ZWT - 1894 - R1611 thru R1747 / R1641 (115) - April 15, 1894

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VOL. XV. APRIL 15, 1894. NO. 8.




"Our Savior Jesus Christ...hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel."--`2 Tim. 1:10`.

THE doctrine of the endless torment of the wicked is built upon the theory that they and all men are immortal creatures;--that somehow and somewhere all men became possessed of a power to live always;--that they cannot rid themselves of life, even should they so prefer; and that even God, their Creator, has done a work in creating them that he could not undo if he so desired.

This hypothesis, if conceded--and it is very generally accepted--becomes the basis for a certain sort of logical reasoning. We are assured that since all men are immortal they must all live somewhere and under some conditions; and that since God has promised a reward to the obedient and a punishment to the disobedient, the immortality of the righteous will be spent in bliss and the immortality of the sinners in misery.

Our first question should be, Is the above hypothesis, the foundation of this view, correct? Is it true that God who has the power to create has not the power to undo his work, and destroy man? Reasoning on the subject, before going to God's Word to see what he says about the matter, we should say that there must be some mistake about this hypothesis-- that it is less difficult to destroy than to create a being; and that he who created all things must be "able to destroy both soul and body" should he so desire, as also saith the Scriptures. --See `Matt. 10:28`; `Jas. 4:12`.

Our reasoning further would be that, since God's character is both just and kind, if he had not had ability to destroy his creatures if unsatisfactory (if when once created they must live on regardless of their own well-being or the well-being of others, and must therefore spend an eternity of misery, in separation from the holy and in confinement with others of their own miserable and sinful disposition), then God would have been much more careful as to who got life at all, and as to the circumstances and conditions of birth and parentage. We hold it would be discreditable to God's justice, wisdom, love and power to assume that he would permit ignorant and depraved parents to bring forth ad libitum a depraved offspring, mentally, morally and physically degraded and weak, if those creatures must spend an eternity somewhere, and if the chances were, as is generally supposed, a thousand to one against their everlasting happiness.

But we do not wish to rest our faith upon human reasonings,--either our own or those of others--while we have the Bible, God's inspired revelation, to give us positive information on this important subject. In it, and in it alone, God has revealed his character, his plan and his power to execute it.

Before going to the Scriptures, however, it will be well for us to make sure that we have the correct conception of the meaning of the

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words immortal and immortality. Although these are English words, we believe that the majority of English speaking people do not realize their full import. They suppose them to mean merely everlasting life. This, however, is a great mistake; for, according to the Scriptures, some will have everlasting life who will never have immortality;--nay, they expressly tell us that many, "a great company," will enjoy an everlasting existence, while but few, "a little flock," will be made immortal.

The term Everlasting Life simply describes an existence which will never cease. It may be supported by food and drink and other necessary conditions, but it simply means that life will continue forever. This everlasting life may belong to both mortal and immortal beings, the only difference being that to the former it is granted through certain conditions upon which it depends for support, as for instance, light, heat, air, food and drink, while in the latter it inheres independent of all conditions.

The term Immortality describes an existence which, therefore, cannot cease, being proof against death. It is an indestructible existence, not dependent upon food and drink or conditions of any kind. It describes an existence which needs no refreshment or supply--possessed of inherent life.

If these definitions be accepted as correct (and they cannot be successfully disputed), then all opposition to the Scriptural teaching, that Immortality is not an inherent and natural possession of humanity, but a prize offered to a special class of overcomers, should cease; because opposition generally springs from the supposition that the denial of natural human immortality means a denial of any future life, and implies that a man and a brute are alike in death--without hope of a future existence. We are glad that we are able to thus remove at once the prejudice which hinders so many from a candid examination of the Scriptural teaching upon the subject.

Having carefully studied all that the Bible has to say upon this topic, we will first assert what its teachings are, and afterward give the proof.

The Scriptures assert that this very high order of existence (which we men cannot fully comprehend), this life without food or other means of supply--inherent life, Immortality--was originally possessed by the Heavenly Father only. He alone has it without derivation from another as a gift or reward. All others, therefore, who ever will attain to this highest order or degree of existence, will obtain it as a reward or gift, and will then possess the divine nature, in which nature, alone, Immortality inheres.

Angels no more possess immortality than do men; for, although they possess the divine image and likeness (as do all of God's intelligent creatures), they are not partakers of the divine

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nature;--theirs is angelic nature, as man's is human nature. True, there is no dying among the angels as there is among men, but neither would men die if it were not for the penalty of sin, under which all men came by father Adam's disobedience, and from which all of them, who will accept the terms of the New Covenant, will shortly be set free. (`Isa. 61:1`.) But that angels could be destroyed, as man has been, is fully substantiated by God's dealing with Satan, who, before he sinned, was an angel of light, a son of the morning--one of the earliest creation. (`Isa. 14:12`.) Both in literal and symbolic language the Bible declares that Satan is to be destroyed;--which proves conclusively that he and other angels do not possess that exclusively divine attribute of inherent life, Immortality.

And the Scriptures assure us that even our great Redeemer, who was the very first and chief of God's creatures, "the beginning of the creation" of God, and by whom angels and men and all other created things were made (`Rev. 3:14`; `John 1:3`; `Col. 1:15-17`; `Heb. 1:2`; `Eph. 3:9`), and who consequently was next to the Father in honor and glory and power,--even he did not possess this wonderful kind of life, this essentially divine quality, until after his resurrection from the dead, after he had given himself as man's great sin-offering, once for all and forever. Then, as a reward for his perfect obedience to the Father's will and plan, even unto death, he was highly exalted

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and given a name above every other name. His obedience to the divine will proved him an overcomer of evil in the highest degree, and he was honored with a seat with the Father in the throne or dominion of the Universe. Among the other favors conferred upon our great Redeemer after his sacrifice and at his resurrection was this divine quality of having "life in himself," not dependent on supplies of food, etc., the gift of Immortality.

Indeed, if our Redeemer had possessed this kind of life before, he could not have been our Redeemer; for he could not have died for us. To any one possessing immortality, suffering and death are impossible. Thanks be to God that Christ died for our sins--once for all. But he will never die again: he is now immortal and cannot die. "Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more: death hath no more dominion over him."--`Rom. 6:9`.

With these views of the exclusiveness of this quality of being called Immortality, and seeing that it is essentially a quality of the divine nature only, it may well cause us surprise to find it promised or offered to any creature--angel or man. Yet we do find it not only given to our resurrected Lord Jesus, but offered also to a particular class of men, within a special period of time, under certain conditions and for a special purpose in the divine plan.

God's purpose is clearly stated in connection with the text at the head of this article, thus: "God...hath saved us, and CALLED US WITH A HOLY CALLING; not according to our works [or past evidence of worthiness], but ACCORDING TO HIS OWN PURPOSE and favor, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, but is now made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death and brought LIFE and IMMORTALITY to light through the gospel."-- `2 Tim. 1:8-10`.

God's purpose was to make a "new creation," of his own nature--the divine nature--of which new creation his Beloved Son, our Lord, was to be the chief or head, next to himself. God's purpose was that this new order of beings should be selected from among the human order; not that the human family had specially pleased God in works, or in any other manner had merited this honorable preference; but of his favor he purposed it so. And it is in the carrying out of this purpose that our Lord Jesus has already been manifested, and that by his obedience he has not only secured to himself the Father's favor and his own exaltation to the divine nature and glory and honor, but by the same act of obedience, even unto death, he has opened the way to two things; viz., life and immortality. Life, everlasting life, is opened up to the world in general; and each member of the race may secure it by conformity to the terms of the New Covenant: and immortality is brought to light for the special class, the foreordained Church, which, according to God's purpose and wonderful favor, is now being called, and tested, and selected, for participation in the divine nature and association in the divine plan, as heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ, their Lord and Redeemer.

Observation and reflection teach us what the Scriptures expressly declare; namely, that the requirements of character for that high position are exacting, the way to that great exaltation narrow, difficult, and that few of the many called will win the prize, make their calling and selection sure (by full and hearty obedience of mind) and become partakers of the divine nature. The overcomers who will sit with Christ in his throne, as he overcame and was associated with the Father in his dominion, will be but "few," a "little flock." Not many great, mighty or noble, according to the reckoning of this world, will be chosen; but the humble and meek, rich in faith.--`1 Cor. 1:26`; `Jas. 2:5`.

Some of the Scriptures upon which the foregoing statements are based are the following: Showing that God is the only original possessor of Immortality, `1 Tim. 6:15,16`. Showing that to Christ has been given this quality of having "life IN HIMSELF," not needing further supply, `John 5:26`. Showing that each one of the faithful, overcoming Church, Christ's bride and joint-heir, is to share the same gift, a well-spring of life in himself, springing up everlastingly, `John 4:14`. But each must run a race and win it as a prize, as did their

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Master and Captain, the Lord Jesus. (`Rom. 2:7`; `1 Tim. 4:10`; `1 Cor. 9:25`; `2 Pet. 1:4-7,8,10`.) And such shall have part in the same kind of a resurrection that Christ experienced, `Phil. 3:10,11`. His was the first or chief resurrection, to the highest station; and, as his "body," they will share with him that first or chief resurrection to glory, honor and immortality, and over them consequently the second death will have "no power," `Rev. 20:6`. That this class will obtain this inherent quality of the divine nature (immortality), and be like their Lord, is clearly stated by the Apostle in his description of their resurrection, the "first resurrection," "the resurrection of the dead," `1 Cor. 15:42-44,50-54`. (The word incorruptible, when applied to being, existence, is of similar significance to immortal). The exceeding, great and precious promises of God, by which these are called or begotten, are incorruptible seed, and wherever retained and nourished will develop into being of the divine nature, `1 Pet. 1:23` and `2 Pet. 1:4`. These citations include all the uses of these words, immortal, immortality, incorruptible and incorruption in the Bible;--in the original as well as in the English language.



Whence then came the popular notion that all human beings possess immortality, innately, inherently? Evidently it came not from the Bible; for, as we have seen, the Bible teaches the reverse, that God alone had it as an inherent quality, and that he has offered it as a gift to but a small and very select class. Nay, more, the Bible distinctly declares that man is mortal, that death is possible to him. (`Job 4:17`; `Deut. 30:15`; `Rom. 6:12`; `8:11`; `1 Cor. 15:53`; `2 Cor. 4:11`); and more, that he has passed under its sentence (`Rom. 5:12`); that his only hope is in a resurrection, a re-vitalizing or re-creation from the dead; and that an everlasting continuance of life may be had only upon the condition of full obedience to the divine requirements.--`1 Cor. 15:17,18,20,21`; `Rom. 5:18,19`; `Acts 4:2`; `17:18`; `24:15`.

Scanning the pages of history, we find that, although the doctrine of human immortality is not taught by God's inspired witnesses, it is the very essence of all heathen religions. Savage tribes in every quarter of the earth believe the doctrine, and from their tribal traditions have held it from time immemorial. It is not true, therefore, that Socrates and Plato were the first to teach the doctrine: it had an earlier teacher than either of them, and a yet more able one. They, however, polished the doctrine, as long held by the Greeks, and made a philosophy out of it, and thus made it the more seductive and acceptable to the cultured class of their day and since.

The first record of this false teaching is found in the oldest history known to man-- the Bible. The false teacher was Satan. "He was a liar from the beginning [not from his beginning, but from the beginning of man's experience--from Eden] and abode not in the truth." He used this false doctrine in tempting mother Eve to wilfully and knowingly disobey God's command. God had said to Adam and Eve that the penalty of disobedience would be death. Satan's denial of this, saying, "Ye shall not surely die!" was practically saying that God could not destroy them after having created them. It was practically, therefore, the first affirmation of the doctrine of inherent, human immortality. And this is the teacher who has blinded and confused all nations and peoples upon this subject. Himself and his agents and coadjutors, the fallen "angels who kept not their first estate" (`Jude 6`), have taught the world this lie, in the same manner that they attempted to teach Israel,--by dreams and by necromancy,--by personating their dead friends, through "spirit-mediums" of modern times.

During the Jewish age God guarded his typical people against those delusions and lying spirits of devils, assuring them that "the dead know not any thing"; that "his sons come to honor and he knoweth it not, and to dishonor and he perceiveth it not of them"; for "there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge,

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nor wisdom, in the grave whither thou goest." --`Job 14:21`; `Eccl. 9:5,10`.

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The following references will show clearly the Lord's attitude on this subject during the period of typical Israel's favor; viz., `Deut. 18:10-12`; `Lev. 19:31`; `20:6`; `2 Kings 21:6`; `23:24`; `Isa. 8:19`; `19:3`; `29:4`; `1 Cor. 10:20`; `Jas. 3:15`; `2 Tim. 3:8`. In God's dealing with the Gospel Church, as we have already seen, he guarded them against the error by setting before them the true and only hope of everlasting life and of immortality; bringing BOTH to light in the gospel; showing that life everlasting would be given only to faithful, obedient men as a reward at the resurrection, and that immortality would be bestowed as a favor upon a little flock, the special "overcomers" of this Gospel age.



These "seducing spirits and doctrines of devils," so successful over the entire world in all past time, the Lord advises his people, will be specially active and specially seductive in form in the close or "harvest" of this Gospel age. "Now the spirit speaketh expressly that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, [through] giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils speaking lies in hypocrisy." (`1 Tim. 4:1`.) We are also forewarned that this "hypocrisy" consists in personating messengers of light ("angels of light" --`2 Cor. 11:13,14`), and affecting to bring in "new light."

Among the barbarians, steeped in ignorance, there is no need of new light--they are left asleep. But amongst the enlightened and civilized (despite his blinding influences, `2 Cor. 4:4`), thought and investigation are being aroused; and there Satan is kept busy. Among such necromancy and incantations will not do; their intellects are too alert to be much or long hoodwinked by these. Even the finer deceptions of Spiritism (with its manifestations of superhuman powers through rapping, tipping, writing and speaking and impersonating mediums with familiar spirits, which it claims are for the purpose of proving human immortality), are too gross and senseless to deceive and captivate God's consecrated ones, the very class Satan is most anxious to stumble. Consequently there are changes in progress,--new garments of "new light" are assumed continually, and every feature of present truth sent by God to "the household of faith," as meat in due season, is promptly counterfeited, in order "to deceive if it were possible the very elect."

But it is not possible to deceive those whose faith in God is fixed in Christ--who are trusting in the merit of Christ's great redeeming sacrifice and whose hearts are wholly consecrated to the Lord's service. Such "shall never fall"; but all others are to be separated from the true, and God permits, yea, using Satan's wrath to work out his own plans, he may be and is said to send the strong delusions which are now perplexing all whose faith is not founded upon the rock Christ Jesus, and who have not already put on the whole armor of God, supplied in his Word. All who have failed to receive the truth in the love of it, but take pleasure rather in the error and serve error, God wills shall be deceived by these "doctrines of devils," that thus their condemnation, as unfit for a share in the Kingdom, may be manifested.--See `2 Thes. 2:10,11`; and WATCH TOWER, April '91.



Among the popular and more refined devices of the great Adversary are Christian Science in its various schools and with slight differences and Theosophy. These on the outside, together with the evolutionary and anti-Biblical theories inside the nominal churches, called Higher Criticism, advanced thought, etc., are rapidly tearing to fragments all of truth that the poor nominal churches ever held. These all bear the distinctive marks of the "father of lies." They all with one consent declare man to be immortal.

The assumedly wise "Higher Critics," who claim that the writers of the Bible were less learned, less wise and less inspired than themselves, and hence that their writings should be regarded only as well-meant "old wives fables," claim that man is "falling upward"-- evolving from a state or condition of low degradation, perhaps from a monkey or even a

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tadpole state, up to the divine nature, by virtue of inherent immortality.

Christian Science is wholly a misnomer; for it is devoid of scientific elements, and merely prefixes the name Christian to destroy and deceive God's people; for to them Christ was not a Savior, nor was a savior needed: he was merely a good man, a Christian Scientist who but imperfectly understood the new science which he introduced, but which in these latter times has been perfected and fully set forth by Mrs. Doctor Eddy of Boston, Mass. As expounded by its various schools it teaches the immortality of all things, and has for its trade-mark, so to speak, the expression, "All is life, there is no death!" Thus they speak Satan's falsehood, "Ye shall not surely die."

The various shades of Universalism unite in the same conclusion. Some hold that man evolved from a tadpole or ape, some that he was poorly made and a very bad likeness and not at all the image of God, and declare that he was like "a half-baked cake;" but all unite in the belief that all men are being evolved to perfection and the divine nature, and assure all in Satan's very language, "Ye shall not surely die."

And, finally, we have Theosophy--the latest nonsense to appeal to the cultured and aesthetic, but really blind and naked and hungry in the nominal churches. (`Rev. 3:17`.) It comes forward as the newest and most polished form of religious thought; but those versed in ancient and medieval history know that it is, in its very essence, a revival of the central thought of Hindooism, and in many particulars the delusion of the so-called German Mystics. Theosophy holds that "all things are of God" in the absolute and ridiculous sense. It holds that all finite existences were effluxed or thrown off from one Infinite Being; that these effluxed beings--angels, men, beasts and birds and devils--being portions of deity are immortal and (as Satan has always taught) "shall not surely die." Following the philosophy of Socrates and Plato (while denying these as the authors or even the burnishers of their doctrine, and claiming that Socrates and Plato got the information as they now get it direct from God, by communion and intuition), it claims that man not only will live forever future, but that he has lived forever past. It appeals to the weak-minded with the question, "Have you never seen places that seemed strangely familiar the first time you visited them? Those were places you had seen before your present existence began." And, as of old, Satan may sometimes assist a sluggish imagination with a dream. It holds that death is not death, but a new birth, and that each individual will be reborn again and again until he has developed sufficiently the divine nature, and then he will be reabsorbed into God for eternity.

It professes to be based upon neither theology nor philosophy. The word Theosophy is defined by its advocates to mean the Religion of Wisdom. It claims that its wisdom is divine, resulting from direct intuition and communion with God. Consequently, it rejects philosophical reasoning, and revelation such as the Scriptures, as hindrances to true wisdom. Instead of accepting and using the revelation which God has provided--the Bible--and therefrom learning of the character and will of God and bringing their wills and actions into harmony with the spirit of its teachings, these have rejected the wisdom of God (`Rom. 1:18-21`; `1 Cor. 1:18-21`; `2:9-16`) and substituted the vain imaginings of their own imperfect minds--holy meditations. "Professing to be wise, they become fools" was written, by divine authority, of a similar class.--`Rom. 1:21,22`.

Claiming to reject all revealed religion, and ignoring doctrines entirely, Theosophy professes to be the religion of cause and effect-- that sooner or later wrong doing will react upon the wrong doer, bringing its penalty; and right doing bringing its reward. Like the recent World's Parliament of Religions, it places Christ and Moses on a parity with Confucius, Plato and Socrates--as world-teachers. It is ready to quote from the Bible or from the Koran any fragment which can be turned to account in its own support, but it does not regard any book or man as specially inspired authority. It professes to be the patron of every noble trait and every benevolent design, and is willing to class as Theosophists all

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popular people. It favors alms-giving and good deeds, so done as to be seen of men.

Theosophy is, therefore, as it claims, preeminently suited to the sentiments of the majority of the wise children of this world who do not appreciate either their own imperfection or the Lord's mercy in Christ. They say, "I want no one to pay my debts for me. I expect to pay for myself the penalty of my sins--if I commit any." All such are just ripe for Theosophy. Indeed, the entire "Christian world" is ready to leave its former confused creed-mooring and to set sail, with Theosophy for pilot and good works for motive power, to reach a haven of rest and happiness, if there be such a haven;--for many of them doubt it. Alas! how the ignorance of God's Word and plan and the present confusion of the nominal churches paves the way for this great falling away from the cross of Christ to "another gospel"--which is really no gospel. --`Gal. 1:6,7`.

Of course none of these delusions have any use for the doctrine of the cross of Christ-- the "ransom for all"--or its testimony in due time, now or hereafter. No; the Bible doctrine, of a ransom past and of a future restitution as a consequence, finds no place in any of these theories. Those who hold with Satan, "Ye shall not surely die," of course can see

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no more sense in giving a ransom for a creature who is "falling upward" or being evolved from lower to higher conditions, than they could feel sympathy with a restitution which would bring them back to their "former estate," since according to their false theories this would mean the undoing of all the progress of six thousand years of evolution.--Compare `Acts 3:19-21`; `Ezek. 16:53-55`.

These are some of the foretold "strong delusions" of our day. They are not actually strong or powerful--on the contrary they are very weak--but they have great power to delude many, because few are "weaned from the milk" (`Isa. 28:9`); few in the nominal church are mentally or spiritually out of their swaddling clothes; few have even used the milk of God's Word and grown thereby to the use and appreciation of the strong meat of present truth which is for the developed men in Christ. (`Heb. 5:13,14`.) It is not surprising to us, therefore, that those whom Spiritism and Swedenborgianism did not affect are now being gathered into Christian Science and Theosophy, the later developments of Satan's cunning.

The strength of these delusions lies in the errors mixed with the truths held by Christian people; and among these errors none is more injurious or better calculated to open the heart and mind to these delusive and destructive errors than the general belief of the first lie--"Ye shall not surely die"--a failure to understand the Bible doctrine concerning life and immortality brought to light by our Lord Jesus, through his gospel of salvation from sin by his ransom sacrifice. Every error held obscures and hinders some truth; and we have come to a place where every child of God needs all the panoply of truth--the armor of God. He who has not on the whole armor of God is almost sure to fall into error in this evil day. Who shall be able to stand? None, except those who are building up their most holy faith with the precious promises and doctrines of God's Word.

The advocates of these doctrines are surprisingly alert everywhere--especially in this country where thought is most active and where liberty often means license,--and hundreds and thousands are embracing these errors as new light. The extent of their success is not yet apparent to very many; for their success lies in making a still hunt for their prey. They are to be found in almost every congregation of every denomination--especially the more cultured; and the "angel of light" feature is seldom neglected. The nominal church is already permeated, leavened, with these false doctrines; and they are spreading so rapidly that the Scriptural prophecy, that a thousand shall fall from the faith to one who will stand faithful, will soon be fulfilled and demonstrable. (`Psa. 91:7`.) The doctrine of the ransom, the cross of Christ, is the test. Already a large proportion of the nominal church disbelieves in Christ's death as their ransom or corresponding price, and have taken what is rapidly coming to be considered the

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advanced position, that Jesus was merely AN EXAMPLE for us to follow, not also our redeemer.

From the Scripture teaching upon the subject we cannot doubt that these deceptions will grow stronger and that even greater demonstrations of superhuman power will be permitted them--that all except the very elect may be stumbled. (`Matt. 24:24`; `2 Pet. 1:10`.) The doing of wonderful things is an old trick with Satan. And if disease and death are to a considerable extent under his control (See `Job 1:12`; `Heb. 2:14`), why might he not in an emergency reverse the method and do some healing of diseases, thereby to re-establish his errors, and re-blind some whose eyes of understanding have been gradually opening, under the light of the Millennial day dawn? We believe that he is adopting this policy, and that he will do so yet more. And we believe that our Lord's suggestive inquiry was prophetic of this, when he said, "If Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself: how then shall his kingdom stand?" (`Matt. 12:26`.) So now when Satan's Kingdom is about to fall, it will be his effort to support it by many wonderful works done by his unknowing as well as by his wilful agents, falsely and in the name of Christ.



Theosophists introduce their views with the true suggestion that,--"The various Christian religions have no prospect of converting the world to Christ through their creeds, which antagonize each other, and what the world needs is a religion of deeds, not of creeds." It proposes, as the only creed of life, unselfishness. This is captivating to some who, like Theosophists, delight to talk about doing good and being unselfish, but who perhaps do as little as or less than the majority of others, without substantial returns.

Nevertheless, the jangle of creeds and the well-founded doubts of nominal Christians make them an easy prey to such delusions. Hence many are ceasing to believe in or even to think of creed, except to doubt them all and in every particular, and are grasping as a relief the single idea--"An unselfish life, now, will certainly secure for me the best there is hereafter." Thus Christ, and his great sacrifice for sins, are being buried under the mass of confused tradition known as the creeds of "Christendom." And the very fundamental error, which caused all the confusion of those creeds, survives them, takes a new form and announces itself, in Theosophy, an agent of reform and new light; and that fundamental error is the false view of death, that when a man dies he is not dead, but more than ever alive. This error is Satan's first lie: "Ye shall not surely die,"--all are immortal by nature, and even God cannot destroy you.

Let all who would stand in this time of general falling away from the Bible, from Christ, from the cross which is the center of the divine plan of salvation, look well to this matter and get their heads as well as their hearts right and in harmony with God's revelation --the Scriptures. Only in Christ are life and immortality brought to light, truly. Other lights on these subjects are false lights, the surmisings of imperfect brains, misled by the great deceiver.

True, these various errors are about to gather out of God's Kingdom ALL that offend, and those that do iniquity (and these constitute the great mass), while the faithful, who will receive the Kingdom and be joint-heirs of it with Christ, alone will "stand." (`Eph. 6:11-13`; `Psa. 91:1,4`.) But soon after the separation thus, of "wheat" from "tares," the fire of the great day of trouble (`Zeph. 3:8`) will make general havoc of present arrangements--social, political and financial--as well as of false religious doctrines and systems. Then shall the little flock, having received immortality and the Kingdom, shine forth as the Sun of Righteousness, and cause all the families of the earth to be blessed.--`Matt. 13:43`; `Acts 3:19-21`; `Mal. 4:2`.

Then let all who know the Truth be active in its spread. If you cannot preach orally perhaps you can preach privately, to your friends or neighbors,--by printed page or pen or word, as well as by your consistent daily conduct. Those about you need whatever help you can give, and if they do not get it many of them surely will drift into these latter-day delusions of Satan.


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AS an illustration of Calvinism as it was preached in by-gone days, but which the intelligence both of hearers and preachers prohibits in this day of greater light, we quote the following from the New York Journal's review of a new biography of Jonathan Edwards recently published:--

"Now let us see what impression was produced by the preaching of the doctrines of the immutable election of the few and the inevitable damnation of the many which Edwards with remorseless logic reared on his conception of the human will. The contemporary records and surviving traditions on the subject are brought together by Dr. Allen on pages 126-129 of this volume. 'One man has recorded that as he listened to Edwards, when discoursing of the day of judgment, he fully anticipated that the dreadful day would begin, when the sermon should come to an end.' Then follows the memorable account left by an ear and eye witness of the effect of the sermon preached at Enfield, Conn., in July, 1741 --a sermon which, in the words of the biographer, 'If New England has forgiven, it has never been able to forget.' The title was, 'Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God;' and the impression made by it was 'as if some supernatural apparition had frightened the people beyond control. They were convulsed in tears of distress and agony. Amid their sobs and outcries the preacher pauses, bidding them to be quiet in order that he might be heard.' The discourse was one constant stream of imprecation against sinful humanity, and it ended with these words: 'If we knew that there was one person, and but one, in the whole congregation that was to be the subject of this misery, what an awful thing it would be to think of! If we knew who it was, what an awful sight would it be to see such a person! How might all the rest of the congregation lift up a lamentable and bitter cry over him! But, alas! instead of one, how many, it is likely, will remember this discourse in hell! And it would be a wonder if some that are now present should not be in hell in a very short time, before this year is out. And it would be no wonder if some persons who now sit here in some seats of this meeting house, in health, and quiet and secure, should be there before the morrow morning."

If it be true that
"Satan trembles when he sees
The weakest saint upon his knees,"

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it must frequently cause him to chuckle and laugh to see how completely he succeeds in getting good men, wearing the livery of the royal priests, to blaspheme the character of the great Jehovah by such false statements.

The cunning of the great adversary in hoodwinking and leading captive to his service the professed servants of God, through false doctrines, is wonderful, marvelous. He is the successful prince of this age. As "the god [mighty one] of this world," he has been wonderfully successful in blinding the minds of them which believe not simply and implicitly in God's Word, but manufacture and use theories of their own and the traditions of other men to accomplish their own plans and to bring quick and popular results; so that they come really to love the darkness of error, of Satan-designed human theory, rather than the light of truth and reason which God's Word supplies. And so blinded are they, that even when brought in contact with the light of truth, the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, they fear and dread it and cling to the darkness of which really they are often ashamed.--`2 Cor. 4:4`.

O Lord, we are waiting, hoping, praying for that brighter, better day, when the reign of evil shall have finished its work of testing and proving the Church, the Bride; when Satan shall be bound and deceive the nations no more and blind thy children no longer with misrepresentations of thy Word, thy character and thy plan; when the Sun of Righteousness (the glorified Church--Head and body) shall shine forth, the true light which shall enlighten every man that ever came into being (`John 1:9`); when the knowledge of the Lord shall fill the whole earth as the waters cover the sea. For this, O Lord, we wait; and, as thou hast bidden us, we labor on and trust and pray--"Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven." Yea, even now we discern the dawning of that better day which shall emancipate thy Church, the whole creation, from the bondage of sin and Satan and death, and open the way for all who will to come as the Lord's sheep into his great fold with its bountiful provision of life everlasting.


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II. QUAR., LESSON V., APR. 29, `GEN. 45:1-15`.

Golden Text--"If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him."--`Luke 17:3`.

Again the wisdom and noble character of Joseph shine out brilliantly in his treatment of his erring brethren. When the widespread famine had brought them down to Egypt to buy corn, he knew them, though, under the changed circumstances of his new position, they did not recognize him. He had left them a beardless boy of seventeen, sold into slavery: they now saw him a man of forty, arrayed in the vestments of royalty and speaking a foreign language which they did not understand.

Had he been of a revengeful spirit, here was his opportunity for retaliation. Now he was in power, and they were at his mercy. Or if, on the other hand, his generosity had overcome his judgment, he might have received into his favor a host of enemies to further menace the peace and usefulness of his life and to stimulate and foster their own evil dispositions. But Joseph was a well-balanced man, and so went to neither the one extreme nor the other. His course showed that he had a forgiving as well as a cautious spirit, and that under proper circumstances he was ready to exercise forgiveness.

He therefore wisely dealt with them roughly at first, that he might prove their present disposition and ascertain whether the experience of years had wrought any change in them, and also that he might learn something with reference to his father and his younger and only full brother, Benjamin. He soon learned that his father and Benjamin still lived (`42:13`); but by concealing his identity and dealing roughly with them he improved the opportunity to test their present disposition, both toward their aged father and Benjamin and toward each other; and when they were tested he gladly recognized the fact that a great change had taken place in them, as witnessed by their solicitude for their father's feelings about Benjamin, in view of his loss of Joseph, and of their tenderness toward Benjamin who was now the father's favorite in the place of Joseph, thus showing that they had overcome the bitter envy and hatred of their younger days.

He heard them confess, too, in their own language, their guilt one to another with reference to their former treatment of himself, and learned also of Reuben's remonstrance at that time. (`42:21,22`.) Then the circumstances drew forth the pathetic prayer of Judah for the restoration of Benjamin to his father, and his offer of himself as a substitute, as a bondman to Joseph (`44:18-34`); and this, too, was accompanied by a humble confession of their former sins and the recognition of present calamity as a deserved punishment from God for them. The whole account of the conference with Jacob their father and with Joseph proved their contrition and change of heart.

This was enough for Joseph: penitence and a true change of heart were all he desired, and having proved this effectually and wisely, he could no longer refrain himself (`45:1`): his truly forgiving heart now overflowed with benevolence, and he wept aloud and embraced and kissed his brethren, and lavished upon them the wealth of his favor, praying them also to forgive themselves and to strive to forget their former sins now so freely and fully forgiven. But Benjamin, his beloved own brother, and the one who had had no share in the guilt of the others, must have some special tokens of grace: nor did this seem to elicit the least jealousy on the part of the now reformed brethren. They must have returned to their home, not only to tell the good news, but also to confess to Jacob their sin against Joseph as the necessities of the case demanded.

The remainder of the story is of thrilling interest--the breaking of the good news to Jacob, who at first thought it too good to believe, until he saw the tokens of Joseph's favor, the wagons from Egypt, and then said, "It is enough: Joseph my son is yet alive, I will go and see him before I die." Then the long journey, undertaken and cheered by the special direction of God, saying to him in the visions of the night--"I am God, the God of thy father. Fear not to go down into Egypt, for I will there make of thee a great nation. I will go down

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with thee into Egypt, and I will surely bring thee up again, and Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes." Then the joyful meeting and the realization of Joseph's glory and power, and better than all, of his still surviving filial and fraternal love; then the meeting and favor of Pharaoh and the settling in the land of Egypt under the fostering care of Joseph and Pharaoh, where Jacob enjoyed the evening of life in the midst of his family for seventeen years until his death.

In this beautiful story of the course of divine providence in the life of one of the beloved of the Lord, while we see and gather from it precious lessons of confidence in God and faithfulness and zeal in his service, the thoughtful reader can scarcely fail to observe its typical foreshadowing of Christ, the Savior of his people and of the world also.

Joseph was another illustration, like that of his father, of the chief blessing coming specially upon a younger son, as the chief divine blessing is also to come upon the Christ, Head and body, the Gospel Church, not the elder Jewish church. While all of Jacob's sons were elect in respect to inheriting in common a share in the Abrahamic blessing, Joseph was specially chosen as a type of Christ--Head and body--the one through whom blessings will come upon the natural seed of Abraham, that they in turn may bless all the families of the earth.

Hated of his brethren, the fleshly Israelites, sold as a slave (thirty pieces of silver being the price of slaves, or twenty pieces for those under twenty years), he was thus prefiguring the hatred and sale of Christ by his enemies--his brethren of the Jewish nation, unto whom he came, as did Joseph, and they received him not. Joseph's three years' imprisonment seem to represent the three years of our Lord's ministry, the years after his baptism, when he was dying daily, giving up his life for others, or they were parallel also with his three days' imprisonment in the tomb, from whence, like Joseph, he came forth and was highly exalted, next to the King--to the right hand of the Majesty on high, all power in the Kingdom being given unto him.

Joseph was given full charge and used his power to bless others, storing up food for all. So Christ has been given full charge: he is Lord of all and lays up for all sufficient grace to give everlasting life to all. Nor is Christ ashamed to own as his brethren those who have nothing to commend them to his favor but humble contrite hearts. He will not be ashamed to own them before his Father and all the holy angels. This also was beautifully prefigured in Joseph's treatment of his father and brethren. He was not ashamed to present them before the king, although he knew that shepherds were an abomination to the Egyptians. Then, in the period of famine, Joseph used the grain (life) to purchase for Pharaoh the land, the people, and all that they had.--`Gen. 47:14-25`.

This scheme of statesmanship, which thus secured all the land, so that one-fifth of the annual produce should go to the support of the central government (`47:23-26`), thus breaking up the petty influence of the nobles and consolidating the state into a strong nation, gave also a striking type of Christ's work. During the Millennial age Christ will give the bread of everlasting life (himself, his merit) to all who desire it, but all must give their all in exchange to Jehovah, whom Pharaoh typified in this affair. Thus

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as Joseph, Pharaoh's exalted servant and representative, gave life to, or saved the lives of many, so Christ, as Jehovah's Prime Minister, has provided life for all, and offers it to all on the same conditions of faith and obedience to the King.

Then again mark how beautifully Joseph's noble and benevolent treatment of his erring brethren prefigures the foretold course of our exalted Lord Jesus with his former enemies. Charity, always a noble quality, is specially admirable when seen in such a setting as this. Joseph did not even suggest what he might justly have done to his brethren as punishment for their sin against himself twenty-three years before. After testing his brethren and finding them changed in heart and penitent, he reveals himself a true, loving, forgiving friend and brother. He makes no boast of his own wisdom or virtue as the causes of his exaltation, but ascribes all the honor to God's overruling providence. He does not even remind them of his prophetic dream, which they had all just fulfilled in prostrating themselves before him.

He simply forgave them and gave all the glory of the present deliverance from famine to God, saying, "Now, therefore, be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves that ye sold me hither, for God did send me before you to preserve life. God sent me before

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you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God," etc. How simple, and how beautiful! Just so will Christ forgive his penitent enemies. He did not say, however, that God caused them to do the wrong. No, he told them plainly of sin, saying, "As for you, ye thought evil against me, but God meant it [overruled it] unto good, to bring to pass as it is this day, to save much people alive. Now, therefore, fear ye not, I will nourish you and your little ones. And he comforted them and spake kindly unto them."--`Gen. 50:20,21`.

Thus it is declared of Christ that he will set men's sins in order before them, and that they must freely confess their sins and bear their shame (`Psa. 50:21,22`; `Ezek. 16:61-63`; `1 John 1:9`), as did Joseph's brethren. But, nevertheless, in the joys of his forgiving love and the blessing of his favor, the sting of shame will be taken away and the fruits of righteous and trustworthy character will reinstate the dignity and nobility of true manhood.

In Joseph's case was emphasized God's promise to all his people--"All things shall work together for good to them that love God, to the called according to his purpose." (`Rom. 8:28`; `Psa. 1:1-3,6`.) And such as realize this providential supervision are not only kept the more humble and trustful, but are not vexed and soured by the vicissitudes of life and the misconduct of others as are those who are guiding themselves and fighting their own battles in life. Virtue in character, faith and consecration to God, appreciation of God's care and direction in all of life's affairs, and charity toward those through whose errors our trials and experiences come, is the proper attitude for every sincere child of God.

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II. QUAR., LESSON VI., MAY 6, `GEN. 50:14-26`.

Golden Text--"The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day." --`Prov. 4:18`.

The evening of Joseph's life reveals to us a true nobility of character, which had stood the test of many a fiery ordeal, and displayed many of the blessed fruits of righteousness. The close of his life was like the sinking of the sun to rest after the shining of an eventful day. He had been a faithful servant, a loyal friend, a merciful and sympathetic brother, a dutiful and loving son, and finally a modest and moderate prince.

To Joseph, as to most of the patriarchs, the severest trials and discipline came in early and middle life, and were rewarded with a serene old age; while to many others such as the Apostle enumerates in `Heb. 11`, the last days were tragic, and they filled the martyr's grave. The Lord's discipline and testing of his children in the furnace of affliction are regarded by many as evidences of his disfavor, while their temporal prosperity is regarded as a sure sign of his favor. But this is a great mistake; for experiences of both kinds are parts of the trial and testing. We are tested on one side of our nature by the storms of adversity, and on the other by the calms of temporal prosperity; and blessed is the man who neither faints under the former, nor is beguiled by the latter. Such well rounded, symmetrical and strong characters are indeed precious in the sight of the Lord.

Such a man was Joseph: he was schooled and proved in adversity in earlier life and, in his later years, the topmost waves of temporal prosperity never seemed to move him to vanity, nor in any degree to unman him. He still looked beyond these temporal things to "the city that hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God." His confidence in God and his trust that the promise made to Abraham should be fulfilled, never forsook him. Even when surrounded by wealth and comfort he remembered that Egypt was not the promised land; and when he was dying, he, like his father Jacob, indicated his hope in a resurrection and the subsequent fulfilment of the divine promise, by commanding that his body should be buried in the land of Canaan. "By faith, Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel [`verses 24,25`], and gave commandment concerning his bones."--`Heb. 11:22`.

It is probable that as Joseph proved so valuable a servant to the Pharaoh who exalted him, he was continued in office by his successor on the throne, perhaps to the end of his life. The benefits he had conferred upon Egypt were of great value, and seem to have been very gratefully received and remembered.

The path of the just of the `Golden Text` is not an individual path, but one path in which all the just ones walk: it is the path of righteousness (`Psa. 23:3`), the path marked

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out by the Word of the Lord as one of meekness, patience, faith, love, etc.; and those who keep in this path are led of God into all truth in its due season. And this pathway becomes more and more radiant with the glorious light of divine truth as it nears "the perfect day" when the sun of righteousness shall have risen and the knowledge of the Lord shall fill the earth as the waters cover the sea--the Millennial day of Christ's reign on earth.

All the patriarchs and prophets and saints of the past have walked in this path, and on all of them the light of God shone as it became due; but upon none did it ever shine so clearly as it shines to-day; for we are even now in the dawning of the glorious day of Christ, and soon this light will shine upon all.


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DEAR SIRS:--Last spring a colporteur called upon me and induced me to buy the MILLENNIAL DAWN series. I read them, and since then have ordered six sets. Four sets are sold, and the others I am loaning. The light that shines into my mind and heart, through the inspired Word, impels me to lead others therein; and this I am endeavoring to do as I have opportunity. May the Lord bless you, and me, and all who love his appearing!

Yours in Christ, F. H. RUSS.


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GENTLEMEN:--Enclosed herewith please find Exchange on New York for the sum of $6.00, for which please send me ZION'S WATCH TOWER one year and copies of MILLENNIAL DAWN.

By way of explanation for ordering this amount of books, I desire to say that, about two months ago, two young ladies came into my office selling those books. I was very busy when they presented their card; and, seeing that they were ladies selling books, I bought the three volumes, thinking that by so doing I was helping them out. I have since concluded that these ladies brought to me "glad tidings of great joy." I took the books home, and thought little of them, until a few weeks ago, when I had some spare time, I began reading the first volume, and it was so very interesting that I could not stop. The result is, my dear wife and myself have read these books with the keenest interest, and we consider it a God-send and a great blessing that we have had the opportunity of coming in contact with them. They are indeed a "helping hand" to the study of the Bible. The great truths revealed in the study of this series have simply reversed our earthly aspirations; and realizing to some extent, at least, the great opportunity for doing something for Christ, we intend to take advantage of this opportunity in distributing these books, first, among our nearest relatives and friends, and then among the poor who desire to read them and are unable to purchase; and for that reason we desire these extra copies. As soon as these are exhausted, we will order more, and try to do what we can in this way, be it ever so little.

Yours, etc., J. F. RUTHERFORD.


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BROTHER RUSSELL:--Please continue my WATCH TOWER. Enclosed find One Dollar for the same. Am fully committed to the new light. Have read all the DAWNS three or four times. Shall make them my theology in the future. Pray the Lord to show me how to use my entire ability to the best advantage. Please omit the title "Rev." from my name.

God bless you and yours in the glorious work! B. J. WISE.


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DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--I am getting free from my inherited and traditional Babylonish ideas. Some things I have learned but crudely as yet, with regard to the great plan, but I have begun to read MILLENNIAL DAWN consecutively, as I had never done before. It is most wonderful, how many earnest, well-meaning souls are deluded. I am now, so far as I know, where I want to be enlightened on the Word of God, whatever it may cost to me of personal crucifixion.

I am glad, dear Brother, that I never got any deeper into the inside workings of Babylon than I did. A little over nine months I served as a pastor, when God, our heavenly Father, showed me where I was. Now I want only to know our Father's will

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that I may do it. Only very recently have I begun to see my deserved place before God. I see such a wonderful privilege in the election of grace. I see now that God

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has not been obliged to give me a place among the "elect few," who "shall be partakers of the divine nature," but, that he calls whomsoever he will, and they must make their calling and election sure. "For, by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves." Much light comes to me through MILLENNIAL DAWN; also on other matters through the WATCH TOWER.

May the blessing of our Father be upon you and yours, and may he use you to "lighten the Gentiles" and his people Israel (in the flesh as well as in the Spirit).

In love of the truth, JAS. D. WRIGHT.


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DEAR SIR:--I have for the past four years been reading your MILLENNIAL DAWN. I am situated so that I cannot read it consecutively as the subject requires, but have read it with great pleasure and profit. I am thoroughly infatuated with the book. Your ideas have given me a higher conception of God and his dealings with the children of men than any other book of a kindred nature. Your ideas of the "Judgment Day," "Natures Distinct," "Restitution," are so plain and simple and logical that it seems strange I had not long ago arrived at such conclusions. If you have published a paper, send me a copy. I want to know more about this doctrine which removes so many of the stumbling blocks from the way.

I am yours respectfully, E. M. CARR.


DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--The second volume of the DAWN series come to hand, also samples of WATCH TOWER. The study of the first two volumes of this work has done me so much good that I am constrained to send for the third and last volume.

I cannot praise the dear Lord enough for the good that I have received through these two volumes. I had back-slidden and almost drifted into skepticism, when your first volume was handed me. But after reading it I was so convinced of the truths of God's Word and his glorious plan for blessing the world, that I besought him for forgiveness for my past sins and shortcomings, and again started to serve him. Its further study caused me to send for the second volume; and it has so blessed me by leading me into the deep truths of the Bible that I cannot thank God enough. How sweet is the meat furnished in due season to the household of faith! I am willing to be led by the Lord and to work in any department of his vineyard in which he may see fit to place me, praise his name!

May the good Master bless you in your work, and continually guide you by his Spirit, is my prayer.

Yours in Christ, H. H. CHEESEMAN.



As I have told you before, I have been converted entirely by the spirit of God, in reading Plan of the Ages. The presentation of the truth is, to me, satisfying and convincing,--wonderful, wonderful. I can lift up my heart and rejoice, knowing that our redemption draweth nigh. What joy unspeakable!

You do not know how I long for fellowship with others who can see the real truth of God's Word. Remember me when you observe the Lord's Supper. I shall be with you in the spirit as you partake of the emblems of the sacrifice--the Lamb that was slain for the sin of the whole world.

Yours in Christ, W. B. LINDSLEY.


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DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--I have been thinking of writing to you for some time. I want to thank you as the instrument in God's hands for leading me into the light. I have been a truth-seeker for years; and crying, Oh, that I knew where I might find him! I have often prayed to God in secret to show me his glory. I need not now say that I am feasting mentally on the riches of his grace. The Lord sent me a set of the DAWNS about three months ago; and I have not only read them, but I constantly read, mark, learn and inwardly digest them. They have become a burning fire shut up within my bones, and I cannot forbear to tell the glad tidings of great joy which shall be to all people.

I was once a Methodist preacher; for eight years I have been a Baptist preacher, but, thank God, I am now only a preacher of the Lord. I have left Babylon forever. Oh, that I may be faithful to the end, that I may be accounted worthy to escape those things that are coming on the earth, and to stand before the Son of Man!

I have sold twelve sets of the DAWNS, and I am devoting all the time I can afford to preaching and getting people to read. I have much opposition, but faithful is he who promised,

Your brother in Christ, L. T. MEARS.

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Please accept our thanks for your hundreds of letters received recently, and know of our hearty appreciation of your sympathy and confidence. The fact that you were slow to believe an evil report, and that you waited patiently for our reply, speaks well for your spiritual condition;--"thinketh no evil," being one of the fruits of the spirit of Christ, just as "evil surmisings" evidence a carnal mind. Cultivate in yourselves more and more the spirit of the truth you enjoy. So your hearts will be in that healthy condition which neither breeds a spiritual pestilence, nor is susceptible to its contagion from others.

Our thoughts were more with you than for ourselves, we feared for the younger and the weaker ones, and prayed for you all,--that your faith fail not, and that you cast not away your confidence which hath great recompense of reward. The letters referred to came as answers to our prayers, as assurances that the Lord knoweth them that are his and that none are able to pluck them out of his hand. Sister Tucker's letter came first, and was specially acknowledged at the throne of grace. This trial by which the great Adversary sought to disrupt the Lord's work and scatter the Lord's sheep is really drawing the true hearts nearer to each other and to the Lord. We realize afresh that all things are working together for good to them that love God, the called ones according to his purpose. The Lord will not forget this, your ministry of love toward us. (See `Heb. 6:10`; `10:32-39`.) Even a cup of cold water given in the name of a disciple will in due time receive a reward from the King. Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of the least of his disciples, ye did it unto him.

Please accept this as a reply to your kind letters, as we are just now pressed with work, cannot conveniently answer each personally.


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