this is txt file this is txt file Z1896 August
page 173
August 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. XVII.AUGUST 1, 1896.No. 15.


CONTENTS.


Special Items174
The Inspiration and Authority of Holy Scripture175
Poem: O Heart, Be Strong!177
Restitution, Faith Cures (Continued)177
"Mind Healing" and "Christian Science"177
Keep the Mind Pure180
Bible Study: David's Victories181
Bible Study: David's Confession and Forgiveness182

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 174

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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A VERY SPECIAL OFFER ON "TEACHERS' BIBLES."


The agents for the Bagster Bible propose that hereafter they will publish them in the United States. With this in view they have sold us a large lot of their English publication at very low prices. We offer our subscribers the advantage;--new subscribers may have the same privilege.

We can supply you the Comprehensive Teacher's Bible, size 13 x 9-1/2 in. when open, with concordance, index, Bible atlas, etc., etc. This is the No. 8315 (Minion type), the retail list price of which was $3.30, and which in our price list was $1.90. We can now offer it for $1.25, plus 22 cents postage. (French Seal, round corners, divinity circuit, red under gilt edges.)

We have another specialty, still better, as far as binding is concerned. It is an American "Oxford" Teachers' Bible, complete in every respect. It has an additional feature not possessed by the English Oxford; namely, in it the proper names are syllabled and accented, much to the readers' convenience. Its list retail price is $4.00. We can supply it, by special arrangement of a large purchase, at $1.75, postage 25 cents. This Bible has much larger type than usual for its size (13 x 9-1/2 in. when open). The type is known as Bourgeois. The binding is Imperial Seal--divinity circuit, linen lined, round corners, red under gold edges. The leather of this would probably be more durable than that of the Bagster mentioned above. With Patent Index, 50 cents more.



[R2012 : page 175]

THE INSPIRATION AND AUTHORITY OF HOLY SCRIPTURE.*

*A Paper read at the "National Protestant Congress," in London, by Rev. E. R. BALLINGER.


"THE Inspiration of Holy Scripture, and therefore its Divine authorship and authority, lies at the root and foundation of true Christianity--not only in its relation to infidelity, but also in its relation to the Romish controversy.

"It was the one great question which underlay all others at the Reformation. For, what was the Reformation in its essence? Was it not just the abandonment of human authority for Divine authority? Was it not all contained in this--the giving up of the authority of the church for the authority of the Word of God?

"Hence, the Reformers, on the one hand, diligently translated, established and disseminated the Scripture; while Rome, on the other hand, has always been the enemy of the Scripture, hiding it from the people for centuries, using the tortures of the Inquisition to crush it out, afterwards by authorizing a Bible of her own (the Latin Vulgate), and finally making and sending forth her own translations of it, in the form of what are known as Roman Catholic, or Vulgate, versions. In the preface to her English version of the Vulgate, known as the Douay Bible, she distinctly declares what her object was in making these various translations. It was not that Rome had changed, not because she had repented of her sin in hiding the Bible; or of her crime in crushing it, by torturing its readers; but because it has ever been her policy to adapt herself to circumstances. The policy which to-day leads her to publish cheap editions of it in some countries, is the same policy by which she burns them in others.

"These are her own words from the preface to the English translation of the Latin Vulgate:--

"'We do not publish [this translation] upon the erroneous opinion of necessity that the Holy Scriptures should always be in our mother tongue, or that they ought, or were ordained by God, to be read indifferently of all....Not for these or any such like causes do we translate this book, but upon special consideration of the present time, state, and condition of our country; unto which divers things are either necessarie or profitable, or medicinable now, that otherwise the peace of the church were neither much requisite, nor perchance wholly intolerable. Now since Luther's revolt also, divers learned Catholics, for the more speedy abolishing of a number of false and impious translations put forth by sundry sects, and for the better preservation and reclaime of many good souls endangered thereby, have published the Bible in the several languages of almost all the principal provinces of the Latin Church, no other bookes in the world being so pernicious as heretical translations of the Scripture, poisoning people under colour of Divine authoritie; and not many other remedies being more soveraine against the same (if it be used in order, discretion, and humilitie) than the true, faithful, and sincere interpretation opposed thereunto.'

"This vast divergence as to 'poison' and 'antidote' gave rise, in due course, to two great questions--viz., The CANON of Scripture, and the INSPIRATION of Scripture.

"If Rome's Text (the Papal Latin Vulgate) be the true one, then the Protestant Canon is wrong; and if her Versions of it be correct, then Inspiration is done away with.

"Inspiration is therefore essentially a Protestant question--one which must be met and fought on the highest grounds.

"The teachings of Luther, Erasmus, and other Reformers, on Inspiration were met by the Jesuits at the very outset. In 1586, Leonard Less and John Hamel, of the University of Louvain, put forth three propositions:-- (1) That it is not necessary that each word should be inspired. (2) It is not necessary that each truth or doctrine should be inspired by the Holy Spirit in the writers. (3) Any book (e.g., 2 Maccabees) written by human industry without the assistance of the Holy Spirit (if the Holy Spirit afterwards testifies [R2012 : page 176] that there is nothing false in it), it becomes Holy Scripture.

"Here we see the Satanic hand working by those Jesuits, and we see it working down to this present day, in all the varied attacks on inspiration.

"These three propositions were submitted by the Archbishop of Cambray and Mechlin to the Universities of Douai and Louvain. Being condemned by these, the Jesuits appealed to the Sorbonne and also to the Universities of Treves and Mayence. They also forwarded a copy to the General of their Order, at Rome.

"The dispute was terminated by an 'Apostolic Brief,' dated April 15th, 1588, in which Pope Sixtus V. enjoined silence on all parties until the affair should be decided by the Holy See!

"That is just where the matter remains till to-day!

"Rome has never broken the silence which she enjoined, and this great question, so far as she is concerned, rests exactly where she left it in 1588.

"But the Reformers did not keep silence. The celebrated Dr. William Whitaker, the Regius Professor of Divinity, and Master of St. John's College, Cambridge, publicly lectured on this important subject, and in that same year (1588) published his famous work on The Disputation of Holy Scripture. He introduces the subject in the following weighty words:--

"'If ever any heretics have impiously outraged the Holy Scripture of God, we may justly rank the papists of our time with this class of men who pervert things the most sacred. For, not to mention how insultingly most of them speak, and how meanly they think of the Scriptures,...there are especially six opinions concerning Scripture which they now hold and obstinately defend that are eminently absurd, heretical, and sacrilegious.'

THE SIX POINTS CONCERNING ROME AND THE BIBLE.


"1. The first concerns the CANON--i.e., the number of the canonical and truly inspired books of Scripture which is affected by Rome's addition of the Apocryphal and other spurious books.

"2. The second concerns the ORIGINAL TEXT, by which the Hebrew and Greek are put aside in favor of the Latin Vulgate, which was authorized by the Council of Trent in 1542....Thus Rome exchanged gold for brass, preferred the work of man to the work of God, and chose a polluted cistern to the pure water of life.*...

*We cannot agree to this criticism as a whole. Our English common version Bible is translated from the Latin Vulgate and holds its own very well when compared with the oldest Greek and Hebrew MSS., recently found. It deserves our respect; if for no other reason, because God has been pleased to use it, in sending his gospel message over the world. But the originals are what we desire, or translations as near to them and their purity as we can obtain.

"3. The third concerns the AUTHORITY of the Scripture, by making it to depend on the authority of the Church, saying that the Scripture is no Scripture to us if the church did not give it its authority. What the word 'Church' exactly means in this connection has never yet been defined. The Church of England, on the contrary, has declared (Art. xx.) that 'the Church is the witness and keeper of Holy Writ'--not its gaoler or its authority.

"4. The fourth concerns INTERPRETATION of the Scriptures. Rome complains of the incredible obscurity of the Scriptures, not for the purpose of rousing men to diligence in studying them, but to bring the Scriptures into hatred and contempt. She refers to 2 Pet. 1:20, and says that as the Scripture did not come from man but from God, therefore it is too obscure and too dangerous to be read by private individuals. True, the Scripture did come from God, but the previous verse (19) says it is a light in a dark place to which we do well to take heed! How many so-called Protestants fall into Rome's snare and read these words as though they were written 'prophecy is a dark place which we do well to avoid!' But notice that PETER is the apostle whom God has chosen to speak most clearly on these two great points: (1) concerning the inspiration and importance of the written Word (1 Pet. 1:10,11,23,25; 2:2; 2 Pet. 1:19-21), and (2) concerning Christ as the Rock, the one and only foundation of his people's salvation.--1 Pet. 2:4-8; Acts 4:11,12.

"5. The fifth concerns the Scripture as the final APPEAL on all matters of controversy. Rome refuses to have controversies decided by the Scripture. Instead of saying, 'To the law and to the testimony,' she says, 'To the Pope and the Church.' She will have only one court of appeal, and that is at Rome.

"6. The sixth concerns TRADITION, by which the Word of God is made of none effect. Rome declares that the Scriptures are incomplete without the innumerable unwritten traditions of the church, of which she is the sole depositary.

"These are the six 'monstrous errors of the papists,' as Dr. Whitaker calls them. He so ably refuted them from the Scripture, the Fathers, the Schoolmen' and classic Romish authors, that even his great adversary, Bellarmine, procured a portrait of him, which he kept in his study, as an enemy for whom he had the profoundest respect and admiration.

"These six points embrace and cover the ground of the whole controversy. They were the battlefield of the Reformation, and the Protestant victory is summed up in the words of Article VI. of the Church of England,--

"'Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation; so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of the [R2013 : page 176] Faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation.'

"Any one of these six points is vital to the whole of Reformation Truth.

"Thus the attitude of Rome towards the Bible is clear. As to any theory of Inspiration she is dumb, and has herself preserved the silence she has enjoined on others. As to the Bible itself, there is nothing she so abominates, and nothing that she so fears. She will burn it or translate it, authorize it or forbid it, destroy it or print it, condemn it or praise it, as it may suit her purpose. She may vary her treatment of it, but whatever form that treatment may take, its aim, object, and end is always one and the same--to make it of none effect!"


***

The thoughtful reader will be struck with the fact that very many educated persons, called "Protestants," [R2013 : page 177] are rapidly taking the same view of the Scriptures here attributed to Papacy. The "Protestant" higher critics deny the inspiration of the Scriptures except in the same sense that they themselves claim to be inspired--namely, by intelligence from education and not by a plenary inspiration by God's holy spirit exerted phenomenally.

Protestants of all sects and parties state their faiths, but how few admit that "whatsoever is not read therein, or may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of faith, or thought requisite or necessary to salvation." Protestants have left or are leaving the Scriptures as the "divine authority," just as Romanists did in the dark ages. They too are now inclined to ask, What does our church teach? rather than What do the Scriptures teach?


O HEART, BE STRONG!


O heart, be strong, in God be strong;
Lift up thy cry, lift up thy song;
Pour out thy heavenly message sweet,
Oh, bear it forth on beauteous feet;
Cry the glad news from mountain height,
Flash through the gloom thy flaming light,
And to a listening world proclaim
The saving power of Jesus' name.

O heart, be strong, in God be strong,
Thy suffering time will not be long;
Sow on a little while in tears,
Thy harvest is for endless years;
Weep through the night, but soon the day
Shall chase all grief and gloom away;
And thou with songs of joy shalt come
And enter thine eternal home.

O heart, be strong, for on the throne
God's only well beloved Son
Sways the strong scepter of his might,
And vanquishes the hosts of night.
Lo, I am with you to the end,
An ever present, mighty friend--
All power is given into my hand,
Go, and obey my high command.

O heart, be strong, though countless foes
Thy march resist, thy work oppose;
Salvation's Captain fights for thee,
He shall thy shield and buckler be;
He shall lift up and shield thy head,
While thou shalt on the serpent tread;
And more than conqueror thou shalt be,
Through Christ who gives the victory.
--H.L. Hastings.



[R2013 : page 177]

RESTITUTION, FAITH CURES, PRAYER CURES AND THE GIFT OF HEALING.
--(CONTINUED FROM OUR LAST.)--

"MIND HEALING" AND "CHRISTIAN SCIENCE."


That the power of the mind over the body is great no person of experience will dispute. Every intelligent physician knows that in about one-half of his cases he needs to treat the mind as much as the body of his patient, and that in such cases to hold the confidence of his patient is very necessary. Who has not heard of the conscientious physician who in many cases administered bread-pills with strict orders as to proper food, drink and clothing, and thus had great success?

Every wise general has recognized the necessity of having the minds of his soldiers cheerfully employed, as promotive of general health. To this end sentimental music is prohibited in the army in time of war, and cheery and martial airs are commanded.

It has long been observed that where an infectious disease breaks out and becomes pestilential, those most afraid of it, whose minds dwell on the disease and dread it most, are the most subject to it, and most likely to have it in a violent form. The story has been often told of the college professor whose class in a joke experimented upon him, and put him into bed sick for several days, by some five of them meeting him at various places on his way from home to the school and each succeeding one emphasizing more than the former that he looked unwell, in fact sick, and should return home at once.

It is a well known fact that French scientists were some years ago granted several prisoners condemned to death, to experiment with as they chose. One was placed in a cell in which a man had just died from cholera, but was not told of the fact and was well the next day; another was placed in a clean cell, but told that the death from cholera had been in that cell and that he would surely take the disease; and he did take it, and died. Another of their experiments was, to bind and blindfold a prisoner and pass his hand and arm through a partition, telling him that scientists wanted to learn how long it would take to bleed to death from the cutting of one of the arteries of the arm. He prepared for the execution in this form and died in a few hours, though really the experiment was to learn how much effect fear would have, for the cut made in [R2013 : page 178] his arm was quite insignificant, and he lost only a few ounces of blood; the drip, drip, drip, which he could hear, and feel run down his arm, being a carefully arranged device of tepid water. He was mind-killed; he thought he had lost the blood, and exhaustion and death were the result.

Who, that has observed, will not admit that to think about an ache or a pain will aggravate it? And if it will intensify pain to allow the mind to dwell upon it, is it not reasonable to believe that pain can be lessened, and a cure expedited, by an exercise of the brain power in an opposite direction? The secret of how the mind operates upon disease undoubtedly lies in the fact that the brain is not only the seat of all thought, but also of all feeling. It has communication with the entire person by its active messengers, the nerves. Consequently when a message of pain comes from wounded nerves, the brain has power either to soothe the wounded nerves and assist thus in allaying the pain, or, on the other hand, it has power, instead of healing, to spread a general alarm to the entire nervous system, and thus both to increase the pain and delay recovery. From that centre, the brain, all the nerves are directed and more or less controlled, as a factory is governed and directed from the manager's office. If we had no nerves, we could have no pain; and if we had the nerves even, and had no brain to which they could communicate their trouble, we could have no knowledge of pain. Hence we see that whether we shall suffer much pain depends not only upon the fineness, delicacy or sensitiveness of our nerves, but also upon the way in which our minds shall receive the appeals of our nerves-- whether we magnify or minimize them. And yet, the full appreciation of the mental powers of human beings, and how best to make use of them, evidently belongs further along. In the full sunlight of the Millennial day this will doubtless be one of the prominent agencies of human restitution.

But we should be on guard against a device of our enemy, who, taking advantage of this principle of restitution which must soon be far more widely recognized than at present, endeavors to use it as his balloon by which to lift into public notice doctrines and theories subversive of the doctrines of the Scriptures. We refer now, specially, to what is deceptively termed "Christian Science." This entire system seems to be as fraudulent and deceptive as its name, though we admit that some honest souls are possibly to be found among its advocates, having been deceived and misled by it. By reason of the gross misrepresentations of God's character and plans by so-called Orthodoxy, some, in groping for something better, have fallen into this snare of Satan, as others have been ensnared into Infidelity, Spiritism, Theosophy, etc.

There is nothing Christian about "Christian Science." It is against Christ and against the truths which Christ and his apostles taught. It is emphatically anti-Christian in its tendencies. But it acknowledges Christ, [R2014 : page 178] says one. Yes, we answer, so did the devils when they had an object in so doing. (Matt. 8:29; Acts 16:17; 19:15.) Spiritists also acknowledge Christ, claiming that he was an eminent medium. And so these Christian Scientists use his name to deceive, if possible, the very elect, claiming that our Lord was one of them --a Christian Scientist who did very well all things considered, but who did not understand the Science so well as its present exponents, who are ladies, and whose finer sensibilities were requisite to a full appreciation of the unfathomable depths of this science.

Candor compels us to remark that few Christian people recognize the meaning of the word Christian. It is not like the word Lutheran or Wesleyan: the secret force lies in the meaning of the Greek word Christ, which corresponds to the Hebrew word Messiah, and is a title rather than a name. It signifies, one Anointed by Jehovah as his agent, to accomplish the promised deliverance and blessing of mankind. All this was and is understood by the Jew as the import of the title Messiah, and should be recognized as the meaning of the corresponding word Christ by all true Christians.

"Christian Science" expounders, however, very far from believing in or expecting any deliverance through our Lord Jesus, the Christ, see nothing from which to deliver mankind, except perhaps delusions of pain, etc. They deny entirely any atonement for sin, and in fact deny any original sin to make necessary a ransom-sacrifice, such as the Scriptures teach. And not only do they thus deny the Lord's work already accomplished, but they deny any future work to be done by him as the Millennial King. They deny that he did anything at his first advent except to teach their science, and that very imperfectly as compared with what they could have done,--especially as compared with what the self-styled "Rev." Mrs. Eddy, their Boston leader and teacher, would have done.

But do not "Christian Scientists" claim to believe the Bible? some one suggests; and do they not quote from it frequently? Yes, certainly, that is a part of their garment of light, by which they deceive some of the children of the light. They quote Scripture much as Satan quoted it to our Lord in the temptation recorded in Matt. 4th chapter. But though they quote from the Bible, it is in an inconsistent manner and wholly out of its relation to the context, just as Satan did,--not to define God's plan, but to bolster up a theory which proves a snare to many not rooted and grounded in the truth. Such, not familiar with the general meaning of the passages quoted, too often do not take [R2014 : page 179] the time to fully examine the context, but swallow the theory whole, presuming their teachers to be honest, and that the passages cited are correctly applied.

So-called Orthodoxy (by the custom of its ministers to take texts from the Bible for all sorts of discourses, contrary to the meaning and intention of the writer) has laid the foundation for just such deceptions as these which are now shipwrecking the faith of so many. Indeed, we are distinctly shown that all but "the elect," a faithful few, will be misled by some of these various deceptive snares. But the "very elect," because fully consecrated to God, shall have light and help sufficient to prevent them from being deceived so as to fall into such errors.

We are not criticizing Christian Science at length in this paper, for this we have already done in a former issue. We merely wish now to note that the truth on the subject of mental assistance to healing, presented above, already for many years recognized by all thinkers, though perhaps fully comprehended and appreciated, as yet, by none, is a very different thing from the claims of "Christian Scientists." The former is in perfect harmony with both reason and Scripture, while the latter violates both.

In fact, we hold that the theories of these scientists (?) cannot have emanated from a sound brain, no matter how many sound minds may have been worked up to the point of belief in so unreasonable and unscientific a view of matters. We notice, too, that though they claim to believe that diseases and pains are not realities, but merely imaginations of the diseased minds, and curable by getting rid of such imaginations, yet when it comes to paying for this imaginary healing, imaginary dollars will not do. One might suppose that they would become so convinced of their theory that "All is mind, there is no matter; all is life, there is no death," etc., that they would consider hunger and thirst and weariness and money as mere imaginations, and disregard them; but not so: food, and dress, and rest, and especially money, are very real to them. For instance, a book to explain (?) their theory is only $3.00. And the services of those who, after hearing about twelve discourses, get a "diploma" to practice as "Christian Scientists," are never charged for in an imaginary manner, but at a good round figure in tangible money. All this is very different from the spirit and method of our Master, whose name they fraudulently adopt, to deceive and ensnare his followers.

But does some one ask, What object could Satan have in getting up such a deception and delusion? We answer, It is one of the many efforts he is permitted to make now against the foundation of all true Christian faith--THE RANSOM. Of course "Christian Scientists" do not claim to deny the ransom; nor do any of the various no-ransom theories so claim. It is part of their deceptive policy to retain a form of sound words, while they are diligent and untiring in their efforts to subvert their real significance. And all errors seem to take this form, evidently inspired by the one great deceiver, the arch-enemy of the cross. They are all the more dangerous and deceptive because they do not deny the Bible openly, but underhandedly. They deny original sin and its penalty, and ignore the work of Christ as Redeemer. They do not, of course, deny that he died, but they do deny that he "gave himself a ransom [a corresponding price] for all;" for they deny that any price was required or paid. The following quotation from one of their prominent writers shows that they ignore Christ's redemptive work entirely, and substitute a principle of good as their deity. The writer says:--

"We are growing into that state where human possibilities and powers expand to their ultimate limits, and are pushing on toward the divine development as sons and daughters of God."

In this manner Satan would deceive the world into the belief that the restitution privileges and blessings, which he can not delay, are not results of God's time and order, nor brought about by our Lord's redemptive work at Calvary, and his second coming in power as the promised "Seed" to bless all the families of the earth, and to restore all things, as spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began. (Acts 3:19-21.) He would offset and hinder as much as possible the proper effect of the coming blessings (viz., to lead mankind to appreciate and love their Redeemer and Restorer), by forestalling the effect of the coming restitution to the full perfection of human powers, and attributing them to a mere natural, human, mental "development" and "growing."

This deception, as to the cause and source of the coming restitution, leading the mind away from the great work of Christ, first as Redeemer, and finally as Life-giver or Restorer, will be all the greater, because Satan thus adroitly mingles truth with error--a truth, too, more forcible far than the world and "Christian Scientists" generally conceive. The Millennial restitution will come about as a gradual development, expanding every good human quality to its ultimate limits (full restitution to all that was lost); and doubtless this will be accomplished very largely through the channel of faith and mental healing, guided by the Great Physician and his glorified Bride.

The fact that Satan, the prince of death and sickness (Compare Heb. 2:14 and Luke 13:16), has adopted "mind cures" to draw the attention of the world and to keep them blinded (2 Cor. 4:4) proves that our great foe is put to straits to continue his hold upon [R2014 : page 180] mankind; for, as our Lord intimated, when Satan begins to cast out Satan, it is a sign that his kingdom is nearing its end and will soon fall. This agrees with what we know from other sources,--that Satan's triumph is limited; that he will soon be bound for a thousand years, that he may deceive the nations no more.

KEEP THE MIND PURE.
PROV. 4:23-27.

Few recognize the influence of the mind over the body. God has so organized our beings that pure, noble, holy thoughts in general have not only an elevating and ennobling effect upon the mental and moral constitution, but an invigorating influence upon the physical system. And, on the contrary, every unclean, ignoble, unchaste, unholy thought (as well as act) has a direct effect not only toward debasement of mind and morals, but toward the germination of seeds of disease already in the constitution of all the fallen race.

If this were more widely known and more fully recognized, it would be a great blessing to very many, and would tend to prevent much sickness among both young and old, and would sometimes explain why those whose hands and brains are busiest are often the most healthy and happy. "Keep thy heart [mind, will]; for out of it are the issues of life." These words should be deeply graved upon the tablet of memory by every person. They are words of wisdom. Their full import may not be recognized by many in the present time, but surely all must sooner or later learn it; for compliance with this rule is to be the arrangement by and under which, during Christ's Millennial reign, the world will be blessed.

Mankind will be brought to a knowledge of the truth, and to an opportunity for restitution to full perfection by the great Redeemer, but in such a manner [R2015 : page 180] as to require them to strive against sin and impurity, and to strive for righteousness and perfection, which in response to their prayers and efforts the Life-giver will supply freely, having redeemed them from the Adamic condemnation for this very purpose of restoring the obedient to all that was lost in Adam's fall.

It is a mistake to suppose, as many seem to do, that because our Lord Jesus paid the full price of our redemption from sin and death, therefore all the redeemed ones must be freed forever from condemnation and sin, as soon as the "times of Restitution" begin. On the contrary, when the world is awakened from the tomb it will be still under condemnation as sinners and unworthy of eternal life, and subject to the bondage of corruption (death). Its first step will be to learn of God's gracious provision in the ransom, by which, through Christ, they may escape sin and its penalty (corruption) and obtain the gift of life. That knowledge will develop either obedience and consecration to Christ and lead to its reward of gradual restitution to human perfection, or it will lead to a personal and wilful rejection of God's grace and the merging of their sentence from Adamic death to Second death. Our Lord's sacrifice atoned for and is applicable to only the sin of Adam and its wide spread results. Hence it covers only those sins which result from weaknesses within ourselves and evil and temptation surrounding us, which our hearts (wills) do not consent to nor approve when we come to know the right and wrong in God's sight.

As soon as we come to a clear apprehension of our provided redemption, and into harmony with its conditions, we may consider ourselves "saved" from the Adamic condemnation and restored to divine favor, though the time for actual restoration to the blessings secured is at the close of the Gospel age. This is true of the elect Church now, and will be true of the world in the next age. The actual attainment of the privileges and blessings of restitution provided for all by God, through our Redeemer, and to be freely offered (in the coming age) to all, will not be attained except by the desire and effort of the human will; just as the saints of this age must watch and strive and pray, to win the prize of the new nature now offered.

As soon as we know and accept of Christ's redemption work, we may reckon ourselves free from all condemnation on Adam's account, or traceable to his failure; and then, at that moment of knowledge, the individual trial of each human being begins; and by his efforts as well as his prayers he shows his desire for a life of holiness and purity and fellowship with God. And to such the Lord is pleased to extend his favor and every needed aid, bringing them ultimately to full perfection and to the enjoyment of all the privileges lost by wilful sin in Eden. And every sin and impurity, every unholiness, every dishonesty of thought or act will react upon the evil-doer, bringing with it a heavy toll of interest; and, if persisted in, it will prove such a one unworthy of the everlasting life of holiness and purity. This, the only everlasting life which God has offered or will grant, will be given only to those who, when brought to a full knowledge of all the facts, shall so desire a life of holiness as to strive against sin and impurity in every form.

And while this principle will apply specially to mankind during the Millennium, it is also a principle with the saints in the present time. Purity, chastity, holiness of heart (of mind), belong to our consecration, --to be copies of God's dear Son, our Lord, who was holy, harmless, undefiled. Wherefore:--

"Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life." (Prov. 4:23.) "Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God.--Matt. 5:8.

"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,...think on these things." --Phil. 4:8.

TO BE CONTINUED



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DAVID'S VICTORIES.
--AUGUST 9.--2 SAM. 10:8-19.--

Golden Text--"The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?"--Psa. 27:1.
WHILE it is true that David's reign was largely a succession of wars, with only occasional intermissions of peace, it should be noticed that these wars were not aggressive wars, or wars for conquest, but that they were always defensive. While David's policy toward the surrounding nations was wise and kind, they were not so disposed toward Israel. They were jealous of Israel's growing power and prosperity, and thus prompted, they made the attacks which David must of necessity repel as a loyal and patriotic servant of the Lord's people. The disposition of those nations was to exterminate or drive out the Lord's chosen people, and therefore the only righteous course for David to pursue was to fight.

While it is written, "Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of God," it is also written, "Blessed be the Lord, my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight." The suggestion is plainly that there is such a thing as an ignoble peace,--a peace which comes from indifference to the principles of righteousness and truth, a peace dearly bought and ignobly maintained. But, on the other hand, it should be remembered that no battle is a righteous battle except when the Lord gives strength and teaches our hands to war and our fingers to fight, when the battle is the Lord's battle, for the maintenance of his honor, the establishment of the principles of his righteousness and the protection of his cause and his people. Under the typical Jewish dispensation this was done, properly, with carnal weapons; but under the dispensation of the spirit of God we are instructed that "the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but [nevertheless, they are] mighty to the pulling down of strongholds." (2 Cor. 10:4.) And happy is the man who can always realize that the Lord's strength and skill are given to him while, with heroic Christian fortitude as a good soldier of the cross, he goes forth to fight the good fight of faith against the powers of darkness strongly intrenched on every side. Thus, indeed, he may win the reward promised to the overcoming soldiers of the cross (Rev. 2:7,11,17,26,28; 3:5,12,21), and also the blessing that is sure to the peacemaker; for the glorious peace that is won by the good fight of faith is a blessed peace, a peace resting on the sure foundations of the eternal principles of right. But beware, O Christian, that you never go to the battle without the assurance that the battle is the Lord's. Like David's, let your inquiry be, Lord, shall I go up to the battle? (1 Sam. 23:2,4; 30:7,8; 2 Sam. 5:18,19,22,23), and then, like him, wait for the answer in the assurance that the battle is the Lord's.

To all who are thus in the conflict, nobly contending --by their words, their actions and their general conduct --for truth and righteousness, against all who oppose themselves, we would say in the words of Joab to the hosts of Israel, "Be of good courage, and let us play the men for our people and for the cities of our God: and the Lord do that which seemeth him good." (Verse 12.) If the battle is the Lord's, it is sure to be victorious. "Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him."

While the wars of David were not undertaken for conquest or plunder, but in defense of God's people, they nevertheless resulted in the enlargement of their territory, so that now, for the first time, was fulfilled the promise made to Abraham (Gen. 15:18), that his seed should possess the land from the river of Egypt to the Euphrates. The spoils taken from their enemies were also very great. There were shields of gold and vessels of silver, gold and copper. These were dedicated to the Lord, and reserved for the temple that Solomon was to build.

While noting the justice of the wars of David and the spirit of religious zeal in which he undertook them, his reverence for God and his high sense of justice were usually very marked in even the little things of his life. For instance, when he was hidden in the cave of Adullum, with the enemies, the Philistines, encamped near by, and he thirsted greatly for water, so that three of his captains at the risk of their lives broke through the ranks of the Philistines and procured water for the king, David refused to drink it, saying, "God forbid it me: ...Shall I drink the blood of these men that have put their lives in jeopardy." Such water he considered too costly to drink, so he poured it upon the ground as an offering to God. (2 Sam. 23:13-17; 1 Chron. 11:15-19.) Few indeed among the kings of earth would consider any sacrifice of their fellow-men too costly to be bestowed on them. They feel that they are the lords of creation, and proudly claim, as their right, the luxuries purchased at the sacrifice of the rights and privileges of their fellow-men whom they regard as inferior beings and only made to serve them. But it was not so with David, whose sober estimate of himself was that he was only a brother to every other man, and that to God only was supreme reverence and honor due.

Another instance of David's lively sense of justice is that recorded in 1 Sam. 30:21-25, where David made an ordinance for Israel to the effect that those who in time of battle remained behind on account of physical weakness, or to guard the stuff, or the home, should share equally the spoils with those who went to the [R2016 : page 181] battle. The account is very explicit on this point. We read, "Then answered all the wicked men, the men of Belial, of those that went with David, and said, Because they went not with us, we will not give them ought of the spoil that we have recovered, save to every man his wife and children, that they may lead them away and depart. Then said David, Ye shall not do so, my brethren, with that which the Lord hath given us;... for who will hearken unto you in this matter? but as his part is that goeth down to the battle, so shall his part be that tarrieth by the stuff: they shall part alike. And it was so from that day forward, that he made it a statute and an ordinance for Israel unto this day."

This ordinance in Israel is the statement of a principle which has many applications. The wife, for instance, who cares for the home, should have an equal share with the husband, who, being relieved from such cares, has his time free to earn the money. They are rightfully "heirs together of the grace of life," as well as of the burdens of life. [R2016 : page 182]

The golden text of this lesson suggests the proper frame of mind for all the Lord's people who are now fighting the good fight of faith. Though the situation may look dark and dangerous, and though foes may multiply and perplexities increase, it bids them fear not--"The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" David said, "I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord." --Psa. 27:1-14.



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DAVID'S CONFESSION AND FORGIVENESS.
--AUGUST 16.--Psa. 32:1-11.--

Golden Text--"Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me."--Psa. 51:10.
IT is with a good degree of satisfaction that we write as the heading of this lesson, David's confession and forgiveness, when we consider that, had not the good that was in the man reasserted itself, we might have had to write, "David's unrepented fall and its fearful recompense." Thus far, in considering this notable character in Jewish history, we have been calling attention to those noble traits which marked him as a righteous, just, godly man--a man of high attainments, both morally and intellectually, and one whom God was pleased to honor and bless and to make a chosen instrument in his service.

But with all his attainments, with all his wisdom, and skill, and sound judgment, and with all his humility and godly reverence, the poor fallen nature of even this great and good man succumbed to the temptations of abundant prosperity. It is hard to account for the fall of such a good man and of a character so strong in many respects as that of David; but one writer, we think, reasons on it very correctly, saying,--"In some natures, especially strong natures, both the old man and the new possess unusual vehemence; the rebellious energizings of the old are held in check by the still more resolute vigor of the new; but if it so happen that the opposition of the new man to the old is relaxed or abated, then the outbreak of corruption will be on a fearful scale."

Evidently this fall of David into gross sin was not altogether sudden. There had been missteps leading up to it; and the process being gradual and each wrong thing searing the conscience more and more, the climax was reached almost imperceptibly, so that two, even of the basest crimes, were at length committed, apparently without any compunctions of conscience; and the sin was concealed unrepented of, although it was yielding its bitter fruit of restless remorse (Psa. 32:3,4), until Nathan the prophet was sent to awaken and arouse the man to a deep sense of his guilt and of the necessity of immediate repentance, confession and reformation. David had become so intoxicated with the spirit which generally attends power, popularity and great success that he evidently did not recognize his gradual moral decline. As a king his word was supreme among the people; all Israel waited to do his bidding; the greatest men in the nation were at his service; success had everywhere attended his energies on the field of battle; his kingdom was extended and very prosperous; but in the midst of all this success and exaltation lurked temptations subtle and dangerous which should have been guarded against with scrupulous care, and perseveringly resisted.

As the chief magistrate of the nation few indeed were bold enough to be true to the king as to a brother in pointing out his errors and dangers: on the other hand, the tendency was, as it always is toward those in power, rather to endorse and imitate, than to wisely, kindly and respectfully reprove, remembering the highest interests of such a one in preference to any desire for his favor at the expense of those interests. While we mark with pleasure the noble traits in David's character, we must deplore the steps of his decline. He got to looking upon the privileges claimed by other kings about him as his privileges also, in a measure at least, and, contrary to the divine law (See Lev. 18:1-4,18 margin; Deut. 17:14,17-20), he multiplied wives to himself. Then in his war with the Ammonites he resorted to unnecessary cruelty, not alone contented to conquer, but desiring thus ignobly to triumph over his foes. (Compare 1 Chron. 20:1-3; 2 Sam. 11.) Then his numbering of the people, contrary to the law of God and the counsel of his wisest men and the religious sense of the nation (See 1 Chron. 21:1), showed that a decline of piety was leading him to doubt the divine favor, and consequently to put his trust in numbers and equipments for defence, etc. (Jer. 17:5), rather than in God, whose favor and help could be experienced only while he continued to walk in the paths of righteousness.

It was in the midst of this season of outward prosperity, yet decline of inward piety, that David succumbed to temptation and to the dreadful crime he committed against God and man. (2 Sam. 11:1-27.) Poor, fallen human nature! how weak it is, and how prone to sin, even at its best state! Truly, there is no safety from the power of sin except in a close and constant walk with God, and a resolute purpose to continually avoid and resist the intoxicating influences of the spirit of the world. To allow its pride or vain glory or desire for self-gratification to actuate us in any measure is to bring our moral perceptions to that extent under its stupefying influence. And when any one is intoxicated with the spirit of the world (which in large measure is the spirit of Satan), he will blindly do many things which in his sober senses he would shun and despise. So it was with David, a great and wise man, and, until this intoxication came upon him, a good man, and therefore beloved and highly honored of God, yet even he fell; and the previous height of his moral character makes all the more sad his decline and fall.

Well indeed would it have been for David had he remembered the command of the Lord,--"And it shall be when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, [R2016 : page 183] that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book. ...And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes to do them; that his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment to the right hand or to the left." (Deut. 17:18-20.) If in this matter even such a man as David failed, and therefore was overcome by the power of temptation, let every child of God take heed and profit by the lesson of his folly. The Word of God must be the daily companion, instructor and guide to every one who would be kept in the paths of righteousness, be he little or great. It is not enough that we read it, nor even that we study it, for the sake of mere information or for argument: it is given us to ponder and to feed upon, that its principles may be incorporated into our being, moulding our thoughts and guiding all our actions. This is what it is to have the word of the Lord dwelling in us as an energizing and moving power; and if we thus have fellowship with God through his Word and the privilege of prayer, we shall not be beguiled into sin, nor partake of the intoxicating spirit of the world.

It has been suggested by some, by way of excuse for David, that a man's life should be judged as a whole, and not by the failures in it, the intimation being that if in such a view of his life the good predominates, then it should be considered a righteous life, or vice versa. And so, it is suggested, we should estimate the character of David and numerous others, among them the inquisitors of times past, who burned and tormented those who differed from them. Many of these, it is suggested, were good, but mistaken men.

From this line of reasoning we are obliged to differ, because it is at variance with the judgment of God, as clearly expressed by the Prophet Ezekiel, as follows,-- "When the righteous turneth away from his righteousness and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth,... all his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.... But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes [which implies also the pondering and study of them], and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live.... When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them [unrepentant], [R2017 : page 183] for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die. Again when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive."* --Ezek. 18:24,21,22,26-28. See also 2 Pet. 2:20-22.

*This eighteenth chapter of Ezekiel relates specially to the time when the Adamic transgression will be offset by the New Covenant as a result of the ransom, so that naught will remain against believers but their own misconduct. The same principle applies to some extent to those of this Gospel age who are justified by faith; and to the Israelites justified by the typical sacrifices.

It would be a great mistake to presume that the blindness and spiritual stupor that result from intoxication with the spirit of the world constitute a proper excuse for the sins committed while in that state. God did not so judge in the case of David. The beginning of any sin is the first yielding to its intoxicating influence; and therefore we are faithfully warned to abstain from the very appearance of evil. (1 Thes. 5:22.) David's sin, like that of all other sinners, began in giving heed to the first suggestions of evil, and having done this the subsequent steps were easily taken.-- Compare James 1:14,15.

But, thank God, there is such a thing as repentance and remission of sins. And although David had sinned grievously, and God was very angry with him, yet in his wrath he remembered mercy, and sent Nathan the prophet to reprove him. It was doubtless a difficult task for Nathan to approach the king on such an errand, but he did not hesitate when the Lord commanded, nor did he go about the duty in any other way than that of straight-forward, yet respectful simplicity. He did not first endeavor to offset in David's mind his present evil course with a rehearsal of his past good deeds--of faith and valor and justice and humility, thereby intimating that the latter balanced the former, but, remembering that in God's reckoning all former good deeds would count for nothing unless present sins were repented of, he came straight to the point, and with skill he presented the case in a parable which David mistook for an actual case, and hastily pronounced the sentence of death upon the offender. He probably desired to show the man of God how zealous he would be for righteousness, little surmising that the prophet knew of his unrighteous course until, with heroic fortitude which waved every other consideration but the doing of the will of God, Nathan brought the lesson home to his conscience, saying, "Thou art the man.... Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the Lord to do evil in his sight? Thou hast killed Uriah, the Hittite, with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. Now, therefore, the sword shall never depart from thine house....Thus saith the Lord, Behold I will raise up evil+ against thee out of thine own house."--2 Sam. 12:7-12.

+Evil here is not used in the sense of sin, but as signifying trouble or calamity. This was a feature of God's covenant with Israel as a nation. Their obedience was to have earthly recognition and reward-- their disobedience and sins were to receive earthly punishments. No such covenant was ever made with any other nation. See our issue of March 1, '95.

It was a critical moment for David, and probably for a time silence reigned. What would he do? Would he proudly resist the power of the truth, thus calmly but kindly pressed home by his old and trusted friend, the humble man of God? Probably this was the first impulse of the pride engendered by his thus far successful career; but there was the truth so plainly set before him: how could he deny it? how could he excuse it, or in any sense or degree justify it? Even to his own mind there was evidently no excuse, no palliation. Conscience, which had been more or less restless and even at times remorseful, ever since the crime, was now thoroughly awakened, and a crisis was reached. There were but two courses before the king: one was repentance, confession and reformation; and the other was to plunge deeper into sin by angrily denouncing the [R2017 : page 184] prophet and wickedly misusing his power as a king to punish the man of God for presuming to reprove him, and then proudly declaring it to be the right of kings, as exceptional individuals, to do as they please, such being the generally acceded custom of kings in all the nations. Thus he would have been claiming that the customs of the world, instead of the law of God, were to him the standard of privilege. "What king," he might truly have said, "considers the rights of his fellow-men in preference to his own desires?"

But we are glad that David did not take this latter evil course. On the contrary, he allowed his better nature to reassert itself; and David said unto Nathan, "I have sinned against the Lord." And Nathan said unto David, "The Lord also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die"--although in the judgment of the parable David had unconsciously condemned himself to death. How gracious is God, how ready to pardon when true repentance is manifest! "Howbeit," said Nathan, "because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die." David in his contrition meekly accepted both the reproof and the penalties pronounced against him; and realizing that his sin was very grievous, and that his example before the nation was very detrimental to the moral and religious interests of the people, he resolved, and carried out his resolve, to make the example of his deep contrition and repentance as far-reaching in its effects for good, as his sin had been for evil.

This was a noble resolution, and in nothing does the nobility of the man shine out more clearly than in his humble and public confession of his sin, his efforts to undo, as far as possible, the wrong he had done, and his meek submission to the penalties which God in his wisdom and mercy saw fit to inflict upon him, that thus his wrath against sin might be manifest to all, and that king and people might so be warned against it. "Better is he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city." (Prov. 16:32.) So in overcoming the pride and selfishness that had taken deep root in his heart, David proved himself a greater hero than even in his youthful conflict with the giant of Gath, or in any subsequent encounter.

That the divine forgiveness does not of necessity imply the remitting of all the penal consequences of sin is manifest in this case and in thousands of others. According to the divine law, the full penalty of David's sin was death. And, judged by the rigor of that law, this sentence was due under two indictments (See Lev. 20:10; 25:17); but in view of his repentance the Lord remitted the death penalty (2 Sam. 12:13) and inflicted only such punishment as was necessary for the full correction of the offender and the warning and instruction of the nation, showing that he was no respecter of persons, and that king and people were on a common level before the divine law. It should also be observed that the penalties inflicted were to a large extent the outgrowth of former sins. The severest troubles came from his polygamous household, and the sons who gave him most trouble were the children of heathen wives; and the child of Bathsheba died.

In Psalm 51 David makes public confession of his sin and of God's mercy in forgiveness. In Psalm 32 he gratefully records the blessedness of the man whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered, unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile--no deceit, no hypocrisy, but all of whose doings are open and transparent, and manifestly wrought in righteousness. Here he declares, "I acknowledge my sin," and he testifies to the Lord's forgiveness (vs. 5); and for this divine forgiveness he exhorts all sinners to pray to God in a time when he may be found (vs. 6); i.e., before their hearts become calloused and set in an evil course.

Then, even in the midst of the troubles consequent upon his sin, which he meekly and patiently bore, David learned by faith to rejoice in the Lord, saying, "Thou art my hiding place: thou wilt preserve me from trouble, thou wilt compass me about with songs of deliverance;" for he will not suffer any tribulation to overwhelm his trusting saints upon whom he has set the seal of his pardoning love.

Then David voices the Lord's sentiments toward all his trusting obedient children thus, as though the Lord were answering back to his expressions of humble confidence and trust, saying, "I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will counsel thee, mine eye shall be upon thee [margin]. Be not as the horse or the mule, which have no understanding, whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, else they will not come near unto thee"--[R.V.] will not submit to control.

"Many sorrows shall be to the wicked [as long as they remain wicked. David had proved that by sad experience--vss. 3,4.]; but he that trusteth in the Lord [which necessitates also the departing from iniquity], mercy shall compass him about." Therefore, said the confident faith of this repentant one to whom had been restored the joys of salvation, "Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, ye righteous; and shout for joy all ye that are upright in heart."

If God thus restored to his penitent and believing servant the joys of his salvation, and made the bones which he had broken to rejoice (Psa. 51:8); if he created in him a clean heart, and renewed a right spirit within him (Psa. 51:8,10), who then shall lay any thing to the charge of his beloved? As freely as God forgave, so must all his people; and therefore we rejoice to recognize David as one of the ancient worthies --worthy of our love, our confidence and a noble example for our imitation of the many graces that adorned his character. And in nothing did the king give us a more worthy example than in the victory over himself to which attention has just been called. Especially in considering his exalted station, his prominence before the [R2018 : page 184] nation, the deeply disgraceful crimes of which he was guilty, the acknowledgment of which would be so humiliating, and the consequent loss of esteem and confidence he must expect from the whole nation, and the appreciation which he doubtless had of the esteem he had so worthily held for so many years, and the keen sense of the disgrace which such a nature must have when brought again to his sober senses--when we consider all these things, the victory gained by David over himself in humbling himself and repenting, is one of the greatest and grandest achievements on the pages of history; and his course is one to be commended to every child of God who realizes that he has to any degree departed from the right ways of the Lord.



page 185
August 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. XVII.AUGUST 15, 1896.No. 16.


CONTENTS.


Special Items186
Views From the Tower187
"The Lord Preserveth the Faithful"189
Poem: What Would Jesus Do?193
Restitution, Faith Cures (Continued)193
The Glory of Methodism195
Forgiveness of Injuries196
Are Public Prayers Authorized?196
Bible Study: Absalom's Rebellion198
Bible Study: Absalom's Defeat and Death199
Encouraging Letters200

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 186

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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[R2026 : page 186]

"In a service that His love appoints
There are no bonds for me;
For my secret heart is taught the truth
That makes His children free.
And a life of self-renouncing love
Is a life of liberty."


Let us not be ashamed of the true gospel, nor of any of its agents or agencies. He who is ashamed of the brother or sister or tract or book through which God was pleased to send him the truth, shows clearly that, had he lived in the days of our Lord's humiliation, he would have been ashamed of him, and of the humble men whom he chose and used to promulgate his gospel in the beginning. The truth is not intended for the proud or the dishonest. God hides his truth from the worldly wise and prudent, and reveals it unto babes. (Luke 10:21; 1 Cor. 1:19.) By candor and humility and zeal let us keep ourselves in the love of God and continue to walk in the light.


[R2011 : page 186]

"Thou must be true thyself
If thou the truth wouldst teach,
Thy soul must overflow, if thou
Another soul wouldst reach;
It needs the overflow of heart
To give the lips full speech.

"Think truly, and thy thoughts
Shall the world's famine feed;
Speak truly, and each word of thine
Shall be a faithful seed;
Live truly, and thy life shall be
A great and noble creed."



[R2018 : page 187]

VIEWS FROM THE TOWER.


THE confusion of tongues at the tower of Babel led to the scattering of mankind on the earth--to sectional and racial selfishness, independence, clannishness, --to classes and castes. This in turn has led to selfish animosities, wars, etc. On the other hand, it no doubt worked some advantage by preventing all from falling into the same ruts, vices and superstitions. But lately, especially since the beginning of "the time of the end" (A.D. 1799), the tendency in every direction is for the peoples of the earth to commingle, to obliterate caste and racial prejudices. People of every nation commingle with those of every other nation; not without prejudice, but nevertheless with the effect of gradually breaking down prejudice.

The city officials are compelled to guard the sanitary conditions of the poorer quarters as well as of the wealthier; for disease in the tenements, where clothing or cigars are made, means disease elsewhere,--wherever their wares are used. Quarantines are as needful for paupers as for the wealthy who pay the tax for the expense incurred. In courts of justice crimes against the poor are recognized, as well as against the rich. This is not only just, but necessary for the preservation of respect for justice before the masses. The failure of a crop in one quarter of the globe does not now affect that part alone, but diffuses itself over the whole world by causing a slight general advance in price. So also with diseases. La Grippe spread as a scourge over Europe and America and was traced by science to Russia, and as the result of a famine which prevailed there the year before. The enlightened world has learned that it is not only humane to relieve the famine-stricken, but that it is necessary for the protection of those who have plenty.

Even the lower animals are benefiting; for since it is learned that many contagious fevers are induced by the eating of infected meat and milk, the sanitary conditions of dairies are being guarded by the law; and the kind of cars in which cattle are shipped, and the food and drink supplied to cattle in transit, are being made subjects of careful legislation.

This growing oneness of the interests of the world is well illustrated in Trades-Unionism. It started as local institutions, thinking little of the interests of others; but before long they were extended to all of the same craft in the same section or environed by the same conditions. Next it was found that with new machinery it was not difficult for a man of skill in one craft to turn his skill to another; and federations and amalgamations sprang up on broad bases of fellowship and cooperation. Next international unions were called for, especially in Europe; and it was found expedient also to organize the female laborers, since they with machinery were likely to become competitors to a larger extent yearly. And now, finally, realizing that the millions of Japan, India and China are likely to come into competition with civilized labor, the Socialistic Labor Congress of the world, which met in London in July, proposed to extend its doctrines and organization to the barbaric peoples. The resolution on the subject reads as follows:--

"Considering that the aim of the foreign and colonial policy of the governing classes of all modern states, as the trustees of capitalists' interests, is to gain possession of new worlds to capitalize; considering further, that the aim of Socialists must necessarily be opposed to this absorption of barbaric races and the lands occupied by them into the great system of modern capitalistic [R2018 : page 187] civilization as tending to give to that system a new lease of life, shorter or longer, as the case may be, it is resolved that the policy of the Social Democratic party, irrespective of nationality, should be to support, and, in every feasible way, to make common cause with barbaric peoples in their efforts to maintain their independence against the raids of European civilization, no matter what the power may be, by whom the raid is undertaken, and no matter what may be the specious excuse, humanitarian or patriotic, by which such raids are supported or defended. It is further resolved that a standing international committee be appointed to watch events and to take such action in the above sense as from time to time may seem desirable, thereby inaugurating a new departure in the sense of a foreign policy, at once united and definite, for the Social Democratic party in all countries, irrespective of so-called national interests."

While this proposition is absurd in the extreme, it illustrates the trend of our times; the unifying of the interests of mankind. The lessons of the present time, although taught by selfishness, are preparing mankind the better to appreciate the levelling and unifying which the Kingdom of God will shortly establish on an unselfish basis--on a basis of a sympathetic love which redeemed all and will bring all to a clear knowledge of the truth that they may be saved.


***

The federative union of Protestants foretold in the Scriptures comes on apace. It has been hindered, however, to some extent by the hopes of some that it might as a federation include Roman Catholicism and Greek Catholicism, and thus be the more "imposing." Much dependence was placed upon the known sympathy of Pope Leo XIII. with the union movement; and it was confidently hoped by many that he would in some manner recognize the Church of England and its clerical orders, as the Greek and other Catholic systems had already been recognized. This matter seems to be positively settled in the negative by the Pope's last Encyclical (as we knew and pointed out from the Scriptures it would be). Now, therefore, all hope of union with Rome being abandoned, it is not unreasonable to expect that greater energy than ever will be directed to effecting the union or federation of Protestants, foretold.

The following editorial review of the Encyclical in "Harper's Weekly" will be interesting:--

"He of the Vatican has spoken again. Pope Leo XIII. has often spoken, but this time on a new theme. No pope of the last two centuries has surpassed him in keen and quick perception of the rapid changes in popular sentiment, and of the paternal way, from the Vatican point of view, in which to confront and adapt them. Besides, he excels in stately and labored declamations on the main thought of the hour upon ecclesiastical polity and doctrine. His encyclical is well timed, for it recognizes the preeminence of the aspiration for the union of Christendom.

"Gladstone had heard that something of the kind was in due time to come from the Vatican. He therefore wrote his letter to Cardinal Rampolla, the Pope's Secretary of State, pleading for Leo's recognition of the validity of Anglican orders. The encyclical is not an answer to Gladstone, and was probably in type and translated into many languages before the great Englishman had put his plea on paper, and nowhere mentions, even remotely, the validity of the orders of the 35,000 Anglican clergy. But in a sense it is an answer, for it says in substance: All who are out of my fold are schismatics; they belong to no Church; they must accept me as the one Holy Father, and they must adopt every one of the Roman Catholic doctrines. The inspiration of the Apocrypha, the celibacy of the clergy, the immaculate conception of the Virgin Mary, papal infallibility, and all the rest must be accepted, or the recusant is 'outside the Catholic communion.'

"The language is explicit. Nobody can be admitted into this blessed unity 'who in the least degree deviates from even one point of the doctrine proposed by the authoritative magisterium of the Church.' The primacy of the Pope, the recognition of his authority, and the assent to every doctrine which he represents are the conditions of the only Christian union which Rome can entertain.

"The Pope begins by declaring his desire to bring all peoples into the one Christian fold, and then proceeds to place before them the example of the Church in which all should be united, and to show that the Church is a visible body, and only one body; that it is the guardian of the world's faith; that of necessity there must be a unity of government as well as of faith; and therefore that 'as Christ willed that his kingdom should be visible, he was obliged to designate a vicegerent on earth in the person of St. Peter. He also determined that the authority given to him for the salvation of mankind in perpetuity should be inherited by St. Peter's successors.'

"The conclusion is now natural and easy. The authoritative magisterium being determined--and this is only a beautiful and classical euphemism for the mastery of the Pope above bishops, councils, and all [R2019 : page 188] else--nothing further is wanted than the application, which is substantially this: 'Come into the Church of Rome. Do not hesitate. The ultimate tribunal is vested in one man--namely, his own pontifical self-- who, when speaking in his official quality, divides his authority with no man or number of men when he declares on doctrine or morals. He can annul whatever councils determine. He holds St. Peter's keys, and can bind or loose at will. All must obey his orders. How easy, then, is the union of all Christendom!'

"One learns a lesson from this last encyclical from the Vatican--that Rome has lost nothing of its monumental egoism. The invitation of the Thirteenth Lion to all the lambs to come into union with him might easily have been made by Leo X. or Gregory VII. It is musty with the antiquities of the temporal power of four centuries ago. The dust of the centuries flies out of it as one turns over its parchment pages. Rome alone is in the true path.

"Still, there is a difference in the way of putting things nowadays. Even a pope scolds no more. The language of the authoritative magisterium is calm. There is nothing of the elder bluster. The anathemas [R2019 : page 189] against Protestants are forgotten as though veritable antiques. This is a gain for the courtesy of words. Never more will a pope speak as universal master."


***

Recent accounts of cyclones, hurricanes, "cloudbursts," tidal waves, etc., in various parts of the world are appalling. About six weeks ago 3500 Japanese were drowned by a tidal wave, and now about 4000 Chinese have met a similar fate. The numerous disasters at home are too well known to require mention.

Creation groans (Rom. 8:22) under the curse. Present conditions are only what we might expect as a race of criminals under sentence of death from the Divine Court. True, the ransom price for sin has been paid; but the time is not yet fully come for the lifting of the curse. It must yet rest very heavily upon the culprit race; a dark hour of trouble must precede the glorious sunrise of the new day wherein there "shall be no more curse."

Great physical changes in nature may reasonably be expected as a part of the impending trouble (intermingled with the social, political, financial and religious troubles of this day of the Lord). What the changes will be we know not; but we do know that present conditions of climate, etc., are not such as we should expect or are promised "when the Kingdom is the Lord's and he is the governor among the nations." If, therefore, any of the King's Own shall witness at close quarters any of the fearful signs connected with the grand changes now due, let them remember that the Lord knoweth them that are his and will not permit anything to come upon them that he will not overrule for good.


***

When pointing out some time ago that the Scriptures indicate that the Jews are to be persecuted in all lands, so as to drive them out, eventually, into their own land, we mentioned the anti-Jewish sentiment in France, Germany, Italy, Austria and Russia; and the probability that intense and general Jewish persecution would break forth ere long; but intimated that the British would probably not share in it. But even in Great Britain an anti-Jewish feeling is taking root. The publication of a letter from Mr. Gladstone in the public press, recently, avowed his opposition to the race, --saying, "I am an Anti-Semitist"--much to the surprise of others as well as ourselves. Jew-hatred-- "Judenhetze"--is making progress in England; and is being discussed in the prominent journals. It is really a movement against the Jewish money-lenders, and is of a piece with the Silver Movement in the United States. The following is clipped from the Quarterly Review:--

"The day may dawn, even in France, when a popular Government will be the voice of the people. In countries not so manipulated and hoodwinked--in the German Empire, with its military feudal spirit on one side, its spirit of Socialism on the other; in Austria, where the Hebrew conquest dates from yesterday; in Russia, which M. de Vogue calls 'a mightier Islam,' the reaction may take a swift and sudden turn that would be far more dreadful than any Judenhetze known since the expulsion of the Marranos from the Spanish Peninsula. It is not an appeal to the principles of '89 which would then avail to prevent scenes of horror and confusion. The European Democracy has no mind to be shorn of its golden fleece for the benefit of the Rothschilds and the Oppenheims. Let the situation be clearly understood--and it is growing clearer with each day's news, in Italy, in the Transvaal, at Vienna--who can believe that Christendom will allow itself to be made a farm, a tenement of which but a handful even among the five million Jews are to enjoy the fruits and the revenue? The 'Emancipation of the Jews'--that old Liberal watchword--has already given place to its antithesis 'Emancipation from the Jews,' economic liberty for the Christian working class, defence against usury and speculative finance, and the rest of a sound social programme. Sooner or later, these new ideas will issue in legislative enactments; or, if they do not, a worse thing may happen in countries which have to choose between the rule of productive industry and the despotism of capital wielded by a cosmopolitan and antisocial power."



[R2019 : page 189]

"THE LORD PRESERVETH THE FAITHFUL."
"O love the Lord, all ye his saints: for the Lord preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer. Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord."--Psa. 31:23,24.
SINCE the publication of "Our Children in the Time of Trouble," in our issue of April 15, numerous requests have been received for a further expression concerning the probabilities of personal safety during the troublous times just ahead.

One Brother writes:--"As the Lord almost invariably works through means, and as the 'prudent man foreseeth the evil and hideth himself' (Prov. 22:3), I think it proper to seek of the Lord a way of escape. This question will force itself more and more upon God's people as the storm clouds gather and the thunders of his wrath become more appalling; and I believe it is of the Lord that his people should effectually hide themselves 'until the indignation be overpast.' He has given them the exceeding precious knowledge of the truth that they may seek of him a place of safety. I have long believed with the brother to whose letter you replied in the above number that some remote place will be the safest. But we must not seek and inquire in fear and doubt of our loving Father's care, but in faith, because the fact that he has given us a knowledge of [R2019 : page 190] the coming trouble is proof that he intends we shall find a refuge.

"This question is pertinent, not only to the children of the elect, but also to what you term the 'Elisha class.' My observations for a number of years have convinced me that the 'Elijah class' are not only few, but extremely few; and yet there are many Christians, devout, and unbendingly loyal to all the light they have, who do not know of the harvest time; and there are others who do know of it and are in full sympathy with the truth, who have confessed to me that they have no desire or hope beyond a home in the redeemed earth when Christ is King. Yet I perceive in them considerable of the spirit of Christ--meekness and loyalty. My observations convince me that these out-number the 'little flock' ten to one; and I am so glad that our Father will take care of them; but, as I said before, I believe he will use means."

Another Brother says:--"Soon after I made my escape from Babylon you wrote me, in answer to a question respecting the time of trouble, that you understood the Scriptures to teach that the 'saints' would escape many of those things coming upon the world in the time of trouble. Now, will you kindly give me your opinion as to how a man in business will escape the financial crash? Is it by such a one foreseeing the trouble and withdrawing from business? or do you think that the saints who have families may continue in trade and have the Lord's special care which will bring us successfully through, up to the time of our change? I have had thoughts and conversations along this line, but have not become thoroughly convinced either way, and shall appreciate an answer either in the TOWER or by letter."

A Sister wishes to know how Psa. 37:25,26 can be harmonized with the fact that some of the Lord's consecrated people have been in very poor circumstances, and whether this statement of the Psalmist is to be understood as a guarantee that throughout the trouble the Lord's people will not be reduced to beggary?


***

The foregoing queries have been answered in part in the following WATCH TOWER articles:--

"Your Safety in the Trouble."--Oct. 1, '95, p.229.
"Come, My People."--Mar. 15, '95, p.72.
"The Time of Thy Visitation."--Aug. 1, '95, p.178.
"Upon this Generation."--Sept. 1, '94, p.285.

Looking out upon the world of mankind we see them divided by the Word of God into two classes. (1) Those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ; who have accepted him as their personal Redeemer from sin [R2020 : page 190] and its penalty, and who accordingly are seeking to avoid sin and to be acceptable to God through Jesus Christ, our Lord. (2) The vast majority of mankind who (whatever the length and breadth of the divine provision for all in Christ) are yet in their sins, who have not accepted a share in the ransom nor fled away from the sins which beset them as members of the fallen race, who for these reasons are still unreconciled to God, strangers and foreigners to his love and promises, and enemies through wicked works.

Of these two classes only the first could reasonably hope for any favor at God's hands. And this class, although not large, may be subdivided into three classes, as below.

(a) Those whose appreciation of the great divine gift has developed a reciprocating love to God and Christ, which has led them gratefully to consecrate to the divine service their little all;--time, money, influence, reputation, talents,--

"To be used in joyful service
For the glory of their King."
Such rightly feel that to serve so good a King is an inestimable privilege; and hence, to them his word is law, and it becomes their very meat and drink to do his will. Thus, daily, these become more and more conformed to the image of God's dear Son (Rom. 8:29), and thus they are making their calling and election sure as his joint-heirs--to be like him and be with him and to behold and share his glory. These alone "walk worthy of the vocation" whereunto all living believers have been called;--"worthy of the Lord." (Eph. 4:1; Col. 1:10.) To these all of the exceeding great and precious promises of God's Word belong--help and strength for the present life, and glory, honor and immortality for the future, with Christ, the Lord.

(b) Some, who started out with an appreciation of God's gift and their consequent reasonable service of full consecration to God's service, have been sidetracked and hindered, by "the cares of this life or the deceitfulness of riches" (sought, even if not secured). These do not love sin, nor delight in its practice; they love righteousness in word, thought and deed, and wish that circumstances were favorable to righteousness, and long for the time when Satan and sin shall be bound for the thousand years of Christ's reign, and pray fervently, "Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven." Yet they are so in bondage to the customs of society, so fond of the approval of fellow creatures, and the spirit of Christ in them is so blended with the spirit of worldliness, that they are hindered from performing the sacrifice of earthly things and interests which they covenanted to do when flushed with their warm first love and appreciation of God's goodness and grace in Christ. They have lost much of their first love; and, consequently, self-sacrifices for the King and his cause are more painful and more difficult. At first they accounted it joy to be permitted to suffer for the truth and for right-doing with and like their Lord: now it is a painful duty which they shirk repeatedly, and repeatedly mourn over. They resolve that they will again take up the cross and find the old joy in bearing it; yet they do not do so. [R2020 : page 191]

Their fault and hindrance began in dividing their hearts between heavenly and earthly interests. They listened to the voice of the world, the flesh and the devil (and the Nominal Church), saying, Be not an extremist in piety; take a moderate course, else you will be considered a religious fanatic, as Jesus, Peter, Paul and other ancient worthies were disesteemed. They thereupon dropped their full consecration, even unto death, and decided on a "moderate course" by which they could retain the esteem of their unconsecrated friends and associates, and, as they vainly supposed, exert over them a more powerful influence for good. They had no thought of abandoning their covenant of suffering and death with Christ, but intended merely to do their suffering and dying in a more moderate way than a full surrender--an out and out sacrifice, once and for ever, of earthly hopes, aims, friendships, etc. Alas! they did not realize that they could not sacrifice themselves, --that only the High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus, can perform the great sacrifice by which we become dead to the world and alive toward God. He must lay his hands (power) upon those who would be joint-sacrifices; he must offer them.* And he offers none except the fully consecrated; nor would the Father accept upon his altar any others than these. In determining to sacrifice themselves piecemeal when and how they and their friends might please, was the primary mistake of (b). And the mistake continues; therefore their repeated determinations to "suffer joyfully" are always failures.


The only way out of their difficulty is to do their first works (Rev. 2:5)--to commence over again by a full surrender of themselves to the Lord, that he may sacrifice them and give them grace to endure it joyfully and thus through full obedience restore them to class (a) as "overcomers" who shall "inherit all things."

(c) This class is a large one, very inferior in its attainments. It includes, nevertheless, many who are highly esteemed amongst men as Christians. It is composed of those who have accepted Christ as their Redeemer, by accepting in faith their share of his great sin-offering. They desire all the blessings he has promised, but would like to give nothing or as little as possible in return. They hear God's voice through the apostle, urging them to present their bodies living sacrifices, and thus to suffer with Christ and by and by to share his glory, and they realize that it is but a reasonable service; but they do not heed the call, and will not be granted a portion of the great "feast," the "marriage supper," prepared for those who love their Redeemer with an intensity which delights to render life itself in his service. Consequently, so far as the present high calling is concerned, they have "received the grace of God in vain," in that they have not made even an attempt to learn of their calling, much less to make their election sure, by full consecration and a baptism into the sufferings and death of Christ.--Mark 10:38.

Now amongst these three classes the favors of God must be understood to apply. The first (a) class undoubtedly is the one to whom as "overcomers" the promise applies,--"Watch ye that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all those things coming upon the world, and to stand before the Son of Man." They will escape (we believe) by being all gathered through death to glory before the terrible severity of the world's trouble will be permitted to come.

The great time of world-wide trouble (40 years) which began in October, 1874, is of two kinds. (1) Trouble, siftings, or fiery trials, upon the Church, that "every man's work [in the Church] may be tried so as by fire," and that the wood, hay and stubble of character or faith may be destroyed. (2) Trouble upon the world, financial, political and social, which will utterly wreck all present institutions and prepare for the rule of righteousness by the Kingdom of God. The first trouble will be specially upon the saints and all others who are in any degree subjects of divine favor. None who are truly God's sons will escape it. As it draws to a close, having selected, purified and proved the "overcomers," it will be followed by extreme trouble of a physical kind upon the world, in which those who were true children of God but whose lack of zeal did not permit them to be "accounted worthy" as "overcomers" (class b above), will suffer death,--not as sacrifices (for the acceptable day of sin-offerings, the "Day of Atonement," will be at an end), but, as the "scape goat," a destruction of the flesh that the spirit may be saved. These, "the great company," who must come up out of great tribulation and wash their robes white in the blood of the Lamb--these, surely, we cannot expect to see shielded from the very trouble which the Lord declares they need; and which in special mercy he will inflict for their perfecting.--Rev. 7:9,13-15.

The third class described (c) remains for consideration. Can we expect that these who already have received the grace of God in vain, to the extent that they have refused to consecrate themselves fully to God--their "reasonable service,"--shall we expect that additional favors will be bestowed upon these, more than upon others who did not the Master's will, because they knew it not?--because the god of this world had blinded their minds? We incline to fear not! If they have not had a full opportunity, we doubt not they will yet receive it with the residue of mankind during the Millennium; but that God should specially protect these from the tribulations of the day of trouble does not seem to us to be reasonable or Scriptural. It [R2020 : page 192] is those who knew the Lord's will and did it not who are to be "beaten with many stripes."--Luke 12:47.

So far as we can at present see, the only ones promised "escape" from the coming storm are the overcoming class (a). Isaiah 26:20 should be understood as applicable to God's people throughout the past as well as in the present and so long as his "saints" shall be in the flesh and need divine protection. It does not refer to the severity of the coming catastrophe because the saints will all be gone before that time.

We may, however, reasonably expect that divine protection will shelter two classes not recognized above. (1) The children of the Lord's consecrated people who will not have previously reached years of discretion and personal responsibility. (See 1 Cor. 7:14.) (2) Some whose eyes will get opened during the trouble, and who will promptly avail themselves of the grace of God and fully consecrate themselves to his service. These two classes will, we believe, be subjects of divine care in the day of trouble. And although they will not "escape" from it, as will the saints, they will, we believe, be preserved, guarded, provided for in the midst of it.

We do not believe that efforts to escape the trouble by going into solitary places, etc., will be successful. [R2021 : page 192] It is the time for the building of the true antitypical Temple, the glorified Church; and, preceding it, "Before those days, there was no reward [hire] for man, nor any reward [hire] for beast; and for him that went out and for him that came in there was no peace, because of oppression: and I let loose all men, every one against his neighbor." (Zech. 8:10, Leeser's translation.) The trouble will be world-wide; there will be no place of safety except under divine providence; and, as we have seen, few can expect that protection.

"Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth which have wrought his ordinances; seek righteousness, seek meekness: perhaps ye will be protected in the day of Jehovah's anger." (Zeph. 2:3.) This is the only safe course. Those who now seek according to this direction may yet make their calling and election sure, and be among the "overcomers" who shall "escape" the things coming upon the world. Those who do not "escape," but find themselves in the great trouble, can follow no better advice;--they may be hid or protected from at least some measure of the trouble.

Hence, instead of seeking a place of safety (which cannot be found) for ourselves and our children, let us seek to bring ourselves and them into the above described condition of safety, by hearty obedience to the reasonable service set before us.

The suggestions of Brother Clardy's letter, published on other page, we consider good.


***

There is this to be said, however; although the great financial and social trouble has not yet come and will not come for some years, yet the great coming event casts its shadows before; and we have something to do with these present-time shadows, spasms and perplexities. While the hearts of the worldly-wise are failing them for fear (not from suffering) and for looking after those things coming (not things already experienced), God's people are to be in no such fear and perplexity. We know in whom we have believed and are persuaded that he is both able and willing to keep that which we have committed to his keeping. These thunderings and dark shadows only corroborate the divine Word which foreshows them all and the glorious results to follow. We will draw the nearer to the Lord and by faith shut about us the more closely the protecting door of our Lord's exceeding great and precious promises.

But we are not to expect miraculous help except when necessary. We are to watch as well as pray, and to seek to order our course in life according to the leadings of divine providence for which we are to be constantly on the lookout. We are to look ahead (Prov. 22:3) and to use our best judgment accordingly, trusting in and looking for our Lord's providential guidance. This may mean a change of business or not, or even a failure in business. If you have done your best to "owe no man anything but love," and have used your best abilities diligently, and then fail, accept the result with resignation. With the consecrated the chief thought should not be ease, nor large profits, nor best wages, but best conditions: best conditions for personal development in Christian graces, and best conditions for rendering service to the Lord, his people and his truth. If you are married, the interests of your companion along these lines should have equal consideration; and if you have children, they and their interests, present and future, are a part of your charge. You will need divine help in weighing these interests, that you may give to each its proper share of consideration. If you have children, you brought them into the world, and are responsible to them and to God accordingly: you owe them not only religious instruction but secular education and a business or trade preparation, to fit them for and start them in life. If unprepared or unwilling to give them this reasonable start, you should not have begotten them. Having begotten them, they are a first-mortgage upon your time, influence and means; and in providing for them you will be blessed. Not even the gospel has a prior claim upon your time.

But the interests of your children are a part of the Lord's providential care over you, if you are one of his fully consecrated ones. If, therefore, you see opportunities for teaching your children trades less liable to strikes, boycotts and wrangling than your own--more conducive to peace and the cultivation of the graces of [R2021 : page 193] the spirit, be willing to sacrifice something for their benefit, if the Lord providentially shows you a good opportunity to do so.

Respecting present business trials: "Trust in the Lord and do good, and verily thou shalt be fed." "I have never seen the righteous forsaken [by the Lord] nor his seed begging bread." These promises are sure, and while doing good and trusting we may also rejoice. This does not imply that you will have no business trials and vexations and disappointments and discouragements. Such experiences may be just what you need to develop your Christian character--in meekness, patience, brotherly-kindness --Love. Your meal and oil may run low, as did those of the widow of Zarephath (1 Kings 17:12-16); but God knoweth it and will provide, with spiritual blessings accompanying, if you will but trust him and do what you can do. The Lord may provide the things needful through our own industry, or through the generosity of friends, or by public provision. While the former is to be desired and sought, the latter are not to be despised or rejected. None of these methods are begging. Accepting proffered help is not begging. [R2021 : page 193]

WHAT WOULD JESUS DO?


When the morning paints the skies,
And the birds their songs renew,
Let me from my slumbers rise,
Saying, "What would Jesus do?"

Countless mercies from above
Day by day my pathway strew;
Is it much to bless thy love?
Father, "What would Jesus do?"

When I ply my daily task,
And the round of toil pursue,
Let me often brightly ask,
"What, my soul, would Jesus do?"

Would the foe my heart beguile,
Whispering thoughts and words untrue?
Let me to his subtlest wile
Answer, "What would Jesus do?"

When the clouds of sorrow hide
Mirth and music from my view,
Let me, clinging to thy side,
Ponder, "What would Jesus do?"

Only let thy love, O God,
Fill my spirit through and through;
Treading where my Savior trod,
Breathing, "What would Jesus do?"
--Selected.



[R2021 : page 193]

RESTITUTION, FAITH CURES, PRAYER CURES AND THE GIFT OF HEALING.
--(CONTINUED FROM OUR LAST.)--

CONTINUING from our last the consideration of the necessity that our hearts be purified by faith and kept clean through the application of the Word, in order that we may progress in the divine life, let us consider the necessity for purity of heart and the purifying of the flesh in our approaches to God in prayer.

"HAVING OUR BODY WASHED WITH PURE WATER."


"Let us therefore draw near, with a true heart, and with the confidence of faith, being sprinkled as to our hearts, and pure from an evil conscience, and our body being washed with pure water."--Heb. 10:22. Syriac translation.

Here the Apostle mentions five conditions, (1) Honesty of heart; (2) an undoubting faith; (3) a blood-sprinkled heart (Heb. 9:14), a heart or will that has been justified not merely through faith but also through the application of the blood, symbol of the merit of the ransom, given once for all by our Redeemer; (4) a clean conscience; (5) washed or purified bodies; i.e., with the outward man in process of cleansing by the purifying of the word of truth and grace.

The purifying or cleansing of the heart through faith in the precious blood seems to be much better understood by Christian people than the purifying of their bodies, their flesh, through obedience in the application to themselves in daily life of the promises, precepts, warnings and illustrations of Scripture--as water or cleansing truths.

It is true that God accepts us into his family as soon as our hearts (wills) have been consecrated through the application of Christ's merit, even before we have had time to cleanse ourselves from much of the filth of [R2022 : page 193] the flesh. But this merciful provision to meet the necessity of our case should not embolden us to expect to be continuously received at the throne in filthiness of the flesh not even attempted to be removed, yet for the gradual removal of much of which in the present life every preparation has been made.

On the contrary, realizing God's holiness and purity of motive and deed, we should realize that sin and [R2022 : page 194] sinners are very obnoxious to him; and, while accepting his favor in Christ's robe of justification granted to us, we should begin at once earnestly to "cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit [mind], perfecting holiness in the fear [reverence] of the Lord." (2 Cor. 7:1.) The Scriptures give us no ground to hope that when we shall have finished the race we shall be absolutely clean and that holiness in us shall be perfected. No, no; when we shall have done all that we can do we must still confess that we are not servants who have brought our Master profit; we must still confess that in our flesh is no perfection; that still God could accept us only in the Beloved, covered by his imputed righteousness; for of all the sons of Adam "there is none righteous; no, not one;" nor will any be perfected in holiness until our Redeemer shall give us new, pure and perfect bodies, through which our purified hearts (wills, intentions) can find exercise. But, just the same, our hearts (wills), if they are pure and subject to the Lord's instructions, will be constantly seeking to come as near as possible to absolute purity of the flesh and spirit and to perfect holiness.

And, as the cleansing process continues through the washing of the water of the Word, our appreciation of what purity is grows; so that what we would have thought almost spotless purity at first comes gradually, under our clearer spiritual sight, to appear quite sullied. At first, the only "filth of the flesh" which we noticed as such were the gross impurities of word and act; but after having progressed a while, these gross impurities become repulsive so that we hate them and have no sympathy with them; by that time another set of sins, less gross, that we did not see at first as sins, are demanding and having our efforts to purge them out; and, as they go, other impurities, still more subtle, still more refined, still more deeply entrenched in our poor, fallen bodies, are discovered and being by God's grace purged out. The "filth of the flesh," as at first seen by many, consisted of murders, drunkenness, debauch, adulteries, filthy language, etc.: as seen later, it includes selfishness in its various developments, hatred, malice, envy, strife, vain-glory; but, as seen from the advanced standpoint of those who for some time have been striving by the Lord's help toward perfect holiness, it is seen to include every thing short of meekness, gentleness, patience, brotherly kindness, love. And it is well that we should see that, while such results are to be aimed at and to be attained as fully and as rapidly as possible, yet our Lord, as our High Priest, knows our circumstances and peculiarities, and not only is not expecting impossibilities but stands ready to assist us to the possibilities to which he calls us by his gospel and its exceeding great and precious promises. And surely, "he that hath this hope in him, purifieth himself even as he [who called him] is pure."--1 John 3:3.

What we have said with reference to heart purity, the most important, applies also to physical cleanliness. Get the heart (mind) started toward purity, and the literal water will be used as well as the symbolical, and the outward man will soon be clean.

PURIFICATION WITH FASTING AND PRAYER.


Although not under the Law Covenant, we may with propriety look back to God's dealings with the ancient worthies and the typical arrangements of the past and draw therefrom some lessons of value. One lesson is in the fact that those who celebrated the Passover (typifying the Gospel Church which partakes of Christ, our Passover Lamb) were required to cleanse themselves and their houses and to put away all leaven (a symbol of sin) and generally to purify. See Exod. 12:19,20; 13:7: John 11:55.

On the great occasion of the giving to Israel of the Law Covenant, washings, purifying, etc., were strictly enjoined. (See Exod. 19:15.) The antitype of that is the institution of the New Covenant of grace at the hands of the greater Mediator, Christ. The appropriateness of the still greater purifying of all who accept the New Covenant must be evident.

When Daniel the prophet sought the Lord in the special requests which God so specially answered, he "chastened" himself; that is, he sought by the practice of self-denial to bring himself into a special condition of heart and mind pleasing to God. (Dan. 10:2,3.) That his course was helpful to him and acceptable in God's sight is testified by the angel of the Lord--"O Daniel, a man greatly beloved [margin--"man of desires"], ...fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard." Verses 11,12. Compare also Chapter 9:3,4-18,20,21.

While the fastings, washings and purifyings of the Law Covenant represent conditions of self-denial and deadness to the world, which should be the attitude of all true believers at all times, yet we have good New Testament precedent for the observance of literal fasts, etc. Note the following:--

Our Lord fasted forty days at the beginning of his ministry, when specially seeking divine leading and instruction for the work; and we know not how often he fasted in secret.--Matt. 4:2.

"When ye fast, be not as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance,...that they may appear unto men to fast....But thou, when thou fastest,...appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret,...and he shall reward thee openly."--Matt. 6:16-18; 9:15. [R2022 : page 195]

In the Church at Antioch were several of the brethren who served the Church, and prayed and fasted and sought to be and to do what would be most pleasing to God. It was from among these earnest seeking ones that God chose Paul and Barnabas for special service. What a suggestion there is in this for all who are desirous of being used and useful in the service of the same Master. The Church at Antioch seemed to feel the importance of the matter, too, for when sending them forth at their expense, as their representatives and the Lord's, they fasted first and then prayed and laid their hands upon the missionaries (as recognizing them as their agents and representatives) and sent them forth.--Acts 13:2,3.

The Apostle mentions how he and his co-laborers approved themselves to the people of God, and among other items he mentions stripes, imprisonments and fastings. We are not to think of the Apostle as whipping and imprisoning himself, as do some of the monks and nuns, but as suffering these at the hands of unbelievers, on account of his faithfulness to the Lord, in declaring the good tidings of great joy--"Jesus and the resurrection"--of which he was not ashamed. So, likewise, some of his fastings may have been enforced fastings, because of his service of the truth; and, if so, no doubt they were all the more acceptable in God's sight. --2 Cor. 6:5; 11:27.

To those who have written to us of their desire to abandon the use of tobacco, etc., or who find in themselves any weaknesses which they long to overcome, we advise not only the continual washing of their hearts with the truth and praying and watching unceasingly, but also additionally the frequent use of literal water in a physical bath and occasional fasting unto God as a sign to him of your earnestness of heart--as a proof to yourself, as well as to God, that your prayer is not merely a momentary fancy but a deep, earnest heart-desire.

CONCLUDED IN OUR NEXT



[R2022 : page 195]

"THE GLORY OF METHODISM."


"THE increase of Methodism is one of the wonders of the age. Starting in 1739 with eight or ten persons...the number of its adherents has increased to millions and its influence encircles the globe. Its educational institutions are equal to those of any denomination of Christendom. It numbers among its adherents some of the foremost statesmen, financiers and professional men of the century. Its pulpits are filled by ministers the equal of any in ability and religious zeal. Taken as a whole, Methodism wields an immeasurable influence in the world, and has a tremendous responsibility.

There is a growing danger that these outward material things should absorb our attention, causing us to forget the lowliness and purpose of our origin. When the king of Babylon looked upon the city that had risen to such grandeur under his fostering care, he said: 'Is not this the house of my power, and for the might of my power, and for the honor of my majesty?' His history is but another illustration of the proverb, 'Pride goeth before destruction,' and should stand as a warning to individuals, nations and churches, not to glory in material prosperity only. There may be much glitter and glare in the church to arrest the attention, and yet 'Ichabod' may be written upon her portals.

"John Wesley said: 'In 1729 my brother Charles and I, reading the Bible, saw we could not be saved without holiness; followed after it, and incited others so to do. In 1737 we saw that this holiness comes by faith. In 1738 we saw likewise that men are justified before they are sanctified, but still holiness was our object, inward and outward holiness. God then thrust us [R2023 : page 195] out to raise up a holy people.'

"Again, he says: 'This doctrine is the grand depositum which God has lodged with the people called Methodists; and for the sake of propagating this chiefly he appears to have raised us up.'

"The glory of Methodism is, that its object was, 'to raise up a holy people' and 'to spread Scriptural holiness over the (all) lands.' If that object is lost sight of, its glory will depart. Dr. Adam Clark says: 'If the Methodists give up preaching entire sanctification, they will soon lose their glory.'

"The bishops in their quadrennial address in 1824 said: 'If Methodists give up the doctrine of entire sanctification, or suffer it to become a dead letter, we are a fallen people. Holiness is the main cord that binds us together; relax this, and you loosen the whole system. This will appear more evident if we call to mind the original design of Methodism. It was to raise up and preserve a holy people.' The Centennial Conference of American Methodism which met in Baltimore, 1884, reaffirmed this as our faith and purpose: 'We remind you, brethren, that the mission of Methodism is to promote holiness.'

"That there may be no mistake as to what is meant by holiness in the above quotations, the General Conference of 1832 issued a pastoral address to the church and used the following words: 'When we speak of holiness we mean that state in which God is loved with all the heart and served with all the power. This is the privilege of the Christian in this life, and may be secured [commenced--EDITOR] instantaneously by an act of faith, as is justification.'

"Hear then the conclusion of the whole matter: The germ of Methodism is holiness. The design of Methodism is to spread Scriptural holiness. The shibboleth of Methodism is holiness. The glory of Methodism is holiness.

"Some of the greatest men that ever were connected with Methodism have told us, that when we cease to preach holiness, as above explained, our glory is departed."--Methodist journal.

[Evidently the original glory of the "people called Methodists" was the true glory of the true Christianity. But alas! to how great an extent this glory has been lost by this as well as other denominations. It was the seeing clearly of the truths then due to be seen, that produced good effects and results in Wesley's day, although unpopular. It is the "present truth" that is needed to sanctify God's people to-day. "Sanctify them through thy truth, thy word is truth."--EDITOR.]



[R2023 : page 196]

FORGIVENESS OF INJURIES.


"FORGIVENESS often seems to be more divine than any other virtue because it costs so much and is such an unmistakable proof of love. It cuts directly athwart that self-interest which is the gravest temptation, the deadliest danger, of our lives. He who can and does forgive in anything like God's own spirit and manner has taken a long step toward ideal righteousness.

"We are to forgive those who have injured us, both for our own sakes and for theirs. For our own, because we need to learn to repress that indignant self-justification which is far too eager to exalt our own rights and belittle those of others; because we cannot consistently ask of them the forgiveness which we too often need unless we are willing to grant it in turn; and because we never can be sure that in their circumstances we might not have given offense, equal to, perhaps even greater than, theirs.

"For their sakes, also, because they may have battled long and nobly with the temptation to wrong us before yielding, and deserve credit for it; because they need to be encouraged to begin again and do better; because they are our brothers and sisters before God; and because, if we continue implacable, they will have good reason to doubt whether our spirit is truly that of our heavenly Father, and such a doubt is an injury to them which we can prevent.

"Moreover, forgiveness ought to be hearty and convincing, not merely that of the tongue, but evidently the glad renewal of confidence. And, if we are to imitate the divine example set us, it ought to be renewed in all its sincerity as often as needed, provided it be sought with equal honesty. Seventy times seven! That means indefinitely--if the offender be in earnest.

"This suggests a limitation which is right and inevitable. He who seeks and receives forgiveness must prove his sincerity by the effort to avoid renewed offense. A merely formal request for forgiveness does not necessarily involve genuine penitence, and nobody has the right to impose upon one whom he has injured by pretending to be sorry when he is not sorry. Such a hypocritical wrongdoer must, for his own sake and for the general good, be refused forgiveness until he seeks it in the proper spirit. Travesties of penitence need rebuke, not pardon. Christian dignity, and the very dignity of God himself, must not be thus mocked. But with this exception it is both a sweet privilege and a solemn duty to forgive indefinitely, even as we hope to be forgiven."
--The Congregationalist.



[R2023 : page 196]

ARE PUBLIC PRAYERS AUTHORIZED?

A brother writes: "I have much enjoyed recent WATCH TOWERS. I see that the theme will be continued: Please say something in regard to Public Prayer. The brethren here are not one on that subject, some claiming that Christians should never pray in public.

OUR Lord, after reproving the custom of the Pharisees, of standing on the street corners to pray, to be seen of men and to be thought pious, said, "But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet [private place], and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly." (Matt. 6:6.) From this, and from the fact that our Lord himself frequently retired for prayer to the mountain solitude, quite a few earnest souls have concluded that other than private prayers are disapproved if not sinful: and thus they have, we believe, done themselves injury.

Our Lord himself set us the example of offering prayer in public; not only in the presence of his disciples frequently, but also in the presence of unbelievers at least once--at the tomb of Lazarus. (John 11:41,42; See Luke 10:21.) That which is generally termed "The Lord's Prayer" was not only uttered in the presence of the disciples, but is a sample of a collective prayer. It addresses "Our Father," not My Father; it requests forgiveness of "our sins," not my sins; as "we forgive" others, and not as I forgive others. It is a sample of a collective prayer, specially.

The prayer recorded in the 17th chapter of John was evidently a public prayer, before the disciples at least, else it could not have been recorded by one of them as it is stated.--John 18:1.

The apostles, guided by the same holy spirit, not only prayed to the Father in secret, but also prayed publicly before the Church and exhorted and instructed others respecting such public, congregational prayers.

Frequent mention is made of the gathering of the Church for prayers, when it is not stated that they prayed audibly, and where the fact is not proved by the narration of the petition, but it is not reasonable to suppose that they gathered for prayer and that each then prayed privately and secretly. Besides, in some instances the prayers are recorded.--See Acts 1:14,24; 12:5,12; 16:13; 20:36; 21:5.

The Apostle Paul, writing to the Church at Corinth, clearly teaches that prayer and giving of thanks before the Church is to be done in an audible voice and in a common tongue, in order that the hearers of the prayer may be edified.--See 1 Cor. 14:14-17.

However, we have no sympathy with the custom of some of pretending to pray to God, while really addressing the congregation. Although our prayers be distinct and intelligible to the audience, in order that the hearers may all be profited by being able to join sympathetically in a possibly more full and fluent petition [R2023 : page 197] than the majority could express, yet it should never be lost sight of that it is God, and not men, that is addressed.

Neither have we any sympathy with the custom of opening Political Conventions, and Legislative Assemblies and Schools and Lodges with prayer. Since these are not meetings of the Church they can (as meetings) have no recognition from God. If delegates to a Convention or Legislature or Congress, or attendants at college or school be Christians they as such always have access to God by prayer, and they should not be found in any place where they could not ask and expect God's blessing with them. If a teacher be a Christian, he or she might without special impropriety offer an audible prayer, for wisdom and grace to instruct aright; and any of the pupils who are Christians might say, Amen. But school-children should not be taught to repeat the "Lord's Prayer:" It was given for no such purpose. Nor should teachers be required to offer prayer; for many are not Christians. And the children? Although innocent of personal crimes, they are still under Adamic condemnation, and are permitted to approach God only through faith, on the terms of the New Covenant; --except the children of such as have entered into covenant relations to God.--See 1 Cor. 7:14. [R2024 : page 197]

The evil effect of promiscuous public praying is growingly manifest on every hand. Men who know that only as a great favor through influential friends could they gain an audience with the potentates of earth, and then only with great formality of dress, etc., have gotten the idea that anybody at any time and in any filthy rags of his own righteousness can rush into the august presence of the King of kings and have an audience with him. And Christians, ministers and educators, have sanctioned this hurtful folly. As a consequence, thousands do not truly come to God, but delude themselves that they are "all right" and "as good as the average Christian;" while really, not having come to God in his appointed way, they have neither part nor lot in his Church, nor in the exceeding great and precious promises made to it.

"God heareth not sinners." (John 9:31; Job 27:9; Prov. 1:28,29; 28:9; Psa. 66:18; Isa. 1:15.) Christ is the way, the truth and the life, and no man cometh unto the Father but by him. (John 14:6.) While father Adam was created a son of God and then had access to his Father, yet this relationship and its privileges were cut off when he rebelled and was sentenced as a sinner to death;--all relationship was severed, all rights and privileges were forfeited. True, God has mercifully provided a great sacrifice for sin, and reconciliation through the precious blood of the Redeemer, and through him a return to all the privileges, communion and favors lost in Adam; but this provision is restricted: it is not for everybody; it is open only to those who, desiring to flee away from sin, come to a knowledge of the Savior and accept the favor of God on the conditions of the New Covenant.

Provision is made for these, that they may divest themselves of the filthy rags of their own righteousness and put on the robe of Christ's righteousness through faith; and thus prepared they may be introduced to the Father as redeemed and restored sons--reconciled to God by the death of his Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Then, and not until then, should we expect that their prayers would be anything else than an abomination before God. None will be heard and accepted by the Father, while rejecting the New Covenant and the only name given under heaven or among men whereby we must be saved.

But to those who realize their sins and, repenting of them, accept the Redeemer and the New Covenant as the only way back to sonship and fellowship with the Father, the Apostle says,--

"Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God." "For through him [Christ] we both have access by one spirit unto the Father."-- Eph. 2:18,19.

"Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,...let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith." (Heb. 10:19-22.) "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of the heavenly grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."-- Heb. 4:16.

Here, then, is what we hold to be the Scriptural line on this important subject. (1) Prayer is the privilege of "believers," reconciled children of God, only. (2) It is appropriate for such children of God to pray collectively as well as individually and privately. (3) At a meeting of God's children, the fact that unbelievers might be present would not make prayer improper, because it is a meeting of the Church and not a meeting of the unregenerate, nor under their control. (4) Prayer is wholly improper at Political, Legislative, Social, Educational, and other meetings which are not meetings of the Church of Christ. Even though some of the regenerated sons of God be present, the meetings are world-meetings, not directly amenable to the Word and Spirit of God. If Christians find it expedient to attend such meetings, let them attend as citizens and not as saints, and let their prayers be offered in secret.

"Unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth--seeing thou hatest instruction and castest my words behind thee?"-- Psalm 50:16,17.



[R2024 : page 198]

ABSALOM'S REBELLION.
--AUGUST 23.--2 Sam. 15:1-12.--

Golden Text--"Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee."--Exod. 20:12.
IN this account of Absalom's rebellion there are several important lessons to thoughtful minds. (1) First of all we notice in Absalom the sin of disrespect to parents. The experience and wisdom of riper years are, when heeded, the safeguards of youth, and specially in the case of parental experience and wisdom, which parental love is ever desirous of utilizing for the benefit of sons and daughters, to protect them from the ills of life of which they have learned either by experience or observation. Youth, alas! too often disregards this divinely provided safeguard until by and by it learns its folly by bitter experience. The hopefulness of youth naturally gilds the future with glory; and, with ardent spirits, undisciplined, unrestrained and self-conscious, it plunges into new schemes, sanguine of the success of its theories until, by and by, its bright visions fade before the stern realities of life.

So it was with Absalom; and so it is with every youth who disregards the commandment of the Lord, "Honor thy father and thy mother;" and again, as expressed by the Apostle, "Children obey your parents." The duty to "honor" parents, however, extends far beyond the obligation to obey them, which specially applies to childhood, and not to mature years. The duty of honoring parents extends from the cradle to the grave, and when the last honors are paid to the lifeless forms of parents they should still hold an honored place in the archives of memory. Nothing is more beautiful in youth than preferment and deference to riper years, and specially to old age. "Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honor the face of the old man." --Lev. 19:32.

(2) We notice in Absalom the sin of disrespect to the God of his father, which was but the natural result of his lack of love and confidence in his father. He entirely ignored the facts that the kingdom was the Lord's, and that the Lord placed whom he would upon the throne, so that his youthful ambition plotted not only against his father, David, but also against God, who had anointed David to be king, and who also promised to establish his throne and to indicate his successor, and to subdue all his enemies. In his rebellion Absalom vainly thought not only thus to outwit his father, David, but also the Almighty Jehovah. How vain and foolish! what reckless folly! And yet, how many have repeated this folly, and few of the sons of men have paused to consider how puny is the arm of flesh when lifted in defiance of the Almighty!

(3) We see how political intrigue stole the hearts of the people and made the cause of Absalom temporarily very prosperous, so that "the conspiracy was strong and increased continually with Absalom." But every successful step of the plot was only bringing the young man nearer to the height from which he must eventually fall. So it is in the temporary success of every evil device: the much sought elevation only adds force to the final disaster. In this view it is manifest that the truest friendship to the wayward is resolute, wise and well-planned opposition, which no flattery or political craft can overcome. Such friendship is seldom appreciated except by Him who reads the heart, though it does sometimes turn the sinner from the error of his way and save a soul from death. For such service how necessary is great sobriety, patience, faith, hope and love! especially in any efforts to assist fellow members of the prospective body of Christ, who are now on trial for eternal life and in the race for the prize of our high calling, lest any, becoming wayward, should fail of the grace of God.

(4) We observe the progressive course of evil-- how the sin of ingratitude and dishonor to a father brought on ambition and defiance of God; how this led to unscrupulous political intrigue, flattery and lying; and finally to a bold and wicked plot which was treason alike to the king and to God. In all this Absalom was cultivating that haughty spirit which goes before a fall.

While thus noting the course of Absalom and its lessons to the young, there is also a hint of wisdom for parents which they would do well to heed. The example of David to his children was not a faultless one: the sins of his youth and of his later years yielded a most undesirable harvest. Not only had he violated the law of God in multiplying wives to himself (Deut. 17:14-17), but he had further transgressed by taking some heathen wives, the mother of Absalom being the daughter of the heathen king Talmai, king of Geshur in Syria; and the children of a polygamous household, living apart from their father with their several mothers, were necessarily almost without a father's influence and care, so that Absalom was brought up under the influence of a heathen mother and apparently with little reverence or respect for the true God.

The sin of Amnon for which Absalom slew his brother was one deserving of punishment, and yet in view of his own sin with the wife of Uriah how could David become the avenger? The crime doubtless caused him sorrow and tears and bitter reflections upon the past, all of which he recognized as part of his own penalty but, remembering his own folly, he could not punish the offender. [R2025 : page 198]

In the slaying of Amnon, whatever purposes of selfish ambition or personal hatred may have mingled with his indignation, Absalom was avenging the crime against his sister with only a lawful vengeance, the prescribed penalty being death. To David, who loved all his children, this was a terrible blow, and Absalom, fearing his indignation, fled to his maternal grandfather where for three years, unrecalled by his father, he remained, under the influence of that heathen land, no doubt restive under unfavorable conditions, with no indication of any favorable turn of affairs and chafing under a sense of injustice, since in avenging his sister he had merely executed the sentence of the Law (Deut. 27:22; Lev. 20:17); and, brooding over his misfortunes and magnifying all the faults and weaknesses of his father, it is no matter of surprise that the spirit of rebellion strengthened; for in the absence of any expression of his father's interest in him, how could he [R2025 : page 199] know of his heart yearnings? And when after three years he was permitted to return to the land, still he was not permitted to see his father's face, nor to know of his continued love for two more years.

It is not, therefore, surprising that the experience of these five years fastened upon the mind of Absalom the conviction that his father no longer loved him or considered his interests; and this feeling rankling in his heart, he prepared to set at defiance his kingly authority, and in the fire of his youth, the self-consciousness of early manhood and his now dominant ambition, he also recklessly ignored the divine authority.

This attitude of David toward his son was a great mistake on the part of David, the realization of which when it was too late to rectify it doubtless greatly deepened the grief which was subsequently expressed in the bitter and tearful lament, "O my son Absalom! my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee. O Absalom, my son, my son!" For five years David had allowed the hard side of his nature to thoroughly conceal his tender emotions; and not only so, but in all that time he had been neglecting his opportunities for exerting a godly influence upon his son, and that at a time when he most needed such influence, and instead of which he was surrounded with the influences of a heathen land. It was a dear price for David to pay for his resentment, and in the light of his son's highest interests it was certainly very poor policy. Yet how often is the mistake of David repeated by fathers! Many seem to forget the temptations, trials and inexperience of youth, and so fail to be gracious, considerate, forbearing and studious of their highest interests. Kind, generous, self-forgetful interest will follow the son long after childhood has matured into manhood, and will make parental counsel very potent long after parental authority has ceased.

There is probably no time in life more fraught with danger than when the young birds leave the home nest and launch out to try their own wings and to carve out their own fortunes. And if they can go with a father's and a mother's blessing; if every rebuff and misfortune they meet from a hard, cold world elicits home sympathy and prayers and loving encouragement; if father's house is felt to be the place of refuge in case of a sudden disaster; if they feel that loving forbearance there offsets the hard knocks of experience outside, what a power is there for good! It certainly is not a wise father that will long permit any pride of dignity or stiff reserve to forego the privileges of his position for the blessing of his offspring.

Parents should heed well this lesson, that the bitter lament of David over a son whom kindness, forbearance and loving counsel and sympathy might have saved, may not be theirs; and in every relation of life let us all see to it that love not only exists, but also that it is made very manifest.

In verse 7 the word "forty" evidently should be "four." It is believed to be a transcriber's error.



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ABSALOM'S DEFEAT AND DEATH.
--AUGUST 30.--2 SAM. 18:9-17,32,33.--

Golden Text--"The Lord knoweth the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly shall perish."--Psa. 1:6.
THE successful conspiracy of Absalom, so artfully planned and skillfully executed, finally drove David from Jerusalem and planted Absalom there. But the victory of the conspirators was not yet complete while David, the rightful sovereign, lived. So Absalom and his counsellors conspired further against the life of the king.

But the Lord raised up in Hushai a friend for David, and placed him among the counsellors of Absalom, and thus through his counsel brought to naught the foolish and wicked conspiracy. In the pride and wickedness of his heart, bent on the slaying of his father, Absalom placed himself at the head of a great army and went forth to fight. In contrast with this wickedness mark the father's love, even under these extremely trying circumstances, saying to his men as they went forth to meet Absalom, "Deal gently, for my sake, with the young man, even with Absalom."

How suddenly God brought to naught the evil designs of this wicked young man: elated with his success and proudly riding to expected victory, he was suddenly caught by the head in the branches of a great oak; his mule passed on leaving him helplessly suspended, and the friends of David finished the work. Joab's trumpet of victory is blown, the conspiracy has come to naught, the usurper is dead and buried under a heap of stones, and those that were with him seek to hide their faces for very shame; and King David, the Lord's anointed, returned again to Jerusalem in peace.

In the lesson which these circumstances afford let us mark well how short is the triumph of evil doers. Though their eyes stand out with fatness and they have more than heart could wish (Psa. 73:7); and tho now the world calls the proud happy and they that work wickedness are set up, and they that tempt God are even delivered (Mal. 3:15), yet soon they will all be as stubble under the feet of the righteous. (Mal. 4:1.) The time may indeed seem long to those burdened by oppression; but it is not long in God's estimation. He will bring forth judgment unto victory just as soon as the wisdom of his purposes will permit. If justice be delayed, it is only for the development of some greater good than could be accomplished by a speedy adjustment. In this confidence, therefore, let the Christian rest, assured that all things--even the seeming delays --shall work together for good to them that love God, to the called according to his purpose. (Rom. 8:28.) "Cast not away, therefore, your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward; for ye have need of patience that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise."--Heb. 10:36.



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ENCOURAGING WORDS FROM FAITHFUL WORKERS.


Ohio.

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--I have been thinking about 1 Thes. 4:16. As noted in DAWN [Vol. II, p. 146], the word "shout," as per concordance, means "a shout of encouragement." I believe the word from which "shout" is here translated does not elsewhere occur in the New Testament. In looking at the word rendered "Jubilee," I notice that the meaning is given as "time of shouting" or "shout."

It has occurred to me that possibly the word "shout" in 1 Thess. 4:16 might mean the same as jubilee, and that Paul, possibly, there conveys the idea of an antitypical jubilee. The jubilee of old, I believe, was ushered in by the priests, the trumpet and the shout. Might it not be a jubilee shout? Might it not be possible that this passage is a proclamation of the Great Antitypical Jubilee? In Psalm 89:15 we read, "Blessed is the people who know the joyful sound [shout]." (See concordance for this word "sound" and also "joyful sound.") "They shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance." Isaiah 27:13 says:-- "And it shall come to pass in that day that the great trumpet shall be blown." Zech. 9:14 says:--"And the Lord shall blow the trumpet."

Should there be any such connection between the "shout" in 1 Thes. 4:16 and the word jubilee, then the other scriptures I have named would appear to be specially significant.

In the type, if I am correct, the first day of the Jubilee year was also the Day of Atonement. "In the Seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls." (Lev. 16:29.) From this it would appear to be a day of sorrow rather than gladness. Is it not probable that the trumpet did not sound until evening? Then the afflicting of the soul was over, the great atonement completed, the High Priest had entered within the veil and returned alive, all transgression had been symbolically carried away. In the evening, therefore, joy and triumph might well be in order.

Do the Scriptures indicate just when the trumpet was blown?

On the supposition that the shouting and sounding of the trumpet took place in the evening, it might follow that the antitypical trumpet might be looked for later than 1874. If October 1874 is the date of the commencement of the Antitypical Jubilee, then when would the Antitypical Trumpet be due to sound? [R2026 : page 200]

I have thought that possibly the Pentecost, or Feast of Weeks, might be a type of the thousand years or times of Restitution. Doctor Smith's Old Testament History says (pages 264, 265 and 258), "The Pentecost was the Jewish Harvesthome." "The Pentecost is the only one of the three great feasts which is not mentioned as the memorial of events in the history of the Jews." "It was doubtless after the sacrifices of that solemn day were ended, that the trumpet of Jubilee pealed forth its joyful notes," etc. I would be pleased to have your views regarding this in your own time and way.

Your brother,
C. C. KELLY.

[We are in full agreement with the various propositions above set forth. The Gospel age has been the antitypical "Day of Atonement," in which Christ Jesus our Lord redeemed the world and in which, also, the Church as his body "fills up that which is behind" of his sufferings. (See TABERNACLE SHADOWS OF BETTER SACRIFICES.) The Millennial age, we understand, was typified by the "Feast of Tabernacles." It will be a time of rejoicing but not a time of fixity, because that which is perfect will not fully come until the end of the Millennium, when the unfit who have neglected to hear the great Prophet, the Christ, will be destroyed from among the people, and the age of everlasting and fully established perfection amongst men will begin. The "harvest" (Oct. 1874 to Oct. 1914) is the lapping time in which the Gospel age ends and the Millennial age begins. The Jubilee trumpet we identify as one with the Seventh Trumpet and Trump of God. (See MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. II., page 197.) The Apostle Paul was a prophet as well as an Apostle and the "shout [of encouragement]" (1 Thes. 4:16) should be understood to be the people's response to the Jubilee trumpets blown by the priests.--EDITOR.]


page 200
Kansas.

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--Our number here is holding its own, and we have been quite successful in scattering the truth. A great many appear to see the reasonableness and scriptural authority of the "Plan," but Oh! so few are willing to sacrifice and must simply be driven by the fiery troubles to give up their love for the god of this world. Thanks be unto God who giveth us the victory; his kingdom for which we have prayed is coming, and his will will soon be done on earth as it is in heaven. It seems that if the people would only open their eyes and ears they could not fail to understand (see) the Christ presence casting Satan out of his high ruling position. Let us work on, fight on, suffer on; the time is not much longer; and he is faithful and just for whom we labor, and will reward us bountifully.
J. C. GAULT.


[R2026 : page 200]
Alabama.

DEAR BROTHER AND SISTER:--From an article in a late TOWER I find I had anticipated your ideas, for I had been teaching the same to my children and had set forth the same sentiments to a few special friends, in regard to the perpetuation of the lives of children of Christian parents; holding out the idea to them, as gathered from the Scriptures, that they, above all others, would have the special protecting care of God in this great battle of the day of God Almighty which is now being waged. While I recognize that they will have special protection thrown around them, yet, if they would enjoy the full benefits of his grace or favor, and live over into the full of the Millennial kingdom, when none will die except for wilful sin, they themselves have a work to do, after arriving at the years of accountability; viz., it is necessary that they live a righteous life, and the only difference between their relationship with God, and that of the children of the unrighteous, consisted in the more abundance of grace supplied them, which would the better strengthen them, and support them in this hour of trial; that God could not, nor would not, look upon sin with any degree of allowance in any one; but by his grace or favor, for their parents' sake, in Christ, the Father would be more liberal in supplying his grace to the children of Christian parents. I have told my children in my talks to them that if they did not live on and on forever it would be because they resisted the leading of the spirit, and persisted in living an unrighteous life.

Will you bear with me while I relate two instances in point, relating to my own family, in brief. My business called me from home. I received intelligence that my youngest child was dangerously ill. I immediately took it to the Lord in earnest prayer. This was about 8 P.M. The spirit's leading was so plain in the matter that next morning, before any further advice in regard to the condition of my child had been received, I wrote a card, saying that though the child had been very sick it was better and would be all right soon. The next evening I received a card from home which had been written before mine reached them stating that it was greatly improved and that there seemed to be a sudden change for the better about 8 o'clock the night previous. This is a matter of record.

The second case is that of my daughter. When she was a child (she is now 18) her eyes became affected so she could not see her way, and had to be led about. I sent her to an oculist, and she remained there for about three months; she came home considerably improved. We continued his treatment for some time after her arrival at home, until finally the medicine seemed to lose its effect, and she became worse. I carried the case to God in prayer; and she is now comparatively well. While this case is not so well marked by immediate results, it is plainly the work of restitution.

Your yokefellow in Christ,
J. W. CLARDY.



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