ZWT - 1894 - R1611 thru R1747 / R1703 (291) - September 15, 1894
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VOL. XV. SEPTEMBER 15, 1894. NO. 18.
"THINK ON THESE THINGS."
"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."--`Phil. 4:8`.
"KEEP thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life," is one of the wise sayings of the inspired Word (`Prov. 4:23`); and it was with the same thought in mind that the Apostle penned the above words to the Church at Philippi, whom he addressed with great affection and appreciation as his "joy and crown." (`4:1`.) The little company of consecrated believers there were the firstfruits of his ministry, and were specially remarkable for their loyalty and faithfulness to the Lord, the truth and the beloved Apostle, who at this time was a prisoner in Rome. Thither, in his time of need, they sent their gifts, and these expressed their love and sympathy and care for his temporal welfare, which they had always been forward to do while he ministered to them in spiritual things. (`4:10-19`.) In them the Apostle was comforted and cheered, and he rejoiced even in his afflictions in that they also were for their sakes; for the example of his patience in tribulation and joy and in self-sacrifice was as valuable a lesson to the saints as were any of his most profound and logical instructions.
Being desirous that these disciples should continue to manifest the fruits of the spirit and to grow in grace, this epistle is one of encouragement and wise counsel--to stand fast in the faith and spirit of the gospel and to learn more fully how to deny themselves even as Christ did (`1:27,29`; `2:1-11`); to work out their salvation with fear and trembling (`2:12`); to beware of false teachers and evil workers (`3:2,18,19`); and to seek to be all of the same mind--the mind which was in Christ Jesus; to esteem each other in the Lord; and to do nothing even for the cause of Christ through any spirit of strife or vain-glory.
Then follows this beautiful final admonition of our text, so in keeping with the thought that out of the heart are the issues of life. The heart represents the will, the intentions. The will must be kept true and centered in God: it is the governing power of the whole man. Blessed are the pure in heart--those of fixed, uncompromising purpose. Yet though the will is the controlling power of the man, it is also subject to influences. If the thoughts be impure, unjust or unholy, the power of the will becomes more and more impaired. Hence the wisdom of the Apostle's advice as to what should be the character of our thoughts. In those who are striving to perfect holiness in the fear of the Lord--to adorn themselves with the beauty of holiness--the thoughts must not be neglected and permitted to browse in every pasture, but must be disciplined to feed upon convenient and healthful food, such as the Apostle directs, viz.:--
(1) "Whatsoever things are true." That would exclude indulgence in visionary and foolish fiction, which does so much to corrupt the mind and squander time. It would also exclude
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all the idle speculative theories of men who, ignoring the true gospel, seek to draw away disciples after them. It would banish also the vain philosophies of the creeds of "Christendom," when once the symmetry and beauty of the divine plan of the ages has been seen. It would avoid all idle gossip and evil surmisings; and, having escaped the gloom and discontent and the perplexity, care and worry consequent upon entertaining such thoughts, the mind can be at peaceful leisure for the contemplation of that which is true. Then it may draw from the abundant storehouse which our bountiful God has supplied, both in his Word of law and prophecy and precept and promise and in the open book of Nature.
How richly the mind is rewarded that dwells upon these things. The law of God and its application to all the minutiae of life's affairs should be the most constant theme of meditation among the saints, since it is to be applied in all our business and social relations; and its often intricate problems require close discernment and discrimination. "Oh, how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day," is the sentiment which the inspired `Psalmist (119:97`) would put into the mouth of all the Lord's people. Then the prophecies, so laden with good tidings of great joy for all people, and the promises, so exceeding great and precious, how full of blessing they are to all who delight in their contemplation! And in the light of the glorious gospel nature itself wears a brighter face and speaks a loftier language, emphasizing the love and power and praise of our God. Whatsoever things are true, brethren, think on these things.
(2) "Whatsoever things are honest." That would exclude all deceit and hypocrisy, all evil scheming and intrigue, as well as thoughts of deliberate plunder of falsehood or evil speaking, giving place to frank and open honesty of thought, developing daily into good and noble deeds.
(3) "Whatsoever things are just." This would discard all unjust weights and balances in estimating the character and motives of our fellow-men, and particularly our brethren in Christ. It would make all due allowances for the infirmities of the flesh, remembering that we also are subject to infirmity, if not so much in one direction, then in another. It would
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consider surroundings, estimate the bias of influences and calculate the force of temptations, in order to find, if possible, extenuating circumstances for favorable judgment. Yet it would not ignore facts, and so blindly encourage evil.
The mind, where justice is enthroned, not only seeks always to judge justly, but it has also a fine appreciation of justice. It delights to trace the lines of justice in God's wonderful plan of human salvation. It so clearly sees the value of justice, which is the very foundation principle of God's throne, that the value of the precious blood of Christ in satisfying the demands of justice and thus reclaiming the forfeited life of the world is keenly appreciated. And so fully is this feature of the divine plan and the grandeur of the principle of justice seen and realized, that no vain philosophy of men, which suggests other schemes of salvation which ignore the just claims of justice, can be tolerated. No other plan but this, which is founded in justice and executed in love, can claim the attention of those whose habit of thought is just and to whom the divine plan has been revealed.
(4) "Whatsoever things are pure." Blessed are the pure in heart and mind. Pure thoughts, devoid of the slime and filth of sin, how they invigorate and energize the soul in every high and noble work! The pure mind demands a pure body and clean clothing, though it may be ever so coarse. It courts the society of only the pure and good and shuns the contamination of all others. It seeks also only that which is pure, in literature or in art. The vile insinuation, the rude jest, the unchaste in art, are alike an abomination to the pure mind. The pure mind finds delight in the society of the pure and in the contemplation of the virtues and graces and of the true and beautiful. The blessedness of such a condition of mind and heart is too far above the comprehension of the impure to be to any extent appreciated. Its happifying and ennobling influence is best illustrated by the effects upon the body of thorough
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cleansing and clean clothing which give new energy and vigor to the physical man.
(5) "Whatsoever things are lovely; whatsoever things are of good report [worthy of praise]; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." Added to all the solid virtues of truth, honesty, justice and purity, let all the lovely graces and adornments of meekness, patience, faith, godliness, benevolence, kindness and charity occupy our thoughts. And as we hold these virtues before the mind's eye as a mirror, they gradually become more and more assimilated, and the transforming work goes on in our own characters. Thus, too, the will is strengthened and inspired with fresh energy to fulfil its great work in governing and controlling the whole man.
This the Apostle saw to be the philosophy of the influence of the thoughts upon the will and vice versa. Therefore, he would have us set a watch and a governor upon our thoughts and feed them with wholesome and life-giving food, that thus the thoughts may re-inforce the will, and the will may govern and control the thoughts to the end that both the present and the future blessing of the pure in heart may be realized by those who are diligently seeking for them.--`Matt. 5:8`.
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THESE MANY YEARS.
THESE many years! What lessons they unfold
Of grace and guidance through the wilderness,
From the same God that Israel of old
In the Shekinah glory did possess.
How faithful he, through all my griefs and fears
And constant murmurings, these many years!
God of the Covenant! From first to last,
From when I stood within that sprinkled door
And o'er my guilt the avenging angel passed,
Thy better angel has gone on before;
And naught but goodness all the way appears,
Unmerited and free, these many years!
Thy presence wrought a pathway through the sea;
Thy presence made the bitter water sweet;
And daily have thy hands prepared for me
Sweet, precious morsels--lying at my feet.
'Twas but to stoop and taste the grace that cheers,
And start refreshed, through all these many years!
What time I thirsted and earth's streams were dry,
What time I wandered and my hope was gone,
Thy hand has brought a pure and full supply,
And, by a loving pressure, lured me on.
How oft that hand hath wiped away my tears
And written "Pardoned!" all these many years!
And what of discipline thy love ordained
Fell ever gently on this heart of mine;
Around its briers was my spirit trained
To bring forth fruits of righteousness divine;
Wisdom in every check, and love appears
In every stroke throughout these many years!
Lord, what I might have been my spirit knows--
Rebellious, petulant, and apt to stray:
Lord, what I am, in spite of flesh and foes,
I owe to grace that kept me in the way.
Thine be the glory! Merit disappears
As back I look upon these many years.
Thine be the glory! Thou shalt have the praise
For all thy dealings, to my latest breath;
A daily Ebenezer will I raise,
And sing Salvation through the vale of death--
To where the palm, the golden harp appears,
There to rehearse thy love through endless years.
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THE POPE'S ENCYCLICAL.
POPE Leo XIII's recent encyclical letter is one of those remarkable features which, in company with other striking events and circumstances, distinguishes this day of the Lord from all previous times. The letter is addressed, not to the bishops and clergy, nor even to the Catholic community at large, but "principibus populisque universis"--"to the princes and peoples of the earth," and was evidently suggested by the fact, now so manifest, and long ago predicted by the Lord (`Luke 21:26`), that men's hearts are failing them for fear and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth. Out of this very fear, which the shaking of this present order of things, preparatory to its final removal (`Heb. 12:26,27`), engenders, Satan, whose masterpiece of iniquity and religious deception the church of Rome is, desires to make some capital wherewith to bolster up the tottering walls of his ancient fortress and protect his kingdom from ruin in the midst of the great time of trouble.
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Consequently, the poor, deceived old man at the Vatican, who, as the professed Vicar of Jesus Christ, stands at the head of the great counterfeit Christian church, addresses himself to the whole world, inviting all men everywhere to come into the Roman fold, under the pastoral care of the Pope, so that thus the words of Christ may be fulfilled--"There shall be one fold and one shepherd." This, he says, he does in imitation of Christ, who, on the eve of his ascension, prayed that his disciples might be united. So, at the end of his life, he desires to invite all men, without respect to race or nationality, to come into the one fold, the Catholic church.
Referring to the heathen first, he recalls past missionary efforts of the church, declares his deep concern for the conversion of the heathen, and prays that the number of missionaries for the extension of "Christ's kingdom" may be multiplied.
The letter then deals with the various Christian nations, and expresses the grief of the Pope that flourishing nations have, by religious dissensions in the past, been torn from the bosom of the church, and adds,--"We turn towards these nations and, of our fatherly charity, we beg them and implore them to wipe out all traces of dissensions, and return to unity."
An urgent appeal is then made to the Eastern churches--the Greek, Armenian, Nestorian, Jacobite, Coptic, and Abyssinian Catholics-- urging upon their attention the primacy of the Roman Pontiff; and, while recognizing their friendly disposition toward the church of Rome, he promises that in the event of their return to the Roman communion, they need fear no diminution of their rights, of the privileges of their patriarchates, or of the rites and customs of their several churches; "for," he continues, "it has been, and will ever be, the purpose of the Apostolic See, and according to its traditions, to be condescending to all peoples and to respect generously their origins and customs."
The Protestants are next addressed, not as heretics, as of old, but as "dear brethren." Their separation from the church of Rome in the trying times of Luther and his associates is palliated and excused; the divisions and discords and wide diversity and conflict of faith among them is sympathetically pointed out; and while the recent efforts to secure union among the various sects on the basis of Christian charity, regardless of doctrine, is commended as a step in the right direction, the question is put--"How could perfect charity join hearts, if faith does not unite our spirits?" And that necessary faith is, of course, claimed to be in the church of Rome, to which all Protestants are invited in the following words,--"Our heart, more even than our voice, calls to you, dear brethren, who for three centuries past have been at issue with us in the Christian faith. Whoever you are, if for any reason you have parted from us, join with us in the unity of the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God. Let us hold out to you our hand affectionately and invite you to the unity which never failed the Catholic church, and which nothing can take from it. Long has our common mother called you to her breast: long have all the Catholics of the universe awaited you with the anxiety of brotherly love, hoping that you would serve God with us in the unity of the one gospel, one faith, one hope, one perfect charity."
Catholics everywhere are then urged to faithfulness and obedience to the authority of the church, and warned against the perils outside of her communion. Then Free Masonry is condemned; and the rights of the church and state and the duty and advantages of their mutual co-operation are discussed, with the usual complaint that the church is oppressed by the state and restrained from the exercise of its rightful authority, and that thereby the latter is preparing lamentable catastrophes for society.
The encyclical closes by disclaiming ambition for power and professing to seek only the preservation of virtue among men, and by this means to secure their salvation. It implores princes and rulers, in the name of their political foresight and solicitude for the interests of their peoples, "to weigh the Pope's designs" for religious union "equitably, and to second them by their favor and authority," in the hope that at least some benefit might accrue "amid the present rapid downfall of all things, when to the prevailing unrest is joined fear of the future."
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Who cannot discern between the lines of this gauzy manifesto the policy-spirit which would lick the dust or play the tyrant as circumstances might require or permit, if by any means it might gain its unholy ends.
But aside from the Papal policy, this document, as before intimated, is a peculiar sign of the times. The Pope knows the fear and perplexity of rulers and statesmen, and how nervously they are casting about for some potent arm to assist them in the great struggle with the awakening and discontented masses of the people, and how disorganized and shattered are the ranks of the various religious denominations; and therefore, in this carefully prepared document, he would suggest that the influence of all be united to reinstate the old and formerly potent power of the persecuting church of Rome.
The plan which the Pope suggests is one which certainly does commend itself to the worldly-wise
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who desire to perpetuate the present order of things. In nothing but the power of ignorance and superstition and such tyranny as the Church of Rome exercises over her subjects can there be any reasonable hope of perpetuating present social institutions. And it is on this account that kings and rulers pay their respects to the head of that iniquitous system whose history and principles they despise and hate. It is this idea, and the fear that some day they may need to invoke the power of the Pope, that occasionally calls forth such demonstrations as those on the event of the Papal Jubilee a few years ago; and that is leading to the reinstatement of the Jesuits in Germany. In fear of greater evils from widespread anarchy, they are loth to part with the old tyrant of the Tiber who formerly ruled them with a rod of iron.
From the world's conservative standpoint it surely would be wise to help to keep the reins of government of the masses of the people in some strong hands; but such is not God's purpose. Men may thus exert themselves to the utmost, but their councils and schemes will avail nothing in the day of the Lord's anger.
But so far as the selection and development of the "little flock," the true Church, is concerned, it would be far better if all religious denominational lines were broken up and each individual Christian were thus led individually to stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free--taking God's Word as his rule of faith and practice and accepting such helps to the understanding of that Word as God in his providence supplies.
Commenting on this encyclical, the N.Y. Sun says, "Unquestionably the time is ripe, or soon will be, for a moral co-operation of all men calling themselves Christians against revolutionary teachings which threaten the destruction alike of religion and of civilization. The necessity of such a combination against anti-social forces has been repeatedly affirmed by Leo XIII., and is proclaimed with special anxiety and fervor in what perhaps will prove to be his last encyclical."
The lameness of the law of selfishness is here manifested. Those who have some possessions of this world and who have some hopes and facilities for their increase, fear the growing intelligence of the lower strata of society, which, having nothing, has "nothing to lose." This latter class is gradually learning its power, and daily comes more into sympathy with socialism, anarchy, or any thing which promises them a larger share of the necessaries and luxuries of life. It is the realization of this that is leading the conservative and wealthy classes of men to combine for the preservation of society upon its present basis, which is found to be favorable to their interests and ambition. They recognize religion as the strongest influence for the peaceable control of humanity; and they see that with the growing intelligence of our day and the growing independence of thought and action, the influence of all the different religious teachings over the lower classes of society is on the decrease; and they begin to fear the results. Hence we have just that condition of things which the Lord predicted (`Luke 21:26`), men's hearts failing them for fear and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth; because the powers of the heaven (the religious systems) are being shaken. This is true of all Protestant denominations, and increasingly so of the Roman Catholic church also, in which there are various splits progressing.
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The Pope's encyclical is the result of his heart failing him for fear of the things coming; and he expresses the fears and sentiments of many others--Protestants, as well as Catholics, who, neither seeing nor being in harmony with the divine plan, are greatly disconcerted at the evident failure of present arrangements, which they had supposed would usher in the Millennium by converting the world.
As heretofore shown, the Scriptures clearly indicate that just such a combination of religious systems as the Pope advocates will eventually take place, except that it will be in two distinct parts. Catholicism under the Papal head will doubtless absorb the Greek, Armenian and other eastern churches, and quite possibly the high church Episcopalians; the other division being a grand federation of the chief Protestant denominations. And these two great systems, for fear and for self-preservation, will heartily co-operate in order that the "peace and safety" of present institutions and arrangements may be continued. This thought is set forth in the Scriptures in strong symbolic language, and the event is located in this day of wrath and time of trouble:--"Come near, all ye nations, to hear; and hearken, ye people: let the earth hear and all that is therein, the world and all things that come forth of it; for the indignation of the Lord is upon all nations and his fury upon all their armies: he hath condemned them to destruction, he hath delivered them to the slaughter....And all the host of heaven [religious societies] shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together [not in one great roll, but] as a scroll [in two separate divisions or parts,--Catholicism one part and Protestantism the other, in close affiliation and cooperation, so that whatever passes from the one passes to the other]."--See `Isa. 34:1-4`; also `Rev. 6:14-17`.
The Scriptures plainly show that the present order and condition of society cannot, even by such combinations of power as proposed, be long sustained, but that shortly after this great religious federation has been perfected, the upheavals of socialism and anarchy will suddenly destroy them and ultimately every vestige of the present system. And no sooner will these elements be thus brought together than they will begin to realize what the Prophet Nahum suggests, that they are thorns in each other's sides:--"What do ye imagine against the Lord? he will make an utter end [of this present order of things]: affliction shall not rise up the second time. For while they be folden together as thorns, and while they are drunken as drunkards [intoxicated with the spirit of this world--the spirit of selfishness and tyranny], they shall be devoured as stubble fully dry."--`Nahum 1:9,10`.
Thus the way will be prepared for the establishment of a new social arrangement ["the new earth"], on the basis of love and righteousness, and under the influence and control of the glorified Church of Christ (the "new heavens," or spiritual power) in which righteousness and love will control and prevail.
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SUNDAY EVENING REVERY.
--SIGNS OF HIS COMING.--
FOR twenty years last past the earth has been full of preparation for that time prayed for when Christ's will shall be done on earth as in heaven. For twenty years to come those preparations will continue and will culminate in the Kingdom. We are nearly in the middle of the harvest now--the time of trouble--"the end of the age."
The time of the end simply means the end of the failures and fallacies of man rule; the leveling of present forms of government; the blotting out of present forms of sectarianism; the radical annulment of present forms of business and social usurpation; the destruction of caste and wealth differences; the overthrow of pride, arrogance and sordid ambitions; and the iron-- golden rule of King Christ.
But, says one, twenty years is a short time in which to close up all the kingdoms and other governments; all the denominational isms and religious oligarchies and all the other evils of 6,000 years. I reply, it is long enough. The last twenty years have been peaceful but full of preparation--material, mental, spiritual. The stone is rolling; the hill is steepening; the impetus becomes terrible very soon, and twenty years will amply suffice to destroy old things
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and fit the earth for the new.--`Dan. 2:34`.
Most of people in Christendom are conservative to-day--all were conservative twenty years ago. There will be no conservatives twenty years from now.
Most of the distant nations are peaceful to-day. None of them have had war (practically none) for twenty years; all will have war within the next twenty years. The last twenty years have consolidated, but at the same time greatly weakened, sectarianism. Within the next twenty years dogmatism will seek to become despotism in the interest of harmonious settlement and will utterly fail and fall to pieces.
Twenty years ago labor and capital began to organize. To-day they are ready to give each other trouble; within twenty years they will weary each other and the public of the world with incessant strife until labor will droop exhausted with excesses and wealth will be eager to throw away its last dollar and faint in the arms of peace.
A helpless earth twenty years from now will invite the kingdom of God.
And it will come.
Will Christ reign in visible form on earth twenty years from now? Certainly not; Christ on earth eighteen hundred and eighty years ago, was a human being, Christ risen and ascended to his Father is made a divine being far more exalted than spiritual beings and infinitely above the human plane; and yet his elect of the Gospel age are to be so grandly exalted with him as to be "seated with him on his throne, even as he is seated with his Father on his Father's throne"--these partake with him of the divine nature (far above angels) and are to be
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with Christ the divine (but invisible) agencies in ruling the world--and in bringing all the nations of the earth, living and resurrected, into acquaintance and spiritual relationship with God during the Millennium of 1000 years.
Who will be the earthly agents of the rule of Christ? Devout men--not any supernatural agencies, except as resurrected men may be regarded as supernatural--for many of these coming rulers will be men who have lived and learned to rule in this world hundreds of years ago.
But the resurrection will be found to be a natural awakening, as death is the natural going into a long breathless sleep. Moses will "stand in his lot in the latter days." So will David, so will Elijah, so will Isaiah, Jeremiah and Daniel--their reproduction will come about naturally, as the power of electricity always existed although not discovered until recently. The power of reproducing life (God's power in the same sense that all others are God's powers) will be a natural revelation (possibly a natural discovery) within the next twenty years.
Some one asks now: "Are you a prophet?" No, only a student and a watchman. I am taught these things, first, from the Word of God. The five books of Moses are a source of wonderful types, shadows and chronologies. David was a far-seeing prophet as well as a poet and king. Isaiah and all the prophets saw the world's restoration in the Millennial time, but it is Christ and his apostles that convey to me the words that designate the signs in the earth most completely. Then I look round me and see those signs as they have indicated them. The fields are ripe, and the harvesters are at work, and possibly I may live to see the change. In these conclusions I have been assisted by a series of books, called Millennial Dawn, and a periodical called Zion's Watch Tower, which carefully read and mentally prove and compare with the Scriptures. I am not advertising those works, but candor demands their mention when such tremendous predictions are made as I have ventured in this reverie.
--Grand Army Advocate.
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INTRODUCING T.T. SOCIETY REPRESENTATIVES.
"Need we, as some others, epistles of commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you?"--`2 Cor. 3:1`.
WE introduce again the subject of certificates mentioned in our last issue by the following letter just received from our very dear and very cautious Brother Owen.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--Brother McPhail has come and gone, and all bear testimony to the benefits derived from his meetings here. He held four meetings at our house and two in West Indianapolis, all but one of which I attended. I feel that I was benefitted by each meeting. At the close of the meeting I expressed my intention of sending in a small contribution to the Tract Fund as a substantial mode of expressing my approval of the new venture, and, without urging the matter, asked all who felt so disposed and who had the ability to do so, to hand to me at the close of the meeting such sums as they felt like contributing towards meeting the extra expense incurred by the Tract Society, in sending out ministers. Our voluntary offering amounted to $12.50, which I enclose.
After the meeting was over, Sister Owen took me to task about taking up a collection, saying
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among other things that people had already contributed to the Tract Fund what they felt able to do and that to set the example and thus establish a precedent might prove burdensome to some of the little groups, or at least make them feel that they ought to follow our example, when perhaps they would not be able to do so, and that under such circumstances the visits of brethren might prove to be just the reverse of a blessing. I was quite careful, however, to make all feel that they were entirely free to act just as their feelings and circumstances might dictate.
I wish to say that Brother McPhail did not even hint at a collection being taken, and when some offered to help defray his expenses he refused the money, saying to such, "If you have any thing to give, send it to the Tract Fund."
I wish to make a friendly criticism of the article in last TOWER: "Another Branch of the work." It seems to me that to have the brethren introduce themselves by a certificate of character from the Tract Society is extra cautious, and that your enemies will seize upon this to give coloring to their charges of "Popery," etc.
After the experience you have had with some of those you trusted most, it is but natural that you be more cautious where you place your confidence. And this is right.
I fully appreciate the difficulties of your position; my heart goes out to you in love; and I certainly do not feel in the least critical. You, my dear brother, wield a power with the true Church which is remarkable--the result I think of your disinterested service and devotion to its interest, and the absence of any dictatorial spirit on your part. You are and have been indeed the servant of all, and this service makes you master in a way that no other power under the heavens could do. So have a care, brother, lest Satan tempt you to over-cautiousness. Better too much liberty than not enough.
Sister O. joins me in love to all. As ever, yours in our dear Redeemer, C. A. OWEN.
Our dear Brother's solicitude for the interests of Zion, and the kindly way in which he offers his suggestions, are greatly appreciated. But we do not share his fears, and will show that there is no foundation for them. There is surely no real difference between a personal introduction of one brother to another and an introduction of distant brethren by letter. Nor does it alter matters whether the introduction or letter is from one person to another person, or from the Tract Society to many persons, readers of the WATCH TOWER publications. Nor could it make a whit of difference to the travelling brother whether he said, "I call upon you as a representative of Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society," and showed no certificate, or whether he produced a signed letter from the Society,--except that the latter would assure him the warm confidence of the friends, whereas without it there might be a doubt as to whether he was a self-appointed representative of the Tract Society, or whether he was acknowledged as a representative by the Society, through its officers.
Besides, it is expected that the accredited representatives will take many new subscriptions for ZION'S WATCH TOWER from parties newly or more deeply interested through their labors, and a certificate would be an evidence that the stranger who receives the money is truly a representative of Z.W.T.T.S. Some years ago a man took hundreds of TOWER subscriptions and sent the names to us for sample copies merely, and fraudulently retained the money for his own use. We made good all such losses so far as we learned of them, and finally by threats of arrest got the man stopped. Every one knows that there are such characters, and it is not right to expect people to receive strangers into their confidence without some introduction from those they do know.
In the `text at the head of this article` the Apostle remarks that he did not need letters of introduction; but this was because he was well known by them, their faith being God's workmanship through him; but his words show that he considered himself an exception to the rule, and that he approved as necessary the giving and receiving of letters of commendation, as between teachers and churches visited.
The only dangers we can imagine would be (1) in case the church receiving a brother thus commended should accept his utterances without proper scrutiny and scripture proving; or (2) in case the having a certificate should be considered necessary as an authorization or permission to preach.
We wish to warn all against any such views of our letters of commendation, by whomsoever presented. They do not signify that the owner is an infallible teacher, but that he is one who has written to us of his full sympathy with the eight simple qualifications named in the article in our last issue, headed "Another Branch of the Work," and who stated that he possesses those qualifications by the grace of God; and that the
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Tower Tract Society believed him to be a true-hearted brother in Christ, clear in his views of the fundamentals of the Gospel and fully consecrated to the will and service of the Lord.
Nor do these letters of commendation signify that others have not an equal authority from the Lord to preach the Word. The commission to preach, yea, the duty of preaching publicly or privately, orally or by the printed page is upon all who hear,--upon all who receive the truth in the love of it. But you must prove all teachers and teachings before fully receiving them into your hearts. "By their fruits ye shall know them," and by proving their doctrines--measuring both with the letter and the spirit of God's Word.
But such a proving may take considerable time, and if the brother be with you but a day or two and be a stranger, you may hesitate to ask him the plain, simple questions propounded in our last issue,--whether he is a believer in the ransom (in the sense of a corresponding price, its only true significance); and whether he is fully consecrated to the Lord in will and service. On the other hand, if he has a certificate you will at once know that he has confessed all this to the Tract Society's officers as your representatives. We do not say that you should reject or refuse any brother coming to you without our letter of introduction and commendation, but that you may
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receive with special readiness and quicker confidence those who do come so introduced; knowing what they have professed and what we believe concerning their character, consecration, etc.
So far from this being a popish method, it is the very reverse; for Papacy affects to give its ministers the right and power to "create Christ" in the mass, and anathematizes all who attempt to teach without its authorization. On the contrary, this introduction by letter, as a safe-guard against "false brethren" and "wolves in sheep's clothing," was the custom of the primitive Church, practiced by the Apostles (See `Acts 18:27`; `Phil. 2:19-25-29`; `Col. 4:10,11`; `Philemon 10-17`) and mentioned approvingly in the text at the head of this article. Satan would doubtless be glad to drive us from every precautionary measure by a fear of what enemies would say; but we remember that the Lord was called Beelzebub, by those whom Satan deluded and used, and that he forewarned us that they would say all manner of evil falsely against all of his faithful servants. People who have "the spirit of a sound mind" (`2 Tim. 1:7`) will not be deceived by these enemies, who, under the lead of the great enemy, Satan, would fain have us cast away all safe-guards which the word of God and common sense approve, in order that the wolves in sheep's clothing might ravage the flock and fatten themselves.
We here give a copy of these certificates. Notice how simple the statements: the ordination is of God in the Scriptures, and is common to all of his people, and the certificate merely declares that the TRACT SOCIETY recognizes the owner in the capacity named:--
Allegheny, Pa., U.S.A.,__________189__________. TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:
This is to Certify that during the year above written__________of__________, is regularly ordained a minister of the "Church of the Living God" (`1 Tim. 3:15`; `Phil. 4:3`); that__________is serving as a Missionary and Evangelist under the auspices of this Society; that__________has full authority to teach and preach publicly and privately, orally and by the printed page; and that__________is authorized to administer to others of the household of faith, upon suitable occasions and after proper confession of faith, the ordinances of Baptism and the Lord's Supper--according to all and singular the commands and teachings of this Church as laid down in the Holy Scriptures.
Witness the signatures of the officers of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Allegheny City, Pa., U.S.A., and the corporate seal thereof.
With the exception of four brethren, it is proposed that this work shall have its start from the first of next year. Meantime, we hope to hear from all brethren who have time that they can donate to the Lord in some such service, and who would take pleasure in so doing. We will take pleasure in co-operating with these, to the extent of our judgment of the Lord's will in the matter. But for the sake of uniformity, and for the assurance of the brethren to whom such shall go, we must require of all such a clear, unequivocal declaration that they believe themselves, by the grace of God, possessed of the eight qualifications for this ministry, specified in the Sept. 1 TOWER; because we believe that the child of God who cannot in the fear of God say for himself what is
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there simply set forth would be a totally unfit person to commend to the Church as to any extent an instructor in divine things, or as likely to do good rather than harm in his use of the sword of the spirit, the Word of God.
Probably we shall have more offers for this service than we can wisely accept; but we will have another method of service to suggest to some.
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THE movement looking to the colonization of Palestine by Jews of various countries has more to commend it than a sentiment, however laudable that may be. It is of no political importance whatsoever, but it is the outcome of the deliberate purpose of thoughtful men to provide a settlement for Jews, which shall be both sure of success and always under their watchful care and thus free from the many dangers which have made so many other experiments practically failures. This is the aim of the "Lovers of Zion" societies, of which there are so many flourishing in England, and of which we know so little in this country. Yet they can hardly be said to be either visionary or to involve their abettors in schemes of which they must be well ashamed if they pretend to be patriots. Lord Rothschild is one of the many notables in Victoria's realm who have taken the project under their wing with an enthusiasm which means all earnestness.
There is, of course, no little of the Jewish fondness for the land of their fathers in this undertaking, and perhaps not a few hope for a restoration of the glory of Jerusalem, as depicted by the prophets of the Bible, which will include, perhaps, the blood-sacrifices and the royal splendor of the Solomonic period. This is but natural; and the religious enthusiasm is shared by Christians and Mohammedans as well, though, of course, for somewhat different reasons. Still it must be said that of all countries in the world there is none in which so many people have so lively, so direct, an almost personal interest, for which they will, if need be, make sacrifices greater or less in degree. Herein lies the security of any local government which may be established on the historic soil; and from being the fighting pit of the nations of antiquity, it will have guaranteed it an independence which nineteenth century enlightenment and international jealousy will prompt. Thus the colonist will be spared the dangers of civil war and foreign invasion, or if the Turk remain in control, he will have the protection afforded by consuls on the spot.
The prospect of the establishment of a government which, following the prophecy of Isaiah, shall act as the arbiter among the nations, is not seriously considered by the largest number of those active in the movement.
Political hopes are given something far more tangible and practical at this juncture. Nor is the other beautiful idea held to of making Jerusalem's Temple the place of the assembly in which all peoples shall have their common ideal religion. As with Messianic ideas, which likewise it is urged must follow a miraculous interposition and a divine deliverance, this, too, is set aside for the more practical ideas of the colonists.
It has been demonstrated that the soil is sufficiently fertile to maintain colonists, and there is no doubt that the opening up of the railroads and steamships will furnish ample markets. The Jews from being the dromedaries of civilization will take the place of the Phoenicians of history and become the burden bearers of commerce in the same sense that the last great nation was. Not content with building up slowly for future use, some of the more enthusiastic are raising funds to return themselves, as soon as possible, to the Promised Land of milk and honey. They mean to put their theories to a severe test and by heroic measures.
It cannot be that the distance between the older citizens among American Jews and the new-comers is responsible for the lack of interest shown for what is really a big movement in the great cities of the country, for the Lovers of Zion have branches and are collecting money everywhere. The people here know little apparently of it, however, and their indifference takes the form of contempt, and then ofttimes a little side light makes them mistrust it because it is either an attempt, so they say, to compromise them into swearing allegiance to two flags or is visionary and opposed to their doctrinal views or Messianic hopes. The flag of Judah is not to be flung to the breeze shortly, but whereas it has cost tens of thousands of dollars to experiment in the United States and in Argentine, with the result still in doubt, it is hoped to carry successful farming in the sacred land to its furthest point, the Jews can find no safer, no better haven anywhere on the globe. The members of the colonization society do not want the Jews of the world to go en masse, but they would go in small companies themselves. This is an earnest of good faith, and if assistance is needed when the aims and purposes are well understood, money to aid them will be forthcoming. --Jewish Exponent.
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"If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honor."--`John 12:26`.
THE idea of service is one which is becoming more and more obnoxious to the minds of all classes of people. Both nations and individuals seem permeated with such a spirit of antagonism that their service one to another is only that which self-interest demands, and is generally rendered grudgingly and stintedly, the understood motto being--The least possible service for the largest compensation.
But the very reverse of this is the spirit of Christ, whose pleasure it was, in the execution
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of God's plan of salvation and blessing, to render the greatest possible service without money and without price--making himself a living sacrifice, not receiving even the thanks, but, on the contrary, the reproaches, of those he served. "If any man serve me, let him follow me," he says. To serve Christ is to enlist under his captaincy in the very service to which he devoted all his energies, even unto death,--the service of mankind along the exact lines of the divine plan. Therefore he refers us to his own sacrificing service. He does not say, Go in yonder way of humiliation and self-sacrificing service; but he says, Come, follow, where I have led the way! I have not despised humble service, and the servant is not greater than his Lord. "Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly of heart." A proud spirit cannot follow Christ. The current of thought and feeling must be changed to that of meekness, gentleness and love. The proud, haughty spirit must be converted, and with that conversion will come rest, peace and joy in following the Master's footsteps of faithful, untiring and self-sacrificing service.
Those who despise service, and long for release from all its restraints and its supposed dishonor, never made a greater mistake; for the only men and women worthy of remembrance when they have passed away are those who have faithfully and ably served their fellow-men. It is only such persons whose names come down through history covered with glory, while those who lived in selfish ease were long ago forgotten.
Among the shining lights of the world in their day were such noble servants as Moses, Elijah and Paul--men who braved every danger and hazarded their lives to serve God's purposes in the interests of their fellow-men. Consider Moses, burdened with the care of that mighty host of stiff-necked Israelites: with what indifference to his own ease or rest of mind or body, he gave his whole energy to the service of his people. Then consider Paul, with the care of all the churches upon him, and the great work of spreading the gospel among the Gentiles in the face of determined opposition and persecution which constantly imperilled his life and never allowed him the quiet ease so desirable to all men.
Then, in more recent times, we have the noble examples of reformers and martyrs and guards and defenders of human rights and liberties at immense cost to themselves. Prominent among the latter are the honored names of Washington and Lincoln, two men whom the providence of God evidently raised up in times of great peril and conflict, the former to secure this great American asylum for the oppressed of all nations, and the latter to deliver it from the curse of human slavery and defend it against disunion and disintegration.
With the divine plan in mind, one cannot read the history of this country without seeing in it the over-ruling power of God in providing and keeping in this land, for the elect's sake, a safe asylum where truth untrammelled could be freely disseminated and some measure of the glorious liberty of the sons of God enjoyed. Especially is this noticeable in view of the fact that the harvest work began and centered in this country. Grandly in the dawn of its existence, when it was menaced by a hostile foreign power and by savages within its borders, that noble Christian soldier, George Washington, self-sacrificingly threw himself with all his energies into the breach. Looking to God for help, and urging the nation to do the same, he became the human instrument for the salvation of this nation from the power of oppression.
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Then when slavery had defiled the land, and the wails of oppression from four millions of our fellow-creatures came into the ears of the Lord of armies, he raised up Abraham Lincoln, who nobly bore upon his heart and mind the burdens of all the oppressed; and, looking to God and urging the nation to do the same, Lincoln sacrificed himself in the interests of his fellow-men and thus in the service of God.
But aside from these there are many more or less widely known who have considered service an honor, following the example of Christ. "If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall my servant be." The reward of a close following of the Lord--partaking of his spirit and entering heartily and self-sacrificingly into his service--is the sharing in due time in his glory and kingdom. "If any man serve me, him will my Father honor." "Fear not, little flock, it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom."
Those who have proved their devotion to God and to his benevolent plan for the salvation and blessing of humanity will not lose their reward. God's eye is upon all such; he is marking their conduct in all the peculiar circumstances and conditions in which they are placed; and no one who is faithfully and diligently acting his part, however humble that part may be, can escape his notice. All such will receive abundance of honor in due time; but the crown must not be looked for until the cross has been borne to the end. On this side the vail that separates the present from the future lies the pathway of humiliation and self-sacrifice, but beyond are glory and peace and praise and joy forevermore. Beloved, keep the promises in mind that you may gather from them the inspiration you will need more and more as the trials of this present time and service increase in number and severity.--`2 Tim. 2:3`; `Rom. 6:4,5`; `8:17,18`; `1 John 3:3`.
STUDIES IN THE OLD TESTAMENT.
--INTERNATIONAL S.S. LESSONS.--
SUGGESTIVE THOUGHTS DESIGNED TO ASSIST THOSE OF OUR READERS WHO ATTEND BIBLE CLASSES WHERE THESE LESSONS ARE USED; THAT THEY MAY BE ENABLED TO LEAD OTHERS INTO THE FULNESS OF THE GOSPEL.
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DANIEL AND HIS COMPANIONS.
III. QUAR., LESSON XIII., SEPT. 23, `DAN. 1:8-20`.
Golden Text--"Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself."--`Dan. 1:8`.
In this lesson we have before us four more of those beautiful characters among the ancient worthies whose examples the Apostles taught us to emulate (`Jas. 5:10`; `Heb. 11`.) In these four men we see the grandeur of the fixed purpose of noble and loyal hearts. Severe temptations were set before them, but not for an instant did they sway them from the path of rectitude.
At an early age, at the beginning of the seventy years captivity of Israel in Babylon, they were carried to Babylon and obliged to enter the service of the royal court, where the king's command as to their course of life was such as implied the forsaking of their own religion and their God, even their names being changed to those of idolatrous significance. The luxurious diet of the king, of course, would not be subject to the restrictions of the Jewish law (`Lev. 11`; `Deut. 12:23-25`); and this first command, which conflicted with the law of God, they sought if possible to avoid,--no doubt praying God's providential favor to this end.
In this they self-denyingly ignored the luxuries, and ran the risk of encountering the wrath of a despotic king in whose hands was the power of death, to be executed on the merest caprice; while on the other hand his favor was likely to advance them to honorable distinction in the kingdom.
God favored them so that the wrath of the king was not incurred, and they became, to that great Gentile nation, living witnesses of the power and grace of the God of Israel. But the time came in the case of each of these four witnesses when they were called upon to seal their testimony with their blood; and they met those tests of fidelity with an unflinching, resolute purpose. Notwithstanding the king's command to pray to him and to no other god, Daniel still adhered to his usual custom of praying to the true God three times a day with his window open and his face toward Jerusalem; and for his fidelity he calmly yielded to the persecuting spirit which cast him into a
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den of lions. His three companions with equal fortitude refused to worship the golden image which Nebuchadnezzar had set up, and paid the penalty by going into a burning, fiery furnace, saying, Our God is able to deliver us if it please him, but, leaving the matter of deliverance or destruction to his will, of one thing we are sure, We will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
What heroic examples of godly zeal and fortitude, and of friendship cemented by the bonds of a common noble purpose. Four young men devoted to God mutually agree to set their faces like a flint against temptation, and to live righteously and godly in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation; and truly they have shone as lights, not only in their own day, but down even to the present time. In youth they chose the right ways of the Lord, and they gave a life-long testimony to the praise of his grace.
Let our purpose be like theirs, and as the Psalmist expresses it,--"My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed."--`Psa. 57:7`.
III. QUAR., LESSON XIV., SEPT. 30.
Golden Text--"The kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel."--`Mark 1:15`.
A thoughtful, reverent, prayerful review of the lessons of this quarter on the incidents and teachings of our Lord's earthly life cannot fail to bring the soul into fuller sympathy and fellowship with him, and thus prepare us for his Kingdom, now so close at hand,--not merely in its embryo condition, but in its completeness and glory.
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ENCOURAGING WORDS FROM FAITHFUL WORKERS.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:--Just a few lines to let you know how the Lord is blessing me as a partaker in his harvest work.
Acting on your advice in Z.W.T., I have been attending the various meetings held here on Sunday, that I may thereby get acquainted with some of the Lord's children and give them a tract or DAWN. I have not only had just such opportunity, but also the privilege to lead the Y.M.C.A. meeting one Sunday; and although the subject provided hedged me in considerably, yet I managed to give them some truth on the ransom, and how it was necessary for
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Christ to suffer. Following is the lesson:
GREATNESS THROUGH GENTLENESS.
`2 SAM. 22:36`.
David was truly great.
Great in physical strength.
(a) Slays the lion and the bear.-- `1 Sam. 17:36`.
(b) Slays the giant.--`1 Sam. 17:48-50`.
Great in his loyalty to his king.-- `1 Sam. 26:7-12`.
Great in his high position.
Elevated to the throne.--`2 Sam. 2:4`.
Great in God's estimation.
A man after his own heart.--`1 Sam. 13:14`; `Acts 13:22`.
True greatness does not consist in what we possess, but in what we are.
We may never be kings, but all may be kingly.
David's greatness consisted in his willingness to submit himself to God.
His constant prayer was "Teach me thy ways."
Christ is the most perfect example of greatness.
Christ is the most perfect example of gentleness.
His character is love.
Love is always patient, always gentle-- never weak.
Love is always great. If we would be great, we must allow the love and gentleness of Christ to lead us.
If our lives are entirely submitted to him, we cannot limit his power to usward. Christ's pattern of greatness.--`Matt. 18:4`. Gentleness the fruit of the spirit.--`Gal. 5:22`. Study lives of Moses, Paul, Peter, John, Joshua and others.
Yesterday I was called again to make a few remarks after the paper read by the leader. (Subject: Jesus, the young man's best friend.) I opened the Scriptures at `Rom. 5:7,8`, showing them in which way Jesus was the young man's friend, and also friend to all them who by faith appropriate to themselves the merits of his sacrifice. I also explained the "equivalent price," and its necessity.
Going to the Presbyterian church, I was delighted to hear an old minister preaching the unvarnished truth from the text, "If
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any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross," etc. His prayers were short and very good, and the burden of them was to be guided by God's Word, his truth, that he may have no opinions of his own. You can imagine how my heart warmed toward him. Since then I have become very friendly with him, and have found him to be very well posted in truth, and waiting with expectancy the return of our Lord and Master. I had quite a talk with him on this truth. He gave me a book to read, and I gave him in exchange DAWN, VOL. II. I know it is against your advice, but I thought that, as he was deeply interested in the coming of Christ, and as he was greatly pleased with the tract, "Do You Know," he may have his appetite whetted for more and so get ready for VOL. I. And my conclusions were correct: he is deeply interested, and is hurrying up to get it. I pray he may have his prayer answered, just to know God's way and not his own opinions; and I pray that I may be kept humble, knowing how many have stumbled over spiritual pride.
Find enclosed a small order for MILLENNIAL DAWNS.
Yours in Christian love,
[Such methods we commend to all--in proportion as they possess the requisite ability. Each one blessed by the truth should feel it his privilege as well as his duty to serve it and his fellow-pilgrims to the Heavenly Kingdom. He whose heart does not burn with a desire to tell the good tidings either has not learned it or else has received only its letter and not its spirit. But all should remember the Lord's caution "Be ye wise as serpents, and harmless as doves;" and the Apostle's admonition to speak the truth in love. Such efforts for those who are yet in darkness are well supplemented by weekly gatherings for prayer, praise and interchange of testimony by those who have emerged into the "marvelous light" of present truth. --EDITOR.]
DEAR BROTHER:--In regard to yourself and work, I want to say I am in perfect accord. Since reading DAWN, VOL. I., I have had mingled feelings of joy and sadness: Sadness that I was so long in darkness, and joy that the light has dawned upon me. The DAWNS and TOWERS are a continual blessing to us. I say to us, for I am glad to tell you that my dear wife has also, after due consideration, embraced the truth. So you see I have great cause for gratitude. Together we can study and plan little deeds that we think may be of help to some one. We agree with you that the time is short, and that what we do must be done quickly.
I have consecrated my time, talents, voice, pen and all to God and the spread of present truth--"meat in due season," and I am glad to be able to say that (since doing this) God has led me in a wonderful way; and we rejoice that through our humble efforts many have been led to a serious consideration of this most important truth. For the past year we have been holding an unsectarian meeting for gospel purposes and Bible study. The numbers have kept up fairly well, and the interest has always been good. Our meetings are attended by a mixed class: many who were never interested in the gospel and some of the different shades of Adventists. All are made welcome. They listen with a good deal of interest, and sometimes take a minor part. The doctrines of the ransom and the restitution are always kept prominent. We use blackboard and chart, and alway try to vary our meeting. Other work consists in tract distribution, loaning of DAWNS, answering enquiries (sometimes in writing), visiting in a quiet way, engaging those in conversation whom we think will be interested. It is indeed a great work, and we are so glad that we have a fair field. Some disappointment has been expressed at our not seeking a church home. Two pastors visited us, and received in plain talk from God's Word some good reasons for our course. Dear Brother, observation proves more and more that "Babylon" is fallen. What a mercy to be delivered! On Sunday, Aug. 5, our subject will be, The National Restoration of Israel (in accordance to VOL. III., Chap. 8); the next Sunday, The Signs of the Times.
I hope and pray that you will long be spared, and that we, as co-workers with God in this glorious harvest work, may be faithful, and led to glorious victory at last. "Do You Know," we think is especially good. I do not expect an answer. This is only a little by way of greeting to you and Sister Russell. Yours in the work,
JOHN & FRANCES DUFTY.
==================== ::page 306::
ZION'S WATCH TOWER
HERALD OF CHRIST'S PRESENCE.
PUBLISHED TWICE A MONTH.
TOWER PUBLISHING COMPANY, "BIBLE HOUSE" ARCH STREET, ALLEGHENY, PA., U.S.A.
C. T. RUSSELL, EDITOR; MRS. C. T. RUSSELL, ASSOCIATE.
SUBSCRIPTION PRICE, $1.00 A YEAR, IN ADVANCE, By Express Order, Postal Money Order, Bank Draft, or Registered Letter. Foreign only by Foreign Money Order.
FREE TO THE LORD'S POOR.
N.B.--Those of the interested, who by reason of old age or accidents, or other adversity, are unable to pay, will be supplied FREE, if they will send a Postal Card each December, stating their case and requesting the paper.
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CHURCH AND STATE IN ITALY.
AN UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN THEM FORESHADOWED BY PREMIER CRISPI.
Premier Crispi inaugurated in Naples to-day the memorial erected in honor of King Humbert's visit to the city during the cholera epidemic of 1884. He made a notable speech, beginning with a historical review of recent Italian politics, and closing with a declaration as to the social problems of to-day, especially the revolutionary movement. The social system was now passing, he said, through a momentous crisis. The situation had become so acute that it seemed absolutely necessary for civil and religious authority to unite and work harmoniously against that infamous band on whose flag were inscribed the words, "No God, no King." This band had declared war on society. Let society accept the declaration and shout back the battle-cry, "For God, King and Country!"
The politicians and clergy here regard this speech as the weightiest utterance of years. Its whole letter and spirit, they say, suggest the approach to an understanding between the Government and the church. --N.Y. Tribune.
The above foreshadows what we have for some time pointed out as the tendency of civilization --to retrace its steps toward a fuller recognition of ecclesiasticism in politics. This change of front is not because of a growth of religion or of religious superstition, but from a fear that unless the church controls the people through superstition, etc., the entire social fabric will go to wreck. This calls our attention afresh to our Lord's prophecy of present conditions --"Men's hearts failing them for fear and for looking after the things coming upon the earth [society]; for the powers of the heavens [ecclesiasticism] shall be shaken."
Ecclesiasticism will be given an increasingly prominent place in politics and will become a branch of or element in civil government, throughout "Christendom," until finally when one falls both will fall, in the great time of trouble, predicted in the Scriptures, whose shadow is already stealing over the world.
"When ye see all these things come to pass, then lift up your heads and rejoice, knowing that your redemption is at hand."