the priests, also belonging to this tribe, were a special family chosen of the Lord for the very highest service toward himself and toward the people of Israel. The picture is still further heightened when we recall that the Samaritans were a mixed people, whom the Jews despised and with whom they would have no dealings.--John 4:9. [R3804 : page 202]

With these things in mind mark the Master's question, "Which of these three was neighbor of the man who fell amongst thieves?" There was only one answer for the lawyer to make. He himself belonged to the Levite class condemned by the parable. The reply was, "He that showed mercy on him." Our Lord approved of that answer and responded, "Go thou and do likewise"--go and show mercy, go and understand that any man in the world, friend or foe, is your neighbor and is to be loved and served by you as you may have opportunity. As you would have him do for you do even so for him; love him and serve him as yourself, as you would have him love and serve you under reversed conditions.

THE GOLDEN RULE

We have found some of the Lord's people disposed to evade the force of this requirement of the Law and its illustration by the Lord's parable by saying, "Yes, the Samaritan who showed mercy to the wounded man was indeed his neighbor, while the priest and the Levite who did not show mercy to him he should not consider to be his neighbors; hence the wounded upon recovery, should he ever have any dealings with that Samaritan who assisted him, should love him as himself, should be willing to lay down his life in his service. Whereas the other two who did not do neighborly acts ought not to be considered as his neighbors, and he should not try to love them as himself.

We answer that this is a distortion of our Lord's language. Indeed, he was seeking to counteract this very thought, which was common to the Jews, for it was a proverb amongst them that they should be loyal to neighbors but bitter to enemies. The word neighbors signifies those who are near, and the Scribes and Pharisees were in the habit of applying this to those who were near in sympathy, in sentiment, in faith, in sectarian relationship. Thus a Pharisee would gladly serve another Pharisee, and a Scribe would gladly serve another Scribe, from a clannish, selfish spirit, regarding each other as neighbors in the sense of the Law, and that others of a different class were more or less opponents, either to go unloved or, if they oppose themselves, to be hated.

As Christians we must take a much higher view of the matter than this. We remember our Lord's words in opposition to this very thought. He said, "Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven." (Matt. 5:43-45.) Any who will not come to this standard of love, not only for friends but also for enemies, cannot long be recognized by God as his children.

Our Lord originated the Golden Rule as a full statement of the divine will, which must govern all who would be his disciples. That Golden Rule does not say that we shall love as brethren those who have done kindness for us. Our Lord condemned that selfish kind of love when he said, "If ye love them that love you what thank have you? Do not even the publicans and sinners the same?" Such an interpretation, therefore, as would make this parable to teach that we should love as our neighbors those who have hazarded their lives for us would be far beneath the teachings of our Master, and, he says, would be on a parity with the usual sentiments of sinners.

As followers of the Redeemer we are to have the much higher standard; we are to recognize every one who is in adversity and needing our help as our neighbor, whom we should love sympathetically to the extent of being ready to do for him or her whatever service we might be able to render, to the extent that we should wish that person to do for us if we were in his difficulty. To whatever extent we can get this high standard of love, sympathy, cooperation, generosity, kindly feeling in control of our hearts and to be the rule of our conduct, in that proportion surely we will be the more Godlike, the more Christlike, for, as our dear Redeemer remarked, God is kind even to the unthankful.

LOVE YOUR ENEMIES

Our Lord's requirements of us as his disciples go beyond merely the loving of a neighbor. We must have at least a sympathetic love for our enemies, so that we would not only not endeavor to injure them by word or deed, but that we would be ready and glad to assist them as might be in our power. No one, however, is to suppose that the Lord means that we are to love our enemies as we love the Lord himself, nor even as we love our brethren. Our love for the Lord and for the brethren is love of the very highest type-- love which appreciates the principles represented in our heavenly Father's character, which all who are truly his are seeking to copy.

Our love for our enemies and for many of our neighbors must necessarily be along lines of their characters: their hopes and their plans are very different from those which we have adopted. As is our Lord's, so our love for them must be of the sympathetic kind, even as is the love of God-- "God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him might not perish." God does not love the world with a love of fellowship, nor are we to do so. Like him we are to have the love of sympathy for the world. Realizing its fallen and depraved condition we are to be glad to do all in our power for its rescue, for its comfort along lines of justice and mercy.

There seems to be a limitation to the love commanded by the Law, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself"--not better than thyself. Hence if it came to the place where a neighbor's life was in jeopardy, and we could assist him only by the sacrifice of our own life, it would not be a requirement of the divine law of love that we should sacrifice our life for his--that would be loving him better than ourselves, and therefore more than the divine requirement. Neither should we expect a neighbor to love us better than himself, so that he would sacrifice his life for us. Should he attempt to do so it would be our proper attitude of mind to hinder it, not to allow him to work a permanent disadvantage to himself, more than we would have been willing and glad to have done for him. It is in this particular that our Lord's course in the sacrifice of his life on our behalf transcends anything that was required of the Law--in giving his life a ransom for many, he did more than was required by the Law. It is for this reason that it is denominated a [R3805 : page 203] sacrifice. To do the whole Law was his duty, but when he went beyond this, and gave his life a ransom price for mankind, that was a sacrifice, and as a sacrifice it was appreciated by the Father and specially rewarded with more than everlasting life. And the same rule applies to us, for as he was so are we in this world--we are to walk in his footsteps. --1 John 4:17.

The demands of the Law are still to do to our neighbor as we would have him do to us. We are to do nothing less than this to anybody; but as followers of the Lord, imbued with his spirit of sacrifice, we are joyfully to lay down our lives for the brethren--in harmony with the divine program which is now selecting the little flock, the household of faith, as sacrificers with Jesus, to be by and by joint-heirs with him in his Kingdom and in its great work of blessing and rejuvenating the world. It is very necessary that we have clear views respecting this subject of the demands of the Law, the demands of justice upon us toward any creature, and also as respects what would properly come in as a part of our sacrifice.

"THE LAW IS FULFILLED IN US"

We noticed in the beginning of this lesson that our Lord gave the Scribe instruction in the Law instead of preaching to him the gospel of grace. Now let us note that the Lord applies to his followers both the Law and the Gospel. God has but one standard, but one Law, and never will abolish it. The Law Covenant indeed, after serving its purpose, ceased; but the Law of God, upon which that Covenant was based, will never fail. We as well as the Jews are commanded to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and our neighbor as ourselves. This is the standard before us as well as before the Jew. The Jew could not keep it--he found himself deficient not only in respect to his treatment of his neighbor, but deficient also in the fulness of his love for his Creator, which must overbalance all other loves and manifest itself in all the conduct of life.

Only our Lord Jesus could or did keep that love in the absolute perfection of its very letter and spirit. However much a Jew living before our Lord's time might have had the right disposition of heart as respects the Law, because unable to come up to its requirements he could not have eternal life. Our position is different. Our Lord Jesus, having kept the Law, gave his life a sacrifice for Adam and for all of his race; and we who now come to a knowledge of this fact, and by faith accept it, have a standing with God in Christ, so that our best endeavors to keep the Law are supplemented by the merits of Christ and thus made acceptable to God. In other words, if we do our best in the matter of loving God supremely with our hearts, with our whole being, with our strength, with our minds, and our neighbors to the extent of our ability as ourselves, God will accept that good endeavor as though it were perfection, making up for its defects through the merit of Christ's sacrifice. Thus the Apostle tells us, "The righteousness of the Law is fulfilled in us who are walking not after the flesh [not seeking to please ourselves and our fallen dispositions and attributes] but after the Spirit [to the best of our ability seeking to be in accord with the very spirit of the divine Law]."

THE GOLDEN TEXT

Our Golden Text reminds us of the Apostle's statement, "He who loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?" (1 John 4:20.) In other words, the measure of the love which fills our hearts will find expression toward our fellow-creatures who have need of our sympathy and attention, and if we show ourselves deficient here it will imply a deficiency of our love for our Creator. If, on the contrary, we are merciful to others, generous, kind, taking pleasure in doing what we can for the relief of our fellow-creatures, especially to the household of faith, this will be an indication of the spirit which our Lord will appreciate and own if it be accompanied by a trust in the precious blood of Christ. Such merciful ones of the Lord's followers shall obtain mercy at the Lord's hands. He will deal gently with them, forgiving their blemishes and weaknesses in proportion as they have this spirit of generosity, forgiveness, toward those who trespass against them.



[R3805 : page 203]

"LORD, TEACH US TO PRAY."
--LUKE 11:1-13.--JULY 22.--

MANY are the unscriptural views respecting prayer. It is well that we notice that our Lord never taught the multitudes to pray, nor intimated that they should pray--even though the multitudes with whom he was in contact were nominally people of God. Even with his consecrated disciples the Lord waited until they asked him for instruction on the subject. Our Lord's declaration to the woman of Samaria was, "God is a spirit, and they who worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." Any other worship, any other prayer, is a mockery which God not only does not invite but especially reprimands, saying to those who are not desirous of doing his will, "What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldst take my covenant in thy mouth? Seeing thou hatest instruction and castest my words behind thee." (Psa. 50:16,17.) And again, "Forasmuch as this people draw nigh me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their heart far from me...Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder."--Isa. 29:13,14.

From this standpoint the privilege of prayer is a very wonderful one: it implies that the suppliant is on terms of intimate acquaintance with the great Creator of the universe, so that he is welcomed into the divine presence and heart. In accord with this the symbolical representation is that the prayers of the saints of God ascend before him as a sweet incense--the heavenly Father is pleased to receive the humblest worship and reverent petitions of his child adopted into his family through Jesus Christ. [R3805 : page 204]

OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN

Only those who have become God's children by forsaking sin and laying hold upon Christ as their Savior are accorded the privilege of approaching the throne of grace that "they may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." (Heb. 4:16.) In the world, therefore, only those who are accepted in the Beloved are privileged to call Jehovah God by the endearing name, "Our Father who art in heaven." The attempt to thus approach God implies (1) a faith in the divine being; (2) a realization of dependence upon him; (3) a faith that a way of reconciliation with the Father has been effected through the Redeemer; (4) a realization that the great Creator no longer condemns the suppliant, but accepts him as his son. More than this, it implies that the suppliant recognizes the fact that there are other sons of God who, like himself, have fled from sin and been adopted into God's family--the petition is not "My Father," but "Our Father in heaven." Therefore, whoever thus prays intelligently must have interest in and concern for all the interests of the family of God. Whatever of selfishness he might have had formerly he must divest himself of when he comes to the Father, and must realize himself as merely one of the favored class of sons thus privileged. It is in harmony with this thought that all of the Lord's truly consecrated people have special pleasure when permitted to approach the throne of grace together, whether but two or three or in larger numbers.

In proportion as the Lord's people grow in grace, in knowledge and in love, they will grow in appreciation of the great privilege of prayer. Not that prayer will take the place of the study of the divine Word, but that realizing more and more from the Word something of the lengths and breadths and heights and depths of divine mercy and provision, the true children of God have comfort of heart and joy in going to the throne of grace to give thanks unto the Lord for all his mercies, to commune with him respecting their trials and difficulties, and to assure him of their loving confidence in the gracious promises of his Word, in the exceeding riches of his grace, and in his wisdom, love and power to fulfil toward them and in them all his gracious promises.

The more the Lord's people advance in knowledge of him the more they will appreciate the fact that the divine arrangement is broader and deeper and higher than anything they could suggest, so that such are granted liberty to ask what they will with the assurance that it will be done. The Lord well knows that this class will ask that his will be done; hence the promise is made only to those who abide in Christ and who have his Word of promise abiding richly in them. All such learn, before attaining this station and liberty, that as the heavens are higher than the earth so are the [R3806 : page 204] Lord's ways and provisions higher than our conceptions and every way to be preferred. Hence, while praying to the best of their ability in harmony with the promises of the Word, these would always include the sentiment expressed by our Redeemer, "Nevertheless, not my will but thine be done."

"PRAY WITHOUT CEASING"

"Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks." (I Thess. 5:17,18.) The advanced Christian is to be so fully in accord with the Father and the Son and the divine program, The Plan of the Ages, that his entire life will be a prayer and a song in respect to every affair of life. He will have in his mind primarily, What is the will of God in this matter? "whether we eat or drink or whatsoever we do let us do all to the glory of God." The heart that is thus continually in all of life's affairs looking for divine direction is thus continuously in a prayer attitude, and no other condition is proper to the Christian--"In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths;" "Delight thyself also in the Lord and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart."--Prov. 3:6; Psa. 37:4.

But while thus in the prayer attitude continuously we must not neglect the privilege of a more formal approach to the throne of grace--on bended knee, privately and alone. Whoever does not embrace this privilege misses a portion of the great blessing which the Lord has arranged for his benefit and assistance in walking in the narrow way. Our Master spent seasons in prayer alone, and surely all of his disciples may well follow his example in this as well as in other matters to advantage. As our Lord sometimes prayed in the presence of his disciples, as is evidenced by their recording his words, so all of his followers are to realize that they have a special privilege of fellowship in prayer, praying to one another, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, and in petitions to the throne of grace.--Eph. 5:19; I Cor. 14:14-17.

While family prayer is not specifically taught in the Scriptures we cannot doubt its appropriateness under some conditions. True, the natural family is separate and distinct from the family of the Lord, but where the natural family has been reared in the "nurture and admonition of the Lord" it is scarcely supposable that the minor children would be so lacking of reverence as not to have pleasure in bowing with their parents for the worship of the Creator. Where the children are grown so that they have discretion for themselves, if they be not pleased to join in the worship, in our opinion the Lord will be all the better pleased that they be not coerced, for he seeketh such to worship him as worship him in spirit and in truth. Where the husband or wife is not a child of God, unbegotten of the Spirit, it would be inappropriate that he or she should lead in the worship, addressing the throne of grace. The more we recognize the divine limitations on this subject the more will we and those with whom we are in contact appreciate prayer as a great privilege, which is accorded only to those who can with sincere hearts address Jehovah as our Father, and these can be only such as have accepted the Lord Jesus as their Savior, for "No man cometh unto the Father but by me."--John 14:6.

As in the type none but the priests offered incense before the Lord, the teaching would seem to be that only the Royal Priesthood, the members of the body of [R3806 : page 205] Christ, have this privilege in the present time. Nevertheless, we might reasonably suppose that the children of believers, who have not yet reached the deciding point of loyalty or disloyalty to the Lord, would properly enough be privileged to approach the throne of grace through the relationship of their consecrated parents. We might even suppose that justified believers, who have not reached the point of making a consecration of themselves to the Lord, would have the right, the privilege, of addressing the Redeemer in prayer: and yet we know of no Scripture that positively says or indirectly implies that an unconsecrated believer has any acceptance at the throne of grace, or any standing whatever before the Father as amongst those who may address him in the petition, "Our Father which art in heaven."

"HALLOWED BE THY NAME"

The more it is recognized that the privilege of prayer is an exclusive one the more those enjoying the privilege will be inclined to use it in a most reverent manner. The kings of earth make resolutions respecting times, seasons, dress, etc., regulating those ushered into their presence; and all who have a proper appreciation of the majesty of the King Eternal, invisible, the only true God, will approach in a worshipful, reverent spirit, implied in the expression, "Hallowed be thy name." Holy and to be reverenced is our God; his name stands for everything that is just and wise and loving.

"THY KINGDOM COME"

"Thy will be done, as in heaven so in earth." These words, not found in the older MS. in Luke, are found in the Matthew MS., and are, therefore, properly to be considered a part of the petition. Be it noted, however, that while this petition as it stands is appropriate enough as a prayer, it was evidently not the Lord's intention that it should be continually used as the only petition at the throne of grace, but rather he gave it as a sample. The various items of the Lord's prayer should therefore be to the Lord's people a suggestion of the general character of their petitions, and not be understood as binding their terms, their expressions, their words.

The thoughts of the true disciples are directed to the fact that the present condition of sin and death is not to be everlasting, that God has provided for and promised a glorious kingdom through his Son, and the Church his Bride, under which evil will be conquered and brought under complete subjection to righteousness. Those who are in proper relationship of heart to the Lord must recognize this fact, and be so separated from the spirit of this world that they will long for the installation of the reign of righteousness, even though they will know that this will imply the overthrow of present institutions. Their hearts are so in accord with the Lord that they are out of accord with every form and institution and vine not of the Father's right-hand planting. (Isa. 60:21.) Longing for the Kingdom that will bless the world, they also long for the promised privilege of being joint-heirs with their Redeemer as members of that Kingdom class which shall bless the world and uplift it out of sin-and-death conditions.

GIVE US OUR DAILY BREAD

"Give us day by day our daily bread," or "our needful bread" [Am. Rev.]. There is no attempt here to supplicate delicacies, but merely an expression of trust in the Lord and confidence that he will provide, in harmony with his promises that our bread and water shall be sure. Indeed when we remember our Master's words, that the heathen have in mind what they shall eat, what they shall drink and wherewithal they shall be clothed, but the heavenly Father knoweth what things we have need of, we perceive that to the Spirit-begotten and advanced Christian these words respecting daily bread imply more particularly the spiritual than the earthly food. Provision for all our necessities, both temporal and spiritual, according to divine wisdom, is briefly summed up in this expression.

To suppose that the Lord here is merely referring to the natural food would imply that the petitioners were merely natural men, whereas we have seen that the prayer was taught only to those who were reckonedly New Creatures in Christ by a covenant to walk in his steps in the narrow way. It must be understood, therefore, that it is the New Creature that is offering the petition, and this will imply that it is the nourishment of the New Creature that is chiefly under consideration-- with whatever provision for temporal necessities the heavenly Father may see best. This is distinctly brought to our attention in the last verse of this lesson, wherein the heavenly Father is represented as dispensing the holy Spirit--the spiritual blessings and experiences which develop in his children his own holy Spirit, the Spirit of the Truth, the Spirit of the Lord.

GOD'S MERCY PROPORTIONATE TO OURS

"Forgive us our sins; for we also forgive everyone that is indebted to us." The sins here referred to, or as in Matthew, "debts," are in no way related to original sin, which we are not to pray to have forgiven, but which the Father has already made provision to forgive unconditionally to those who accept Christ. Original sin is not forgivable, but God in his mercy provided a Redeemer, and we read, "Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures." He is a propitiation for our sins, the Just for the unjust, to bring us to God. This prayer relates not, therefore, to that sin whose forgiveness permits us to approach God, and by covenant through Jesus to call him our Father. The sins mentioned in this prayer, or the "debts," are those which are ours after we have become New Creatures in Christ, children of the Highest. Because of our imperfections we cannot do the things which we would, the things which we know to be the perfect will of our Father in heaven.

In a certain sense these are our debts or obligations to the Father from the time we start to walk in newness of life--not after the flesh but after the Spirit. Walking after the flesh we find that we cannot come up to the Spirit, hence the "debts." It is for the forgiveness of these that we are privileged to petition--matters [R3807 : page 206] of omission and commission not wilfully done, not intentionally omitted. In the divine arrangement the merit of Christ not only covered the sins that are past, but made provision for our weaknesses and blemishes en route for the Kingdom. God could indeed apply the merit of Christ to these debts and excuse us from them, and not require us to mention them at all, but for our advantage he has arranged it otherwise, that we must make application for the covering of these debts, for exoneration in the name of Jesus, and so doing we learn three lessons: (1) We learn to keep track of our blemishes, and are the better assisted, therefore, in the future in warring a good fight against them; (2) We are thus continually reminded of our dependence upon the merit of our Savior, the merit of the precious blood. (3) We are thereby assisted in being merciful, compassionate and generous toward others who may be our debtors in matters great or small.

How just and how wise is the divine arrangement which requires of us, in applying for mercy, to pledge ourselves to the Lord that we also are merciful, forgiving to others, not attempting to exact justice from those with whom we have contact and who are under some obligation to us. This is a wise provision, in that it will assist us in the right direction, assist us in the development of character which the Lord can approve, and which would be meet for those who would be inheritors of the Kingdom. It will assist us in our endeavors to be copies of God's dear Son, and like unto our Father in heaven in the sentiments of our hearts at least. It is just, because it is not God's arrangement to simply show us favors above the remainder of mankind, except as we shall receive his mercies with proper appreciation, and with a desire to attain the condition which would be pleasing to him and which he would be pleased to reward with the everlasting life and the Kingdom glories.

"DELIVER US FROM EVIL"

These words are not in the original in Luke's account of the prayer, but they are found in Matthew's account, and hence are properly a part of the prayer. "Bring us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one." (R.V., Matt. 6:13.) This statement is a little confusing, for we have the assurance that "God tempteth no man." (Jas. 1:13.) The thought then seems to be that there is an evil one ever ready to attack the Lord's people to the extent that the Lord will grant the privilege, the opportunity, as in the case of Job.

We remember, too, that trials, testings and temptations are necessary for our development as New Creatures, and since these are necessary and of divine arrangement or permission, it would not be appropriate for us to pray that the Lord would spare us from all trials and temptations, for, says the Apostle, "If ye be without chastisements then are ye not sons." (Heb. 12:8.) We must, therefore, paraphrase this statement in our thoughts and suppose it to mean, "Bring us not into temptation that would be too severe for us, or abandon us not in temptation; but deliver us from the evil one." This thought is in full accord with the entire testimony of the Word of God. The promise is, "He will not suffer us to be tempted above that we are able, but will with the temptation provide a way of escape." (I Cor. 10:13.) The evil one would indeed utterly destroy the Lord's consecrated ones, but he will not be permitted so to do. Thus far he may go but no farther. If God be thus for us who or what power can prevail against us--nothing shall by any means separate us from the love of God in Christ.

"ASK AND IT SHALL BE GIVEN YOU"

Although our Lord did not teach his disciples to pray until they requested instruction, this was evidently not because he was unwilling to assist them, but because he wished them to realize and desire further teaching. It may be argued by some that no one needs instruction in how to pray, but that thought is not borne out by this lesson. Evidently there are proper and improper prayers. We might as well say that no one needs instruction in singing or in playing music. We do sometimes say that singers and players are born with the talent, nevertheless the most talented musicians by instruction reach their proficiency.

And so with prayer. We have already seen that great mistakes have been made as to who may pray and as to what may be properly prayed for, and we have already considered the Lord's outline respecting a proper form of prayer, beginning with ascriptions of praise and thanks and proceeding to expressions of confidence in God and the promises of his Kingdom, continuing with acknowledgments of our dependence upon his provisions day by day, and ending with expressions of confidence in his power and goodness to protect us and ultimately to deliver us. This is the general form which our Lord commends to us as proper in approaching the throne of grace. On the other hand, however, it is interesting for us to note that the Lord does not wait until we have become proficient in the use of language and in the form of expressing our petitions to him, but that so gracious and broad are his arrangements that we may come in imperfection and with stammering tongues to tell him of our devotion, our appreciation, our confidence, etc., in any manner that we please. The suggestion is, however, that in proportion as we appreciate the privilege of prayer, we will desire to use the privilege in the manner most acceptable to the great One whom we thus approach.

Why should the Lord wish us to ask before he would give his blessing? For a wise purpose, we may be sure! He would have us feel our need, he would have us appreciate the privilege, he would have us look for the response, and in all these experiences he would develop us as his sons of the New Creation. Therefore we are to ask and seek and knock if we would find the riches of God's grace, and have opened to us more and more the wonderful privileges and mercies and blessings which he is so willing to give to us as we develop in character and in preparation for his mercies. [R3807 : page 207]

It was to illustrate this that the Lord gave the parable of this lesson respecting the householder who was short of food for the entertainment of his visitors. He was represented as importunately urging upon his neighbor the necessities of the case, and ultimately thus succeeding. Our Lord instructs us that we should be so earnest in our desires for the Kingdom, for the honor of the Father's name, for the daily portion of the bread of life, for deliverance from the evil one, and for God's keeping power in every trouble, and in all of life's affairs his supervision, that we continually go to him day by day, hourly and momentarily, watching and praying without ceasing, and in everything giving thanks, accepting by faith the promises of his Word that all things shall work together for our good. To such the blessings are on the way, sometimes coming in one form and sometimes in another, but generally in ways not anticipated and generally larger by far than anything we had asked.

"YE BEING EVIL KNOW HOW"

Choosing an illustration from life our Lord reminded the disciples that few if any earthly parents, if their children cried to them for blessings, would give them injurious things instead. What kind of a father if asked for bread would give his child a stone, if asked for fish would give him a serpent, if asked for an egg would give him a scorpion? Certainly such parents would be few, if any. The force of our Lord's language is seen if we remember that the bread of oriental countries very much resembles a stone, being about the size of a large hand and baked in an oven provided with stones and whitened with the ashes. Some kinds of serpents resemble certain kinds of fish, too. And there is a small white scorpion which rolls itself up in the shape of an egg. Basing his argument upon these illustrations, which would commend themselves to his hearers, our Lord proceeds to institute a comparison as between the dealings of earthly parents with their children and the dealings of God with his children. His words are, If ye being evil, being imperfect through the fall, more or less selfish in all of your thoughts and words and dealings, still would be disposed to give good gifts to your children, how much more would your heavenly Father give the good gift of all gifts, the holy Spirit, to them that ask him for it.

The clear intimation is that this should be the essence of our petitions to our heavenly Father, for more of his holy Spirit, and that we should look to the experiences of life, its trials, disappointments, discouragements, oppositions, not as being really injurious to us, not as being stones, scorpions and serpents, but as being blessings in disguise, if we receive them in the proper spirit. The Lord is able to make all things abound in the interest of his children, the New Creatures in Christ Jesus. These know from experience that some of their severest trials and disappointments of an earthly kind have worked out for them development of character, elements of the holy Spirit, which they probably could not have so well received in any other manner. Hence, when we pray to the Lord for his blessings, we are with patience to wait for them, and to seek them and to find them in the various circumstances of life which his providences will permit. Remembering that the holy Spirit is the spirit [R3808 : page 207] of meekness, gentleness, patience, long-suffering, brotherly kindness, love, we may well ask ourselves how else could the Lord work out for us these elements of character which we desire did he not permit to come upon us the trials and difficulties of life necessary to their development.

We know not the author of the following, but consider it worthy of reproduction as an illustration of earthly kindness and a reminder of the gracious message from Jehovah:--

"LIKE AS A FATHER PITIETH HIS CHILDREN, SO THE LORD PITIETH THEM THAT REVERENCE HIM."--PSA. 103:13

The life of a beautiful girl was nearing its close. The busy father, active in legal and political life, made short visits to his office to perform the most necessary duties, and hurried home again day by day to be near her in her last days. He spent every possible moment in granting her every wish, and it was a comfort to him that his daughter was finding in her religion a source of strength that robbed approaching death of its terror. He was an upright man, but one from whose busy life religion had been crowded out.

One day as he sat by the bedside, his daughter asked him to read to her. He found a magazine, and read some bright bits of poetry and fiction. It pleased her, but she wanted something else.

"Father," she asked, "will you get my Bible and read from that?"

"Certainly, my dear," he answered, and was rather glad than otherwise.

He was a strong man with a clear voice and a good degree of self-control. He had mastered his own feelings in these days of patient and affectionate ministration, that he might bring to the sick-room every element of cheer that was possible. And now he began, calmly and quietly, to read the Sermon on the Mount. He knew where to find it, and he knew that it was good, and he read it with a growing appreciation of its beauty and sublimity.

But the daughter grew more and more restless.

"Don't you like it?" he asked.

"O, father," she exclaimed, "it isn't that I want, about our righteousness exceeding that of the Scribes and Pharisees! Can't you find the place where it says, 'Like as a father pitieth his children so the Lord pitieth them that fear him?'"

His voice trembled a little, but he said, "I will find it," and he turned to the concordance in the back of the Bible. But when he found the place and began to read, 'Like as a father,' he could bear no more.

"O, my child," he cried, "if God cares for you as I do--"

He bent over the bed and wept.

"It is the verse we both need," she said softly, after a few minutes.

And he knelt beside the bed, and said:

"Yes, my dear--that is the verse we both need."



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. XXVIIJULY 15No. 14
A.D., 1906--A.M., 6034


CONTENTS.

"Truth is Stranger Than Fiction"211
"All the Way My Savior Leads Me"213
"The Cup Which My Father Hath Poured, Shall I Not Drink It?"224
Samples of Interesting Letters225
Resolutions of the Allegheny Congregation and Others226
"Harvest Siftings"228
Perils Amongst False Brethren228
A Sketch of the Development of Present Truth229
Woman's Rights and Wrongs237

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.
AUSTRALASIAN BRANCH--32 JOHNSTON ST., FITZROY, MELBOURNE.

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

All Bible Students who, by reason of old age, or other infirmity or adversity, are unable to pay for this Journal, will be supplied FREE if they send a Postal Card each June stating their case and requesting its continuance. We are not only willing, but anxious, that all such be on our list continually and in touch with the Studies, etc.


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.



ASBURY PARK, N.J., CONVENTION, JULY 22-29


(For information respecting meetings, see last page, this issue.)

RAILROAD RATES

We have secured fare-and-one-third rates on all lines of railroad east of and including Chicago and St. Louis, on "Certificate Plan." Ask for ticket for "Watch Tower Convention, Asbury Park, N.J.," for which you pay one way full fare and receive a Certificate in addition to your ticket. The Certificate, after endorsement by proper officers at the Convention and payment of 25 cents, entitles you to one-third fare on return trip. From some points cheaper rates than these may be obtainable, via Atlantic City or other ocean points. Enquire of your railroad agent.

ACCOMMODATIONS

Board and lodging can be procured for $1, $1.25, $1.50, $2, and upward to $5 per day.

Write at once if you wish us to procure accommodations, stating briefly and pointedly what kind, number of persons, sex and color, and if married couples wish to room together. Do not expect any alteration of your party's location after writing. If others join it later they will be accommodated in the order of notification. Address all letters to "Convention Dept.," WATCH TOWER B. & T. SOCIETY, Allegheny, Pa.



[R3808 : page 211]

"TRUTH IS STRANGER THAN FICTION"


A CONFIDENTIAL EXPLANATION BY THE EDITOR OF
HIS PECULIAR TRIALS--THE WIDE SPREADING OF
UNTRUTH MAKES NECESSARY THIS STATEMENT OF THE TRUTH


"LET NOT YOUR GOOD BE EVIL SPOKEN OF"


It is requested that this issue be not loaned or otherwise publicly circulated.

DEAR FRIENDS:--As your letters indicate, you have rightly judged that I have recently passed through the most trying experience of my checkered career as a servant of the Lord. And I may add that one of the chief features of my present distress arises from my conviction that my tribulations are by no means confined to myself, but pain and afflict all the dear "Household of Faith" walking in the narrow way and in the light of "Present Truth." I am grieved, indeed, that those for whom I have pleasure in laying down my life daily should be caused any measure of pain, hardship or other bitter experience on my account. And yet I know that fiery trials must necessarily come to us all, to prove us, to test us, to refine us, to make us ready for the glorious things to which we have been called of the Lord.

I may further add that one of the chief consolations of my time of sorrow has been your letters assuring me of your sympathy, confidence and love. I was pleasantly astonished to find that many of these letters were written by friends who only recently came into the knowledge of the harvest message. I felt confident from the first that the well-established ones, who had learned from past experiences to endure hardness as good soldiers, would falter not in the presence of this attack, but I did greatly fear for the new recruits among the soldiers of the Cross, those who knew nothing of my past trials and difficulties from false brethren and who had less opportunity for personal acquaintance.

It appears to be my duty toward the Truth to give as briefly as possible an outline of the facts of the case leading up to the present denouement. Gladly would I have kept silence before the Church as I have opened not my mouth to the world; but I find my personal affairs so closely linked with the "harvest work," that it becomes duty to let all the members of the body of Christ with whom I am so closely riveted know something of the facts, for their relief and comfort and strengthening;--"that the ministry [of the good tidings of great joy] be not blamed." This seems to be in accord with the Apostle's injunction, "Let not your good be evil spoken of": Let the search-light of truth disclose the fact that the Lord's people seek in everything to practise what they teach! In a very special sense WATCH TOWER subscribers look to its Editor as their Pastor; hence the propriety of making known to them everything necessary to their peace.

There are some irregular readers who may not have come in contact with the slanderous reports who may, just as well as not, remain in ignorance of the whole matter. It has been my effort to hide my troubles; but now this much seems due to my friends. For these reasons it has seemed to be the Lord's guidance that a rehearsal of matters should appear in this form intended only for friends, for private use amongst those whose minds have been so poisoned as to need these details as an antidote. Moreover, instead of giving full details I am herein confining myself to those features of this trouble seemingly necessary to a reasonable comprehension of the facts. Be assured that every word has been carefully and prayerfully weighed, to the intent that so far as possible not a word shall be uttered in criticism of my wife that does not appear to me to be absolutely necessary to even a brief outline of the difficulty. Further, I have endeavored to use only kindly and moderate language.

THE NECESSITY FOR THIS ISSUE

It was the receipt of the following (two) letters that decided the Editor that it is his duty to the cause [R3808 : page 212] of the Lord to make the statements of this Special Issue:

May 10, 1906.
My Beloved Brother Russell:

My heart aches for you as I read your letter of May 8th and note that you still love and cherish the memory of the one you have lost, in spite of all the suffering which her blindness has brought upon you. May God bless and help you, dear brother. It ought to be a comfort to you at a time like this to know that there are probably not less than 10,000 of the Lord's saints who daily make mention of you in their prayers at the throne of grace. I have not failed to do this daily for the last 11 years, and how much more just now when you are passing through such deep waters. I doubt if in the entire history of Christ's Church there has ever been any one person who has continually had so many saints to remember him daily in prayer as yourself.

In humility of heart, and realizing keenly my own littleness and unworthiness, I now suggest to you what it seems to me to be the Lord's will that you ought to do regarding this matter, and will first point to the Word of God to sustain the opinion I shall express.

God rebuked Miriam, that there might be no question in the mind of fleshly Israel regarding the one at fault; God reproved Job's friends that they and others might know whom God approved; our Father has explained particularly the circumstances which led to the [R3809 : page 212] imprisonment of Daniel and Jeremiah, that their good names might not be evil spoken of.

With what particular care are all the facts stated regarding our Lord's apprehension and condemnation! The possession of the two swords, Pilate's admission of the Lord's innocence, and the bribing of the soldiers who watched the tomb, have all been helps to many in accepting the crucified One. Our Lord, himself, at all times, made it plain that neither his motives nor his conduct were to be lightly impugned, as in his inquiry, "Which of you convinceth me of sin?" and in his severe reproof of those who accused him of casting out demons by the power of Beelzebub. It is true that he was silent at the time when to have spoken might have interfered with his payment of the ransom, but he was never silent where his silence could cast a cloud upon his mission or his message. One of the first things he did after he arose from the dead was to remove the doubts of some as to the real cause of his death.

Paul's defense of himself on many occasions will instantly recur to your mind; his writings are full of explanations and assertions of innocence, all made solely with a view to helping the feeble-minded ones. Does he not set forth a principle in this matter when he says, "Let not your good be evil spoken of"? Peter also seems to me to include the same principle in the following texts: "For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men," and also, "But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; but sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason [whether doctrinal or practical] of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ."

I believe that the force of Luther's message has been weakened by the false statements made regarding his domestic life, which a few words of explanation might have avoided. In the case of Mr. Dowie, I know that most people take the view that the reason he makes no more defense of the charges made by his wife is because he cannot. As this is not the case with you, it seems to me that your duty in the matter is quite plain, even though it will surely add to your suffering. O! how sorry I feel for you, and how eager I am to do anything I can to help you, and yet I cannot avoid the conviction that it is your duty to shoulder the additional burden of setting this matter right in the eyes of the Lord's brethren. Here is a case in point:
May 8, 1906.

To Dear Brother Woodworth,

"Perplexed, but not in despair; cast down, but not destroyed." As one among the household of faith, I am constrained to address you for personal information, because of your more active service, facilities and knowledge of matters at Scranton, or Allegheny. Coming to the subject: Have you seen the damaging, I had almost said damning, publication in the Inter-Ocean, of April 25th, wherein in contempt as "Russellites" is exposed the scandal relating to Bro. Russell? Right here, though I do not pose for others, but for myself, the Editor deserves to be prosecuted for slander in publishing such an article without further investigation, and I hope he will be! But now, dear friend, what do you know, or think of it? Have you any information that will throw any negative light upon this terrible question? Incidentally, there has come to me indefinite information of some past agreement between Brother Russell and his wife, as mentioned in I Cor. 7:1, wherein, in marital relations, Brother Russell had resolved to an entire consecration of soul and body to the work to which he was called. I can well believe it of such a man, and if true, how absurd even the thought that he would be guilty of the charge preferred against him. If it were possible to admit the charge, David fell a thousand times lower, but in repentance became the "Sweet Psalmist of Israel." Peter fell and Jesus prayed for him, and he became the strength of the brethren, and was privileged to feed Christ's lambs. Knowing as we do the consecration, the labor, self-renunciation, the Christ-like spirit, nothing short of an angel from heaven or his own admission would convince us. If guilty, he would well know that a mere social ostracism to himself alone would not be the result, but a public ostracism of his teachings and a lapsing of his influence. That the direst denunciation of Babylon even now, true or not, will fall upon his work is to be expected. And yet the monumental work of MILLENNIAL DAWN, establishing from the prophecies the God-given "Plan of the Ages," will go down to posterity as certainly as the epistles of Paul!

Looking at it in its best light, the question will come up, Why is it permitted that after such a life consecration, its last stages should be embittered and cast down? But what are we when we remember that Paul and Peter were the victims of martyrdom, and our dear Redeemer was crucified? Perjury, if not detected in a civil court of justice, may convict any one, and it will undoubtedly be that, if the divorce comes to trial! I thoroughly believe in Brother Russell's entire innocence, and I sincerely hope and pray that our faithful followers may stand by [R3809 : page 213] him, and that God may so overrule that the true Zion may be sustained and the "New Creation" be more firmly established than ever. Please write me soon.
Yours truly, in M. DAWN bonds,
DR. C. ALEX. GARNSEY.

Now, Dear Brother Russell, no tongue can tell how I love my dear old brother, Dr. Garnsey. You may remember that he is the dear old saint who came fully and gloriously into the Truth at 85 years of age, through reading the set of 3 vols. of the DAWN which I sold him 8 or 9 years ago, when I was carrying an advertisement in several religious papers. He is now nearly or quite 95 years old, and you can see from his letter how great a trial this matter is to him. It will not "sift" him out, for his heart is far too full of love for the Lord and his Truth, and his brethren; but surely a statement of the salient facts in this case could only prove helpful to a dear brother situated as is Dr. Garnsey.

He should at least know that Mrs. R. has over her own signature condemned in the most unsparing manner those who made some years ago the very charge which has now been brought against you; he should know that she has admitted that her only real grievance against you is that you would not permit her to run the WATCH TOWER, but that you guarded it as your stewardship; and he would be helped additionally if he could see a connected statement of the whole history of her defection, somewhat after the manner of that which you furnished me some years ago, and of which I still have a copy. And what is true of Dr. Garnsey is true of many others.

My advice would be that you prepare at once a new edition of "Harvest Siftings" and advertise it on the inside front cover of the "WATCH TOWER" at say 10 cents per copy. In the notice in the "TOWER" you would only need to say a few brief words about the siftings and testings which are to be expected in our day, and something like this, "This little book gives a brief resume of the more important siftings which have taken place in the past, including our experiences down to the month of April, 1906."

Such a book will reach automatically all who ought to have it, and will reach the hands of very few others. It will be a tower of strength to many now, and will disarm many of the foes of the Truth after our work here is finished. And it would be a timely contribution to the literature of the harvest period, anyway.

I have in my possession a large lot of correspondence which would be valuable to you if you think of getting out such a book. Your Brother in Christ,
CLAYTON J. WOODWORTH.

"ALL THE WAY MY SAVIOR LEADS ME"

THIRTEEN BLISSFUL YEARS

From 1871-1879, while engaged in mercantile business, I was also engaged in promulgating "Present Truth." My earliest efforts were in connection with Bible Classes in Pittsburgh and Allegheny. Later I published a paper in New York State, to whose columns others as well as myself were contributors. During 1877 and 1878 I travelled extensively throughout New England, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, West Virginia and Kentucky, leaving my several stores in the hands of trusted representatives, visiting them for supervision occasionally.

In 1878 my associate who had been attending to the paper fell from faith in the redemptive work of Christ, which led to a controversy in the columns of the paper, he denying the ransom and I affirming it, until it became evident that a paper divided against itself could not stand. My associate seized and appropriated to himself the office outfit, type, etc., which I had paid for. This led me to project our present journal, ZION'S WATCH TOWER AND HERALD OF CHRIST'S PRESENCE, as a defense of the great foundation doctrine of the Ransom and in general promulgation of the "meat in due season." The starting of the paper was delayed until July, 1879, and this left me for several months continuously at Allegheny, where, in addition to the usual meetings, I conducted several series of meetings in the interest of the public in [R3810 : page 213] this vicinity. Considerable numbers were brought in contact with the Truth at this time. Amongst others was a Maria Frances Ackley, who became my wife within three months of her first attendance at these meetings, which was the beginning of our acquaintance. The Truth seemingly appealed to her heart, and she assured me it was what she had been seeking for many years--the solution of perplexities of long standing. For thirteen years she was a most devoted and loyal wife in every sense of the word.

THE LEAVENING INFLUENCE.

It was shortly after our return from a trip to the Holy Land and the Pyramids, via Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and France, which was a most enjoyable and profitable experience to us both, that Mrs. Russell seemed to come under a baneful influence of which I had no knowledge at the time. During our absence on that trip the Adversary seemed to have stirred up a spirit of strife, ambition and vain-glory amongst some who had previously given every evidence of loyalty to the Truth. It appears that "woman's rights" literature and anarchistic ideas were connected with the matter. The bad fruit did not show itself at once. The leaven worked, and resulted, as some of the older readers remember, in a conspiracy on the part of several to injure the work, to overthrow it--apparently hoping to gather from the wreck some fragments--to "draw away disciples after them." The entire matter came upon me like an explosion, being carefully planned to this end.

I was not aware of it at the time, but learned subsequently that the conspirators endeavored to sow seeds of discord in my wife's heart by flattery, "woman's rights" arguments, etc. However, when the shock came, in the Lord's providence I was spared the humiliation of seeing my wife amongst those conspirators. Indeed, when she got a proper view of the situation, their perfidy quickened much of the loyalty in her which she had felt during the preceding thirteen years. She was aroused and proved herself a heroine in her defense of her husband and of the Truth, as many of you will remember.

COPY OF MRS. RUSSELL'S LETTER, PUBLISHED IN A SPECIAL
ISSUE OF "ZION'S WATCH TOWER,"--"A CONSPIRACY
EXPOSED," APRIL 25, 1894--NOW OUT
OF PRINT.

A letter by Mrs. Russell in answer to the slanderers was published at that time at her wish. It read thus:

To the Church of Christ, Greetings!

I take this opportunity to speak in defense of my [R3810 : page 214] husband against the bold attack of our enemies in maligning his character and misrepresenting our domestic relations. Our household is composed only of ourselves and our esteemed and beloved helpers in the WATCH TOWER Office, all of whom gladly bear witness to the tranquillity and happiness of our home, save as intrusions of false brethren and busybodies occasionally disturb it.

Our home, so far from being a discordant one, is the very reverse,--most happy. I could, indeed, pray for no greater earthly blessing upon all of the dear saints than that their home-life might be as peaceful and happy as ours. The liberty wherewith Christ makes free is enjoyed by all who are of our household or in any way connected with the work; not the liberty of anarchy, however, but of subjection to the Spirit and Word of God.

To the above answers of my beloved husband to the charges of his slanderers I give my unqualified endorsement in every particular. Although such calumnies are severe, and doubly hard to bear when they come from those whom we had supposed to be friends, but who, we now find, have been plotting these wicked deeds for several years, I assure you all that God has sustained us and given us his peace through it all. At first it came with almost the force and suddenness of an avalanche, both upon us and upon the Allegheny Church; and although we feared for the stability of some, we felt sure that it was permitted of the Lord for the purpose of what he saw to be necessary sifting. But, thank God, the Church here has weathered the storm well; and now letters from some of the stronger ones abroad, who have received the libelous circulars, are coming in, expressing continued confidence, and showing that Satan's arts are recognized; and these are further encouraging our hearts and answering our prayers, though we are still solicitous for many who are yet young in the Truth, and who may be unprepared to withstand such a shock; for we well know that the time intervening between receiving the slanderous report and this reply is one of suspense and severe trial to all.

We reflect, however, that "The Lord knoweth them that are his," and that he is able and willing to keep them from falling; and that, as with Gideon's band, some must needs be turned back. Who is on the Lord's side?

--the Truth's side? "Who shall be able to stand?"--
"Who shall ascend into the hill [the Kingdom] of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place?" "He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn [a solemn covenant] deceitfully."

Having committed our way unto the Lord, we are not fretting ourselves because of the evil doers, whose time is short, but we are trusting in the Lord, whose promises will in due time be fulfilled--"He shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday" (Psa. 37); and until such time we will try to be patient, and will count it all joy to be esteemed worthy to suffer reproaches and afflictions for the name and cause of our beloved Lord.

"Oh! what are all earth's gilded toys,
Compared with heaven's eternal joys,
Or even to the feast now spread
For pilgrims through the desert led?"

In Christian love and fellowship with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ and his Truth in truth and sincerity, and who have no disposition to make merchandise of either the Truth or the character of any of God's chosen instruments, I am

Yours in the faith and hope of the Gospel,
MRS. C. T. RUSSELL.

EXTRACT FROM AN OPEN LETTER TO THE CHURCH BY MRS. RUSSELL,
Published in ZION'S WATCH TOWER, June 1894, relating to this same conspiracy:

"Mr. Adamson also told that my husband forbids people to marry, and as a proof of this related how he once sent Mr. Bryan a three days' journey into the country at an expense of twelve dollars, in order to prevent a wedding. I answered that this statement is as untrue as the others; that Mr. Russell never forbade any one to marry, and that not a living being could truthfully say that he or she had been forbidden; but that I knew that when his opinion was specially asked he gave the Apostle Paul's advice, and as nearly as possible in his words, citing them. (1 Cor. 7:25-35.) And when I had given a truthful explanation of his proof, above referred to, all saw that it was to my husband's credit that he spared neither trouble nor expense in order to let a sister in Christ know something of what he knew of the character of the man she was about to marry; that, thus informed, she might the better judge for herself whether or not he would make a desirable husband. Mr. Bryan, who took that letter, and who brought it back undelivered, because too late to be of service to the sister, knows the truth of the matter, while conniving with Mr. A. at its misrepresentation of my husband's character and teachings. Anything to down Mr. Russell's influence,--seems to be their motto.

"In the same connection, Mr. Adamson is telling that Mr. Russell wrote to him shortly after he was married, telling him that he should make his will so as to give what money he had to the Tract Fund, and to be sure not to let Mrs. A. see that letter. They affirmed this story in my presence, and said they had the letter in hand. I denied it emphatically, well knowing my husband's disposition to the contrary. I asked them to read the letter aloud to us all, but they refused to do so, and this clearly showed to all present that the statement was not worthy of credence. Only since my return home have I learned the truth on the subject, as follows:

"Shortly after Mr. A.'s marriage, Mrs. A., it seems, declared that she 'was not going to race over the country after him, like a mad dog.' In writing to Mr. Russell on the subject, Mr. A. said in substance, 'What money I have was all consecrated to the Lord before I married; and in the event of my death I do not intend that any of it shall go to Mrs. Adamson or her folks: it shall go to the Tract Fund.'

"In his reply to that letter, my husband urged that Mrs. Adamson be not ignored; that as a wife she had a just claim upon him; that on general principles any woman he would call his 'wife' deserved consideration as such, even if out of harmony on religious subjects, as Mrs. A. then was, according to his representation. But he advised that if Mr. A. decided to will any portion of his effects to the Tract Fund, it would be wise, under the circumstances he described, and to the interest of his domestic happiness, not to inform Mrs. A. respecting [R3811 : page 215] it. That is probably the letter they had in hand, and were afraid to read lest their misrepresentations should be made manifest. Thus do falsehoods force the truth to view.--Matt. 10:26.

"As illustrating the depth of wickedness to which these men would stoop, under the influence of envy and ambition. I told the Church how Mr. Adamson had written to Brother Wright (and we know not to how many others), citing 1 Cor. 5:1-6 without comment, as applicable to my husband. Mr. Adamson could not deny the fact, under the evidence, but protested that he had not intended any reflection upon Mr. Russell's moral character. Some of the brethren present remarked that such a charge would have no weight with anyone who knew Mr. Russell or who had ever looked into his face. In telling what inference he did wish to give by the citation named, Mr. Adamson replied that he meant to say that Mr. Russell is a "railer." But since railers are not mentioned at all in the citation, but five verses further down in the chapter, I showed that this is only one of the many cunning methods of misrepresentation resorted to by these wicked men--because they do not know any real crimes to lay to his charge. I mention these items here, because no doubt they have been similarly misstated orally or by letter to others; and to show that the same spirit that prompted the misrepresentations of their first attack still controls them, and that reconciliation with such people, under such conditions, would neither be possible nor desirable, nor right, nor scriptural."

THE BAD SEED GERMINATED

The excitement connected with the conspiracy against me above referred to temporarily hindered the sprouting of the bad seed of so-called "woman's rights" and ambition, and temporarily Mrs. Russell became very enthusiastic in my support. It was she who first called attention to Matt. 24:45-47, applying it to me in a meeting at Allegheny and subsequently in another meeting with the New York Church. I demurred that I had not thought of the passage thus, and declined to make any personal application of it, although I could not deny the force of the argument that it pointed out "that servant," and "fellow servants" and "the household," apparently clearly and designedly distinguishing between these terms. Some little objection was aroused by her interpretation and I urged great moderation in the making of any personal application, suggesting that the WATCH TOWER rather than its editor might be considered "that servant." As an evidence of Mrs. Russell's position on the question I give a copy of a letter she wrote in defense of her statement of the matter before the New York Church, as follows:--

ALLEGHENY, Pa., Dec. 31, 1895.

Mr. Geo. D. Woolsey,

Dear Brother in Christ:--Husband has shown me your kind letter of Dec. 18, the spirit of which was much appreciated by both of us. I am glad to note your frankly stated opinion as to the interpretation of Matt. 24:45-51, and I have carefully examined the arguments and Scriptures you have set forth. Thinking you will be glad to know how I view the Scriptures you mention, I will proceed to tell you. I fully agree with the interpretation of Isaiah 52:7, presented in the TOWER of Oct., 1881, which you endorse, the one in that case being the Christ, Head and body, of which the living members constitute "the feet."

I also agree that Rev. 16:15 refers to any one of the Church who complies with the conditions. The entire statement gives evidence to this effect. It could not be understood otherwise. I also agree that in the parables of the talents and pounds, as in all parables, the thing said is not the thing meant, and that each one here mentioned, as in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, represents a class.

But when we come to Matt. 24:45-51 it appears to me to be a totally different case. Here are brought to our attention--"that servant," "his fellow servants" and "the household." Now, if the Lord wished to indicate a chief servant of the Truth, and fellow servants assisting in serving the meat in due season to the household of faith, he could not have chosen more precise language to convey such a thought. And, on the contrary, to ignore such an order and reasonableness in the account, to my mind throws the entire narrative into confusion, making the "servants" (plural) and "that servant" interchangeable terms.

If we should handle all Scriptures thus loosely, it seems to me we could either prove or disprove anything according to our preconceived ideas. It does not seem to me reasonable, nor a justifiable interpretation of our Lord's testimony, to say that the entire household fed itself, and that the Lord gave the meat in season to all together without using any of the number as his agents or servants in the distribution. And if it be conceded that there is a difference between "the household" and "the servants" who minister the meat in due season to the household, then it cannot be denied that our Lord's words also point out one of those servants as specially intrusted with the meat in season and used in dispensing it to the fellow servants and the household in general.

I notice that you do not analyze the text as I do. If you see any way for making these three expressions, viz., "that servant," "his fellow servants" and "the household," all mean the same thing without making nonsense out of the entire statement, I hope you will favor me by pointing out how it can be done.

It seems to me, further, that the interpretation which I suggest is the one, and the only one, which corresponds to the fulfilment. We agree in the belief that the Lord is now present, that he assumed his office of King in 1878, and that since that time his household has been richly fed with meat in due season. It seems to me that in dispensing the food to the household the Lord has not given it personally to each member, but from among them he has chosen and used a number of servants, and that all of these servants have been supplied with the meat in due season through one particular servant-- "that servant." So, both from the construction of the Lord's language, and from the facts before us which constitute their fulfilment at the time indicated, viz., in these days of his presence, I can, so far, reach no other conclusions than those I have stated.

However, my object in writing is not to urge my convictions upon you. I merely state them for your consideration, believing you will be interested in examining them, and that you will agree with me that whatever God has expressed in his Word is worthy of [R3811 : page 216] our most careful consideration, and is for our instruction and profiting.

With the greetings of the season, in which Bro. Russell joins,
Your Sister in Christ,
MARIA F. RUSSELL.

Letter from Mr. Joseph L. Russell (now deceased), father of the Editor, relating to the same trouble:--

My Dear Son:--It is with love and sympathy in my heart that I write you at this time, after having read the full account of your trials and troubles amongst those whom you accepted as brethren in Christ. It does seem almost incredible that those people could be guilty of such mean and despicable conduct toward you, from whom they had received so many marks of kindness. But, my dear son, these are some of the trials we all may expect--especially those engaged in the "harvest" work. I am proud of the noble defense you make in vindication of your conduct, and especially in the cause of the Truth we all love so dearly. I feel confident that you will come out of this trial brighter and more appreciated in your character and works than you ever were before. The good Lord, who has been testing your works, will promote you to still higher honors in his Kingdom. I pray that he may bless you always and sustain you in every good word and work; and to him we will ascribe all the praise forever. Amen.

But while confident that the outcome will be a final victory for the Truth, it is very trying for one who has labored late and early for the last twenty years for the cause of Truth, to have his supposed friends turn against him and brand him as a liar and a hypocrite. Oh! it is terrible! I often think of you and your many trials, which you seem to meet very courageously. But with an approving conscience a man can stand considerable, especially if the Lord is on his side to help and strengthen. Please extend to your dear wife my hearty congratulations on her noble defense of her husband and the cause of Truth during this trying ordeal. With love and congratulations from us all, I remain, your loving father.
JOSEPH L. RUSSELL."


***

As matters began to settle down, the "woman's rights" ideas and personal ambition began again to come to the top, and I perceived that Mrs. Russell's active campaign in my defense, and the very cordial reception given her by the dear friends at that time throughout a journey (which she volunteered at that time to take, for the express purpose of defending and vindicating me amongst those friends who had been disturbed by the slanders circulated by those involved in the conspiracy), had done her injury by increasing her self-appreciation. Instead of considering the kind expressions of the friends as applying to her as a representative of the WATCH TOWER, a representative of the truths it promulgates, and a representative of her husband, as well as for her personal worth, the lady appeared to credit all the demonstrations to the latter--as acknowledgments of her personal abilities. Gradually she seemed to reach the conclusion that nothing was just proper for the WATCH TOWER columns [R3812 : page 216] except what she had written, and I was continually harassed with suggestions of alterations of my writings. I was pained to note this growing disposition, so foreign to the humble mind which characterized her for the first thirteen happy years.

Gradually her interpretation of "that servant" worked upon her mind. First she suggested that as in the human body there are two eyes, two ears, two hands, two feet, etc., this might properly enough represent the twain one--she and I as necessarily one in marriage and in spirit and in the Lord. But the ambition did not stop here--(it is a plant of thrifty growth). Within a year Mrs. Russell had concluded that the latter part of the statement (viz., Matt. 24:48-51) was not merely a warning, but that it would have actual fulfilment--that it meant that her husband would fulfil this description, and that she in consequence would take his place as "that servant" in dispensing meat in due season. This was in 1896. In harmony with this thought she concluded that her individuality was not sufficiently prominent in the WATCH TOWER announcements that she was the Associate Editor. She requested that her name thereafter appear with each article that she wrote. I told her that this would imply the erasure of her name as Associate Editor. She assented, saying that that did not amount to much anyway, as nobody knew her articles. She also at this time notified me that her articles must appear just as she would write them, without corrections or emendations on my part.

To all these requests I agreed, telling her, however, that I was afraid the WATCH TOWER readers would consider that I was demeaning my wife in dropping her as Associate Editor, placing her instead as a mere correspondent. Furthermore, I suggested that if I could make no editorial corrections to her articles it would imply that some of them would not appear in the WATCH TOWER, because where many corrections would be necessary it would be easier to write the article myself. Those possessing back numbers of the WATCH TOWER upon examination will find that Mrs. Russell's name as Associate Editor first disappeared from the 2nd page of the TOWER in the issue of Nov. 1st, 1896. Fearing that this might be understood as some indignity to my wife I referred to the matter in the Dec. 15th issue, page 301, the "Tract Society's Annual Report," in these words: "The withdrawal of our 'associate editor' has been noted by some, so we explain now to all that this was granted at her own urgent request. She prefers to appear as a correspondent over her own signature, MRS. M. F. RUSSELL."

HELP-MATE CHANGED TO OPPONENT

Prior to this time my Sunday topics constituted a considerable portion of the matter for the WATCH TOWER. Mrs. Russell took notes of my Sunday afternoon discourses and later on wrote these out as TOWER articles. This was, of course, a great saving of my time, and permitted me to attend to other parts of the work, and justified my denominating her "Associate Editor" of the paper. She notified me that I must not expect such assistance further, that whatever she wrote would be for publication over her own name. Apparently her thought was to impede the work, and to force me to call upon her for larger and still larger contributions to the columns of the paper--contributions which she had already stipulated must be taken just as she wrote them, without the alteration of a word. Had this program [R3812 : page 217] carried out as she evidently intended it would have made her virtually the Editor of ZION'S WATCH TOWER, and would have opened its columns to matter to which I could not assent. Furthermore, I saw that this would be fostering in my wife an ambition which sooner or later would work to her very serious injury and perhaps to the entire cause of "Present Truth."

After making the matter a subject of prayer I adopted the method of dictating my articles direct to a stenographer, and enlarged the size of the WATCH TOWER from a 12-page to a 16-page journal. The trend of events led me to see that in at least one instance in the past, yielding to Mrs. Russell's importunity, I had failed in my duty in allowing an article written by her, with which I did not agree, to appear in the WATCH TOWER, thinking that it would do no harm and at the same time gratify her wishes. In the WATCH TOWER issue for Feby. 1st, 1897, page 38, I corrected the error in the "Question and Answer Column," item "Concerning the Epistle of James." I quote from my answer as follows:--"The article to which you refer last, as being in conflict with our general presentations, was not an editorial article; nevertheless the Editor does not claim that his negligence in the matter is a sufficient excuse. It is a part of his duty to be critical, and to exclude whatever his judgment does not approve; and he now promises that by the Lord's grace he will hereafter be still more careful of his stewardship, to the end that ZION'S WATCH TOWER may ever speak as 'an oracle of God.'"

Despite this distressing situation of antagonism on the part of my wife the work continued to progress. Mrs. Russell's next move was to so harass me as to make it almost impossible for me to proceed with the work. I appointed a desk drawer in which I requested that she place any articles she had to offer me. From this I made selections. That I might have no choice in the selection of her articles, in Feby. '97 she removed all of those articles except two. Neither of those two being acceptable, no articles of hers appeared in the February 15th and March 1st issues. Mrs. Russell was indignant at this, but I explained the situation.

It was at this time that she took ill of a troublesome disease and required much of my attention, which was cheerfully given at the expense of every other consideration, and with the hope that what I believed was a discipline from the Lord might work out for her profit. I thought, too, that my kind and incessant attentions would touch her heart and restore it to its former tender and loving condition. I was mistaken, however. Just as soon as she recovered health she called a Committee along the lines of Matt. 18:15-17, specially with the object of having the brethren instruct me that she had an equal right with myself in the WATCH TOWER columns, and that I was doing her wrong in not according her the liberties she desired.

The Committee consisted of Bro. W. E. Page, of Milwaukee, Wis., and Bro. M. M. Tuttle, of Pittsburgh, Pa. Mrs. Russell, with them as her Committee, met me in my study. The entire matter was a great surprise to me, for I had kept my troubles secret even from those nearest to me in the home. I assured Mrs. Russell and the brethren that I was very glad matters had taken this turn, and that my hope was that it would solve some of my difficulties, because I had no doubt as to what their advice would be. Not to center the difficulty exclusively upon the WATCH TOWER question, Mrs. Russell had two other charges against me which were read first. One was that a will I had drawn for my father at his request, and which expressed his wishes fully, was not acceptable to my wife and her sister.

I explained to the brethren the kind of a will I had drawn, and they told Mrs. Russell that it was such a will as most people would consider excellent. She disagreed with them. I explained further that I had advised my father to destroy the will and to make one that would suit his wife's ideas, that his declining years might be as peaceful as possible. The brethren were surprised that they should be asked to discuss a will no longer in existence and the character of which was considered excellent.

Mrs. Russell's second charge was that I had not treated her with sufficient consideration at a certain meeting in the Bible House Chapel. I explained the affair to all: that the lesson for the Bible study that evening was in Jude, respecting the Second Death, "twice dead plucked up by the roots;" that Mrs. Russell had been granted more time by far than any other person in the meeting to express her views respecting the text, but that she took offense because I intimated that she was taking more than her share of the time. I confessed that at heart I was solicitous lest she should succeed in making clear her views on the subject, which I considered unscriptural, and to which I feared she would be wedded more than ever after expressing her opinion; but that I had no unkind intent respecting the matter. I told them how Mrs. Russell had appeared ill-humored after the meeting, and I had inquired the trouble and found that she felt offended, and that I then assured her that I had no unkind intention in the matter, and that I was sorry if I had offended her, and that if she would prefer to have it so I would make the same expression to the Class on the following Sunday night. I explained that she finally forgave whatever there was wrong in the matter that night; but that she had brought it up four times subsequently, and I said, "Now, brethren, this is the sixth time that Mrs. Russell has brought this matter up, having forgiven it five times: I now ask her in your presence, the sixth time, to forgive whatever she considered wrong in respect to that matter." The brethren looked at Mrs. Russell in amazement, and she again said that she forgave the matter.

Then came the real question for which they had been called, one of them a journey of nearly 1,200 miles. When the brethren caught the idea of the real object of their visit they were astonished, and told Mrs. Russell kindly, but very plainly, that neither they nor any other persons in the world had a right to interfere with Bro. Russell's management of the WATCH TOWER: that it was his stewardship only, and that he alone was accountable to the Lord for its management. Further, they suggested that they considered Mrs. Russell had the grandest of all opportunities in the world as my associate and co-laborer in the harvest work; they told her that personally they could think of no higher honor, and advised her to take this same view, that evidently was at one time her own view of the situation.

Mrs. Russell was chagrined, broke down and wept, and left the room. Subsequently she was prevailed upon to see that since the Committee had come at her request it was her duty to treat them with greater respect [R3813 : page 218] and to give some heed at least to their counsel. She returned to the study and there stated herself in substance that she could not agree with their decision, that she still had her own views, but that in deference to their advice she would endeavor to look at matters from their standpoint. I then asked her in their presence if she would shake hands. She hesitated, but finally gave me her hand. I then said, "Now, will you kiss me, dear, as a token of the degree of change of mind which you have indicated?" Again she hesitated, but finally did kiss me and otherwise manifested a renewal of affection in the presence of her Committee. It was hoped that this would be the end of the matter. The crisis had been reached at about the Memorial season, but seemingly through wise counsel the storm had passed without breaking in any public manner.

BAD COUNSELLORS--FRESH DIFFICULTIES

Following this conference Mrs. Russell's articles again appeared in the WATCH TOWER of March 15th, 1897, indicating my own good faith in the adjustment of the difficulties, and earnest desire to make use of my wife's co-operation as fully as possible. Some of Mrs. Russell's relatives were evidently "evil counsellors," and the fruit quickly began to manifest itself. At Mrs. Russell's request I appointed a weekly meeting of "The Sisters of the Allegheny Church," with herself as its leader, little thinking that this was to be a new method of attack upon me and the interests of the work which I represented. A systematic endeavor was now made to work up a spirit of opposition to me amongst the Sisters of the Church. For months thereafter I could see that an evil influence was at work, but could see no honorable way of correcting it, so secretly was everything done.

In the meantime I had some very trying experiences with my greatly changed wife. I could see that herself and relatives were working up some kind of a figurative "bomb" intended for my destruction. My confidence was in the Lord, however, and I said nothing to others until, on August 30th, I learned definitely that there was a movement on foot amongst Mrs. Russell's party which was to culminate in some kind of explosion on Sept. 12th. I acted promptly, but quietly, so that on Saturday night, Sept. 4th, about 50 brethren gathered in the Bible House Chapel, none of them knowing in advance that a meeting was to be held. I explained the situation to all and found that some of them had more knowledge of the business than I possessed. As the matter had passed from an individual affair to a Church affair, I suggested that it would be the duty of the elders of the Church to act, and that I was too closely identified with the matter to take any active part in the investigation. Upon the unanimous expression of all present it was decided that the proper procedure would be that a private meeting of the consecrated believers of the Church should be announced for the next evening, Sunday, Sept. 5th, at which the two sisters who had been circulating slanderous and false statements (presumably received from Mrs. Russell) should be charged with slander and false witness and asked to clear themselves by substantiating their statements if they could.

One of these sisters had stated that they had the women of the congregation already committed, and were wanting now to get a few men into the matter, so that it would not appear so completely a woman's affair. Her tale was that Bro. Russell was treating Sister Russell shamefully. The other indicted sister had made similar charges. Without going into particulars they had given the strongest kind of inferences, and the Church eldership determined that it was time that such slanders should cease, or that if they continued all of the congregation should know that they were wholly without foundation or justification.

At the evening Church meeting Bro. M. M. Tuttle presided, and the board of Church elders served as jury. The accused sisters were asked specifically whether or not they had said such things. At first they were disposed to deny the matter entirely, but witnesses to whom they had talked were present and, called upon, gave their testimony. Neither could offer any explanation or defense --neither had any foundation whatever for the charges.

This is the meeting from which Mrs. Russell and her sisters were excluded--because they had ignored the Church, declared they were not of it, and did not attend its meetings for several months prior to this meeting. It was a strictly private meeting of the consecrated believers of the Church, and hence they had no right to be present. They were excluded because it was recognized by the elders of the Church that had they been present they would have created a scene, and would have hindered the investigation for which the meeting was called. The two sisters who at that meeting were shown to have been guilty of false witness and slander as charged were, at my request, not condemned; the board of elders holding the matter over pending a possible later apology to the Church for their wrong course. I took this opportunity to briefly explain to the congregation present a little of the trouble that surrounded me, as an explanation of the slanders which I knew had been circulated. I took particular care to shield my wife as much as possible, laying the principal blame on one of her sisters, whose evil influence I could note at almost every turn of my affairs.

Following this I sought to separate my wife from her evil counsellors in hope of recovering her. I sent those false friends letters, warning them not to come to see my wife, etc., and gave my wife the following letter which she put into the court record of the case:

ALLEGHENY, September 6, 1897.

My Dear Wife:--I send you a copy each of three letters just sent as legal notices. [Accompanying were notices to Mr. J. L. Russell, Mrs. J. L. Russell and Mrs. L. J. Raynor, "not to receive, harbor or entertain my wife under your roof under any pretext whatsoever."] I wish you, my dear, to know that these steps now being taken are in your interest as well as in the interest of the Lord's cause. I desire to shield you from what I believe has been a very pernicious influence upon you for some time past. I do this in the hope that under favorable influences, and by divine blessing, you may free your heart of the slime of misrepresentation which others have poured over it, and that thus relieved you may realize your first love for me, and that no one on earth so really loves you, or so genuinely desires your advancement in all the graces of the spirit of Christ and in the service of our dear Redeemer.

Come back to me, my dear! I promise that I will do all in my power to make you as happy as you ever were, [R3813 : page 219] and as much more so as lies in my power. Think, my dear, that God has already favored you with a position as my queen and associate and helper that, in some respects at least, is second to that of no lady in the world. And do, my dear, remember that ambition is one of the foes of the people of God, that has snared more of the bright ones than perhaps any other. Consider, I pray you, in time, ere it be too late to retrace your steps, whether or not your present condition of heart may not be a seduction of the great adversary.

Is not the situation sufficiently critical to make you go very cautiously and prayerfully? Stop, I entreat you, and join me in humble heart to seek afresh to know the will of our Lord and Master. Remember how Satan fell and how our Lord proved himself worthy of his high exaltation, and remember the Apostle's words: "Humble yourselves, therefore, brethren, under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time." Remember Miriam, and Korah, and remember the various conspirators, and how they all have not only left Brother Russell, but also the Lord and the Truth. Remember that the present matter is as humiliating for me as for you, because if a wife is the glory of her husband, so any reflection, even against her, is to his injury and shame. Remember, also, that I will be anxious to lift up your head and influence in every proper manner, and will not glory over you as a foe, but as one who has recovered a lost and highly-prized treasure.

And now, my dear wife, all that I could wish for as respects my earthly life is that I may serve the Lord, his cause and his people, amongst whom no one can hold so near and dear a place as you have held and may again hold if you will. And next to my effort to serve and please the Lord shall be my effort to serve and please you as my wife, if you will permit it and co-operate to that end.

Finally, not in anger, nor in any other spirit than that of love, and as my final move in your favor, and to help pull you out of the fire of the present trial, I give this legal and formal notice, which I shall be only too [R3814 : page 219] glad to rescind absolutely.

Done in love, and as a despairing effort to separate you from evil influences, and with a hope for speedy reconciliation and annulment of this limitation, at Allegheny, Pa., this 6th of September, 1897.
C. T. RUSSELL.

NIPPED IN THE BUD

As a result, the entire conspiracy dissolved like a pricked bubble. The Sisters of the congregation and others realized how sadly they had been deceived in the name of the Lord and in the name of righteousness. Mrs. Russell was completely overwhelmed with the defeat of her scheme. I hoped the crisis had been reached and that the tide might turn in her favor, in my favor, and in the favor of the Truth. I pointed out to my wife the error of her course carefully, kindly, gently. I told her how wrong it was for her to plot to do me injury, and pointed out that if, as she thought, the Lord wished that she should supplant me as the Editor of the WATCH TOWER and general overseer in this harvest work, he was abundantly able to carry out his purposes and needed no evil assistance from her. I suggested that he could easily permit me to be mangled or killed in an accident; that he could smite me with paralysis or other disease; or by the merest touch of the brain he could disorder my mind; and that thus he could cause everything connected with his work to drop into her hands, for, as I assured her, my confidence in her had been so great that in my will everything had been left to her care and supervision. (This is so no longer. I have already transferred everything I possess except my personal clothing to the WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY.)

Mrs. Russell afterward denied that she had authorized any of the slanders or that any were uttered; but I pointed out that the slanderers had confessed; and that if she were truly on my side, instead of being angry with the fact of their exposure she would have manifested righteous indignation for their false accusations. But still my hope was the recovering of my wife to her former condition, and accordingly I forbade her relatives to visit her, hoping that she would be benefited thereby. I invited to the home a Sister Jones, her friend, a woman of great kindness and large experience, whose influence I knew would be favorable. I opened to Mrs. Russell's mind a door of hope by suggesting that if I could come to accept her declaration that she had no sympathy with the slanders I would know well how to bring order out of the confusion and restore her to the love and fellowship of the dear friends. She demurred that since the exposure of Sunday night, Sept. 5th, it would be impossible to heal the breach. I told her that it was only necessary for her to convince me, and that I could do the rest; but that whatever we would do should be done before Sunday, so that if harmony were effected we could at the following Sunday meeting make an announcement of the fact to the dear friends of the Church, which would set their hearts at rest.

On Friday night I drew up a paper representing the re-established harmony, wording it as favorably as possible for Mrs. Russell and her misguided friends. On Saturday morning she and Mrs. Jones, her friend, were quite enthusiastic over the paper. We got several copies typewritten and Mrs. Russell and I signed the paper, and she and Sister Jones went out and got the other signatures. Mrs. Russell's two sisters and one of the two persons who on the previous Sunday night had been convicted of slander and false witness signed it with us, and on Sunday afternoon I requested the consecrated ones to remain for a special service, and to them I read the said letter, asking them that as many as desired to do so would signify their participation in the spirit of the letter by a rising vote. The dear friends were overjoyed and arose as one person, praising God for his mercy in thus bringing order out of confusion. Here is

A COPY OF THE SAID LETTER
To the Allegheny Church, Bible House.

Dear Brethren and Sisters:--It is with praise to God and with thankfulness of heart that we unite in a joint note to you all. Since last Sunday we have sought earnestly through prayer divine aid in respect to some matters which grieved us all, and have obtained help in time of need.

Investigation revealed the fact that our troubles arose largely through the too free use of the tongue and the neglect of the Scriptural rule of Matt. 18:15. Many things had grown out of all semblance to their originals; and many of the originals upon close investigation [R3814 : page 220] proved to be mere fears which had no foundation in fact.

We are happy to tell you that all misstatements and misapprehensions are mutually rescinded and forgiven, and supposed grievances are all forever blotted out, while mutual love fills all our hearts for our Lord and for all his Church.

Although the trial has been a severe one, we trust that its present happy outcome may prove to be everlasting; and that some lessons have been learned by us all respecting the need of charity, and the close following of the Scripture rules laid down in Matt. 18:15 by our Master.

We hope (D.V.) to meet with you next Sunday; and are all resolved by the grace of God to more zealously strive to act and speak kindly to one and all, especially to God's children; and if we know nothing favorable to tell of one another we will abstain from such personalities altogether.
(Original was signed by)
CHARLES T. RUSSELL,
MARIA F. RUSSELL,
LENA GUIBERT,
EMMA H. RUSSELL,
LAURA J. RAYNOR.

On the following day, Sept. 13, 1897, a copy of that letter was sent to friends from nearby towns who had been present at the meeting of September 4th, with the following one:

To the Friends who kindly visited us at Allegheny on September fourth and fifth,

Greetings:--It gives us great pleasure to inform you that our Heavenly Father has very graciously heard your prayers and ours in the interest of all the parties concerned in the matters which caused us so much distress. It appears that certain features of difficulty in the case, which eluded our every effort to grasp, prove to have been in many respects fears and misunderstandings and the results of these. In an altogether unexpected manner the Lord has straightened out these troubles. The letter following is a copy of the one in which the various parties interested have joined heartily and gladly. I send it to you realizing that it will help to bring rest and peace to your hearts as it has done to ours at Allegheny. The entire Church here has been greatly troubled, not only for the past week but previously, and after the reading to them of this letter yesterday all their hearts rejoiced, and they unanimously joined in as parties to the letter as a congregation. Many expressed the sentiment that the matter, although very grievous, will prove a lesson of great value to us all.

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

Individually I feel as though I had received a great fortune, and appreciate each of the signatures more than I would $5,000, and the second one many times that. Join with us all in giving thanks to our heavenly Father for having delivered us out of so great a trial.
Your brother and servant in Him,
CHARLES T. RUSSELL.

Our hope was short lived. On the following Sunday, when all was to have been harmony, the storm broke out afresh. One of Mrs. Russell's sisters came in late and went out early, and Mrs. Russell herself posed as wounded innocence, refusing to shake hands with some, calling others traitors, etc. I made no further effort to secure her attendance at the meetings, believing it would be better for all concerned for her to be absent.

THE DEPARTURE NOVEMBER 9, 1897

I put in two months more trying in every way to recover my wife to her former condition. On November 9th, being called from the city, I made arrangements for her to have a Sister's company until my return. She accepted this, but subsequently left for Chicago without leaving me the slightest information. I had no knowledge of her whereabouts for two weeks.

Chicago had then the largest congregation in the "Present Truth" outside of Allegheny, and Mrs. Russell sought every way to enlist the friends there by slanderous statements. So far as we are aware only three came under the influence, as about eight had done in the Allegheny Church.

Later on, finding that she accomplished nothing there, she proposed to return to me at Allegheny. I refused to accept her return unless she would acknowledge the error of her former course and pledge herself to reasonable, proper, wifely conduct. I wrote her that in her departure the Lord had granted me great deliverance, and that I felt that I must require this guarantee for the future, otherwise it would seem to be tempting Providence. In January, 1898, Mrs. Russell returned to Allegheny, to the home of her sister; and herself, sisters and friends began a campaign of vilification of every kind, regardless of the truth, going hither and thither wherever they could find any one willing to hear them, bound on injuring me in some manner. This lasted for about a year, at the end of which time my wife gave me [R3815 : page 220] her solemn assurance that she had ceased to bear false witness against me before others, whereupon I gave her possession of a house which I owned facing the parks, and furnished it for her in good style--a better home than she ever before had--thinking to myself, I will overcome her evil with good; she shall yet see the wrong of her course and appreciate my loving intentions. She manifested some appreciation, sat on my knee and kissed me, and knelt with me in prayer in that house. The house contains ten rooms, and she had considerable income from renting some of these to lodgers. In hope that a change of sentiment was in sight I visited her every Thursday evening for some five times, when she said, "Husband, I have been fearful that the neighbors and lodgers would think it strange to see you come here every Thursday." The hint was sufficient; I discontinued attentions. The puerility of the situation was ludicrous. The neighbors would see lodgers, men, going to and from the house daily, hourly, but would be surprised to see the woman's husband come once a week. I perceived that further quest for her affection was useless. Afterward she merely requested me to come to see her when she desired some repairs or additional furniture.

A FRESH ATTACK IN 1903

By 1903 Mrs. Russell had laid by in bank a little sum of money which evidently was consecrated to the injury of her husband. The opportune time for its use came, and with it she published a new kind of tract--not [R3815 : page 221] to stir up the pure minds of God's people, but the very reverse. It was an endeavor to misrepresent me, to slander me. It purported to give letters which I had written to Mrs. Russell and copies of her replies. It was declared therein that I ill-used her, would not speak to her, and wrote her these unpleasant epistles. I remembered well the time when she was with me when she would not speak despite my every effort, and I remembered another time in which she did everything to hinder my work, when I was obliged to tell her that my time could not be used continually "discussing affairs." To save time I wrote her several replies on my common manuscript paper.

The tract as a whole was a gross perversion of the facts, and written expressly to injure the interests of the cause which I represented. These were sent to all the WATCH TOWER addresses she could secure, and bundles of them were sent to ministers in different towns where Pilgrim services were announced in the WATCH TOWER columns, and a letter accompanying each bundle requested ministers receiving it to get the tracts, to look up the meeting of the MILLENNIAL DAWN people, and to have some person circulate these tracts at those meetings. It was expected that ministers of various denominations would be so antagonistic to MILLENNIAL DAWN and their author that they would take pleasure in this scurrilous work; but to their credit be it noted that not many of them accepted the proposition. Some wrote back declining the service and characterizing the request as mean, despicable, insulting to their manhood.

This was in the beginning of 1903, and led me to conclude that my endeavor to help my wife was being taken advantage of by the adversary as a means to do injury to the Truth to which I have consecrated life and all. I concluded that assistance from me must stop, and put my sister in charge of the residence, reserving however a room for Mrs. Russell and arranging for her boarding. The result was a commotion, Mrs. Russell, her relatives and roomers, created such a disturbance that my sister was obliged to call for the protection of the police, while Mrs. Russell and her friends misrepresented matters through the public press to the extent of their ability.

Since then, under the direction of the court, Mrs. Russell has received from me $40.00 per month for her maintainance, and her suit for divorce from bed and board with alimony has just come off. She has been as separate from me as could possibly be imagined for years. No advantage could accrue to her from a monetary standpoint that she did not already possess. I must presume therefore that the motive back of this suit is revenge: to have an opportunity of defaming me and scandalizing the Truth, as a retaliation for my refusal to permit her all the liberties she desired in the columns of ZION'S WATCH TOWER.

THE COURT RECORDS

Mrs. Russell's bill of complaint admitted that there had been no cohabitation between herself and her husband, and her attorney attempted to make out of this that she was deprived of one of the chief pleasures of life. The Court would not permit this. The fact is that the matter was in Mrs. Russell's own control. She did understand that her husband preferred to live a celibate life, but she agreed and expressed the same as her preference. She knew his teachings on the subject, as now expressed in DAWN, VOL. VI., chap. 12--that neither the husband nor the wife may "defraud" the other of reasonable marital rights.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, Mrs. Russell on the witness stand and through her attorney attempted to give the impression that her husband was very amorously inclined, "like a jelly-fish floating around," "embracing all who would respond." She said that some one had told her this thirteen years ago. Hear-say testimony is not admissible in Court, but the precious object to be obtained was the public branding of her husband as a "scalawag," so her attorney smuggled this in by having Mrs. Russell swear that she had told it to her husband ten years ago.

When the next day the husband took the witness stand and swore that he had never used the language (and never had heard of it before) all reasonable people concluded that only an idiotic person would make such an uncomplimentary remark about himself. They concluded, too, that even an ordinary woman, seeking a charge against her husband for thirteen years, could imagine wonders and create the living and real in her own mind. This is the most charitable view possible of such an oath. The Court ruled that the testimony be stricken from the Court records.

Mrs. Russell charged an improper intimacy between her husband and "Rose," who became a member of the Russell household in 1888. The attempt of Mrs. Russell and her attorney to give the inference of criminal intimacy was so manifest that the Court interrupted to inquire, if criminal intimacy were charged, why it had not been made part of the plea and why "Rose" had not been made co-respondent in the suit? Then both Mrs. Russell and her attorney disclaimed any charge of criminal intimacy, but meant that "Rose" had sat on Mr. Russell's knee and he had kissed her. Mrs. Russell also swore that one night she entered "Rose's" room and found Mr. Russell sitting near her bed and holding her hand. The attempt of Mrs. Russell was not to state "the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth," but conversely, to state a part of the truth in order to give seeming foundation for evil surmisings, that would injure her husband's influence among those who do not know him.

The next day Mr. Russell on the witness stand explained that "Rose" and her brother "Charles" were members of the family and office assistants--the former at Mrs. Russell's request. "Rose" was quite childish in appearance, wore short dresses, and looked to Mr. Russell to be about 13 years old. He did not know her age, but another who knew her guessed that she was then only 10 years old. She may have been older than 13 in 1888. The brother came first, and shortly after "Rose's" coming he died.

It was some months later that Mr. Russell in the WATCH TOWER office, hearing sobbing, turned to find "Rose" in tears. Inquiring the cause, "Rose," still weeping, came over and sat on his knee, and complained that Mrs. Russell had worked her too hard before she started for the office; and that she felt weary and friendless. He told her that all that was a mistake. He defended Mrs. Russell as not intentionally unkind or unreasonable, and told "Rose" to do what she was able to do, cheerfully, and then to explain her weariness, and that he was sure nothing unreasonable would be asked. Then, suddenly drying her tears, "Rose" kissed [R3815 : page 222] Mr. Russell. Although surprised at all this Mr. R. did not resent it nor reprove it; but rather reproved himself for not having been previously more fatherly. That very night he talked with his wife about "Rose," and pointed out that she was surely lonely since her brother's death, and that it would be a duty to look after her interests more carefully.

Mrs. Russell agreed, and it was mutually arranged that "Rose" thereafter should be considered and treated as an adopted daughter. "Rose" was so informed in the presence of the three, and invited to spend her evenings in the large study and reading room with the Russells. This course was followed; and when "Rose" retired, usually at 9 p.m., Mrs. Russell kissed her good-night and told her to "pass the kiss along" to Mr. R. also. This custom continued several years, until Mr. R. said to "Rose": "I think it best that I should discontinue kissing you; you are now wearing long dresses and looking more womanly, and Mrs. R. might get to feel jealous;--although she has never said a word to that effect, I would not wish to give her the slightest reason for so feeling." Mr. Russell declared that it was quite a while after his discontinuance of his proper fatherly conduct toward "Rose" that Mrs. Russell (having become alienated on account of not getting all the liberty she desired in the WATCH TOWER columns) upbraided him for kissing "Rose." As for Mrs. R.'s claim that she found her husband in "Rose's" room [R3816 : page 222] one night, sitting near her bed and holding her hand, Mr. R. said that he had no recollection of the occurrence, but that as he has a slight knowledge of medicine he was called on by all the members of the family in cases of illness: Mrs. R., her mother, her sisters and her sisters' children all were accustomed to apply to Mr. R., who kept a free medicine chest, referring serious cases to a regular practitioner. Mr. R. presumed the case in question was an emergency call, and that he was counting "Rose's" pulse. The entire "Rose" matter had a different appearance when the light of truth was turned on it. The Court ruled out the "Rose" testimony, and ordered it stricken from the Court records.

Mrs. Russell mentioned a person named "Emily," a sister in Christ, who served as house-help in the Russell family about 14 years ago. With her attorney's assistance Mrs. R. brought out with dramatic effect that, Once she found Mr. R. in "Emily's" room with the door locked! Again the whole truth was sacrificed under oath, and a partial truth with false inferences went to the public.

On the witness stand next day Mr. R. explained the entire matter. One morning "Emily" was sick, and he was called on to see her and prescribe medicine. "Emily's" room contained a sink and a pump used for the second floor refuse and water. The noise from the pump made it difficult to hear, and Mr. R. turned the key in the door to prevent confusion until he could hear what "Emily" had to say about her condition--certainly less than a minute, probably not half a minute. "Emily," now married, put upon the witness stand, swore that she had no knowledge that the door was locked even for a moment, and that then and at all times Mr. R.'s conduct toward her had been most exemplary.

Mr. Russell declared that he had no knowledge of his wife's notice of the matter until years afterward (when endeavoring to coerce him to grant her all the liberty she desired in the columns of the WATCH TOWER) she mentioned it, saying that it would not sound well if told. Even then, however, Mr. R. could not believe that at heart she meant it, or that she would lend herself to so diabolical a misrepresentation, falsification, of "the whole truth."

Mrs. R. claimed bad treatment from her husband, but produced no evidence to substantiate her claim. Her husband's principal crime was that on one occasion (during 18 years of married life) when he was going to Denver he neglected and refused to kiss her "good bye." Next day, on the witness stand, Mr. R. corrected the statement, saying that his journey was to New York City instead of Denver, and that he had explained to his wife that her conduct at the time did not justify any special exhibition of affection, and that he did not believe in giving hypocritical caresses.

Mrs. R. also claimed that her husband had opened her mail. Mr. R. explained that by mutual consent this had been so for years--their mail had been treated as common property, until (about six months before she deserted him) Mrs. R. requested that she receive mail addressed to her unopened. Her request was promptly thereafter complied with, much to her inconvenience; for many TOWER readers used to write to Mrs. R., thinking to save the Editor's time, their letters containing questions that needed to come to him in the end.

Another of Mrs. R.'s complaints was that she was asked to give an account of her use of moneys. Mr. R. explained that for eighteen years he had asked no reports or explanations regarding money matters, until about six months before Mrs. R. left him, when he asked her what she was doing with moneys received from him other than for usual expenses. Was she starting a bank account, or what? When she refused to tell him, he told her that if she refused to report after using the money his only recourse would be to inquire what she wanted the money for when she asked for it.

Another complaint was that Mr. R. had treated Mrs. R. unkindly during a spell of sickness in the Spring of 1897; and that he had cruelly told her that she was suffering a chastisement from the Lord. Mr. R. explained that he surely did so consider her illness; but that knowing Mrs. R.'s general opposition to him and anything he might say, he did not mention it to her. However, fearing that Mrs. R. might miss a blessing from the illness, he did hint his thought to her very special lady friend and confidant who assisted in caring for her. As for his treatment of his wife during that sickness, Mr. R. assured the Court that it could not have been more kind and considerate. He explained that Mrs. R. had a contagious erysipelas that covered every inch of her body from head to foot; that this required the aid of an assistant in the day time to perform three processes of dressing the eruptions (and who caught the disease); but that at night the ailment was much worse, and, others being afraid, he himself performed the three-process treatment twice every night. He thus spent four to five hours each night, and handled his wife with extremest tenderness, hoping to win back the affection which her ambition had crowded out. [R3816 : page 223]

Another fault charged by Mrs. R. against her husband was that he would not speak to her for weeks at a time, but wrote her letters. Some of those letters were put in evidence. Mr. R. explained that his conduct was wholly misrepresented--that he uniformly treated his wife with the utmost courtesy--that no wife in the world could have been better treated. He explained that about the time Mrs. R. stopped reporting his discourses for the WATCH TOWER she seemed bent on hindering him in his editorial work, and would have wasted his entire time "discussing" her ideas, etc., if he had permitted it: that to save his time he was obliged to write, because her discussions were so unreasonable and interminable. One of these letters, selected by Mrs. R. as the strongest against her husband, we quote below from the Court record.

THE OBJECTIONABLE LETTER

Mrs. Russell's attorneys introduced a number of letters which were really against her case, for they proved that Mr. R. had tried in a variety of ways, as before stated, to recover her to her former good self. The first of these which is here quoted is one from which Mrs. R. extracted a few sentences for the pamphlet which she sent out in 1903. The portion she quoted then is italicized here, that it may be seen how grossly the quotation misrepresented the letter as a whole. It was written without the slightest thought of it ever being used again, and no copy was kept by Mr. R. The following is a copy of the original put in evidence in court:--

July 8, 1896

My Dear Wife:--In reply to your proposition for "a further discussion" of the matters which have recently been alienating our affections, I reply: I must decline such a discussion, for two reasons, (1) It probably would only lead to a still wider breach, and (2) As I told you before, I have no wish to discuss new grievances with one whose judgment after 17 years of acquaintance is-- "a lack of confidence," and that I am devoid of love and justice.

For the past three years you have been gradually forcing upon me the evidence that we both erred in judgment when we married--that we are not adapted to each other, not capable of making each other happy, as we agreed to do, and supposed we could do. The last month has fastened this conviction upon me much against my will. I am convinced that our difficulty is a growing one generally--that it is a great mistake for strong-minded men and women to marry. If they will marry, the strong-minded would far better marry such as are not too intellectual and high spirited, for there never can, in the nature of things, be peace, under present-time conditions, where the two are on an equality. This all the more convinces me of the wisdom of God's Book.

The convictions forced upon me during the past month have been an extremely severe trial to me, for I have enough manhood to make me crave the sympathy and love of true womanhood, which in many respects you well represent, but by God's grace I feel strengthened to continue in the "good fight of faith," upheld by his sufficiency.

You need not fear a transfer of my heart to any other woman! As I have often told you, I never met as near my ideal as yourself, and I never expect to. I conclude that I am adapted to no one, and that no one is adapted to me--except the Lord! I am so thankful that He and I understand each other and have confidence in each other.

This letter is not meant to be unkind. If anything in it seems unkind please excuse it as not so intended. By and by we will know each other better. Let us hope that it will reveal fewer rather than more blemishes that now vex each other. With fond remembrance of every kindness, and with very best wishes for your temporal and eternal future, I remain
Yours truly,
C. T. RUSSELL.

Another charge made by Mrs. R. against her husband was, that he had isolated her from her sisters and friends and had sent them insulting letters. Mr. R. explained that this prohibition was made in Mrs. R.'s interest, when she had become his active enemy in cooperation with them, in hope thus to reclaim her from her wrong course. He sent such letters on two occasions: the first set in September were negatived by the reconciliation. The second set, also filed by Mrs. R. as part of the Court's record, we quote below:--

ALLEGHENY, Pa., Nov. 9, 1897.

My Dear Wife:--I think it but duty toward you to give you a copy of a letter sent (yesterday) to four of your friends who clearly manifest that they are my enemies. No one has knowledge of the matter except [R3817 : page 223] Brother Bohnet, who knows confidentially--because he prepared the letters on typewriter.

As I have prohibited these persons from having intercourse with you, I must, and now do, prohibit you from having intercourse with them in any manner.

My hope, Dear, is that freed from this bad influence you may "come to yourself" and take right and sensible views of matters; peradventure the Lord may bless us again with happiness which we once enjoyed together in our home life, and in our Christian fellowship and cooperation in God's service. It gives me great pain to deprive you of what seems to be your only pleasure, but my hope is that you may become weaned from the love of those who hate me; and that not only to my comfort, but also to your own present and everlasting welfare. Should these later manifest a change of heart, I shall be very glad to have former relationship restored all around, but until then it cannot be otherwise than mischievous, and cannot be permitted. I have carefully weighed this matter for now about a month, and believe that my course is the wise one, and in conformity with the Lord's will and Word; as I will show you if you desire.

Permit me to add for your comfort that your conduct last night and this morning is much more kind than formerly, and had this manner been commenced sooner I would have waited still longer before writing to your friends--my enemies.
With sincere love and sympathy,
Your husband, C. T. RUSSELL.

ALLEGHENY, Pa., November 8, 1897.

Mrs. __________:--Some time ago I addressed you in regard to your influence upon my wife. I have since had some ground for hope that both you and she had come to view matters in a different light, and that your mutual conspiracy to do me injury had been repented of and [R3817 : page 224] abandoned. And acting in good faith I made no further objection to your intercourse.

For a month past, however, I am reluctantly forced to the conclusion that the great adversary is deluding your clique to take some other lines for mischief--hoping for better success than last time. I have been praying for you each and all, earnestly, that the Lord would open your eyes to the enormity of your course; but I now conclude that it is my duty toward my dear wife to isolate her from your pernicious influence; for such it is, whether you are aware of it or not; and I hope and incline to believe that you are not wilful, but blinded, in the matter; but that there be no chance for misunderstanding, and that this notice shall be in every way a legal notice, I must use great plainness of speech, and tell you that your influence, however intended, is a wicked influence; for it has a wicked effect upon my dear wife. So far from being a "peacemaker," as all who bear the name of Christ should be, you are a mischief maker--a disturber of the peace. You have already alienated from me the affections of my dear companion, who I believe was given me by the Lord, so that she bears no resemblance to her former loving, generous self. You have incited, or helped to incite in her, an evil, selfish disposition, as contrary to the Scriptural definition of the spirit of love and the character of our Lord, as it is contrary to her former beautiful character under the influence of Divine grace. The laws of our State, not to mention the higher laws of God, deprecate all such conduct and pernicious influence as seeks to alienate and separate between husbands and wives.-- "What God hath joined let no man (nor woman) put asunder"--either actually or in spirit of mind.

Very reluctantly, therefore, I hereby give you notice that you must not continue this baneful influence; and that to this end you henceforth abstain from all intercourse with my dear wife--either personal or otherwise-- that you shall not receive her into your home, nor visit her at my home, nor meet her elsewhere, nor correspond with her either directly or by proxy through others.

As it is with pain and reluctance that I thus write to you--and only as a last resort in the defense of my home and in hope that under Divine blessing my dear wife, being freed from such false sympathy and evil encouragements, shall regain "the spirit of a sound mind" --the holy spirit of love,--so, I shall be most glad to recall the restrictions here placed upon you with reference to my wife. But nothing shall be construed as revoking this notice except it be given in writing over my own signature. And failure on your part to conform to this notice, absolutely, will justly lay you liable for such heavy penalties as the Courts of Allegheny County may prescribe.

Sorrowfully yours, etc.
C. T. RUSSELL.

Other letters of similar import are parts of the evidence, but the above will suffice as fair samples of the others.

JUDGE'S CHARGE--JURY'S VERDICT

The judge in the case as well as the auditors in court, attorneys, etc., perceived clearly that Mrs. Russell's charges were trumped up, that she had suffered no indignities at my hands; and the charge of the judge was about as strong as it could have been made in my favor.

The jury was out about two hours and returned with a verdict granting the divorce--much to the astonishment of all concerned. In explanation of the verdict some of the jurors said, "We concluded that there would be no hope for reconciliation, and that we would be doing a kindness to both parties to decide in favor of a divorce."

My attorney has made a motion before the Court that the jury's verdict be set aside as being opposed to the law and to the evidence in this case. The court I am told may not reach a decision in the matter for months; even then we all know a judge dislikes to so arbitrarily deal with a jury's verdict, although the law gives him a right to do so in such a case. I am not unwilling that my wife should have a divorce, but opposed it because her plea was a false and slanderous one.

"THE CUP WHICH MY FATHER HATH POURED, SHALL I NOT DRINK IT?"

Whatever the Court may decide, however untruthful, malicious, and paltry the evidence, the accusations have been scattered broadcast through the land, the public know the untruth, and the great majority will not know the truth in the present life. My conclusion is that these things could not have happened: that so far as the Lord's consecrated ones are concerned not a hair of their heads can fall without divine notice and power to prevent. Hence, it seems quite evident that for some reason it pleased the Lord to wound me and put me to shame. My principal grief is on account of my friends; and yet we sorrow not as others who have no hope. "We know that all things are working together for good to them that love God--to the called ones according to his purpose."

How this bitter experience will work for good we may not clearly see, but we can firmly trust. Perhaps it is intended as a part of the shaking and sifting which is to separate everything that is shakable from that which cannot be shaken. (Heb. 12:26-28.) The unshaken ones undoubtedly will be drawn nearer to each other. We have every confidence that though Satan desired to sift us as wheat and to discourage us and to discredit us as the representative of the Lord, he shall not succeed beyond what the Lord sees would be to his own glory or for our profit. As the Master prayed for Peter we may be sure that all who are truly his have his sympathy and backing. From numerous letters received I am sure that I have the prayers of the Lord's dear flock, and I assure you all that my prayers ascend for you and that I fully realize that it is your hour of trial also. May the Church come forth from the furnace brighter and stronger and purer every way.

Respecting the influence of this matter upon the world: it is hard to tell just what it may be. I have heard from many, previously somewhat opposed or non-committal, whose indignation has been aroused on my behalf, as they see in the testimony that my treatment of my wife was most considerate under adverse conditions, even according to her own testimony, when the facts were explained. Some of these have been brought into closer sympathy with the Truth. However, as respects the mass of the world, we know that they love not the light, and long for any excuse for opposing it, and quite likely therefore a general effect may be the arousing of [R3817 : page 225] a greater opposition than before on the part of some who will strive to use the malicious statements and false charges of this case as though they were true--thereby to crucify the Truth and all who stand firmly by it. Believing, as we do, that the Harvest work must come to a close now within a few years, we recognize that some experiences will be permitted to gradually narrow down and finally end the opportunities for service of the Lord and the proclamation of the Gospel call of the present time. We are expecting of course to suffer somehow. We have pledged ourselves to the Lord to be faithful unto death. It is not for us to determine in what our trials shall consist, nor how they shall come, nor through whom. The Lord's grace is sufficient for us. His promise is, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee," even though he assures that in this Harvest time the Adversary would deceive, stumble, if it were possible, the "very elect," but it will not be possible, because "Greater is he who is on our part than all that be against us."

We cannot undertake to publish all of your many precious letters, in which sympathy and confidence have been so liberally expressed, but we are preserving them all and can here give you a little taste. We have heard from many others less directly--as congregations or [R3818 : page 225] through the Pilgrim brethren or through a few words injected into business correspondence. We have not had time to answer these precious letters as they should have been acknowledged. Please accept this statement as my personal reply to your communications, with my love and best wishes.

Your Brother and Servant in the Lord,
C. T. RUSSELL.


SAMPLES OF INTERESTING LETTERS

DEAR BROTHER:--

At a special meeting of the Church at Scranton a letter was read informing us that the jury has granted Mrs. Russell a verdict of divorce, contrary to the instructions of the presiding Judge. Newspaper clippings were also read showing that one of the charges against our dear Brother was that of loose morals as regards the weaker sex. With these clippings we had read to us a statement written by Mrs. Russell, printed in the WATCH TOWER of June 11, 1894, in which she unsparingly condemned similar charges made by another defamer at that time. Her defense of her husband at that time, made after a dozen years of celibate wifehood, was surely not without mental, moral and physical proof of his absolute supremacy to any weakness of the kind mentioned.

A letter was also read, signed by Mrs. Russell, addressed to the Church at Allegheny, Sept. 12, 1897, withdrawing all claims of grievances, real or imaginary, then existing between herself and husband, and stating she would never again say an unkind thing against him. With this was also read a letter over her signature, dated six days later, addressed to a sister in this city in which she flatly contradicted both of these statements, and showed that her promises of six days previous were quite false.

At our meeting we were informed that Mrs. Russell at about this time stated verbally to this same sister that the only real grievance she had against Brother Russell was that he would not permit her to use the columns of the WATCH TOWER as she desired, and that if he would just give in on this one point all their differences could be settled immediately.

We are neither surprised nor grieved at the success of this latest and most successful effort to blacken the good name of our beloved Brother Russell. We remember that for six thousand years demons and men have not ceased to misrepresent the character of our loving Father in heaven and that their treatment of him has been characteristic of that of many of his most honored servants. We remember how Miriam and Aaron slandered Moses, the conspiracies of Sanballat against Nehemiah, the false charges of Haman against Mordecai, the unfounded accusations of Job's friends against him, and the distress of David when he said, "I was a reproach among all mine enemies, but especially among my neighbors."

We remember the misrepresentations which led to the imprisonment of Jeremiah, the conspiracy against Daniel, the false accusations which led to the death of Paul and the false testimony which led to the crucifixion of our Lord as a malefactor, in spite of the fact that the presiding Judge found no fault in him. We have not forgotten the word of our Lord, that "If they have called the Master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household;" nor his further message, "Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake."

Understanding, as we do, that Mrs. Russell's only real grievance against Brother Russell was that he would not surrender the WATCH TOWER to her control, and blessed as we have been by the ministrations of our dear Brother during the eight years in which Mrs. Russell has had nothing to do with the work, we rejoice with him that he is counted worthy to suffer as he now does. We are sure that this suffering is for Christ's sake, and remind our dear Brother that "If when ye do well and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God; for even hereunto were ye called." Again we remind him, "If ye be reproached for the name of Christ happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you." And again, "Our hope of you is steadfast, knowing that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation."

We rejoice in our present privilege of becoming companions of our dear Brother just now, "whilst he is made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions," and our only hope is that we, like him, shall be so faithful to our Lord in this present time as to receive our full share of the persecutions which he has promised, that in a little while we, with him and all the faithful overcomers, may rejoice in the light of the Lord's presence forever.

Yours faithfully,
THE CHURCH AT SCRANTON, PA.


TO OUR BELOVED PASTOR:--

Realizing that you were passing through trials severe, being publicly and falsely traduced, and learning through the press that a verdict in favor of Mrs. Russell had been rendered, though the presiding Judge in charging the jury indicated that her allegations were not established by the evidence, the Church at St. Paul last evening voted unanimously that an expression of sympathy and love be sent you. We realize that the nature of your ordeal is what is to be expected, that false charges, false accusations will be laid at your door. Was it not so with the great Head of the Church? And has he not warned us that as he was so are we in [R3818 : page 226] the world. On the other hand we realize that "Greater is he that is for us than all that are against us." Dear brother, he will not give you one trial too many. He is too loving to cause you a single unnecessary pain. Again it is demonstrated that your loving words of caution are timely, that at this season of the year our great Adversary is specially active in heaping trials in various ways on those who are endeavoring to walk in the footsteps of the Master.

You have our prayers, dear brother, that you may rise above these afflictions a yet brighter vessel, "meet for the Master's use." May he strengthen you through every experience and be your wisdom in every action.

With fervent Christian love,
ST. PAUL (MINN.) CHURCH.


DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--

As I was going over one of the morning papers I saw an article respecting the long-anticipated attempt to put you in a wrong light before the world. My heart made quick response in a petition to the throne of grace that the heavenly Father would direct your cause and your course. I cannot fully realize what a trial this must be to you, but when I think how I should feel if in a similar position, it enables me to measurably gauge the intensity of your present bitter experiences.

It seems natural to find people questioning the correctness of your interpretations, but when it comes to such a slandering of your character and motives there seems something so diabolical about it that my heart is almost overwhelmed. You have my prayers and my sympathy and my love and co-operation in this trying time.

But since the good Lord allowed this case to be put off so long he evidently intended the brethren should have time to be strengthened to bear it; and by allowing Brother Weber to die meanwhile and Brother Hay to be confined to hospital, you might be deprived of your witnesses and your case thus make as poor a showing as possible before the world, and so those who have accepted the Truth would be the more thoroughly tested. I believe the Lord is seeking such as would unwaveringly cling to the Truth even though the worst possible reproach might be cast upon it, and the greatest possible persecution brought to bear upon its advocates. This may be the Lord's method of shaking out some who are unworthy the Truth; so be patient, dear Brother. Naught can harm his cause, and in a few more years the whole world will understand you aright and your undeserved shame and dishonor will be turned into joy. With Christian love,

Your brother and servant in the narrow way,
B. H. BARTON,--Pilgrim.


DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--

May the dear Lord "comfort thee with the comfort wherewith thou hast comforted us" so often. And while the sentiment expressed in both the text and comment in "Heavenly Manna" for February 16 seems to be your present experience, nevertheless I feel sure the Father's loving care is over you now; and though we trust it is not the due time for Zech. 13:7 to be fulfilled, yet, "Thy will be done."

Be assured, dear brother, of our prayers in your behalf. In a way perhaps obscure to some not versed in the Truth, but quite clear to the latter, your trial seems similar to that of our Head. And the Father is "able to make all grace abound" toward his under-shepherd. See 91st Psalm.

God bless you and keep you even unto the end of earth's stormy journey, and grant you and us all an abundant entrance into his heavenly Kingdom is the [R3819 : page 226] earnest prayer of your humble sister in the Beloved,
MRS. G. B.,--New York.


DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--

We are in receipt of a copy of the Pittsburg Sun, giving an account of the divorce proceedings entered by Mrs. M. F. Russell, and we wish to assure you of our continued confidence and love. The charges, to our minds, were so ridiculous that they did not have much effect upon us, but no doubt some of the enemies of the Truth will be glad to have them to use against you and the Truth you so loyally uphold.

We are aware, dear brother, that you have long been the target of Satan's fiery darts, and that he will resort to means, fair or foul, to injure your good name. How glad we are of the assurance that "no weapon formed against you shall prosper," and that "he that is for you is greater than all they that are against you." Whatever suffering you may endure as a consequence of this experience is shared by the fellow-members of the same Body: "If one member suffers all suffer," and we are glad it is so, for we all share with you the joys of the Truth and its service.

Be assured, dear Brother, that we continually remember you at the throne of heavenly grace, and not you only, but all the members of the one Body, for we consider this a test for the whole Church in the flesh. May the all-conquering power of the Lord rest upon you, giving you grace and strength to sustain you in this hour of special trial, and may you learn the lessons he wishes you to learn in connection with the matter.

Assuring you again of our continued confidence and love, we remain,

Yours in the path of loyalty and hope of royalty,
E. R., A. M. AND FAMILIES,--Texas.


RESOLUTIONS OF THE ALLEGHENY CONGREGATION AND OTHERS

At the close of the regular meeting of the Bible House Congregation, held in Carnegie Music Hall, Allegheny, on Sunday, May 6, 1906, the Boards of Elders and Deacons proceeded to the platform and requested of Pastor Russell the privilege of addressing the congregation and conducting the closing part of the service. They were accompanied by representatives of fourteen different congregations from far and near throughout the country, all of whom had come specially for the purpose of participating in the proceedings which were to follow. Brother Russell was wholly taken by surprise, but yielded to the request, backed, as it was, by the presence of forty-five representative brethren.

The Boards of Elders and Deacons then presented to the congregation a set of resolutions which they had previously unanimously adopted and signed, and asked the friends present to express their sentiments on the subject, either endorsing or disapproving the action of the Boards.

The entire congregation of 400 arose in unanimous acceptance and unqualified approval of the resolutions. Following this, the visiting representatives were introduced, and briefly stated, on behalf of their home congregations, that similar resolutions had been adopted, unanimously endorsing and loyally supporting Pastor Russell. These brethren represented the churches of New York, N.Y.; Dallas, Tex.; Washington, D.C.; Columbus, O.; Indianapolis, Ind.; Toledo, O.; Wheeling, W.Va.; [R3819 : page 227] Washington, Pa.; Butler, Pa.; New Brighton, Pa.; and other places. Telegrams and letters were read from Philadelphia, Chicago, St. Louis, Louisville, Ky.; Cumberland, Md.; St. Paul, Cincinnati, Minneapolis, Ft. Wayne, Ind.; Scranton, Pa.; Canton, O.; Youngstown, O.; Dayton, O.; Milwaukee, Wis.; Altoona, Pa.; Brantford, Canada; Hamilton, Canada; Johnstown, Pa.; New Albany, Ind.; Pottsville, Pa., and other places, endorsing the Allegheny resolutions and advising that similar resolutions had been adopted in those places. The text of the resolutions adopted by the Allegheny Church follows:

The Boards of Elders and Deacons of the Bible House congregation desire to place on record the sentiments they entertain in regard to the reflections upon the character and reputation of their beloved pastor, Charles T. Russell, which have within the past two weeks appeared before the public through the trial of the suit brought against him for divorce.

LONG BEFORE THE PUBLIC

Brother Russell has been before the public as a preacher and teacher for the past 38 years, and as such has been subject to public criticism continually, without the slightest word being uttered respecting his character up to the present time. We have been ministered to by him, some of us for 20 years, and others for less periods, down to the last year, and have had many opportunities, both through our personal contact with him and through the study of the literature of which he is the author, under God, as we believe, to form an estimate of his character and to determine with far more accuracy than the general public, which receives its information through imperfect newspaper reports and biased court testimony, how much truth lies in the accusations which were recently given publicity. We recognize that very unkind and evil coloring has been given to some of our pastor's private affairs which has no foundation in the facts as we know them, from the intimate acquaintance with him and his affairs which we possess.

Upon consideration of all the circumstances herein recited we hereby unite in a public declaration of our continued confidence in and esteem for our beloved pastor and brother, Charles T. Russell, recognizing him as the servant of the Lord, whose providence has placed him in the position he has occupied for so many years, and still occupies, for the dissemination of His Truth and the help of His people in the clearer understanding of His holy Word. We highly appreciate the lofty sentiments which withheld our pastor from going into details in public explanation of matters which were dilated upon in the recent action, which would have vindicated his course had he chosen to return railing for railing and evil for evil against those who opposed him. At the same time we recognized with great pleasure the justice displayed by the presiding Judge in the charge delivered to the jury, which, if heeded, would have had the effect of producing a verdict exactly the reverse of that which was rendered, and which would have cleared our pastor of all the aspersions brought against him.

WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT

While knowing the steadfastness and continued faithfulness of our beloved pastor, we desire to encourage him by reminding him again of the grace of our Lord sufficient to sustain and refresh him in the entire matter, and to bring the chastening and refining effects out of the ordeal which undoubtedly Divine Providence intended when permitting that he should be subjected to the experience. We remember the assurance of the Scriptures that "these light afflictions which endure but for a moment work out a far more exceeding and an eternal weight of glory, while we look not at the things that are seen, but at the things that are not seen, for the things that are seen are temporal, but the things that are not seen are eternal." While for the flesh it is extremely difficult to fulfil the Apostle James' injunction, "Count it all joy when ye fall into divers trials, knowing that the trial of your faith worketh patience," we are assured that the Lord will provide grace to carry out that ideal sentiment and to display it more and more fully according as the need arises.

We remind our beloved brother further that, as the Apostle Peter suggests, "Christ hath left us an example that we should follow in His steps," and that the way which He has marked out for us is one of humiliation, suffering, trial, until the Pilgrimage of this life is finished and we are permitted to enter into the "rest that remaineth for the people of God." Of our Lord it was said, "It pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He hath put Him to shame;" and the Master Himself declared, "It is enough for the disciple that he be as His Master, and the servant as His Lord; if they have called the Master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of His household?"

HIS LOYALTY TO THE TRUTH

The loyalty of our pastor to the truth, and faithfulness in the interpretation of the Scriptures, have drawn out our love to him and stimulated in us more and more the love of the Lord, the love of righteousness, and the love for all who are in harmony with those principles. We rejoice together in holding up the hands of him who has thus brought to us spiritual refreshment, and in encouraging him to press on in the fulfilment of the work which the Lord has committed to his hand, that he be not moved by the various afflictions and fiery darts of the Adversary which may be directed against him, but that [R3820 : page 227] having complete confidence in the Lord's ability to perfect the interests of His own cause and His own people he may abide faithful to the Lord in all things to the end.

Dated this 5th day of May, A.D. 1906.

JOSEPH VERO. WM. BROSE.
E. F. ABBOTT. OTTO MENG.
R. H. BRICKER. CHARLES SPRINGER.
GEO. C. GARMAN. A. E. BURGESS.
BENJ. ROGERS. J. L. KIRKLAND.
J. D. WRIGHT. F. L. SCHEERER.
W. E. VAN AMBURGH. J. HUTCHINSON.
A. E. WILLIAMSON. R. H. HIRSH.
F. W. WILLIAMSON. J. H. GIESEY.
J. A. BOHNET. WM. MOORE.
EDWARD MAURER. J. H. BLACKMORE.

The two elders whose names do not appear are those of Bro. M. L. Herr, absent on Pilgrim trip, and Bro. Wm. M. Wright, absent "with the Lord."



[R3820 : page 228]

"HARVEST GATHERINGS AND SIFTINGS."

SOME of the friends urge a reproduction of the following article, previously published in 1894, entitled, "HARVEST SIFTINGS":

PERILS AMONG FALSE BRETHREN--2 COR. 11:26

Our Christian experiences differ; no two have exactly the same, because our temperaments and talents differ as well as our surroundings. But we may rely upon it that no real son of God is exempted from the needed trials of patience, faith and love. No matter how strong the character, or how seemingly impregnable to the ordinary besetments, we may rely upon it that such have as great trials and crosses as others--perhaps greater; perhaps such as would prostrate weaker ones, whom the Lord will therefore in love and mercy not suffer to be tempted above that they are able to bear.--I Cor. 10:13.

Even our blessed Lord Jesus, though perfect, had to pass through an experience to test and prove his complete submission to the Father's will. Looking at our Lord's testing, we cannot doubt that his strong character was measurably unmoved by the sarcastic, bitter words and threats of the Scribes and Pharisees, and that likewise he speedily and firmly settled Satan's temptations negatively. None of these things, which would have been the greatest temptations to others, seemed to move or even to greatly annoy him. He answered coolly and often ironically the attacks of open enemies, and was comparatively unmoved by them; but it was when those who dipped in the dish with him lifted up the heel against him (Psa. 41:9; Matt. 26:23) and left him, that his heart was troubled;--wounded by professed friends. The only discouraged expression recorded, relative to his work, was toward the close of his ministry when the test became more and more severe, and "many went back and walked no more in his company," saying of his doctrines, "This is a hard saying; who can hear it?" His unreproachful but sorrowful words, then expressed to the twelve specially staunch disciples, were full of pathos and disappointed grief: "Will ye also go away?" The prompt response of Peter--"Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of lasting life,"--must certainly have come as a comforting balm to that noble, loving heart, whose only impulse was to do good and to bless others.

And yet as he approached the close of his ministry, the time came that he must still further suffer wounds from those he most loved. No wonder that, catching a clear view of how his sacrifice was to be completed, how all his bosom disciples would forsake and disown him, and how one of them would betray him with a kiss, he was sorrowful, troubled in spirit, and testified, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me." And though Peter courageously said, "Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee"--and so said they all--Jesus saw that all would be scattered, forsaking him in his most trying hour, and that courageous Peter would be so terribly sifted of Satan and prove so weak that he would even swear that he had never known him. Truly these trials from "brethren," some of whom were only weak, and one false at heart, must have been among the sorest of our Lord's experiences, during his period of trial. Yet none of these things moved him or for a moment influenced him to choose another course. He cheerfully followed the narrow path and left it for God, in his own time, to bring forth his righteousness as the light of noonday. (Psa. 37:6.) He was obedient to God and faithful to the truth, and it was thus that he suffered, not only at the hands of evil men, but also from the misunderstandings of his closest friends, who did not clearly grasp the situation, nor see how needful it was that he should first be Redeemer before he could become Restorer and King.

The same lesson of perils among false brethren, and among brethren who had not so fully as himself grasped the truth, was also the Apostle Paul's experience.

We never hear from him a complaint about the way the world rejected his message, spoke evil of him and maltreated him as the leading exponent of the unpopular doctrine of the cross of Christ, which was opposed both by the stumbling, blinded Jews and by the worldly-wise believers in the philosophies of the Gentiles. Indeed, instead of being downcast or discouraged at his past experiences, or in the prospect of bonds and imprisonments awaiting him in the future, he boldly and cheerfully declared, "But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself."--Acts 20:19-24.

But, like the Lord Jesus, Paul had his severest trials from "false brethren;" who, instead of being faithful yoke-fellows and co-workers, as good soldiers of the cross, became puffed up, heady, and anxious to be leaders. These, being unwilling or unable to see the truth as fully and clearly as did Paul, because of their wrong condition of heart, and being envious of his success and the results of his zeal and labor, followed after him in the various cities where he had labored, and by misrepresentation of his character as well as of his teachings, sought to lower him in the esteem of the household of faith, and thus to open the way for various sophistical theories which would reflect honor upon them as teachers of what they claimed were advanced truths, though actually subverting the real truth in the minds of many.

The only annoyance ever manifested by the Apostle Paul, in any of his letters, was upon this subject of his misrepresentation by false brethren. Referring to these false apostles by name, that they might be known and recognized as such (See I Tim. 1:19,20; 2 Tim. 4:10,14-17; 2 Cor. 11:2-23), he clearly exposed their unholy motives of pride, ambition and envy, which scrupled not to make havoc of the Church and of the truth. Especially did he point out that, in their attempt to be leaders, they had manufactured a different gospel, built upon a different foundation than the only true foundation--the death of Christ as man's ransom-price.

Paul was zealous for the truth's sake, lest these false apostles should use smooth words and misrepresentations of his character and of the truth as a lever to turn men aside from the true gospel.

He warns them against those teachers, not to keep himself uppermost in their hearts, but to put them on their guard, lest receiving the new teachers, they should be injured by the false teachings they presented, and lest in rejecting him and losing confidence in him as an honest and true man and teacher they should discard his teachings, which were the truth. Hence his reference to himself was not in self-defence and self-laudation, but in defence of the truth, and an endeavor to have them see that his character and career as a true teacher comported well with the true message he bore to them.

And he fearlessly pointed out that men might claim to present the same Jesus, the same spirit and the same [R3820 : page 229] gospel, and yet be false teachers and deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And, he says, marvel not at such a thing as that men should be great workers in the name of Christ from ambitious motives: "No marvel, for Satan himself fashioneth himself into an angel of light. It is no great thing, therefore, if his ministers also transform themselves as ministers of righteousness."

Paul's letter to the Galatians was written evidently to counteract the misrepresentations of false brethren. (Gal. 1:6; 3:1.) To re-establish confidence in the gospel message he had delivered, it was needful that he should rehearse to them something of his history. In doing so it was necessary to refer again to the false brethren (Gal. 2:4), who claimed to be of the same body and who yet, in opposition to the truth, brought again upon God's children the bondage of errors already escaped from.

HARVEST GATHERING AND SIFTINGS
[R3821 : page 229]

A SKETCH OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF PRESENT TRUTH

Many are the inquiries relative to the truths presented in MILLENNIAL DAWN and ZION'S WATCH TOWER, as to whence they came and how they developed to their present symmetrical and beautiful proportions--Were they the results of visions? Did God in any supernatural way grant the solution of these hitherto mysteries of his plan? Are the writers more than ordinary beings? Do they claim any supernatural wisdom or power? or how comes this revelation of God's truth?

No, dear friends, I claim nothing of superiority, nor supernatural power, dignity or authority; nor do I aspire to exalt myself in the estimation of my brethren of the household of faith, except in the sense that the Master urged it, saying, "Let him who would be great among you be your servant." (Matt. 20:27.) And my position among men of the world and of the nominal church is certainly far from exalted, being "everywhere spoken against." I am fully contented, however, to wait for exaltation until the Lord's due time. (I Pet. 5:6.) In the Apostle's words I therefore answer, "Why look ye upon us, as though by our own power we had done these things? We also are men of like passions with yourselves"--of like infirmities and frailties, earnestly striving, by overcoming many besetments, discouragements, etc., to press along the line toward the mark of the prize of our high calling, and claiming only, as a faithful student of the Word of God, to be an index finger, as I have previously expressed it, to help you to trace for yourselves, on the sacred page, the wonderful plan of God--no less wonderful to me, I assure you, than to you, dearly beloved sharers of my faith and joy.

No, the truths I present, as God's mouthpiece, were not revealed in visions or dreams, nor by God's audible voice, nor all at once, but gradually, especially since 1870, and particularly since 1880. Neither is this clear unfolding of truth due to any human ingenuity or acuteness of perception, but to the simple fact that God's due time has come; and if I did not speak, and no other agent could be found, the very stones would cry out.

The following history is given not merely because I have been urged to give a review of God's leadings in the path of light, but specially because I believe it to be needful that the truth be modestly told, that misapprehensions and prejudicial misstatements may be disarmed, and that our readers may see how hitherto the Lord has helped and guided. In so far as the names and views of others, who have parted our company, may be associated with this history, I shall endeavor to bring forward only such points as are necessary to an understanding of our position and of the Lord's leadings. Nor can I name all the little points of divine favor in which faith was tested, prayers were answered, etc., remembering that our Master and the early Church left no such example of boasting faith, but rather admonished otherwise, saying, "Hast thou faith? have it to thyself." Some of the most precious experiences of faith and prayer are those which are too sacred for public display.

LIGHT OUT OF DARKNESS

I will not go back to tell how the light began to break through the clouds of prejudice and superstition which enveloped the world under Papacy's rule in the dark ages. The Reformation movement, or rather movements, from then until now, have each done their share in bringing light out of darkness. Let me here confine myself to the consideration of the harvest truths set forth in MILLENNIAL DAWN and ZION'S WATCH TOWER.

Let me begin the narrative at the year 1868, when the Editor, having been a consecrated child of God for some years, and a member of the Congregational Church and of the Y.M.C.A., began to be shaken in faith regarding many long-accepted doctrines. Brought up a Presbyterian, and indoctrinated from the Catechism, and being naturally of an inquiring mind, I fell a ready prey to the logic of infidelity as soon as I began to think for myself. But that which at first threatened to be the utter shipwreck of faith in God and the Bible, was, under God's providence, overruled for good, and merely wrecked my confidence in human creeds and systems of misinterpretation of the Bible.

Gradually I was led to see that though each of the creeds contained some elements of truth, they were, on the whole, misleading and contradictory of God's Word. Among other theories, I stumbled upon Adventism. Seemingly by accident, one evening I dropped into a dusty, dingy hall, where I had heard religious services were held, to see if the handful who met there had anything more sensible to offer than the creeds of the great churches. There, for the first time, I heard something of the views of Second Adventists, the preacher being Mr. Jonas Wendell, long since deceased. Thus, I confess indebtedness to Adventists as well as to other denominations. Though his Scripture exposition was not entirely clear, and though it was very far from what we now rejoice in, it was sufficient, under God, to re-establish my wavering faith in the divine inspiration of the Bible, and to show that the records of the apostles and prophets are indissolubly linked. What I heard sent me to my Bible to study with more zeal and care than ever before, and I shall ever thank the Lord for that leading; for though Adventism helped me to no single truth, it did help me greatly in the unlearning of errors, and thus prepared me for the Truth.

I soon began to see that we were living somewhere near the close of the Gospel age, and near the time when the Lord had declared that the wise, watching ones of his children should come to a clear knowledge of his plan. At this time, myself and a few other truth-seekers in Pittsburgh and Allegheny formed a class for Bible study, and from 1870 to 1875 was a time of constant growth in [R3821 : page 230] grace and knowledge and love of God and his Word. We came to see something of the love of God, how it had made provision for all mankind, how all must be awakened from the tomb in order that God's loving plan might be testified to them, and how all who exercise faith in Christ's redemptive work and render obedience in harmony with the knowledge of God's will they will then receive, shall then (through Christ's merit) be brought back into full harmony with God, and be granted everlasting life. This we saw to be the Restitution work foretold in Acts 3:21. But though seeing that the Church was called to joint-heirship with the Lord in the Millennial Kingdom, up to that time we had failed to see clearly the great distinction between the reward of the Church now on trial and the reward of the faithful of the world after its trial, at the close of the Millennial age-- that the reward of the former is to be the glory of the spiritual, divine nature, while that of the latter is to be the glory of restitution--restoration to the perfection of human nature once enjoyed in Eden by their progenitor and head, Adam.

However, we were then merely getting the general outline of God's plan, and unlearning many long-cherished errors, the time for a clear discernment of the minutiae having not yet fully come. And here I should and do gratefully mention assistance rendered by Brothers Geo. Stetson and Geo. Storrs, the latter the editor of The Bible Examiner, both now deceased. The study of the Word of God with these dear brethren led, step by step, into greener pastures and brighter hopes for the world, though it was not until 1872, when I gained a clear view of our Lord's work as our ransom price, that I found the strength and foundation of all hope of restitution to lie in that doctrine. Up to that time, when I read the testimony that all in their graves should come forth, etc., I yet doubted the full provision--whether it should be understood to include idiots or infants who had died without reaching any degree of understanding, beings to whom the present life and its experiences would seem to be of little or no advantage. But when, in 1872, I came to examine the subject of restitution from the standpoint of the ransom price given by our Lord Jesus for Adam, and consequently for all lost in Adam, it settled the matter of restitution completely, and gave me the fullest assurance that ALL must come forth from their graves and be brought to a clear knowledge of the truth and to a full opportunity to gain everlasting life in Christ.

Thus passed the years 1869-1872. The years following, to 1876, were years of continued growth in grace and knowledge on the part of the handful of Bible students with whom I met in Allegheny. We progressed from our first crude and indefinite ideas of restitution to clearer understanding of the details; but God's due time for the clear light had not yet come.

During this time, too, we came to recognize the difference between our Lord as "the man who gave himself," and as the Lord who would come again, a spirit being. We saw that spirit-beings can be present, and yet invisible to men, just as we still hold and have set forth in MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. II., Chap. 5. And we felt greatly grieved at the error of Second Adventists, who were expecting Christ in the flesh, and teaching that the world and all in it except Second Adventists would be burned up in 1873 or 1874, whose time-settings and disappointments and crude ideas generally as to the object and manner of his coming brought more or less reproach upon us and upon all who longed for and proclaimed his coming Kingdom. [R3822 : page 230]

These wrong views so generally held of both the object and manner of the Lord's return led me to write a pamphlet--"The Object and Manner of The Lord's Return," of which some 50,000 copies were published.

It was about January, 1876, that my attention was specially drawn to the subject of prophetic time, as it relates to these doctrines and hopes. It came about in this way: I received a paper called The Herald of the Morning, sent by its editor, Mr. N. H. Barbour. When I opened it I at once identified it with Adventism from the picture on its cover, and examined it with some curiosity to see what time they would next set for the burning of the world. But judge of my surprise and gratification, when I learned from its contents that the Editor was beginning to get his eyes open on the subjects that for some years had so greatly rejoiced our hearts here in Allegheny--that the object of our Lord's return is not to destroy, but to bless all the families of the earth, and that his coming would be thief-like, and not in flesh, but as a spirit-being, invisible to men; and that the gathering of his Church and the separation of the "wheat" from the "tares" would progress in the end of this age without the world's being aware of it.

I rejoiced to find others coming to the same advanced position, but was astonished to find the statement very cautiously set forth, that the editor believed the prophecies to indicate that the Lord was already present in the world (unseen and invisible), and that the harvest work of gathering the wheat was already due,--and that this view was warranted by the time-prophecies which but a few months before he supposed had failed.

Here was a new thought: Could it be that the time prophecies which I had so long despised, because of their misuse by Adventists, were really meant to indicate when the Lord would be invisibly present to set up his Kingdom --a thing which I clearly saw could be known in no other way? It seemed, to say the least, a reasonable, a very reasonable thing, to expect that the Lord would inform his people on the subject--especially as he had promised that the faithful should not be left in darkness with the world, and that though the day of the Lord would come upon all others as a thief in the night (stealthily, unawares), it should not be so to the watching, earnest saints.--I Thes. 5:4.

I recalled certain arguments used by my friend Jonas Wendell and other Adventists to prove that 1873 would witness the burning of the world, etc.--the chronology of the world showing that the six thousand years from Adam ended with the beginning of 1873--and other arguments drawn from the Scriptures and supposed to coincide. Could it be that these time arguments, which I had passed by as unworthy of attention, really contained an important truth which they had misapplied?

Anxious to learn, from any quarter, whatever God had to teach, I at once wrote to Mr. Barbour, informing him of my harmony on other points and desiring to know particularly why, and upon what Scriptural evidences, he held that Christ's presence and the harvesting of the Gospel age dated from the Autumn of 1874. The answer showed that my surmise had been correct, viz.: that the time arguments, chronology, etc., were the same as used by Second Adventists in 1873, and explained how Mr. Barbour and Mr. J. H. Paton, of Michigan, a [R3822 : page 231] co-worker with him, had been regular Second Adventists up to that time; and that when the date 1874 had passed without the world being burned, and without their seeing Christ in the flesh, they were for a time dumb-founded. They had examined the time-prophecies that had seemingly passed unfulfilled, and had been unable to find any flaw, and had begun to wonder whether the time was right and their expectations wrong,--whether the views of restitution and blessing to the world, which myself and others were teaching, might not be the things to look for. It seems that not long after their 1874 disappointment, a reader of the Herald of the Morning, who had a copy of the Diaglott, noticed something in it which he thought peculiar,--that in Matt. 24:27,37,39, the word which in our common version is rendered coming is translated presence. This was the clue; and, following it, they had been led through prophetic time toward proper views regarding the object and manner of the Lord's return. I, on the contrary, was led first to proper views of the object and manner of our Lord's return and then to the examination of the time for these things, indicated in God's Word. Thus God leads his children often from different starting points of truth; but where the heart is earnest and trustful, the result must be to draw all such together.

But there were no books or other publications setting forth the time-prophecies as then understood, so I paid Mr. Barbour's expenses to come to see me at Philadelphia (where I had business engagements during the summer of 1876), to show me fully and Scripturally, if he could, that the prophecies indicated 1874 as the date at which the Lord's presence and "the harvest" began. He came, and the evidences satisfied me. Being a person of positive convictions and fully consecrated to the Lord, I at once saw that the special times in which we live have an important bearing upon our duty and work as Christ's disciples; that, being in the time of harvest, the harvest-work should be done; and that Present Truth was the sickle by which the Lord would have us do a gathering and reaping work everywhere among his children.

I inquired of Mr. Barbour as to what was being done by him and by the Herald. He replied that nothing was being done; that the readers of the Herald, being disappointed Adventists, had nearly all lost interest and stopped their subscriptions;--and that thus, with money exhausted, the Herald might be said to be practically suspended. I told him that instead of feeling discouraged and giving up the work since his newly found light on restitution (for when we first met, he had much to learn from me on the fulness of restitution based upon the sufficiency of the ransom given for all, as I had much to learn from him concerning time), he should rather feel that now he had some good tidings to preach, such as he never had before, and that his zeal should be correspondingly increased. At the same time, the knowledge of the fact that we were already in the harvest period gave to me an impetus to spread the Truth such as I never had before. I therefore at once resolved upon a vigorous campaign for the Truth.

I determined to curtail my business cares and give my time as well as means to the great harvest work. Accordingly, I sent Mr. Barbour back to his home, with money and instructions to prepare in concise book-form the good tidings so far as then understood, including the time features, while I closed out my Philadelphia business preparatory to engaging in the work, as I afterward did, traveling and preaching.

The little book of 196 pages thus prepared was entitled The Three Worlds; and as I was enabled to give some time and thought to its preparation it was issued by us both jointly, both names appearing on its title page--though it was mainly written by Mr. Barbour. While it was not the first book to teach a measure of restitution, nor the first to treat upon time-prophecy, it was, we believe, the first to combine the idea of restitution with time-prophecy. From the sale of this book and from my purse, our traveling expenses, etc., were met. After a time I conceived the idea of adding another harvest laborer and sent for Mr. Paton, who promptly responded and whose traveling expenses were met in the same manner.

But noticing how quickly people seemed to forget what they had heard, it soon became evident that while the meetings were useful in awakening interest, a monthly journal was needed to hold that interest and develop it. It therefore seemed to be the Lord's will that one of our number should settle somewhere and begin again the regular issuing of the Herald of the Morning. I suggested that Mr. Barbour do this, as he had experience as a type-setter and could therefore do it most economically, while Mr. Paton and I would continue to travel and contribute to its columns as we should find opportunity. To the objection that the type was not sold, and that the few subscriptions which would come in would not, for a long time, make the journal self-sustaining, I replied that I would supply the money for purchasing type, etc., and leave a few hundred dollars in bank subject to Mr. Barbour's check, and that he should manage it as economically as possible, while Mr. Paton and I continued to travel. This, which seemed to be the Lord's will in the matter, was done.

It was after this, while on a tour of the New England States, that I met Mr. A. P. Adams, then a young Methodist minister, who became deeply interested and accepted the message heartily during the week that I preached to his congregation. Subsequently, I introduced him to little gatherings of interested ones in neighboring towns, and assisted otherwise, as I could, rejoicing in another one who, with study, would soon be a co-laborer in the harvest field. About this time, too, I was much encouraged by the accession of Mr. A. D. Jones, then a clerk in my employ in Pittsburgh--a young man of activity and promise, who soon developed into an active and appreciated co-laborer in the harvest work, and is remembered by some of our readers. Mr. Jones ran well for a time, but ambition or something eventually worked utter shipwreck of his faith, and left us a painful illustration of the wisdom of the Apostle's words: "My brethren, be not many of you teachers, knowing that we shall have the severer judgment."--James 3:1--Diaglott.

SIFTING AS WHEAT

"Satan hath desired to have you, that he might sift you as wheat."--Luke 22:31.

Thus far all had run smoothly and onward: we had been greatly blessed with Truth, but not specially tested in our love and fidelity to it. But with the Spring of 1878, the parallel in time to the Lord's crucifixion and his utterance of the above-quoted words, the sifting began which has continued ever since, and which must, [R3823 : page 232] sooner or later, test every one who receives the light of Present Truth. "Marvel not, therefore, concerning the fiery trial which shall try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you;" for this "fire shall try every man's work, of what sort it is"--whether he has built his faith flimsily of wood, hay and stubble, instead of with the valuable stones of God's revealed truth, or whether he has built it upon the shifting sands of human theory-- evolution, etc.,--or upon the solid rock, the ransom, the only sure foundation, which God has provided. They who build upon that rock shall be safe personally, even though they may have built up an illogical faith which the "fire" and shaking of this day of trial shall overthrow and utterly consume; but they who build upon any other foundation, whether they use good or bad materials, are sure of complete wreck.--Luke 6:47-49; I Cor. 3:11-15.

The object of this trial and sifting evidently is to select all whose heart-desires are unselfish, who are fully and unreservedly consecrated to the Lord, who are so anxious to have the Lord's will done, and whose confidence in his wisdom, his way and his Word is so great, that they refuse to be led away from the Lord's Word, either by the sophistries of others, or by plans and ideas of their own. These, in the sifting time, will be strengthened and shall increase their joy in the Lord and their knowledge of his plans, even while their faith is being tested by the falling into error of thousands on every hand.--Psa. 91:7.

The sifting began thus: Regarding Paul's statement (I Cor. 15:51,52), "We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed--in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye," etc., we still held the idea which Adventists, and indeed all Christians hold, that at some time the living saints would be suddenly and miraculously caught away bodily, thenceforth to be forever with the Lord. And, now, our acquaintance with time-prophecy led us to expect this translation of the saints at the point of time in this age parallel to the Lord's resurrection; for many of the parallelisms between the Jewish and Christian dispensations were already seen by us, and formed one of the features of the little book above referred to--The Three Worlds.

We did not then see, as we now do,* that that date (1878) marked the time for the beginning of the establishment of the Kingdom of God, by the glorification of all who already slept in Christ, and that the "change" which Paul mentions (I Cor. 15:51) is to occur in the moment of dying, to all the class described, from that date onward through the harvest period, until all the living members ("the feet") of the body of Christ shall have been changed to glorious spirit beings. But when at that date nothing occurred which we could see, a re-examination of the matter showed me that our mistake lay in expecting to see all the living saints changed at once, and without dying--an erroneous view shared in by the whole nominal church, and one which we had not yet observed or discarded. Our present clear view was the result of the examination thus started. I soon saw that in the Apostle's words, "We shall not all sleep," the word sleep was not synonymous with die, though generally so understood; that, on the contrary, the expression sleep, here used, represents unconsciousness; and that the Apostle wished us to understand that from a certain time in the Lord's presence, his saints, though they would all die like other men (Psa. 82:6,7), would not remain for any time unconscious, but in the moment of dying would be changed and would receive the spirit body promised. Throughout this Gospel age, dying has been followed by unconsciousness, "sleep." This continued true of all saints who "fell asleep in Jesus" up to the time when he took the office of King (Rev. 11:17), which we have shown + was in 1878.

*See MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. III., chap. 7.
+MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. II., pp. 218, 219.

Not only did the King at that date "awaken in his likeness" all the members of his body, the Church, who slept, but for the same reason (the time for establishing his Kingdom having come) it is no longer necessary that the "feet" or last remaining members should go into "sleep" or unconsciousness. On the contrary, each now, as he finishes his course, faithful unto death, will at once receive the crown of life, and, being changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, cannot be said to sleep, or to be unconscious at all. Here--1878--Rev. 14:13 is applicable, "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from henceforth."

So this re-examination showed further light upon the pathway and became a good cause for encouragement, as evidencing the Lord's continued leading.

But while I was thus helped to clearer views and brighter hopes, and while I diligently endeavored to help others, the Spring of 1878 proved far from a blessing to Mr. Barbour and to many under his influence. Rejecting the plain, simple solution presented above, Mr. B. seemed to feel that he must of necessity get up something new to divert attention from the failure of the living saints to be caught away en masse.

But, alas! how dangerous it is for any man to feel too much responsibility and to attempt to force new light. To our painful surprise, Mr. Barbour soon after wrote an article for the Herald denying the doctrine of the atonement --denying that the death of Christ was the ransom-price of Adam and his race, saying that Christ's death was no more a settlement of the penalty of man's sins than would the sticking of a pin through the body of a fly and causing it suffering and death be considered by an earthly parent as a just settlement for misdemeanor in his child.

I was astonished, supposing that Mr. B. had a clearer understanding of the work of Christ as our sin-offering, our willing Redeemer, who gladly, co-operating in the divine plan, gave himself as the ransom or corresponding price to meet the penalty upon Adam, that Adam and all his posterity might in due time go free from sin and death. A totally different thing indeed was the willing, intelligent, loving offering of our Redeemer, according to the plan devised and revealed by infinite wisdom, from the miserable caricature of it offered in the above illustration. I had either given Mr. B. credit for clearer views than he ever had, or else he was deliberately taking off and casting away the "wedding garment" of Christ's righteousness. The latter was the only conclusion left; for he afterward stated that he had previously recognized Christ's death as man's ransom-price.

Immediately I wrote an article for the Herald in contradiction of the error, showing the necessity "that one die for all"--"the just for the unjust;" that Christ fulfilled all this as it had been written; and that consequently God could be just and forgive and release the sinner from [R3823 : page 233] the very penalty he had justly imposed. (Rom. 3:26.) I also wrote to Mr. Paton, calling his attention to the fundamental character of the doctrine assailed, and pointing out how the time and circumstances all corresponded with the parable of the one who took off the wedding garment when just about to partake of the wedding feast. (Matt. 22:11-14.) He replied that he had not seen the ransom feature in so strong a light before; that Mr. Barbour had a strong, dogmatic way of putting things which had for the time overbalanced him. I urged that, seeing now the importance of the doctrine, he also write an article for the Herald, which, in no uncertain tone, would give his witness also for the precious blood of Christ. This he did. These articles appeared in the issues of the Herald from July to December, 1878.

It now became clear to me that the Lord would no longer have me assist financially, or to be in any way identified with, anything which cast any influence in opposition to the fundamental principle of our holy Christian religion; and I therefore, after a most careful though unavailing effort to reclaim the erring, withdrew entirely from the Herald of the Morning and from further fellowship with Mr. B. But a mere withdrawal I felt was not sufficient to show my continued loyalty to our Lord and Redeemer, whose cause had thus been violently assailed by one in position to lead the sheep astray--and in that position, too, very largely by my individual assistance and encouragement when I believed him to be, in all sincerity, true to the Lord. I therefore understood it to be the Lord's will that I should start another journal in which the standard of the cross should be lifted high, the doctrine of the ransom defended, and the good tidings of great joy proclaimed as extensively as possible.

Acting upon this leading of the Lord, I gave up traveling, and in July, 1879, the first number of ZION'S WATCH TOWER and Herald of Christ's Presence made its appearance. From the first, it has been a special advocate of the "ransom for all," and by the grace of God we hope this it will ever be.

For a time we had a most painful experience: the readers of the TOWER and of the Herald were the same; and from the time the former started and the supply of funds from this quarter for the Herald ceased, Mr. B. not only drew from the bank the money deposited by me and treated all he had in his possession as his own, but poured upon the Editor of the TOWER the vilest of personal abuse in order to prevent the TOWER and the doctrine of [R3824 : page 233] the ransom from having due influence upon the readers. This of course caused a division, as such things always do. The personal abuse, being regarded by some as true, had its intended effect of biasing the judgments of many on the subject of the ransom; and many turned from us.

But the Lord continued his favor, which I esteem of more value than the favor of the whole world. It was at this time that Mr. Adams espoused the views of Mr. Barbour and likewise forsook the doctrine of the ransom. And, true to our interpretation of the parable of the wedding garment as given at the time, Mr. Barbour and Mr. Adams, having cast off the wedding garment of Christ's righteousness, went out of the light into the outer darkness of the world on the subjects once so clearly seen-- namely, the time and manner of the Lord's presence; and since then they have been expecting Christ in the flesh every Spring or Fall and twisting the prophecies accordingly.

During part of this ordeal, or we might truly call it battle, for the cross of Christ, we had the earnest co-operation of Mr. Paton, who, up to the Summer of 1881, was an appreciated co-laborer and defender of the doctrine of coming blessings through Christ, based upon the ransom for all given at Calvary. The book, The Three Worlds, having been for some time out of print, it seemed as if either another edition of that, or else a new book covering the same features, should be gotten out. Mr. Paton agreed to get it ready for the press, and Mr. Jones offered to pay all the expenses incident to its printing and binding and to give Mr. Paton as many copies of the book as he could sell, as remuneration for his time spent in preparing the matter, provided I would agree to advertise it liberally and gratuitously in the TOWER--well knowing that there would be a demand for it if I should recommend it, and that his outlay would be sure to return with profit. (For those books did not sell at such low prices as we charge for MILLENNIAL DAWN.) I not only agreed to this, but contributed to Mr. Paton's personal expenses in connection with the publishing, as well as paid part of the printer's bill at his solicitation.

In the end, I alone was at any financial loss in connection with the book, called Day Dawn, the writer and publisher both being gainers financially, while I did all the introducing by repeated advertisements. We need to give these particulars, because of certain one-sided and only partial statements of facts and misrepresentations which have recently been published and circulated in tract form by Mr. Paton, who is also now an advocate of that "other gospel" of which the cross of Christ is not the center, and which denies that he "bought us with his own precious blood." Mr. P. has since published another book, which, though called by the same name as the one we introduced, being on another and a false foundation, I cannot and do not recommend, but which I esteem misleading sophistry, tending to undermine the whole structure of the Christian system, yet retaining a sufficiency of the truths which we once held in common to make it palatable and dangerous to all not rooted and grounded upon the ransom rock.

The false foundation which it presents is the old heathen doctrine of evolution revamped, which not only denies the fall of man, but as a consequence, all necessity for a redeemer. It claims, on the contrary, that not by redemption and restitution to a lost estate, but by progressive evolution or development, man has risen and is still to rise from the lower condition in which he was created until, by his own good works, he ultimately reaches the divine nature. It claims that our blessed Lord was himself a degraded and imperfect man, whose work on earth was to crucify a carnal nature, which, it claims, he possessed, and to thus show all men how to crucify their carnal or sinful propensities.

And here we remark that the darkness and degradation which came upon the whole world in its fallen, cast-off condition, and which was only intensified by Papacy's priestcraft during the dark ages, when contrasted with the light of intelligence, which God is now letting in upon the world, have gradually led men to esteem present intelligence as merely a part of a process of evolution. This view, as we have shown, * though quite incorrect, is nevertheless the occasion of the predicted great falling away from the faith of the Bible during the harvest period. (Psa. 91:7.) And few Christian people seem to be well [R3824 : page 234] enough grounded in the Truth to be able to withstand this trial of the evil day, in which many will fall while only the few will stand. For this cause we use great plainness of speech.

*MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. I., p. 261, Vol. VI., p. 604.

The little history of the way in which Mr. Paton came to turn from us and from the ransom, to oppose that which he once clearly saw and advocated, is important, as it became the occasion of another sifting or testing of the WATCH TOWER readers, by that time a much larger number (because Mr. Paton had been a respected brother and co-worker with us, and because as a traveling representative of the TOWER and its doctrines, his expenses being met in part by TOWER subscriptions and renewals, as well as by money from me, he was personally known to a larger number of the readers than was the Editor of the TOWER). It came about thus:--

In the year 1881, Mr. Barbour, still publishing the Herald, and still endeavoring to overthrow the doctrine of the Ransom, finding that on a preaching tour I had used a diagram of the Tabernacle to illustrate how Christ's sacrifice was typified in the sacrifices of typical Israel, wrote an article on the Atonement, in which he undertook to show that the sacrifices of the Day of Atonement typified almost anything else than what they do typify. I could readily see through the fallacy of his presentation, which made of the bullock a type of one thing in one verse and another thing in each other verse in which it was mentioned, and so too with the goat. But I well knew that people in general are not close reasoners, and that, with the cares of life upon them, they are too apt to accept a seeming interpretation, without a critical examination of the words of Scripture and their context.

I thought the matter all over. I examined the chapter (Lev. 16), but while seeing the inconsistency and error of Mr. Barbour's interpretation, I could only confess that I did not understand it and could not give a connected interpretation which would fit all the details so plainly stated, and all of which must have a particular meaning. What could I do? Those reading the Herald as well as the TOWER would probably be misled, if not helped out of the difficulty; and to merely say that the Herald's interpretation was inconsistent with itself, and therefore a misinterpretation, would be misunderstood. Many would surely think that I opposed that view from a spirit of rivalry; for there are always people with whom everything resolves itself into personality, rivalry and party spirit, and such cannot understand others who take a higher and nobler view, and who think always and only of the Truth, regardless of persons.

I went to the Lord with this as with every trial, told him just how it seemed to me, how anxious I felt for his dear "sheep," who, having their appetites sharpened by some truth, were by their very hunger exposed to Satan's deceptions. I told him that I realized that he was the Shepherd, and not I, but that I knew also that he would be pleased at my interest in the sheep and my desire to be his mouthpiece to declare the truth, the way and the life to them; that I felt deeply impressed that if the time had come for the permission of a false view to deceive the unworthy, it must also be his due time to have the truth on the same subject made clear, that the worthy ones might be enabled to stand, and not fall from the truth. Believing that the due time had come for the correct understanding of the meaning of the Jewish sacrifices, which in a general way all Christians concede were typical of "better sacrifices," and that the Lord would grant the insight as soon as I got into the attitude of heart best fitted to receive the light, I prayed with confidence that if the Lord's due time had come, and if he were willing to use me as his instrument to declare the message to his dear family, that I might be enabled to rid my heart and mind of any prejudice that might stand in the way and be led of his spirit into the proper understanding.

Believing that the prayer would be answered affirmatively, I went into my study next morning prepared to study and write. The forenoon I spent in scrutinizing the text and every other Scripture likely to shed light upon it, especially the epistle to the Hebrews, and in looking to the Lord for wisdom and guidance; but no solution of the difficult passage came. The afternoon and evening were similarly spent, and all of the next day. Everything else was neglected, and I wondered why the Lord kept me so long; but on the third day near noon the whole matter came to me as clear as the noon-day sun--so clear and convincing and so harmonious with the whole tenor of Scripture, that I could not question its correctness; and no one has ever yet been able to find a flaw in it. (This has been published in several editions in pamphlet form under the title, TABERNACLE SHADOWS OF THE BETTER SACRIFICES, and can still be had by addressing the Watch Tower office--10c.)

Then I knew why the Lord had led me to it so slowly and cautiously. I needed a special preparation of heart for the full appreciation of all it contained, and I was all the more assured that it was not of my own wisdom; for if of my own why would it not have come at once? I found that the understanding of that subject was bound to have a wide influence upon all our hopes and views of all truths--not that it overturned old truths or contradicted them, but, on the contrary, that it set them all in order and harmony and straightened out little knots and [R3825 : page 234] twists. For instance, the doctrine of "justification by faith" had always been more or less confused in my mind, as it is in every mind, with the doctrine of "sanctification" which calls for self-sacrifice and works. This was all made clear and plain at once; for the types showed that we all, as sinners, needed first of all Christ's ransom sacrifice, that we appropriate its merits (justification-- forgiveness) to ourselves by faith, and that thus we are justified (reckoned free from sin) when, turning from sin, we by faith accept of Christ's sacrifice on our behalf. The type showed, too, that it is only after being thus cleansed in God's sight (by our acceptance of Christ's finished work as our ransom-sacrifice) that God is willing to accept us as joint sacrificers with Christ, so that if faithful to the end, following in his footsteps, we should be granted the favor of joint-heirship with him.

Here I first saw that the great privilege of becoming joint-heirs with Christ and partakers with him of the divine nature was confined exclusively to those who would share with him in self-sacrifice in the service of the Truth. And here, too, I saw for the first time that the Lord was the first of these sacrifices of the Sin-Offering; consequently, that none of God's servants, the prophets, who lived and died before Christ, were priests after his order, nor sharers in sacrifice with him, even though some of them were stoned, others sawn asunder and others slain with the sword, for the cause of God; that though they [R3825 : page 235] would get a good and great reward, they would belong to a separate class and order from those called to sacrifice and joint-heirship with Christ on and since Pentecost. Here, too, I first saw that "the acceptable day of the Lord" signifies this Gospel age--the time during which he will accept the sacrifice of any who come unto God through Christ, the great Sin-Offering: that when this acceptable day ends, the reward of joint-heirship and change to the divine nature ends; and that when this great day of sacrifice, the Gospel age (the real day of Atonement), has closed, when all the members of the body of Christ have participated with him in the sacrifice of their rights as justified men, and been glorified, then the blessing will begin to come to the world--the Millennial blessings purchased for men by their Redeemer, according to the grace of God.

This first brought a clear recognition of the distinction of natures--of what constitutes human nature, what constitutes angelic nature and what constitutes divine nature, as shown in MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. I., Chapter X. And whereas we formerly used the word RESTITUTION in a general way to mean some sort of blessed change, now, under the clearer light, we began to see that the great work of restitution could only mean what the word implies--a restoration of that which was lost (Matt. 18:11)--a restoration to the original condition from which man once fell. Then I saw that God's plan, when carried out, would not bring all his creatures to the one level of the divine nature, but that he purposed to have an order of creatures called Angels, who, though perfect, would always be of a different order, or nature, from the divine nature, and he likewise purposed to have a race of beings of the human nature, of whom Adam was a sample or pattern, and whose future earthly home, Paradise, Eden was a sample or pattern. I also saw that God purposed that Christ and his joint-sacrificers and joint-heirs are to be God's instruments for blessing the fallen race and restoring them to the condition of perfection enjoyed by Adam in Eden--a condition which God said was "very good," and an image of himself. And these joint-heirs with Christ, I saw, were to be highly exalted to a nature higher than restored and perfect manhood, higher, too, than the angelic nature--even to be partakers of the divine nature. When all these things so unexpectedly shone out so brightly and clearly, I did not wonder that the Lord gave me several days of waiting and preparation for the blessing, and to him I rendered praise and thanks. All my faintness of heart and fear of the bad effect of the wrong view fled before this evidence of the Lord's leading in the pathway that "shines more and more unto the perfect day." I saw at once that these new developments would probably prove a stumbling block to some, as well as a great blessing to others who were ready for them. Instead, therefore, of publishing it in the next TOWER, I determined to first present the matter privately to the more prominent brethren; --remembering Paul's course in a similar matter. --Gal. 2:2.

Accordingly I sent invitations and the money necessary for traveling expenses to four of the more prominent brethren, requesting a conference. Mr. Paton from Michigan was one of the four, and the only one who rejected the fresh rays of light. Nor could he find any fault with the exegesis, though urged, as all were, to state anything which might seem inconsistent, or to quote any passages of Scripture thought to be in conflict. But there were none; and every question only demonstrated more fully the strength of the position. I therefore urged that what was beyond the criticism of those most familiar with the plan of God must be the truth, and ought to be confessed and taught at any cost, and especially when it arranged and ordered all the other features of truth so beautifully. I pointed out, too, how necessary it was to a logical holding of the ransom, to see just what this showed; viz.: the distinctions of nature--that our Lord left a higher nature, and took a lower nature when he was made flesh, and that the object in that change of nature was, that he might, as a man, a perfect man, give himself a ransom for the first perfect man, Adam, and thus redeem Adam, and all lost in him. I also showed how, as a reward for this great work, he was given the divine nature in his resurrection--a nature still higher than the glorious one he had left, when he became a man. But either Mr. Paton's mental vision or heart was weak, for he never took the step; and before long he, too, forsook the doctrine of the ransom. Yet he still used the word "ransom," while denying the idea conveyed by the word; nor can he give the word any other definition, or otherwise dispute the correctness of the meaning which I attach to it--which may be found in any English dictionary and is true to the significance of the Greek word which it translates, anti-lutron, a price to correspond.

Notwithstanding our best endeavors to save him he drifted farther and farther away, until I was obliged to refuse his articles for the TOWER for the same reason that obliged me to refuse to longer spend the Lord's money entrusted to me to assist Mr. Barbour to spread the same pernicious theory.

It was about this time that Mr. Jones informed me that the copies of the book Day Dawn which I had purchased last were all that were left; and, announcing it so that no more orders for it might come to the TOWER office, I took occasion to promise MILLENNIAL DAWN, which should present the Plan of the Ages in the clearer, more orderly manner made possible by the new light shed upon every feature of it by the lessons from the Tabernacle. About this time Mr. Paton concluded that he would publish another book under the name Day Dawn, revised to harmonize with his changed views, which ignored the ransom, ignored justification and the need of either, and taught that all men will be everlastingly saved--not in any sense as the result of any sacrifice for their sin by Christ, but as the result of each one's crucifying sin in himself--the law under which the poor Jews tried to commend themselves to God, but which justified none. Many and severe were the calumnies heaped upon me, because I exposed this change, told that the original was out of print and that the new book was on a different foundation from the book of the same name which I had commended.

During this time I was busied by an immense work known to many of you--the issue and circulation of over 1,400,000 copies of two pamphlets, entitled FOOD FOR THINKING CHRISTIANS and TABERNACLE TEACHINGS, whose united matter was about the same as that of DAWN, VOL. I.; and besides this I was flooded with thousands of joyous and joy-giving letters, from those who had received and were reading the pamphlets thus distributed, and asking questions and more reading matter. To add to our throng, financial complications [R3825 : page 236] came; and thus for four years I was hindered from fulfilling my promise of MILLENNIAL DAWN. Nor is our promise of the complete set yet fulfilled; for although six volumes are now issued, a seventh on Revelation and Ezekiel is still future: delayed by the growth of the general work, doubtless in accord with the Lord's "due time." But during those four years I struggled through an immense amount of labor and many drawbacks (all cheerfully undergone for the sake of the Lord and his saints), each year hoping to be able to gather the hours necessary to complete the first volume of MILLENNIAL DAWN.

Some who have The Three Worlds or the old edition of Day Dawn would perhaps like to know my present opinion of them--whether I still think them profitable books to loan to truth-seekers. To this I reply, Certainly not; because the very immature views of God's truth therein presented fall far short of what we now see to be God's wonderful plan. Things which are now clear as noonday were then cloudy and mixed. The distinctions between the perfect human nature to which the obedient of the world will be restored during the Millennium, and the divine nature to which the little flock, the sacrificing elect of the Gospel age, are soon to be exalted, were then unnoticed. All now so clear was then blurred, mixed and indistinct. Neither had we then seen the steps or planes, shown upon the Chart of the Ages, MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. I., which have assisted so many to distinguish between justification and sanctification, and to determine their present standing and relationship to God. [R3826 : page 236]

Once I was much less careful about what I circulated or commended, but I am learning every day to be more careful as to what sort of food I put before any of the Lord's hungry sheep. The Lord has taught me that it is a responsible matter to be a teacher, even to the extent of circulating a book or a paper. Even Food for Thinking Christians (now also out of print), I no longer commend because it is less systematic and therefore less clear than later publications. (Vol. I., MILLENNIAL DAWN, in magazine form, the special "Hell" edition of the WATCH TOWER, Jan. 15, '01, and Tract No. 52, all bear this title, and are not to be confounded with the original booklet issued in 1881.)

Another chapter in our experience needs to be told, as it marks another shaking and sifting. Mr. A. D. Jones proposed to start a paper on the same line as the WATCH TOWER, to republish some of the simpler features of God's plan and to be a sort of missionary and primary teacher. Knowing him to be clear on the subject of the ransom, I bade him God speed and introduced a sample copy of his paper, Zion's Day Star (now for some years discontinued), to our nearly ten thousand readers--only, as it soon proved, to stumble some of them into rank infidelity and others into the rejection of the ransom; for though the Day Star for a few months steered a straight course and maintained the same position as the TOWER with reference to the ransom, and for the same reason refused the no-ransom articles sent for its columns by Mr. Paton, yet within one year it had repudiated Christ's atoning sacrifice, and within another year it had gone boldly into infidelity and totally repudiated all the rest of the Bible as well as those portions which teach the fall in Adam and the ransom therefrom in Christ.

All this meant another strain, another sifting, another cutting loose of friends, who erroneously supposed that our criticisms of the false doctrines were prompted by a spirit of rivalry, and who did not so soon see whither his teachings were drifting, nor how great the importance of holding fast the first principles of the doctrines of Christ--how Christ died for our sins and rose again for our justification.

We want to put you all on notice that the shaking and sifting process, so far from being over and past, is bound to progress more and more until all have been tried and tested thoroughly. It is not a question of who may fall, but of "Who shall be able to stand?" as the Apostle puts it. And we have need again to remember the admonition, "Let him who thinketh he standeth [who feels very confident, as did Peter when he said, 'Lord, though all forsake thee, yet will not I'] take heed lest he fall."

This doctrine of another way of salvation (and salvation for all, too) than by the cross of Christ, is not only the error which is, and has been since 1874, sifting all who come into the light of Present Truth, but it is the trial that is to come upon the whole of so-called Christendom to try them. (Rev. 3:10.) It is already spreading among all classes of Christian people, especially among ministers of all denominations. The number who believe that Christ's death paid our sin-penalty is daily getting smaller, and before very long there will be a regular stampede from the doctrine of man's fall in Adam and his ransom from that fall by "the man Christ Jesus." (I Tim. 2:5,6.) As the Psalmist prophetically pictured it, a thousand will fall to one who will stand.--Psa. 91:7.

The time has come for each one to declare himself boldly. He who is not for the cross (the ransom) is against it! He that gathereth not scattereth abroad! He who is silent on this subject, when it is being assailed by foes on every hand, whether it be the silence of fear, or of shame, or of indifference, is not worthy of the truth, and will surely be one to stumble quickly. He who from any cause sits idly by, while the banner of the cross is assailed, is not a soldier of the cross worthy the name, and will not be reckoned among the overcomers who shall inherit all things. And God is permitting these very siftings, in order to sift out all who are not "overcomers," and to test and manifest the little flock, who, like Gideon's final army, will, though few, share the victory and honors of their Captain in glory.

Are you prepared for the issue, dear brethren and sisters? The armor of Truth has been given you for some time past; have you put it on? have you made it your shield and buckler? your defense against all the wily arts of the Evil One?

Do not be deceived by the agents Satan often makes use of. In this he will be as cunning as in his presentation of the deceptive misrepresentations of truth, making unwitting use of many a weaker brother, and to some extent of every stumbling and deceived one, to spread farther the infection of false doctrine. And while every child of God should take earnest heed, that he prove not an occasion of stumbling to any, we cannot doubt that every one, through some instrumentality, will be assailed.

Aptly indeed did the Prophet liken it to a pestilence. (Psa. 91:6.) A pestilence spreads because people are in a physical condition which renders them susceptible to disease. Physicians say that those whose systems are in good, healthy order are in little danger of any disease. [R3826 : page 237] So it is with a spiritual pestilence: it will flourish not only because all will be exposed to it who have not a clear intellectual appreciation of the doctrines of Christ, but from another cause also. Out of the heart are the issues of life, and most needful of all to be in right condition is the heart. How is your heart? Is it proud, boastful, independent, self-conscious and self-willed? If so, take care; you will be very liable to this epidemic, no matter how far from it you may seem to be. Pray for

"A heart resigned, submissive, meek,
The dear Redeemer's throne,
Where only Christ is heard to speak,
Where Jesus reigns alone."

With such a heart you are safe. In meekness and lowliness, you will never think of redeeming yourself from the condemnation that you inherited through Adam, by sacrificing present sinful desires, but you will flee to the cross, where God himself opened the fountain for sin and uncleanness, present as well as past.

DOTH THIS OFFEND YOU?

We presume that this warning will offend some, though it is not designed to offend any. It is written for the defense of the meek against the sophistries of error. "Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord [into the Kingdom offered]? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands and a pure heart [who is diligently fashioning his life after the principles of holiness]; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity [who cultivates no earthly ambitions or pride, but patiently waits for the glory to follow the course of present self-sacrifice], nor sworn deceitfully [ignoring or despising his covenant with God]: He shall receive the blessing of the Lord [the Kingdom glory and joint-heirship with Christ], and righteousness [perfection--full deliverance from present infirmities, etc.] from the God of his salvation." (Psa. 24:3-5.) "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation"--that "your minds be not corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ." Let all the meek fully awake to the trial of the hour; and while many are putting stumbling blocks in the way of the "feet" of the body of Christ, let each soldier of the cross be vigilant, not only to stand, but to assist others--bearing up the "feet."--Psa. 91:11,12.



[R3826 : page 237]

WOMAN'S RIGHTS AND WRONGS.

THERE are two sides to nearly every question, and the woman question is no exception to the rule. Women have their rights, men have their rights; every creature in proportion to its intelligence has certain rights which ought in justice to be respected. It is a fact, however, that very few men, women or lower animals obtain or can obtain their rights under present circumstances and conditions. In proportion as any one retains the original likeness of God, in which man was created, in that same proportion he will surely delight in granting to others their rights and in appreciating his own rights.

But, alas! all have fallen from that perfect image, that perfect likeness of the Creator. Hence there is in every member of the race a measure of selfishness, combined with various good and bad qualities of the mind, in such various proportions that the race as a whole is declared to be not of sound mind, unbalanced, unjust; and the Apostle declares the spirit of the world in general to be antagonistic to justice, righteousness. Anger, malice, hatred, envy, strife, pride, ambition, etc., are all difficulties lying in the way of sound judgment. The Word of God, telling these things, admonishes us to seek the wisdom from above, the mind of the Lord; and that these can be obtained only by the subjection, the mortifying of our natural minds, inclinations, dispositions, and a regulation of our views, etc., according to the divine standards given us in the Bible. What we should seek, therefore, would be the highest Christian standard of thought on every subject, and the Lord's thought, the Lord's Word, should be accepted by all who are his followers as that standard. [R3827 : page 237]

If we look out all over the world we find that practically nobody gets his rights--certainly nobody gets what he considers to be his rights, his dues, except the very humblest minded, who, overwhelmed with God's goodness and mercy, are ready to claim that they have already received of the Lord, and are continually receiving, far more than they deserve in every sense of the word. These are thankful and proportionately happy. The others, proportionately unthankful and unhappy, constitute the mass of the world of mankind, --including the majority of those who have named the name of Christ.

The Lord urges upon his followers the full "sacrifice" of all their earthly rights, assuring them that this will be pleasing in his sight as a testimony to their devotion to him and the rules which he prescribes, assuring them also that it will be to their advantage even in the present life as well as to their eternal advantage. Christians, then, male and female, are those who have made a covenant with the Lord to the effect that their rights as natural men and women will not be considered, not be claimed, not be sought after, not be fought for; but that they will accept from him as an exchange a new nature, with new hopes, new ambitions, whose rights, honors, privileges and dignities will come in completeness at the First Resurrection, when that which is perfect shall have come and that which is in part shall be done away, when they shall be glorified with their Lord.

OUR SYMPATHY AND ADVICE

Few have as good opportunity as has the Editor of this journal to know something of the difficulties which beset the New Creation in their contact with others. He is continually in receipt of confidential communications explaining circumstances and asking advice as to how to best meet the severest trials and difficulties of life which come to the Lord's consecrated ones. As he perhaps has a larger contact with the consecrated than others have, he has proportionately a better opportunity for sympathizing not only with the groaning creation, [R3827 : page 238] the natural man, but also with the New Creation. He well knows, therefore, that injustice is frequently heaped upon wives by their husbands, and almost if not quite so frequently heaped upon husbands by their wives. His general advice to those thus unjustly treated is in the language of the Scriptures, "Have patience, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord,"--the establishment of his Kingdom of righteousness, the change to his glorious likeness, draweth nigh.--Jas. 5:7.

After kindly forbearance with gentleness and expostulation, if the condition is at all bearable, endure it, asking the Lord for wisdom and grace necessary. Seek to show forth the praises of him who called us out of darkness into his marvelous light; seek to show to the companion, by love and gentleness, patience, long suffering and endurance, the power of the Spirit of Christ dwelling in us richly; seek to take as little offence as possible, and learn more and more to go to the Lord as the great burden-bearer. "Consider him who endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest we be weary and faint in our minds," remembering that the time is short, and heeding the admonition of the Scriptures that we resist not evil with evil, nor railings with railings, nor slanders with slanders, nor sword with sword, but that on the contrary, we seek to be fully submissive to the trials of life, in the realization that the Lord himself is at the helm, and will bring a blessing out of each for us if we are in proper condition of heart to receive it.

It is certain that every child of God who is seeking and expecting his rights under "the prince of this world," and from his fallen and blinded neighbors, is walking in darkness on this subject. So surely as the Lord's people are "taught of him" they will speedily learn not to strive for their rights nor to expect them, but to be patient, long suffering and kindly toward the unjust. While properly enough seeking other paths in which they would not be oppressed, and to the extent of their ability and the proprieties of their case fleeing from those who persecute them and unjustly treat them, they will learn to not only love their enemies but to do them all the good in their power, and to sympathetically realize that much of the viciousness and selfishness and meanness of the world is the result of ignorance and inbred sin--the results of the fall. Proportionately they will be longing and praying, "Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth," and thus will their present trials and difficulties be working out for them a deeper interest in the coming blessings, assisting them in making their calling and election sure, and in obtaining the far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.

WOMAN'S SPHERE IN THE CHURCH.

At a time when both men and women are becoming exercised more and more upon the question of their rights and their wrongs, and when the popular side, therefore, is opposed to every restraint of liberty, he who would be loyal to the Lord and his Word on this question is in serious danger of being misunderstood-- of being thought an opposer of liberty and rights and an upholder of wrongs. A test of the loyalty of the servant of God occupying a public position is thus forced upon him, and "It is required of a steward that he be found faithful." The Editor of this journal occupies some such position, and desires to be thoroughly loyal to the Master and to his Word. For the doing of this a few have been inclined to consider him an opponent of Woman, and as on the side of those who would degrade and demean the sex. This is most untrue and unjust everyway.

Every true-hearted, noble-spirited man is sure to have a high esteem for the opposite sex, especially when the combination includes true womanly gentleness combined with natural talents and gifts and largeness and ability of heart. The natural disposition of a noble man under such conditions would be to bring forward such sisters in Christ to great prominence in the Church. And any refusal to do this is sure to awaken suspicions of a meanness of disposition amongst both men and women, until the voice of the Lord is distinctly heard from his Word. Then all the true sheep hearken to the voice of the great Shepherd, lose their own wills and sentiments on the subject and accept his message, "My sheep hear my voice and follow me; a stranger will they not follow, for they recognize not the voice of a stranger."

This is the position which the Editor has been obliged to take in the sixth volume of MILLENNIAL DAWN, Scripture Studies. Patiently and particularly he has therein set forth, not his own sentiments, but those which in many respects are the opposite of his own inclinations. He has submitted his will in the matter to the will of the Lord, and as a mouthpiece of the Lord has repeated the message of God's dear Son given to the Church through his specially appointed apostles. Hearing the Father's message respecting his Son, "This is my beloved Son, hear ye him," the Editor hearkened also to the voice of the Son saying, respecting his inspired apostles, "Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth is bound in heaven, whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." In other words, the Church is instructed to accept the teachings of the apostles as the direct inspired word of the Son of God himself,--as the Father's Word. Hence, when the Apostle speaks to us respecting the position of Woman in the Church we are not at liberty to dispute his word, nor to controvert it, nor to ignore it. Whoever does so is ignoring the voice of the Spirit and will surely suffer in some manner as a consequence.

We have presented no teaching of our own on this subject. As we have heard the Lord's voice through his apostles we have merely called attention to their very pointed statements respecting the position of the sisters in the Church, which is the body of Christ. But while pointing out that the public ministry, the teaching function, was not bestowed upon the sisters, but, on the contrary, was specifically withheld from them, we have in no sense of the word implied that the ministry of the sisters in the body of Christ is an unimportant one. Quite to the contrary, we hold that they have a very prominent place in the Church, and wield a very wide influence either for good or evil--almost an immeasurable influence--and that they are responsible for that influence as a part of their stewardship, that it be used in harmony with the divine Word and not to the contrary. That in the divine order the males in the Church figuratively represent the Lord, the Head, while the females figuratively represent the Church, the Bride.

This is the course of faithful obedience; and we remember the Scriptural statement that in God's sight "obedience is better than sacrifice,"--better than many arduous labors of a public kind contrary to obedience. We trust that all the Lord's consecrated people, both brothers and sisters, will reread very carefully the fifth chapter of DAWN, Vol. VI., bearing upon this subject. We are confident that this question is intended of the Lord to constitute a part of the testing of his consecrated ones in this harvest time. Let us resolve that our own sentiments on the subject, and our expressions and influence with others concerning the matter, shall all be to the best of our ability the mind of the Lord, in [R3828 : page 239] full accord with the teaching of his Word. "If they speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them."--Isa. 8:20.

CONFUSING SOPHISTRIES EXPOSED

It is proper that we should here uncover some deceptive sophistries which are being circulated--that we may assist the Lord's true people to take their proper stand on the subject. One element of these sophistries is the claim that what the Apostle wrote to the Church at Corinth was in view of the degradation of the women of that metropolitan city, the argument being that he would not have used the same language and expressed the same limitations of the liberties of the sisters in public services of the Church to other congregations, and that his words therefore do not apply at the present time. This is sophistry, false reasoning. The epistles to the Corinthians were not written to the debauchees, neither male nor female, of that time, but to the saints at Corinth, both male and female; and a saint at Corinth meant exactly the same thing as a saint elsewhere, namely, one whose life had turned from sin to righteousness, and who, accepting Christ as his Savior, had made full consecration of all to him.

Indeed it would appear that the Apostle's strictures on woman's sphere came from the opposite quarter --that the Church at Corinth seemed to feel itself superior to the other congregations, and desired to grasp liberties for its women which the other churches never thought of. Hence the Apostle after rebuking them asks, "What? came the Word of the Lord out from you? [Did it originate with you? Are we to look to the Christians at Corinth as the expounders of the message?] or came it unto you merely? [Did you not receive the Gospel as others received it? Do you not admit that you were not the originators of it? You have, therefore, nothing whatever to do with adding to or changing its regulations. As you will see this matter in its correct light you will agree that you should receive the message of the grace of God in the line in which he sent it, and should obey it without thought of alteration or emendation to suit some supposed preferential teachings in your midst]. (I Cor. 14:36.) "The faith once delivered to the saints" is not a variable but a fixed one. Hence the Apostle urges "that ye all mind the same things."

Another line of sophistry used to make void the teachings of the Scriptures on this subject seeks its object by handling the Word of God deceitfully: By taking the statement of Colossians 3:18, twisting it about so as to give it a different meaning from its proper one, and then using that improper twist in connection with all other Scriptures bearing on the subject. The passage in question reads, "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit, in the Lord." The meaning of these words should be evident to everyone; they are very distinct. They tell the Christian wife that her relationship to the Lord, the liberty wherewith Christ makes free indeed, does not annul her relationship to her husband, whether he be in Christ or be not in Christ; and that she still owes to her husband the duty of a wife; that the wife in the divine order is not the head of the family, and that it is the duty of the wife to be submissive (in all matters which do not involve conscience--which would include all matters which would seriously endanger health).

The Apostle points out that this is the fit course-- the course which he has elsewhere pointed out to be the proper one also for the natural man or woman; for he distinctly declares that the primacy of the man in the family was established at creation, and that the man was created not to be the helpmate of the woman, but the woman to be the helpmate of the man. This is the fit course in nature; and in this verse the Apostle declared that it is still the fit course as respects the Christian wife ("fit in the Lord") after she has been received into the liberty of the family of God. In other words, she has a relationship of heart and conscience to God and a relationship in the flesh to her husband; and these are not to be understood to conflict but are in full agreement under the Lord's arrangement.

Do you ask how sophistry could change the plain statement of this verse? We reply that it attempts to do so by juggling with the word "fit," and implying that the Apostle means that the wife should be subject to her husband as her mind tells her would be fit and proper. Of course the minds of many women would never tell them that it was fit or proper to be subject to their husbands, and according to this false, sophistical interpretation they would be following the Apostle's injunction by violating the spirit of his Word in this text. After establishing this fallacious thought in the mind--and it seems to appeal to the natural mind of some,--this philosophy which seeks to upset the teaching of God's Word, while apparently remaining loyal to it, proceeds to deal with all the other texts of Scripture which relate to the wife's relationship to her husband, by saying that they must all be understood and interpreted in harmony with this declaration of the Apostle, "if it is fit," meaning as the woman sees fit in her judgment and certainly not as the husband would see fit. The Apostle on the contrary is saying that the submission of the wife to the husband is the fit, proper course "in the Lord" as also in nature.

As before stated, we realize that many women, both in and out of the Truth, suffer great hardships at the hands of inconsiderate and sometimes brutal husbands; and in view of our knowledge of this fact nothing would be further from our natural disposition than to give such advice respecting general submission. Rather, our natural mind on the subject would have been resistance, self-assertion, contending for rights, etc. But as we have learned not to follow our own inclinations and judgment in respect to our own matters, interests and rights, so we have learned and are more and more learning to advise others to most carefully follow not their own combativeness nor their own ambitions in these matters, but that if they would be overcomers and win the crown they should hearken to him who speaketh from heaven.

We surmise that a large proportion of the trouble that is coming upon the world in general will be the result of discontent, which we expect to see increasing year by year until the turmoil of anarchy shall ruin all except those who shall have submitted their wills to the Lord and waited for him to establish righteousness and justice in the earth. We urge upon the Lord's people, male and female, all the fruits and graces of the Spirit,--meekness, gentleness, patience, long suffering, brotherly kindness, love. We assure them, in harmony with the Word, that whether such conduct on their part be lovingly received and appreciated, or whether it shall bring them increased trials and oppositions and injustice, nevertheless the peaceable fruits of righteousness prevailing in their hearts will bring them the peace of God which passeth all understanding even in the present life, and will prepare them the more surely for the Kingdom and its glories and honors. "He that humbleth himself shall be exalted, he that exalteth himself shall be abased." "Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time. For it is written, he giveth his favor to the humble, but resisteth the proud," the self-assertive. --Luke 14:11; Jas. 4:6.



Prev Top of Page Next