this is txt file this is txt file Z1907 May
page 129
May 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. XXVIIIMAY 1No. 9
A.D. 1907--A.M. 6035


CONTENTS

Views from the Watch Tower131
State Churches in Disruption131
The Situation in France132
Berean Studies on the Tabernacle133
Yearly Requests for Pilgrims134
Filthiness of the Flesh and Spirit134
Fighting the Good Fight135
The Cleansing Power136
Perfecting Our Holiness137
A Lesson on Divine Providence137
Foreordained of God a Leader138
Assuredly God was with Him140
"Thou Mayest Bring forth My People"142
Some Interesting Letters143

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 130

THIS JOURNAL AND ITS SACRED MISSION

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

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

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



INDIA PAPER STUDIES


Our printers, after waiting for months for the India paper on which to print for us an edition of STUDIES in six volumes, found after printing some of the first volume that the paper is not up to the standard guaranteed to us. They have placed another order for the best India paper, but it may be six months before they receive it; and we need not expect the books before November.

KARATOL--INDIA EDITION VOL. I

Two thousand copies of STUDIES I. had been printed before the defect in the paper was discovered. These we have procured, bound limp in imitation leather, called karatol, so that we can supply them at 25c each--any quantity--charges prepaid. There will be no more after this lot. Describe them in ordering as "Karatol--India Studies."

MUSIC PRACTICE FOR CONVENTIONS


As the friends become acquainted with the music in our new Hymns of Dawn (cloth, 35c., postpaid; 25c by express, collect--333 of the choicest hymns of all ages) they find the melodies grand indeed. They are of the sort that never wear out. And many of them are grandly solemn and helpful to a spirit of reverence and worship.

It is proposed to use these Hymnals at the General Conventions this year, and we urge the dear friends everywhere to practice these tunes that our Convention singing may be a specially inspiring feature. At the upper right corner of many of the pieces will be found a reference to another tune considered appropriate, indicated thus: "Alt(ernative) 129," or other hymn number. Where a tune given is unfamiliar try the alternate, until you have time for practicing the former.

COLPORTEURS AND SHARP SHOOTERS


All are sharpshooters who do what they can to sell DAWNS or STUDIES amongst friends and neighbors. Colporteurs take and work territory systematically, giving a part or all of their time. Sharpshooters who order 25 volumes at a time by express or 30 copies by freight, charges collect, are granted colporteur rates, viz., 16c each for Vols. I., II., III., and 20c each for Vols. IV., V., VI.

Colporteurs desiring partners in the work should send postal card request for an aide. They will find the General Conventions very favorable opportunities for such alliances. Appliances for use on bicycles for delivering will be exhibited.

DAILY HEAVENLY MANNA--READY IN MAY


Our new edition of the "Manna" will contain the same texts and comments as the former one; but it will have twice as many pages. Every alternate leaf will be blank ruled, for use as an Autograph and Birthday Record. It will be printed on fine bond paper and bound in handsome dark blue cloth. It would be well worth $1 or more in any bookstore.

NEW PRICES, WHOLESALE AND RETAIL

The new "Manna" will be sold by Manna Colporteurs and others at 50 cents each (60c when gotten by mail or prepaid express). The wholesale rates, open to any TOWER reader, are as follows--cash with order:

1 copy, postpaid, each........................35 cents
10 copies or more, by express, prepaid........30   "
10   "       "        "       at your charges.20   "
30   "       "     by freight.................20   "

We of course prefer the DAWNS or STUDIES to be colporteured; but a good follow-up work can be done with "Manna" by those who cannot do the regular work with DAWN-STUDIES.



[R3984 : page 131]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER

STATE CHURCHES IN DISRUPTION


THE State Churches--religious institutions supported by the general government--owed their beginning to the theories of Antichrist, when Satan, the great deceiver who beguiled mother Eve, in the third century beguiled the majority of those who believed in Christ. The deceptive theory by which he accomplished this was that the Church had misunderstood the teachings of the Lord and of the apostles respecting the second coming of Christ and the establishment of the Kingdom of God at that time. Satan's new theory was that God had laid this responsible work upon the shoulders of the Church now--not waiting for the second coming of Jesus; that it was the duty of the Church to convert the world, and that then Christ would come and approve the work. The theory further was that this conversion of the world at the hands of the Church was to be accomplished by a vicegerent of Christ--that is to say, that the Lord would select from amongst the clergy one who would represent Jesus and reign in his stead; and others (cardinals, bishops, etc.) would represent the apostles and faithful of the "little flock," who were promised a share in the Kingdom. The theory gradually developed, and in the fourth century the Bishop of Rome was recognized as the head of the Church and Christ's vicegerent or reigning representative in the world, and to himself about that time he gathered the "Sacred College," or "little flock," composed of cardinals.

From that time on, quietly, the people were instructed to regard the Pope as the king of the world, God's representative, Christ's vicegerent, and the head over all kings and princes. As this idea prevailed amongst the people they were taught to look to the popes for their approval of kings and princes and laws, until finally a wonderful power was built up, and any king or prince out of accord with the Papacy could very easily be dispossessed of all authority. Another, having the papal sanction, would make war upon him; and the people, believing that the papal sanction meant the divine sanction, would support the papal decree. It was under these conditions that the public government was required to set aside from the public revenues money for the support of Roman Catholic churches and ministers throughout their domains.

This custom, once universal throughout Europe, received a severe shock, a set-back, in Reformation times. But the kings and princes supporting the Reformation movement, wishing to have some religious or spiritual approval to sanction their authority in the minds of the people, voluntarily accepted the Reformers and their approval as instead of the papal sanction. Thus it was that Reformed churches in Great Britain, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland were organized and became Protestant State churches as thoroughly as they had previously been Roman Catholic State churches. The principle was the same --it was merely a different Church which was now supported. Roman Catholic dominion still prevails in Italy, Hungary, Spain, Portugal and, until very recently, in France. These governments, authorized by the Papacy, supporting the Papacy financially, have been known as Christian governments, and they in turn have inscribed upon their coins and in their official documents that they reign over the people by the grace of God (indicated to them through the Papacy). Similarly the Protestant countries above named, carrying the State Church idea with them, are known as kingdoms of God, and they also on their coins and in their official documents declare that their kings and princes reign by the grace of God, as indicated through their recognition by the Reformers and by their support of the Church.

In some countries, particularly in Germany, all religions are recognized by the State, and a provision made for salaries to pastors and teachers, whether Lutheran, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist, Jews, or what not--so long as a congregation of German people, recognized by the government as a denomination, desire such ministers.

Now, however, we are coming to a time of general disruption along these lines. The people are getting awake to the fact that the kings and princes are reigning under a law of selfishness instead of under a divine [R3984 : page 132] code and authorization. They are learning, too, gradually, that a majority of ministers are preaching and teaching as a matter of business, and with a view to getting as much as possible of the butter of honor of men and salary along with their daily bread. Popular government is consequently tending more to the thought that those who believe certain doctrines should pay for them, and that the public should not be taxed for its religion, which should be free and should be provided by those in accord with the promulgated tenets. This is the program followed in the United States, and the progress of this country in every way has been a wonderful lesson to the people of other countries, who in various ways are seeking to copy our methods, thus corroborating the thought set forth by Bartholdi's Statue of Liberty, that personified in this nation Liberty is enlightening the world.

Word comes from various quarters of Europe to the effect that Church and State union is threatened with dissolution. In Great Britain, in Sweden, in Switzerland, in Spain, the matter is being actively discussed, and the indication is that the accomplishment will not be far off, while in France there is a great turmoil through the dissolution of the Roman Catholic Concordat or agreement with the French government by which now the French are free from all State support so far as Roman Catholic and all other religious systems are concerned.

THE SITUATION IN FRANCE

At the time of the French Revolution all the Church property of France was confiscated, but in 1801 Napoleon Bonaparte entered into an agreement with Pope Pius VII., long known as the Concordat. It is this Concordat or agreement that has just been dissolved in France, and which returns to the care of the people all of the Church property, which is presumed to be theirs because it was built at their expense.

Under the terms of the Concordat the French government became responsible for the maintenance of the clergy and the churches, and the clergy were recognized as civil servants of the French nation. French bishops and others of the Roman Catholic clergy could be appointed only by the approval of the government. Thus the Catholic Church was completely under State control. The Papacy, naturally enough, did not very highly appreciate this arrangement, which placed her interests so much in the hands of the French government, and consequently there was continual friction, the clergy striving in various ways to ignore their responsibility to the government, and the Papacy seeking more and more to maintain the control of the clergy and to oppose any and every interest and matter in the French government that seemed to be inimical to Roman Catholic interests. The light of our day upon every subject strained this relationship more and more, and the intriguing on the part of the Jesuits against the Republic and in favor of a monarchy-- esteemed to be more desirable for the Papacy's interests --had the effect of leading the government in 1881 to endeavor to expel the Jesuits and to control other Roman Catholic orders, with a view to the protection of the interests of the Republic, the foes of which they were realized to be. The movement was only partly successful because of the blindness of the people to the real situation. Not until the beginning of the present century did the government have a sufficient support from the people to take its stand--to resent papal influence in its affairs.

On December 11, 1905, the French Congress passed a bill which provided for the separation of Church and State, but giving one year during which the churches could make their arrangements for conforming to the law. Meantime inventories of all the Church paraphernalia were made, and everything was prepared for the proper taking over of the property for the State on December 11, 1906. The essence of this law set forth that the State should no longer provide for the salaries of the clergy nor for the expenses of religious services, and that thenceforth the use of the Church edifices and equipments would be for the people--that no foreign religious power such as the Papacy would be recognized. On these terms all who desired to use the Church buildings were invited to organize congregations, whose representatives or trustees would be dealt with by the government, and receive the right or permission to use the buildings for religious purposes. These trustees would be answerable to the government for the proper use of the buildings. Thus the churches of France would have been put practically on the same basis or footing as the churches in the United States, except that here the title-deeds may be in the name of the Pope, while a congregation not in harmony with the Pope or head or the holder of the title could be legally expelled; whereas under the new laws of France each congregation is independent and cannot be expelled from the Church edifice or by order of presbyteries or synods or bishops or the Pope, since the title-deed is in the government, by which the possession is guaranteed to the congregation. This feature of the law really places religion in France upon the most independent plane imaginable, permitting the congregation to formulate its own creed, and [R3985 : page 132] if desirable to change the same from time to time.

The law provided that if its terms were not met by December 11, 1906, the churches should be closed and the property confiscated to the State. After this law was framed, about a year ago, the Pope condemned it, but gave no positive instructions as to procedure; and matters standing thus, the French government, just before the law went into effect, to avoid a conflict with the Papacy, announced that regular services might be continued another year if the congregations would comply with the law of 1881, which required application to the police department for the privilege of holding services, and a declaration of loyalty to the government. But just before the law was to go into effect the Pope precipitated matters by issuing an encyclical instructing all the priests and church-wardens to abstain from any declaration or application to the authorities.

This was esteemed by the French government an [R3985 : page 133] attempt on the Pope's part to intermeddle with its affairs and an endeavor to block the laws of France-- an incitement of the French people to rebellion against the laws of their country. Consequently the government took prompt steps, and in resentment of the interference deported the papal representative at Paris, and gave orders that bishops or priests or others who attempted either by word or act to interfere with the execution of the law should be placed under arrest. Thus the dissolution of Church and State arrangements in France was effected without special disorder, though the Pope and his representatives in a quiet way, so as not to become amenable to the law, are seeking still to arouse the people to resentment against the government by refusing to perform various acts and functions which Catholics are led to believe are all important and to be performed only by the clergy, viz., baptism, rites for the dead, etc., etc. Evidently the time when the Pope could overthrow governments by giving a hint to the people through the clergy is about past.

It is high time that these unscriptural unions of Church and State come to an end. They were built upon fraud to begin with, and have prospered through frauds continually. As God never authorized the Pope to be the vicegerent of Jesus, never authorized his reign upon earth over kingdoms and peoples, never authorized him to set prince against prince and to cause awful bloodshed for the maintenance of papal influence, and never authorized the governments recognized by Papacy to call themselves Christendom (Christ's kingdom), and as the Protestant unions of Church and State had no more authority than the papal, it is well that all of these human institutions go down, that the shackles of superstition should be broken, and the people should be the better prepared to learn that all the kingdoms of this world are man-made and selfish in origin and practice, and that the Kingdom of God's dear Son, the Millennial Kingdom, which will shortly be inaugurated, will be the only rightful spiritual empire to have control of all the affairs of the world of mankind. Its control of human destinies will be to the advantage of every creature-- to lift them up, to set them free from superstition and by restitution processes to bring back into harmony with God and into the divine likeness all who will obey the great King of that day. O Lord, thy Kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE TRUTH IN FRANCE

At this distance it would appear that the present crisis in religious affairs in France would be a most favorable opportunity for the presentation of the Truth amongst the people of that land. While Protestants there are very few, undoubtedly there are many Catholics who are generally enlightened and now being set free from their superstitious reverence for Romanism. These as well as the Protestants should be ready for the glorious message of the Millennial Kingdom and the better government, spiritual and temporal, which the Lord is providing and which shortly will be established. We would like to encourage the dear friends of the Truth under such conditions to be vigilant for the use of every opportunity--to go forward in the name and strength of the Lord with holy courage, to lift high the light and the royal banner. Similarly conditions are growing more favorable in Italy and Austria and Hungary. He that reapeth receiveth wages, and each one desiring to reap should first see what lies nearest to his hand and in which department of the service he could most effectively and most economically enlist his talents. "He that reapeth receiveth wages and gathereth fruit unto life eternal."-- John 4:36.



page 133

BEREAN BIBLE STUDIES ON THE TABERNACLE

THE ATONEMENT-DAY BURNT OFFERINGS


MAY 19

89. Why was Aaron instructed to bring two rams for burnt offerings? Lev. 16:3,5; T.73, par. 1.

90. Why did he remove his linen garments and put on "the garments of glory and beauty" before he offered the "burnt offerings"? T.72, par. 4; 73, par. 3.

91. Were both rams then treated in the same manner? Lev. 9:12-16; T.73, par. 2.

92. What was thus typified? T.73, par. 2.

93. What was the difference between the "burnt offering" and the "sin offering"? T.73, par. 3.

MAY 26

94. When will God manifest his acceptance of the complete sacrifice for the sins of the world? Lev. 9:22-24; Rev. 14:1-7.

95. Why are the sacrifices of Christ and the members of his body called the "better sacrifices"? Heb. 7:19; 9:23.

96. Must we expect God to bestow upon us, as his chosen Priesthood, honor and dignity before men, while we still "tabernacle" in the flesh? Phil. 2:5-10; I Cor. 4:8-14; T.73, par. 3.

97. Where did the High Priest offer the sacrifice of burnt offering? Lev. 16:24; T.74, par. 1.

98. Explain the difference in the significance of the garments worn by the priests during the "Day of Atonement" and those assumed by the High Priest at its close? T.74, par. 2.

JUNE 2

99. What did the washing of his person in water by the High Priest, after finishing the sin offering and before sacrificing the burnt offering, signify? Lev. 16:24; T.74, par. 2.

100. Why was there "no man in the tabernacle of the congregation," the "Holy," when Aaron went into the "Most Holy" with the blood, both of the bullock and the Lord's goat? Lev. 16:17; T.74, par. 4; 75, par. 1,2.

101. Will any special punishment be visited by the Lord upon those who, by reproaches, persecutions, etc., aided in destroying the humanity of page 134 Christ (the bullock) and the little flock (the goat)? Lev. 16:28; T.75, par. 4.

102. Will those who succeed in destroying the humanity, the flesh, of the great company (the scapegoat) receive any special retribution? Lev. 16:26; T.75, par. 6; 76, top of page.


THE BLESSINGS FOLLOWING THE ATONEMENT-DAY SACRIFICES

JUNE 9

103. What was the standing of the children of Israel before God, after the Atonement-Day sacrifices were ended? Lev. 16:33,34; T.76, par. 1.

104. To whom or to what are the sacrifices of Jesus and his Church offered? Lev. 16:14,15; T.76, par. 2.

105. For what sins did they atone? Rom. 5:17-19; T.76, par. 2.

106. When will God for the first time recognize the race of mankind? Lev. 9:8-23; Rom. 8:19-21, Diaglott; T.76, par. 2.

JUNE 16

107. What will be the glorious results of that recognition? Rev. 22:1-3; Isa. 11:6-9; 25:6-9; 35:1-10; 29:18-20; T.76, par. 2.

108. Will the blessings resulting from the reign of righteousness established after the close of the antitypical Day of Atonement come instantaneously or gradually? Isa. 62:10-12; John 5:28,29, Diaglott; I Cor. 15:23-25, Diaglott; Isa. 65:20, etc.; T.77, par. 1.

109. Was this gradual work shown in the typical sacrifices of the children of Israel? and how? T.77, par. 2.

110. How can we "rightly divide" and understand these different typical sacrifices of the Jewish age? T.77, par. 3.

111. What are the two features or parts of At-one-ment? T.77, par. 4.

112. How and when is the first part of this At-one-ment to be effected? T.77, par. 4.

JUNE 23

113. How and when is the second part effected? T.77, par. 4.

114. Does the selection of the Bride of Christ, during this age, to be associated with him in the future uplifting and regenerating of the world, indicate that, naturally, they are any better or purer than the remainder of mankind? I Cor. 1:26-29; Rom. 3:10; Psa. 49:7; T.78, par. 1,2.

115. In whom then does all the virtue of the great Atonement sacrifice lie? T.78, par. 2.



page 134

YEARLY REQUESTS FOR PILGRIM VISITS

OUR "Pilgrim" service is becoming a very important factor in the "Harvest" work. While the brethren chosen for this service are not sent forth as perfect, the Society considers them worthy brethren everyway--ensamples to the flock in doctrine and practice. They travel continuously, as per announcements on the last page of the TOWER. All of their expenses, of every kind, are met by the Society: they do not solicit money or anything else, either for themselves or the Society. The service is free--the expenses being borne by the contributors to the Tract Fund. We seek divine guidance as to who shall be engaged in this service and where it shall be rendered. With the means put at our disposal we seek to do our best for the general welfare of the Lord's cause.

The routine of the Pilgrims is in circuits arranged in harmony with the interest shown and requests received; and since many changes occur during a year we desire that REQUESTS FOR PILGRIM VISITS be made yearly, in May. Please answer the following questions, or as many of them as apply in your case. These responses are filed for our information for twelve months. You need not repeat the questions, but merely indicate them thus: (a), (b), etc. A postal card will serve our every purpose and be easy to file away. All interested classes please attend to this matter at once. (a) How many "Bible Students" reside in your vicinity?
(b) Are weekly meetings held by you?
(c) How many are usually in attendance?
(d) Where do you now meet? (Full street address.)
(e) At what hours are the Sunday studies held?
(f) Was a vote taken on the "Pilgrim" invitation?
(g) How many voted for the invitation to be sent?
(h) How many, if any, voted against the invitation?
(i) Would a suitable place be found for a public meeting?
(j) What attendance do you think could be secured for the public session by such notification and advertising as your class would give?
(k) Would a suitable place be found for semi-private meetings for the interested?
(l) Have the members of your class chosen leaders in accord with DAWN
VOL. VI., chapters 5 and 6? If so, give names and full addresses.
(m) Give full names and full addresses of the two to whom notification of a coming Pilgrim should be sent, and please notify us of any change.
(n) If your town is not on a railroad give name of proper railroad station to stop at, and tell how Pilgrim could get from station. Would he be met?
(o) Give writer's name and address in full.



[R3985 : page 134]

FILTHINESS OF FLESH AND SPIRIT

"Having therefore this promise, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord."--2 Cor. 7:1.

WE ARE not to understand the Apostle here to mean that we are to cleanse ourselves from the condemnation of original sin. Time and again the Apostle Paul and all the writers of the New Testament reiterate in various forms the declaration that by the deeds of the law no flesh can be justified in God's sight. This signifies that nothing that we can do can enable us to live perfectly, even if original sin [R3985 : page 135] were cancelled for us; hence it would be a still greater impossibility for us not only to live perfectly now but to accumulate a merit which would cancel for us our share in the original transgression. On the contrary, the Scriptures with united voice declare that only by the shedding of blood could there come a remission of original sin--that only "by his stripes are we healed:" that the "Lord laid on him [Jesus] the iniquity of us all," "He died the just for the unjust that he might bring us to God," and that by virtue of his sacrifice for our sins we are made acceptable with God, and the condemnation against us as members of Adam's race is set aside that we may have a new start. (Heb. 9:22; Isa. 53:5,6; I Pet. 3:18.) Not only so, but knowing that in our fallen flesh dwelleth no perfection, the Lord has graciously arranged to cover all our blemishes that are of heredity and not of intention, not of our willing. Thus we have what is Scripturally known as justification by or through faith in the great atonement which God has effected through the death of his Son.

It is this class, already justified "through faith in his blood" (Rom. 3:25), that the Apostle addresses in the words of our text--urging them to cleanse themselves from all filthiness of the flesh and the spirit. What does he mean? If we were cleansed by faith in Christ why address us thus along the line of works of our own for our own cleansing? We reply that our justification by faith was granted to us as the basis for our consecration to God as disciples of Jesus, as "followers of the Lamb." None were thus accepted unless in their hearts they turned from sin, desiring to be in harmony with God and his righteousness. Their consecration to God on the basis of their justification signified that they had not only turned from sin but that they had united their hearts and lives with Jesus--that they had enlisted under him as the Captain of their Salvation, to fight the good fight against sin in its every form, within and without, under his guidance and direction. Should these now after enlisting rest content and do no fighting against sin, either in their own mortal bodies or in their surroundings, it would be an indication that they had not the Spirit of Christ, which calls to mind the declaration of the Apostle, "If any man have not the Spirit of Christ he is none of his."--Rom. 8:9.

"FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT"

We see then that it is God's will concerning us that we should do more than renounce sin in our minds-- we are to give our hearts to the Lord, desiring fellowship with him: we are to be imbued with his spirit of opposition to sin, so that as New Creatures we will fight the good fight of faith against the Adversary and the world's spirit of selfishness, and against the weaknesses and blemishes and sinwardness of our own mortal bodies. These were the conditions of our enlistment, the conditions under which we were accepted of the Lord, and we must fight this fight of faith, as the Apostle says, if we would lay hold upon eternal life--if we would ever get the great reward of glory, honor and immortality with our Captain. Our text does not relate to our resistance of the Adversary and the world, but confines itself to our dealings with ourselves, which certainly is our chief concern, our chief battle--he who rules his own spirit, his own mind, is a greater soldier, a greater hero, than he that captures a city in literal warfare. This is the Lord's estimation of the matter, and hence should be ours.--Prov. 16:32.

The Lord requires such a demonstration on our part--of activity against the motions of sin in our flesh, in our minds, as a demonstration that the New Creature is alive to the responsibilities of its conduct as a soldier of the cross, and additionally because he has decreed that none shall be of the little flock of joint-heirs with his Son who do not in these respects of loyalty to the Father and to righteousness and opposition to sin demonstrate their heart-likeness to Jesus. The Apostle affirms this, saying that we are "predestinated to be conformed to the image of his Son." (Rom. 8:29.) Whoever refuses or neglects the development of such a character-likeness or copy of Christ's mind, disposition, [R3986 : page 135] is refusing or neglecting the only terms and conditions on which he may hope to make his calling and election sure to a place in the Kingdom class. In view of this how zealously we should strive to fulfil the urgent admonition of the Apostle--to demonstrate and to increase to fervency our love for righteousness, for truth, for all the ways of the Lord, by opposition to sin, especially in our own bodies, cleansing ourselves of all filthiness of the flesh and of the spirit (mind).

FILTHINESS OF THE MIND

The cleansing of our minds is far more important than the cleansing of our flesh, because we might succeed measurably in cleansing the flesh while the mind might still be impure. In such a case we would remember the Pharisees whom the Lord rebuked, saying, Ye make clean the outside of the cup or platter, but within are full of all manner of uncleanness, impurity. (Matt. 23:25.) Out of the mind proceedeth evil thoughts, as the Apostle declares, and these evil thoughts, these wrong conceptions, have to do with all the filthiness of the flesh. It is mainly, therefore, to the mind that the Lord appeals throughout his Word during this Gospel age. He invites us first of all to set our hearts right, our wills, and then having done this to allow the new will to rule our minds, and thus the new will through the cleansed mind institutes a rule and order and purification of the flesh.

Were we perfect there would be little difficulty in ruling our minds and our bodies as soon as the will had been fixed for righteousness; but six thousand years of falling from the image and likeness of God have wrought great havoc in us all. Hence, as the Apostle declares, "In my flesh dwelleth no perfection"; and again, "We cannot do the things that we would"; and again, "The spirit [here the New Creature, the will] indeed is willing, but the flesh [the old nature, mental and physical] is weak." (Rom. 7:18; Gal. 5:17; Matt. 26:41.) This discrepancy between the new will, the new mind, and the mind of the flesh and the flesh itself, both reckoned as dead but really quite alive, [R3986 : page 136] requiring continual vigilance to restrain them and keep them in line with the New Creature's intentions, means quite a fight, and success in this fight means a victory, and victory in this fight is what the Lord proposes to reward with the special honors and blessings proffered during this Gospel age. It is quite unnecessary here to detail the various forms which this filthiness of the mind may assume--all of them selfish, all of them more or less degraded, all of them tending downward, and hence in opposition to the resolutions and covenants of the New Mind, the New Creature. A part of this filthiness of the mind is selfishness, which frequently is so mean as to be ashamed of itself, to seek to hide itself under various pretexts of generosity, etc., and by outward ostentation, gifts, etc. Other features of the filthiness of the mind are jealousy, covetousness, ambition. These various forms of selfishness are all to be recognized, as the Apostle declares, as of evil origin, works of the flesh and of the Devil. Lasciviousness or sensuality is a further part of this filthiness-- another form of selfishness or love of self-indulgence. With all of these conditions of the mind, the New Creature should be in opposition to the extent of despising them, fighting against them, destroying them.

"FILTHINESS OF THE FLESH"

Although, as our Lord's words intimate, an outward cleansing of the flesh and making clean of the outside of the cup would not prove a purity within of the mind, of the heart, the proposition is reversely true that outward filthiness does indicate a filthiness of the mind, because the mind controls, and if it were purified the result would be a cleaning up of the outside. Indeed we may be pretty sure that the love for the approval of others would lead almost everyone to keep his externals, seen by men, fully up to the standard of his mind if not above it. It is easier to cleanse the flesh than to cleanse the spirit, the mind. The Apostle's urgent exhortation is that all who are the Lord's people should cleanse themselves of all filthiness of the flesh and of the spirit.

A brother once said to us, "How does it come that the reading of MILLENNIAL DAWN affected my outward life as nothing else ever did? I used to drink in moderation, I used to smoke immoderately, occasionally I played a game of cards with the rector of the Episcopal Church to which I was attached, I chewed tobacco, and occasionally used strong language, of which I am now ashamed. My friends gave me tracts and booklets on smoking and on the use of intoxicating liquors, but they had no weight with me. I replied, in substance, 'Mind your own business, I am able to take care of myself.' But after reading MILLENNIAL DAWN a change took place. I gave up all those things of which before I had not been ashamed. They all appeared in a new light--as unworthy of me as a son of God and follower of the Lamb. Now the strange thing to me is this: I looked all through the DAWNS to see what I had read there that had influenced me thus, and to my surprise I could find no condemnation of the things I had renounced. Now my question is, How does it come that the book which says nothing on this subject has had such a powerful influence over me, while the other books which said much on the subject had no influence?"

We replied, "Brother, the DAWN is merely a restatement of the Bible itself and puts matters in the Bible way. Hence it did not ask you as a New Creature to lop off some of the unsightly branches of your fallen disposition, but it did hand you the axe of Truth and suggest to you that you cut down the whole tree, branches and all, pointing out to you that the New Creature would live and flourish and finally be perfected only as it would master the old nature and thus become "more than conqueror," and be counted worthy of a share in the Kingdom, because of its character-likeness to our Lord.--Luke 3:9.

THE CLEANSING POWER

Does some one say that it requires great strength of character, great power of the will, to cleanse our minds and our flesh? We answer, Yes, and that is exactly what the Lord seeks to develop in us. All of his joint-heirs in the Kingdom will be found to be strong characters, and that because of the development of character in the present time in the conflicts with the flesh. Does some one else suggest that with the cravings of the flesh such a victory is impossible? We reply that the Apostle's words do not indicate that the flesh will be made absolutely pure and perfect. His suggestion is that it may be cleansed of its filthiness-- so that everything coarse, rude, slovenly, dirty, filthy in thought or in deed, in mind or in person, would be reprehensible to us, offensive. Moreover, we gain this desirable and glorious condition not suddenly but gradually. The cleansing process must begin at once, but it will continue until our latest breath, for although we can and do quickly become pure in heart, pure in intention, pure in our wills, it certainly does require time to accomplish the purification of the mind and the flesh. The power which begins this cleansing, which continues it acceptably in the Lord's sight, is the new will; and this very fight against sin and uncleanness strengthens the will so that each victory makes it more ready and more capable for the next conflict. By use our wills grow stronger. Hence the necessity not only of a thorough consecration at the beginning, but the necessity also for keeping this in memory, that the will may always be firm, prompt, unflinching as respects loyalty to God, righteousness, truth, holiness, love.

"GOD WORKETH IN YOU"

The Apostle elsewhere declares along this line, "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God that worketh in you to will and to do of his good pleasure." (Phil. 2:12,13.) We have just been considering how we should work out our salvation, that the new will must hold its dominating influence over the fleshly mind and body (reckoned dead) in order to gain our ultimate victory. But now we inquire, How does God work in us to will and do his good pleasure? We answer that he strengthens our new minds, our consecrated wills, by revealing to us more [R3986 : page 137] and more clearly the significance of the exceeding great and precious promises of his Word. Thus is the power of God exercised toward all those who are his through his Word, through his providences, through the brethren in whom he has already worked, and a part of whose business it is as his representatives to build one another up in the most holy faith, and to assist one another in the cleansing of the flesh and the spirit.

This thought is brought out in the context. We quote, "What part hath a believer with an unbeliever, and what agreement hath a Temple of God with idols? For we are the Temple of the living God, even as God said, 'I will dwell in them and work in them: and I will be their God and they shall be my people.' Wherefore come ye out from among them [the untrue, the unbelieving, the unclean] and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you and will be to you a Father. And ye shall be to me sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty."-- 2 Cor. 6:15-18.

Now notice the Apostle's argument--"Having, therefore, this hope, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves." Ah, yes! there is a promise in these words, "the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth"--the power of God that, in proportion as it is received into good and honest hearts, will work in them not only to will aright but also to do aright, thus leading to the cleansing both of the mind and of the flesh. Whoever can comprehend what it is to be a member of God's holy Temple class, must realize the [R3987 : page 137] holiness, sacredness, purity that would properly attach to any and everything connected with it. As the Apostle again says, referring to these gracious hopes and promises, whoever has such a hope in him will purify himself even as he is pure. (I John 3:3.) The thought of being accepted as the sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty must be impressive to every heart in proportion as it is appreciated. Few are so gross as to suppose that God would have any fellowship with that which is unclean and impure. And when we see that the divine arrangement through Jesus' sacrifice covers all of our unintentional blemishes and weaknesses, surely we cannot ask for more--that it should cover from the divine sight intentional weaknesses, intentional blemishes or even slackness on our part in putting away all filthiness of the flesh and of the spirit.

PERFECTING OUR HOLINESS

While we are reckoned of the Lord as perfect, as holy from the moment we are accepted as members of his family, covered by the precious robe of Christ's righteousness, he expects of us, as we have seen before, a manifestation of energy in the vanquishing of the motions of sin in the flesh, and in the perfecting of holiness in our lives. God has but one standard, and that standard is perfection of holiness. His direction to us is, "Be ye perfect, even as your father in heaven is perfect." (Matt. 5:48.) At the same time our Lord knew well that in the present life, under present conditions, and acting through our present mortal bodies, it would be an absolute impossibility for any one of his followers to ever attain perfection in the sense or degree that the Father is perfect. Nevertheless it was proper that our Lord should give the perfect standard or pattern just as the school-book sets before the child a copper-plate engraving showing the perfect, the desirable standard of writing, not with the expectation that the child will ever succeed in exactly copying the engraving, but with the desire that the child shall improve itself by attempts at copying. So the Lord wishes us to be continually attempting to copy his perfection and to recognize no inferior standard. Hence our text's declaration respecting our perfecting holiness can mean no more than that we shall do our best to reach the standard of perfection in holiness to the Lord--come as near to that standard as is possible, a little nearer every day we live.

Our text declares that this perfecting of holiness is to be attained through a reverence for the Lord--an appreciation of his greatness, his perfection. The Christian who according to the flesh is deficient in veneration will have greater difficulty along this line of perfecting holiness than one who has naturally large veneration. A great deal of reverence for God and holy things is surely a great aid in our appreciation of the Lord's wonderful greatness and wisdom, power, justice, love; and the greater our appreciation of him, the higher our esteem of the pattern set before us, the better undoubtedly will be our success in the copying of it. A person who has naturally little of reverence for God and holy things, and who is naturally coarser and more self-centered and self-satisfied, has correspondingly a harder work before him if he would make his calling and election sure. He will the more need to remember his deficiency, and to cultivate reverence for the Lord and to humble himself--"He that humbleth himself shall be exalted; he that exalteth himself shall be abased."--Matt. 23:12.

In view of these things we urge upon all of the Lord's consecrated people a fresh determination to follow the counsel of the Apostle, and to allow the divine promises and prospects to work in our hearts to the cleansing of our minds and our flesh from all filthiness, to the perfecting of our new natures in holiness, in the reverence of the Lord.



[R3987 : page 137]

A LESSON ON DIVINE PROVIDENCE
--EXODUS 2:1-15.--MAY 26.--

Golden Text:--"And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds."--Acts 7:22.

OF the greatness of Moses the renowned Gladstone said:--

"We have in the history of Moses a great and powerful genius, an organizing, constructing mind. Moses belongs to the great class of nation-makers; to a class of men who have a place by themselves in the history of politics, and who are among the rarest and highest of the phenomena of our race."

Another says:--

"He was great as a lawmaker and organizer, a general, a historian, a poet, an orator, and a saint who walked with God. It is not too much to say that our modern civilization [R3987 : page 138] is built upon his work. And his greatness is enhanced enormously when we remember that his only material was a disorganized horde of emancipated slaves, encamped in a desert. Probably the majority of thinkers would rate Moses as the greatest man of earliest history."

FOREORDAINED OF GOD A LEADER

The proper view of Moses' career must surely take into account that he was a special servant of God and under special divine providence. While this view may not commend itself to the world, it surely does increase the interest of all who are in heart accord with the teachings of the divine Word. We shall see that all of the Lord's providences regulated the affairs of this wonderful man from his earliest infancy; and some of us may see still further that there was an interposition of divine providence in respect to the development of the babe even before its birth. Saint Paul, who was another of those remarkable characters whose interests were superintended by divine power, said of himself that the Lord "called me from my mother's womb." The inference we draw from this statement is that the Apostle recognized that certain traits of character and disposition were his from the moment of his birth--traits and dispositions which specially prepared him for his subsequent work as a minister of the Gospel. Applying this principle to Moses, we may well attribute much of the fineness and breadth of character and the extreme humility of this "meekest man in all the earth" to prenatal influences.

He was born so: God had him in mind as a suitable one for his purposes, and equipped him with those qualities so necessary to one whom he would so largely use in so great a work as the deliverance of his people from the bondage of Egypt. Nothing in this implies a divine interference with free moral agency. As it was possible for the Apostle Paul to have declined to preach the Gospel, and even to have repudiated the Lord and be a "castaway," so also it was possible for Moses to have repudiated his mission and to have chosen the pleasures of sin for a season. Had either of these men taken the wrong course we may be sure that the divine plan would not have been interfered with, so diverse is the wisdom and power of God. Another could have been raised up to do the work of the Apostle or the work of Moses, and divine providence could have so arranged for their instruction and development that the divine plan would have suffered no loss. Nevertheless, so complete, we may be sure, were the arrangements of God in respect to Saint Paul and Moses, that it was more natural for them to take the course which they chose than to have taken the opposite one.

HIDDEN IN THE BULRUSHES

As we begin to look for divine providence in the affairs of Moses we find them standing out at every juncture. He was born at that particular time when Pharaoh Rameses II. had laid commands upon all the Hebrew parents that their male children should be promptly strangled at the time of birth, under dire penalties upon themselves and the child they would permit to live. We know not how long this law remained in effect, but it served in this particular juncture to introduce Moses into the royal family by a most remarkable chain of circumstances. Miriam, his sister, was born about nine years before, and Aaron, his brother, in time to escape this law; and when Moses was born his mother "saw that he was a goodly child, and hid him three months." Apparently there was something extraordinary in the appearance of the child, not only in the eyes of its own parents but also in those of the princess who subsequently adopted him. Stephen says of him, "He was exceeding fair,"--margin, "fair to God," (Acts 7:20)--and Josephus recounts that as a man he was so handsome that passers-by would turn to gaze after him, and even laborers forgot their tasks in the spell of his rare beauty.

To hide the child for three months must have been quite a task, especially when the law respecting infants was known and probably a reward offered for the detection of those evading it. At last it was necessary for the mother to part with the babe, and the ark or basket made of bulrushes was prepared and overspread on the outside with pitch to keep it dry. With the babe therein it was placed near the bank of the river amongst the rushes, which would prevent it from floating down the stream and hide it from the curious. The spot was selected, too, somewhere near the royal palace, and near that portion of the river set apart for bathing for the use of the royal family, and at a time when the princess was known to take her daily bath. The location was [R3988 : page 138] on the river Nile. Rawlinson says:--

"The capital of Egypt, the abode of the royal family at that time, was most probably Memphis, occupying nearly the site on which now stands the great city of Cairo. The household of Amram dwelt under the shadow of the three great pyramids, those 'artificial mountains,' the most impressive monuments that have ever been raised by human hands."

BROUGHT FORTH--FROM THE WATER

In harmony with the expectation Pharaoh's daughter took her usual bath on the day in which Moses was placed in the ark amongst the rushes, and at an opportune moment the babe cried. The princess is said to have been a married woman but childless, and we may well imagine the interest and curiosity aroused in her heart and the hearts of her maidens in attendance when the cry of the babe was heard. An attendant brought the ark and opened it before the princess, and the weeping babe excited the compassion of the womanly heart. At once she guessed the truth, that this must be a Hebrew child, whose parents, unwilling to strangle it, had disposed of it in this manner, perhaps in hope.

Watching at a distance, little Miriam, Moses' sister, then about nine years of age, following her instructions, ran to see the find and to promptly propose to the princess that she might get one of the Hebrew women to act as a nurse for the child. This was approved, and of course Miriam called the mother. The princess gave direction that the nurse should take full charge of him and receive pay for so doing. Thus the family fortunes were helped, and at the same time full protection assured, for the child was recognized as the adopted son of the princess. It is supposed that about seven years elapsed before Moses was brought to the princess, and that meantime he enjoyed the care and instruction of a godly mother. Meantime, we know not just when, the princess gave the child the name Moses, which signifies, "delivered from the water." Some translate [R3988 : page 139] the word to mean, "born from the water," supposing that the princess probably meant by this to signify that she had borne Moses as her son, borne him from the water.

To those who have eyes of faith to see it, there is a great chain of providential circumstances here; to others, who have no such eyes, these were merely accidents and happen-sos. Each one of course will be strongly convinced of the correctness of his own view, but in this case as in many others truth is stranger than fiction, and all these things were, under divine providence, working together for the accomplishment of the divine purpose in connection with that child, with that man, and with the nation which God intended he should subsequently lead out of bondage as the typical people of God. Dean Alford expresses this thought beautifully in the words,--

"The bark is wafted to the strand by breath divine,
And on the helm there rests another hand than mine."

"MIGHTY IN WORD AND DEED"

Our Golden Text from Stephen's discourse reminds us that "Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was mighty in words and deeds." What a wonderful preparation that wonderful boy needed in order to make of him the great Captain of the Lord's hosts. Egypt at that time had two great universities, one at Heliopolis, the other at Hermopolis. Moses is said to have been instructed in the former, situated about twenty miles north of Memphis. Giekie describing it says: "Shady cloisters opened into lecture rooms for the students and quiet houses for the professors and priests, in their many grades and offices." Another writer says: "A splendid library was at his disposal. The library of the Rameseum at Thebes--a structure built by Rameses II.--contained 20,000 books."

It seems almost a miracle that the boy Moses could pass through such experiences as he had in the palace and in the school without being seriously injured by the vain philosophies prevailing and honored in these places. Evidently, however, he was not only well born as respected his religious instincts, but the influence of his mother, his nurse, undoubtedly had much to do with shaping his child mind and holding him firm in the faith of the Hebrew--the faith in the Oath-Bound Abrahamic Covenant, to the effect that his race at some time would be blessed by the Lord and made very great, influential in the world, and thus be the divine channel for the blessing of all the families of the earth. At all events we have every indication that Moses was not only not spoiled by his education, in the sense of having his faith overthrown, but that his natural modesty, humility, meekness, continued with him to manhood's estate.

WHEN MOSES WAS GROWN

This date according to the Scriptures was his fortieth year, for the life of Moses was divided into three distinct parts of forty years each. An eminent writer says, "According to Josephus, the Ethiopians made an incursion into Egypt and routed the army that was sent to resist them. Panic spread over the country, and Pharaoh trembled at the approach of the swarthy savages. The oracles, well aware of his remarkable abilities, advised that the command be entrusted to Moses. He immediately took the field, surprised the enemy, defeated them with heavy slaughter, drove them back into their own territory and followed them up so hard, capturing one city after another, that they found no asylum until they reached the swamp-girdled city of Meroe. Moses is said to have returned from this campaign the most popular man in the kingdom, having also learned thoroughly the weakness and strength of the people and of Pharaoh."

MOSES THE PATRIOT

The favor enjoyed as the adopted son of the princess in the palace and throughout the land did not quench the sympathy and patriotism of Moses' heart. He perceived the injustice heaped upon his brethren, and in his sympathy for one of them he smote a taskmaster so that he killed him. He buried him in the sand, thinking that nothing further would come of this, that his brethren the Hebrews would be helped to that extent, and that they would surely keep the secret of his favor and defence. In this, however, he found himself mistaken, for when endeavoring to correct a dispute between two Hebrews the fact that he was the murderer of an Egyptian was flung in his face by the one who was at fault. Soon the word reached everywhere, even to the king, who began quietly, as the Hebrew word signifies, to seek an opportunity for slaying Moses--not so easy a matter, however, as the latter was very popular; but in fear Moses, beginning the second fortieth year of his life, fled into the land of Midian, where he remained for forty years, returning for the deliverance of his people when he was eighty years of age.

We cannot say as some might that each child, each youth, each man, by giving attention to the divine guidance, might become a Moses. Very few are prepared by nature and providence for so exalted a position, and generally there are comparatively few opportunities for them. Israel did not need more than one Moses. We can, however, say that divine providence has a general charge of all the affairs of his people. If it is not in our province to be a Moses, it is a part of the Lord's providence to be one of his people, to be cared for by the Lord through a Moses, through a Deliverer. We cannot all be reared in palaces and educated in great institutions of learning nor become mighty in word and deed, but we should each look for the leadings of divine providence in our own experiences and be glad to fill any position marked out to us therein, assured that,--

"God's providence is kind and large;
Both man and beast his bounty share.
The whole creation is his charge,
But saints are his peculiar care."

But while we cannot occupy so prominent a place in earthly affairs as did Moses, let us look to the divine providences in the affairs of our lives, and let us note that still greater privileges, opportunities and honors are ours through Christ.

If the adoption of Moses by Pharaoh's daughter was a remarkable matter, much more wonderful is our own experience in that God first of all redeemed us by the precious blood of Christ, and then without our consent and upon our consecration adopted us into his family as the Bride of his Son, to be "heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ our Lord, if so be that we suffer with him, that we may also be glorified together." (Rom. 8:17.) There is nothing in all the novels and romances in the world that in any degree [R3988 : page 140] compares with the marvels of this glorious grace of God bestowed upon consecrated believers of this Gospel age. Do we really believe it? So surely as we do the effect will be manifested in our words and thoughts and doings. Imagine a young peasant woman invited to become the bride of a king of a prominent earthly throne: would not the thought of her espousal and the coming honors and blessings and privileges fill her heart almost to the exclusion of every other subject? Would not the preparation for the wedding day be to her and to her friends the all-absorbing topic of interest, engaging time, talent, influence, attention, in every sense of the word? And yet all this would be to a view of an earthly honor that might be very fleeting, with a prospect of earthly happiness; or it might prove bitterly disappointing, and at the very most, and considered from the most advantageous standpoint, could only be a blessing for a few years.

Compare this with the glorious prospects that are set before the Lord's espoused virgin Church--glory, honor, [R3989 : page 140] immortality, eternal life with him who loved us and bought us with his precious blood and with the Father. Truly those who really believe this message, who recognize of a truth that they have been begotten to the new nature and have received the spirit of espousal--surely these could have no greater power and influence operate in their lives to sanctify them and separate them from the world, and to bring them into close fellowship of spirit with their Redeemer. Another thought: As Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and proved himself mighty in words and deeds, so those whom the Lord is now selecting for joint-heirship in the kingdom of his dear Son are required to learn lessons in the great school of experience, in the school of Christ, and they are required to manifest character and be overcomers--strong in the Lord and in the power of his might--mighty in words and in deeds for the Lord and for the Truth. And thank God, however humble our speech, or insignificant our station, he is reckoning these matters to us according to our attitude of heart; and the smallest word or act done through loyalty to him and to principles of righteousness is counted as mighty through God to the pulling down of the strongholds of error, and to the establishment ultimately of the Kingdom of God under the whole heaven.



[R3989 : page 140]

ASSUREDLY GOD WAS WITH HIM
--EXODUS 3:1-14.--JUNE 2.--

Golden Text:--"And he said, Certainly I will be with thee."--V. 12.

UNDOUBTEDLY God's providences had to do with the general character of Moses, even before his birth, as well as with his educational training for the great work he was intended to perform. Nevertheless we see it would be quite contrary to all divine usages for the Almighty to have coerced his free moral agency. The natural trend of character being developed, it was necessary for Moses himself to decide respecting its use. The central feature of this lesson is that, with all the preparation and all the fitness of the man Moses for the great work of delivering Israel from Egypt, the secret of his success lay in the fact that God was with him--God was the Deliverer of Israel; Moses was merely his servant and representative in connection with the work, as the Lord himself declared-- "I am the Lord thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt and out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me."

LONG YEARS IN PREPARATION

When we consider the eighty years of Moses' life, in which he was in preparation for the great work of the Lord, it helps us to appreciate better the fact that our God is never in haste--"Known unto the Lord are all his works from the foundation of the world." He has no need for haste; he knows the end from the beginning, and every feature of the divine plan is properly timed. Thus 4000 years and more passed before Jesus was born, and yet the Scriptures assure us that it was in due time that God sent forth his Son, born of a woman. (Gal. 4:4.) This thought should give us great confidence in the certainty of the development of the Lord's plans at the proper time. He is not a man that he should err in judgment; he is working all things according to the counsel of his own will. In this thought all his true people may rest in confidence; whether matters seem to culminate rapidly or slowly, each feature will be in its "due time." Although so much time was consumed in preparation for the deliverance of Israel, yet when the appropriate hour was come, in that one morning the whole nation started to move. Let us all learn the lesson more and more to wait on the Lord, and then to be ready to move promptly when he indicates that his appointed time has arrived.

EIGHTY YEARS OF SCHOOLING

The life of Moses is divided into three parts of equal length. The first forty years brought him to ripe manhood and made him familiar with all the learning of the Egyptians. The second forty years began when he fled after killing the Egyptian and had found that his brethren were not prepared for deliverance nor willing to accept his assistance as their friend and brother, and ended when he returned to Israel, under the divine direction, and successfully led them forth from Egypt. The third forty-year period of his life, beginning with the exodus, terminated with his death at the end of the forty years in the wilderness, just as the people of Israel were about to cross over into Canaan. The period of Moses' life from forty to eighty years of age was spent as a shepherd in the service of his father-in-law Jethro, otherwise called Ruel. We may be sure that in that long period of time this meek man, who was ready to do with his might whatever his hands found to do, had large opportunities for learning lessons of patience.

Doubtless like David, the shepherd, Moses learned to think of the sheep and his care over them, and to consider God the great Shepherd of his flock, and probably often wondered why, after giving the gracious promise to Abraham, God had left his flock, the children of Abraham, in apparently hopeless bondage. Doubtless, too, he thought of his own endeavor to help the people, and how they had shown such a spirit of discord as made it impossible for him to aid [R3989 : page 141] them as he would. Doubtless he had thought many times of how it would have advantaged his own earthly interests had he followed the course marked out for him by his foster-mother, Pharaoh's daughter, and remained a member of the royal family of Egypt and a sharer in the honor and dignity of those who oppressed his people. Doubtless he thought of how he had apparently blighted his entire life and spoiled all of his earthly prospects by his desire to do good to his brethren--his desire to serve their best interests. Doubtless he thought of their ingratitude and failure to appreciate him, their resentment of his kindly-meant assistance, saying, "Who made thee a ruler or judge over us?"

Probably in the mind of Moses the matter resolved itself in the thought that he had done his duty, the best he knew how to do, although the entire matter had resulted in failure; and it is probable he was more or less despondent respecting the future, as a meek, humble-minded man would be apt to feel. Meantime under the Lord's providence he went hither and thither with his flocks and herds to the very land in which later on he was to lead the people of Israel. In those forty years he must have become very familiar with the vicinity of Sinai and lower Palestine. Little did he know the value of the teachings he was then learning. The lesson in all this for us is faithfulness to God and to duty as he gives us to see it, leaving all the results with him. Another lesson is that present experiences, trials and difficulties may be fitting and preparing us for a future useful service for the Lord and his people, even though at the time we see no relationship or connection between the two.

THE BURNING BUSH

Here our lesson opens, showing Moses at eighty years of age shepherding his flock on the rearward side of Mount Horeb, called Mount Sinai, where subsequently the law was given. As Moses looked, behold a bush burned near him, supposedly a thorn-bush, which sometimes grows to quite a height and quite a thickness in that country, and is known as shittim wood--the kind of wood used in the construction of the Tabernacle. As Moses looked at the flame he perceived that the bush was not consumed, and considering this a most remarkable phenomenon he turned aside and drew near to it to observe the matter. It was then that the Lord spoke to him from the midst of the burning bush, and Moses at once knew that what he had witnessed was a miracle by which the Lord would attract his attention with a view to communicating some important lesson.

God usually has a symbolical meaning in every miracle, and in this one the representation is supposed to be Israel in the midst of tribulation, yet not consumed. Later on, in Reformation times, the Church of Scotland appropriated this burning bush as its emblem on its banner, because its experience had been similar in that it had passed through severe afflictions and distresses and trials, yet had not been consumed. And is not the burning bush a good illustration of the experience of Christ and all of his members? Are they not indeed surrounded by fiery trials? and do they not emerge from these unscathed, uninjured?--on the contrary, blessed, developed, strengthened, made meet for the inheritance of the saints in light?

Well do the Scriptures declare that the fear, reverence, of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. We greatly deplore the growth of irreverence in our day, and urge upon all of our readers for themselves and for their families the cultivation of this proper attitude of mind, so helpful to our preparation for the life that now is and that which is to come. Liberty and independence, while excellent qualities, are always to be valued and conserved and protected, are never to become license, never to lead in any degree to irreverence. This is the more necessary to us for two reasons: (1) Because of the growing irreverence of the world about us, born of a declining faith in God and everything supernatural; (2) because of our growing enlightenment in the [R3990 : page 141] Truth, by which we see that the fears of an eternity of torture were groundless, there is a danger of losing that proper reverence for God which belongs to and is an integral part of love.

The Prophet David writes, "Keep thy foot when thou goest into the house of God"--take heed to your standing, take heed to your walk, take heed to your conduct. Whether the house of God be a great temple, as in past times, under divine direction, or whether it be the temple of God, which is the Church of Christ in the flesh, we should realize that reverence is befitting to us in connection with everything that is holy and consecrated. We should realize that whoever neglects the cultivation of reverence in respect to these matters is making his own pathway slippery and dangerous. He who reverences little and is careless is much more likely to stumble, to fall, and be utterly cast down. If even Moses, the "meekest man in all the earth," needed from the Lord as his first instruction a lesson of humility, shall we not suppose that such a lesson is necessary to us? Yea, verily!

Let us honor the Lord in our hearts, in our outward demeanor. Whether we bow to give thanks for our daily bread, whether we bow our knee night and morning in acknowledgment of divine care and providences, or whether we meet with those of like precious faith, let us see to it that reverence marks our conduct and our words as well as rules in our hearts. Let us, too, take off our shoes, let us lay aside the ordinary conduct of life by which we are in contact with the world, and in all our ways acknowledge him, especially when we hearken to his voice in the study of his Word as his people.

"SEEN THEIR AFFLICTION"--"HEARD THEIR CRY"--"KNOW THEIR SORROWS"

With these words the Lord informed Moses briefly that he had not been negligent of the interests of Israel. By these words he allows him to understand that not until this time had the appropriate moment come for interference on behalf of Israel. And this thought of the divine knowledge, sympathy and care, and waiting for a due time, would give Moses all the more confidence in the Lord's ability to do according to his own good purposes when his time had come. And so it is with us: If we look back over the 1800 years and more of this Gospel dispensation, and perceive how the Lord's cause has been permitted to be overwhelmed by the forces of evil during the "dark ages" and even yet, we stand amazed, and might be inclined to say, "Does God not know? does God not care? that he allows his own name to be dishonored and his Truth to be trampled under foot and his faithful people to suffer?"

The Lord assures us, too, that he knows all about these [R3990 : page 142] matters and is very sympathetic, far more so than we, and he is both able and willing to grant the deliverance needed at the appropriate time. What confidence it gives us now when we look back and behold that Spiritual Israel has been preserved through all these centuries! that notwithstanding the fiery affliction and adversity that burned against them, they have not been consumed! How it comforts and cheers us now to hear the Lord's voice telling us of the deliverance that is just at hand, and sending by us his messages of love and power to all those who have and are to hear, and who are desirous of having liberty from the power of the world, the flesh and the Adversary. O, yes! we occupy holy ground, we hear the holy voice, our eyes are opened to see the wonderful things. The Lord be praised! Let us give heed to his Word.

"THOU MAYEST BRING FORTH MY PEOPLE"

First of all the Lord informed Moses, "I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians," etc.; then he adds, "Come now, therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh that thou mayest bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt." It is to be noted that God expressly declares himself to be the Deliverer, and had Moses been then disposed to boast of his own powers and doings we presume that the Lord would not have used him, but would have found some one else for the work. Whenever the Lord sends us on any special mission, we may be sure that he does not wish us to undertake it as our own mission, nor to claim the honor of the success attending it. He merely deigns to use us as his instrumentalities, whereas he could do the entire work much easier, we might say, without us. How wonderful it seems that God throughout all his dealings, past and present, has been willing to use his consecrated people. Telling them on the one hand that they are unworthy, he assures them on the other hand of his willingness to use their imperfections and to overrule and guide in respect to their services for him and his cause.

The prime essentials evidently in the faithful performance of such a commission would be reverence for the Lord and humility as respects our own talents and abilities. It was so with Moses, the "meekest man in all the earth." Not stopping even to tell the Lord of his appreciation of the facts that he had been chosen for and had undertaken this great work, Moses was overwhelmed with the thought that the Lord would deign to use him as a messenger, and he promptly disclaimed any special qualifications therefor. Indeed, he evidently felt, as well as said, that there were others much more capable of the work than himself. But was it not this very appreciation of his own unworthiness that helped to make him suitable for the Lord's business? And so with us: we may be sure that when we feel strong then we are weak, and when we feel weak in our own strength then we are best prepared to be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might and to be used of him as his instruments. It was so with the great Apostle; it must be so, we believe, with all whom the Lord will deign to use and acknowledge in any part of his service.

Overwhelmed with a realization of the responsibilities of the work suggested, Moses protested to the Lord that he had not the qualifications, and the Lord's answer was that this was true, but that his weakness would be perfected in the Lord's strength--"Certainly I will be with thee." And this being true, how could the mission be a failure? It is equally true with us today: if the Lord be for us and with us, who could be against us? How could the work fail? Many of the Lord's people are being called out of Babylon and its confusion and darkness, its oppressions and its bondage, to creeds of the "dark ages," and its social boycotts, etc., to worship the Lord in spirit and in truth, to give their hearts, all that they have, to him and his service.

And all the members of the body of Christ, the antitypical body of Moses, are permitted to have a share, as the Lord's representatives, in this work of declaring the fall of Babylon, the presence of the King, and the gathering together unto him of all who have made a covenant with him by sacrifice. While feeling our unworthiness of so great an honor, and our inability as respects so great a work, let us remember that the Lord himself is with us, and that since it is his work it will go onward and accomplish the designs intended, and gather out eventually all who are truly the Lord's, whether we are faithful or whether we are unfaithful. But let us be faithful, and thus maintain the relationship to the great antitype of Moses, and ultimately be associated with him in the glories of the Kingdom, in the dispensing of the blessings and judgments of the future age. --Acts 3:23.

Not only did the Lord assure Moses of his presence and power and cooperation in the mission, but also that it would result successfully--that he would bring the people out of the land of Egypt and into this very mountain, and to the very place where the Lord was then communing with him. The matter began to take tangible shape before Moses' mind: as God said it would be so, undoubtedly his word would be fulfilled. So the Lord's assurances to us, that the results will come anyway, are an encouragement to us to go forward and to do our parts. The Lord will do the work, and the whole question is whether or not we will have a glorious share in it as his members and representatives.

"I AM THAT I AM"--HE WHO IS--JEHOVAH

Whatever confidence Moses had in his brethren, and their readiness to believe the promises of God and to accept deliverance from Egypt, he seems to have lost. Even while God was telling him of the success of the mission upon which he was being sent, Moses' mind was reverting to the attempt he had made forty years before, and so he objects: "Lord, when I come unto the children of Israel and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers sent me unto you; and they shall say unto me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?" The people of Israel, long in association with the Egyptians, had doubtless lost much of their faith in the one God of their fathers. Their heathen neighbors and masters of the Egyptian nation recognized various gods, and seemed to be greatly prospered, and it is altogether probable that the Israelites had by this time come to wonder which god they should count as theirs and what his name might be. Moses' question seems to imply that his thoughts ran in this channel. God's reply was the giving of his name, Jehovah, for the words, "I am that I am," signify the same as the name Jehovah--the self-existent one, the one who always exists.

Perceiving that the question only covered a part of [R3991 : page 143] Moses' meaning, the Lord proceeded to prove to his servant that this name would not be an empty sound in his mouth, but that he would be with him and exercise powers which would exemplify his greatness, his dignity, his ability to deliver the people. Taking advantage of the common things, the Lord referred to the shepherd's staff which Moses carried and bade him throw it to the ground; it at once became a serpent. Moses' faith was again tested, and the Lord bade him take it up again, and it became a staff in his hand as at first. The assurance that he would be able to give the people this demonstration and other demonstrations that God had sent him to them strengthened Moses' confidence in God and made up for his lack of confidence in himself. And this should be the case with all of us; we are not to have confidence in ourselves, but if we go forth strong in the Lord and in the power of his might, confident and rejoicing because he is with us, we are not only safe as respects ourselves but in the proper condition for the Lord to more and more use us in his service--"He that humbleth himself shall be exalted; he that exalteth himself shall be abased," is the divine method of procedure.

Moses urged further that he could find some one much more capable of telling the good tidings than himself. He said, "I am slow of speech," I never was an orator that could answer, reason out, this matter with Pharaoh. I should feel so abashed upon coming into his presence, and so feel my insignificance, that even though I were your representative I fear that I would not be able to present your message in a proper manner. Meeting this objection, the Lord told Moses that he would give him his brother Aaron as a mouthpiece. Thus strengthened and encouraged, the meekest man in all the earth set out upon his mission to meet the greatest king of earth at that time, Pharaoh Menephtah.

Let each of us then, dear readers, impress upon our hearts the essence of this lesson, that if God be with us and for us, however humble and weak of ourselves, we may be mighty through him to the pulling down of the strongholds of error and for the building up of his people in the most holy faith, and for their deliverance from the bondage of error. Let us in the name of the Lord do with our might what our hands find to do, but always with the thought that we serve the Lord. Let his words, "Certainly I will be with thee," be the strength in our every endeavor in his name and cause.



[R3991 : page 143]

SOME INTERESTING LETTERS

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--

The last three months of 1906 were quite trying to me. My occupation brought me too much in contact with the world, so much so that I am not at all satisfied with myself; but I am starting in the new year with much experience and a full resolve to profit thereby. I am going to seek the Lord more diligently through his Word, and through association with his people. I intend giving up my present employment to seek a position elsewhere, where I can have more time to give to active service for him who bought me with the great price. Here I am completely penned up. I do not have even nights or Sundays in which to meet with the Lord's people, so I must get out where I can keep the rust from collecting on my armor. I shall put at least one-half of my time in spreading the glad news of the great Rest Day just at hand for all who are weary and heavy laden. Remember me at the heavenly Court, that I may have that grace that is all-sufficient. Trusting in him, I am

Your brother and fellow-servant,
J. W. B.,--Wash.


Following is a letter written by a business customer to one of our friends:--

"I want to thank you for the little pamphlet you sent me last year when you answered my letter saying you could not fill my order. It was one of those 'Old Theology' tracts you sent. I do not know you or your faith, but that little paper has done more for me than money could buy. Whoever you are I hope it has done even more for you. So I heartily thank you for sending it. It was bread cast upon the water and a hungry soul found it. I have now, from that pamphlet, the MILLENNIAL DAWN series and am reading the fourth volume, having read the first, second and third and liked them very much.

I feel I owe it all to you, for I never knew of that kind of literature. I said all to you, but I will take that back; I owe it all to God, but believe that you or whoever sent it to be the instrument he used in answer to my prayers. I hope many other hungry souls may be fed by the same means. Our efforts in scattering the precious truths will be a blessing to us as well as to those they reach.

I thought I was a Christian for a good many years, but I have only found out what a true Christian is, and know the mass of people will not accept that doctrine. But I hope there are still more Truth-hungry souls who may find it, and that it will prove a blessing to them as it has to me.

I might say more, but as I do not know the sender will only say in conclusion, may the Lord bless you and keep you faithful for that high calling he has in store for the faithful.

Yours in the blessed hope,
J. H. S.,--Neb.


page 143 DEAR BROTHER IN CHRIST:--

When I wrote my last letter I was entirely without peace. But I believe as a humble penitent that the fault lay with myself. I was very much disappointed with this life and could not make up my mind to commence at the bottom of the spiritual ladder like a humble, trusting child when I thought I was very near the top. But yet I have been brought to see that that is the very thing I must do. And now the Lord has given me the peace for which I prayed so long in vain. I get up each morning with the earnest desire to feel myself to be a perfectly unknowing being, ready to be led and taught by him. And I have come to the realization that while I may not have to commence from the bottom it is better for me to see myself only one-fourth up instead of three-fourths.

Very humbly and gratefully your sister,
I. F.,--Cal.



page 145
May 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. XXVIIIMAY 15No. 10
A.D. 1907--A.M. 6035


CONTENTS

Laying Up Heavenly Treasure147
Sealed in Heart and Forehead147
When the Door Shall be Shut148
Additional Bible Study Helps149
New Watch Tower Bible149
Little Opportunities (Poem)150
Some Plagued--Some Passed Over150
Understandable Yet Miraculous151
The Salvation of the Lord151
A Bright Cloud--A Dark Cloud155
Entangled in the Land156
The Song of Moses and the Lamb157
Belated Reports from Foreign Branches158

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 146

THIS JOURNAL AND ITS SACRED MISSION

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

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

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



BROTHER RUSSELL'S WEEKLY SERMONS


All orders for newspapers containing Brother Russell's sermons would best be sent direct to us. We can secure to you the best terms; and besides the influence for the cause is greater thus.

MUSIC AT THE CONVENTIONS


We urge all the dear friends to practise singing from "Hymns of Dawn" for the One-Day Conventions as well as the General Conventions. Visiting friends will please bring their hymn books with them, as only at the General Conventions will they be on sale.

COLPORTEURS AND SHARP SHOOTERS


All are sharpshooters who do what they can to sell DAWNS or STUDIES amongst friends and neighbors. Colporteurs take and work territory systematically, giving a part or all of their time. Sharpshooters who order 25 volumes at a time by express or 30 copies by freight, charges collect, are granted colporteur rates, viz., 16c each for Vols. I., II., III., and 20c each for Vols. IV., V., VI.

Colporteurs desiring partners in the work should send postal card request for an aide. They will find the General Conventions very favorable opportunities for such alliances. Appliances for use on bicycles for delivering will be exhibited.



[R3991 : page 147]

LAYING UP HEAVENLY TREASURE

THE present is the time for laying up heavenly treasures which cannot be stolen from us and which cannot corrupt. We fully agree that our Lord and the gracious things which he has in reservation for them that love him--the elect--are our treasures and that the store of them becomes larger and larger as we seek to set our affections on things above and not on the things of earth. But just now we wish to think of these heavenly things in respect to our earthly life, and to note the importance of laying up some heavenly treasure on earth.

According to our understanding of the Scriptures the Lord is now permitting a very tranquil period, which probably will not last long. In this time the winds are being held, the storm is not allowed to break until the servants of God are sealed in their foreheads. The thought is that just as soon as the sealing process has been accomplished the restraints will be released and the storm will sweep down upon us--upon the whole world to some extent, but especially upon the sealed ones, to try them, to prove them, and to test them. Not a pleasant prospect, some may say; but we answer that all of our heavenly Father's provisions for us are agreeable when we are rightly in harmony with him and his precious Word. We are symbolically represented as being enabled during that time of trouble to stand upon the sea of glass and to sing the song of Moses and the Lamb, the meanwhile harping upon our harps--making melody from the Word of God and greatly rejoicing therein. This time of trouble, when the winds of persecution shall be loosed, will be the time of fiery trial which shall try us; and since the Lord's people are not to think strange of it, it is proper that it should be called to their attention repeatedly, and that they be helped in their preparation for it. He shall give his messengers charge concerning thee [the Christ], and in their hands they shall bear thee up [the feet members] lest ye stumble against stones and difficulties in this evil day.--Psa. 91:11,12.

SEALED IN HEART AND FOREHEAD

The Scriptures refer to the sealing of the holy Spirit as necessarily essential to membership in the Lord's family at all. Whoever does not receive the seal, the impress of the holy Spirit, will not be a copy of God's dear Son in heart, in character, and cannot be associated with him in the Kingdom. The sealing process is a gradual one, the impression becoming more permanent daily. We are not to understand sealing in the forehead to be identical with this sealing in the heart, although the two are closely related. Many of the Lord's dear people throughout the past have had the seal of the Lord upon their hearts and characters but not upon their foreheads--they did not have that intellectual knowledge of God and his glorious plan which he has provided for all of his faithful of the present time, and which now becomes a test, a proof, an evidence to us that we are in the Lord's favor and that he is showing us his deep things.

The question with each one of us should be, How am I prospering? How am I profiting by these provisions which the Lord has made for my preparation for the coming trials and tests? Am I living carelessly, thoughtlessly? Am I improving or am I wasting the precious moments, the blessed hours, the golden opportunities presented to me by God's favor? Surely the Lord has been faithful in all of his engagements; surely he is doing for us exceedingly more abundantly than we could ask or think; surely if we fail to make our calling and election sure the fault will not be his, for he is faithful who has called us, he also will do it. If, therefore, he has done all that he has promised and all that is necessary and all that is proper for our aid, if there be any failure in the matter it will surely be our own fault. It is well that we should see how the Lord has placed the responsibility upon us, as is implied in his direction that we work out our salvation with fear and trembling, remembering that it is God that worketh in us to will and to do his good pleasure. [R3992 : page 148] All our blessings come from God, and come to us as gifts; but these gifts, to be of value to us in the end, must be received, must be used, must be appropriated, must be worked out in mind and heart, and so far as possible in our mortal bodies. The inspiration of God's promise first worked in us to will and to do his will, to lay down our all at his feet; and secondly, as we followed on, these promises continued to work in us to the point of doing service, putting into practice our good wills, good intentions--but only those who do put them into practice will get the eventual blessing of the Kingdom.

"O, FOR A THOUSAND TONGUES TO SING MY GREAT REDEEMER'S PRAISE"

It is well that we have the sentiment here expressed, and the desire to praise the Lord a thousand-fold more than we have ability; but we do well to remember that the Lord looks for something more than songs and thankfulness: he looks for evidences of appreciation of his grace and his promises, he looks for evidences of our appropriation of these, in harmony with his design in giving them. If, then, he has fulfilled his promise that at his second presence he will gird himself as a servant and come forth to serve those who hear his knock and open their hearts to receive him, we may properly infer that the strengthening food he is now providing for his people is in some sense of the word necessary to them. It is so necessary that if they receive it not, if they feed not upon it, if they are not made thereby strong in the Lord and in the power of his might, it will ultimately be greatly to their disadvantage.

We write thus because we observe that some who rejoice greatly in the bountiful supply provided by the Lord and who love to sing of his blessings, mercies, etc., seem not to be giving sufficiency of attention to the repast itself. They remind one of the man who purchased an encyclopedia and never used it, but often praised it and took great pleasure in it, with the thought that the information was there if ever he should need it. Some of the Lord's dear people seem disposed to do after this manner with the precious things of divine truth which are now in their hands. They would keep the volumes in their libraries, they would praise them, they would talk about them to their friends, but many of them neglect to read-- many permit the cares of this life, the deceitfulness of riches, etc., to consume their time, the precious moments, the precious hours, the golden opportunities, so that they do not feast upon the viands provided by the Lord. The time is surely coming when the rejoicings of this class will be less--when the winds of persecution and opposition shall be let loose and play upon them. We fear that many will not have the sufficiency of foundation for their faith and love to stand the crucial tests of that time.

WHEN THE DOOR SHALL BE SHUT

The shutting of the door mentioned in one of our Lord's parables seems to imply something quite in harmony with the loosing of the winds when the sealing in the forehead shall have been accomplished. We cannot surmise just how this trouble will be precipitated and the door for further fellowship and promulgation of the Truth be closed. It would not surprise us, however, if in some manner it should be accomplished through the Post Office Department. We cannot now think of what plea or pretext could be used to interfere with our legal rights and privileges under the law, but we are to expect that in a very few years the federation of the various Christian denominations will give them a political influence they have never before had, and we are to expect that politicians will be ready at that time to obey the united voice of the people, if not the voice of God, and that, however illegal or unjust the procedure, they would be prepared to put a stop to our work. When that time shall come we will consider it to be our duty to use all reasonable energy to maintain our legal rights and privileges and to keep the door open. When it shall close, in spite of our every endeavor, we will accept the result as being of divine providence and apply the Master's words, "Thou couldst have no power at all over me except it were given thee from above."--John 19:11.

AN ILLUSTRATION--A HINT

Such proceedings in any other nation under the sun might be more reasonably expected than in this land. Nevertheless our attention has recently been drawn to an illustration of such a power in this country as we would not have imagined. The publishers of the Woman's Magazine of St. Louis started a banking arrangement amongst their subscribers, permitting banking and checking by mail. So far as we are able to understand the matter the entire arrangement was entirely honest and aboveboard. But about the time that the banking institution was ready to open, the Post Office Department prohibited it, declaring it to be fraudulent, and the publisher was cut off from all communication with the outside world because no mail was permitted to be delivered to him. Subsequently his journal, the Woman's Magazine, monthly, 10c per year, was prohibited from the mails as second-class matter under the claim that it was sold below cost. The publisher, apparently quite a wealthy man, seems to have spared no expense in his endeavor to obtain a hearing in the courts and a public examination of everything pertaining to his bank and to his magazine. He claims that he has thus far been unable to do this, and that he is practically helpless so far as any court of justice is concerned.

Without going into the merits of this case, of which we acknowledge we have little information aside from the publisher's plea, we nevertheless see in this feature of the law--so different from anything we could have anticipated in this land--something which could readily, we believe, be made applicable to this journal and the work of our Society in general when the time would come that it would be demanded by a large, influential party--when the time would come for the letting loose of the winds, the storms. [R3992 : page 149]

HEAVENLY TREASURES SAFE

If these conditions should come about speedily, how would they find you and me, dear brother and sister? Could we look up to the Lord and say that we had been faithful over the few things committed to our care and had done what we could to advance the honor of the Lord's name and to bring his Truth, his gracious plan, to the attention of his followers? And could we thankfully acknowledge that we had received into good and honest hearts the precious message of the Truth, and that there we had the thing in our minds which we would not only be able to appreciate ourselves but be able to communicate to others if the time had passed when we could give them tracts or books? This is a very important question, dear friends, for it takes time to lay up this spiritual food in reserve, so that we could not only have it for the immediate present, but also enough for the coming emergencies.

Let us remember that it is not sufficient that we have the Bible, the DAWN STUDIES, upon our shelves or upon our tables. We need to use them, we need to partake of this bread, this meat in due season, this refreshment which our present Lord has supplied to us. In this connection we commend to all the dear friends afresh the suggestion thrown out by a dear sister about a year ago and commented upon in these columns. She remarked that herself and daughter had concluded to read over again the entire series of DAWN STUDIES, and that they found that the entire six volumes could be read through in a year by reading twelve pages each day. How much blessing would surely come to all by such a re-hungering, re-investigation, re-assimilation of the meat in due season. We call to your attention the fact that, so far as we are aware, no one has ever come fully, clearly, thoroughly into the light of Present Truth from the hearing of it preached orally-- that all who have attained to a high development of knowledge and appreciation of the plan have done so by reading, studying. We suggest that this should govern us in respect to our endeavors to serve the flock and to strengthen ourselves.

ADDITIONAL BIBLE STUDY HELPS

Some not far advanced in the Truth may get the thought that the DAWN STUDIES, Berean Studies, etc., are not Bible studies. But all those who have made progress in the Truth are able to set them straight upon the matter, and to point out to them that this is Bible study of the most profitable kind they have ever engaged in: indeed that all of their previous study of the Bible amounted to nothing in comparison. Those familiar with the subject can readily show that the DAWN STUDIES merely give the Bible in arranged order which simplifies our comprehension of the divine plan and the divine book, and that the reference to the Scriptures continually keep before the mind of the students the fact that all stress, all authority, is laid upon the Word of God and not upon any human opinions.

We have a bit of news to communicate which we know will cause great rejoicing amongst the Bereans. It was apparently the Lord who put it into the heart of Brother C. J. Woodworth to go through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation and through all the volumes of the DAWN series and to make note of every sentence of Scripture treated or explained in the DAWNS. He [R3993 : page 149] started this work for his own benefit, beginning with the book of Ephesians. He writes us that he was astonished to find how very much of the text had been discussed in the various volumes of DAWN. He assures us that he never got so much blessing from anything in his life as he got in that preparation. He then determined to go through the entire Bible in the same manner. He suggested the desirability of putting this in the hands of all the dear friends, so far as possible. We acquiesced in the suggestion and inquired how long time would be needed for the preparation. The dear brother bent his energies to the labor of love and sent us the whole of the manuscript about the first of this month. He is a rapid workman, and in the Lord's providence was able to devote seven hours of each day from the last of November to the first of April to this work. So far as we have had time to examine it will prove a most valuable aid to the dear household of faith. One can turn to this and find in its columns first the words of Scripture, secondly a condensed interpretation taken from the DAWNS, and thirdly the reference is given, so that one can turn to the DAWN and have the argument in detail. This brief Bible Commentary is already in the hands of the typesetters.

With it we propose to republish the Topical Index which appeared in the back of the special WATCH TOWER BIBLE published some years ago, the entire edition of which, five thousand, was promptly taken by the friends. Additionally we have had prepared an "Instructor's Assistant," which groups under various heads brief quotations of appropriate proof-texts, citing the references in the Bible and also in the DAWN STUDIES. With this little compilation in his hand every WATCH TOWER reader may be an able and efficient teacher of the Word, qualified to give to him that asketh not only a reason for the hope within him but the proof-texts, and, beyond this, an ability to call to his assistance in expounding the subject the help in the DAWNS. With every reader thus an Evangelist we may hope that the progress of the Truth may be greatly enhanced. The two last-mentioned compilations have been made by Sisters Seibert and Sherman.

It is proposed that all three of these helps in the study of the Word and in the location of the DAWN references thereto, shall be published under one cover in a limp binding of a suitable size to carry under the cover of an ordinary portable Bible. The price will be such as to bring it within the means of all, and any WATCH TOWER readers too poor to purchase will be supplied with a copy free.

A NEW WATCH TOWER BIBLE

Instead of getting out another edition of the WATCH TOWER BIBLE published in 1902, it is proposed that we [R3993 : page 150] shall have another, very different in style, and in some respects a great improvement upon the former edition. The new WATCH TOWER BIBLE will be quite small, 4-5/8 x 7 inches, large pocket edition. It will be printed on India paper, be about 3/4 of an inch thick and very light in weight, and in addition to maps will have our own special helps above mentioned bound in at the back, namely: (1) The DAWN Study Commentary, with references; (2) The Topical Index, with Scriptural and DAWN Study references; (3) The Instructor's Assistant with references. These will all be bound with round corners, red under gold edges, divinity circuit. The binding will be of three grades, namely, the so-called French Seal will be the cheapest: including postage it will cost our subscribers $1.25 per copy--any quantity. The second grade will be the same, except that it will have linen linings, price $1.38. We will have no intermediate grades, our third being the very best Genuine Sealskin, calf-lined, silk-sewed. The price of this grade, including postage, will be $2.85--any quantity.

The patent index can be supplied on any of these Bibles at an additional cost of 25c per copy, but we do not recommend the index on so small a book. It is easy to place the fingers at the upper corner and run through the leaves so as to find any book desired.

The above prices are very special, obtained by reason of our ability to place a very large order. We have ordered 10,000 copies in these assorted bindings, and this is probably the largest order ever placed for India paper Bibles of one style. We feel confident that the book will be exactly what every WATCH TOWER reader will want, and have fixed the price at absolute cost. Six thousand of these Bibles are promised us this year and the remainder next year, but their preparation will require time. Do not expect them before next September. We are merely giving you timely announcement. Send in no orders until notified later on the second page of this journal.


LITTLE OPPORTUNITIES
"We all might do good where we often do ill;
There is always a way, if we have but the will:
For even a word, kindly breathed or suppressed,
May guard off some pain, or give peace to some breast.

"We all might do good in a thousand small ways;
Forbearing to flatter, yet giving due praise:
In spurning ill rumor, reproving wrong done,
And treating but kindly the heart we have won.

"We all might do good whether lowly or great--
A deed is not judged by the purse or estate;
If only a cup of cold water is giv'n,
Like the mite of the widow 'tis something for heav'n."



[R3993 : page 150]

SOME PLAGUED--SOME PASSED OVER
--EXODUS 12:21-30.--JUNE 9.--

Golden Text:--"When I see the blood, I will pass over you."--V. 13.

MOSES, accompanied by Aaron, his brother and appointed mouthpiece, appeared before Pharaoh and informed him of his mission in part. He made no reference to the complete departure of the Israelites never to return, though Pharaoh evidently understood this to be the program. The request was to go a day's journey into the wilderness and to offer sacrifices to the Lord, no reference being made as to what would be done thereafter. To Pharaoh it seemed preposterous that the Egyptians should let go from them a skillful people, who had been serving them now for a good while as bond-servants, and helping along amazingly in their general prosperity and wealth. Pharaoh determined that he would not encourage such a thought by the slightest sign of timidity, but on the contrary he would discourage it and cause, if possible, that the people should feel that Moses and Aaron, their representatives and delegates, had done them an injury by the agitation. Accordingly Pharaoh not only refused their request, but imposed additional burdens upon the people as a penalty for making it. All this might be termed human nature--the natural thing for any person in power to do.

It was the natural thing, however, only because of man's depravity; it would have been a very unnatural thing for any perfect man to have done. A man more nearly perfect in the image and likeness of God would, on the contrary, have had a spirit of fairness, a spirit of equity, which would have said, We have not been treating these people right; we have not been treating them according to the Golden Rule, as we would that they should have dealt with us. We have been taking advantage of their situation and of our power as a dominating race, and have been taking their labor by browbeating and by force. We will seek to make amends, not only by giving them their liberty, to which they have a right, but by pressing upon them as their rightful due a certain proportion of the wealth we have secured through their energies. We will then say to them,--Now, whether you go to another land or whether you stay here is a matter for yourselves to decide; but we will be glad to have you for neighbors and for friends, and to deal with you as fellow-members of one race, according to the Golden Rule.

But the depraved heart never has such suggestions, or, if it has them, promptly stifles them as foolish, unbusinesslike. The Lord's people, begotten again of the holy Spirit, enlightened through the Word of Truth and taught in the school of Christ, are not to take the worldly view on any such question, but in all their affairs to act in harmony with the Golden Rule. If any reader of this article has not been in the habit of so doing in the past, it is time that he should begin at once. Time is short in which to cultivate this proper view and to learn to use this Golden Rule. If our hearts do not attain to this standard of love for our neighbors as for ourselves, the Apostle assures us that we may seriously doubt that we have any love for God that would [R3994 : page 151] be acceptable to him. (1 John 4:20.) True, not many are in the position of Pharaoh, and even Pharaoh might have been unable to carry out the Golden Rule in connection with his dealings with the Israelites by reason of a contrary spirit amongst his counsellors and others of influence in the nation. Similarly we may not be able to do all that we could do and would like to do in harmony with the Golden Rule in our dealings with neighbors, employes, etc., but we are to cultivate this spirit in our hearts, in our minds, and to live as nearly in accord with this rule as present conditions permit. Our hearts must be up to this mark, whether we are able to conform all of our affairs of life to this standard or not. Otherwise we may be sure that we shall come short of the required standard, and unless we correct the matter we will have no part in the Kingdom, and would be totally unfit to be of that glorious class of kings and priests and judges who, according to the Lord's foreordination, are shortly to bless all the families of the earth in conjunction with their Lord and Head.--1 Cor. 6:2,3.

"LET MY PEOPLE GO THAT THEY MAY WORSHIP"

One after another ten different plagues came upon Egypt to compel them to let the Israelites go. We can readily see how God could have made the matter much easier for them even in their wrong condition of heart. He could have raised up to the throne of Egypt a weaker man, who would have more readily yielded; but, on the contrary, the Scriptures inform us that God raised up to the throne a man of that particular character which would be strong in resistance, dogged. We read, "For this very purpose have I raised thee up, that thou might show forth my power." The means by which the Lord raised up that Pharaoh to the throne is not particularly stated, but we have illustrations of similar exaltations under divine providence. For instance, the present Emperor of Germany was raised up to power by reason of his father's death, which the Lord could easily have hindered. The Czar of Russia was raised up to his position by reason of his brother's incapacity for the office. Theodore Roosevelt was raised up to the presidency by reason of President McKinley's assassination.

Thus God has it in his own hand to set up or pull down rulers, and he orders the matter evidently to a considerable extent with a view to the impressing of the lessons which he desires to impart; and these lessons and providences have to do with other peoples than those apparently most particularly interested. For instance, the present Czar has had much to do in the matter of bringing forward the Japanese to notice; and so the Pharaoh of the Exodus, supposed to have been Menephtah, was raised up particularly on account of the Israelites and the divine intention respecting their deliverance, and the punishment of the Egyptians for the injustices that were done them. With a weaker man on the throne the Lord's power would have been less displayed and the Egyptians would have received far less chastisement.

THE TEN GREAT PLAGUES

The first nine of these plagues seem to divide themselves into three groups of three each, and the entire ten are supposed to have covered a period of nine months--not that they were continually enforced in that time, but that considerable intervals occurred between them. In the first three Aaron's rod was used as a symbol of divine power; in the second three the rod was not used; in the last three Moses' rod was used. In each of the three series the first was with full warning, the second with less warning, the last with no warning. The first plague is supposed to have occurred in June and the last one in the following April.

To the ordinary reader the story of these plagues and the deliverance of the Israelites is a wonderful one, but to those who have made some progress in the knowledge of the Truth and who discern in the experiences of the Israelites something typical of the experiences of the Lord's people in the end of this age, the entire lesson has a still broader, deeper and stronger significance. From this standpoint the Pharaoh on the throne and the powers of Egypt represented Satan, the prince of this world, and the powers of this world. From this standpoint the antitype of Israel would be all of God's people who desire to worship and to serve him, but who are in bondage to sin and Satan. From this standpoint the deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt typifies the deliverance in the end of this age of all who desire to come into harmony with God. And correspondingly, the plagues that came upon Egypt and which forced the deliverance of the Israelites typified the great time of trouble coming upon the world in the end of this age, by means of which ultimately the power of the oppressor will be broken, and all who desire full liberty to worship and serve the Lord will be granted the opportunity; and as Pharaoh and his hosts, in seeking to interfere with the divine program, were destroyed, so Satan and all sympathizers and colaborers with him, seeking to restrain and interfere with the labors of those who would serve the Lord, will ultimately be overwhelmed and destroyed in the Second Death.

Noting that these ten plagues prefigured the time of trouble in the end of this age, we are not surprised to find similarly ten plagues mentioned in connection with the time of trouble portrayed in Revelation as constituting the consummation of this present age and this "present evil world." There the first three plagues are called the woe trumpets, and following them come the "seven last trumpets." The first three apparently affect all, the last seven are restricted to those who are in opposition to the Lord. And so it was in the plagues of Egypt: the first three affected the Israelites as well as the Egyptians, but from the last seven the Israelites were exempted.

UNDERSTANDABLE YET MIRACULOUS

While these plagues were very remarkable they were less so than might occur to us, because many of them were merely intensified experiences along lines from which the Egyptians had previously suffered. The intensity of these, and the fact that they came in harmony with preannouncements, constituted the main features that would commend them to the Egyptians as miracles. For instance, the first two the Egyptian magicians were able to imitate on a small scale. The names of these magicians are given us in the New Testament, where it is stated that as Jannes and Jambres [R3994 : page 152] resisted Moses, so certain ones today resist the message of God at the hands of his servants and seek to produce counterfeit effects by the power of Satan.--2 Tim. 3:8.

The first plague--the waters turned to blood--caused serious inconvenience for the Egyptians, who are noted as the most cleanly of all the Orientals. They were obliged to dig wells near the river, using the soil as a purifier or strainer of the water. Of course the thought must be that the water became bloodlike. Gieke offers a not unreasonable suggestion respecting the basis of this miracle--that it was "the presence and inconceivably rapid growth of microscopic animals (infusoria) and minute cryptogamous plants of a red color. Ehrenberg, in 1823, saw the whole bay of the Red Sea at Sinai turned into the color of blood by the presence of such plants. In Silliman's Journal there is an account of a fountain of blood in a cave in South Africa. It grew solid and burst bottles in which it was put, and dogs ate it greedily. The cause of these wonders is a minute alga which grows so rapidly that it actually flows, and is so small that there are from 40,656,000,000 to 824,736,000,000 plants in a cubic inch."

Another writer says concerning the Nile, as he saw it one morning, "The entire mass of the waters was opaque and of a dark red, more like blood than anything else to which I could compare it."--Monumental History of Egypt, I., p. 10.

The fact that we can imagine the process by which divine power produced this miracle does not interfere with its miraculousness, which is fully attested by its appearing just at the time indicated by Moses, and by the fact that it affected the water everywhere, even in household vessels.

THE SECOND PLAGUE--THE FROGS

Among the numerous Egyptian deities was the frog-head goddess, Heka. The supposition therefore is that this plague was a special reproach to that goddess and her worshippers, and particularly severe because it was not lawful for the Egyptians to kill their tormentors. They were so abundant as to constitute a plague in the truest sense. Frogs were everywhere, in the fields, in the streets, in the homes, in the beds, in the kneading troughs. Of the physical basis of this miracle Gieke remarks that frogs in distressing numbers frequently come from the river Nile: "In the height of inundation, the abounding moisture quickens inconceivable myriads of frogs and toads which swarm everywhere, even in ordinary years."

The third plague--lice. The revised version margin renders the word lice sandflies, or fleas, and apparently with some reason. Sir Samuel Baker says of modern North Africa that, "At certain seasons it is as if the very dust of the land were turned into lice." He then describes the sandfly as a "sort of tick, not larger than a grain of sand, which when filled with blood expands to the size of a hazel nut." This miracle the magicians were unable to duplicate, and their words are the first historical definition of a miracle: [R3995 : page 152] they said, "This is the finger of God."

The fourth plague--flies or beetles. The Hebrew word used in this connection is held to signify a mixture, that is various swarms of insects. The Septuagint translators, who lived in Egypt, considered the word to mean dog-flies; others hold that it signified beetles, a peculiarly serious plague to the Egyptians, because the beetle was considered the incarnation of Kephna, the Sun god, and was forbidden to be killed. A writer says,--

"Modern Egypt is sometimes visited with enormous swarms of beetles which inflict very painful bites, gnaw and destroy clothes, household furniture and leather, and consume or render unavailable all edibles."

This plague was also removed at Pharaoh's entreaty and his false promise to permit the people to go.

The fifth plague--murrain. This is supposed to have been a kind of epizootic or contagious fever affecting all domestic animals. Rawlinson declares, "There were several murrains in the years 1842, 1863, 1866, in which last-named year nearly the whole of the herds were destroyed." It was marked as one of these plagues by its prediction for a definite day and from the exemption of the cattle of the Hebrews.

THE SIXTH PLAGUE--BOILS

This plague was started by the symbolical scattering toward heaven of ashes of a furnace--possibly in allusion to the furnace of affliction through which the Hebrews had been passing, or possibly in sarcastic imitation of the methods of the Egyptian priests, who yearly offered sacrifices of burnt human bodies, sometimes Hebrews--to Typhon, the god of evil, scattering the ashes thus in the air.

The seventh plague--hail. This also was a very unusual experience for the Egyptians, for in their country thunder and lightning, snow and hail, are very rare. All the more it would be to them a demonstration of divine power; it terribly impressed them, besides causing serious loss not only to men and beasts but to vegetation. Pharaoh, alarmed, again proposed to accede to the demands, but again hardened his heart and refused when the plague was withdrawn.

The eighth plague--locusts. A German writer says it often happens that immense swarms of locusts come to Egypt from Nubia. Wherever they appear they cover the ground for miles and sometimes to considerable depth. It is in vain to attempt to drive them away. Only when the last bit of grass and grain is devoured will they depart, leaving behind those which in the dense mass of insects were hurt and could not go further. It takes weeks to kill these remnants. A newspaper remarks that in 1881 two hundred and fifty tons of locusts were buried in Cyprus, each ton numbering over 90,000,000 of these pests. In 1873 the writer witnessed a similar visitation of locusts or grasshoppers in the western part of the United States. They came in great clouds, obscuring the light of the sun as would a snow-storm, and greatly resembling it. Wherever they alighted it meant destruction. They were so plentiful that they could have been shoveled were they not continually in motion, and railway travel was greatly delayed in those parts by reason of the slipperiness of the tracks from the large numbers that were crushed. This also would be recognized as a plague because of its announcement and because of the usual exemption of the land of the Hebrews. Again Pharaoh repented, this time his courtiers urging upon him acquiescence with the command. [R3995 : page 153] Pharaoh even confessed sin, and yet subsequently hardened his heart and refused the people liberty.

The ninth plague--darkness. The physical basis of this miracle is thus stated: "In April, about Easter, there begins in Egypt a period of fifty days called Chemsim, meaning fifty. During this period the south wind at times brings a storm of fine sand, which sometimes is terrible. Wherever the storm passes a crackling sound is heard, as of electric sparks. A nervous depression seizes mankind and domestic animals. This is the Egyptian darkness."

Gieke says, "Artificial light at such times is of little use. The streets are practically emptied and a deep silence reigns everywhere." This plague of "deep darkness" impelled Pharaoh to grant the request of Moses provided the flocks and herds of the Hebrews did not go with them--a compromise which Moses promptly rejected.

THE TENTH AND LAST PLAGUE

The tenth plague--the death of the Egyptian firstborn. Ample opportunity had been given for repentance, and the record is that Pharaoh once more refused to let the children of Israel go, and subsequently it is recorded that God hardened his heart. We are not to suppose that God interfered with his free moral agency in the matter, but that this hardening of his heart was accomplished through the Lord's leniency--his prompt granting of release from one plague after another when Pharaoh repented and proposed obedience. The fact that he and his people had weathered so many of these storms and plagues doubtless encouraged the monarch to hope that eventually he would retain hold upon the Hebrews, despite all the threats and plagues. However, there was a limit to divine favor, and it was so arranged that that limit would not come until the people of Egypt had suffered a severer chastisement in punishment of their injustice toward the Hebrews. Although we are not living in a time when God is judging the world--rewarding and punishing every act of mankind, as will be done when Christ shall take to himself his great power and the Millennial reign shall begin--nevertheless we see that in the case of the Church there is a judgment already enforced along spiritual lines, so that those who have made a covenant with the Lord by sacrifice, if willing and obedient, receive an hundredfold more in the present time as well as in the blessings of the future, while those who neglect their covenant receive correction and stripes, and fail to enjoy the riches of God's grace and peace. The Scriptures inform us, however, that the world will not entirely escape the wrong doings of the present time--that every misdeed will work an injury to character in proportion as it was wilful and against the light, and that all such undermining of character will require repairs and rectification under the restitution processes of the Millennial age. Thus, on the whole, has been arranged a very just and equitable system of rewards and punishments, measured according to the knowledge and perversity of each individual. It is in line with this that the Scriptures speak of the time of trouble, which is now near at hand, as being a just compensation upon Christendom for its failures to recognize the principle of equity. The collapse of the world's institutions of civilization in a period of anarchy will be the penalty of disregard for the Golden Rule.

WHY THE FIRST-BORN SUFFERED

The smiting of the first-born of Egypt contained two lessons: (1) It was the most severe blow because the first-born of the nation would be the more prominent persons in each family. (2) But the special object in confining the plague to the first-born was to show that only the first-born of the Hebrews were spared or passed over. The other members of the Hebrew families were in no more danger of that plague than were the other members of the Egyptian families. Only the first-born were marked, indicated as in danger, while the rest were to be saved. The Scriptures clearly show that the Lord thus intended to indicate the passing over or sparing of the Church in the present time. The type therefore has nothing whatever to do with the world. Only the household of faith, known in the Scriptures as the Church of the First-born, have that degree of light and knowledge that would permit them to be on trial for eternal life, with the danger of losing the same in the Second Death.

The world in general is not in this danger; they are still under the original condemnation, and hence not subject to the second condemnation or the Second Death. This type marks clearly what all the Scriptures so forcefully express, namely, that the present is the trial time of the Church, as the Apostle expresses it, "If we sin wilfully after that we have received a knowledge of the truth there remaineth no more a sacrifice for sin, but a certain fearful looking forward to of judgment that would devour us as adversaries of God." Again he says, "As touching those who were once enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the holy Spirit and tasted the good Word of God and the powers of the age to come, if these fall away it is impossible again to renew them unto repentance; seeing that they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh and put him to an open shame."--Heb. 6:4,6; 10:26,27.

Not only is the Gospel Church scripturally termed the "Church of the First-born," but it is also spoken of as the first-fruits unto God of his creatures. (Heb. 12:23; Jas. 1:18.) The two thoughts are in full accord; first-born ones imply later-born ones, first-fruits imply later-fruits. Thus does the Lord draw our attention to the fact that, while his plan has had its most gracious beginning with the elect of this Gospel age, his favor will not end with these, but ultimately proceed to all the families of the earth in accord with his great Oath-Bound Covenant to Abraham, "In thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." The First-born constitute the Seed class. Christ is the Head or first of this First-born company, but it will not be complete until the last member of the body of Christ shall have been passed over from the earthly to the heavenly life and nature.

LIFE ONLY UNDER THE BLOOD

We have already noted that only the first three of the plagues extended to the habitations of the Hebrews, but in announcing to the people the tenth plague Moses informed the Hebrews that they also would be subject to this plague, except under the one condition--that they should remain inside their houses during this Passover night, and that the [R3996 : page 154] outside of the doorposts and lintels of their homes should be sprinkled with the blood of a specially sacrificed lamb, whose flesh was to be eaten during that night by those within the house. The message to them was, "The Lord will pass through to smite the Egyptians, and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel and the two side posts, the Lord will pass over the door and will not suffer the destroyer to come into your house to smite you."

How profoundly simple yet strong are the divine testimonies and types in their instruction of the Spiritual Israelites respecting the necessities for faith in the precious blood as the only ground of acceptance with God, the only protection from the Second Death of those begotten of the holy Spirit. We do not think it strange that the world despises the blood, speaks lightly of the blood sacrifice of the Hebrews; but we are amazed that any of the Lord's people, after having once tasted in the sense of appreciating the merits of God's favor through the sacrifice of Christ, the Lamb of God--after once having realized that Christ died the Just for the unjust that he might bring us back to God's favor--after once having appreciated the fact that the death penalty was upon the race, that Christ died as father Adam's substitute, thus to redeem him and all who lost life in him--after all this we marvel greatly that any such could do despite to the blood of the Covenant with which we are sanctified--we marvel that any such could go out from under the blood, thus repudiating it and doing despite to the divine favor thus manifested on our behalf. It is not for us to determine positively those who have been begotten of the holy Spirit and who have subsequently repudiated the merit of our Lord's atonement sacrifice on our behalf, but it is for us to recognize that all who take such a step wilfully, intelligently, deliberately, have fallen out of divine grace and have become a second time children of wrath, and that their case is a hopeless one, that they will be subject to the Second Death. It is respecting this form of sin that the Apostle declares, "There is a sin unto death: I do not say that you should pray for it." Prayers for those who have taken themselves deliberately out of the Lord's hands and rejected the precious sacrifice which he provided for their covering would be unavailing, useless.

We picture before our minds the scenes of that night: the Hebrews by instruction were prepared for their journey into Canaan, and merely waiting for the morning light and the preparation which the tenth plague would effect by discouraging the Egyptians and leading them really to facilitate the departure of their bond-servants. Each family group had its lamb roasted with fire and without a bone broken. Each group must feed upon the lamb with unleavened bread and bitter herbs, with sandals on and staff in hand as sojourners. All of these details represented the household of faith during this Gospel age, the bitter herbs representing the trials and difficulties of life, which will only tend to sharpen our appetite for and our appreciation of the Lamb, and of the unleavened bread, which also symbolizes the flesh of Jesus. We are still eating, still waiting, still under the blood, but the morning is now very near, when all the passed-over ones, represented thereafter in the priestly type of Levi, will be the first to pass beyond the power of the antitypical Pharaoh, the Adversary--and lead forth all the remainder of mankind, willing to become Israelites indeed. Under the New Covenant arrangement typified by the Law Covenant, the Royal Priesthood, Christ and his Church in glory, will antitype the Aaronic priesthood, while the associated Great Company will be the antitype of the tribe of the Levites.

A WELL-ATTESTED MIRACLE

For over 1600 years the people of Israel, by divine commandment, celebrated this passing over of their first-born on the night before they left Egypt; and our Lord, in the same night in which he was betrayed, his last night of earthly life, not only celebrated this Passover Supper but gave his followers a new Memorial as a substitute for it, unleavened bread and the fruit of the vine as the symbol of our greater Passover, through faith in his blood, and as perpetuating the central thought of the original Passover we have under consideration. Here then is a celebration observed throughout the whole world today, and which we know has been in force as a Memorial for over 3500 years! Can anyone of reasonable mind doubt the origin of this sacred Memorial, whether its significance is seen or not--whether its value is recognized or not--whether its antitypical meaning is seen or not? We hold that this Memorial is one of the strongest confirmations of the divine plan and purpose, and we much regret that many intelligent people observing the Memorial of our Lord's death fail to grasp the fact that it is a Memorial of that which was typified in Israel's Passover. If this fact were generally recognized, in how brief time all Christian people would celebrate the Memorial on its anniversary, actual or approximate, as did the Lord and his apostles and the early Church--and as we still do.

WHAT MEAN YE BY THIS SERVICE?

Most particularly did the Lord direct in respect to the observance of the type and its signification. Parents were to tell their children the story of the passing over of the first-born and of the favor of God thus manifested toward them, and of the deliverance thus effected on their behalf. And judging from the observance of the matter today amongst the Hebrews, we can well imagine that the divine injunction was never at any time overlooked. The Passover is the most important of all the Jewish festivals, corresponding in the spring of the year to the Atonement Day Memorial six months later. And if it was appropriate that the typical Israelite who knew only of the typical passing over should tell his children of the Lord's goodness and mercy, how much more should the spiritual Israelite, who discerns the antitype, and who recognizes the Lord Jesus as the antitypical Lamb, and the period of this Gospel age as the antitypical night of passing over, and the merit of Christ's sacrifice as the antitypical sprinkling of the blood, and the feeding upon Christ in our hearts, and the acceptance of his meritorious sacrifice as the antitype of Israel's going out of Egypt--how much more shall we feel it not only to be a duty but a privilege to tell our children, yea, and all who have ears to hear, respecting the grace of God in Christ, and the blessed opportunity of being passed over granted to all those who now by faith accept the divine favor, and present their bodies living [R3996 : page 155] sacrifices and become partakers of the holy Spirit. If any of us have been slack or remiss in respect to the telling of this great message, let us resolve that we shall be on the alert hereafter, and that we will more and more appreciate the opportunity to show forth the praises of our Lord.

Let us remember the Golden Text, "When I see the blood I will pass over you." Let us all see to it that the blood of Christ is ever recognized, not only within our hearts but confessed, sprinkled, manifested, and declared outwardly to others. Let us remember the Apostle's words that without the shedding of blood there is no remission, and applying this thought let us recognize that we have remission of sins only in proportion as we recognize the merit of the great sin-offering effected by our Lord, finished at Calvary.



[R3996 : page 155]

THE SALVATION OF THE LORD
--EXODUS 14:13-27.--JUNE 16.--

Golden Text:--"Thus the Lord saved Israel that day out of the hands of the Egyptians: and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the seashore."--Exodus 14:30.

THE tenth plague, the death of all their first-born, convinced the Egyptians of the advisability of getting rid of the Hebrews. Forthwith they were as anxious to have the people go from them as they previously had been anxious to retain them. They now helped them and urged them, and when the Israelites asked for (in the text "borrowed") mementos, such as jewels, etc., they gave to them, urging their departure, and probably feeling that with this generosity they were to some extent making good for the long years of compulsory labor they had exacted. By preconcerted arrangement, the Hebrews quickly gathered to Succoth, en route for Palestine, nearly two millions of them, with flocks and herds which must have been of quite large numbers. If it seems impossible to us that the people should depart so suddenly, it is well that we remember that they had been waiting and preparing for the auspicious moment when Pharaoh should say that they might go. It should be remembered, too, that the people of that time, and to this day the people of that land, are much less encumbered by what we would consider necessities. The fellaheen of the Egyptians and the Arabs of the desert think [R3997 : page 155] nothing of lying down to sleep for the night by the roadside, wrapped in their outer garments, sometimes with a stone for a pillow as did Jacob. Stanley mentions a somewhat similar case, saying:

"In illustration of the event, a sudden retreat is recorded of a whole nomadic people--400,000 Tartars--under cover of a single night, from the confines of Russia into their native deserts, as late as the close of the last century."

Bishop C. H. Fowler offers a helpful comment, as follows:--

"In our own times, in this very century, we have witnessed an exodus from near that very land of Goshen where the Israelites dwelt. Mohammed Ali wished to manufacture silk, so he planted Jerusalem with mulberry trees and attracted Syrians from Damascus and Bedouin Arabs from Arabia, to whom he gave fertile pasture lands and freedom from taxation and military practice. They prospered and multiplied for many years. After the death of Mohammed Ali an attempt was made to tax and conscript them. Protestations were disregarded; therefore in one night the whole population, with their herds and flocks, moved away to their kinsfolk to the east of Egypt, leaving their homes empty and the valley a desolation, in which condition it was when De Lesseps dug his fresh-water canal."

The hosts of the Israelites first moved northward and eastward to Etham, then turning about went southward. This has the appearance of vacillation on the part of Moses, the leader, and on the part of God, his director. But we may be sure that known unto the Lord are all his ways, and hence that this movement was of design. The original intention probably was to follow the usual route out of Egypt to Palestine through the land of the Philistines, but the people were in no condition to battle with the latter. Another route would have been through the desert, but it would have been almost impossible because of their numbers and their flocks, and the fact that there would have been no pasturage, a deficiency of water, etc.

A BRIGHT CLOUD--A DARK CLOUD

They were guided south by the Lord directly by a cloud which was bright at night and dark in the daytime, affording them a measure of shelter from the heat of the sun. This phenomenon would probably not be noticed by the Egyptians and others, but was recognized by the Israelites because of their instructions, and because they had learned to have confidence in God as their leader. It was not, we are sure, anything like what some have pictured it --so radical a violation of nature as to be a demonstrated miracle. It was present with the people through all their wanderings in the wilderness for forty years, and was an evidence of the Lord's special care over them, and should have been a great aid to their faith. Only when they had finally crossed Jordan into Canaan was this phenomenon discontinued.

While following the narrative of Israel's deliverance and divine guidance, spiritual Israel must not overlook the fact that our deliverance from the world, symbolized by Egypt, is a still more wonderful one. As we under the Lord's providence began our escape from the power of the world, the flesh and the Adversary, there are different ways of escape possible, some more and some less favorable. Left to ourselves we might choose the wrong way of the Philistines, where the battles would be too hard for us, or the way of the desert, where we would be discouraged and famished. It is for us to look for the Lord's providences in our affairs at this time, and to find them guiding us, sheltering us from the heat of persecution and tribulation and trial, and again at other times enlightening us, refreshing us in the dark seasons. And this leading of divine providence is intended to be ours so long as we are of the true Israel of God, until we pass over Jordan into heavenly Canaan and need such special providences no further. Blessed are those whose faith is awake and on the alert, and who discern the [R3997 : page 156] Lord's favors which the world will not discern, and which only those in the right attitude of mind can appreciate. O, Lord, help us more and more to appreciate thy leadings, thy providences, and to trust to thy wisdom in all of life's affairs, until thereby we shall be guided by thy Word and thy grace to the heavenly Canaan and its rest!

ENTANGLED IN THE LAND

The Israelites took the change of journey from northeast to south with full confidence because of their recognition of the leading of the Lord in the cloud that was dark by day and bright by night. But the Egyptians viewed the matter differently. Several days had now elapsed, their mourning for the first-born was ended, and they began to think of the loss they had sustained. The fact that the Israelites were probably efficient servants, the fact that the Egyptians had been accustomed to using them in their own interests for a long time, and that the people were without military qualifications and arms, suggested to the Egyptians that it would be an easy matter to overtake them, to turn them back again--to say, Now you have had a few days as you desired, turn back again into the old lines. As they perceived the changed course of the Israelites, first northeast and then south, they concluded that they were entangled in the land--that is to say, that they were lost, did not know where they were going. Indeed this would be the natural conclusion, for as we look upon the map we find that they were marching to the Egyptian side of the Red Sea, whereas they wished really to go to the opposite side, to enter Palestine. We can imagine the Egyptians saying, "Poor, foolish people! they were far better with us even at hard bondage than free; they know not what to do; they will scatter by and by, and the majority doubtless will come back to us anyway." Selfishness may even have suggested that it was their duty to hold them in restraint--to turn them back again to be the bond-servants of the Egyptians. The Egyptians had not yet learned the lesson that it was the God of Israel they had to contend with. Neither, perhaps, had the Israelites sufficiently learned that it was God who was bringing them forth and not themselves and not Moses.

The hosts of the Israelites had by this time gotten well to the westward of the Bitter Lakes, which lengthen out the northernmost tongue of the Red Sea, when the word reached them that Pharaoh's six hundred chariots were coming. Terror spread throughout the mixed multitude: children cried, mothers wrung their hands and wept, and the strongest hearts of the Israelites were sore perplexed. As children to a father they came to Moses, saying, Is it because there was no grave-room in Egypt that you brought us away to die in the wilderness? Why did you thus--to bring us out of Egypt? Why did you not hearken to us when in Egypt we said, Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians? Would it not have been better for us to serve them than that we should die in the wilderness?

SPIRITUAL ISRAELITES ENTANGLED TOO

It is the same with many spiritual Israelites: having started to leave the world they are of insufficient faith, and when beset by temptations and difficulties they are inclined to wish they had never started in the better way and toward the freedom wherewith Christ makes free, and toward the Canaan rest and blessing which he has promised but which to them seems so far off--so utterly impossible to be reached. But Moses was of better faith and courage, as well he might be, because of his superior advantages every way. He represented our Leader, under whose direction and encouragement we have left the world behind. And so our Leader says to us, as Moses said to them, "Fear ye not! stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord which he will accomplish for you this day. And as for your enemies the Egyptians, whom ye fear, ye shall see them no more again forever." Evidently Moses was in very close touch with Jehovah when he could prophesy such an outcome in the face of such disastrous appearances. Similarly we may have confidence in our Lord Jesus when he assures us that the power of the Adversary is limited, that it shall not go beyond the limitations of this present evil world; that tomorrow, in the Millennial age, we shall witness the overthrow of all the powers of evil. Moses added, "The Lord shall fight for you and ye shall hold your peace." This is the promise to the spiritual Israelites--"Greater is he that is on our part than all they that be with them," however mighty they may appear: "If God be for us who can be against us?"--to ultimate success; therefore "I will fear no evil, for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me."

THE ISRAELITES COMMANDED TO GO FORWARD

Before the Israelites was the tongue of the Red Sea, the chain of the Bitter Lakes; behind them the land of Egypt, and immediately in their rear Pharaoh's chariots and charioteers. The Israelites had not yet approached the water's edge. The command was that they should go forward, and no explanation was made of how the path would be opened for them through the waters. Not only was the faith of Moses demonstrated in the command, but the faith of the Israelites was also tested in their obediently going in the direction of the water. Is it not thus with spiritual Israelites? Does not the Lord sometimes allow adversity, difficulties, oppositions, to hedge us in? Does he not sometimes lead us by a way from which there seems to be no escape from some impending evil? This is the time to hearken to his voice and in faith to go forward, nothing doubting--trusting that he who has begun the good work in us will complete it unto the day of Jesus Christ--in the Millennial morning. [R3998 : page 156]

By divine direction Moses lifted up his rod and stretched out his hand over the sea, with the assurance that it would divide and furnish the necessary exit from their impending difficulties. Those who read this narrative and in their minds imagine the Israelites at one side of the Red Sea, and an intervening fifty miles or so across to the other shore, and who further imagine that the waters of the sea opened and stood upright hundreds of feet in perpendicular walls on either side, while the Israelites first went downward to its bottom and then upward along its shores on the other side, are taxing their faith unnecessarily. Not that we are to doubt that if necessity arose God could wipe out the Red Sea entirely, but that it is not necessary to so suppose when circumstances and conditions are rightly understood. We may well suppose that God does not make his miracles more stupendous than necessary. Let us look at this miracle [R3998 : page 157] as it really occurred, and then see its reasonableness. The fact that we can understand the procedure should not make the matter any less a miracle in our estimation.

Let us have in mind the fact that the Red Sea at its upper end connects with a stretch of low country in which are a number of lakes, called Bitter Lakes, the water being brackish. At this time the Red Sea, which is merely a large lake, must have been very nearly connected with the Mediterranean Sea. At its upper end, the junction point with marshy lands and the Bitter Lakes, the water is at no great depth, so that at times when the tide is low cavalry have forded it--for instance, Napoleon and an escort, the former nearly losing his life on the occasion. When the tide comes in the condition of things is very different indeed, for the tide-rise at this point seems very high.

THE PHILOSOPHY OF A MIRACLE

The entire narrative of the lesson is in accord with what we have seen. A strong wind blew to the northward, and, cooperating with the tide, exposed a wide sandbar across which the Israelites passed in safety toward morning, aided by the light from the cloud, which at this time was to their northward and served as a cloud of darkness to the Egyptians and of light to the Israelites, so that the pursuers had difficulty in the chase and probably were guided more by the sound of the confusion and flight of the Israelites than by anything else. It is entirely probable that the Egyptians were not aware that the tide and the wind had formed the sandbar, and that they were on it pursuing the Israelites. By the time the latter had reached the further bank of the sea, possibly two miles across, Moses again stretched forth his hand with his rod, and the wind's course again changed, the waters began to return, aided by the turning of the tide. Meantime the Egyptians in the midst of the sea found their chariot wheels choked by the soft sand, their horses sinking and struggling broke the wheels, there was general confusion, which held them until the tide was upon them and many if not all of them were drowned.

"An east or southeast wind arose and moved the upper water of the shallow bay toward the northwest, while probably a strong ebb tide set in at the same time and drew the lower water southwards, so that the bed of the sea was for a considerable space laid bare."--Rawlinson.

"This was soon after the full moon of the vernal equinox, when there would be a very low ebb and a very high flood. The tide rises from five to seven feet opposite Suez, and from eight to nine feet when aided by strong winds, returning with unusual suddenness and power after the ebb."--Newhall.

"M. DeLesseps mentioned to me the extraordinary facts of this kind which he had witnessed in storms which occurred at intervals of fifteen or twenty years. He had seen the northern end of the sea in places blown almost dry, and again had seen the waters driven far over the land toward the Bitter Lakes."--President Bartlett.

"It is God's usual method to make the most of natural causes, to make the supernatural begin only where the natural ends."--Blakie.

"The coming of the wind at once, in connection with the symbolical act of Moses, is as much a miracle as the immediate division of the waters without the intervention of any secondary cause would have been."--Taylor.

"The waters were a wall unto them on the right hand and on their left": this need not imply a perpendicular wall, but rather a protection, a shield on either side. The Israelites could go forward, knowing that their only danger was in the rear because the waters protected their flanks.

THE EGYPTIANS OVERTHROWN

If we still entertain the thought we once had that all mankind are on trial for eternal life in the present existence, and that all failure to gain eternal life means eternal torment, we would be inclined to wonder why Moses and the Israelites did not face about and begin to preach to the Egyptians. Indeed we might wonder why they left Egypt at all--why they did not become missionaries amongst them--why God delivered them from such a glorious opportunity for mission work. Then we would wonder, too, how Moses and the Israelites could rejoice in the thought that thousands of their enemies had gone to eternal torment. We thank God that in his providence he has enabled us to see the teachings of his Word more clearly. We see that the time had not yet come for the preaching of the Gospel, because the time had not yet come for the atonement for sin. Hence there could not be any offer of eternal life to the Egyptians, for Christ did not come to die for man's sins for more than sixteen centuries later; and even after he came his work was not for the world, even as he prayed not for the world--"I pray not for the world, but for those whom thou hast given me." (John 17:9.) The work of gathering the elect is the first item on the divine program: with its consummation the present age will end, and then will begin the work for the world. Then those Egyptians and the Sodomites, with all the families of the earth, shall be blessed through Abraham's seed--Christ and the Church, the spiritual seed, and the natural Israelites, the earthly seed.

We see then, that as the Sodomites went down into death, so those hosts of the Egyptians went down into death, and all mankind go down into the great prison-house, the tomb, sheol, hades. We rejoice, too, that the Master says that surely "all that are in their graves shall come forth" (John 5:28,29)--the few, the faithful, into the perfection of life, the masses unto a time of trial and testing and opportunity in connection with judgments and disciplines, so that if obedient they may ultimately also attain everlasting life through the knowledge of God's dear Son and obedience to him. Remembering our Master's words, that it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in that day of the world's judgment than for many who had greater enlightenment, we may wonder if it will not also be true that some of these Egyptian charioteers, who in blindness and selfishness pursued the Israelites, will not be found more excusable than some of the natural seed of Abraham whom Moses led out, but who, because of lack of faith, died in the wilderness. The overthrow of the Egyptian hosts at the hand of Moses prefigured the ultimate overthrow of the powers of evil and sin and bondage at the hands of Christ.

"THE SONG OF MOSES AND THE LAMB"

If evidence were necessary to disprove the claim of evolution --that the people of early times were one remove from monkeys--that proof would be found in the way the Israelites accepted the victory the Lord had given them in their [R3998 : page 158] own passage of the sea in safety and of the destruction therein of their pursuers and enemies. Did they riot in a carnival of vice? Did they have a war-dance with tom-toms? Quite to the contrary. Overflowing with religious sentiment, they gave thanks unto the Lord God, recognizing him as their Deliverer. Moses composed a hymn of praise in which the people joined, while Moses' sister Miriam and the singing women prepared a response to the various parts of the hymn of praise. Hebrew scholars have remarked on the evidence of the antiquity of the song of Moses, recorded in Exodus 15:1-20, some even noting the fact that a few of the words showed an intermingling of the Egyptian language. It is further authenticated by the reference made to it in the book of Psalms, where the entire matter of the deliverance of the people and the overthrow of their enemies in the sea is graphically described by the sweet singer of Israel. (Psa. 106:7-12.) The incident and the Song of Moses are further corroborated by our Lord in his last message to the Church, in which he represents in symbol a certain class of his followers experiencing a great deliverance in the end of this age and singing, "The song of Moses, the servant of God, and of the Lamb."--Rev. 15:2,3.

If it was appropriate, as we all admit that it was, that the Israelites should give glory to God for their deliverance from the bondage of Egypt, much more is it appropriate that spiritual Israel should recognize the still greater deliverance from the power of Satan and the thraldom of sin, accomplished for us through the blood of the Lamb of God who died for our sins. If the illiterate people who had been in a measure of slavery for a long period and who had not the advantages of this Gospel age were prompted to give thanks to the Lord, how much more should we, who have tasted of his grace and goodness, show forth the praises of him who hath called us out of darkness into his marvellous light." (1 Pet. 2:9.) What wonder, then, that the Scriptures everywhere refer to the Lord's people as being ministers, servants, of the Truth, and declare that the Lord has [R3999 : page 158] not only lifted our feet from the horrible pit and miry clay of sin and death, but has additionally "put into our mouths a new song, even the loving-kindness of our God."--Psa. 40:2,3.

This song can now be sung by us who can exercise faith in the Lord, in his Word, in his providence, but it is not its complete fulfilment: that will be attained when all the people of God shall have been found--when the Lord's mercy during the Millennial age shall have opened the blind eyes of the world, unstopped the deaf ears, caused the knowledge of the Lord to fill the whole earth, and gathered all who are truly the Lord's to himself, and during the Millennial age shall have lifted them out of the bondage of sin and death and brought them into full harmony with the divine standard by the processes of restitution, according as it is written--There shall "be times of restitution of all things which God hath promised by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began." (Acts 3:19-21.) Then will be the great fulfilment of this passage of the Red Sea, and the overthrow of the enemies of the Lord and his people. It will be then, at the end of the Millennial age, that Satan and all who are on his side, enemies of righteousness, will be forever destroyed, and at the same time all who love righteousness and hate iniquity and avail themselves of the Lord's favors, privileges, will then be saved to the powers of an eternal life, under the leadership of the great antitypical Moses, as it is written--"A Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you from amongst your brethren like unto me [Moses]; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass that the soul that will not obey that Prophet shall be destroyed from amongst the people."--Acts 3:22,23.



[R3999 : page 158]

BELATED REPORTS FROM FOREIGN BRANCHES

FOR THE YEAR 1906

Melbourne, Australia.

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--

Once more it is my duty and privilege to send the Annual Report from this Branch.

The past year has been one of progress in some directions, particularly so in the number of DAWNS sold and new interest in the Truth developed. The increase in the circulation of DAWNS has been more than 100 copies per week above the rate for the previous twelve months. Most of these have been circulated through the faithful efforts of the Colporteurs, who have been very successful in these colonies.

Although a good deal has been accomplished in this direction, much more remains to be done; and it is still appropriate for us to ask the Lord of the harvest to send more laborers into his vineyard. Many of our friends who have become interested in these things in the past year have reason to thank God for the Colporteur. And this fact should encourage not only those who are now devoting their energies to this work, but also any who may be considering the feasibility of giving up all earthly hopes and ambitions for the privileges (sometimes laborious) of this service of the Truth. We shall be glad to hear from such, and to encourage and assist them in any way we can. The greatest number of orders secured by any one of our Colporteurs in one day in the past twelve months was for 126 volumes.

The Volunteer work of tract distribution has also had attention in the past year, albeit the total number of pages circulated is under the record for the previous twelve months. Probably some of our new friends do not clearly understand the opportunities, or are diffident about asking for the tracts free--enough to put them into every house in their districts. Let such hesitate no longer; the tracts are available, and the Lord's blessing has been so markedly upon this form of service in past years, that we may feel confident he will acknowledge it again.

Pilgrim service has been somewhat hindered in the past twelve months. No extended tour has been made, but several series of Chart Talks have been given in the vicinity of Melbourne. God willing, we hope to travel some in 1907, and we now request the friends in all parts of Australia and New Zealand, who would be able and willing to arrange for two or three days public or cottage meetings, to send their answers to the "Pilgrim Questions," as published in ZION'S WATCH TOWER, to the Melbourne Office, so that the dates may be fixed. Promptness in this matter will be appreciated, as we may not be able to alter a route, once it is arranged.

The tale of the Australasian Branch Tract Fund is still rather a melancholy one. Conforming to the principles governing the Society's work since its inception, we have never solicited a donation, all that we report being entirely voluntary on the part of the donors, as the Spirit has prompted them. Up to now, we have to acknowledge the favor of God as expressed, in this particular direction, through the Head Office, which has enabled us to go so far as we have done with the work of circulating free literature, Pilgrim Service, [R3999 : page 159] etc., etc., the expenses of which are charged to this Fund.

As we observe the progress of events in this peculiar time, we see that some are drinking in the Truth as it were the "new wine" of the Kingdom joys; and are being refreshed thereby. Others are drinking the "mixed wine" (confused doctrine of Babylon) and are being stupefied thereby. So drunk are these last becoming that they will presently have quite lost their senses. (Obadiah 16.) But the sight of these is a good token for those who are of the day, for such can realize that the deliverance is even now on Mount Zion. Let us, then, feel encouraged to lift up our heads, always remembering that one more year behind means one less in front, between us and the goal, at which having arrived we shall not have to think of one less, but always more and more.

Soliciting a continued interest in your prayers and in those of all saints, on behalf of the Australasian Work and Harvest Workers, I remain, dear brother,

Your brother and Christ's, E. C. HENNINGES.

AUSTRALASIAN BRANCH SUMMARY
           Publications Circulated
Copies of "Millennial Dawn"........................    21,389
  "    "  "Tower Dawn".............................     1,560
  "    "  Booklets.................................     2,010
                                                       ------
Total..............................................    24,959
Copies of Tracts and Z.W.T. sent free..............   249,700
These represent tract pages........................ 3,935,800
Letters and cards received.........................     1,699
   "     "    "   sent out.........................     2,367
                                                       ------
Total..............................................     4,066

Expenditures                                         L. s. d.
Deficit from last year............................. 438  3  5
Printing, paper, postage, freight (in and out),
 rent, gas, Tracts, etc............................ 306 11  8
Pilgrim Work, Meeting Expenses, etc................  38  6 11
                                                    --- -- --
Total.............................................. 783  2  0

                   Receipts
Receipts from Australasia.......................... 176  4 11
                                                    --- -- --
Deficit, owing to Head Office at Allegheny,
 Pa., U.S.A........................................ 606 18  1


Stockholm, Sweden.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--

When I in the last issues of the TOWER read with great pleasure and thankfulness to God, the reports of the WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY'S work the last year by its different branches, then I have also at the same time felt a little ashamed, or sorry, because of my lack of opportunity to make and send a report from this branch to you in due time--this so much more as I never during the eight years since the work here was started, have been able to give you as detailed reports from this place as could have been desirable.

We are, of course, not so many in Present Truth here, nor is the work so advanced amongst us as in the more important parts of the great harvest field, but we feel sure that it is the Lord that has guided us hitherto in grasping the Truth and in keeping us active in the service, and we trust that he will enable us to still better appreciate, with all the saints, the privilege in having opportunities to be his co-laborers and also to use the same still better in the future. I think we are now at least one thousand in this country which rejoice in the Lord and in his great plan of salvation, as it has been revealed to us by the MILLENNIAL DAWN and other publications of you, his servant, and I have herewith the privilege to bring you our deep and thankful greetings and Christian love. We remember you continually in our prayers and we rejoice in the thought that by and by you will see better how much your service has profited us. [R4000 : page 159]

Nevertheless, I will now state some few facts of the work done through this branch during the past year, 1906. We have yet some reasons for believing that we in some lines at least will be able to do two times so much in this new year 1907 as in the past year. Indeed the "fields are white to the harvest" here, and we are zealous to be used of the great King in his reaping work, as he will grant us opportunities before the closing of "the door." Besides the wide territory yet untouched in this country, we have the whole of Finland, where we hope to find a good number of our Lord's jewels. My dear wife has lately tried to do some colporteur work there and the results were very encouraging. God willing, she will soon go to Finland again to pursue the work there, and besides we have now five other good colporteurs engaged here in Sweden and hope for still more.

During the year we had one General Convention in Stockholm, attended by 200 interested friends, and besides this some smaller conventions in other parts of the country. The Pilgrim work by Brother Edberg and other dear brethren has been very much appreciated amongst the friends, and has given good results. The mileage covered in preaching tours was 11,501, and about 400 meetings were held.

The Swedish Zion's Vakt-Torn (now 16 pages monthly) has had 1,184 subscribers during the year, and we know by a great multitude of letters that it has been useful and helpful for many (I would hope for all) of them. We have printed 3,000, as minimum, of each issue, which allows a good deal for sample copies, answers of special questions to new friends, etc. We have had the privilege to publish the fifth volume of MILLENNIAL DAWN in a Swedish edition (7,000 copies), and we feel that this solid and precious book has an important mission to fill amongst the Lord's Swedish people.

Praying divine grace and guidance for yourself continually and for all the dear brethren everywhere (whom we hope to meet before long "on the other side") and asking your prayers for us here in this part of the harvest field, I am,

Your thankful and happy brother and co-laborer,
AUG. LUNDBORG.

WORK ACCOMPLISHED THROUGH THE SWEDISH BRANCH, 1906
"Dawns," various bindings, sold....................     5,129
Various booklets, "About Hell," "Tabernacle Shadows,"
 etc., sold........................................     2,184
Annual sets Swedish "Tower," cloth-bound and unbound      261
Sample "Towers" and tract numbers of Zion's Vakt-Torn
 free..............................................    60,719
Expressed in usual form of tract pages............. 2,026,816
Letters and cards sent out from this office........       845

              FINANCIAL SUMMARY

                 Expenditures
Pilgrim, Convention and other meetings, kr.1,544.71 $  411.92
For translation, printing, etc......... "  6,647.07  1,772.55
Freight and postage.................... "    889.57    237.22
Office expenses, rent, inventory, light,
 heat, telephone, etc.................. "  3,596.12    958.70
From Allegheny.........................                802.75
                                           --------  --------
                                                    $4,183.14
                   Receipts
Voluntary Donations to the Tract Fund.. kr.3,227.16 $  860.58
Swedish "Tower" subscriptions.......... "  1,312.17    349.91
Sold books and other incomes........... "  5,437.14  1,449.90
                                                     --------
                                                     2,660.39
                                                     ========
Deficit, 1906...................................... $1,522.75



Prev Top of Page Next