ZWT - 1909 - R4301 thru R4536 / R4411 (177) - June 15, 1909
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VOL. XXX JUNE 15 NO. 12
A.D. 1909--A.M. 6037
Views from the Watch Tower........................179
The Delusion of Militarism....................179
Church Federation Progressing.................182
Juvenile Law Breakers.............................182
Brother Russell's European Tour...................183
"I Have Much People in This City".................184
"Be of Good Cheer"............................185
St. Paul's Pastoral to Thessalonica...............186
"See That None Render Evil"...................187
"Pray Without Ceasing"........................188
"Quench Not the Spirit".......................188
A Little While (Poem).............................189
Asia Heard the Word of the Lord...................189
Hardened and Believed Not.....................190
Samples of Interesting Letters....................191
WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY
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VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER
THE DELUSION OF MILITARISM
THE NATIONS CALLED AGAINST THEIR WILL TO THE BATTLE OF
THE GREAT DAY OF GOD ALMIGHTY!
"THE FUTURE historian of the first decade of the twentieth century will be puzzled. He will find that the world at the opening of the century was in an extraordinarily belligerent mood, and that the mood was well-nigh universal, dominating the New World as well as the Old, the Orient no less than the Occident. He will find that preparations for war, especially among nations which confessed allegiance to the Prince of Peace, were carried forward with tremendous energy and enthusiasm, and that the air was filled with prophetic voices, picturing national calamities and predicting bloody and world-embracing conflicts. 'We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed.'
"Alongside of this fact he will find another fact no less conspicuous and universal, that everybody of importance
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in the early years of the twentieth century was an ardent champion of peace. He will find incontestable evidence that the King of England was one of the truest friends of peace who ever sat on the English throne, that the German Emperor proclaimed repeatedly that the cause of peace was ever dear to his heart, that the President of the United States was so effective as a peacemaker that he won a prize for ending a mighty war, that the Czar of Russia was so zealous in his devotion to peace that he called the nations to meet in solemn council to consider measures for ushering in an era of universal amity and good will, and that the President of France, the King of Italy and the Mikado of Japan were not a whit behind their royal brethren in offering sacrifices on the altar of the Goddess of Peace. A crowd of royal peacemakers in a world surcharged with thoughts and threats of war, a band of lovers strolling down an avenue which they themselves had lined with lyddite shells and twelve-inch guns, this will cause our historian to rub his eyes.
The conflicting principles of the dawning Age of Peace and the declining Age of Warfare are illustrated in this striking contrast of Peace and War talk.
"In his investigations he will find that the world's royal counselors and leading statesmen were also, without exception, wholeheartedly devoted to the cause of conciliation. He will read with admiration the speeches of Prince Bulow, Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, Mr. H. H. Asquith, Mr. John Hay, and Mr. Elihu Root, and will be compelled to confess that the three leading nations of our Western world never in the entire course of their history had statesmen more pacific than these in temper, or more eloquent in their advocacy of the cause of international good will. A galaxy of peace-loving statesmen under a sky black with the thunder-clouds of war, this is certain to bewilder our historian.
"His perplexity will become no less when he considers the incontrovertible proofs that never since time began were the masses of men so peaceably inclined as in just this turbulent and war-rumor-tormented twentieth century. He will find that science and commerce and religion had cooperated in bringing the nations together; that the wage-earners in all the European countries had begun to speak of one another as brothers, and that the growing spirit of fraternity and cooperation had expressed itself in such organizations as the Interparliamentary Union, with a membership of twenty-five hundred legislators and statesmen, and various other societies and leagues of scholars and merchants and lawyers and jurists. He will find delegations paying friendly visits to neighboring countries, and will read, dumbfounded, what the English and German papers were saying about invasions, and the need of increased armaments, at the very time that twenty thousand Germans in Berlin were applauding to the echo the friendly greetings of a company of English visitors. And he will be still more nonplussed when he reads that, while ten thousand boys and girls in Tokio were singing loving greetings to our naval officers, there were men in the United States rushing from city to city urging the people to prepare for an American-Japanese war. It will seem inexplicable to our historian that when peace and arbitration and conciliation societies were multiplying in every land, and when men seemed to hate war with an abhorrence never known in any preceding era, there should be a deluge of war-talk flowing like an infernal tide across the world.
"His bewilderment, however, will reach its climax when he discovers that it was after the establishment of an international court that all the nations voted to increase their armaments. Everybody conceded that it was better to settle international disputes by reason rather than by force, but as soon as the legal machinery was created, by means of which the swords could be dispensed with, there was a fresh fury to perfect at once all the instruments of destruction. After each new peace conference there was a fresh cry for more guns. Our historian will read with gladness the records of the Hague Conference and of the laying of the foundation of a periodic Congress of Nations, and of a permanent High Court. He will note the neutralization of Switzerland, Belgium and Norway; the compact entered into by the countries bordering on the North Sea, to respect one another's territorial rights forever; the agreement of the same sort solemnly ratified by all the countries bordering on the Baltic; the signing of more than sixty arbitration treaties twelve of these by the Senate of the United States; the creation of an International Bureau of American Republics, embracing twenty-one nations; the establishment of a Central American High Court; the elaboration and perfection of legal instruments looking toward the parliament of man, the federation of the world.
"He will note also that while these splendid achievements of the peace spirit were finding a habitation and a name, the nations were thrilled as never before by
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dismal forebodings, and the world was darkened by whispers of death and destruction. While the Palace of Peace at The Hague was building, nations hailed the advent of the airship as a glorious invention, because of the service it could render to the cause of war. This unprecedented growth of peace sentiment, accompanied by a constant increase of jealousy and suspicion, of fear and panic, among the nations of the earth, will set our historian to work to ascertain the meaning of this strange phenomenon, the most singular perhaps to be met with in the entire history of the world.
The winding up of the age and the destruction of Satan's kingdom, to make way for the Prince of Peace.
"It will not take him long to discover that the fountains from which there flowed these dark and swollen streams of war rumor were all located within the military and naval encampments. It was the experts of the army and navy who were always shivering at some new peril, and painting sombre pictures of what would happen in case new regiments were not added to the army and additional battleships were not voted for the fleet. It was Lord Roberts, for instance, who discovered how easily England could be overrun by a German army; and it was General Kuropatkin who had discernment to see that the Russo-Japanese war was certain to break out again. The historian will note that the magazine essays on "Perils" were written for the most part by military experts, and that the newspaper scare-articles were the productions of young men who believed what the military experts had told them. Many naval officers, active and retired, could not make an after-dinner speech without casting over their hearers the shadow of some impending conflict.
A HEATHEN PRINCIPLE SATAN'S DELUSION AS AN
ANGEL OF LIGHT
"It was in this way that legislative bodies came to think that possibly the country was really in danger; and looking round for a ground on which to justify new expenditures for war material, they seized upon an ancient pagan maxim--furnished by the military experts --'If you wish peace, prepare for war.' The old adage, once enthroned, worked with the energy of a god. The love of war had largely passed away. The illusion which for ages it had created in the minds of millions had lost its spell. Men had come to see that war is butchery, savagery, murder, hell. They believed in reason. Peace was seen to be the one supreme blessing for the world, but to preserve the peace it was necessary to prepare for war. This lay at the centre of the policy of the twentieth century. No guns were asked for to kill men with--guns were mounted as safeguards of the peace. No battleships were launched to fight with--they were preservers of the peace. Colossal armies and gigantic navies were exhibited as a nation's ornaments--beautiful tokens of its love of peace. And following thus the Angel of Peace, the nations increased their armaments until they spent upon them over two billions of dollars every year, and had amassed national debts aggregating thirty-five billions. The expenditure crushed the poorest of the nations and crippled the richest of them, but the burden was gladly borne because it was a sacrifice for the cause of peace. It was a pathetic and thrilling testimony of the human heart's hatred of war and longing for peace, when the nations became willing to bankrupt themselves in the effort to keep from fighting.
THE NATION'S BLINDLY SEEKING PEACE BY THE
ADVERSARY'S METHODS AND ADVICE
"But at this point our historian will begin to ask whether there might have been any relation between the multiplication of the instruments of slaughter and the constant rise of the tide of war talk and war feeling. He will probably suspect that the mere presence of the shining apparatus of death may have kindled in men's hearts feelings of jealousy and distrust, and created panics which even Hague Conferences and peaceful-minded rulers and counselors could not possibly allay. When he finds that it was only men who lived all their life with guns who were haunted by horrible visions and kept dreaming hideous dreams, and that the larger the armament the more was a nation harassed by fears of invasion and possible annihilation, he will propound to himself these questions: Was it all a great delusion in the last day, the notion that vast military and naval establishments are a safeguard of the peace?
"Was it a form of national lunacy, this frenzied out-pouring of national treasure for the engines of destruction? Was it an hallucination, this feverish conviction that only by guns can a nation's dignity be symbolized, and her place in the world's life and action be honorably maintained?
"These are questions which our descendants are certain to ponder, and why should not we face them now? If this preparing for war in order to keep the peace is indeed a delusion, the sooner we find it out the better,
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for it is the costliest of all obsessions by which humanity has ever been swayed and mastered. There are multiplying developments which are leading thoughtful observers to suspect that this pre-Christian maxim is a piece of antiquated wisdom, and that the desire to establish peace in our modern world by multiplying and brandishing the instruments of war is a product of mental aberration. Certainly there are indications pointing in this direction. The world's brain may possibly have become unbalanced by a bacillus carried in the folds of a heathen adage. The most virulent and devastating disease now raging on the earth is militarism.
"The militarist of our day betrays certain symptoms with which the student of pathology is not altogether unfamiliar. There are demon suggestions which obtain so firm a grip upon the mind that it is difficult to banish them. For example, a man who has the impression that he is being tracked by a vindictive and relentless foe is not going to sit down and quietly listen to an argument the aim of which is to prove that no such enemy exists and that the sounds which have caused the panic are the footfalls of an approaching friend.
THE APPROACH OF JESUS AND HIS KINGDOM
"The militarist will listen to no man who attempts to prove that his 'perils' are creations of the brain. Indeed, he is exceedingly impatient under contradiction; and, here again, he is like all victims of hallucinations. To deny his assumptions or to question his conclusions, is to him both blasphemy and treason, a sort of profanity and imbecility worthy of contempt and scorn. He alone stands on foundations which cannot be shaken, and other men, not possessing his inside information, or technical training for dealing with such questions, are living in a fool's paradise. The ferocity with which he attacks all who dare oppose him is the fury of a man whose brain is abnormally excited.
THE NATIONS DRUNKEN
"Recklessness of consequences is a trait which physicians usually look for in certain types of mental disorder, and here again the militarist presents the symptoms of a man who is sick. What cares he for consequences? The naval experts of Germany are dragging the German Empire ever deeper into debt, unabashed by the ominous mutterings of a coming storm. The naval experts of England go right on launching Dreadnoughts, while the number of British paupers grows larger with the years, and all British problems become increasingly baffling and alarming. The naval experts of Russia plan for a new billion-dollar navy, notwithstanding Russia's national debt is four and one-quarter billion dollars, and to pay her current expenses she is compelled to borrow seventy-five million dollars every year. With millions of her people on the verge of starvation, and beggars swarming through the streets of her cities and round the stations of her railways, the naval experts go on asking new appropriations for guns.
"The terror of a patient who is suffering from mental derangement is often pathetic. Surround him with granite
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walls, ten in number, and every wall ten feet thick, and he will still insist that he is unprotected. So it is with the militarist. No nation has ever yet voted appropriations sufficient to quiet his uneasy heart. England's formula of naval strength has for some time been: The British navy in capital ships must equal the next two strongest navies, plus ten per cent. But notwithstanding the British navy is today in battleships and cruisers and torpedo boats almost equal to the next three strongest navies, never has England's security been so precarious, according to her greatest military experts, as today. It has been discovered at the eleventh hour that her mighty navy is no safeguard at all, unless backed up by a citizen army of at least a million men.
"It was once the aim to protect England against probably combinations against her. The ambition now is to protect her against all possible combinations. In the words of a high authority in the British army, she must protect herself not only against the dangers she has any reason to expect, but also against those which nobody expects.
TIME OF REVOLUTION AND TROUBLE
"Like many another fever, militarism grows by what it feeds on, and unless checked by heroic measures is certain to burn the patient up. Men in a delirium seldom have a sense of humor. The world is fearfully grim to them, and life a solemn and tragic thing. They express absurdities with a sober face, and make ridiculous assertions without a smile. It may be that the militarists are in a sort of delirium. At any rate, they publish articles entitled, "Armies the Real Promoters of Peace," without laughing aloud at the grotesqueness of what they are doing.
Bereft of reason are the nations by Satan's ingenious and terrible final beclouding of the minds of men.
"The militarist is comic in his seriousness. He says that if you want to keep the peace you must prepare for war, and yet he knows that where men prepare for war by carrying bowie knives, peace is a thing unheard of, and that where every man is armed with a revolver, the list of homicides is longest. He declares his belief in kindly feelings and gentle manners, and proceeds at once to prove that a nation ought to make itself look as ferocious as possible. In order to induce nations to be gentlemen, he would have them all imitate the habits of rowdies. To many persons this seems ludicrous, to a militarist it is no joke. He is a champion of peace, but he wants to carry a gun. The man who paces up and down my front pavement with a gun on his shoulder may have peaceful sentiments, but he does not infuse peace into me. It does not help matters for him to shout out every few minutes, "I will not hurt you if you behave yourself," for I do not know his standard of good behavior, and the very sight of the gun keeps me in a state of chronic alarm. But the militarist says that, for promoting harmonious sentiments and peaceful emotions, there is nothing equal to an abundance of well-constructed guns.
"A droll man indeed is the militarist. What matters it what honeyed words the King of England and the German Kaiser interchange, so long as each nation hears constantly the launching by the other of a larger battleship? And even though Prince Bulow may say to Mr. Asquith a hundred times a week, "We mean no harm," and Mr. Asquith may shout back, "We are your friends," so long as London and Berlin are never beyond earshot of soldiers, who are practicing how to shoot to kill, just so long will England and Germany be flooded with the gossip of hatred, and thrown into hysteria by rumors of invasion and carnage.
THE WORLD GOING CRAZY
"Like many other diseases, militarism is contagious. One nation can be infected by another until there is an epidemic round the world. A parade of battleships can kindle fires in the blood of even peaceful peoples, and increase naval appropriations in a dozen lands. Is it possible, some one asks, for a world to become insane? That a community can become crazy was proved by Salem, in the days of the witchcraft delusion; that a city can lose its head was demonstrated by London, at the time of the Gunpowder Plot; that a continent can become the victim of an hallucination was shown when Europe lost its desire to live, and waited for the end of the world in the year 1000. Why should it be counted incredible that many nations, bound together by steam and electricity, should fall under the spell of a delusion, and should act for a season like a man who has gone mad? But is it not true that the world has gone mad? The masses of men are sensible; but at present the nations are in the clutches of the militarists, and no way of escape has yet been discovered. The deliverance will come as soon as men begin to think and examine the sophistries with which militarism has flooded the world.
"Certain facts will surely, some day, burn themselves into the consciousness of all thinking men. The expensiveness of the armed peace is just beginning to catch the eye of legislators. The extravagance of the militarists will bring about their ruin. They cry for battleships at ten million dollars each, and Parliament or Congress votes them. But later on it is explained that battleships are worthless without cruisers, cruisers are worthless without torpedo boats, torpedo boats are worthless without torpedo-boat destroyers, all these are worthless without colliers, ammunition boats, hospital boats, repair boats; and these altogether are worthless without deeper harbors, longer docks, more spacious navy yards. And what are all these worth without officers and men, upon whose education millions of dollars have been lavished? When at last the navy has been fairly launched, the officials of the army come forward and demonstrate that a navy, after all, is worthless unless it is supported by a colossal land force. Thus are the governments led on, step by step, into a treacherous morass, in which they are at first entangled, and finally overwhelmed.
"All the great nations are today facing deficits, caused in every case by the military and naval experts. Into what a tangle the finances of Russia and Japan have been brought by militarists is known to everybody. Germany has, in a single generation, increased her national debt from eighteen million dollars to more than one billion dollars. The German Minister of Finance looks wildly round in search of new sources of national income. Financial experts confess that France is approaching the limit of her sources of revenue. Her deficit is created by her
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army and navy. The British government is always seeking for new devices by means of which to fill a depleted treasury. Her Dreadnoughts keep her poor. Italy has for years staggered on the verge of bankruptcy because she carries an overgrown army on her back. Even our own rich republic faces this year a deficit of over a hundred million dollars, largely due to the one hundred and thirty millions we are spending on our navy. Mr. Cortelyou has called our attention to the fact that while in thirty years we have increased our population by 85 per cent., and our wealth by 185 per cent., we have increased our national expenses by 400 per cent.
U. S. DEBT
Largest in....................1865--$2,680,647,869.74 Smallest since, in............1891--$1,546,961,695.61 Now...........................1909--$2,637,913,747.04 This year will probably exceed 1865, due to military expenses. The nation's wealth is $116,000,000,000.
"It is within those thirty years that we have spent one billion dollars on our navy. And the end is not yet. The Secretary of the Navy has recently asked for twenty-seven additional vessels for the coming year, four of which are battleships at ten million dollars each, and he is frank to say that these twenty-seven are only a fraction of the vessels to be asked for later on. We have already, built or building, thirty-one first-class battleships, our navy ranking next to Great Britain, Germany standing third, France fourth, and Japan fifth: but never has the naval lobby at Washington been so voracious and so frantic for additional safeguards of the peace as today.
"The militarists are peace-at-any-price men. They are determined to have peace even at the risk of national
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bankruptcy. Everything good in Germany, Italy, Austria, England and Russia is held back by the confiscation of the proceeds of industry carried on for the support of the army and navy. In the United States the development of our resources is checked by this same fatal policy. We have millions of acres of desert land to be irrigated, millions of acres of swamp land to be drained, thousands of miles of inland waterways to be improved, harbors to be deepened, canals to be dug, and forests to be safeguarded, and yet for all these works of cardinal importance we can afford only a pittance. We have not sufficient money to pay decent salaries to our United States judges, or to the men who represent us abroad. We have pests, implacable and terrible, like the gypsy moth, and plagues like tuberculosis, for whose extermination millions of money are needed at once.
"On every hand we are hampered and handicapped, because we are spending two-thirds of our enormous revenues on pensions for past wars, and on equipment for wars yet to come. The militarists begrudge every dollar that does not go into army or navy. They believe that all works of internal improvement ought to be paid for by the selling of bonds, even the purchase of sites for new post-offices being made possible by mortgaging the future. They never weary of talking of our enormous national wealth, and laugh at the niggardly mortals who do not believe in investing it in guns. Why should we not spend as great a proportion of our wealth on military equipment as the other nations of the world? This is their question, and the merchants and farmers will answer it some day.
"This delusion threatens to become as mischievous as it is expensive. Every increase in the American navy strengthens the militarists in London, Berlin, and Tokio. The difficulty of finding a reason for an American navy increases the mischief. Why should the United States have a colossal navy? No one outside the militarists can answer. Because there is no ascertainable reason for this un-American policy, the other American countries are becoming frightened. Brazil has just laid down an extravagant naval programme, for the proud Republic of the South cannot consent to lie at the mercy of the haughty Republic of the North. The new departure of Brazil has bewitched Argentina from the vision which came to her before the statue of Christ, which she erected high up amid the Andes, and has fired her with a desire to rival in her battleships her ambitious military neighbor. We first of all have established militarism in the Western world, and are by our example dragging weaker nations into foolish and suicidal courses, checking indefinitely the development of two continents.
"Our influence goes still further. It sets Australia blazing, and shoves Japan into policies which she cannot afford. But we cannot harm foreign nations without working lasting injury on ourselves. The very battleships which recently kindled the enthusiasm of children in South America, Australia, and Japan, also stirred the hearts of American boys and girls along our Atlantic and Pacific seaboards, strengthening in them impulses and ideals of an Old World which struggled and suffered before Jesus came. It is children who receive the deepest impressions from pageants and celebrations, and who can measure the damage wrought upon the world by the parade of American battleships? Children cannot look upon symbols of brute force, extolled and exalted by their elders, without getting the impression that a nation's power is measured by the calibre of its guns, and that its influence is determined by the explosive force of its shells. A fleet of battleships gives a wrong impression of what America is, and conceals the secret which has made America great. Children do not know that we became a great world-power without the assistance of either army or navy, building ourselves up on everlasting principles by means of our schools and our churches. The down-pulling force of our naval pageant was not needed in a world already dragged down to low levels by the example of ancient nations, entangled by degrading traditions from which they are struggling to escape. The notion that this exhibition of battleships has added to our prestige among men whose opinion is worthy of consideration, or has made the world love us better, is only another feature of the militarist delusion."
* * *
[The foregoing was written by C. E. Jefferson and published by the American Association for International Conciliation. It is issued with the endorsement of the forty-eight Directors of said Association who are amongst the most prominent American citizens. The interspersed comments in bold-faced type are ours.--Editor].
CHURCH FEDERATION PROGRESSING
The national organization for church federation, which met in Philadelphia last December, and whose 450 delegates in a general way represented seventeen millions of Protestants, is slowly but surely moving.
The resolution of the national organization was that branches of the work should be established at Chicago, Atlanta and Denver, while the national headquarters should continue in New York. It was in harmony with these decisions that the Chicago branch was organized on May 6th. It appointed a district superintendent for its territory, with local advisory committees on Temperance, The Church and Modern Industry, Family Life, Sunday Observance, The Immigrant Problem, Home Missions, Foreign Missions, International Relations--to carry out locally just what the national committees propose shall be generally carried out. One of the committees will be expected to keep in close touch with labor, not merely along spiritual lines, but also in temporal matters. The proposition is that by thorough organization of the religious work in every large city of the United States, all denominational rivalry shall be eliminated, and everything adverse to Christianity or to the Federated Churches shall be opposed. It will not be an organic union of the denominations, in which they would lose their individuality, but it will be a combination for advice and co-operation.
Thus we have the not unreasonable proposition. Who can tell the ultimate results of this federating? Its power will be felt in politics, and all the little denominations will be practically frozen out, and their people ostracized, if not persecuted. The result will be the loss of individuality in religious matters, and undoubtedly a great loss in spirituality.
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JUVENILE LAW BREAKERS
NOT long since we called attention to the fact that the "Springfield Riots" were reported to have been instigated and maintained chiefly by boys of 16 to 20 years. Much the same report came from the scenes of the Russian riots. Now note the below from France. Is this not remarkable? May it not be one of the results of modern infidelity so freely introduced into the schools and schoolbooks? The French writer referred to says:--
"According to the official reports of the minister of justice for a number of years preceding 1904 there was an annual increase of about 5,000 crimes, which was not counterbalanced by any corresponding increase in population. The chairman of the committee of judiciary reform of the Chamber of Deputies recently reported to that body an increase of 80 per cent. since 1901 in the total number of crimes in the country. If the last five years alone are considered, the criminal statistics are even more appalling. 'Criminality,' says the eminent scientist and sociologist, Dr. Gustave Lebon, 'has augmented in proportions that are veritably terrifying; 30 per cent. for the murders, while the sum for the criminality
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has doubled in five years.' This statement almost passes belief, but Dr. Lebon is an authority whose word goes.
"In this connection, another dreary and dreadful fact (which no one thinks of disputing) is to be noted.
"The average age of criminals is getting to be younger and younger. More than 60 per cent. of the inmates of the 'maisons centrales' (as the houses of correction are called) are under 29 years of age. Many of the bands of 'Apaches' consist of boys of from 14 to 17, and their chiefs are often not more than 19 or twenty.
"How does it happen that crime, especially crime on the part of the young, is increasing at such a terrible rate?
"It would not be fair, of course, to assign this abominable state of things to any one cause; but it is certain that the lack of religious instruction in the public schools and the truancy and juvenile vagrancy due to the inadequate school accommodations since the passage of the law against the congregations must be held responsible for a great deal of the trouble. An adult often commits a crime because he is a discouraged, a desperate man. He is often pushed into crime by the hardships he encounters in earning his bread. But when a mere boy takes to crime, the chances are that he has deliberately chosen crime as a career, because he has been brought up with false ideals, because he has been given wrong standards of living. The criminal of fifteen to twenty, as a rule, has not even so much as tried to live honestly. He has grown up to consider work dishonorable, to believe that the world owes him a living, and that it is his business to collect the debt by hook or by crook. He becomes a thief or a swindler because he thinks it a finer thing to be a thief or a swindler than to be a cabinet-maker or a plumber."
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BROTHER RUSSELL'S EUROPEAN TOUR
THE FOLLOWING, WRITTEN BY BROTHER RUSSELL OFF THE SHORES OF NORWAY, RECOUNTS HIS JOURNEY THAT FAR FROM LIVERPOOL:
ALTHOUGH our steamer broke all ocean records she was unable to land her passengers Monday night, but waited for the tide to reach her landing. There on the shore awaiting us, waving the Chautauqua salute with their handkerchiefs, we greeted about a dozen friends full half an hour before we could get ashore. We received very hearty hand-grasps and words of welcome and were soon en route for noon refreshments.
At 3 p.m. we met an audience of the interested, probably 125. It was a Question Meeting; we trust a profitable one. The questions were excellent--many of them relating to the Covenants. The meeting lasted two hours and was followed by supper. The evening meeting was semi-public, the attendance about 300. We had an excellent hearing while we endeavored to present the "Old, old story of Jesus and his love." We were most hospitably entertained by Brother and Sister McCoy and after a good night's rest were ready for the train for Manchester.
The only disappointing feature connected with the visit was the evident disaffection of Brother Hay and a few others who have gone blind on the Covenants and on the participation of the Church as the Body of Christ in his sufferings as the Priest. We feel keenly for those who once were enlightened and had tasted the heavenly gift and the powers of the age to come and were partakers of the holy Spirit's enlightenment, when we see them thus go into the "outer-darkness" of the world's nominal church. Nevertheless, we must not murmur at the Divine Providence which thus "sifts" the chaff from the wheat. On the contrary, we appreciate the light the more, and prize the more all those who are permitted to remain in it; knowing that God makes no mistakes and that he would not suffer any to be deflected whose hearts were right.
NEXT AT MANCHESTER
About a dozen of the friends accompanied us from Liverpool to Manchester, where we were met at the railway station by Brother Glass and others. We were most hospitably cared for by Brother and Sister Glass, at whose home later we were refreshed by meeting Brother Hemery, the Society's British representative, who came from London with warm greetings from the London friends.
The afternoon meeting at Onward Hall had an attendance of about 400, who greeted us by rising and singing "Blest be the tie that binds." The afternoon subject was "Christ in you, the hope of glory." (`Col. 1:27`.) We had excellent attention for two hours whilst we endeavored to show that those in Christ, by the begetting of the holy Spirit, have now as the hope of glory their share as Christ's members--in filling up that which is behind of his afflictions; specially left behind in our interest to permit us a share in his sacrifice and in the glory of God attached thereto--participation in the divine nature and the Millennial work. Incidentally we showed that the Vow seemed to be helping many to abide in the Vine as "branches"; and noted the fact that almost without exception the dear friends who have not taken the Vow are the ones who are losing their appreciation of the "Mystery" mentioned in our text-- fellowship in the sufferings and attendant glories of the Christ.
The evening meeting was in the "Large Free Trade Hall." For a week-night religious meeting it was surely a rousing one; about 3000 were present. Our topic was "The Overthrow of Satan's Empire." The attention was excellent. The dear friends of Manchester circulated 150,000 tracts with notices of the meetings attached; and then there were posters and newspaper notices. They declared that their service (sacrifice of time, strength and money) had proven a blessing to themselves as a Church even if no fruitage should result from the presentation to others. However, the public evinced deep interest in sitting for nearly two hours; and bought books and took free literature with avidity.
GLASGOW ON THURSDAY
A good night's rest prepared us for further service. The Manchester friends gave us a hearty "God-be-with-you and come-again-soon."
We reached Glasgow at 3 p.m., just in time for the 3:30 meeting, to which we were at once escorted by our enthusiastic Scotch friends--Dr. Edgar and family and others to the number of about 25.
The attendance at the afternoon meeting was about 400 to 500--excellent for a mid-week afternoon. By request it was a Question Meeting. It lasted nearly two hours. Then came tea. Then at Glasgow City Hall at 7:30 we had an audience of about 2000 very intelligent looking people, including, it was said, about twenty ministers. Our topic was "The Thief in Paradise, The Rich Man in Hell, and Lazarus in Abraham's Bosom." The meeting lasted about an hour and a half. We had excellent attention and trust that some were blessed.
Brother (Dr.) Edgar and Sister Edgar entertained us and made us glad, both by words and deeds. They with a party of about twenty went on to
THE EDINBURGH MEETING
Again we were welcomed. About twenty of the Edinburgh friends met us and escorted us. We had a semi-private talk in the forenoon, a Question Meeting in the afternoon and a Public Meeting at night. The afternoon
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queries were chiefly along the lines of the Covenants and the Church's share in the sufferings of Christ. It becomes more evident daily that the ability to see and understand the "Mystery" of membership in Christ's Body by fellowship in his sufferings is the test of the hour as well as of the age. None but the spirit-begotten can appreciate it. The agitation is doing good to such-- showing them more and more clearly the terms of "the fellowship in this Mystery, which is Christ in you the hope of glory."
The evening meeting was in Synod Hall, one of Edinburgh's largest auditoriums. Nearly 2500 people are supposed to have been present, including probably twenty ministers of various churches. Excellent attention was given for an hour and a half to our discourse on "The Thief in Paradise, The Rich Man in Hell and Lazarus in Abraham's Bosom." The friends must have done valiant work to secure so large and so intelligent a hearing for the Truth. There was quite a demand for free literature and some books and pamphlets were sold at the door.
We were entertained most comfortably by dear old Sister Allen, now in her 78th year. She and Brother Montgomery were practically the only ones in the Truth on the occasion of our first visit, in 1892. We were so glad to find them both steadfast and rejoicing.
A goodly crowd met us Saturday morning at the railway station to bid us goodby--and come soon again. We realized afresh the oneness of the Body of Christ and, thanking God for it, were soon speeding
This was our first visit to this city. We greatly enjoyed it, meeting some new faces and some whom we had met elsewhere previously. Brother and Sister Rutherford entertained us--meeting us (with others) at the
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station and escorting us to their home, where after refreshments we had a heart-to-heart talk with the roomfull (about 20). Our talk bore on the general plan and the relationship of the Covenants and the fact that our Gospel, while full of the grace of God, is nevertheless unto life or unto death--according to the reception accorded to it by those who hear it--in the true sense of the word hear or understand.
We had a very pleasant season of communion and prayer and refreshments, and then almost the entire party accompanied us to the steamer "Neptune," in which we departed for Bergen, Norway, Saturday, May 14, at 7 p.m. From the pier the friends waved us "Good by and come back" with their handkerchiefs until faces were indistinguishable. They adopted "Aunt Sarah's" suggestion of waving the handkerchief inward, as signifying "return," "come back."
We had a very quiet Sunday, resting up for further service, as much as "Neptune" would permit. The sea was quiet, but Neptune rolled in it, as though he liked to dip his sides as deeply as possible. Anticipating some need of rest we left Brother Huntsinger (our volunteer stenographer) in England, hoping to have assistance from him on our return trip on the Atlantic.
Is it any wonder, dear "Tower" readers, that our heart is thankful to God as we pen you these lines on the North Sea, nearing Bergen? How pleasurable is the service of our King--through evil report and through good report, as deceivers and yet true; as unknown and yet well known.
I want you all to know that I am praying for all the dear members of his Body, sharers of his sufferings, preparing to share his glory, by making their calling and election sure.
Your brother in our dear Redeemer, May 16, 1909. C. T. RUSSELL.
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"I HAVE MUCH PEOPLE IN THIS CITY"
--`ACTS 18:1-22`.--AUGUST 1.--
Golden Text:--"In the world ye shall have tribulation;
but be of good cheer, I have overcome
the world."--`John 16:33`.
ST. PAUL made but a brief stay at Athens, the Lord's providence guiding him to Corinth. Silas had remained for a time at Berea, and Timothy at Thessalonica, and later he returned to Philippi. Meantime St. Paul was apparently considerably cast down. His epistle to the Corinthians, written later on, clearly implies his discouragement and possible sickness. He wrote, "I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling." (`1 Cor. 2:3`.) His rough experiences at Philippi, his small success at Athens, the slenderness of his purse, and his need of fellowship, contributed to make him rather downcast, and he informs us that the Lord encouraged him with a vision. Soon after his arrival at Corinth he found Aquilla and Priscilla his wife. They were tent-makers, and this being Paul's trade (as every Jewish youth was required to learn a trade) he abode and labored with them. Of this period of his affliction he wrote to the Thessalonians, "Therefore, brethren, we were comforted over you, in all our affliction and distress, by your faith." (`1 Thess. 3:7`.) And later he wrote of his experience to the Corinthians, saying, "Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling place; and labor, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it; being defamed, we entreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day."--`1 Cor. 4:11-13`.
Many of us can find a lesson in St. Paul's experiences. If God permitted him to be in want, to be traduced, slandered, oppressed--if he needed such experiences in order to bring out the best that was in him and to make his epistles the more useful to the Church, possibly the Lord's dealings with us at times may be with the same end in view--our preparation for further usefulness in his service.
PAUL WAS PRESSED IN SPIRIT
Notwithstanding all of his discouragements and the fact that his tent-making labors barely sufficed to provide for him things decent and honorable, he never forgot that his chief mission in life was the preaching of the Gospel. If the earning of his daily bread hindered his preaching during the week he at least took his Sabbath days for the more important work when he could reach a congregation of the Jews. We read that he reasoned with them in the synagogue every Sabbath day. But apparently he was under a measure of constraint and did not speak in his usual boldness and vigor, perhaps because of the lack of moral support, which is an important factor with all and an essential to many. But finally Silas and Timothy arrived, bringing with them not only good fellowship and encouraging news from Berea, Thessalonica and Philippi, but also, as the Apostle tells us, a gift--quite probably from Lydia, the seller of purple dyes, supposed to have been comfortably circumstanced. The effect of these encouragements is intimated. Paul was pressed in spirit--he felt a fresh vigor urging him to still more vigorously present his message and bring matters to a focus and crisis at the synagogue. After testifying with great boldness and finding his message repelled by the majority of the synagogue, St. Paul forced the crisis himself by shaking his garment as though he would not even take from them the dust, saying to those who had opposed and blasphemed, "Your
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blood be upon your own heads. I am clean. From henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles." There are times when positiveness is absolutely necessary, even though it cause a division amongst those who profess to serve the same God. There are times when much more good can be obtained thus than by a continuance under disadvantageous conditions.
The same is true today. Oil and water will not mix, and time spent in trying to blend them is altogether wasted. When positive bitterness and hatred are manifested, as in the case under consideration, it is better to withdraw. But neither the Apostle nor we would recognize as proper or at all allowable that the Lord's people should quarrel and take offense one with the other over trifles unworthy of consideration. The shaking off of the dust was not only what our Lord suggested but a custom of the time, a warning as it were, that the Apostle felt that he had discharged his entire duty and left the responsibility upon their own shoulders.
The effect was good in two ways. It helped Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, to take a decided stand, whereas otherwise he might have been stunted in his spiritual development. Crispus decided for the Lord Jesus and took his stand with the Apostle and a few others. Secondly, the fact that the Jews had repudiated the Apostle and his message would draw the attention of the Gentiles more particularly to his Gospel. And some of these already believed. The new meetings were held in the home of Justus, a reverent man who resided near the synagogue. Thus Paul's message in the synagogue would continually remind the Jews as they attended this synagogue worship and would be a continual invitation to them to come in and hear more respecting the fulfilment of the prophecies in Jesus. The result was that a considerable number of the Corinthians accepted God's grace and were baptised, thus symbolizing their consecration. Let us, too, learn that opposition is not necessarily an injurious thing to the Lord's cause. It is safe to say that a most dangerous condition is the stagnant one.
Evidently the Lord saw that his servant Paul needed some special encouragement at this time and hence another vision was granted in which he was told, "Be not afraid, but speak and hold not thy peace; for I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to harm thee, for I have much people in this city."
What an insight this gives us to the Divine supervision of the Gospel message and its servants! How these words remind us of the promise that the Lord will not suffer us to be tempted above that we are able, but will, with every temptation, provide also a way of escape! That vision and its message, we may be sure, was not for the Apostle merely, but for us also and for all of the Lord's people from that time until now. The same God is rich unto all that call upon him and able to shield and to deliver all of his servants and will allow them only such experiences as his infinite wisdom sees will be advantageous to his cause, and work out for his servants a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.
The Lord's statement that he had much people in Corinth teaches us a lesson also. It shows that the Lord knows the hearts of all--and has a care, not only for his saints, but also for those who have not yet heard of and received his grace, but whose hearts are in a favorable attitude of honesty, sincerity. A further lesson comes to us in this connection. We are to remember that the Lord is his own superintendent of missions and is able and willing to guide his consecrated servants, not only as to direction and place of service, but also as respects the time they shall remain to accomplish his will and the character of the experiences it will be necessary for them to have in order best to accomplish his purposes. The more our faith can grasp this situation, the more we can rely upon the Lord and use his wisdom instead of our own; the more successful will we be as his servants; and the more happy and contented; because realizing that all things are working together for good to us and
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for all who are his, submitted to his guiding care.
A YEAR AND SIX MONTHS TEACHING
Corinth was nicknamed the Vanity Fair of the World, because it was a center of frivolity, pleasure-seeking, etc. It is credited with having been one of the most licentious and profligate cities of its day. It may at first seem very strange to us that this vilest of the great cities should yield larger spiritual results than any other, so that the Lord would specially specify that he had "much people" there and would providentially detain his ambassador there a year and a half, while in other places he had been permitted to remain only a few days or a few weeks. The philosophy of the matter seems to be this: Outward morality frequently leads to a pharisaical spirit of self-righteousness, which is most pernicious and a deadly foe to true righteousness. On the other hand, where sin stands out glaringly it has a repulsive effect upon the pure in heart, upon all who love righteousness, and this repulsion from the evil seems to prepare such hearts the better for a genuine consecration to the Lord and for his message. This theory holds good, at least in the missionary work at Corinth, as in contrast with that of places much more respectable in reputation.
The lesson for us in this connection is that we should be on guard in our own hearts against this self-righteous spirit of outward observance, which lacks true holiness, true sanctification. Is it not along this line that the Lord found fault with one of the seven Churches, saying, "Because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth? Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked." (`Rev. 3:16,17`.) This is our Lord's charge against the present state of the Church, so rich in earthly advantages, so rich in spiritual privileges, so self-satisfied. Let us be on guard lest in any manner or to any degree such a lukewarmness should come over us and we come under Divine disfavor.
"BE OF GOOD CHEER"
Our Lord's words in the Golden Text should comfort us, as they have comforted his people for the past eighteen centuries: "In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." There is no suggestion that we can escape similar tribulation. Indeed, if we escape the sufferings of Christ we will be denied a share in his coming glories. Hence, we should not desire to escape tribulation, but rather go on courageously; nevertheless, not too boastfully, not too courageously, but in meekness, in fear, in trust of the Lord's promises that he has overcome and is able to succor us in temptation's hour, and will do so if we but abide in his love and seek his protection. It is in view of this promised aid that we are exhorted to "be of good cheer." "Greater is he that is for us than all they that be against us." Not only will victory be ours, but, more than this, it is ours already. "Nothing shall by any means hurt you." What may seem to others to be injurious to us, must, under Divine supervision, work out blessings.
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ST. PAUL'S PASTORAL TO THESSALONICA
--`I THESS. 5:12-24`.--AUGUST 8.--
Golden Text:--"See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good."--`V. 15`.
THIS might be termed a lesson on character building. It was written from Corinth during the year and a half in which St. Paul labored with his associates in the latter city, as detailed in our last lesson. The first epistle to the Thessalonians, of which our lesson is a part, is credited with being the first of the New Testament writings which have come down to us, A.D. 52.
The epistle is a very fatherly one, very gentle and loving. When we remember that the believers addressed were merely "babes in Christ" less than a year old we are inclined to amazement that the Apostle should consider them prepared for teaching on so high a plane. But the fact is that the cause of Christ was very unpopular because of the pureness of its message, because it presented no comparison with the worldly spirit and because it called for a full consecration, not only of heart, but also of daily living, to the will of God and to his providences.
Let us recall to mind the setting of this epistle. Less than a year before its writing the Apostle and Silas arrived from Philippi bruised and haggard, surely, as a result of their experiences in the riot and from the beating and other severe experiences connected with the dungeon at Philippi. It will be remembered that they had peace but a short time at Thessalonica, during which they made known the Gospel of God's grace. Then the Apostle was obliged to flee again, but subsequently heard from the believers at Thessalonica through Silas and Timothy. With a fatherly love he assayed several times to revisit the believers, but was always providentially hindered. Possibly these hindrances led up to the writing of this epistle, more profitable for them, as well as advantageous to all of the Lord's people throughout the world during eighteen centuries. Thus do God's providences "work together for good to those who love him." After faith has been instructed and developed through the wonderful lessons of God's Word, it becomes a firm foundation for peace and joy, comfort and rest under all conditions.
THE WORD CHARACTER SIGNIFICANT
The word character in Greek is exactly the same as in English. Originally it was the name given to a sculptor's tool--the forming chisel used in the development of the Greek statuary. Gradually the word broadened in its meaning to include not only the tool used, but the tooling process, the formation or shaping of the sculptures. Gradually also it came to signify the peculiarities or characteristics of a piece of sculpture. The word today in its English usage had reached a still higher plane and associates itself with the Divine character, which is the perfect example, and with humanity as it possesses more or less of the Divine characteristics.
When St. Paul writes in `Hebrews 1`. of Christ's being the "express image" of the Father's person, the phrase "express image," in the Greek is the word character. How beautiful the thought that our Lord Jesus, through whom the Father has spoken to mankind, explaining his Justice and his Love and his provision for our reconciliation--this one was the express image, the character-likeness of the heavenly Father, full of grace and truth! Nor does it seem strange to us that the Father, in inviting a "little flock" to joint-heirship with the Redeemer in glory, honor and immortality, has decreed, foreordained, that the acceptable ones, the "elect," must all be conformed to the likeness of his dear Son, who was the character likeness of himself. Truly there will be a wonderful family likeness in this Divine family--the Father, the Son, and the Bride, the Lamb's Wife! Who is sufficient for these things? Who is worthy of such exaltation? Surely those who would attain it must lay aside every weight, every besetting sin, and must persevere in the great work of mastering self and developing character--the one kind of character which God can approve and reward.
As the sculptor must first have an ideal in his mind before he can follow it and hew the image from the rough stone, so must we recognize the true ideal of life and then follow it with all our hearts, with unwavering will. How important, then, that we have proper ideals before our minds; that we have a purpose in life; that it be a noble purpose of high standard! Herein is the value of the doctrines of Christ, the teachings of the Scriptures. They set before God's people the truest and noblest ideal and thus assist the pupils in the school of Christ in attaining higher and grander results than would be otherwise possible for them.
It has been said that every man is the sculptor of his own career. To a large extent this is true, but with the Christian it is different. He gives himself to the Lord and the Lord undertakes to work in him "both to will and to do his good pleasure." Again, as it is written, "We are his workmanship." True the Lord does not do the work in us without our co-operation; but in our case he is the Principal or Superintendent and we are the assistants co-working with God for the attainment of that which he has set before us as his ideal, his design for us. The glorious pictures set before us in the inspired Word--of participation in the Divine nature and sharers, joint-heirs with our Lord and Redeemer--are so transcendently bright that they overwhelm us; nor are we able to realize their details except as, more and more, we become transformed by the renewing of our minds, by the Spirit of the Truth.
THE MODEL OF OUR LESSON
The model or ideal of this character lesson is found in the closing `verses (23,24`). Here the Apostle holds up before our minds the culmination of the Christian character, which the preceding verses tell us how to attain. He says (R.V.), "The God of peace himself sanctify you wholly, and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved entire, without blame, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ"; "Faithful is he that calleth you, who will also do it." In other words, this condition of complete sanctification is the Divine ideal before you and God will complete it in you if you will but follow the directions prescribed.
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Following these, every blow with the mallet and the chisel of self-control, and experience will gradually transform and shape us to the character likeness of our Lord.
"Sculptors of life are we as we stand
With our ungarbed souls before us;
Waiting the hour at God's command
Our ideal comes before us.
"If we crave it, then, on the yielding stone
With many a sharp incision,
Its heavenly beauty shall be our own,
Our life's beatific vision!"
OVER YOU IN THE LORD
"We beseech you, brethren, to know them that labor among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you."
While the Scriptures are very particular to maintain liberty of conscience for all of the Lord's people, and while they assure us that in Christ there is neither male nor female, neither bond nor free, but that his consecrated ones are "all one" in him, his members, nevertheless they distinctly set before us the thought that God is the supervisor of the affairs of his people and that their prosperity will result from their appreciation of the Lord's Headship and their recognition of those whom God hath "set in the Body" --apostles, prophets, pastors and teachers, helps, etc. The Lord's people are all children of God possessed of "the liberty wherewith Christ makes free," yet he has not given us a liberty to sin, but a freedom from sin, its slavery, its blight. These liberated ones, introduced by faith and consecration into the family of God, need to realize that the Father's house and all of its arrangements are under heaven's first Law--order. They must first learn to willingly and gladly submit to this order as the condition upon which they may abide in the Divine love and favor and participate in the family blessings. Neglecting to do so, they can never make progress into the deeper and more spiritual matters of that household, but, as babes unskilled and unruly, will be permitted to go no farther than the nursery.
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The recognition of the Lord and the watching for his guidance through his Word and his promises will enable the Lord's people to discern the ones he has set over them in the Lord. While, therefore, in the Divine order, the Church is to select its own servants, Elders, Deacons, Pastors, each member is to "stretch forth his hand" in voting, not according to his own judgment merely, but according to his understanding of the Divine judgment or will. If, therefore, in the Lord's providence, our conception of the matter is not realized; if, under a fair understanding and vote, some one is set over the Church contrary to our conception of the Divine will, we are to be submissive and cooperate with such to the best of our ability; because recognizing the Divine wisdom and power we are to realize that the will of the majority of the consecrated is to be accepted as the Divine will. If sometimes the Lord may seem to permit things in the Church to go contrary to her highest interest, we are not to fear, but to trust everything to him and to content ourselves with a full and free expression of our judgment of the Lord's will, whether others see eye to eye with us or not.
The Apostle in our lesson takes for granted that the Church is acting in an orderly manner and has in the name of the Lord appointed some of their number to be over them in the Lord--to have a supervision and measure of control of the interests of the work. The Apostle urges that these be known, be recognized, not only personally, but in their capacity as servants in the Church and of Divine appointment through the Church. They are to expect admonishments from these. They are to realize that as faithful servants they must watch over the Church's interests. And all who love the Lord and the Truth should seek to cast as few difficulties in their way as possible and should do all in their power to uphold their admonitions and proper influence. These elect servants are supposed to labor amongst the brethren, as well as to admonish them. The service of the Church is not merely an honorary one. The word minister signifies servant and is a proper one and full of meaning--and more full of meaning than many seem to observe.
Continuing the Apostle urges, "Esteem them very highly in love for their works' sake." Permit no rivalry of spirit to come in to constitute in your own heart and in others a root of bitterness. Permit no unkind word of criticism to fall from your lips as against any servant of the Church. On the contrary, esteem them, honor them, as their position requires, for in a measure they represent the Lord. And honor them in proportion as their labors of love in the Church seem to merit. Thus, the more Christ-like will be the more loved.
Furthermore, St. Paul exhorts, "Be at peace among yourselves." Why not? Why was it even necessary to suggest peace, harmony, amongst those who had left the world behind, named the name of Christ, and come together as the followers of the Prince of Peace? What should hinder their peace? Surely each one of them must have known from experience something of the wrangle and jangle of the world. As sheep every one of them has been to some extent worried by the wolves, or at least threatened. Having come together, why should not these worried sheep have rest and peace and joy and comfort under the Great Shepherd's Son and his appointed under-shepherds over them in the Lord? This is the ideal peace, love, harmony. Of course, not peace at any price, not harmony at any price, but peace and harmony because Divine standards are well upheld in the Body of Christ and because the voice of the Master has been heeded in the choosing of the Elders, Deacons, etc.; because all have been seeking to know the Lord, to know his will, to know those whom he hath set over them in the Church; because all are hearkening for the voice of the Shepherd and striving against the self-seeking spirit in word and in deed.
ADMONISH THE DISORDERLY
"And we exhort you, brethren, admonish the disorderly, encourage the faint-hearted, support the weak, be long-suffering towards all." We must assume that in these words the Apostle addresses the entire Church and that some features of this exhortation belong specially to the chosen representatives of the Church--the Elders. While it is true that any member of the Body of Christ might with propriety admonish any brother, encourage a faint-hearted one, give assistance to a weak one and be patient towards all, nevertheless some of these duties belong specially to the chosen Elders--they should be chosen with a view to the fact that they are more advanced in knowledge and in character, "Elder" brothers. The younger brethren, the brethren not specially designated by the Church as "Elder," should indeed feel an interest and a care, but they should exercise great caution in respect to admonishing the disorderly, realizing that the Church has specially appointed certain ones as Elder-brethren, and that specially upon these such duties properly devolve. Even when the disorderly need correction, it requires to be wisely done, else more harm than good may result. Many of the Lord's dear people need to learn this lesson and to restrain themselves lest they be disorderly in attending to a matter to which another is appointed under Divine regulation.
We have already pointed out that the word "Elder" applies to the spiritual development and not to the natural years. As, for instance, Timothy, though a young man, was an Elder in the Church. So, in this young Church at Thessalonica, although none of them had been long in the Truth, some were found competent to serve the others as "overseers, to feed the flock of Christ."
Notice the wisdom of the Lord's injunction through the Apostle. It was for peace, but not for peace at any price. The unruly, the anarchists, were to be admonished. The faint-hearted were to be encouraged. The weak were to be assisted. And each member of the Body was to endeavor to be patient, long-suffering, toward each other member. How beautiful the picture! How grand the ideal of a Church from the apostolic standpoint, the Divine standpoint, our standpoint!
Let us each labor more and more towards these ends. Let us remember that while the Lord deals with us as individuals, he deals with us also collectively. While there is to be a development, shaping and polishing of the Christ-likeness in each of us individually, the same thought is to be preserved in connection with the Church as a whole. No man liveth to himself nor dieth to himself and no member of the Church of Christ is privileged to ignore the fellow-members of the Body of Christ. This is the Apostle's standpoint in this lesson.
"SEE THAT NONE RENDER EVIL"
Of course, each is to see for himself, first, that he renders no evil to others; but secondly the Church should see to it that none of its members in fellowship so do without being admonished. As we have seen, this is specially the duty of the "Elders"--to watch out for all the interests of the flock and the relationship between the Church and others. The Church is the Lord's family, and whatever one member of this family may do that is contrary to Justice and Love will bring reproach or dishonor to all the members and specially upon the Head of the House--our dear Redeemer. On the contrary, we are to see that all "follow after that which is good, one towards another and towards all." This is the uniform teaching of the Scriptures. It expresses a higher principle and more exalted character than generally prevails. The man or woman who would forget a kindness or ignore a benefaction would be
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esteemed as "mean" by everybody, civilized or heathen. There the world draws its line and declares by action, if not by word, that enemies are to be hated, opposed and grilled as opportunity may offer. Anyone who would be uniformly good to friends, neighbors and enemies would surely be godlike, to such an extent that he would be out of touch with the sympathies of his neighbors and friends. He would be considered soft and unmanly if he did not oppose his enemies and inappreciative of his friends if he treated his enemies generously. But we are not to follow the world's ideals.
It was our Lord who set the example and gave the message, "Love your enemies. Do good to them that hate you
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and persecute you and speak evil of you." It was he who said, "If ye love them that love you, what thank have you? Do not publicans and sinners the same? But be ye like unto your Father in heaven, for he is kind to the unthankful and sends his rain and sunshine upon the evil and upon the good." Thus we see the spirit of the Lord manifested also through his apostles' words and the exemplification of these heavenly teachings should be manifest in the life of every follower of Christ. We are told we will thus glorify our Father which is in heaven, and thus also we shall form in ourselves and in others with whom we have influence the character-likeness of our Redeemer and of our Father.
From the worldly standpoint these must seem to be strange words to come from a man who for years had been serving Christ as a missionary, not only voluntarily depriving himself of the comforts of a home, the advantages of his station in life and training and Roman citizenship, but additionally enduring buffetings and scourgings, and, according to his own language, being treated as the "Filth and offscouring of the earth." Why should he think of rejoicing and, above all, why should he write to the Church at Thessalonica to rejoice? Was it not he that brought upon them the persecutions they had to endure? Without his message they would have known none of this. What an incongruous word to such people under such circumstances --Rejoice! Ah! the world knoweth us not, and it knows not the mainspring of our joy and peace. How can the world understand that those who receive the Divine message into good and honest hearts and the unction from the Holy One have a continual source of refreshment, not only in the Divine providential care in all of life's matters now, but additionally the inspiration of the "exceeding great and precious promises," which include the crown of glory and life eternal and the Divine nature.
"PRAY WITHOUT CEASING"
To some, prayer at any time is irksome, tedious, but to the true Christian prayer constitutes one of the greatest of God's blessings. His privilege of approaching the throne of the heavenly grace to obtain mercy and also to find grace to help in every time of need, is a privilege the value of which cannot be too highly esteemed. The Lord's people are glad to assemble themselves frequently for prayer and worship, not only on Sunday, but in mid-week. They are glad to bow the knee in prayer every morning, giving thanks to the Giver of every good gift for the favors of life--for all of life's blessings and privileges. They are glad at the close of day to review it and to give God praise for his blessing and protection, for mercies enjoyed, for the promises fulfilled, for petitions answered. They are glad also to have the opportunity of recounting the experiences of the day and of making apologies and asking forgiveness for shortcomings, and to renew their vows of loyalty and faithfulness in the name and strength of the Redeemer. These blessed privileges of prayer belong to the Lord's family because they are his and have access to him continually through their great Advocate, their Redeemer.
However, the Apostle speaks of "praying without ceasing." What does he mean? We answer that the following statement is explanatory: "In everything give thanks." In a word, the life of an advanced Christian should be a life of prayer in the sense that a desire to know the Lord's will should be continually before his mind, and in every stress of life, in every trial, in every victory, in every undertaking, the will of the Lord should be sought and accepted and thanks should be given. The interests of the day committed to the Lord in the morning should be continually remembered as being in his loving care throughout the day. The experiences of life as they come should be accepted thankfully as under the Divine will; and thanks should be rendered for them, whether agreeable or disagreeable to the natural man, "For this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." This is what would please God. This is living up to the high privileges his grace has provided for us. Let us seek more and more to live up to the very highest pinnacle of our privileges. Proportionately we will find ourselves nearer to the Lord, and developing in his character likeness and rejoicing in hope of the glory of God and the precious things which he has in reservation for those that love him.
"QUENCH NOT THE SPIRIT"
The Scriptures represent God as being a light. "God is light." In the Tabernacle he was represented by a brilliant light on the mercy-seat called the Shekinah glory. Our Lord Jesus, filled with the light of the holy Spirit, was called "the true Light." And it was he that said of his followers, "Ye are the light of the world. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven." Similarly the Divine power at Pentecost was represented by flames of light, cloven tongues of fire. Similarly the Spirit of the Lord from his Word is in the Scriptures pictured as the blaze of light from a lamp. As we read, "Thy word is a lamp to my feet, a lantern to my footsteps." The flame of sacred love, the holy Spirit of the Father and of the Son, was enkindled in our hearts through the Word of grace and the impartation of the holy Spirit. In proportion as we have fed this flame (the Spirit) with the Truth we have become burning and shining lights in the world--the Spirit of the Lord in us.
But how easily such a holy flame may be extinguished --how quickly too! A sufficient draft of the spirit of the world might extinguish our flame, quench it; or, even to put it under a bushel, we may shut off from ourselves the Divine supply of oil and spiritual oxygen and would soon quench the flame of love--the holy Spirit. We have not mentioned the Adversary; yet he is one of the potent influences to be contended against. He is continually attempting to get us into such a position as would extinguish our light and quench the Spirit. If not in one way, then in another our besetments come from the world, the flesh or the Adversary. Yet the Apostle intimates that we, and we alone, have the determining of the matter,--whether the holy Spirit in us shall be quenched or not. This is the Divine arrangement: We can take ourselves out of the Lord's hands if we choose, but neither saint nor sinner can do this for us. The Adversary himself is powerless to touch one of the Lord's "little ones" so long as he abides in him in faith, in love, in obedience. He himself, therefore, alone has to do with the matter, because God has promised that he will not suffer him to be tempted above that which he is able to endure, but will, with the temptation, provide a way of escape. As the flame of love is to be kept burning in our individual hearts so in the Church it is to be guarded, favored.
"DESPISE NOT PROPHESYINGS"
We are not to despise prophecies, but to respect them and to heed them. But this is not what the Apostle refers to. By the word prophesying he meant teaching, public utterance. Do not despise what anyone may publicly utter as a child of God in the Church of Christ. If he is a true Christian so far as you can discern, not only in his professions of faith in the Redeemer and his sacrifice, but also confesses him in a consecrated life, be willing to hear such. Receive him not to disputation of his doubts, but permit him to tell his view of the Truth of the Divine Plan, if he has something in harmony with the foundation which he seems to believe would be additionally helpful to others and to the Church. In a word, be not above hearing any of the brethren.
Nevertheless prove all things and hold fast that which is good--that which stands the test. Because a brother is sincere, is earnest, does not prove that he is right in his Scriptural expositions. God could hinder such from having any opportunity in the Church. Nevertheless, his permitting them may work a blessing to all who are in the right heart attitude. Even if you cannot accept his proposition,
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the study of the subject, the searching of the Scriptures in the proving may be of lasting benefit to yourself, establishing you more than ever in the Truth. But let us be sure that we hold fast to the good. We have known cases in which this advice was not carefully followed. Some of the bad was taken with the good, and the result was untold mischief.
"ABSTAIN FROM ALL APPEARANCE OF EVIL"
According to the revised version, this is to abstain from every form of evil. Ah, yes! how comprehensive is the language of the Apostle. The Adversary, through the old nature, would have us believe that while it is true that some grosser forms of evil should be abstained from, it is not needful or proper that we endeavor to abstain from evil of every form. The plea is that we should give "the old man" a chance, and not kill him off too rapidly. Happy is he who heeds the Lord, says the Apostle, and pays no attention to "the old man." The first step in abstaining from every form of evil is to resolve or vow so to do. The fixing of the will, the purpose, the intention, must come before successful battling can be done. The will decides on which side of every question we may
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stand. Such a resolve to God is a Vow and such a Vow to abstain from every form of evil and every appearance of evil to the best of our ability is the very Vow we have recommended during the past year and which has been taken by so many of the readers of this Journal and which they report has been the source of so many blessings to them.
Some say, Yes, we approve of every feature of that Vow as being consistent with the instructions of the Word of God--every item of it without exception, but we have not taken it. The fact is that we do not like to bind ourselves. We wish to retain our liberty, and to decide every question upon its merits. Our reply is that our Covenant to the Lord upon us is that every one of life's interests should be shaped according to our understanding of the Divine will and to glorify the Lord and to be of the greatest source of blessing to others and to ourselves. The question is how much liberty this leaves us. If we hold our liberty unto the moment of temptation our original Covenant binds us then to do and to be what would please the Lord. The difference seems to be that by making the Vow in a wholesale manner and covering practically every source of temptation for days and weeks and years to come we are more fully than before decapitating the old man and preparing him for burial. He prefers to have us prolong the agony and decide, if we must, at the last moment. Why so? Because he hopes that now and then the temptation may come in a most subtile form or at an unguarded moment and thus he might, even if only momentarily, gain a little advantage and liberty to the injury of the New Creature. Is it wise or is it unwise to make provision for the flesh, even to the extent of holding on to our personal liberties to the last moment? Would it not be to the advantage of the vast majority of people to settle these questions once and forever and thus cause the old man's hope to die and him the sooner to surrender?
"THE GOD OF PEACE HIMSELF"
Now we come to the concluding verses which we noticed at the beginning--the summing up, the character picture. If we follow the course outlined by the Apostle, God himself will sanctify us wholly, completely. Is not that what we desire? "Faithful is he that calleth us, who also will do all of his part." Hence the responsibilities lie with us.
The Apostle carries his argument beyond the individual question to the Church, the Spirit of the Church, the Soul of the Church, the Body of the Church, which he prayed might be preserved entire and without blame to the coming of Jesus. Undoubtedly it would have remained unto this day had it maintained its early and proper relationship to the Lord. But departing from this the Church at Thessalonica was not preserved. There is no trace of it today. Let us, individually and collectively as an Ecclesia of the Lord's people, seek to have this sanctifying power of God wholly, fully in control of every power in us, and of our tongue, that we may glorify God in body and spirit which are his. We who are living in the end of the age may realize that the time has come, not only that judgment has begun at the house of God, but also that all the faithful may be preserved and experience part of the glorious change "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye"--"the First Resurrection."
A LITTLE WHILE
A little while with weary feet to tread the narrow way,
A little while, the time will not be long,
A little while the sinless One to follow day by day,
A little while to suffer and be strong.
A little while with faltering tongue to testify for God,
A little while to suffer scorn and shame,
A little while with voice and pen to spread the Truth abroad,
A little while to glorify his name.
A little while with humble faith to wage the goodly fight,
A little while, grasp firm the two-edged sword,
A little while, Satanic hosts shall all be put to flight,
A little while, then, trust thou in the Lord.
A little while, a little while, Oh, let this be our song,
A little while, lay not the armor down;
A little while, a little while, the strife will not be long,
A little while, and we shall wear the crown!
G. W. S.
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ASIA HEARD THE WORD OF THE LORD
--`ACTS 18:23`: `19:22`.--AUGUST 15.--
Golden Text:--"The name of the Lord
Jesus was magnified."--`Acts 19:17`.
OUR present lesson connects up St. Paul's experiences during a period of about two years and a half. He left Corinth probably six months after writing his letter to the Thessalonians, journeying to Jerusalem, determined, if providence permitted, to attend the next feast of Passover in the Holy City--not the Jewish feast, of course, but the substitute; as St. Paul explains, "Christ our Passover is slain; therefore let us keep the feast." (`1 Cor. 5:7`.) With the Apostle traveled Aquilla and Priscilla, who were about to make Ephesus their home. St. Paul himself stopped there briefly and, according to his custom, went into the synagogue and addressed the Jews. He was well received and urged to remain, but he hastened onward, promising, if possible, to return.
When he did return on his third missionary journey he made a two-year stop at Ephesus, one of the principal cities of the world at that time, reputed to have been next to Athens in its culture and art and surpassing it in painting. Its temple of Diana was reckoned one of the seven wonders of the world. Thus it was a religious city after the heathen ideal.
INSTRUCTED HIM MORE PERFECTLY
After St. Paul was gone from Ephesus a Jew named Apollos, a convert to Christianity, came there and preached Christ with considerable boldness, knowing only the baptism of John, the baptism of repentance, which was for the Jews only. Aquilla and Priscilla were attracted to
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this eloquent man and privately instructed him in the way of the Lord more perfectly, more fully explaining to him, doubtless, respecting the Pentecostal blessing and the unction of the holy Spirit possible to all believers. Their course was commendable in that they did not publicly oppose Apollos but appreciated the work that he was doing and sought to assist him to a more complete, a more thorough ministration of the Gospel. It is the word spoken in season, not only the proper word, but in the proper manner, that the Lord is pleased to bless and to own. Let us each remember this and seek and pray to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves in the dispensing of the bread of life.
Evidently Apollos had not been sufficiently convinced to lead him to attempt a further elaboration of the Gospel, and so when St. Paul returned for his stay of two years at Ephesus he found certain Christian brethren there earnest but lacking certain of the usual evidences of that time-- the holy Spirit as a gift, as a power to speak with tongues, to heal, etc. Considering the case peculiar he inquired whether they had not received the holy Spirit since believing. The reply was that they had never understood it. Apollos had not taught them; and Aquilla and Priscilla, although clear in the matter themselves, had not been recognized as authoritative teachers. They were very ready to be taught of St. Paul, however, and gladly received his message and further demonstration of the Gospel. St. Paul directed that they be baptised again because the baptism which they had received was merely John's baptism for remission of sins. That was not sufficient for these men, because they were by nature Gentiles, and John's baptism was only for the Jews. Hence St. Paul directed that they be baptized afresh with the correct understanding --first, that they be justified, and second that baptism meant to them an immersion into the Body of Christ as members. Following the directions of the Apostle they were made sharers in the gifts of the holy Spirit.
HARDENED AND BELIEVED NOT
For three months the Apostle had liberty in the synagogue amongst the Jews and used it in ably presenting Christ as the Fulfiller of the demands of the Law Covenant, the Messiah, the Redeemer, and the glorified Head of the Church, at whose Second Coming the promised Kingdom of God under the whole heavens would be established. "He spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the Kingdom of God." He did not stop to dispute heathendom nor to dispute Greek philosophies. He had a message from the Lord and delivered it--the message of the Kingdom, understood today by so very few of the Lord's dear people.
St. Paul testified that the Truth is a "savor of life unto life and of death unto death." Either it has a tender, a softening, a lubricating effect upon the mind and the life and the character, making it more loving and Christ-like, or, reversely, it has a hardening effect, an embittering effect, turning the opponent away from the Lord and his message. It does not surprise us that this was the effect at Ephesus; yea, and everywhere today, as well as then, wherever the Truth is spoken clearly, thoroughly, intelligently.
Today, Catholics can preach in Protestant Churches; so can Jews. Unitarians and Trinitarians, believers in Election and Free Grace, believers in something and believers in nothing, can all mingle in so-called Christian harmony and fellowship and without a thought of persecuting one another. Why? Because, while they differ one from the other, they have a sufficiency of error in harmony with each other to constitute a basis of agreement. The evidence of this is that as soon as the Truth, the whole Truth and nothing but the Truth is proclaimed in their midst it is denounced by every one of them, opposed, slurred, falsified, vilified, lied about; and all associated with it come more or less under a social ban, a spirit of persecution. They do not like the savor of the Truth. To them it has an odor of
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death, of self-sacrifice, which is contrary to all of their hopes, aims and desires. Some of the opponents of the Truth today are hardening their own hearts by their attitude, just as did Pharaoh thirty-five hundred years ago, and just as did the chief priests, scribes and Pharisees eighteen centuries ago. We are sorry for them, but what can we do?
HE DEPARTED FROM THEM
When the opposition in the synagogue became unkind and bitter, malevolent, the Apostle departed, not from the city, which had not persecuted him, but from the synagogue, which was opposing his teaching. Here we have our suggestion also as to our own course. First we should be faithful to God; secondly, when our message is rejected, we should not stay to bore people with it, but go to those who have an "ear to hear." We should "preach the Gospel to the meek."
Tyrannus had a school near the synagogue which, under the Lord's providence, by rental or in some other manner, became available as a preaching place for the proclamation of the Word, and St. Paul used the opportunity faithfully for about two years. The result was that from Ephesus "the gateway of Asia Minor," or, as it is sometimes called, "The eye of Asia," the Word of the Lord was carried to various cities by the traveling public, including Jews and proselytes.
We remember that some two years before this St. Paul had endeavored to go into Asia Minor; but, "the Spirit suffered him not," is the explanation of his not going. The time for the message to reach Asia Minor had not yet arrived. How evidently God knows the conditions; not only the conditions most favorable for the character development of his faithful Apostle, but also the times and seasons most suitable for his own work in every place, including the arrangements of matters so as to draw out the various epistles which for centuries have proven so great value to the Household of Faith!
MIRACLES BY THE HANDS OF ST. PAUL
When we think of the gifts of the Spirit conferred upon this great Apostle, the gifts of tongues, healing, etc., we appreciate these evidences that he was a servant of God, yet these do not arouse our highest esteem. Accepting them as of the Lord we nevertheless appreciate still more highly as from the same source his gift of interpretation of the Divine Plan of the Ages, his elucidation of the philosophy of the same, his exposition of the types and the prophecies, his admonitions and exhortations along the lines of character-building. By these miracles through the pen of the Apostle, God has given us rich blessing--far more than natural sight and physical healing. Our faith has been made stronger, as well as our hope and our love for God and for the brethren.
There were evil spirits then, as there are today, the difference being that today such obsessed ones are styled insane and treated accordingly, whereas probably one-half of the inmates of the insane asylums are really obsessed of the evil spirits, whose brains are not physically disordered. As St. Paul, amongst other miracles, cast out evil spirits in the name of the Lord, some of his opponents claimed that he did so merely by hypnotic influence, and that others could do the same if they would. Carrying out the thought they attempted to exorcise an evil spirit, with disastrous results. They commanded the spirit to come out of the man in the name of Jesus, whom Paul preached. But "the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped upon them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded." As these opponents were prominent men the matter became generally known both to Jews and Greeks at Ephesus and the result was a spirit of reverence, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.
BOOKS OF MAGIC, WITCH-CRAFT AND HYPNOTISM
We read that "many that believed came and confessed and showed their deeds." They exposed the fact that many of their deeds were by occult or hidden power and injurious. They brought their books and burned them openly. They did not sell them to others and thus permit the evil influence to spread, but did their share towards its
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destruction. So should it be still. Those who turn to the Lord from darkness and sin should publicly confess the transformation of their hearts and lives and should destroy everything calculated to exercise an evil influence, either upon themselves or upon others. It is the thorough-going convert--converted from center to circumference--who has taken a radical stand for righteousness, as he previously took it for sin, that the Lord permits to honor him; and sometimes at the sacrifice of earthly interests. The testimony is, "So (thus) mightily grew the Word of God and prevailed."
The Apostle's diversified experiences as a servant of the Lord are remarkable. At the beginning of his ministry he was beset and persecuted in nearly every city, while subsequently, as we have seen, he was comparatively without persecution for nearly four years. Who hath known the mind of the Lord? Faith assures us that all of the steps of the Apostle were Divinely, wisely ordered. Perhaps he needed the rougher experiences at the beginning of his ministry to polish him, to prepare him for his further service, the writing of his epistles, etc. Doubtless we shall understand his experiences better, and our own experiences better, when, by and by, beyond the veil, we shall see as we are seen and know as we are known. Until then the Lord requires that we exercise faith and confidence in him, nothing doubting.
SAMPLES OF INTERESTING LETTERS
OUR BELOVED PASTOR:--
Please accept this as our farewell greetings, hoping you may have a safe voyage and many blessings while you are separated from us.
May the Lord bless and keep you until you return. Our prayers shall ascend in your behalf.
Yours in our precious Redeemer and King,
BROTHER AND SISTER C.,--Pa.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--
Greetings from Oakland! We all wish you a happy voyage and a profitable, pleasant trip in Europe.
We wish as a family and individually to express our love and appreciation once again to you for the beautiful Truth which came to us through you. We all eagerly look forward to the coming of the TOWER; it has been so very helpful to us.
We now have a mid-week service, taking up the 5th volume. Some of the little class say they wish all days were Sundays or Wednesdays.
May our heavenly Father's richest blessings be yours and may he guide you to the end. Much love from all the family.
Your sister by his grace, M. WEBER,--Md.
OUR DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--
The Church at West Medford send to you love and greeting. Also to our dear Brother Bundy.
We wish we could express in words our love and thankfulness to you, as our dear Lord's faithful servant. Our prayers are for you, that the power of the Highest be with you; that the peace of God which passeth all understanding shall keep your heart and mind.
May the harvest message that you carry prosper; may the people understand how glorious a God we worship; how that his attributes are perfect and his Word vindicated; that his Word shall prosper in the thing whereto he sent it, and that his Truth does shew forth his praise.
Of this European convention we pray, "Father, glorify thy name!" The Lord bless thee, and keep thee, our beloved Pastor.
Yours in his grace, F. E. RILEY,--Mass.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--
I know that you will have plenty to keep you busy on your voyage, but I do want to write just a note to reassure you of my continued love and prayers on your behalf. My thoughts and prayers will be with you, especially on your trip, and every day while you are traveling in the narrow channel over the waves of ill-will, bitterness and persecution--on to; yes, almost there!--to the glorious Kingdom on the other side.
The enclosed card I have kept in my Bible for some time. I have looked at it so much and thought of what you said in April 1st TOWER. Will not the Lord's grace be sufficient for us? And whether he permit us to be smitten down with the literal stones or the symbolic arrows (the bitter words), is he not able to succor us that we be not overwhelmed?
With increasing love and earnest, heartfelt prayer,
Your sister in him, E. W.,--Tex.
DEARLY BELOVED BROTHER:--
I hope and pray that your voyage may afford you some rest and refreshment for the coming itinerary, and while you cannot "touch bottom" you may know that we follow your journey with the loving interest of the Body.
We brethren in this locality are having some valuable experiences and trials, and are learning both how to sympathize with others and to realize that it is only "through much tribulation we shall enter the Kingdom."
But oh! how glad I am to believe that these very things indicate the final testings and siftings. How careful we should be, lest a promise being left us any should seem to come short of fulfilling the just and wise conditions of it.
With the exception of a possible half dozen the brethren here are appreciative of and in harmony with the unfolding of the Truth re the Covenants, and have enjoyed the presentations in the TOWERS as "meat in due season."
I am more than pleased with recent "Interesting Letters." Pray for me, dear Brother Russell. I shall pray daily for you.
Yours in the love of Christ,
E. H. THOMSON,--D. C.
Find $1.00 enclosed, for which please enroll me as a subscriber for two copies of PEOPLES PULPIT for five years beginning with Vol. I, No. I.
Am very much interested in your new publication and want further information on the subjects discussed therein.
Yours truly, WM. E. HAWKINS,--Del.
PEOPLES PULPIT ASSN.,
DEAR BROS.:--You will find enclosed one dollar for ten subscribers for the PEOPLES PULPIT for one year each. This is what my little seven-year old boy Bill did last Monday evening.
Yours truly, JEFF BUNCH,--Okla.
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SECURE SEATTLE LODGINGS NOW
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ONE-DAY LOCAL CONVENTIONS ADDRESSED BY THE
EDITOR OF THIS JOURNAL AS FOLLOWS:
NEW BRITAIN, CONN., JUNE 20
Morning session for Rally, Praise and Testimony at 10:30 in O.U.A.M. Hall, 277 Main St. Afternoon meeting for the Public at 3:00 o'clock in the Russwin Lyceum. Subject, "Where are the Dead?" Evening meeting for the interested at O.U.A.M. Hall at 6:30 o'clock. Arrangements can be made for the entertainment of any required to remain over night by addressing Bro. C. W. Ambler, 21 South Burritt St.
GLENS FALLS, N.Y., JUNE 27
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STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES
THESE STUDIES ARE RECOMMENDED TO STUDENTS AS VERITABLE "BIBLE KEYS." PRICES ARE NET AND BARELY COVER COST OF PRODUCTION.
SERIES I., "The Plan of the Ages." gives an outline of the Divine plan revealed in the Bible, relating to man's redemption and restitution: 386 pages, in embossed cloth, 35c. (1s. 6d.) India paper edition, 75c. (3s. 1-1/2d.)
This volume has been published as a special issue of our journal at the extremely low price of 5c. a copy, in any quantity, postage included (To foreign countries, 9c.) This enables people of slender purse to herald far and wide the good tidings in a most helpful form.
SERIES II., "The Time is at Hand," treats of the manner and time of the Lord's second coming, considering the Bible Testimony on this subject: 370 pages, in embossed cloth, 35c. (1s. 6d.) India paper edition, 75c. (3s. 1-1/2d.)
SERIES III., "Thy Kingdom Come," considers prophecies which mark events connected with the "Time of the End," the glorification of the Church and the establishment of the Millennial Kingdom; it also contains a chapter of the Great Pyramid, showing its corroboration of the dates and other teachings of the Bible: 384 pages, in embossed cloth, 25c. (1s. 1/2d.) India paper edition, 75c. (3s. 1-1/2d.)
SERIES IV., "The Day of Vengeance," shows that the dissolution of the present order of things is in progress, and that all the panaceas offered are valueless to avert the predicted end. It marks in these events the fulfilment of prophecy, noting specially our Lord's great prophecy of `Matt. 24` and `Zech. 14:1-9`: 660 pages, in embossed cloth, 30c. (1s. 3d.). India paper edition, 85c. (3s. 6-1/2d.)
SERIES V., "The At-one-ment Between God and Man," treats an all-important subject--the hub, the center around which all the features of Divine grace revolve. Its topic deserves the most careful and prayerful consideration on the part of all true Christians: 507 pages, in embossed cloth, 35c. (1s. 6d.) India paper edition, 85c. (3s. 6-1/2d.)
SERIES VI., "The New Creation," deals with the Creative Week (`Genesis 1` and `2`), and with the Church, God's "New Creation." It examines the personnel, organization, rites, ceremonies, obligations and hopes appertaining to those called and accepted as members of the Body under the Head: 740 pages, in embossed cloth, 30c. (1s. 3d.) India paper edition, 85c. (3s. 6-1/2d.)
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