ZWT - 1906 - R3693 thru R3912 / R3854 (289) - September 15, 1906
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VOL. XXVII SEPTEMBER 15 No. 18
A.D., 1906--A.M., 6034
Views from the Watch Tower........................291
The Jew! The Jew! The Jew!....................291
Zionists Taking New Courage...................292
"Gather My Saints Together Unto Me"...............292
Report of One-Day Conventions.................293
The 1906 Conventions (Poem).......................294
Wonderful Words of Life...........................294
A Christian Soldier's Battle......................295
The Fight for Liberty.........................296
The Fruit of the Spirit.......................298
Not Far From the Kingdom..........................299
How to Love God Perfectly.....................300
Knowledge Necessary to Love...................301
His Pilgrim Labors Ended..........................303
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Many of the little groups of friends throughout the country have not sent in answers to queries in May 1 TOWER, because they thought their requests sent last January were sufficient for the year. We remind all that the publication of the queries is of itself a notification to them to send new requests, no matter when they asked for Pilgrim visits previously. Look up the issue referred to, and if you have not answered those questions please do so at once.
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VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER.
THE JEW! THE JEW! THE JEW!
SPIRITUAL Israelites, who recognize that according to the Word of God natural Israel is yet to play an important part in the world's affairs, naturally watch keenly everything transpiring throughout the world affecting the Jews. Noting that the favor to Spiritual Israel meant the disfavor of natural Israel, and that the completion of Spiritual Israel would mean the return of natural Israel to divine favor (`Rom. 11:25-32`), we more than others were
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prepared to look for and to apply the prophetic promises which belong to fleshly Israel. Thus it was that thirty years ago we were preaching the regathering of natural Israel to Palestine before A.D., 1914. Others mocked, and even orthodox Jews assured us that they did not expect such things for several centuries. Not for fifteen years after that did Dr. Herzl and Dr. Nordau and others dream of and organize the Zionist movement for the reoccupation of Palestine by the natural descendants of Abraham, who, the Apostle says, are still "beloved for the fathers' sakes."
Just as the persecuted Jews of Russia were beginning to look for a place of refuge, and were debating colonies in South America, United States and elsewhere, some going to Palestine--the door to the Promised Land was suddenly closed by the edict of the Sultan of Turkey in 1892. That very prohibition led the Jews to look to the land of their fathers with greater intensity than ever, and the Zionist movement took form and took hold of the hearts of the Jews all the world over. The closing of the "door" led to the greater desire to enter it, and a Zionist fund was started, ostensibly to purchase the land. But only the poor Jews have faith in the promises of the Law and the prophets--the wealthy ones, generally unbelievers, refused their millions to the poorer Zionists and loaned it instead to the persecutors of their race.
As years rolled on and the Zionists became more and more enthused, their plans were laid before the Sultan by Dr. Herzl, and it was said that all of their funds were proffered for concessions in Palestine looking toward the establishing there of a Jewish State, but to no avail--Palestine remained closed. Then the British Government offered specially favorable terms for a subordinate Jewish State south of Palestine, in Africa, and this drew off the interest of some, but only the more whetted the desire of the others for the Promised Land. Then came the death of Dr. Herzl, their great leader, and no one seemed to fill his place, and Zionism began to faint by the way. Now, suddenly, without the influence of a great leader, without the cooperation of the millionaire Jews, without the expenditure of one dollar, the Sultan has lifted the embargo on Jewish emigration to Palestine as suddenly as he placed it, and without ado or explanation. To us who are watching, this all reads, "Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit [power, influence] saith the Lord." God is behind the movement, and the Jews will yet realize this, and the meek among them will rejoice therein and learn to lean less upon the arm of flesh, and more upon the arm of the Lord.
Meantime the Jews are charged (no doubt justly) by the Russian autocracy with being largely responsible for much of the trouble of that revolution-shaken land. No doubt they will on this account be more and more made the scapegoat of the situation--the Government conniving at their persecution by the revolutionaries. If this persecution has gone on even when Jewish bankers loaned money to Russia, may it not be expected to be intensified when these shall refuse further loans, as is now generally anticipated? The intelligent opposition of the Jews to the present reign of legalized anarchy may lead to a forcible expulsion of the Jews as a popular remedy.
England, alarmed at the situation in Egypt, and by the efforts of the Sultan to encourage a "Holy War" by the Mohammedans, has viewed with alarm the building of a railway from the Sinaitic Peninsula into Palestine, lest it should give the Sultan a military advantage and endanger the interests and political value of the Suez canal. It is easy to believe that England therefore would be pleased to see the Jews, a friendly race, enter Palestine in considerable numbers. Some of the English people are manifesting a Jew-hatred, and saying that England has all the Jews she wants.
The Roman Catholic press, commenting on the
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verdict that Dreyfus was not guilty of treason, claims that he was acquitted because the Jews are in control of the French Government and responsible for the annulment of the Concordat, which for so long period has existed between France and the Roman Church. She too, therefore, would be glad to be rid of the Jews in France, and may some day connive at their persecution. The Scriptures declare that at this time God will not only drive Israelites out of all the nations whither they have been scattered; but also that hunting and fishing for them he will see that at the proper time they shall return to "their own land."--`Jer. 16:15,16`.
Germany is trembling with fear that what is now being enacted in Russia may ere long be her portion. The Socialists of Germany are expressing their sympathy with their brethren of Russia as loudly as prudence will permit. The German Emperor fears that the success of the Russian revolutionists in forming a Republic, or even the formation of a very liberal monarchy, would endanger his own autocratic powers, if not encourage the overthrow of the Empire. There is a serious Jew question in Germany, too; and possibly the Kaiser may make himself further illustrious by taking some public step favorable to the disposition of the Jewish question--in harmony with prophecy, though entirely ignorant thereof.
A little longer and the plan of God will be complete, and we shall know as we are known. But, meantime, the "watchers" will take comfort from the evidence we have, that all these and other matters of prophecy are reaching fulfilment, and that on time.
ZIONISTS TAKING NEW COURAGE
The death of Dr. Herzl, the acknowledged leader of the Zionist movement, was surely a great shock thereto. However, we should look for the Lord's providence in the matter, and now it appears. Dr. Herzl was bent on the formation of a Jewish State with chartered rights, which the Sultan of Turkey, the ruler of Palestine, was not willing to grant. Synchronously with the death of Dr. Herzl conditions in general changed: the Jews, under a new leader, Dr. Warburg, have abandoned present political aspirations almost at the same moment that the Sultan issued his edict permitting the settlement of Palestine by Jews. This is in full accord with the prophecy, which shows that a Jewish State cannot be restored until the gathering of Spiritual Israel beyond the vail--"until the fulness from among the Gentiles be brought in." --`Rom. 11:25`.
The following report of the American Zionist Convention in July, from the Jewish Exponent, will be read with interest:--
"There are three important subjects that will ever be linked with this convention--practical work in Palestine, financing the Federation and official antagonism toward Territorialism. The scholarly address of Professor O. Warburg and the report on Palestine came as an entire surprise. It was like a thunderbolt from a clear sky, or I should say a sunbeam from an otherwise cloudy and threatening heaven. Yesterday the Zionist forces were in utter despair; the idea of a Jewish State in Palestine seemed but a forlorn hope, which had died with its originator.
"Today a new leader has arisen. Dr. Warburg showed them this land, almost in their grasp. There was no need of a tramp in the wilderness, there was no need for a shower of miracles. They could go in and possess the land immediately. Yesterday they could only see their hopes realized through 'the Jewish State.' Chovevi Zionism, much as they favored it because it kept them occupied, was distasteful to them; it gave them but the faintest hope. Today they see their Zion through 'Practical Work in Palestine.' Dr. Warburg cast aside the Herzlian doctrine; he tells them, first develop the country, then you are worthy of the State. Nor is this plan one of mere lesser colonization, one that proposes merely to plant little agricultural communities until the land shall overflow with their members. It proposes a thorough commercial, industrial and cultural, as well as agricultural development of the country. Its scope is only limited by a lack of political acknowledgment, and this it considers of least importance, even though Herzl laid the greatest stress on it.
"Political recognition shall merely adorn this edifice, whereas Herzl demanded it as the pillar of his State. Though the declaration of the Federation orders the 'Actions Comite to watch and take advantage of political opportunities,' yet it cannot be denied that political Zionism has been subordinated to 'the principle of active and immediate work in Palestine,' whereas the direct opposite was true with Herzl at the helm. No matter what future events this change may bring, whether it be disastrous or beneficial, time alone will judge; but the immediate effect of the change is already apparent. It has blown new life into the movement.
"The new impetus it has given Zionists for renewed effort can hardly be overestimated. It will require some time for a general realization of the stupendous effect of this change. During the coming year our forum will be occupied with discussions on the Palestine Society, the Palestine Industrial Syndicate, the Bazalel and kindred movements. Our press will echo with questions of museums, art galleries, colleges, olive trees, Palestine railroads and mines and weaving industries. The keynote of this whole new phase of Zionism is, 'Go in and possess the land.'"
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GATHER MY SAINTS TOGETHER UNTO ME
AS THE TIME for the "general assembly of the Church of the Firstborn" draws nearer, the desire of the consecrated to meet together to "build one another up in the most holy faith" seems to increase. This applies to the little local gatherings in various parts, as well as to the "One Day Conventions" and to the "General Convention." We rejoice that this is so, and hail it as one of the proper signs of brotherly love and general growth in grace and knowledge. Once we inclined to begrudge the railway fares and other expenses, but now we are learning that there is a degree of economy in temporal matters, which fosters a money-loving disposition which is a foe to grace and tends to spiritual poverty. "The liberal soul shall be made fat." (`Prov. 11:25`.) It is a good sign to find God's people spending their earnings for the spiritual welfare of themselves and others.
The second of our General Conventions of the year
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(at St. Paul, Minn.) is in the past, and many of our readers have already had verbal reports from those privileged to attend it. Nevertheless it is appropriate that the TOWER also set forth a summary of its prominent features.
Opening August 13, and closing Sunday the 19th, the Convention week was one round of spiritual enjoyment, participated in by about one thousand WATCH TOWER readers--of whom probably 700 were privileged to be in attendance during the entire session, while the remainder came and went at times better suiting their convenience, but always we believe with regret that they could not be more with the friends and with the Lord, whose presence was preciously realized throughout.
We cannot report here the various heartfelt testimonies given by the dear friends who came together at their own expense from twenty-eight States, including Canada and Scotland, but you have our word for it that they were heart-cheering. Very quickly those who had never met or even heard of each other were "well acquainted" and friends, bound with a tie of the Spirit warmer and stronger than any tie of blood: others who had met previously had no less joy in renewing their fellowship and greetings. Perhaps a dozen of those who attended the Asbury Park Convention were so enthused thereby that they came also to St. Paul.
All of our sessions were in the Armory Auditorium, except the publicly advertised discourse of Sunday afternoon, which was held in the new "Peoples' Church" --the largest in St. Paul. Both auditoriums were secured to us free by the business men of St. Paul at a cost to themselves, we understand, of $350. A vote of thanks was unanimously accorded them at our last session. "The Peoples' Church," we might remark, is known as very "liberal" in its religious tenets--how liberal may be judged from the fact that its beautiful and expensive stained glass windows represented donations from people of various denominations: Roman Catholics presented one representing a Pope, while the Presbyterians were represented by John Knox's features, the Methodists by Wesley, the Lutheran's by Luther, and the Free Thinkers of all shades of thought were represented by Huxley, Spencer and Confucius. And were not we represented? Yes! by a splendid ideal likeness of our Savior and Lord, the founder of our Church. The public service held in the People's Church had of course the largest attendance, the audience being estimated at 1800.
The addresses of the Convention were delivered by Brothers A. E. Williamson, John Edgar, A. E. Burgess, H. Samson, J. D. Wright, O. L. Sullivan, G. Draper, W. M. Hersey, W. E. Page, E. O. Loe, H. E. Hollister, J. A. Bohnet, G. LeFerry and C. T. Russell. They all discussed the old, old story--some emphasizing one feature, some another, each in his own style. It was the one "Song of Moses and the Lamb," rendered in different parts, but all in the one key of "Love divine, all love excelling, joy of heaven to earth come down." There was not a discordant note, because all took their keynote and time from the great Master of all, of whom the Apostle declares, "This Salvation began to be spoken by our Lord and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him"--the apostles. Such oneness is quite unusual, and is generally secured in conventions held by others by having manuscripts of what the speakers will say examined by a committee beforehand. But we needed no such restriction, because more and more, as the Lord intimated it would be, we find, "Thy watchmen shall see eye to eye." (`Isa. 52:8`.) Nor should we fail to remember the word, "They shall be all taught of God." (`John 6:45`.) The fact that the Great Teacher is present superintending the "harvest" work is, we believe, a further assurance along this line. We comfort ourselves with the thought that his eye, his rod and his staff are guiding his sheep from grace to grace and from knowledge to knowledge. Hence it is not astonishing that we find, as was predicted, that "the path of the just is as a shining light--shining more and more unto the perfect day." Little details may, indeed should be, expected to grow clearer day by day, but all the fundamentals of our faith super-structure are unchangeable.
One of the interesting features of the Convention was the baptism service. The Baptists kindly granted us the use of their auditorium and pool, and 118 were immersed in symbolization of their full consecration of their all to the Lord--even unto death.
Two other items of general interest were: (1) The Chatauqua salute given Brother Russell on his arrival on Tuesday morning, followed by a hand-shaking reception in which about 600 participated; and (2) The Love Feast, which closed the Convention. In front of the platform, ranged in line, gathered all the speakers of the Convention, with them those who led Praise and Testimony services, and the Elders of the St. Paul and Minneapolis class. Past these, shaking their hands and bidding good bye, came (1) the Colporteurs and intending Colporteurs; (2) The regularly chosen Elders present from various congregations; (3) "Bible House" assistants and others from Allegheny; (4) Those present of the St. Paul and Minneapolis Church; (5) All the remainder of the audience. It was a grand climax to a grand Convention.
A little later, when the Editor of this journal and others arrived at the R.R. depot, they found a company of about 50 brethren and sisters awaiting their departure. We parted, singing, "Blest be the tie that binds," and "God be with you till we meet again."
REPORT OF ONE DAY CONVENTIONS
En route to the St. Paul Convention, Sunday, Aug. 12, was spent as appointed, with the dear friends at Chatham, Ont. We had a delightful season. The afternoon meeting for the public was held in the Opera House, and was well attended--the audience being
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estimated at about 600. Excellent attention was given. The evening service was an address to the interested. The discourse many of our readers already have seen in public prints.
At Cumberland, Md., we had a splendid season of mutual refreshment on August 26. First came the opening rally 10 to 12 a.m., a splendid "Testimony and Praise" refreshment, participated in by nearly all present. In the afternoon the public service was the largest we ever had there. The Academy of Music was well filled--the estimate of numbers being 1,400, who gave close attention. Next morning we learned that a well-known infidel of the city was going about proclaiming that he had finally heard a reasonable gospel
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preached. The night subject was printed in the daily journals, and you have it.
The Terre Haute, Ind., One-Day Convention proved itself a blessing. The opening rally from 9.30 to 11 a.m. was truly a season of refreshing. Besides the local class there were delegations from various places within the circuit of one hundred miles; and their united testimonies to the Lord's goodness as well as their prayers and praises were comforting and encouraging every way and to all. Brother Russell addressed the gathering from 11 to 12.15 noon when we adjourned for refreshments. The topic of the discourse was "The grace of God that bringeth salvation." (`Titus 2:11`.) It was duly reported in the usual newspapers, which many of you receive regularly. The afternoon subject for the public, "A Cure for Infidelity--To Hell and Back," was given a very attentive hearing by about 1500 very intelligent looking people.
McKeesport, Pa., only about 15 miles from Allegheny and Pittsburg, was given a One-Day Convention from a desire to preach the truth to more of its citizens. The afternoon session for the public was attended by about 1200. The evening discourse to the interested, which was reported in the secular journals, was from the text, "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God." (`Rom. 3:23`.) The earnest attention given by many leaves room for the hope that some of the Lord's jewels were brought in contact with Present Truth by these meetings.
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THE 1906 CONVENTIONS
Behold how they gather from East and from West,
From North and from South they come;
No visible emblems nor banners are theirs,
Nor loud rolling beat of the drum.
But with faces alight with the hope which is theirs,
With the love which sustains, and the promise which cheers,
They herald the kingdom to come.
Unknown to the world, as their "Head" was unknown,
And willingly sharing his cross;
Believing the kingdom long-promised is near,
Are parting from all earthly dross.
The "sun" fast arising now gladdens their eyes,
And just within reach seems the rich cherished prize,
For which they count all else but loss.
Yes, here they assemble, these uncrowned kings,
On the Master's business intent;
All humbly and meekly pursuing their way,
In his service willingly spent.
And the world knoweth not, as they knew not of Him,
What honors are theirs who are serving their King,
And full on his mission are bent.
And who shall say that they met there alone?
For were there not forms more fair,
Of those who have heard their Master's "Well done!"
Rejoicing with him "in the air"?
Invisible yet, our dim eyes can not see;
Still, hovering o'er us their presence may be,
And we shall soon be with them there.
Full soon shall that Greatest Convention be held,
The faithful ones all to be there;
Our Master presiding in glorious garb,
And we in his glory to share
There highly exalted to sit in his throne,
To lift up the billions down-trodden so long.
"Oh, what must it be to be there." A. J. M.
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WONDERFUL WORDS OF LIFE
"And they were astonished at his doctrine, for his word was with power."--`Luke 4:32`.
THIS LESSON is set apart as a review for the past quarter. We leave it for each one to review as he may find opportunity, and here merely offer a few remarks respecting the Golden Text above. The text brings to our recollection the words of Oliver Wendell Holmes, illustrating the power of the Truth and its effect upon those who are not of the Truth--not of the light but of darkness. We quote:--
"Have you ever, when walking about out of doors, found some big flat stone that has lain no one knows how long, just where you found it, surrounded by grass that forms as it were a little fence around it--and have you not, obeying some sort of feeling, thought that it has been there long enough, put your stick or your finger or the foot under its edge and overturned it?
"What a scene, and what an unexpected and disagreeable surprise for a little colony, the very existence of which you did not imagine before you observed the sudden confusion and anguish of its inhabitants when overturning the stone! No sooner is the stone overturned, and the wholesome daylight entered to the compressed and light shy society of creeping things under it, than every one of them possessing legs--and many of them have a whole lot--run wildly about and push against each other and everything in their way, and it ends with a universal general rush for the subterranean hiding places from a circuit poisoned by the sunlight.
"Never imagine that you can overturn an old lie without causing a terrible confusion and alarm among the sickening little world living under it!
"Every real idea and every real subject bring one or another to gasp. And having regained the breath he will probably begin to misuse it for blasphemy. These are the best proofs you can get that you have expressed a truth for which the time was ripe."
LIGHT, TRUTH, MAKES MANIFEST
From time to time the Lord has allowed the world to follow its own wisdom into dense darkness, and then has suddenly turned on the light, producing very much the effect described in the foregoing illustration. It was thus in Elijah's day, and through many of the prophets God turned on the light and brought corresponding testings. But at our Lord's first advent, when the great light came into the world and was displayed in the midst of those who had claimed to be the people of God, the children of the light, it demonstrated that many of them were really children of darkness who loved not the light, loved not the truth. Similarly, in the days of the Reformation through Luther, Knox, Wesley and others, the light was turned on, and the accumulated errors and darkness were removed, to the advantage of those who loved the light, but to the disturbance of those who loved the darkness. And today conditions are very much the same: the light of Present Truth finds comparatively few even in enlightened Christendom to appreciate the riches of God's grace and take a fuller view of the love and mercy of God, manifested in the great redemptive work of Christ, to be accomplished in the "times of restitution
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of all things spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets."--`Acts 3:19-21`.
In every case it has been the Word of God that has caused the disturbance, the commotion. Whether sent through the prophets of old or through the apostles and reformers of this age it has been God speaking from heaven-- and his Word is quick and powerful searching beyond any human message. It will separate, it will distinguish; it will find the Truth hungry, it will separate the others; it is the light of which the Apostle declared. Whatsoever doth make manifest is light. The attitude assumed by the people toward the light, the Truth, demonstrates better than all their professions would do whether they are of the light or of the darkness. In our imperfection of judgment we might suppose that some were children of light who really are not
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of the light, and we might presume some to be children of darkness who are really different at heart. The Lord knows them that are his, he demonstrates who is on his side and who on the side of darkness; let us be content and let the sickle of truth do the separating in the harvest work; and let us not be self-willed and self-opinionated, but waiting on the Lord. Let us wait patiently on him to bring about the separation with divine wisdom and love--we know that his plan is the best in the end.
"ASTONISHED AT HIS DOCTRINES"
It is an old adage that truth is stranger than fiction. The fallen condition of the human mind and heart seems to lead us to accept as more reasonable its own imaginings of others rather than the direct clear statement of the divine Word. Hence, whenever the Truth has been published the effect has been, as here stated, that the people were astonished at the doctrine, had never heard of such doctrines before, never had matters so clear. All the theories of men are confusing, blurred, inconsistent when compared with the wonderful divine plan of salvation. We are not surprised, therefore, indeed it becomes the evidence of the truthfulness of our position, that we find similar conditions today. Many, as they hear of the glorious plan of the ages, make just such a remark as our text, that they are astonished at the teaching, its beauty, its power, its reasonableness, the way it glorifies God, the way in which it explains circumstances and conditions in the present time, birth, death, our hopes, our fears, the world's ignorance and the coming time of blessing and turning away of the curse and of darkness, and the shining in of the Sun of Righteousness with healing in its beams, bringing in "times of restitution." No less wonderful is the message respecting the high calling, the joint-heirship with Jesus in the heavenly things which eye hath not seen nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man. (`1 Cor. 2:9`.) More and more we are convinced that the eyes of our understanding must be anointed in order that we may appreciate the lengths and breadths and heights and depths of the love of God, which passeth all understanding.
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A CHRISTIAN SOLDIER'S BATTLE
--`GAL. 5:15-26`; `6:7,8`.--SEPTEMBER 30.--
MANY sing, "Onward, Christian Soldier, battling for the right," who but imperfectly comprehend the meaning of their words, the signification of the Christian battle. But it is a battle of freedom in the highest and best sense of the expression. In ignorance the battle is often misrepresented before the public mind. To give an illustration, the newspapers recently told of how a colony of emigrants from Europe had killed one of their number for a violation of some of their social regulations, and how they were very much surprised when the officers of the law made investigation. They thought they were coming to a free country! They were surprised to learn that freedom here is understood only to mean literally to do right--liberty under the laws framed and approved by the majority. This illustrates in large measure the anarchist condition of the natural mind in its untutored condition.
Civilization, basing itself partly on an appreciation of the principles of justice and partly upon the lessons of history, attempts so to shape the laws of the land as to secure the rights of all. It is not surprising, however, that--with selfishness a ruling element in all hearts by nature--neither the laws nor the practices of the most civilized are perfect: that is to say, the largest amount of protection and the largest amount of individual liberty are not always secured. When we consider that the lawmakers and executives are all imperfect, biased, selfish, we are properly amazed at the amount of justice we find in the world and the amount of liberty. If all the lawmakers were saints, fully in harmony with the divine arrangements and merely limited by the imperfection of their mortal bodies, we could not expect much better laws than we find in the world; and were it not that the Scriptures clearly show us that the Church, as kings and priests of the future, will be absolutely perfect in every respect and backed by divine wisdom and power, we could not anticipate for the Millennium anything much better than we now possess in the way of governmental machinery.
As we compare the various degrees of civilization throughout the world, and note that the wisest and best laws and wisest and best execution of them and the greatest true liberty of the people within reasonable bounds are found in those nations which have most reverenced the divine message, the Bible, it is a strong argument that the Word of God has not only influenced the "little flock," who take it most seriously, and lay aside every weight and hindrance and worldly ambition to run with patience in the footsteps of Jesus, but it has influenced the minds of many who have never taken this step of full consecration. In a word, the liberty wherewith Christ makes free is not the liberty of license but the liberty of reason, of justice and of love; and in proportion as any one has received the spirit of the divine teaching, in that same proportion he is a free-man. We thank God, therefore, for the measure of national liberty which prevails throughout the world, even while we see clearly from the prophecies of the Scriptures, as well as written on the pages of the daily press, that a great misinterpretation of liberty is rapidly spreading throughout the world, which will eventually wreck the present civilization in anarchy.
THE HIGHEST CONCEPTION OF LIBERTY
The civilized world, like a school, divides itself into various classes, some more and some less advanced: the lowest class totally misapprehend liberty, thinking of it merely as license, self-will, and failing to recognize the fact that selfishness being in control and interests conflicting, its conception of liberty is unreasonable and injurious. The second class appreciates liberty, and more reasonably submits itself wherever necessity compels, and no more. With these it is a matter of policy and not of principle. One class approves liberty for the masses, because otherwise the masses
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would rebel. It lengthens its own rope of privilege to the extent that the majority permit. Selfishness controls in every granting of liberty, and in every attempt to secure more liberty and privilege for self these would be granted to others. Merely the conflict of interests at the present time preserves to the world the measure of liberty which it now enjoys.
The third class has a conception of liberty which neither of the other two classes can understand or appreciate --the liberty to serve and to do good to all men along the lines not of selfishness but of love for all. This Christian ideal is to the world in general foolishness. While they have grown to respect the great Teacher and his apostles who set forth this Christian view of liberty, they feel privileged to denounce as foolish the living representatives of this same doctrine--that the perfect law of liberty is love and service to God and our neighbor. Those who advocate and practice love from this Scriptural standpoint are by their fellows "counted fools all the day long," denounced as impractical, unsophistical, and sometimes reprobated as hypocrites.
THE FIGHT FOR LIBERTY
All the liberty there is in the world today has been paid for: none of it has been attained without sacrificers. Why? Because selfishness is so entrenched in the race that those who possess power, authority, privilege, opportunity, would hold these for themselves to the disadvantage of others, to the enslavement of others, were not the rights and liberties fought for. Looking back over the history of nations, without approving of wars, every reasoning mind can see, nevertheless, that only through wars have liberties come to the race. The mistake that is being made by many today is the supposition that humanity would ever be able to attain the condition of absolute equality and unselfishness through laws or wars or any other means within the power of Adam's race.
The Scriptures point out to us that there is a limit beyond which we must not expect selfish humanity to make progress--that any progress beyond that limit must come from on high, through the establishment of the Kingdom of God's dear Son; that while wealth and influence and talents will yield to the pressure of the masses for their own protection and aggrandizement, they will not yield everything, but would permit the entire social structure to dissolve rather than to submit to a general equalization, as is the aim of Socialism. Hence Socialism, while not intending anarchy, will produce anarchy; while striving for greater liberty and universality of blessings of earth it will effect a wreck of all these. Thanks be to God that his program is that on this wreck of present institutions he will establish the true reign of liberty on the plane of love, under the guidance of the Master and his joint-heirs.
THE CHRISTIAN'S FIGHT
If the world's liberty has required fighting for, much more may we expect to battle for those who take the still higher ground of the Bible, and who strive for the "liberty wherewith Christ makes free." (`Gal. 5:1`.) For although this very Scripture declares that Christ gives this freedom, the Word shows us that he gives it only to those who desire it and who will fight for it. Their battle is not to be with carnal weapons which the law of love forbids, yet their
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warfare is to be mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds of error. Against what, then, do they battle? We answer that their chief fight is against the fallen tendencies of their own beings. They find that, through the long centuries of the fall, sin has become inbred and entrenched in their flesh to such a degree that it necessitates a warfare in the new mind. They get the new mind or disposition through hearkening to the word of the Lord, which, while speaking peace and forgiveness of sins through faith in Christ, invites to a newness of nature and a joint-heirship with Christ through a full consecration of all to the divine service--to the service of righteousness and truth. The making of the consecration on the part of the believer was his entering upon the career of a good soldier of the Lord Jesus. It was his engagement to battle against sin and selfishness everywhere, according to the rules laid down by the chief Captain.
To the surprise of every soldier he finds that some of his greatest battles are within. True he finds the world an opponent to his full devotion of time and talent and influence to the service of the Truth. The world is not prepared for such an extreme, which more or less reproves it of sin and selfishness: the world, therefore, sneers and cries "hypocrite," "saint," etc., and seeks to turn aside the consecrated. To be a good soldier he must be prepared for this and have on the sandals of preparation afforded by the Gospel, else the difficulties strewn in his path by worldly opposition would soon make him so footsore that he would be disposed to turn back notwithstanding the term of his enlistment --"even unto death." The Adversary also is a foe who must be reckoned with, and whose subtle attacks may be encountered in various ways. The Christian soldier has the assurance of his Captain that all the arts of the Adversary are known to him, and that all his interests shall be guarded so long as he is loyal to his Captain and faithful to his consecration and enlistment.
But, as we have said, the chiefest of all the Christian soldier's opponents is the human foe--the weaknesses and cravings and demands and subtle persecutions, etc., of the fallen conditions of his own mind and body. To his surprise he finds himself a slave to his own weaknesses, and that he must battle daily, hourly almost, for victory, in order to attain fully the liberty wherewith Christ makes free indeed. From this standpoint all battles against our own fleshly weaknesses, our own selfish instincts and propensities, are battles for liberty, battles for right, battles on the Lord's side. Our great Captain is not so much wishing us to fight his battles as wishing us to fight the good fight of faith in ourselves, and in this matter he is ready to assist us, and without him we can do nothing. True, our battles extend beyond ourselves sometimes when, either amongst the Lord's brethren and the Church, we need to battle for the Truth, the right, or in our contact with the world we may sometimes find hostilities necessary.
"IF YE BITE AND DEVOUR"
Amongst the Lord's people, even in the apostles' day, there was a tendency at times to fight each other rather than to fight the devil and the spirit of the world and the weaknesses within. The organs of combativeness and destructiveness, which would serve a Christian soldier in good stead if directed against his own weaknesses and blemishes, are sadly out of place when, ignoring his own weaknesses, he merely becomes contentious with the brethren--often over nothing, or over questions whose importance he exaggerates, because of his contentious spirit. Such should remember the Scriptural statement that greater is he that ruleth his own spirit than he that taketh a city. (`Prov. 16:32`.) The Apostle refers to that misdirection of Christian energy which bites and devours one another, and tends to the destruction of all that is spiritual amongst the Lord's people. Not that the Apostle favored slackness as respects the important
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principles of the divine revelation, for he himself urged that we contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints. (`Jude 3`.) But this earnest contending is not to be done in a biting and devouring manner--it is to be with patience and long suffering, brotherly kindness, love.
The Lord's people have enlisted as New Creatures, Spirit begotten, to walk [to live] not after the flesh but after the Spirit, and must continually recognize this fact, and keep watch that they are walking in line with the spirit of truth, and must know that in so doing they will not be fulfilling the desires of their fallen flesh. The Apostle states this as a positive rule, without exception, that the flesh, the natural inclinations, tendencies, lusts or desires, are contrary to the Spirit, and likewise the Spirit desires are contrary to the flesh. These two desires being opposed one to the other we cannot gratify both, and whichever is gratified it will be so at the expense of the other. If we ever want to attain to the true liberty wherewith Christ makes free we should know that it can only be by a persistent warfare of the new mind against every sinful tendency and inclination of the old nature. It is not the new will warring against the old, for the old will we have reckoned dead. It is the new will warring against the flesh, which the old will used to control, and which flesh still has its evil tendencies.
The new will, therefore, needs all the sustaining strength and assistance which it can secure. Many of these are provided for it as food, nourishment, strength, through the Word of God, whose exceeding great and precious promises are given in order that the new will may be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might through faith, and conquer in all of its battles with the flesh.
The Apostle's declaration, "Ye cannot do the things which ye would," is in full accord with all our experiences. We can sometimes do as we would in some things, we can gain the victory over the flesh; but there are certain weaknesses, failings, blemishes in our flesh which are so powerful that the new mind never gets as complete a mastery over them as it desires. Nevertheless in all the battles being waged the new mind grows stronger and stronger while the flesh grows weaker and weaker. The Scriptural proposition, however, is that we must expect to have more or less of these battles until our dying moments. Thank God that will be the end of the strife, for in the resurrection we are promised new bodies, perfect, complete, in which the new mind will be able to exercise itself without conflict. That is the rest which remains for the people of God, and associated with it will be various other blessings, honors, dignities and responsibilities which the Lord has promised.
"YE ARE NOT UNDER THE LAW"
The Jewish Law was prominent before the minds of the early Church, because the majority had come to Christ through Judaism. The Law had its requirements and exactions and condemnations, and it was difficult for the early Church to comprehend the liberty which was properly theirs in Christ. Their minds would waver as between the gift of grace in Christ and the rewards of the Law, and hence they were continually in trouble because of a realization of the imperfection of their flesh. The Apostle urges the point that those who have accepted Christ are no longer under the Law Covenant, hoping for eternal life under its impossible conditions. The Law could only approve that which was perfect, and while believers realize that their hearts, their wills, their intentions, are perfect, they realize also the imperfection of their flesh.
The Apostle's argument therefore is, "If ye be led of the Spirit then are ye not under the Law." (`Gal. 5:18`.) That is to say, You who have accepted Christ, and who are now walking according to the new mind to the best of your ability, are following the lead of the Spirit, and you have nothing to do with the Law, and it cannot condemn you as imperfect because of your fleshly weaknesses, for you are protected under the robe of Christ's righteousness, and the divine arrangement is that so long as you are following the Spirit, following the new mind, seeking to walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit, that long you are justified, approved of the Lord, and the imperfections of your flesh that are contrary to your best endeavors are not charged to your account, but to the Lord Jesus' account. Those unwilling imperfections were all laid upon him who bore our sins in his own body on the tree, as his perfections have been applied to us through faith to cover those unwilling blemishes.
"AGAINST SUCH THERE IS NO LAW"
While the Law Covenant was nailed to Jesus' cross it does not mean that there is no law covering the Lord's people. The very essence of the divine law is love for God and for man, and the Apostle points out that our course as Christians walking after the Spirit of Christ would be condemned by no law of God; but on the contrary, if neglecting our consecration to the Lord we walk after the flesh, there would be condemnation against us because judged according to the Spirit, the intention of our hearts, we are either approved or disapproved by the divine law of love.
The works of the flesh the Apostle enumerates, and they are all violations of the law of love under which the New Creatures in Christ are being examined; they all come under the head of selfishness and imply injury to our fellow-creatures. He enumerates these: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, malice, wrath, strife, divisions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like. The Apostle points out that anyone begotten of the Spirit who walks, that is who lives, along the lines of these works of the flesh need have no hope of any share in the Kingdom of Heaven. He does not say that all such would share in the Second Death,
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but we know of a surety how such conduct persisted in would ultimately result in the Second Death. It is sufficient for our purpose, however, to leave the matter where the Apostle does, and to note that there is no prospect for a share in the Kingdom for any who do these works of the flesh and of the devil.
It is unfortunate for some that they seem unable to realize the scope of this testimony; they seem to think of adultery, drunkenness and murder as being the crimes that would debar from a share in the Kingdom. They overlook the fact that the Lord defined adultery to be a desire to do evil where only the opportunity is lacking; that he defined murder as represented in that condition of heart which hates a brother. They overlook the statement of the Apostle in this very list that the spirit of variance, the spirit of ambition and jealousy, the spirit of envy and division, are spirits of the flesh and in opposition to the New Creature led by the
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holy Spirit. O, if all of the Lord's people could have in mind these searching tests and apply them to their own lives, what a profit would result, what a blessing, what a fleeing from these weaknesses of the old nature, what a fighting against them for the liberty of the New Creature and its final attainment to glory, honor and immortality with their Lord in the Kingdom!
THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT
Having pointed out to us what would constitute walking after the flesh, the Apostle next indicates the conditions and experiences which should assure the Lord's people that they are not only soldiers of the cross and followers of the Lamb, but that they are fighting a good fight, gaining victories over the flesh. He suggests that if we are begotten of the Spirit and guided thereby there will be a fruitage in our life which will be manifest to ourselves and should to some extent also be apparent to others. This "fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, temperance."
There is no law of God against these things, these qualities, these characteristics of the new nature, and very rarely will any law amongst men be found in opposition to them, although indirectly those who practice these things will be unpopular with the world as well as with the adversary and have trying experiences as a result--experiences, however, which persevered in will work out a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. On the contrary, he who lacks such fruit in his heart, in his mind, in his experiences, lacks the evidence which he should have of his faithfulness as a good soldier in warring against the old nature. He lacks therefore the full assurance of faith, without which as a New Creature he could not have peace and joy. It will be observed that all these fruits of the Spirit are contrary to selfishness. If the Lord's people could but come to the place where daily, morning noon and night, they would have self-examinations to see to what extent they are growing these fruits of the Spirit and to what extent they are rooting out the works of the flesh, it would be to the comfort and joy of all who are in the right condition. Though it might be to the discouragement of others, it would be a discouragement which eventually would be to them advantageous and in the end would hinder them from making shipwreck.
"CRUCIFIED THE FLESH"
Pursuing his subject, showing why we should fight against our natural desires and inclinations toward things that are selfish and sinful, the Apostle declared that they that are Christ's [his consecrated ones, prospective members of his Bride] have crucified the flesh, with the passions and lusts thereof. What does he mean?--that those who have accepted Christ as their sin offering, believing that the crucified one paid their ransom price, have counted their flesh in as though crucified with Christ, saying, Since sin cost the crucifixion of our Redeemer we will be opposed to sin and dead to sin forever. The thought is that whoever has clearly and intelligently accepted Christ as his Savior from sin will be so opposed to sin that he will count his own flesh as condemned to death and be hoping for the new body, the spiritual, and be willing that his flesh should die a lingering death until the last gasp, so strong will be his opposition to sin and everything allied therewith, so strong will his sympathy be with God and the Redeemer, and the holiness which they represent.
"If we live in the Spirit let us also walk in the Spirit," the Apostle adds. That is to say, begotten of the Spirit we reckon ourselves New Creatures, spirit beings, not yet perfect. To us old things are passed away, the things of sin, and all things have become new in harmony with the exceeding great and precious hopes which have been begotten in us by the Lord's promises. If these be true, let us walk, let us live our daily life accordingly, in harmony with this thought--as New Creatures in Christ, not as men energized by their ambitions or projects, not as taking pleasure in the things contrary to the new nature.
"PROVOKING ONE ANOTHER"
As before suggested, while our difficulties arise from our own fallen flesh, they are apt to manifest themselves in the affairs of the Church. The old spirit of selfishness inclines to be ambitious for influence, power, authority, glory amongst the brethren, overlooking the fact that such vainglory and envyings are entirely contrary to the Spirit of the Lord, by which we have been begotten--entirely overlooking the fact that while this ambitious spirit dominates us in any measure we are unfit for the Kingdom and will have proportionately less and less of the Lord's favor and blessing and guidance in our hearts and heads. Hence the Apostle urges, "Let us not be vainglorious, provoking one another, envying one another." Whoever manifests a vainglorious spirit tempts another in the same direction through retaliation, and thus there is a provoking or inciting to an evil course; whereas the Apostle urges, on the contrary, that the New Creatures in Christ should provoke or incite one another to love and good works, that would be to their mutual advantage and development.
"GOD IS NOT MOCKED"
The compilers of this lesson here introduce `Galatians 6:7,8` very appropriately. The theme is the same. We might succeed in deceiving ourselves, possibly succeed in deceiving others into thinking that we are spiritual, walking after the Spirit, while really heady, highminded, vainglorious and envious, but, says the Apostle, we could never deceive God. For such to claim that they were walking after the Spirit and not after the flesh would be mocking God, would imply that God could not read the heart and discern the motive. And the Apostle suggests that in God's arrangement we are sure to reap the very crop we sow. If, in our daily intercourse with the family, the brethren and the world, we allow the envious, selfish, vainglorious, ambitious spirit to control, with more or less of anger, hatred, strife, and dissension, we may surely expect the legitimate crop will not become the reverse of this; instead of finding ourselves in the resurrection copies of God's dear Son, we will find ourselves wholly unfit for the company of the elect.
But, on the other hand, if we sow to the Spirit-- that is, if in the daily affairs of life we seek to have our hearts and minds in full accord and sympathy with the Spirit or the Lord, as presented to us in his Word and exemplified in our Redeemer and the apostles--then we may have the assurance with God that he will not forget us however weak we may be, however insignificant according to the flesh, but we will be remembered of him in the resurrection and be granted a share with all the overcomers in his Kingdom; we will reap of the Spirit the spiritual body, as the Apostle intimates, "For he that soweth unto his flesh shall of the flesh reap
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corruption; death, but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." We are to remember, however, that this sowing and reaping is done by the New Creature, the new mind, the new will, and not by the flesh. However weak and imperfect the flesh may be, God judgeth us not thereby. On the contrary, he looketh upon the heart, upon the intention, upon the will, and his reward or condemnation will be according to what our hearts have desired and endeavored. He will count us as victors if loyally and firmly we endure hardness as good soldiers, faithful to the end.
OUR GOLDEN TEXT
Those who arranged the lesson series designed this for a lesson on temperance, and chose as the Golden Text, "Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging." (`Prov. 20:1`.) While we trust that few if any of the readers of this journal need special exhortation along this line, we do desire to express our full sympathy with the temperance cause. From our standpoint of observation, intoxicating liquors, while not the root of all evil, may well be said to be the root of much of the crime of our day. Surely no consecrated child of God could feel that he was in line with the divine will if, yielding to his appetites, he became intoxicated. If he did not feel ashamed of himself surely the hearts of all right-minded saints would burn in sympathy for him. The cost of alcoholic beverages consumed in so-called Christendom is enormous, and nothing could better demonstrate, we think, that the name "Christendom," signifying Christ's Kingdom, has been misapplied. When Christ's Kingdom shall rule the world, we believe that a great change will be effected along the lines of temperance. The cost of intemperance is not merely measured by the cost of the liquors consumed, but also by the crimes and the diseases attendant.
OUR NATIONAL DRINK BILL
The American Grocer prepares yearly an estimate of the drink bill of the people of the United States. These figures, while not official, are recognized as being the best data obtainable on the question. Of course, much of the work is estimated, as is shown by the statement that liquor is figured on the basis of sixty drinks
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to the gallon, the average price per drink being taken at seven and a half cents. The entire drink bill for stimulants is placed at the enormous total of almost one and one-half billion dollars, far more than the bonded indebtedness of the United States, and almost three times the ordinary yearly expenditures of the Government, exclusive of the postal item. On a per-capita basis this means more than eighteen dollars a year, the more harmless stimulants, such as tea, coffee, and cocoa, accounting for less than three dollars, while alcoholic beverages make up the remainder. Of course, no small part of this drink bill goes into public treasuries either as internal revenue, as custom duties, or to the various municipalities in license fees, etc.; but the drink bill is a great burden on the people, a burden that cannot be fairly measured by the cost alone of the liquors consumed. To the over indulgence in alcoholic stimulants must be attributed the greater part of the crime and poverty in the country. Were those all reckoned into the accounting, our national drink bill would be advanced from its present figures, large as they are, to a total that would be appalling.--Boston Herald, May, 1905.
"Rot of barley, rot of corn.
That's where Alcohol is born,
To his rotten nature true,
To rot is all that he can do.
Rotten men and rotten boys;
Rotten hopes and rotten joys;
Rotten slums of degradation;
Rotten politics in the nation.
Rotten ballots, rotten laws;
Parties with a rotten cause;
Nursed on nature's rotting juices,
Rot is all that it produces."
A story is current in the Orient of a wise old sheik, who gave to a young Arab prince, from whom he was about to part, a list of crimes, and bade him choose the one which seemed least harmful. The young prince turned in horror from murder, theft and loss of virtue, and told the patriarch he would choose intemperance. "You have chosen that," said the wise old man, "which will bring you all."
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NOT FAR FROM THE KINGDOM
--`MARK 12:28-34,38-44`--OCTOBER 7.--
"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart."
IN OUR study of September 15th we considered our Lord's answer to the Pharisees and Herodians and Sadducees on the Tuesday preceding his crucifixion. The present lesson closely connects with that one. A Scribe and Doctor of the Law, noting with apparent sincerity the wisdom of our Lord's replies to the Pharisees and Sadducees, broached the question respecting the Law--quite a common one among the Jews--namely, which commandment is the first or chief, the most important. It will be remembered that on another occasion a Scribe asked the Lord a similar question, and our Lord drew from him the answer by inquiring, "What sayest thou?" In the present instance, however, Jesus answered the question directly, quoting from the summary of the ten commandments. (`Deut. 6:4,5`.) "Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one, Jehovah, and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, with all thy mind and with all thy strength."
Our attention is called to a comment on this Scripture set forth in a Sunday School Teachers' Manual, as follows:
"This describes, designates, the God whom we are to love supremely. Jehovah, the God of Israel, is the one absolute, self-existent, eternal God, and he alone. He is the Creator, Ruler, Preserver, Guide, Savior, Father, Source of all good. One of the best services science has done for religion is the completeness of the proof that there is but one God, by proving the unity of material, of force, of government throughout the known universe. The unity of moral law is another unassailable proof."
"No Unitarian can insist upon the absolute unity of God with more earnestness and emphasis than do the Trinitarians. We believe in one God, and only one. It would be a terrible thing if there were conflicting deities, some having one dominion and others another. There would be no peace, no safety, no exaltation
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of soul, no assurance of hope, no eternal heaven."
NEITHER UNITARIAN NOR TRINITARIAN
Trinitarians and Unitarians seem to have divided the truth between them so that neither one possesses it in the Scriptural sense. Unitarians, so far as the name belongs to a denomination, and judged by their public declarations, reject Jesus as the special son of God, who was with the Father before the world was, and who left his heavenly state to become a man, to accomplish the redemption of Adam and his race, and who having died for our sins has been raised from the dead by the Father's power, far above angels, principalities and powers, and every name that is named, to participate in the divine nature and glory and honor. From the Unitarian standpoint, therefore, our Lord Jesus would appear to have been merely a good man and a noble example of good living. According to this view, our Lord is not divine, but human. We cannot accept this as the teaching of the Scripture.
We must hold to the contrary that he who was rich yet for our sakes became poor, not only experienced the humiliation but has since experienced still higher exaltation, so that as a result all men should honor the Son even as they honor the Father also. While we cannot admit with the Trinitarians that this last expression would mean that the Father and the Son would be one in person, we claim that they are, nevertheless, one in purpose, in plan, in co-operation, in heart harmony--one in the same sense that the Master desired that all of his disciples might be one with the Father and with himself, praying, "That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us." The Trinitarian view, while nearer the truth than the Unitarian, in some respects is, nevertheless, wide of the truth and very confusing both to head and to heart, and proportionately injurious to the cause of the Lord. As our Lord's quotation from the Law clearly states, "Jehovah God is one God" and not three Gods.
THE FATHER AND SON ONE IN SENTIMENT
The Son of God is not the Father but the Son, who "proceeded forth from the Father," who was the Beginning of the creation of God. (`John 8:42`; `Rev. 3:14`.) Nevertheless, even before he became man's ransom price his close association with the Father and his oneness of heart and purpose with him are clearly indicated in the Scriptures. We are assured that he was the "Word of God"--the logos, the expression, the channel of the Father's communication. We are assured that while the Father was the God above all others, the Son, the Logos, was a God above all others, next to the Father but subservient to the Father. We are assured that he was the Father's active agent in the entire work of creation, so that "by him were all things made that were made, and without him was not one thing made." (`John 1:1-3`.) His subserviency to the Father is testified to by himself, "The Father is greater than I," "The Father hath sent me," "As I hear I speak." (`John 14:28`; `20:21`.) This subservience and dependence upon the Father not only was true of our Lord while he was in the flesh and before he was made flesh, but is distinctly asserted of him since his resurrection to glory, honor and immortality to divine nature.
The Apostle tells us that the Millennial Kingdom glory, honor and power are to be specially given to the Son by the Father, and that when the Son shall have finished that appointed work he will deliver up the Kingdom to God, even the Father, and the Father will be recognized as the "all in all" of the universe. (`I Cor. 15:28`.) Every utterance of the inspired Word of God is in full accord with those which we have quoted. For instance, we have already referred to the statement that he and the Father are one, and have shown that he meant not oneness in respect to authority or person but oneness in respect to their plans, purposes and work, he having set aside his own will to do the Father's will. In the same manner he desires that all who would be recognized as his disciples, and by and by constitute his Bride, should lay aside their own wills and be fully submissive to the Father's will, and thus be in the fullest harmony with the Father and the Son, "That they all may be one in us." In accord with this view we have also the statement of our Lord, "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father:" that is, humanity being of earthly nature could not see a spirit being, as it is written, "There shall no man see me and live." (`Exod. 33:20`.) A perfect human being would be the best illustration of the Heavenly Father that it would be possible for mankind to see with the natural eye, and this they did see in our Lord Jesus, the Father's image in the flesh. For a further and complete analysis of this subject the reader is referred to MILLENNIAL DAWN, VOL. V.
HOW TO LOVE GOD PERFECTLY
The definition here given of the love due to our Creator is all comprehensive: our hearts, our affections, must all reverence and love him; our souls, our being, our bodies, must all be controlled by love for God; our
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minds must similarly recognize, reverence, appreciate and love the Lord, and our strength of mind or body must recognize him as worthy of every loving service we can render. Not only so, but our hearts, minds, etc., must not be divided in their love--the Lord must be first with us in every sense of the word. This means the full consecration of time, talent, influence, everything that we possess--it means a condition of heart that is unknown to the vast majority even of those who are justified by faith in the precious blood, and who have a measure of peace with God through our Lord Jesus. This fulness of love for the Father represents not the beginning of the consecrated Christian's condition, but its fulness, its completeness. It represents not his attitude at the time he enters the school of Christ to learn of him, but the condition he must attain to before he can reach the mark or be ready for graduation to the heavenly condition.
FIRST REVERENCE--LATER LOVE
The reverence of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, but is not the end of it. We cannot love God until we have become acquainted with him and ascertained the lovable qualities represented in him. Hence the importance of the knowledge everywhere pointed out in the Word of God. "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou has sent." (`John 17:3`.) The fear or reverence of God is our first knowledge, and if we be rightly exercised thereby the Lord will reveal himself to us more and more as the one appointed to be the Way, the Truth, the Life--no man cometh unto the Father except by him. Many lessons are to be learned respecting the power and greatness and wisdom and justice of our God before we are able to
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understand and appreciate the "love of God which passeth all understanding."
If we were all perfect as Adam was perfect we would have little difficulty in appreciating the divine character, because the perfect man was created in the divine image and would therefore readily appreciate all the divine qualities and attributes; but born in sin, shapen in iniquity, we are all more or less fallen from that perfection and must learn to know our God. As already suggested, our fallen conditions permit us to learn of his wisdom, justice and power quicker than to learn of his love. Indeed God's love has not yet been manifested to the world in general. Only to a comparatively small number is God's love manifested at all, and it is seen by them only with the eye of faith. The Apostle declares, "Herein was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world that we might live through him."--`John 4:9`.
How few realize the need of this sacrifice! Such only can appreciate the love that was back of it and manifested through it. The great majority are blind to these things, and must wait for their appreciation of the love of God until the glorious time foretold in the prophecies, when the Sun of Righteousness shall arise and chase all the darkness and sin away, when there shall be no more curse resting upon the world of mankind, when Satan shall be bound and the knowledge of the Lord be caused to fill the whole earth--then, as one of the chief elements of the glory of God, will be clearly seen by all mankind the love of God which passeth all understanding. Thank God that we are so highly favored that the eyes of our understanding are opening to this great love of God in advance of the world's blessing and enlightenment! Nevertheless, to the most enlightened this appreciation of the divine character as the God of love came gradually, little by little, as we came to understand the lengths and breadths and heights and depths of the divine plan, and have come to appreciate the love that prompted that plan and is outworking it and guaranteeing its consummation to be glorious.
KNOWLEDGE NECESSARY TO LOVE
In proportion as we discern the perfection of the divine character, in the same proportion are we able to love the Lord with all our hearts, all our minds, all our beings, all our strength. The Christian who attains to this in his heart has surely reached the mark expressed by this command--the first command, the principal command. The Lord may permit him to be tried, tested and proved along the line of this love and to demonstrate a fixity of love, but all the time he was thus being tested he is at this standard of the divine law. There is a distinction, however, to be made between the heart standard by which the Lord is judging the Church and the fleshly standard by which the same persons might be judged of others. Because of the weakness of the flesh, the heart love for the Lord might at times not be fully and clearly expressed so that it would be apparent to all mankind. The world, which judges only by the flesh, knoweth us not. It is a consolation to our hearts that the Father realizes our love and devotion, and is judging us not according to the flesh, but according to the spirit, the heart, the intention, the new mind. And in proportion as we realize the imperfections of our flesh and our inability to show the loving devotion of our hearts and minds, being and strength, we should have compassion and sympathy with our fellow members who similarly more or less imperfectly manifest in their flesh the devotion of heart which they have professed. As the Lord waits patiently for us to develop the fruits of the Spirit, the graces of the Spirit, in our lives, so it behooves us to wait patiently upon the fellow-members of the body as they seek also to become renewed in thought and word and deed, sanctified wholly to the Master and his use.
"THY NEIGHBOR AS THYSELF"
Lest this Doctor of the Law should misapprehend, the Lord quoted from `Leviticus 19:18` the statement, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself," and this he designated as also of primary importance and second only to the previous statement of love to God. As stated elsewhere, on these two commands hang all the Law and the prophets. In other words, the keeping of these two would touch upon, cover and include every item of the divine law. As spiritual Israelites, therefore, it is appropriate that we notice this as well as the other command. Indeed we hear the Apostle John as the mouthpiece of the Lord declaring, "If any man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?"-- `I John 4:20`.
It is well that we keep this test clearly before our hearts lest we deceive ourselves. Love, the greatest attribute in the world, stands related to all the other things in the universe. While God should be first in our hearts and affections, nevertheless our love for God is more difficult to measure than is our love for man. Love is opposed to selfishness and does not even "seek her own" rights, although it may be necessary that love be restrained and ruled at times by justice and wisdom. What a grand lesson on all that is implied in the word love is furnished us by the Lord through the Apostle in `I Corinthians, 13th chapter`. There we are not only shown what elements of conduct are loving, but what elements are contrary to love-- which elements of our characters should be cultivated and which should be restrained, subdued, mortified.
Our Lord's questioner was evidently sincere. He perceived not only the wisdom of the Lord's reply to those who were seeking to catch him, but now he had a grand illustration of that wisdom when applied conscientiously to the most important of all doctrines-- the most important features of the divine law. His reply was, "Of a truth, Master, thou hast well said, for there is but one God and there is none other but he: and to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbor as himself, is much more than whole burnt offering and sacrifices." Jesus, beholding his candor, gave him an encouraging word, which should have been of great assistance to him, saying, "Thou art not far from the Kingdom of God."
One sincerely recognizing the truths just enunciated must surely have been of honest heart, and hence of the kind whom the Lord would be pleased to have enter the Kingdom class by full acceptance of him as their Redeemer and by a full consecration of their
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every power and talent to his service. This would be the practical outworking of this great commandment, fulness of love for God that would lead to endeavors to serve and please him in every possible manner, and their love for fellow men that would have delight in telling the good tidings of great joy which shall be unto all people. We read that after that no man durst ask Jesus any question. This was possibly because his ministries and teachings as divinely intended had reached their fulfilment, accomplishment, or possibly it may signify that all classes of his religious opponents held the Master in such awe and respect that they feared to attempt further questioning, which could only result disastrously to themselves, showing their own deficiencies and making him the more prominent as the great Teacher.
"KEEP YOURSELF FROM IDOLS"
Quite a good many of the Lord's earnest followers realize the danger which besets us all of rendering too much love and homage to an earthly creature, and thus to some extent robbing God of what is his due. This seems to be the Apostle's thought in the above expression. He had no thought of Christian people becoming worshipers of sticks and stones, but he did appreciate the fact that the human heart may consecrate itself to serve wealth or fame; and some of the Lord's people, keeping themselves from such idols, are in danger of putting too large a proportion of their love upon wife or husband, parent or child, brother or sister, and thus idolizing them and bringing an earthborn
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cloud between their hearts and the Heavenly Father. It is well to be on guard and to remember that, however much we may love others, the Lord must have all our hearts in the sense that he would be first and chief, and that if it were necessary every earthly tie might be broken, however tender, rather than the tie that binds our hearts to the Lord.
When in such fear, when realizing ourselves in such danger, let us remember that there would be two ways of correcting the difficulty: the one would be by breaking off some of our love for earthly objects and conditions, the other by increasing our love for the heavenly. It surely would be in line with the divine arrangement that we should be discriminating as respects our loves for earthly things, to discern whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good repute, and discouraging all others as unworthy of us as New Creatures in Christ. This would not, of course, mean that we should hate anybody, though it might mean that we would properly be separated from some whose influence would be to the contrary of these divinely appointed guides and sentiments. With our earthly love all centered upon good and noble persons, and especially appreciating these because of their relationship to that which is perfect, to the Lord and his standards, we should then measure the love for these with the love for the Father, and determine that the love for God must be cultivated more and more, until it shall far outreach and outweigh any earthly love, however precious. From this standpoint we would love our dear ones of earth no less, but the heavenly Father proportionately so much more. This we may be sure would be the right attitude which the Lord would most approve.
KEPT FOR THE MASTER'S USE
This thought is presented in a poem quoted by Miss Havergill in her work entitled, "Kept for the Master's Use."
"I tremble when I think
How much I love him; but I turn away
From thinking of it, just to love him more;--
Indeed, I fear, too much."
Do you love him as much as Christ loves us?
Let your lips answer me."
"Why ask me, dear?
Our hearts are finite, Christ is infinite."
"Then till you reach the standard of that love,
Let neither fears nor well-meant warning voice
Distress you with 'too much.' For he hath said
How much--and who shall dare to change his measure--
That ye should love as I have loved you.
O sweet command, that goes so far beyond
The mightiest impulse of the tenderest heart!
A bare permission had been much; but he
Who knows our yearnings and our fearfulness,
Chose graciously to bid us do the thing
That makes our earthly happiness,
A limit that we need not fear to pass,
Because we cannot. Oh, the breadth and length,
And depth and height of love that passeth knowledge!
Yet Jesus said, 'As I have loved you.'
"O, Beatrice, I long to feel the sunshine
That this should bring; but there are other words
Which fall in chill eclipse. 'Tis written 'Keep
Yourselves from idols.' How shall I obey?"
"Oh, not by loving less, but loving more.
It is not that we love our precious ones
Too much, but God too little. As the lamp
A miner bears upon his shadowed brow
Is only dazzling in the grimy dark,
And has no glare against the summer sky,
So, set the tiny torch of our best love
In the great sunshine of the love of God,
And, though full fed and fanned, it casts no shade
And dazzles not, o'erflowed with mightier light."
"BEWARE OF THE SCRIBES."
His opportunities for teaching his apostles were rapidly passing, and our Lord, sitting in or near the Temple, said to them, "Beware of the Scribes, which love to go in long robes and to receive salutations in the market places, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and the chief places at feasts: which devour widows' houses and for a pretense make long prayers: these shall receive the greater condemnation."
Our Lord did not say that all of the Scribes, all of the learned Doctors of the Law, had the disreputable qualities he reproved. More properly we might understand him to mean: You have been taught to honor and respect the learned Scribes or teachers of your nation, but take heed to those of them who have the characteristics I have just denounced. They are far from the Kingdom condition; their selfishness is manifest in the ways I have enumerated, and proportionately they are lacking in the traits which would have the Father's approval either under the letter or the spirit of the Law.
We might make two applications of this lesson to our own times: one would be that we are not necessarily to reverence and follow Doctors of Divinity, but are to be discriminating in regard to the respect we have for them and their teachings. We are not to think that those who manifest a self-seeking spirit, the highest place in the Conference, who boast of their learning, whose special adorning is not of the meek and quiet spirit, but of the long robes of profession, who love to receive recognition in public places and to be called Rabbi, Reverend, etc., and to be made very prominent before the people; these should not be regarded as
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proper exemplars or patterns. Rather we should look away from such, realizing that the Lord despises not only the proud but the selfish, and shows his favors to the humble and to the lowly. Another lesson for us would come still closer home to every reader of this journal.
In Spiritual Israel those who are instructed in the true knowledge of the Lord's Word should be overcomers of the spirit of the world, the spirit of selfishness. If any such find in themselves any of these enumerated characteristics which the Lord condemns, he should flee from the sin as he would from a contagious disease. For instance, if he finds himself greatly influenced by the opinion of others respecting his clothing, if he finds in himself a self-seeking spirit, a selfish disposition to grasp the best for himself on all occasions, and love of public praise and of recognition, titles, etc., let such beware. Whether he has a greater or less degree of earthly learning, or a greater or less degree of heavenly learning, he is in a dangerous condition if he has the selfish tendencies which the Lord here enumerates. Especially is he in need of divine grace to help him out of the horrible pit of selfishness if he finds himself so devoid of love as to be willing to take the goods of others without proper recompense, whether they be widows' houses or what not. The more one knows, the more of a Scribe he is, the greater will be his condemnation if the characteristics here set forth by our Lord are his.
GREAT AND SMALL GIFTS TO GOD
We have seen the kind of love for God and man which the divine Law stipulates; we have seen how some of the most prominent of those professing to be teachers of the divine Law come far short of the divine standard, as in the case of the Scribe in the illustration just given. Our Lord next presented his teachings from still another standpoint: he would show his disciples that they must not measure the divine approval along earthly lines, but must remember that the Lord looketh on the heart; that many who are esteemed amongst men are an abomination in his sight, and some not esteemed amongst men are his jewels. He pointed out the poor widow who had just cast two mites into the treasury of the Temple, and he declared that her gift, although insignificant from the human standpoint, was greater in God's sight than many of the larger gifts, because she had given of her penury. Others had given from their abundance what they would little miss: she out of her nothing had given that which would cause her considerable self-denial. Here, then, is the Lord's appreciation and estimate of our sacrifices in response to our love for him. Whoever loves another will seek to serve him and be willing to render service at an expense that would be proportionate to his love.
The wealthy can give liberally and be blest in giving, but the poor are to remember that the Lord highly esteems the spirit of their hearts when they desire to serve him and his cause. Their humble efforts are appreciated by the Lord even though man might despise them and consider them insignificant. Our Lord's judgment was that the poor widow had cast in more than they all from the standpoint of divine appreciation. What a thought is here for every one of us: however small our talents, however few, however limited are our opportunities for service, our offerings are not despised, but on the contrary are credited proportionately to the real spirit of sacrifice prompting them. What an encouragement is this to all who have the right spirit of love for the Lord and desire to be his self-sacrificing followers. The Scribe with much ado and outward show of reverence and love for God got the reward which he sought--the approval of his neighbors or those of them who were deceived by his various, pious mannerisms. This poor widow, however, unnoticed and disesteemed of the multitude, would be sure to have the Father's blessing and favor and love; and her procedure mentioned favorably constitutes encouragement to ourselves and to all who desire to follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth.
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HIS PILGRIM LABORS ENDED
ON September 13, our dear Bro. J. N. Patten, well known to many of our readers as one of the "Pilgrims," laid down his cross and we surely believe entered "beyond the vail," a spirit made perfect in the "First Resurrection." How blessed at such times to be able to realize that we are living in the "harvest" time, in which such a "change"--"in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye"--is the Lord's provision for the last "members of his body." We hearken to the message, "Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord from henceforth! Yea, saith the Spirit; they rest from their labors, but their works follow with them."
How blessed to think of "the rest that remaineth for the people of God," as well as to enjoy a goodly share of it even while yet in the enemy's country: yet how blessed, also, is the thought that our present opportunities for using our mortal bodies in the service of our Lord and his cause are but the prelude to the greater and more satisfactory works of grace we shall be privileged to engage in with our dear Redeemer throughout the glorious "times of restitution of all things spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began."--`Acts 3:19-21`.
Privileged to see our Brother shortly before his death we discerned that he was just at the border and spoke a few words of comfort and joined in prayer for God's will to be done and his gracious arrangements perfected, and requested that he bear our greetings to those "on the other shore;" expressing the hope that ere long we will all be gathered home. Thus we were enabled to rejoice together, even in the presence of the foe. Surely the Apostle said truly,--"We sorrow not as others who have no hope;"--nor do we sorrow as do those with vague and uncertain hope. Our faith sings while we weep,--
"How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in his excellent Word!
What more can he say than to you he hath said,
You who unto Jesus for refuge have fled?"
Dear Sister Patten was ceaselessly in attendance on her husband, and as he sank to rest with her hand upon his forehead and a sweet smile illumining his face, she sang to him in low tones those two precious hymns: "Sweet peace, the gift of God's love," and "I shall see him face to face."