this is txt file this is txt file Z1895 February
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February 15th
ZION'S
WATCH TOWER
and
Herald of Christ's Presence

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

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

VOL. XVI.FEBRUARY 1, 1895.No. 3.


CONTENTS.


Items--Binders, Charts, etc26
Views from the Tower--27
The Jewish Convention27
Seeking Fellowship with Rome30
The Social View32
To Wage War on Infidelity32
International Protestant Federation33
Bible Study: Only the Humble Shall Share the Kingdom33
Bible Study: The Good Samaritan34
Encouraging Letters35

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 26

THIS JOURNAL AND ITS MISSION.

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

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

TO US THE SCRIPTURES CLEARLY TEACH

That the Church is "the Temple of the Living God"--peculiarly "His
workmanship;" that its construction has been in progress throughout the
Gospel age--ever since Christ became the world's Redeemer and
the chief corner stone of this Temple, through which, when finished,
God's blessings shall come "to all people," and they find access to
him.--1 Cor. 3:16,17; Eph. 2:20-22; Gen. 28:14; Gal. 3:29.
That meantime the chiseling, shaping and polishing, of consecrated believers
in Christ's atonement for sin, progresses; and when the last of these
"living stones," "elect and precious," shall have been made ready,
the great Master Workman will bring all together in the First Resurrection;
and the Temple shall be filled with his glory, and be the meeting
place between God and men throughout the Millennium.--Rev. 15:5-8.
That the Basis of Hope, for the Church and the World, lies in the fact that
"Jesus Christ, by the grace of God, tasted death for man," "a ransom
for all," and will be "the true light which lighteth
"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; MRS. C. T. RUSSELL, Associate.




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[R1762 : page 27]

VIEWS FROM THE TOWER.


THE RELIGIOUS VIEW.


AS in Christianity the tendency for the past twenty-five years has been markedly toward agnosticism-- every new invention and discovery seeming to further call in question the reliability of all things old--and as ambitious doctors of divinity and professors of theological Seminaries have improved the opportunities thus offered by the tendency of public sentiment to push themselves into notice by their so-called "higher criticism" of the Bible, and as this is leading to a crisis as between those who are Christians in faith, as well as in name and morals, and those who are Christians in morals and name and ceremony only--denying the ransom and its atonement and other fundamentals--so it is with Judaism.

Judaism has been passing through a similar experience. The leading Jews led by Rabbis now call themselves "Reformed Jews;" and a "Reformed Jew" is one who, while of the blood of Abraham, repudiates entirely his faith; while of the nation organized by Moses, denies his Law. In a word, they are generally Infidels, and many of them Atheists, who merely maintain circumcision and other rites as national characteristics, and whose meetings on Sundays are as social or literary clubs.

The "orthodox"--Law-obeying, prophecy-believing-- Jews are beginning to awaken to the fact that he is not a Jew who is one in outward matters only, and they are inquiring upon what grounds the unbelieving Jews claim to be Jews at all.

A leader and spokesman has arisen in their midst, Mr. Leo N. Levi, who as much as seven years ago through the Jewish press addressed the Rabbis on this subject in behalf of "orthodox" Jews generally. His thirty questions on the subject of What constitutes a Jew, the Rabbis have tried, but in vain, to answer, some claiming in substance that for any man to say that he is a Jew is sufficient. Others add that a moral life, but irrespective of faith, is essential to his being a true Jew.

(This reminds us of the similar disregard of the quality of faith amongst Christians of the "new theology" and "higher-criticism" schools of thought. At the Parliament of Religions, 1893, it was claimed that reverence for holy things and good moral character constitute Christianity, and not faith in the Bible and its teachings respecting Christ and his work for men. It was inquired upon what ground the Jews, Mohammedans, Buddhists and Confucianists could come together as one Church, and it was suggested that the name of Christ might be dropped as well as his doctrines.)

A Hebrew Convention was held in New Orleans on the 3rd of December of last year, and from the speech of its leading orator, the Mr. Levi above mentioned, we quote some excellent passages which, if he expresses the sentiments of any considerable number of Hebrews, or if his sentiments should make the deep impression which their value deserves, will greatly assist that people in coming to the condition which Scripture indicates must be theirs very shortly; and which will prepare their hearts for the reception of Messiah at his second advent in its Millennial Kingdom majesty. This is the class whose eyes will open first to the light of the Millennial dawn. He said, as reported by the daily press:--

"From their exalted positions the Rabbis in turn lead and drive us, with appeals and denunciations, and we hearken and heed or remain obdurate as the case may be, with never an opportunity to say one word by way of rejoinder. To-day, from this rostrum, in the presence of and in the name of the laymen of our faith, I venture for once to 'talk back.' [R1762 : page 28]

"As children we were taught a simple faith from a simple catechism, prepared by those charged with the duty of studying, knowing and expounding the religion of our fathers. The education bestowed upon us by our progenitors, we in turn must bestow upon our descendants. We cannot escape the obligation if we would, we would not if we could. Neither can we escape the obligation to be honest with our children, and to require their teachers to be honest with us. It is our duty as it is our privilege, when we have reached man's estate, to catechise those who have catechised us and who will catechise our children. We are entitled to know what we are asked to believe and why. We are entitled to know what our teachers believe and why. And when we ask, we are entitled to replies that even our children can comprehend, instead of answers that not even we can understand.

"I have already shown that the so-called reform rabbis in the United States are not generally in accord, and they are unable or unwilling to define Judaism, and to indicate the common ground upon which they all stand, however great their differences may be upon minor matters. In many instances they have suffered themselves to become intoxicated by the iconoclastic and revolutionary spirit of the age. They have yielded themselves to the superficial skepticism of the present era, which is, after all, but a repetition of the same manifestations at different periods of the world's history. Whenever a man has made great progress in the subjugation of nature to his own wants, he has set up his own reason, his own intellect, as an object of worship. The human understanding is set up by a process of deification to be worshiped by itself. It undertakes to test every proposition by its own powers, and whatever it is not able to grasp, conceive or comprehend, it rejects as necessarily untrue.

"Even in the time of that great philosopher, Montaigne, it was the case, and of it he says:

"''Tis a very great presumption to slight and condemn all things for false that do not appear to us likely to be true; which is the ordinary vice of such as fancy themselves wiser than their neighbors. Reason has instructed me that resolutely to condemn anything for false and impossible, is to circumscribe and limit the will of God and the power of nature, within the bounds of my own capacity, than which no folly can be greater. If we give the names of monster and miracle to everything our reason cannot comprehend, how many such are continually presented before our eyes! Let us but consider through what clouds, as it were, groping through what darkness, our teachers lead us to the knowledge of most of the things which we apply our studies to, and we shall find that it is rather custom than knowledge that takes away the wonder and [R1763 : page 28] renders them easy and familiar to us, and that if those things were now newly presented to us we should take them as strange and incredible, if not more so than any others.

"'He that had never met a river imagined the first he met to be a sea; and the greatest things that have fallen within our knowledge, we conclude the extremes that nature makes of the kind. 'Things grow familiar to men's minds by being often seen, so that they neither admire nor are inquisitive into the things they daily see (Cicero).' The novelty rather than the greatness of things tempts us to inquire into their causes. But we are to judge with more reverence, and with greater acknowledgement of our own ignorance and infirmity, of the infinite power of nature. How many unlikely things are there testified by people of very good repute which, if we cannot persuade ourselves absolutely to believe, we ought at least to leave them in suspense, for to condemn them as impossible is by presumption to pretend to know the utmost bounds of possibility.'

"The innovations which find their genesis in such a mental process as is here condemned are necessarily diverse and without cohesion, because the mental process differs in the ratio of the minds in which they occur. And when to this erratic mental process is added an abnormal thirst for novelty, it is readily conceivable how great and how numerous must be the consequent errors.

"Lord Bacon in his essay on Innovation justly appreciates and gives warning against this tendency, in the following words:

"'Beware that it be the reformation that draweth on the change and not the desire for change that pretendeth the reformation; and lastly that the novelty though it be not rejected yet be held for a suspect.'

"It would be easy to show how the greatest minds of every age have reached the conclusion that there can be no greater folly than to limit one's faith to facts that the mind can comprehend and fully explain. It would be equally easy to demonstrate by authority that the understanding or reason can not safely be relied upon as a guide to conduct. If reason is set up as an object of worship or even as a guide to conduct, it should possess the quality of constancy, it should operate uniformly in all men, and in all men possessed of the same data it should reach the same conclusion. But, on the contrary, nothing is so inconsistent as reason. It not only operates differently in different men, in different eras, but it operates differently in the same man at different times. If truth or the conception of it is to depend upon the constant changes in the operations of the human intellect, it is unworthy of man's aspirations. But the truth exists whether men apprehend it or not, and it cannot be measured by man's capacity to apprehend it.

"Mr. Edison, one of the foremost, if not the foremost man of his time, one who has done more to distinguish this age, than any other; one who has mastered more mysteries of nature than any other man of his time, has truly observed that 'We don't know a millionth part of one per cent about anything.' Again, he has said, 'I find that the conceit of man is in the inverse ratio to the square of his knowledge.' This is but stating in a different way a proposition accepted of all wise men, that the greater our learning, and the greater our wisdom, the more we appreciate how little we know, and how much is beyond the capacity of man to know. Nothing could so clearly demonstrate the inconsistency and the importance of reason as the subject of this discussion. Men who have refused and do refuse to believe those things which their reason cannot comprehend or explain, find themselves totally unable by resort to their reason and understanding, to explain so simple and historical a fact as the essential nature of Judaism.

"It is a common error to claim that a want of faith is peculiar to men of great learning and wisdom, and that the enligthenment of this age is responsible for the decadence of faith. That this is an error is easily shown. Faith is no easier or harder now than it was aforetime. The discoveries of this age render it no more difficult to believe the Bible now than in times gone by. The ethical qualities of the Bible are not impaired in the least by any discoveries of science in this or any other age; and as to the narrative portion of the Scriptures, scientific discoveries have not augmented the difficulties over what they were two thousand years ago. It was as difficult for the human mind to comprehend and believe some portions of the Bible twenty centuries ago as it is now. Skepticism has always arisen from [R1763 : page 29] the deification of the human intellect by superficial thinkers who do not realize that with the infinite the most exalted mind compares no better than the lowest. It is true that increase of knowledge involved the decrease of superstition and in the decadence of superstition faith necessarily suffered. Superstition bears the same relation to faith that alchemy does to chemistry. It is doubtless true that chemistry has suffered by reason of relation to alchemy, but it would be the height of folly to entirely set aside and decry chemistry, because it was once aligned with the spurious doctrines of false science.

"True wisdom dictates that we should separate the wheat from the chaff, that we should rid ourselves of the false and guard the true. This distinction which wisdom demands has not been observed by many so-called Reform Rabbis in the United States. With them there has been no preservation or constructive process. It is not to be gainsaid that even those who have departed radically from the traditional faith of their fathers have preached virtue and righteousness of conduct. But upon what basis? They have not derived it from God, nor from his law, but from their own minds. They have based it upon utility, man's nature, man's natural rights, duties, etc., leaving it at last without any warmth or vitality which stir the emotions and influence the heart. The religion which they have taught is like an artificial flower which may deceive the eye for a time, but when closely inspected excites the keenest disappointment.

"There can be no religion without faith, and that faith cannot be limited by man's power of comprehension. Even when it involves something beyond the comprehension of the intellect it is not repugnant to reason, for it is altogether reasonable that revelation and miracles should have occurred for the ends for which they did occur. To deny that they could have occurred is to deny the omnipotence of the Creator and to limit his power to those achievements that man can understand.

"Moreover, the extraordinary occurrences that men reject on the ground of reason were in no sense more wonderful than those which we see every day and unhesitatingly accept. They differ only in their rarity from phenomena that are daily apparent. The faith that is made to accommodate itself to the powers of comprehension in the individual begins and ends nowhere, for, as has been shown, the power of comprehension is constantly changing and necessarily the faith must change with it. The faith that is based on reason alone, as reason is defined by the so-called reformers, is in the highest sense unreasonable, for it has no stability and cannot be imparted to others. No man can teach a faith that has such narrow limitations, neither can he inspire faith in his reason, for to inspire faith in his reason he must have reason in his faith. The Jews in America cannot with safety permit the demoralization which exists in their synagogues to continue. If they desire to preserve their ancient religion and impart it to their children, they must insist that their spiritual leaders shall define that religion, adhere to it themselves, and teach it to the congregations. Such a demand made by the members of each congregation upon their respective ministers will, doubtless, result in much temporary demoralization, acrimony and strife. Many of those who are now posing as Jewish Rabbis will doubtless find that they must recede from some of the propositions they have held, or must separate themselves from Judaism. But when that is accomplished we will no longer see the sacred doctrines of Judaism assailed from Jewish pulpits to Jewish hearers by so-called Jewish Rabbis. Time and again have the priests, among the Jews, taught false doctrines, time and again have they been compelled to recant or depart from the Jewish fold.

"When Ezra came, he found the law being violated by the priests, and disregarded by the people, and with the aid of Nehemiah, he drove out the false priests and led the people back to an observance of the law. History repeats itself and in this country there will arise some one who, animated with the spirit that governed the life of Ezra, will point out to the people wherein they are disregarding the law, and by inspiring the people with love and obedience for the law will cause them to scourge from the pulpits the false priests who are scandalizing the ancient faith. The people are ripe for the coming of such a leader. They have come to distrust their Rabbis. They have come to regard with indifference the doctrines which are preached from the pulpit. They find themselves unable to teach morality to their children except upon grounds of expediency. They find in short that they have departed from their ancient bearings, and are drifting without rudder or compass; they are beginning to look with suspicion upon Rabbis who recommend themselves almost exclusively by their skill in oratory, by their grace of diction, by their capacity to entertain, but who are wanting in the true elements of the ideal Rabbi.

"The ideal Rabbi, for whose coming they are longing, will be a man imbued with a perfect faith in God's law as written in Torah; he will study it with a broad and liberal [R1764 : page 29] mind, seeking always to comprehend the will of the Creator to the end that he may observe it; he will be imbued with this faith and filled with this understanding, devoting himself to teaching and practicing the ancient religion, not as a mere matter of form, but as a vital and forceful agency to accomplish the true development of man's highest nature. To him eloquence will consist in deeds, not words; to him entertainment will only be incident to instruction; to him theology only an aid to piety; to him ceremonies will be divinely ordered means to a divinely ordered end; to him the human intellect will be infinitely small compared with the infinite mind of God; to him man will be most clearly distinguished from the animal in that he has received by revelation the will of God. Such a man believing, following, teaching and practicing the doctrine, the rites, and the ceremonies of Judaism will stand forth before the eyes of the Jews as a leader to be followed. Around him will be gathered disciples eager to learn and eager to follow, and the multitude will take from his lips, and from the lips of his disciples, the truths which have been hidden from them so long. And as in the days of Ezra, after many years of indifference the people will gather in the temples to pray with a truly worshipful spirit. It is only then that the doubts, the vexations, the groanings of spirit which now so commonly manifest themselves among the people will disappear; then will the people rest their doubts, their difficulties and their troubles upon the altar of their faith, accepting whatever betides as the will of their Creator."

Amen! Say we, and add, Under such a leader the outcasts of Israel will again become the objects of divine favor. Out of Zion shall come forth the Deliverer, and he shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob. It is the Messiah that Israel needs. No other competent rabbi will be found. Thank God that the set time to remember and bless Israel is nigh; soon they shall be saved from their blindness, and "what shall the receiving of them be but life from the dead?" "God hath concluded them all in unbelief that he might have mercy upon all."--Rom. 11:15,26-31. [R1764 : page 30]

SEEKING FELLOWSHIP WITH ROME.


The following letters show the tendency of Protestants to cease protesting and to seek reconciliation as true daugthers of their dear "Mother," the Church of Rome.
Taunton, Mass.

"Dear Cardinal:--You are, without doubt, familiar with and interested in the fact that there is a movement among the Protestant churches toward reunion. If such a reunion is to take place, why may it not include the Roman Catholic church? Has not the Roman church some foundation to propose upon which we may all stand? Can not she meet us with concessions which may be temporary, if she believes us wrong, until we learn of Christ and his plans more perfectly?

"Of one thing I feel sure, that personally I have a growing tendency to look more and more carefully for the good in all branches of the Christian church, and I apprehend that I am not alone in this. Sincerely yours,
Geo. W. King, First M. E. Church."

To this the Cardinal replied as follows:
Cardinal's Residence, Baltimore.

"Rev. Geo. W. King, Dear Sir:--In reply to your favor I beg to say that your aspirations for the reunion of Christendom are worthy of all praise.

"This reunion would be only fragmentary if the Catholic church were excluded.

"It would also be impossible; for there can be no union possible without a solid Scriptural basis, and that is found in the recognition of Peter and his successor as the visible head of the church.

"There can be no stable government without a head, either in civil, military or ecclesiastical life. Every State must have its governor, and every town must have its mayor or municipal chief with some title.

"If the churches of the world look for a head, where will they find one with the standard of authority or prescription except the Bishop of Rome?--not in Canterbury or Constantinople.

"As for the terms of reunion, they would be easier than is commonly imagined. The Catholic church holds to all the positive doctrines of all the Protestant churches, and the acknowledgment of the Pope's judicial supremacy would make the way easy for accepting her other doctrines. You are nearer to us than you imagine. Many doctrines are ascribed to the church which she repudiates.

Faithfully yours in Christ,
J. Card. Gibbons."

To this the following was sent in reply and by consent of both gentlemen the letters were made public in the interest of the union desired.

"Dear Cardinal: Your reply has been read with much interest. May I not now inquire if it would not be a wise and valuable thing for the Catholic church to set forth to the Protestant churches a possible basis of union (describing the matter in sufficient detail) somewhat after the order of the Chicago Lambeth propositions of the Episcopal church? I know how much the Methodist church, and indeed the entire Christian church, is misunderstood by many, and I conceive it more than possible, inevitably, that the Catholic church should likewise be misunderstood and misjudged in many things. Cannot the Catholic church correct this misunderstanding on the part of Protestants to a large degree at least, and would not this hasten the desired reunion?

"I believe the present divided condition of Christendom to be full of folly, shame and disgrace, and have no objection to a central authority under certain conditions of limitation or restraint.

Sincerely yours,
Geo. W. King."

ROMAN CATHOLIC VIEW OF PROTESTANTISM.


The Roman Catholic view of Protestantism, and its present tendency Romeward, is commented upon by the Catholic Mirror in a manner that speaks for itself of the "Mother's" (Rev. 17:5) view of her wayward "daugthers," and their inability to keep house unless they more closely pattern after her crafty methods. They will not return to her, however, but they will unite themselves and more independently follow her deceitful policy. The Mirror says:--

"In a recent article under the title of 'Religious Fads' the writer endeavored to show that the intelligent minds of the day are drifting from Protestantism into any new phase of belief which may claim their allegiance as satisfying the moral and intellectual cravings.

"Upon consideration, the subject broadens its scope, taking in not only the large percentage of gifted men, but all the rank and file, the mediocre intelligence and the illiterate that go to make up the Demos--the masses.

"Sociology has become the leading study of the age as well as its controversy. Before it the apparent conflict of religion and science fades into insignificance. As a writer in the Westminster Review has put it:

"'The arena has changed from the professor's chair to the Trades-union, the Socialist club, the Anarchist den. The whole social body is gravitating toward the scene of strife. The pace of the whole thing is quickening till sober judgment and cool measures become almost impossible. It is a battle between Briareus and the gods. Briareus, the many-headed and many-handed giant of Labor, and the gods of Plutocracy.'

"'Can religion nerve and deliver this generation, face to face with dangers so threatening?'

"This many-handed and many-headed giant [the labor problem] has risen to such a degree of prominence in the social world that its voice must be heard. This age is essentially the age of the people, and the wage-earners and bread-winners constitute a very large percentage of the people as compared with the owners of capital.

"Each succeeding year witnesses new troubles and disasters growing out of the conflict of labor with capital, some of the most harrowing results of which are the destruction of life and property. The State is called upon to suppress violence; punishment is justly meted out to the offenders, but the trouble has not ended. Arbitration is resorted to, and the difficulties are presumably settled. Would to God that so easy a solution were possible! The wound is only partially healed, it is bleeding beneath, for the cause of the evil has not been eradicated.

"In this dissatisfied and discontented condition, led on by the counsel of malignant men, the sons of toil band together and meditate the overthrow of all good order and of society.

WHO SHALL LEAD THEM?

"From the history of the past, it is not difficult to understand which has the greater hold upon the masses, Protestantism or Catholicism. [R1764 : page 31]

"Not many years ago all England was aroused by one of the greatest labor troubles the world has witnessed. In vain did the State exercise its power to suppress it. The giant was increasing in proportions day by day. The ministers and bishops of the established church lifted their voices in protest--they were unheard. The saintly archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Manning, left the quiet of his retired life, and going among the people, many of whom were not of his flock, he spoke to the excited multitudes, condoled with their misfortunes, gave of his scanty means to their immediate relief, and counseled temperance and patience. The result was instantaneous. The people who had shortly before threatened destruction to the nation, who were bringing upon themselves endless woe and misfortune, retired peacefully to their homes and the trouble subsided as quickly as it had originated. [R1765 : page 31]

"Witness again not later than last summer in our own land the enormous proportions of the railroad strike, and the prominent part which the Catholic clergy took in influencing the sons of toil to desist from unlawful acts. Will it be said that force of arms had greater power than the timely admonition of God's anointed?

"Has Protestantism produced a treatise upon the labor problem which from a purely ethical and social standpoint can compare with the now celebrated Encyclical of our holy Father, Pope Leo XIII., in which he, the head of millions of people over the whole face of the globe, comprising alike the rich and the poor, capitalists and laboring men, sets forth in incontrovertible terms the individual rights of each, the principles which must guide them in seeking the desired results, and the evils which will certainly follow from the rejection of the said principles. Truly it is the Catholic church who is the mother of them all.

"The day-star of Protestantism is waning. She has lost her hold upon the foremost intellects of the day who seek refuge in some of the numerous fads of the time. She has lost her hold upon the masses by her indifference to their wants and social grievances.

"With the lapse of a generation, or perhaps sooner, who shall say but that Protestantism is a thing of the past, buried without epitaph or memorial other than the sad recollection of the once unprofitable existence?"

Without offering either denials or excuses for Protestantism we can assure the laboring classes and the capitalists in the light of history past and present that the policy of the church of Rome is thoroughly selfish. She squeezes large sums from the rich, but craftily remembers that the pennies and dimes wrung from the poorest millions of the civilized world amount in the aggregate to more than the larger sums from the fewer wealthy. She now as always stands aloof from both classes, offering the one class immunity from present difficulties and the other quicker release from purgatorial pains upon condition that they fill her coffers and recognize her authority. She prefers the position of Arbitrator, because there she can hold control of all parties and manipulate matters the better in her own interest.

Papacy, with Satanic cunning, balances herself upon every great public question, so that she can speak for either capital or labor, government or people as may seem best policy at the moment, to keep herself in favor with the majority. She builds orphanages and hospitals wherever they will pay, by giving her not only a reputation for charity, but by drawing from the public treasury large sums of money for their support,--and for other uses.

If we want to see evidences of her love for the poor and the ignorant we must look to Italy, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Hungary, Poland, Western Ireland, Mexico and all of Central and South America. She loves them so much that she keeps them poor and ignorant. And it is the millions of these, her blinded dupes, that chiefly threaten society, and the control of whom the Catholic priesthood frequently use to their own advantage as above cited. A leading iron manufacturer (a Lutheran) told the Editor that his firm always contributed liberally to the support of the Catholic church in the neighborhood of his mill; because "no one else can control those ignorant Catholic laborers, who necessarily form a large part of the employees at every mill."

In Mexico and Brazil the government has had to interfere and stop the priests from robbing the poor benigthed laboring people who, after selling their produce, would give liberally for Masses to get their relatives out of Purgatory and to secure for themselves Indulgences and then get drunk and squander the remainder amongst storekeepers until they could not pay their government taxes. The poorest servant girl is required to go regularly to Masses and would be insulted and refused a seat if she did not put at least ten cents into the treasury.

This is the good "Mother," and these are her good methods for holding down the masses by the screws of ignorance and superstition which she will teach Protestants to copy so as to bring back the peace of ignorance.

THE ROMAN CHRISTIANS PROTESTANTS DESIRE TO EMBRACE.


The saloon business, which is spreading poverty, disease and discontent throughout the whole world, yields large revenues to the Catholic treasury. Saloon keepers generally belong to the communion of saints to which Protestants are turning with longing eyes. On this point, under the head of "Birds of a Feather," the Omaha Christian Advocate says:

"It has often been said that if the Roman Catholic church would take a stand against the saloon it would do more good than all the efforts that are now making to abolish that nuisance. But this church is going to do nothing of the kind, for the simple reason that a vast deal of its revenues are derived from the unholy traffic in intoxicating liquors. The following figures showing the relation of the Roman Catholics to the saloon business in the city of Philadelphia are furnished by a reliable correspondent with the assurance that they can be depended upon. They make 'very interesting reading.'

"Sixty-five per cent of the manufacturers of alcoholic liquors for beverage in the city of Philadelphia are Roman Catholics, and of the brewers 75 per cent are Roman Catholic communicants and pay revenue to the Roman Catholic church.

"In the same city there are 8,034 persons in the retail liquor business, selling liquor over the bar for drinks, as follows: [R1765 : page 32]

2 Chinamen..............................Not Roman Catholics.
2 Jews..................................Not Roman Catholics.
18 Italians.............................All Roman Catholics.
140 Spaniards...........................All Roman Catholics.
265 Negroes.....................200 of them Roman Catholics.
160 Welsh.......................125 of them Roman Catholics.
285 French..............................All Roman Catholics.
497 Scotch......................435 of them Roman Catholics.
568 English.....................543 of them Roman Catholics.
2,179 Germans...........................All Roman Catholics.
3,041 Irish.............................All Roman Catholics.
205 Americans..........................They commune nowhere:
a majority of them are of Roman Catholic parentage.

Of this number, 3,696 are women, all foreigners but one, as follows:

German......................1,104, All Roman Catholics.
Irish.......................2,558, All Roman Catholics.

Of the 8,034 total, 6,418 have been arraigned for crimes."

THE SOCIAL VIEW.


The strike in Brooklyn, of the motormen and conductors of the electric street-car lines, against what they consider unreasonable arrangements respecting hours and pay, has the attention of the civilized world. We sympathize with the employees in that the conditions were unreasonable; but we cannot sympathize with their rioting, destruction of property and injury of others who even less favorably situated were glad to get the work they used their liberty to refuse.

Such questions are difficult to adjust while the rule governing all is selfishness. But since the car lines are corporations created by the state, they are properly subject to state regulation--which might include a provision respecting minimum wages and maximum hours. But no such arrangement having been made, the employees probably see no relief except by the exercise of brute force.

The brutal conduct of the exasperated mob, including the strikers' friends, male and female, in the use of sticks, stones, firearms, red pepper and horrible curses, shows that the veneer of civilization is very thin, and indicates to a slight extent what may be expected when the great trouble shall have increased the despair, venom and frenzy. The Scriptures point us to the French Revolution and the destruction of Jerusalem, A.D. 70, as inferior illustrations.


***

Although the strike is practically ended, Judge Gaynor's just and wise opinion will be of interest to all. He holds that the street railroads are chartered by the State as public servants, and that to hold their charters they must accommodate the public, regardless of profits and dividends. They may bargain with men for hours and wages as much to their own advantage as possible, but must not stop, nor run less cars than public convenience requires. They must pay wages required by their employees until they have found others willing and able to do the work for less, so as to avoid stoppages, etc.

The effect of this decision will undoubtedly be to make the railways and all chartered public servants more careful and moderate in their dealings with their employees.

Selfishness caused the unreasonable terms, selfishness fought them and caused the strike, and selfishness, on the part of the public, leads to a decision modifying the conditions. It is difficult, and always would be, for selfishness to bring any satisfactory conclusion to any question. It is insatiable. We long and hope for the time when "A King [Christ, and the Church, his body] shall reign in righteousness, and princes [the overcomers of the former dispensation] shall execute judgment;" and we pray, Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as in heaven, O Lord.


***

The resignation of the President of France created quite a stir; but the prompt election of his successor, without commotion or bloodshed, gave evidence that the present social order is not as near its conflagration and wreck as many have surmised. The Scriptural dates will be found [R1766 : page 32] consistent with the facts. A.D. 1914 will be soon enough to expect complete collapse; although radical changes from the present order, experiments with various impractical social theories, etc., may be expected six or eight years sooner.

"TO WAGE WAR ON INFIDELITY.


"CATHOLIC AND PROTESTANT UNION AT BAY CITY, MICH., FOR THE EXTERMINATION OF BIGOTRY. "Special to the Chicago Record.

"Bay City, Mich., Jan. 16--Something of a sensation has been caused here by the union of Catholic priests and Protestant ministers in a movement for the extermination of religious intolerance and bigotry. A memorial declaring the principles of the compact has been signed by five priests and ten Protestant preachers. After several preliminary meetings a general invitation was extended to the clergy of both cities, and a representative body met at St. James' rectory, at which the situation was freely discussed, and all admitted that much moral energy was lost through prejudice and in consequence the cause of Christianity was weakened.

"It was acknowledged that all those who believe in the divine mission of Jesus Christ should direct their united force against the common foes, infidelity and immorality. The memorial declares that it is unnatural that the members of the same body should tear one another to pieces. They should protect and assist one another. The means to attain this end are declared to be of two kinds: 'Fraternal meetings of the ministers of the different churches, with a view to becoming better acquainted and for devising means whereby to carry on our mutual work; public lectures on 'Christian Unity,' 'Christian Tolerance,' 'Christian Charity,' and kindred subjects, the lectures to be delivered alternately by priest and minister.' It is said that this union is without precedent in this country.

The above is in full harmony with what we have been expecting. Its lesson is two fold. First, it shows how ready are the two ends of the ecclesiastical heavens--Catholicism and Protestantism--to "roll together as a scroll." (Isa. 34:4; Rev. 6:14.) Second, it shows that all not disposed to unite with either side of the "scroll" are not only liable, but likely, to be classed as "Infidels," not only by unionists, but also by the worldly. How evidently the time is [R1766 : page 33] hastening on when a religious, social, political and financial "boycott" will be waged against all who will refuse to worship either the "beast" or his Protestant "image." (Rev. 13:15-17.) But those who already feel some of the boycott, and those who soon will feel still more of it, may take comfort in the Lord's appreciation of their fidelity as expressed in the promise of Rev. 20:4,--that of such are the heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ in the Kingdom soon to be established for the blessing of mankind, the restitution of all things.

And yet those who will have to do with the "boycott" will doubtless be as ignorant of the parts they are really playing in the great drama as was Saul of Tarsus who, when persecuting the true saints, verily thought that he was doing God service. Such as are as honest as he will doubtless be stopped in the way and see the great light of the Millennial morning: but the vast majority, "blind leaders of the blind," will fall into the Adversary's snare, fight against God and share the "plagues" and great trouble coming upon Babylon. (Rev. 18:2,4.) "For this cause God shall send them strong delusions, that they should believe a lie, that they all might be judged [openly condemned] who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in injustice." --2 Thes. 2:11,12.

INTERNATIONAL PROTESTANT FEDERATION.


Rev. Dr. Henry Lunn, an English clergyman, has just come to the United States "to interest American clergymen of almost all denominations in the International Movement for a federation of all Protestant churches." This movement has "grown out of the now famous Grindewald Conference." Dr. Lunn arrived on Jan. 19, and brings with him "the cordial indorsement of Archdeacon Farrar and a number of other English clergymen of note." Dr. Lyman Abbott, of the Plymouth church, Brooklyn, among other clergymen had been notified of his coming. Dr. Lunn's first explanation of the proposed scheme is fixed for Jan. 27, from Mr. Beecher's old pulpit.

From this it will be noted that our suggestion of some time ago that the coming union will not be an amalgamation, but a federation is holding good. Mr. Lunn is the first (aside from the TOWER) to use the word "federation," in connection with this Union movement, so far as we have observed.



[R1766 : page 33]

ONLY THE HUMBLE SHALL SHARE THE KINGDOM.


FEB. 10, MATT. 18:1-14. (Mark 9:33-50; Luke 9:46-50.)

Golden Text--"It is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish."

THE subject of this lesson is one worthy of the most careful and prayerful consideration of every child of God, and especially of all those who are in any way tempted to ambition and rivalry or vain glory in the Lord's service. While the humility of the Lord's apostles is very marked in their subsequent career, in the beginning of their course they were all to some extent influenced by old ideas which it was the object of Christ's teaching gradually to eradicate.

After the peculiar experiences on the Mount of the Transfiguration and the selection by the Lord of three of their number for that notable occasion, the question of relative prominence in the Kingdom was naturally suggested to their minds, and apparently it led to a dispute which manifested some selfishness. It was to correct this disposition, and to show its antagonism to the spirit which must prevail in the Kingdom of God, that our Lord sought an opportunity to converse with them on the subject. (Verse 1 and Mark 9:33,34.) "And he came to Capernaum, and being in the house, he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way? But they held their peace [certainly not indefinitely, for that would have been showing disrespect to the Master; but there was a brief silence which indicated some embarrassment]; for by the way they had disputed among themselves who should be greatest." By and by one of them inquired, "Who is [to be] greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?" Then followed the lesson, so important to the apostles, who were subsequently to be specially exposed to great temptations to ambition and rivalry among themselves for the chief place in the estimation and in the hearts of the people of God--the Kingdom in embryo--among whom they were all to be leaders and teachers--chosen witnesses of God. And the Lord would have them be not only witnesses of his truth but exponents also of the power of his spirit in transforming the heart and moulding the character into graceful conformity to the divine will. But if the lesson was thus important to the apostles in their position as leaders, it is also important to the whole Church, all of whom are, to a greater or less extent, exposed to temptations to rivalry and ambition.

Verses 2-4; Mark 9:35. "And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first [i.e., if he manifest the spirit of rivalry], the same shall be last of all, and servant of all." The spirit of rivalry being the very opposite of the spirit of love and meekness which must characterize all who shall be counted worthy of the Kingdom, this statement is seen to be the logical sequence of such a course; for if such a one shall ever enter the Kingdom he must first have that disposition thoroughly eradicated; and if it be deep seated or long cultivated, it may take considerable time and discipline to accomplish it, while, meantime, others, not so afflicted, may be engaged in the more rapid development of those graces of character and of mind which fit them more and more for extended usefulness and exalted service, thus necessarily leaving the one under discipline to be the last and least instead of the first and foremost. Thus viewed, the saying, He that humbleth himself shall be exalted; and he that exalteth himself shall be abased (Luke 14:11), is seen to be the statement of a philosophical principle of divine law. Let us, therefore, as the Apostle Peter urges (1 Pet. 5:6), humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt us in due time.

"And he took a child and set him in the midst of them, and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them, Verily, I say unto you [the manner is impressive [R1766 : page 34] and solemn: it is as though he would say, I want you to take this lesson to heart and ponder it well], Except ye be converted [i.e., unless ye turn away entirely from this self-seeking spirit of rivalry], and become as little children, ye shall not [even] enter into [much less be greatest in] the Kingdom of heaven. Whosoever, therefore, shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the Kingdom of heaven." The special characteristics of a little child are simplicity of heart, meekness, truthfulness, freedom from ambition and rivalry, faith, confiding trust, love, obedience, teachableness, indifference to social distinctions and popular opinions, and guilelessness.

The maintenance of such a spirit after the dormant powers of childhood have expanded and brought the world, with all its attractions, allurements, ambitions, hopes, etc., within the mental grasp of the man, after the intellect has been quickened by the pulsations of life until he begins to realize that he is the peer of his fellows, and that he has [R1767 : page 34] advanced in the acquirement of knowledge and the development of skill and ability even beyond many other men, is indeed the evidence of that self-control and self-discipline which invariably bespeak a noble character.

The possession of such a spirit indicates (1) That the man is not overestimating himself. Though, in comparison with the ignorance of his childhood, he may have made considerable progress in the acquirement of knowledge and the development of his faculties, perhaps beyond the majority of his fellow men, he sensibly considers that he is still only on the shore of a boundless sea of truth, and that if he has outstripped the speed of some of his fellows it is only because of some superior advantages of birth or education of which his benevolent soul would gladly see all men partakers. He views himself as God sees him--as a very imperfect man, striving in much weakness to measure up to the standard of a perfect man, and realizing that his best efforts still leave him far short of the mark of perfection. And so he is humbled, in consideration of his failures, rather than puffed up, by comparing himself with those of still lower attainments.

(2) It indicates a tender consideration and love for other men which cannot vaunt itself or behave unseemly toward them. It regards inferior learning and lack of intellectual development with that gracious sympathy and helpfulness which seek rather to supplement what the illiterate have, and to conceal their lack or deformity, than to expose their ignorance; while it cheerfully recognizes moral and intellectual equals, and pays due deference to superior attainments. It has nothing to do with the false standards of excellence which the world sets up, but, measuring self by the divine standards, it lives apart from, and far above, the spirit of the world--above its strifes, ambitions, bickerings, envies and selfishness; and, in the language of Paul, it has learned that whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, to think on these things (Phil. 4:8), and not to think of self too highly, but to think soberly.--Rom. 12:3.

Such, our Lord declares, must be the spirit of all who will be permitted to enter into the Kingdom of heaven; and he who cultivates it most will be the greatest; not, however, by any arbitrary law of retribution, but on the philosophical principle that humility leads to greatness, and is of itself a great achievement. It is just such loving generosity and meekness as this that will be necessary on the part of the "royal priesthood" of the Millennial age, to cooperate with Christ in the great work of lifting up the fallen to the high privileges of perfect manhood.

Verse 5. "And whoso shall receive [recognize and show kindness to] one such little child [the least and humblest of God's children] in my name [because he is mine], receiveth me." That is the Lord's valuation of even the least and humblest. How it helps even the least of us to realize his love!

Verse 6. "But whosoever shall insnare [beguile and lead astray--from the truth, the spirit of the truth, or holiness of life] one of the least of these who believe in me, it would be better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck and that he were sunk in the depth of the sea."

Such a warning needs no comment: if any one should find in his own heart the least intimation of such a disposition, let him quickly halt in his erring way and earnestly pray God to renew a right spirit within him.

Verse 7. "Woe ["great tribulation"--"a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation"--is coming] unto the world because of [wilful] offences [offences against sufficiency of light to avoid them]; for it must needs be that offences come [because men's hearts are not right], but woe to that man [that wilful sinner] by whom the offence cometh."

Verses 8,9. See our issue of February, '93.

Verse 10. "Take heed that ye despise not [that ye do not hate or in any way persecute] one of these little ones; for I say unto you that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven." ("Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister to them that shall be the heirs of salvation?") And (verse 14), "It is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish." The intimation is plain that any persecution or ensnarement of these will surely be observed by the Lord, and the evil-doers will in due time be brought to justice. Though the Lord may permit persecutions to severely try his saints, it shall only accomplish their purification; for "all things shall work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."

Verses 11-13 tell of the loving zeal of our good Shepherd in seeking and caring for his sheep. Let us rejoice in his care and diligently hearken to his voice.



[R1767 : page 34]

THE GOOD SAMARITAN.
--FEB. 17, LUKE 10:25-37.--

Golden Text--"Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."--Lev. 19:18.
THE question introduced in this lesson is the great question which should enlist the most serious attention of every man--"What shall I do to inherit eternal life?"

The one who here propounded it was an Israelite, to whom pertained the promises of God for eternal life, on condition of perfect obedience to the divine law. He was one also who, with the rest of his nation, was vainly trusting in the law for salvation, and opposing the new and only way of life through Christ. Consequently, the Lord, to whom the query was addressed, referred the inquirer to the law for the answer. "He said unto him, What is written in the law? How readest thou?" As a recognized [R1767 : page 35] theologian and public teacher he must have some understanding of so important a matter. The answer was politely deferential to the office of the inquirer, and at the same time very adroitly put; for the lawyer was not a sincere inquirer, but one anxious only to lead the Lord into an entangling argument and to make him appear before the people as an opposer of the divine law.

The answer quoted from the law was a correct one, including the two great commandments on which hang all the law and the prophets (Matt. 22:36-40); viz., "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind," and "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." True, according to the law, those were the conditions of eternal life; but neither the lawyer nor any other man, except the perfect man Christ Jesus, was able to fulfil the conditions, though not until convinced of his inability to do so would the man be ready to accept God's way of salvation through Christ, who, by his great sacrifice, once for all, was about to blot out for believers the handwriting of ordinances which was against all Israel; viz., the condemnation of the law--nailing it to his cross.--Col. 2:14.

Seeing that the man's heart was not in the right attitude, the Lord did not proceed to preach to him the gospel of salvation, but, seizing the opportunity which his second inquiry offered,--"And who is my neighbor?"--he sought to lead him and those who stood by to the realization that every man is neighbor to every other man; that the whole human family is linked together by the ties of brotherhood, and therefore, every man should have a brother's sympathy, love and benevolence.

This simple truth, the Lord showed by a forcible illustration, was not one of those things hard to be understood, unless the heart had grown selfish instead of benevolent and kind. The simple, unpretentious Samaritan had comprehended it and had acted the neighborly part, while the ostentatious priest and Levite, with all their loud professions of piety, ignored it, though their effort to evade the responsibility by passing by on the other side of the roadway proved that they understood the neighborly obligation, of human brotherhood, which, in their selfishness, they vainly sought to shirk.

Commending thus the neighborly spirit of love, pity and benevolent generosity manifested to so large a degree in the Samaritan, the Lord's final answer was, "Go, and do thou likewise." Go, thou, and seek a change of heart-- from hard, unpitying selfishness disguised under the flimsy robes of showy profession, to simple brotherly kindness and charity, which, operating toward a brother-man, a creature of God, whom thou hast seen, will thus the better enable thee to love supremely the righteous God whom thou hast not seen. "If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar; for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?"--1 John 4:20.

There are several important lessons to be drawn from this incident--(1) We note how, in meekness, the Lord instructed those that opposed themselves. (2 Tim. 2:24-26.) He did not bluntly say to his insincere inquirer, Your heart is not right, you have an evil mind and are full of pride, hypocrisy and conceit, and have no ear for the truth on this subject; but rather he sought carefully and wisely to [R1768 : page 35] lead his opposer to this realization and to consequent repentance.

(2) We observe how the Lord endeavored to make known and recognized truths stepping stones from which to advance to higher truths--to lead gradually and logically from the known to the unknown, and to gently push aside prejudices and overcome them, rather than to rudely jostle them and harden the heart to increased opposition.

(3) We see that he did not make the truth obtrusive, but that his words were always words in season.

(4) Finally, we note the special teaching of the lesson --that love, which operates benevolently and kindly, i.e., Neighborly, toward all men, recognizing the obligations of human brotherhood, and the golden rule to do unto others as we would have them do to us, and which regards God, the fountain of all goodness, with supreme reverence, is the only condition of heart that can ever inherit eternal life. But the further lesson, which the unbelieving lawyer did not get, because he was not ready to receive it, was that, though he could not, in his fallen condition, meet the full requirements of God's law, there was provision made for his weaknesses and shortcomings through Christ if he would accept such provision.

Let us mark these valuable lessons, heeding our Lord's instructions and carefully noting and copying his methods in all our dealings with each other and with fellow-men.



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ENCOURAGING WORDS FROM FAITHFUL WORKERS


DEAR BROTHER:--I am glad that I am able to inform you that we are still strong in the faith, and growing in grace: we have good meetings, without strife or contention. Our only regret is, that there are so few of us.

There is a point on which we would like further advice from you. You advise us to mingle with other Christians, in their churches, at prayer meetings and revivals, and to take part with them.

Now, if, as we understand, the nominal church of to-day is in much the same condition that the Jewish church was in at the time of Christ, is it not wrong to help them, knowing as we do that they do a great many things that they ought not to do, if so be it increase their denominational greatness, and that every one that they convert to their way of thinking is being led that much farther from the truth?

The church here (Methodist) will not listen to even a hint about future probation, and would not even allow me to attempt to show whether a certain passage was figurative or literal.

Your brother in the race,
J. N. SHOEMAKER.

[REPLY. The spirit of our advice is that we do not hold ourselves aloof from our fellows who profess to love the Lord and to respect his Word, whatever denominational names they may have erroneously adopted or whatever creed-fences they may have been deluded into putting around them. We know, from our own experiences, that they need just what we have--"the bread of life" and "the water of life"--the Truth; and this we long to give them.

But our love and zeal must not lead us to intrude upon these blinded friends, if they refuse to make us welcome, or to hear our loving message; nor to ignore the truth and remain silent where error is free and where truth is bound hand and foot; we must find other more willing ears or [R1768 : page 36] adopt other methods. Above all we must not misrepresent our Lord and his Word and our own honor by professing what we do not believe in the form of a Church creed or confession. "He that is ashamed of me and my Word, ...of him will I also be ashamed before my Father and his holy angels."--EDITOR.]


DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:--I know you are always busy, and for that reason I would not trouble you unnecessarily; but I feel that it would be of great benefit to the Church here and in the vicinity, if you would give your opinion upon a point about which there has existed a difference, and which has come to the surface.

The question is, "How are we begotten by the Spirit of God? Does the new life come to us as individuals direct from God, or through Jesus Christ, who is "Head over all things to the Church?"

A brother recently made this sweeping statement in public: "The Lord Jesus has nothing whatever to do with the selection of the Bride." Another brother, when I asked him whether he believed that we could deal directly with God apart from Christ said, Most assuredly; and said in plain terms that this favor was something that the Father gave to each individual after justification by faith, and we were begotten of God independently of the Lord.

Now I cannot see why there should be this difference in view of the plain Scripture teaching. My understanding of the matter is that we have our relations to the Father as sons, only because we are in Christ; and if we were out of Christ, we should be in condemnation (Rom. 6); that we are anointed in Him by God (2 Cor. 1:21); and that the anointing with the Spirit of adoption comes to us from God through Christ the Lord. "He (God) saved us ...according to his own mercy, through the bath of regeneration, and a renovation of the holy Spirit, which he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ, our Savior." --Tit. 3:5,6.

Referring to the type of anointing the High Priest, of which the Church are members, we find in Tabernacle Shadows, p. 23:--"This oil typified the holy Spirit of adoption whereby we, the real Royal Priesthood, are sealed;" and (p. 32), "As Aaron had the holy oil poured upon his head, so our Head, the Lord Jesus, was anointed with the antitypical oil--the holy Spirit....The anointing oil was poured only upon the head. The under-priests were not anointed individually."

Many similar explanations occur in the Tabernacle Shadows, one other of which I quote (p. 54):--

"Just as soon as the sacrifice of Jesus on behalf of his 'Body' and 'house' was complete and presented before the Father, after his ascension, came the evidence of his acceptance in the Pentecostal baptism upon the representatives of the Church, his body and his house. And this anointing (symbolized by the oil), which came upon the Church, continues ever since on all the living members of the High Priest's body. This impartation of the divine mind to those consecrated ones was the energy in them which killed each as the Lord's goat. This coming of the holy Spirit, the Lord's power or 'hand' at Pentecost, was shown in the type by the High Priest coming to the door of the Tabernacle and laying hands upon the Lord's (Jehovah's) goat and killing it. Just as the Spirit of the Father enabled Jesus to sacrifice himself, represented by the killing of the bullock, so it is the same spirit or influence of the truth, through Christ, upon the 'Lord's goat' class, which enables them to crucify themselves as men--to kill the goat--in hope of the promised glory, honor and immortality of the divine nature."

The manner in which the members receive life from the body, the branches from the vine, also illustrates how the supply of God's spirit reaches the members of the Church. Our sacrifices and death are acceptable only because reckoned in with his perfect offering. Our death and resurrection are part of his. We will be raised by the power of God which raised Jesus, but the power will be exercised by "the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform the Body of our humiliation into a conformity with his glorious body, according to the energy (God given) by which he is able even to subject all things to himself." (Phil. 3:21.) It is through him that the Father leads forth those who sleep in Jesus at his coming.--1 Thes. 4:14.

It seems to me that we ought to be very guarded in making radical statements which may not be in touch with the truth at all points. There is danger of stumbling some at the very threshold of present knowledge, by appearing to ignore or detract from the all-sufficiency of the blessed Lord. "You are in the anointed Jesus, who became our wisdom from God, righteousness also, and sanctification and redemption [deliverance]; that as it has been written, Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord."--1 Cor. 1:30-31.

Yours in the one spirit,
E. C. MOTT.

P.S. Please explain in the same connection Col. 3:23,24.

REPLY BY THE EDITOR:--It is well that we keep clearly in view the facts, that the world during the Millennium will recognize Christ as their Life-giver or Father (the "Everlasting Father"), and will have no introduction to Jehovah until the close of the Millennium, when those only who shall have reached perfection and been found worthy of everlasting life will be presented. But the Church, the "Bride," the "Brethren," the "joint-heirs" of Christ are granted fellowship with the Father Jehovah from the time of their begetting of the spirit, when they consecrate themselves, being previously "justified by faith."

This, undoubtedly, is the point which the Brethren mentioned have in mind. However, they should not forget that our standings, both as justified men and afterward as sanctified new creatures, are not actual, but merely reckoned standings, before Jehovah. We can maintain the reckoned acceptance only by abiding in Christ. "No man cometh unto the Father but by me;" and "He that abideth in me and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide [R1769 : page 36] not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered."

To reject the continual necessity for the covering of Christ's robe of imputed righteousness would be to attempt to stand judgment before God's bar in our own filthy rags of unrighteousness--an impossibility, an absurdity. "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." (Heb. 10:31.) He has provided a shelter for us in Christ which covers our unwilful weaknesses and imperfections; and to reject it first or last would be to do despite to the favor of God therein extended to us.

We commend all that you have said above, dear Bro. Mott, and are glad that you see the subject so clearly. We would add to the texts you have cited just three more; viz., Acts 2:33; John 5:23 and Eph. 1:6.

Col. 3:23,24 is in agreement with all this. "One is your Master [Lord], even Christ." Of him we shall receive the inheritance, even as of him we received the foretaste of it. He received from his Father and our Father, his God and our God, all that he has given or will give to us. (John 20:17.) And so fully is the will of Christ the Father's will, that to serve the one is to serve the other also.



page 37
February 1st

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

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

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

VOL. XVI.FEBRUARY 15, 1895.No. 4.


CONTENTS.


Items--Tracts, etc38
Views from the Tower--39
The Social View39
The Religious View40
A Proposed Pan-American Congress41
Against So-called Higher Criticism41
A Reflective M.E. Minister41
The King's Highway42
Bible Study: Christ, and the Blind Man46
Bible Study: Awakening of Lazarus47
Bible Study: What Lack I Yet?47

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 38

THIS JOURNAL AND ITS MISSION.

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

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

TO US THE SCRIPTURES CLEARLY TEACH

That the Church is "the Temple of the Living God"--peculiarly "His
workmanship;" that its construction has been in progress throughout the
Gospel age--ever since Christ became the world's Redeemer and
the chief corner stone of this Temple, through which, when finished,
God's blessings shall come "to all people," and they find access to
him.--1 Cor. 3:16,17; Eph. 2:20-22; Gen. 28:14; Gal. 3:29.
That meantime the chiseling, shaping and polishing, of consecrated believers
in Christ's atonement for sin, progresses; and when the last of these
"living stones," "elect and precious," shall have been made ready,
the great Master Workman will bring all together in the First Resurrection;
and the Temple shall be filled with his glory, and be the meeting
place between God and men throughout the Millennium.--Rev. 15:5-8.
That the Basis of Hope, for the Church and the World, lies in the fact that
"Jesus Christ, by the grace of God, tasted death for man," "a ransom
for all," and will be "the true light which lighteth
"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; MRS. C. T. RUSSELL, Associate.




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[R1750 : page 38]

SPECIAL ITEMS.

THE "DO YOU KNOW?" TRACT is doing good service. It suits all classes. Many already praise the Lord for the light which it as an entering wedge has introduced.--English, German, Swedish.

"THE ONLY NAME" (Tract No. 24), a criticism of Bp. Foster's new gospel-excellent for Christians of all denominations, especially Methodists.

What an opportunity is put within the reach of all who desire to honor God and bless the Church and the world by these and our other tracts. Those who can do so gladly supply the means for their publication, so that every TOWER reader can enjoy the privilege of handing out personally and by mail these crumbs from the Master's table,--tastes of the feast of fat things, now as meat in due season, provided for the household of faith. Remember that every TOWER subscription includes a subscription to these quarterly tracts; and every subscriber is privileged to order as many extra copies as he may please for distribution.

Do not be discouraged if you do not see immediate results from your service. The hundreds of thousands of tracts and papers which you and we are, jointly with the Lord, and as his servants, sending out to his other servants are noiselessly working and gradually transforming the judgment of some who as yet are our open opponents. Eventually victory shall be ours, for "Truth is mighty and shall prevail." It is ours to use the opportunities granted us as wisely and efficiently as possible. It is God's part to overrule the work and bring ultimate victory and blessing to the worthy.



[R1769 : page 39]

VIEWS FROM THE TOWER.


THE SOCIAL VIEW.


THE indications are that Russia has gained considerable in the new Czar. Already he manifests a statesman-like liberality of thought which has pleasantly surprised the world. It is related that recently in examining papers bearing upon some official appointments the Czar struck out with his pen the sentences relating to the religious beliefs of the applicants, remarking to the effect that their religious views were their own private matter and had no bearing upon their suitability for political office. It is hoped from this that religious liberty may soon be granted to a degree not enjoyed for centuries in Russia. Such a policy would be welcomed by Roman Catholics, Greek Catholics and Protestants, no less than by the Jews.

In harmony with this view we note the removal of Gen. Gourko, Governor-General of Warsaw, and of Count Ignatieff, Governor-General of Kieff. Both of these men were noted for their anti-Jewish proclivities; and the latter had only recently instituted the severe persecutions of the Stundists mentioned in our issue of Jan. 15. The Czar's uncle, the Prince of Wales, visited him at the time of his father's funeral and doubtless lent encouragement to his more liberal views respecting government.


***

The Lord-Mayor of Liverpool created a sensation a few days ago in a speech before the Commercial Travelers' Association. Speaking of the need of a higher technical and intellectual culture amongst English workmen, he went on to say that if they did all they could to produce British goods he believed that in two or three years there would not be an idle man in Great Britain. But he feared an unwillingness to acquire this culture and skill, and a disposition rather to do as little work and for as few hours as possible and in a careless manner. "He was afraid there was nothing for it, but to let them (the English workmen) go to the devil."

The gentleman no doubt spoke out boldly what many others have thought, but have not uttered. He says, truly, that his method would give employment to the idle; but he seems not to see what so many overlook; viz., that if the workmen of Liverpool or of all England became more efficient than other workmen the world over, and drew the world's business to themselves by fine work at low prices, it would mean the stoppage of factories elsewhere and idleness of their employees, until they had reached a similar or greater skill and lower prices and should reclaim their trade. Meantime, the constant increase of machinery, population and skill would shortly make matters even worse than now, for the unemployed in Liverpool and throughout the world would be intellectually cultured workingmen who would suffer under deprivations more than at present. This very sort of thing has been in progress for the past twenty years.

No, the Lord-Mayor sees not the real cause of the present social distress. It is but the natural travail and labor incident to the birth of a new order of things, incident to the liberating and enligthenment of the race as a whole and the development of inventions, all of which are but preparations for "the day of Christ"--the Millennial Kingdom.


***

The recent "bread riot" in Montreal, Canada, and on the same day eight mass-meetings of thousands of unemployed men in Berlin, Germany, demanding employment, tell us how wide spread is the present financial depression. Capital refuses to be risked except with profits in [R1769 : page 40] prospect; Labor refuses to be used on any less favorable terms than at present, realizing that each step lower would not only be permanent, but would lead still lower. The only help is that suggested in the Lord's prayer--"Thy Kingdom come; thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven." Look up yourself, and lift up the eyes and hearts of others, to the dawn of the Millennium. Through all the present mists behold with the eye of faith the first rays of the promised Sun of Righteousness arising with healing in his beams.

THE RELIGIOUS VIEW.


Zion Associations of Jews are being organized in Great Britain as well as in the United States, their central thought being a National Movement--the re-establishment of a Jewish Kingdom in Palestine. Jewish journals long silent on this subject, if not opposed to the project, are now devoting space in almost every issue to its consideration. We are glad to see this. It is a "straw," pointing in the direction indicated by prophecy. Trust in the Lord and wait patiently for him, and he will bring to pass all that he has promised. But do not expect it before his time, his fixed time. While the time to favor Zion began in 1878, the treading down of the Gentiles will not be at an end until 1914 A.D. The interim, however, will be more and more a time of turning away of blindness from Israel;-- the blindness which happened unto all Israel except the elect remnant, after they as a nation and individually rejected Christ.--See Rom. 9:27-33; 10:1-3; 11:1,7-11,25-32.


***

The Pope, desirous of devising some scheme for a basis of agreement between the church of Rome and the church of England, summoned Cardinal Vaughan from England to Rome for conference. The Cardinal gave little encouragement to the proposition, even advising that such efforts would be fruitless; but the Pope is not yet satisfied, and proposes a conference with the Catholic Bishops of Salford, Nottingham and Southwark, whose sentiments are understood to be more in harmony with the pope's sentiments.

One effect will be to draw some of the high-churchmen of England Romeward, while the low-church party will unite with other Protestants in the coming Protestant Federation, from which, however, the word "protestant" will probably be dropped.

The Pope's long expected Encyclical, or General Message, to the Roman church in the United States, has just been made public. Its items of chief interest to us are: (1) It definitely declares Mgr. Satolli the Pope's representative --the United States' Pope. (2) It refers to Protestants here, desires their conversion to Romanism and suggests that Roman Catholics in general win them over by their examples in living the Christian virtues. This is surely a hint in the right direction: Protestants in general would be glad to see some better exhibition of Christian virtues amongst their Romanist neighbors. Should the Pope's advice operate energetically, it would immediately close about three-fourths of the saloons, breweries and distilleries, and vacate about the same proportion of all the jails and penitentiaries of our land. The Pope is right: such an "example" would convert many Protestants, who would gladly forget the shameful history of the past. But Papacy does not possess the truth which sanctifies, and the few real saints who in past centuries belonged to her communion did not really belong to her faith. The Encyclical says:--

"How solicitous we are of their salvation.... Surely we ought not to desert them nor leave them to their fancies; but, with mildness and charity, draw them to us, using every means of persuasion to induce them to examine closely every part of the Catholic doctrine, and to free themselves from preconceived notions.

"Great is the force of example, particularly with those who are earnestly seeking the truth and who, from a certain inborn virtuous disposition, are striving to live an honorable [R1770 : page 40] and upright life; to which class very many of your fellow citizens belong. If the spectacle of Christian virtues exerted a powerful influence over the heathens, shall we think it powerless to eradicate error in the case of those who have been initiated into the Christian religion?"

(3) It congratulates the church upon its prosperity in the United States, but intimates that liberty is not all that it desires, but, in addition, public patronage, etc. The Encyclical says:--

"For the church among you, unopposed by the constitution and government of your Nation, fettered by no hostile legislation, protected against violence by the common laws and the impartiality of the tribunals, is free to live and act without hindrance. Yet, though all this is true, it would be very erroneous to draw the conclusion that in America is to be sought the type of the most desirable status of the church, or that it would be universally lawful or expedient for State and church to be, as in America, dissevered and divorced. The fact that Catholicity with you is in good condition, nay, is even enjoying a prosperous growth, is by all means to be attributed to the fecundity with which God has endowed his church, in virtue of which, unless men and circumstances interfere, she spontaneously expands and propagates herself. But she would bring forth more abundant fruits, if, in addition to liberty, she enjoyed the favor of the laws and the patronage of the public authority."

This would be to make matters stand here as they stood in Europe, during the "dark ages," which Papacy recognizes as its Millennium, the present period of progress and civilization under Protestant influences being recognized by them as the "little season" of Rev. 20:7 in which the devil is loosed in the form of Protestantism.

Many Protestants, while unwilling to return to religious serfdom to Papacy, are convinced that liberty and enligthenment are not always conducive to contentment amongst the masses and would be quite willing to be identified with a Protestant "image of the beast" with sufficient show of strength and authority to awe not only the masses, but also to hold its own against the papal (leopard) "beast,"--still feared even while fellowshiped and fraternized.

But the Lord's program included a new order of things entirely,--"a new heavens and new earth," a new ecclesiastical [R1770 : page 41] system and a new social system. The present enligthenment of the people and their incidental discontent are merely means toward the great end he has in view, outlined in the Scriptures. "He shall not fail nor be discouraged until he have established justice in the earth."-- Isa. 42:4.

A PROPOSED PAN-AMERICAN CONGRESS OF RELIGION AND EDUCATION.


Steps are being taken to hold a general convention of Catholics, Protestants and Hebrews during the coming Summer. The date has not yet been fixed, but July is suggested. It is to last one week and to have two general sessions daily, and ten sectional meetings each afternoon. Seven cities are reported as competing for the privilege of entertaining the convention.

Rev. S. G. Smith, D.D., of Minneapolis, is the President and Mr. S. Sherwin is Secretary. They, with Rev. Dr. Edwards of Chicago, Rev. Dr. Bennett of Akron, O., Rev. Dr. Burrill of New York City, constitute a special committee to decide upon the most desirable time and place. "Secretary Sherwin has started a systematic plan of organization which will be carried out in every state and country by counties." The Congress will invite representatives from Central and South America and Canada. Among those who have promised most hearty cooperation are Archbishop Ireland (Roman Catholic), Bishop Mahlin (Episcopalian), Bishops J. H. Vincent, J. H. Hurst and C. H. Fowler (Methodist Episcopal), and President of the Chicago University, W. F. Harper (Baptist).

How rapidly matters are moving! It certainly seems probable that the Protestant Federation will be an accomplished fact within six years. It will be a fellow with Papacy though distinct from it, as the Scriptures clearly show. The time is short wherein to serve the truth.

AGAINST SO-CALLED HIGHER CRITICISM.


The Bishops of the Protestant Episcopal church have issued a Pastoral Letter to their people, warning them against "seductions to lawlessness," and against the so-called "higher criticism" of our day which threatens to wreck all faith in the Scriptures on the part of those who are misled thereby. The Pastoral has its good points. We quote extracts:--

"We, your Bishops, having been assembled to take order, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, for the extension of the kingdom of God, have availed ourselves of the opportunity to meet in council to consider our duty in view of certain novelties of opinion and expression, which have seemed to us to be subversive of the fundamental verities of Christ's religion. It has come to our knowledge that the minds of many of the faithful clergy and laity are disturbed and distressed by these things; and we desire to comfort them by the firm assurance that the episcopate of the church, to which, in a peculiar manner, the deposit of faith has been entrusted, is not unfaithful to that sacred charge, but will guard and keep it with all diligence, as men who shall hereafter give account to God....

"The minute and reverent study of the divine Word must always be necessary and will always be profitable. The time will never come when men will not be obliged to combine the separate portions of God's Word, to study the fashions in which they were given, and to consider the operation of the Holy Spirit, both in and through the sacred writers; and the time will never come when the honest student of God's Word will not require and will not welcome every critical appliance which the providence of God may furnish, to cast new light on the sacred page. It would be faithless to think that the Christian religion has anything to fear from the critical study of the holy Scriptures.

"We devoutly thank God for the light and truth which have come to us through the earnest labors of devout critics of the sacred text. What we deprecate and rebuke is the irreverent rashness and unscientific method of many professed critics, and the presumptuous superciliousness with which they vaunt erroneous theories of the day as established results of criticism. From this fault professedly Christian critics are not always exempt; and by Christian critics we mean those who, both by theory and practice, recognize the inspiration of God as the controlling element of holy Scripture."

After asserting that no discovery of modern research, positively ascertained, is of a character to unsettle a Christian's faith in any particular, the letter continues:

"Any instruction or any study which makes any part of the Bible less authoritative than it really is, which weakens faith in its inspiration, which tends to eliminate Christ from the utterances of the Prophets, or which leads a man to think of miracles with a half-suppressed skepticism, is a pernicious instruction and a pernicious study."

The sound logic of such "Pastorals" will appeal very favorably to a large class of Protestants; and, not having the correct view of the subject, the feeling will arise, would that we had a Pope or a Council of Bishops whose letters to the church would come with apostolic authority. And as the Scriptures show, by and by this desire will result in the general union of Protestants to which the supposed power and authority of the bishops of the Episcopal church will be added as "life to the image."

A REFLECTIVE M.E. MINISTER.


At the January monthly gathering of the M.E. Ministers of Brooklyn, the Rev. J. Rippere of the DeKalb Ave. church astonished the others by the following truthful observation, the force of which seems not to have dawned upon the minds of ministers in general. He said:--

"If the standards of the Methodist church are right, then nine out of ten members are going to hell. We preach and are taught to preach that without holiness and purity no man shall see God. Put that standard up and you must have a Purgatory. Our funeral orations are at war with our theology. Our philosophizing cuts the nerve of our conviction."

We are glad that the brother's eyes are opening a little. Although the first effect of the light of reason is to shock and stagger him, it may do him good eventually, by directing him to the discrepancy between the teachings of his Methodist standards and the true standard--the Word of God. [R1770 : page 42]

The effect of the error upon a thoughtful mind is toward one of two things;--to look about for a Purgatory, or to reduce the meaning of the word "holiness" to a level which would permit everyone not an out-and-out criminal to be considered holy. Such seems to be the effect upon the majority of ministers; for their funeral orations generally send "the ring-streaked and speckled" Christians (as Bp. Foster styles them) to glory and to "see the Lord," and exclude only the blackest of the black goats. As a consequence holiness is at a discount in all the churches, and those who profess to be of the "sanctified in Christ Jesus" are sneered at as Pharisees who would raise the heavenly standard so as to exclude the unsanctified. One of the ministers at the above meeting (Rev. Dr. Poulson) evidently took a very lax view of holiness; for in replying to the above he said, "We may differ as to the meaning of sanctification." But, we inquire, is there any room for difference of opinion on the meaning of such simple English words as holiness and sanctification? And are not the Greek words which they represent of equally fixed meaning? Only such an emergency would lead intelligent men to quibble about the meaning of such simple words, to the [R1771 : page 42] confusion of themselves and their flocks.

We trust that the Rev. Rippere's eyes may yet open wide enough to see that while only the holy will ever see the Lord, the others will not, as the Methodist standards teach, be roasted and toasted for ever in hell; but that the Millennial age will be the great Purgatory in which with many and few stripes the Lord will "thresh the heathen" and bring all to a clear knowledge of himself, to a correct appreciation of holiness, and to a grand opportunity for reconciliation through the precious blood and for return to God and to perfection by the "highway of holiness" then to be opened up for "whosoever will," who has not had a full opportunity in the present life.

While this subject is fresh in the minds of the Brooklyn Methodists, we think it would be well for the brethren there to see that all the churches are supplied with tracts on the subject--PURGATORY (No. 17), A REPLY TO BP. FOSTER'S NEW GOSPEL (No. 25), and DO YOU KNOW? (No. 21). The Tract Society will supply the tracts freely. Let the light shine!



[R1771 : page 42]

THE KING'S HIGHWAY.


UNDER the reign of Sin and Death there is now a "broad road," in which, under the tendency of the world, the flesh and the devil, almost all mankind are walking in a greater or less degree of selfishness and gratification of the lusts of the flesh, the lust of the eye and the pride of life. Its grade is downward and away from God. Its end is death, in just harmony with the original sentence of sin in Eden. On it none can retrace his steps so as to return to God. He may stop for a time, or even attempt to return, but the grade is too steep, and the influence and pressure of the crowd irresistible; and soon he is on the downward course again--moving slowly or swiftly.

But there is a way of life, into which the pilgrim may turn. Of it our Lord said, "I am the way, the truth and the life." There is consequently only one way of return-- through acceptance of Christ and obedience testifying thereto. Its gate is Faith, and at present it is a very difficult road to travel, even after it has been found. This gate and way have been open for nearly nineteen centuries. (John 14:6.) Comparatively few of the race have ever seen or known of this path; for we are authoritatively informed that "few there be that find it." And the reason for this is given,--"the god of this world [Satan] hath blinded the minds of them that believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ should shine unto them."--2 Cor. 4:4.

Here is a marvelous thing! Why does the God of love make the gate to the way of life so obscure that only a small portion of the race have any opportunity of even knowing of it?--and so narrow and rugged that when found many are so discouraged with the prospect that they make but little effort to walk therein, and gradually drift back again into the general current of the broad road?

From the ordinary standpoint--the world's standpoint of ignorance and human speculation--there is no reasonable answer to this question. But from the standpoint of the divine plan of the ages, as revealed in the Scriptures, there is a very satisfactory answer.

The answer is, that God's purpose of mercy respecting the world (which entered the "broad road" through Adam's transgression and sentence) is to deal with it as a whole;--to let all have an experience with the wages of Sin (death), and then through Christ to end the reign of Sin and Death under Satan, and inaugurate a reign of Righteousness and Life under Christ,--the Kingdom of God. Thus seen, the "narrow way" now open (which only a few see, and in which but a "little flock" walk in faithfully when they do find it), is not meant to be the way of life for the race in general. It is provided only for a special class, called variously in Scripture--"the Church of Christ," "the Bride," "the Temple of the Living God," "the Elect" or Select, "the Body of Christ," the "little flock" to which it is "the Father's good pleasure to give the Kingdom." The gate of Faith is made obscure to insure that those who enter shall be faith-full. The way is rugged and difficult to insure that all who continue in that way faithful to the end shall be "overcomers," --shall be of strong character. The special service for which these are being selected demands that they shall be tried as gold is purified, in the furnace of discipline, that they may be found vessels unto honor and meet for the Master's use, when his time shall come for them, with their [R1771 : page 43] Lord and Redeemer, as "the Seed of Abraham" to extend the blessing of God to all the families of the earth (the dead as well as the living) (Gal. 3:16,29) and when they with him shall be the Kings and priests unto God who shall reign on the earth during the Millennial age, to bind Satan's power (Rev. 5:10; 20:1) and to open the eyes of those whom he has so long blinded and deceived. By these God will prepare a favorable way for all.--Isa. 62:10.

WHEN CHRIST IS KING--WHAT THEN?


When our Redeemer shall have taken to himself his great power and established his Kingdom,--after the last member of "the Church which is his body" shall have been perfected and glorified with the Head upon the throne (Rev. 11:17; 3:21),--after the great "time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation" shall have swept away present institutions and humbled the pride of man in the dust and brought the world into a teachable attitude, then the Broad-road to death will be abolished and instead the way to death (Second Death) thereafter will be hedged about and made narrow and difficult, by reason of the speedy and just retribution which then will promptly follow every attempted violation of Immanuel's laws. The Narrow way to immortal life will also have terminated, having served its purpose by selecting the "little flock," the "Royal Priesthood," through persecution for godliness and fierce oppositions from the world, the flesh and the devil. Then Satan will be "bound" (restrained from deceiving mankind) and "the world" will be forced to respect at least outwardly the laws and Kingdom of God. The "flesh," the weaknesses men labor under as the result of the fall, will alone stand between men and perfect happiness,--and full arrangements are provided by the Mediator-King for assisting the fallen flesh back to perfection. The way of life will then be a Highway, cleared of every impediment--the Highway of Holiness.

The various arrangements of the Millennial Kingdom will at first make the road to death difficult (to insure that only the wilful shall go by it into the Second Death); and the same Kingdom arrangements will make the way to life easy of access. Its gate of faithful obedience will be clearly seen and easily accessible to all; and its name correspondingly will no longer be the Narrow way, but the King's Highway of Holiness, leading to life everlasting, and open to all who desire righteousness.--John 10:16.

As the Prince of Darkness (Satan) rules now over the Broad Road and its blinded millions whom he leads downward to death, so there the Prince of Light (Christ, head and body) will rule over mankind, for whom he will open up the Highway of Holiness, upon which millions will go upward to Life eternal. It is as a means to this end that he is selecting his Church, is causing the great trouble to come upon the world, and will shortly bind Satan for the thousand years of his reign. And, more than this, he will open the blinded eyes that all may see the light of the knowledge of the goodness of God as it shines in the face of Jesus Christ our Lord.--2 Cor. 4:6.

When Satan no longer has power to deceive men and to put good for evil and evil for good; when the eyes of their understandings have been opened to see and appreciate "the True Light,"--until "every man that cometh into the world" has been thus enligthened (John 1:9; 1 Tim. 2:6); when the knowledge of the Lord fills the whole earth as the waters cover the depths of the sea (all covered, but some more deeply than others); when there shall no longer be necessity to teach, every man his neighbor, saying, "Know the Lord," because all shall know the Lord from the least to the greatest (Jer. 31:34); when the Lord's Kingdom shall have come and his will is done on earth as it is done in heaven--instead of the message of the gospel being limited to a few, all will know the plan of God; and the evidences of its truth will be so clear and convincing that none will have excuse for disbelief; for the conditions will be such that doubt would be more difficult than is belief at present. Nevertheless a personal acceptance of "the way" (Christ) and of the conditions of the New Covenant will be required of each individual thus enligthened.

Not only will men learn unquestionably that Christ died for our sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God; but more, they will see and feel the restitution work begun, in themselves and in their fellows. (Acts 3:19-21; Ezek. 16:48-50,53-55,60-63.) They will see Righteousness ruling the world unto or toward Life, instead of as now Sin reigning and all of its influences tending unto death. They will see great changes in the climate of the earth because "he that hath the power of death, that is the devil" (Heb. 2:14), will no longer be "the prince [ruler] of the power of the air" (Eph. 2:2), and "the wilderness and the solitary place shall rejoice" and "the earth shall yield her increase" (Isa. 35; Ezek. 34:27); for the microbes of destruction and disease shall be restrained and "nothing shall hurt nor destroy" in all God's holy Kingdom.--Isa. 11:9. [R1772 : page 43]

Sickness and pain and all diseases will yield to the power of the Great Physician upon the throne; and he will not permit death to befall any except those who shall intelligently and willfully refuse his offers of full restitution, by rejecting the terms of obedience required under the New Covenant then open to all. And even these shall be liberally dealt with; for our Lord willeth not the death of him that dieth, but would rather that all should turn unto him and live. Accordingly, while all will be forced to "bow," in at least outward recognition of that Kingdom and to "confess" it a blessed improvement upon the reign of Sin unto death (Rom. 5:21; 1 Cor. 15:26), yet their will must remain their own and their progress in restitution beyond the common advantages will depend upon their willingness or unwillingness to come into accord with that Kingdom and its righteous arrangements. Concerning these we are expressly told by the Prophet, that if still sinners when a hundred years old they will be cut off (in the Second [R1772 : page 44] Death--destruction--from which there is to be no ransom and no resurrection); but that to die at that age then, would be like a death in infancy now;--because the smoking flax he will not quench, nor break the bruised reed; and all who shall then show any evidence of love and consecration to the Lord may continue to enjoy the Kingdom blessings at least until the close of that Millennial age.--Isa. 65:20.

As the Lord now sends seed-time and harvest, sun and rain, upon the just and unjust, so then, to a certain extent (i.e., for one hundred years each), the restitution blessings, that is, the equitable laws and other public arrangements for the education and uplifting of the masses, and the climatic conditions more favorable to health, will be common to all men. But, although plenteous in mercy, the Lord "will not [continue] always [to] chide [correct]; he will not keep [hold back] his anger [his righteous indignation against wilful sin and sinners] forever." "Every soul which will not hear [obey] that Prophet [Teacher] shall be destroyed from among the people."--Acts 3:23.

But although the condition of things in the Millennial age will differ greatly from present conditions so as to be almost the reverse, yet the laws of God, like himself, change not: it is merely the conditions that will have changed. God's law, when exercised by our Lord Jesus and his Church ("Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world?" 1 Cor. 6:2), and tempered with mercy (because of man's fallen condition for which as Redeemer our Lord paid the price in his own death) will be the same law in every particular that it always has been. It cannot change, for the same reason that God himself cannot change;--because it is perfect, and to change it in any degree would be to make it imperfect.

That law is Love. Full obedience to it means perfect love--controlling every thought, word and deed; partial obedience means a measure of love. At the beginning of that new era the world in general will be loveless as at present--controlled instead by selfishness; for the heart of the natural [fallen] man is enmity against this law of God which represents God's character. When present-day selfishness shall have blossomed and gone to seed in the great time of trouble now impending, it will become apparent to all that, however selfish their hearts may be, their deeds must thereafter conform more closely to the principle of love--doing to others as they would have others do to them. It will thus be with a practical lesson that the new King will introduce the Law of his Kingdom. Then loving deeds and words will be made compulsory upon all, though their hearts (wills) may still be tainted with selfishness; for God does not now, and never will, force the wills of his creatures. But those who at end of the hundred years' of trial remain obstinate in heart, and only obedient outwardly, under compulsion, shall be judged hopeless "sinners," and will be cut off from all further trial for life; for the principle will still hold that, "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him."--1 John 3:36.

"In that day" an intellectual unbelief in Christ and the offer of salvation will be an impossibility (Isa. 11:9); for "even the devils believe and tremble;" but belief, in the sense of acceptance of Christ as the Lord who bought us, and hearty obedience to the letter and spirit of his requirements, will be the condition upon which any may obtain everlasting life--provided and intended only for those who love God; which implies a love of his character and his laws.--Isa. 47:14-21.

But perfect love and obedience in letter and spirit will not be realized by the world then on trial, until the close of the Millennial age; for perfection of being is necessary to a perfection of obedience; and that entire age will be necessary to the full restitution or bringing back of such as accept the Son to the perfection and divine fellowship lost six thousand years ago. And as from the first moment of the death-sentence Adam and the race were no longer fully alive, but dying, so, although the reign or Kingdom of Life will continue during the entire age to lift the obedient out of death toward life, yet perfection of life will not be attained until the end of the process of uplifting or restitution;* and none will get that grand gift of God except such as are perfected in love--not only in word and deed, but also in the very deepest thoughts and intents of their hearts. Such as thus believe the Son, accept of his grace and are conformed to his image, and such only, shall see life, in the full and absolute sense, and be presented unto the Father perfect and unreprovable in love, when Christ shall deliver up the Kingdom, having thus accomplished the work begun by him nearly three thousand years before, when he bought the world with his own life, that he might give life unto all them that obey him.

*Thus it will be seen that the statement of Rev. 20:5, "The rest of the dead [aside from those associated with Christ in the Kingdom at the beginning of the Millennium] lived not again until the thousand years are finished," is a true enough statement when life is properly understood to mean their perfection in life and their acceptance to eternal life by the Father at the close of the Millennium. The fact remains, however, that this clause of Rev. 20:5 is not found in any Greek MS. of earlier date than the Fifth Century;--nor is it found in the ancient Syriac.

But while the giving of everlasting life to the worthy ones of the world will be at the close of the Millennial age, and in the nature of a reward of obedience in the school of Christ, in fashioning themselves after the pattern of the Redeemer's character, yet that everlasting life will be reckoned to each one who accepts of Christ and comes to any degree of heart-harmony with his requirements, from the moment that he thus accepts the terms of the New Covenant.

The various temperaments and various degrees of degradation of fallen men guarantee that their hearty acceptance of Christ and his regulations for their blessing will differ, as is now the case with those who come to the knowledge of the truth. Some will respond quickly, some [R1772 : page 45] slowly, some not at all. But the Lord's provision, that all shall have at least a hundred years of opportunity under the clear light of "the Sun of Righteousness" (Mal. 4:2; Luke 1:78,79), guarantees against the loss of any for whom there could be any hope that they would develop characters fit for an eternity of fellowship with God. Nor will it be merely those who promptly and fully accept the Lord that will be continued beyond the first hundred years of trial, for we are assured that "the bruised reed he will not break, and smoking flax he will not quench." That is, if there is any tendency to hold on, to appreciate and to make use of the divine favors, if there is even a smouldering spark of love toward God and righteousness, the Lord will not break off such a one, but will fan the spark if perchance it might become a blaze of love which would purify the heart and eventually bring every thought into captivity to the will of God. He will pursue this course until "he shall bring forth judgment unto truth."--Isa. 42:3.

Those who most quickly and most fully accept the new conditions will more quickly and more fully taste the joys of salvation and the Lord's favor, and have the peace of God rule in their hearts. Thus the measure of "light" sinned against in the present life determines not only the amount of heart-hardening, but also the time and the amount of difficulty the person will experience in getting his heart softened again.*

*See "The Retributive Character of Divine Law," June 1, '94.

Those who will be "cut off" during the Millennium will be such as when given full opportunity to enter upon the King's Highway of Holiness will refuse to "go up thereon." Satan's Broad Road of the present time is a downward one, but the King's Highway in the Millennium will have an upward grade. Now, men can go downward to death almost without effort; but to reach the prize of life at the end of the Highway will require effort. That "Highway," however, will require less effort and overcoming than does the "Narrow way" of the present age. It will be less steep, for several centuries may be had for gradually developing character in likeness to the Lord's, whereas now the development must be effected in much less time to constitute the pilgrim an "overcomer" and a worthy associate with the Lord in the throne. Now, there are "stumbling stones" to faith in the "Narrow way," to test the faithful in trust and endurance, and there are "lions" of opposition to threaten, and to turn back discouraged, all except the "peculiar" people whom the Lord is now selecting for the peculiar work of the future, as his Bride; but of the King's Highway it is declared, "No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast;" and the stumbling stones shall all be gathered out, and mountains of difficulty shall be leveled, and valleys of despair and discouragement shall be filled up, that the King's Highway may be most favorable;--that all the Redeemed of the Lord (who will accept the gift of life upon the conditions of its offer) may go up thereon to perfection. [R1773 : page 45] --Isa. 35:8-10; 62:10; 40:4,5.

It must not, however, be supposed that progress along that easy "Highway," with everything to aid in the development of character, and with nothing like opposition or temptation to test its strength, would be sufficient evidence of heart loyalty to God and his laws to prove that all who will reach the end of that age, are worthy of everlasting life; even though in the use of its elixirs of life,--its pure air, nutritious foods, inspired skill and conformity to its divine laws and regulations--they shall have attained human perfection,--physical, mental and moral.

The testings of the present "Narrow way" are step by step; but the testings of the King's Highway will be specially two--at the beginning and at the end: first, as to who will start to go upward on it and keep on going upward; and finally a test of all who shall have gone up that Highway to its farther end--to the end of the Millennium. Such will then be tested or proved as to their fitness for everlasting life. (1) Those who, when all the conditions of knowledge and obedience are so favorable (as God has promised they shall be--so that the conditions in general shall make the road to life a Highway), will make no effort upward will be cut off after one hundred years of opportunity and testings and reproof, as unworthy of further testing or further Millennial privileges. (Isa. 65:20.) (2) The object of the test of those who shall have gone up the Highway to its farther end will not be to prove which are sinners, either open or covert; for none of them will be transgressors of God's law, the evil doers having been cut off long before, at the end of a hundred years trial; and no doubt it will surprise many of them when they learn that God has purposed their trial at all. What! Test those who for hundreds of years have been living in harmony with God's law, and constantly blessed by it? Are not those centuries of obedience a sufficient proof of loyalty to God? Can any further test be required? And if so, for what purpose?

We answer that their obedience for centuries had its corresponding reward of blessings and enjoyments experienced during those centuries. They are still God's debtors. God does not owe them everlasting life. Everlasting life is a gift of God through Christ: it is one of the things, however, prepared for those who love God, and the test at the end of the Millennial age will be a test of love;--to prove the degree of love and consecration that has been developed as a character in those who have seen and enjoyed so many of God's favors. Not outward perfection merely, but inward perfection will be the test; and that some who will have reached outward perfection will not have developed the inward perfection of heart or will, even with every favorable opportunity, is evident from the results of the test. (Rev. 20:9.) So, too, Adam was perfect before his trial in Eden, but he had not developed a consecrated will or character fully submitted to the Lord. Satan was perfect as an angel of God, but he developed a character or will antagonistic to God's. And God's purpose is that the trial or judgment both of angels and men shall be so thorough, so complete, that not a single creature who is not in absolute heart-harmony [R1773 : page 46] with God and his laws shall receive everlasting life and pass into the ages of eternity beyond the Millennium. All not possessed of characters (wills) in full, absolute harmony with God's will, must die the Second Death. And yet they will have enjoyed much, and will have much for which to be thankful.

In no other way could the Lord continue his creatures in his own likeness as free moral agents, and yet guarantee that when the Millennial reign of Christ shall have caused the former things of sin to pass away, "there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain."

Praise God for the lengths and breadths of his great and gracious plan of salvation through Christ;--for the Narrow way of the present with its severe trials and temptations and its great prize of life in joint-heirship with our Lord the Redeemer; and praise him too for the great Highway of Holiness which by and by shall be prepared and opened by the Christ to all the redeemed, that whosoever will may not perish, but have the gift of God, eternal life.

The test at the close of the Millennium is symbolically represented in Rev. 20:7-10. Satan will be permitted to attempt to deceive all, whose number will then be as the sand, but what proportion he will succeed in leading astray is not stated.

The Lord's Word does not indicate the nature of the movement, but we do not suppose that Satan and his followers will go up and surround the beloved city (the capital of the earthly phase of the Kingdom) with any thought of war, or with intent to use physical force. They could not be so foolish, after so long an experience with the power of God's Kingdom. We surmise that they will err in their calculation of when the thousand years of Christ's autocratic Kingdom will end, and when the dominion of earth will be restored to mankind in general to be exercised as a Republic --in full harmony with the divine law. Miscalculating the time, they may feel that the rulers of that time (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets) are prolonging their rule unwarrantedly. And the surrounding of the beloved city may signify a "demonstration," or appeal for their rights, such as has often been made by present-day workmen--surrounding Parliament or council chambers with remonstrances against infringements of their claimed rights. Such peaceful remonstrances in the present time against wrongs or oppressions are not sins, but such a demonstration on the part of perfect men after centuries of benefits and blessings at God's hands would indicate that their hearts were not fully submitted to the Lord; for the right hearted would say to such an invitation,--No: we may have been mistaken in our understanding of the Lord's word, or in our calculations of the time;--but if God sees best to continue us as "servants" rather than to grant us the full liberties and privileges of "sons" (Rom. 8:21), we will trust the wisdom, love and power which have so abundantly provided for us thus far--even while we were yet sinners--and will not even harbor in our hearts a wish to change any of the Lord's arrangements, much less would we join in any demonstration or protest against the Lord's arrangements.

Only those who under such a test would manifest heart-harmony with God are of the class for whom everlasting life has been prepared as a gift of God. Such will be received and blessed after the test; but the others will be cut off in the second death. If it be objected that these committed no great crime, we answer, neither was the transgression of the perfect Adam a gross crime; but the eating of the forbidden fruit was a disobedience; and disobedience and transgression on the part of perfect beings is a just cause for a refusal to grant such the great boon of life everlasting.



[R1773 : page 46]

CHRIST, AND THE MAN BORN BLIND.
--FEB. 24, John 9:1-11.--

Golden Text--"I am the light of the world."
THE question of the Lord's disciples (verse 2) was the expression of a common opinion among many of the Jews, and one also entertained by Job's friends,--that all suffering is the direct penal result of some personal sin. But this man, having been born blind, they reasoned, must have been so afflicted on account of some sins of his parents.

The Lord, both in this instance and on another occasion (see Luke 13:1-5), clearly disclaimed the idea. While it is true that some afflictions are the direct results of personal sins and are the promptly administered penalties designed for the warning and correction of the offender, such is not always the case. This is the age of the triumph of evil and the persecution of righteousness. (See Mal. 3:15; Psa. 73:2-17; 1 Tim. 5:24,25.) Afflictions often come upon the Lord's most devoted saints to try them and prove them, to test their loyalty, zeal and faithfulness, and to refine and cultivate the Christian graces and establish character.

In the particular instance of this lesson, the affliction is said to have been permitted for the special purpose of manifesting the power of God through Christ in his recovery. He was raised up blind for this purpose, just as Pharaoh, being a suitable character in which to manifest the power of God in another way, was raised up to the throne of Egypt.

In this illustration of the giving of sight to the blind we have a sample of the great work of restitution to be performed in the Millennial age. Then not only will the blind eyes be opened, but the deaf ears will be unstopped, and the lame man shall leap as a hart and the tongue of the dumb shall sing; and even all that are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son of man and shall come forth. (Isa. 35:5,6; John 5:28,29.) And not only will the bodies of men be thus blessed, but their minds and hearts will be similarly liberated from the fetters of ignorance, superstition and sin. This is the work of God to be accomplished when the Kingdom shall be established in the earth under the dominion of his anointed Son and Heir.

That great work of his future reign the Lord on this and various occasions illustrated, that through such illustrations the faith of his disciples in this age might be confirmed. [R1773 : page 47]

The statement of verse 4 calls to mind also the statement of the Prophet Isaiah (21:12), to which the Lord evidently referred. The coming night would be one when "no man can work;" and it behooved the Lord and all the [R1774 : page 47] members of his body, the Church, to make use of the opportunities in hand for doing that portion of the Father's work which is to be accomplished in the present age, before the foretold night cometh.--"The morning [the Millennial morning] cometh, and also the night [the dark night of great tribulation which shall immediately precede the dawning of the glorious day]."

Jesus said (verse 5), "As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world;" and to his disciples, who were to continue his work after he should leave the world, he said (Matt. 5:14), "Ye are the light of the world." Thus through Christ and the Church the light would continue to shine in the world in the midst of its darkness until the predicted night would come, when the world that has loved darkness rather than light shall be overwhelmed by it, and, in the midst of its shadows, reap the fruit of its own sowing.

The means which the Lord used to effect the cure of the blind man had no intrinsic healing virtue, but they served to fix the attention and to test the faith of the man in the great teacher. Had he had no confidence in Jesus he might have despised the means and ridiculed the idea that the anointing with clay and the washing in the pool of Siloam would accomplish such a miracle as the giving of sight to one born blind, and so never have been healed. But the spirit of faith and meekness led him rather to hope and obedience and the blessed result of vision.

Then followed his grateful testimony. How different from the caviling, dishonest disposition of the opposers that stood by. The account of the noble testimony of this healed one fills our hearts with warmest admiration. He bravely faced the opposition, reasoned with the opposers, boldly affirmed his own most reasonable faith, and took the consequences, being cast out of the synagogue.

It was then--in the time of his persecution for righteousness' sake--that the Lord again found him and established and confirmed his faith in himself as the Son of God, the long-promised Messiah. Thus it is ever with those who faithfully endure hardness as good soldiers of the Lord Jesus. The reward of his presence and loving approval is ever with them.



[R1774 : page 47]

THE AWAKENING OF LAZARUS.
--MARCH 3, JOHN 11:30-45.--

Golden Text--"I am the resurrection and the life."--Verse 25.
IN this lesson is brought before us the glorious doctrine of the resurrection--a doctrine which finds no place in any religious system except Christianity, nor in any religious standards of authority save the Bible. While the doctrine of redemption is the central doctrine of the Christian system, the doctrine of the resurrection is the end of our faith, our glorious hope through Christ. Eliminate this doctrine from the Bible, and the Apostle tells us our faith is vain.--1 Cor. 15:14.

And yet, strange to say, Christians in general have almost lost sight of this doctrine, as the natural consequence of several popular errors. As the Prophet Isaiah (28:15) expresses it, they have made a covenant with death, and with the grave they are at agreement. Instead of regarding death as the Word of God presents it--as the "enemy" of our race, "the wages of sin," they have come to regard it as "the angel God hath sent to carry mortals home," and as a step in a process of evolution to higher conditions. With the idea that the destinies of both the good and the evil are fixed and entered upon unalterably and everlastingly at the moment of death, they have no use for a resurrection, even though they know that the Scriptures teach it and even though a majority of them profess to believe it.

But what saith the Scriptures? Hear the Prophet Isaiah (28:18): "Your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with [sheol] the grave shall not stand;...the hail [hard, forcible truth] shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters [of prevailing truth] shall overflow the hiding place [of error]." Even so shall it be in this harvest time of judgment upon "Christendom."

The awakening of Lazarus from the "sleep" of death was but a foreshadowing of the power and purpose of God for the liberating of all the prisoners of Sin and Death in his own appointed time, through Christ and his Kingdom.

When Jesus wept at the tomb of Lazarus it was in sympathy, not only with his bereaved friends, but also with the many similar scenes of sorrow which must thus afflict mankind before the dawning of the then far distant glorious day of resurrection.

For a fuller exposition of the Bible's teaching concerning Resurrection--"the first resurrection," the general resurrection, the character and the object of each, see our issues of April 1 and Oct. 15, 1893.



[R1774 : page 47]

WHAT LACK I YET?
--MARCH 10, MARK 10:17-27. (MATT. 19:16-30; LUKE 18:18-30).--

Golden Text--"Seek ye first the Kingdom of God."--Matt. 6:33.
WE have in this lesson an illustration of the great difficulty of getting a full, fair view of one's self. Hence the value of every applied test of character. These tests open our eyes to our real condition of heart as we could not otherwise realize them. Sometimes the test comes in the shape of a searching question which leads the thoughtful to a close scanning of his ways--as, for instance, the Lord's repeated question to Peter--"Lovest thou me?" Sometimes it is a direct showing of the line of duty through difficulties and dangers from which the flesh shrinks; and sometimes it comes in tempests and storms of persecution which prove the heart's loyalty to God and its powers of endurance. But in whatever shape the tests of character are applied to us we have reason to be thankful for their good office in the better acquainting us with our own hearts.

This young man who came to Jesus inquiring, What lack I yet? was, evidently, one who was in many respects very exemplary. From his youth up he had carefully observed the divine law, and had sought scrupulously to fashion his character in conformity to its precepts. And [R1774 : page 48] now he had heard the teachings of the Galilean claimant to the Messiahship and had observed the testimony of his miracle--the power of God witnessing to the truth of his claims. And, notwithstanding the persecuting spirit of the rulers and teachers in Israel against the Lord and all who believed in the validity of his claims, he came to him openly, saluted him with that reverence due to so great a teacher, and sincerely inquired what he should do to inherit eternal life.

The inquiry, especially under these circumstances, indicated most commendable candor, thoughtful consideration, and realization that by the deeds of the law no flesh had yet gained the life it promised for obedience, and faith in the new and wonderful teacher to show him more perfectly the way of life. All of these were most promising indications of discipleship. "Then Jesus, beholding him, loved him." A life of moral purity, sincerity, thoughtfulness and truth had left no marks of degradation but had given to the countenance that frankness and nobility which always accompanies a transparent character.

The Lord's reference to the law brought the quick response, "All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?" He was anxious for a perfect conformity to the will of God; and so anxious that he manifested his willingness to bear reproach for it in thus coming to Jesus. That was a long step in the direction of full consecration to God. His heart was very nearly right; but still there was a lack; his attitude, although he did not realize it, was not that of entire consecration to the will of God; and in answer to his sincere inquiry the Lord sought to show him wherein he lacked, what was the weak spot in his character.

This he did by applying a test which instantly discovered to him the fact that he loved self more than either God or his neighbor; consequently that he had failed to keep the law in those two important principles upon which hang all the law and the prophets--viz., supreme love to God, which manifests itself in singleness of purpose to do his will and please him; and love to the neighbor as to self, which in the present age implies self-sacrifice and daily cross-bearing in imitation of Christ.

"And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved; for he had great possessions." No doubt the heart of Jesus was sad also when he saw the blight of selfishness and self-will attacking that promising half-blown rose of character. A crisis had come in the young man's life which he failed to pass successfully, and thenceforth the beauty of character so far attained must surely decline. We hear nothing of his subsequent conversion, but in all probability he remained in sympathy with the Jewish teachers and partook more and more of their spirit of opposition to Christ and his teaching.

"And Jesus...saith unto his disciples,...How [R1775 : page 48] hardly shall they that have riches enter into the Kingdom of God!" He had been showing the way into the Kingdom --the way, not for this young man only, but for every man who would lay up the treasure of such a hope. Every aspirant to the Kingdom must travel this narrow way of sacrifice, and with one motive of supreme love to God and desire to bless his neighbor as himself. He must go, and sell all that he has and give to the poor, and take up his cross daily and follow Christ. The simple significance of this to all of us is a life of loving devotion to the good of others, along the lines of God's plan and prompted primarily by love to him. "Go, sell all that thou hast"--all thy possessions, all thy time, all thy reputation, all that hitherto has been dear to thee; and then, having dropped all the weights of earthly ambition, take up thy cross and follow Christ; for the labor of love and sacrifice for others will not bring its due reward of gratitude in this age, but, on the contrary, it will bring ingratitude and even persecution, as it did to our Master. But, no matter, "the servant is not above his lord:" like the apostles who followed closely in his footsteps, we should be able to say, "Being reviled, we bless; being defamed, we entreat; being persecuted, we suffer it."

It should be considered also that to follow Christ is not to make unwise disposition of our possessions and talents, but, as wise and faithful stewards, to use them to the best possible advantage in his service. To feed the poor would not necessarily mean to feed the hungry with the bread that perisheth, but first, rather, to feed the spiritually hungry with the bread of life. In a word, it signifies to spend self for the highest good of others, not looking for any present reward, except a sense of the Master's approval.

The Lord indicates that though it is very difficult for the rich to enter into the Kingdom, it is not impossible. With men, it might seem impossible that a man could have riches and use them conscientiously;--be a sacrificer. Riches of any kind--whether of money, or reputation, or friends, or anything upon which the heart has been set, form such barriers to the formation of truly noble characters--after God's own heart--that the natural man, unaided by divine grace, cannot surmount them. But, nevertheless, however insufficient we may feel in ourselves, we need only to remember that "our sufficiency is of God:" it is

"When thy weakness leaneth
On his might, all seems light."

No matter how heavy may seem the cross, how severe the trial, or how weak we feel in consideration of it, if we simply and sincerely surrender ourselves to God, he will carry us through: with him, with his grace and guidance, it is possible for the weakest and the most severely tempted and tried to make their calling and election sure. He will infuse courage into fainting souls; he will apply the balm of his consolation to wounded hearts; he will grant wisdom to him that asketh it; and he will furnish the armor of God to every true soldier of the cross. O blessed promise! With God it is possible to enable even those tempted with the subtle influences of riches of any kind to run the race of self-sacrifice with diligence and patience to the end.

Then let the sincere inquiry of every child of God be, "What lack I yet?" Surely there is none so perfect that he lacks nothing. And when in answer to our inquiring prayer the Lord applies some test to prove our standing before him, let us bravely determine that by his grace we will not draw back; for it is written, "If any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him;" and again, "No man having put his hand to the plow and looking back is fit for the Kingdom of God."--Heb. 10:38; Luke 9:62.


"You cannot manufacture a conscience out of expediency, the voice of conscience says not. It is better not to do so; but--Thou shalt not."

"It is the crushed olive that yields the oil, the pressed grape that gives forth the wine; and it was the smitten rock that gave the people water. So it is the broken, contrite heart that is most rich in holiness and most fragrant in grace."

"We have two ears and but one tongue, that we may hear much and talk little."

"We are in hot haste to set the world right and to order all its affairs. The Lord hath the leisure of conscious power and unerring wisdom, and it is well for us to learn to wait."



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