ZWT - 1912 - R4943 thru R5152 / R5139 (365) - December 1, 1912
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VOL. XXXIII DECEMBER 1 No. 23
A.D. 1912--A.M. 6041
The Retributive Character of Divine Law...........367
Retributive Justice the Basis of Divine
Operation of Retributive Law Natural..........369
Love Not the World................................370
Selfishness the Spirit of the World...........370
The Creation of Things Mundane....................371
"Let There Be Light"..........................372
"God Created Man In His Own Image"................373
A Fall, Not An Evolution......................373
"By One Man's Disobedience"...................374
Wisdom For Hard Times.............................374
Your Good Hopes--1913.............................375
The Ending of the Gentile Times...................377
Our Consecration is Unto Death................377
Advice to Pilgrims, Good for All..................378
Suggestions for Berean Classes....................378
An Interesting Letter.............................379
Berean Questions in Scripture Studies.............379
WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY
CHARLES T. RUSSELL, PRESIDENT
"BROOKLYN TABERNACLE," 13-17 HICKS ST.,
BROOKLYN, N. Y., U. S. A.
Foreign Agencies:--British Branch: LONDON TABERNACLE, Lancaster Gate, London, W. German Branch: Unterdorner Str., 76, Barmen. Australasian Branch: Flinders Building, Flinders St., Melbourne. Please address the SOCIETY in every case.
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Terms to the Lord's Poor as Follows:--All Bible Students who, by reason of old age, or other infirmity or adversity, are unable to pay for this Journal, will be supplied Free if they send a Postal Card each May stating their case and requesting its continuance. We are not only willing, but anxious, that all such be on our list continually and in touch with the STUDIES, etc.
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ENTERED AS SECOND-CLASS MAIL MATTER AT BROOKLYN, N.Y., POSTOFFICE. ENTERED AS SECOND-CLASS MATTER AT THE POSTOFFICE DEPT., OTTAWA, CANADA.
INTERNATIONAL BIBLE STUDENTS ASSOCIATION MEETINGS AT WHICH BROTHER RUSSELL WILL BE PRINCIPAL SPEAKER
FRIENDS FROM NEARBY PLACES ARE CORDIALLY INVITED.
CINCINNATI, OHIO, DEC. 8
Praise, Prayer and Testimony meeting and discourse for the interested, in The Odeon, Elm street, at 10 a.m. Public lecture at 3 p.m. in the Emery Auditorium.
BUFFALO, N.Y., DEC. 15
Praise, Prayer and Testimony meeting and discourse for the interested, at 10:30 a.m., in Fraternity Hall, Jefferson near North streets. Public lecture at 3 o'clock in the afternoon in the Star Theatre, corner Pearl and Genesee streets.
LANCASTER, PA., DEC. 22
For particulars see December 15th TOWER.
LOUISVILLE, KY., DEC. 29
Morning Rally and Discourse for the interested at 10:30 a.m. in the I.B.S.A. Hall, 528 S. Sixth street. Afternoon public meeting at 3 o'clock in Macauley's Theatre, corner Fourth and Walnut streets.
WASHINGTON, D.C., JAN. 5, 12, 19
WORCESTER, MASS., JAN. 26
CLIPPINGS FROM NEWSPAPERS, MAGAZINES, ETC.
We wish to express thanks for interesting clippings, and also for clippings containing attacks upon us. We request that you give name and date of paper each time, or, preferably, the whole page. If the whole paper be sent, please mark the article plainly and address W.T.B.& T. Society, File H, 17 Hicks Street, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Papers and clippings for Pilgrim and Class Extension Department should be addressed to the Society, File D. If connected with the Newspaper Sermon Service add words "Sermon Department."
BETHEL HYMNS FOR JANUARY
After the close of the hymn the Bethel Family listens to the reading of "My Vow Unto the Lord," then joins in prayer. At the breakfast table the MANNA text is considered. Hymns for January follow: (1) 34; (2) 305; (3) 110; (4) 208; (5) 291; (6) 316; (7) 301; (8) 224; (9) 295; (10) 87; (11) 299; (12) 109; (13) 10; (14) 129; (15) 32; (16) 105; (17) 108; (18) 101; (19) 273; (20) 14; (21) 145; (22) 12; (23) 57; (24) 332; (25) 240; (26) 204; (27) 67; (28) 160; (29) 107; (30) 39; (31) 293.
SYMBOLIC BAPTISM IN WATER.
On Sunday morning at 10 o'clock, January 5, at the Brooklyn Tabernacle, an opportunity will be given for symbolic baptism in water. Robes, etc., will be provided. Any desiring to symbolize will please give us timely notice.
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THE RETRIBUTIVE CHARACTER OF DIVINE LAW
"Be not deceived: God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap."--`Gal. 6:7`.
THE APOSTLE PAUL here, addressing the Church, announces a principle of Divine Law which is applicable not only to the Church, but to all men everywhere. Hosea expresses the same truth, saying that if we sow to the wind we shall reap the whirlwind. (`Hos. 8:7`.) Solomon says, if we sow iniquity, we reap vanity. (`Prov. 22:8`.) St. Paul says, if we sow sparingly, we reap sparingly, and if we sow bountifully, we reap bountifully. (`2 Cor. 9:6`.) This is equally true, whether we sow wild oats or good wheat.
It is in view of the harvest of the world's sowing, that we are informed that "the eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good" (`Prov. 15:3`); that "God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil" (`Eccl. 12:14`); and that "there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed, neither hid that shall not be known"; that "whatsoever has been spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light"; and that "spoken in the ear, in closets, shall be proclaimed upon the housetops [openly]." (`Luke 12:2,3`.) And again we read "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, saith the Lord."--`Rom. 12:19`.
But when will this reckoning time come? for now, as saith the Prophet `Malachi (3:15`), men "call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered." With the Psalmist (`Psa. 94:3,4`) we inquire, "Lord, how long shall the wicked triumph, and all the workers of iniquity boast themselves?" The Apostle Paul answers that the Lord "hath appointed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom He hath ordained,"-- The Christ. (`Acts 17:31`.) And "then," says the Prophet Malachi to those who fear the Lord and whom He hath chosen as His jewels, "shall ye return and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not."--`Mal. 3:18`.
But take heed. The same Prophet raises a suggestive question, which all would do well to ponder. He asks, "Who may abide the day of His coming? and who shall stand when He appeareth? for He is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap...And I will come near to you to judgment, and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, and the widow and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not Me, saith the Lord of hosts."--`Mal. 3:2,5`.
The reference of these Scriptures is to the great judgment of the Day of the Lord--the day of trouble with which this Gospel Dispensation is to close--variously described as a day "of wrath," "of vengeance," "of recompense," and as a "time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation."
But while this great judgment will have to do with the world in general--with nations and corporations and all civil, social and religious organizations of men; and while it will touch the cases of all the individuals living at that time, we naturally inquire where retributive justice came, or is to come in, in dealing with all the generations of the past?
Our Lord answers the question when He says, "The hour is coming in which all that are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son of Man and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection by judgment." (`John 5:28,29`; see R.V. and Diaglott.) The whole Millennial Age is thus set forth as a "day" of reckoning, of trial, of judgment. In that searching judgment there will be a reckoning, even for every pernicious word (`Matt. 12:36`); and by submitting and learning obedience under those judgments, the masses of mankind who will to obey are to be gradually raised up to perfection of being, as well as of knowledge.
RETRIBUTION VS. FORGIVENESS OF SIN
But here a philosophic and important question arises as to the extent to which the justification of a sinner, through faith in the precious blood of Christ, and his full consecration to do the Father's will, may intercept the course of the Law, that a man must reap what he has sown. In other words, Will his new relationship to God save him from a miserable harvest of a former sowing of wild oats?
We answer, Yes; in one sense it will. The just penalty for all sin is death--the severest penalty that can be inflicted. And from this penalty his justification freely exonerates him. His past iniquities and sins will no more rise up in judgment against him, demanding their just penalty--death; for "blessed are they whose iniquity is forgiven and whose sin is covered; blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute [reckon] sin." (`Rom. 4:7,8`.) All who by faith in Christ's sacrifice for sin and by consecration of heart and life to God's service come under the Robe of Christ's Righteousness are thus blessed.
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The iniquity, or legal sentence, of such is passed altogether or forgiven; and while the results of their sins, the harvest of their misdeeds sown before they came to a realization of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, or to an appreciation of God's mercy in Christ, are still painfully with them, yet they are assured that these are covered; that God does not regard them as they really are, but imputes their sins to Christ, who already has paid their penalty, and imputes of His worthiness to their account. They are further assured that God's provision for them is that they may some day be healed, or cured, of the weaknesses brought on them through sin and now reckoned as "covered" from the Divine eye.
With the Church these sins, or actual defects, are to be blotted out or wiped out when the Times of Restitution shall arrive, at the Second Advent of Christ. (`Acts 3:19`.) The result of this blotting or wiping out of sin will be new bodies, new beings--free from sin, from imperfection and every consequence and evidence of sin. With the Church, this cleansing and blotting out process begins with the present life, and will be completed early in the Millennial Day (`Psa. 46:5`) by a share in the First Resurrection.
The world's cleansing time will be the entire Millennial Age, or "Day of Judgment," when those who then shall accept Christ and the New Covenant may gradually be cleansed and healed. At the close of that Age, if faithful to their opportunities, they may be presented blameless and perfect before God, needing no further healing nor cleansing, but each being, as was Adam, a human image of the Divine Creator--a perfect man.
The Scriptures, as well as observation, assure us that our justification before God does not remove at once and without our co-operation all the results of previous transgressions. The harvest is like in kind to the sowing; but the penitent and forgiven one has the promise of grace to help in the battle with his inherited as well as cultivated weaknesses; and so we read (`I John 1:9`), "God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." It is in this cleansing process which follows vitalized justification that the consecrated believer must of necessity suffer from some of the baneful results of a past course of sin--reap the reward of his former sowing. While the Lord will be very merciful in dealing with him, nevertheless, as a Wise Physician, He will not spare the necessary experience to eradicate the deep-seated evil propensities of long cultivation in the past.
RETRIBUTIVE JUSTICE THE BASIS OF DIVINE LAW
Here the retributive character of Divine Law is especially noteworthy. Men often make a distinction between the law of nature and the moral law, calling the one natural and the other Divine. But the fixed principles of both are of Divine origin, and accomplish the Divine will in their operation. Both operate on the basis of retributive justice. All Divine Law, whether of nature or of morals, is but the operation of certain fixed principles of righteousness, having for their object the peace and happiness of all intelligent creatures under its jurisdiction. Obedience to this Law brings its reward of happiness, while any interference with it incurs its certain penalty.
If you hold your hand before the fire, it will be warmed, and your comfort and happiness will be thus ministered to; if you put your hand into the fire, it will be burned, and you will suffer pain. Thus the law of nature, which was designed to comfort and bless us, is also prepared to punish us if we violate its proper use. And not only so, but it is prepared to grade its penalties in proportion to the aggravation of the offense against it.
If you put your hand into the fire for a very short time, it will be scorched; persist a little longer, and it will be blistered; and a little longer still, and it will be consumed. Applied properly to the cooking of your food, fire will reward you with a savory meal; but applied improperly, it may render the food undesirable or unfit for use. Water, also one of our greatest blessings, becomes, if the law of nature be disregarded, an agent of death and destruction. So throughout the laws of nature we might trace retribution.
In the realm of moral law, the case is the same. If you violate the principles of righteousness, you deface the image of God in your being. Impure thoughts write in clearly legible signs upon the countenance the dark lines of a bad character; while pure, just and noble thoughts illuminate the countenance and render the pure character transparent to beholders. And the operations of moral law are as sure and reliable as are those of natural law.
The fact that the retribution--the reward or the penalty--is often delayed is frequently presumed upon by the foolish, who vainly think they can sow their crop of wild oats and never realize their harvest. Both individuals and nations have long presumed to act upon this hazardous and vain hypothesis; and well indeed would it be if they would even now hearken to the Apostle's warning: "Be not deceived; God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."
The operations of this law are most manifest upon classes and nations--first, because their prominence gives them world-wide publicity; and second, because their judgment must of necessity be in the present life, since beyond the grave the present order of society will have no existence. A glance at the pages of history reveals the fact that all the nations of the past have reaped a bitter harvest, and amid harrowing scenes have breathed their last. They had their rising, their struggling periods, and their flourishing eras; and then "pride and fulness of bread" caused them to rest in fancied security, and to sink in the scale of morals, until their decline was followed by their fall. They reaped what they had sown.
Just now, all the nations of the world are fast approaching the most terrible crises of their national existences. In a great time of unparalleled trouble, which is even now imminent, they are about to reap what they have sown. They have sown to the wind the seeds of selfishness, and now they are about to reap the whirlwind of terror and the destruction of all law and order, and of national and social organization.
THE OPERATION OF THE LAW OF RETRIBUTION IN INDIVIDUAL
The operation of this law in individual cases, though not so prominent, is none the less sure. Every thought harbored, every disposition exercised and cultivated, becomes a component part of individual character; and this character, which is more or less tender in early life, becomes fixed in the course of years. If the cultivation of character has been along the lines of righteousness and truth, according to the light possessed--whether of conscience merely, or of revelation also--the ripened fruit of an established, right-preferring and benevolent character is a blessed harvest in comparison with others, the reverse. If the cultivation has been along the lines of depravity, self-gratification and degradation, the terrible fruits are a fearful penalty.
Even though such a one be freely forgiven upon repentance and faith in the Redeemer--fully absolved from legal condemnation through Christ, who bore its Divinely pronounced penalty, death--nevertheless, the fruits of his
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sowing are manifest in his character. Evil propensities must all be rooted out and a proper character formed at a considerable cost of painful, but valuable experience; for God is just, not only to forgive us our sins, but also to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. The eradicating of these evil dispositions, propensities and appetites, deep-rooted and long-cultivated, will cause great disturbances of the soil in which they have grown; and pain as well as joy will attend their removal, and their replacement with the graces of the Spirit.
The Lord, as a Wise Physician, will be as merciful and tender with His patient as the necessities of the case will permit. All will be shown their need of His aid, but no patient will be treated further except with his own consent and co-operation. With the Church this treatment takes place in the present life and is a treatment of the will rather than of the body; for although the body will be greatly helped by the treatment, it is not the Great Physician's purpose to cure these marred bodies, but to give to this class perfect spirit bodies early in the Millennial Day. In these the consecrated will is being transformed and renewed to perfect harmony with the will of God, the mind of Christ. The "overcomers," the true Church, passing through difficulties and cleansing and trials of faith and afflictions now, and being approved of the Lord, will not come into the judgment (trial) of the Millennial Age (`I Cor. 11:32`); but, with the Redeemer, their Lord, will be Kings and Priests of God, who shall judge the world and recompense to them good or evil, impartially, under the terms of the New Covenant.--`I Cor. 6:2`.
JUDGMENT DAY EXPERIENCES HEART SEARCHING
Another feature of retribution upon the world during the Millennial trial will be the publicity which will then be given to the reaping and to the deeds of the past. Our Lord has so intimated, saying, "There is nothing covered that shall not be revealed; neither hid that shall not be known," etc. (`Matt. 10:26`; `Luke 12:2,3`.) This also will come about in a natural way, when in that day all that are in their graves shall come forth. Then the murderer and his victim, the debtor and his creditor, the thief and his dupe, the defamer and the defamed, must face each other and the facts, which, with even the secret motives, will be discerned. The terms of their reconciliation to each other and to the Judge will be equitable, and will be known to all.
Past history will have proclaimed to the world the character of many a Nero; but additionally, there will be the necessity of their seeing the former victims of their ignoble cruelty, and facing them in the light of a new and healthy public sentiment, which will manifest crime in all its horrid deformity. Truly such "shall awake to shame and lasting [Heb. olan] contempt," even in their own eyes; for as the renewed manhood of the race begins to assert itself, they will the more fully realize the depth of the pit of degradation whence they were digged; and even the generous forgiveness of formerly injured and outraged fellow men will be a great humiliation. It will truly be, as the Scriptures suggest, the heaping of coals of fire on their heads (`Prov. 25:21,22`; `Rom. 12:20`), so great will be their shame and confusion.--`Jer. 20:11`.
It should be borne in mind, too, that the only standard of judgment in public sentiment at that time will be character. None of the false standards--wealth, noble birth, or aristocracy of power, by which men are often measured now, and under which cloaks the wicked often take shelter--will then avail anything; for under the New Dispensation men will come forth shorn of all their former possessions. They will have neither wealth nor power; and in the light of that Age, heredity will be nothing whereof to boast.
The same conditions which will thus expose the evils of the past life and thus, in the natural operations of moral law, bring about a measure of retribution to the evil-doers, will also make manifest the good deeds of the righteous, so that even the slightest favors done for others, deeds which at the time blessed the characters of the doers, will then be recognized and appreciated.
OPERATION OF RETRIBUTIVE LAW NATURAL
In this view of the matter we can see how, in a perfectly natural way, a man must reap the harvest of his sowing of wild oats, even though he has been freely forgiven, absolved from guilt and its penalty, death, and legally justified through faith in Christ. He will reap it, not only in the difficulties he will have piled up for himself in the hardening of his own character, making the steps up to perfection more painful and slow, and requiring severer discipline, but also in the just disapproval, or indignation of a righteous public sentiment in that Millennial Day of Judgment.
Such will be the natural and inevitable results of present wrong-doing. One consolation, however, will be the fact that this humiliation, in some measure, at least, will be shared by all; "for there is none righteous [none perfect], no, not one" (`Rom. 3:10`); and all must pray, "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive others." It will indeed be a time for melting and mellowing all hearts. Thus the Lord will take away the stony heart and give to all who under the New Covenant shall become His people (typified by Israel) a heart of flesh, according to His promise.--`Ezek. 36:22-28`.
In some instances a portion of the reaping is experienced in the present life; and in some it will be in the life to come, as the Apostle intimates in `I Tim. 5:24,25`. So also good works are sometimes manifest now, and rightly appreciated and rewarded. But whether now or hereafter, our Lord's assurance is that even the gift of a cup of cold water to one of His disciples, because he is His disciple, shall have its reward (`Matt. 10:40-42`); so minute will be the Lord's cognizance of character and works, and His rewards therefor; and they will be none the less His rewards because accomplished in the natural operation of retributive laws.
A murderer may be one who has little or no knowledge of God, whose hereditary disadvantages may be great and whose environment may be very unfavorable. He may meet with a just recompense for his crime at the hands of his fellow men, and yet in due time come forth from his grave unto [the privileges and opportunities of] a resurrection [lifting up--all the way up] by judgment [trial, discipline]. If obedient, he may reach the height of perfection and life everlasting, although the sins of his past life may have made mountains of difficulties in his character for him to clamber over during that Judgment Age.
On the other hand, one may be a moral man, who has "tasted the good Word of God, and the powers of the Age to come" and who has been made a partaker of the spirit of holiness through faith in Christ; yet he may permit envy and strife to take possession of his heart; and he may hate his brother, though he outwardly violates no law and is esteemed among men. Such a one is a murderer at heart (`I John 3:15`), though restrained from outward violence by respect for the opinions of others or by fear of the consequences. Who will deny that such a one, because of light enjoyed, may have even greater difficulties to overcome in the reformation of his character than the grosser, but ignorant, murderer? To whom much
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is given in the way of knowledge, opportunity, etc., of him much will be required. (`Luke 12:48`.) That judgment will be according to knowledge and ability to do right--a just recompense of reward.
SEQUENCE THE DIVINE ARRANGEMENT REGARDING
Only the idiotic and the insane are in total darkness. All others have had at least a conscience, and few have been without some hope of reward in following its dictates, though, as St. Paul says, they had no hope and were without God in the world. They were without the only real hope--the Gospel. (`Eph. 2:12`.) Previous to the announcement of the Gospel hope of everlasting life, and its foreshadowing in Israel, the hope of the world in general was only for the present rewards of righteousness. And no other hope was clearly held out, even to Israel, although there were hints and foreshadowings to them of the Gospel hope, as there was also in the promise given in Eden-- that the Seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head. These gleams of hope were doubtless treasured up and reasoned upon by the more thoughtful minds; but the masses of men discerned only the simple lesson that honesty, righteousness, was the best present policy.
But when Christ came, He "brought life [everlasting] and immortality [clearly] to light through the Gospel." (`2 Tim. 1:10`.) Since then, proportionately as men have come directly or indirectly in contact with that Gospel, their responsibility has been increased, whether they accepted or rejected, opposed or ignored it. As it is written, "This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil."--`John 3:19`.
The Divine arrangement regarding retribution seems generally to be that of sequence, so that under it rewards and punishments follow naturally, as the results of obedience or disobedience to law. Yet in the cases both of rewards and of penalties God sometimes steps beyond this order; as for instance, when He exalts the Church with Christ, their Head, to the Divine nature, Kingdom and glory; and when He brings upon Satan and his followers swift destruction at the end of the Millennial Age. His extraordinary methods have also been occasionally manifested in the past; viz., in the destruction of the world by the flood, in the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah, in the confusion of tongues at Babel, and other instances of minor note. But these are special and exceptional exhibitions both of His wrath and of His grace.
A just estimate of the Lord's dealings in the future judgment of the repentant of the world may be approximated by a careful observance of His dealings with His justified and consecrated children now. Though justified, we are not liberated from all the consequences of our past ignorance or waywardness. If in youthful ignorance and waywardness bad habits were contracted which have impaired health and weakened moral and physical powers, we have all the difficulties to struggle against now, though we realize the Divine forgiveness and assistance.
This is our judgment day; and the judgment of the world will proceed upon the same general principles. They will first be brought to a knowledge of the Truth, and will then be judged according to their use or abuse of that knowledge after they receive it, as worthy or unworthy of life. The good and bad actions of their first life, previous to their knowledge of the Truth, will enter into this judgment only in the natural order of the retributive character of moral Law.
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LOVE NOT THE WORLD
"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him."--`1 John 2:15`.
IN THE TEXT, "Love not the world," we do not understand the term "world" to mean either the human race or the planet on which we live. The thought of the text seems to be more particularly the present order of things, for the Greek word here translated world is kosmos, signifying arrangement. We are to appreciate the beauties of nature. We are to love the human family, whom God also loves, though not in the sense in which He loves the Church of Christ. We read, "God so loved the world that He gave His Only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."--`John 3:16`.
St. John cannot therefore be understood to refer to the world of mankind, when he says, "Love not the world." For them we should have sympathy similar to that which the Heavenly Father has for the fallen race. The Scriptures inform us that the present order, or arrangement, of things on earth is entirely out of harmony with God's will, or purpose; for the world is ruled by selfishness. The Divine arrangement is that love shall be the rule among God's creatures. "God is Love...He that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God."--`I John 4:8,16`.
The world operates along lines different from those of love. Each one strives selfishly to heap together treasure for himself, even if meantime his neighbor goes destitute. Many live in luxury, while realizing that there are others who lack the necessities of life. Many seek for power to control men, not with the thought of their uplift, but with a view to using them for selfish ends and motives. This spirit of selfishness belongs to the present order of things. We see it in operation everywhere.
The spirit of the world lays hold of all the forces of nature and seeks to control these, to adapt them to its own selfish interests. It is true that much good has resulted indirectly from this spirit of selfishness. For instance, a man with a great amount of the vain-glorious spirit may for his own selfish purposes benefit others. A general might have so much pride in his service that in order to win praise for himself he would care for his soldiers and have them well dressed. Some of our great captains of industry have done the world good service, and incidentally have blessed many, while carrying out their own designs.
SELFISHNESS THE SPIRIT OF THE WORLD
If all of the great worldly enterprises were undertaken with a view to the betterment of mankind, the spirit of these would not be selfish. We know, indeed, that much is done to help those who are needy, and that where there is a motive of this kind, it is often misinterpreted and misjudged to be selfish. But "the Lord looketh on the heart." (`I Sam. 16:7`.) Those who have the selfish heart, the selfish intentions, will continue to love the things of the world. In proportion as such may be shown that there is a new order of affairs coming, in that proportion the selfish-minded will not be in sympathy with the change of dispensation.
If a man conducts a large enterprise for the benefit
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of those who would have opportunity to share such blessings, that man would rejoice that there is a better time coming. A man who would truly rejoice to have a better arrangement of affairs, would not have the spirit that dominates in the present order of things. He would have the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Love, the spirit that will dominate the New Order of things, that will control during the thousand years of Christ's reign.
Many are in the attitude of mind which would say, "My employer is rich. Whenever I get the opportunity to help myself to some of his money, I will do so and get as much as possible." Such people love the present order of things, whether they be rich or poor. A great many poor love the things of this world, and hope some day to get their share.
There are people who say, "Oh, I do not love the world and its selfish spirit! From the crown of my head to the soles of my feet I am opposed to it. Sometimes I say to my husband, 'This is a very selfish world, John.' Then he replies, 'Yes, Mary, it is. Everywhere people are seeking for everything that will gratify self and selfish desires. But while you condemn the ways of the world,
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yet you delight in the good things of life provided by my industry--the automobile, the pleasant home, etc.' And I must acknowledge that he is right. I fear that I could not be happy without them." Such a person certainly loves the things of the world, even while making good use of them.
It seems to be a serious charge to say that any one who is in that attitude of mind which loves the world and the things belonging to it, has not the love of the Father in him. We do not understand, however, that such a one has no love for the Father or that the Father has no love for him. The Apostle seems to be addressing this message to the Church. Those who have been adopted into God's family must continue to love Him or they would not be counted as members of that class.
What, then, is the full import of this expression-- "The Love of the Father is not in him"? To us it would mean that the Love of the Father had not gotten full control of his heart, and this would mean that ultimately-- unless he should gain a victory over his selfish disposition --he would not be accepted as a son.
Everywhere about us is this spirit of selfishness. Every child of God should be on guard against it and against willingness to participate in the things of this world. We should strive to be in that condition which is pleasing to the Father. We are to try to rid ourselves of the spirit of the world and to be filled with the Spirit of the Father. This would not mean that we are not to appreciate beautiful things, or that we are not to like to see others striving to benefit the world; but that we should not be satisfied with any of these things, so far as we are concerned.
TWO KINDS OF MOTIVES
Whatever talents we possess we should use for the good of humanity in any kind of work that would be for the glory of God. Even a good work could be engaged in from the spirit of the world rather than from the Spirit of God; that is, it might be done for what we could get from others in the way of money, honor or influence; or, on the other hand, it might be for the good we desired to do for others.
The highest of all services is that of the ministry of the Word of God. Even this noble service might be pursued from either of two motives--the Love of the Father or the love of self. Apparently there are some engaged in the ministry purely for the sake of the loaves and fishes, for the honorable position it gives them in the world, or because they do not know of anything that would serve them better.
Again, there are those, no doubt, who have entered the ministry, not for selfish reasons, but because they desire to serve God, to serve the Truth, to serve His people. The Lord alone knows what has induced any one to enter the ministry. But since we are living in the day that will try every man's work, God will prove what sort it is--will show what motive is behind the deed.
Those who are serving merely from the worldly spirit will be vexed with everything that is making for Truth; and in proportion as their earthly interests suffer, they will be angry. Those who are of the right spirit, however, will rejoice in everything that will be helpful to humanity, in everything that is to the glory of God, in everything that will make the Bible more easily understood.
In fact, we may suppose that the real testing, so far as the Church is concerned, is the making manifest whether we love the world--the things of the present time--or whether we love God supremely. As time goes on, it will be even more impossible to harmonize the spirit of love and the spirit of selfishness. Those who love God will be fully out of harmony with the spirit of the present evil world.
"Love not the world!
He in whose heart the love
Of vanity has found a place, shuts out
The enduring world above.
"Love not the world!
However fair it seem;
Who loveth this vain world--the love of God
Abideth not in him."
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THE CREATION OF THINGS MUNDANE
--JANUARY 5.--`GENESIS 1:1-31`; `2:1-3`.--
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. And the earth was waste and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep."--`Gen. 1:1,2`. (R.V.)
IN THE past, Bible students have not been sufficiently critical in studying God's Word. Today's lesson illustrates this. The Genesis account does not begin with the creation of the physical earth, as was once supposed. "The beginning" refers merely to the work accomplished by Divine Power in bringing the waste and lifeless earth into condition for man's use.
The earth was already in existence, and had been created by Divine Power before the time mentioned in the Genesis account. Read our text several times until this is clearly seen. Higher Critics (would go back millions of years to) discuss various theories respecting how the mass of earth was formed, and they attribute millions of years to this. Bible students may well content themselves with the record that the earth already was at "the beginning," of the Genesis account.
The Bible mentions days of various lengths; for instance, "the day of temptation in the wilderness"--forty years (`Heb. 3:8,9`); "A day with the Lord is as a thousand years" (`2 Pet. 3:8`); our Lord's "day," etc. (`John 8:56`). While God could have accomplished the great work of ordering the earth in six 24-hour days, or in
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six minutes, for that matter, there is no reason to think that such short days are meant, as we shall see later.
God arranged a great Week of Seven Days for His great work of bringing man to perfection. Six of these Days prepared our planet to receive Adam as its lord and earthly king, an image of his Creator. The Seventh Day, which there began, is not yet completed--it lacks a thousand years of completion. During that period, the Bible tells us, Earth will be brought to a Paradise condition and man will be restored by his Redeemer to God's image.
Six great Thousand-Year Periods or Days have passed since Adam was created, according to Bible chronology. We are now in the dawning of the great Seventh Day or Sabbath Day of human experience. God has promised that this Seventh Day of a thousand years will be very different from the preceding Six Days, in which mankind has experienced a reign of Sin and Death. The Seventh Day of a thousand years is Scripturally called the "Day of Christ," and by many it is styled the Millennium. In it Satan and Sin are to be overthrown, righteousness is to be established by the Redeemer, and mankind, purchased by the precious blood at Calvary; are all to have full opportunity for arising from present degradation to re-attainment of the image and likeness of God, lost in Eden by Adam's disobedience.
The Seventh Day of the Creative Week began with Adam's creation and has already lasted six thousand years, and is to be completed with the thousand years of Christ's Reign. The Seventh Creative Day will be seven thousand years long. Whoever sees this to be a reasonable deduction can easily suppose that the six preceding Days of the Genesis account were, likewise, seven thousand years each. Reckoned thus, the total period from the time that Divine Energy began to operate upon the waste Earth down to the time when the whole work of creation and Restitution will be fully completed, would be 7 times 7,000 years, or 49,000 years.
According to the Bible, that time will be a thousand years hence, when The Christ shall have accomplished His work for mankind to the full and shall deliver up the Kingdom to God, even the Father. At that moment the fiftieth thousand-year period will begin, with every creature in Heaven and on earth ascribing praise to Him that sitteth upon the Throne, and to the Lamb, forever. How appropriate this will be, especially when we recall that in God's arrangement fifty is the greatest climax of numbers! In Bible usage the number seven is symbolical of perfection, and 7 times 7 represents a completeness of perfection; and the fiftieth or Jubilee following is climacteric.
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"LET THERE BE LIGHT"
We hold that the Genesis account is in full accord with all the facts known to science. There was no light in the Earth prior to the time when Divine Energy brooded on the surface of the waters. The account seems to suggest an electrical influence, and a light somewhat resembling the Aurora Borealis. The Earth was dark because shrouded with an impenetrable fog and an upper canopy of water, mineral water, etc. This thoroughly shut out the light of the sun, moon and stars, which did not shine in upon the Earth in any sense until the Fourth Day. The Jewish day, patterned after the Genesis account, began with the night. So the First Day of 7,000 years, under the Divine Energy, gradually increased this electrical light and prepared for the next epoch.
The work of the Second Day, or Epoch, was the establishment of a firmament, separating between the waters of the sky and the waters of the Earth. Doubtless the light had to do in a natural way with bringing about this secondary feature of the Earth's preparation. The establishment of the firmament began very slowly, but was completed with the end of the Second Day.
In the Third Day, or Epoch, under Divine direction earthquakes took place, mountain ranges were thrown up, and thus the waters of the Earth were gathered into seas, draining off a land surface in preparation for vegetation. Forthwith vegetation sprang up--grass, bushes, trees, with their seeds and fruits. The account does not say that God made so many different kinds of grasses and fruit, trees, etc. It declares that under Divine command the Earth brought forth these various kinds. Nothing in the Genesis account would interfere with an evolutionary theory as respects vegetation. Thus, under Divine supervision, the Third Day accomplished its purpose.
According to the Vailian Theory the Earth was once surrounded by rings and belts similar to those of Saturn and Jupiter, consisting of minerals and waters thrown off to a great distance when the Earth long previously was in a molten state. These rings, attracted to the Earth, approached her gradually, one by one. Held off by the firmament, they spread out like a great curtain, causing much of the darkness. Then, influenced by the motion of the Earth on her axis, they gravitated toward the poles, gradually becoming heavier. Finally they broke, one after the other, coming down as great deluges, burying vegetation, which later became coal beds, and depositing minerals of various kinds, which man has since been using.
Each successive deluge added minerals to the crust of the Earth and water to the seas, the weight of the seas creating further upheavals of mountains, etc. The last of these rings came down as a deluge in Noah's day. Previously, for centuries, it had been a great watery canopy. Through it the sun, moon and stars were visible, but not clear, as now. Under these conditions there were no storms, nor was there any rain. (`Gen. 2:3`.) The entire Earth under this canopy was like a greenhouse of equable temperature. This accounts for the vegetable and animal remains found near the poles, and long imbedded in ice, which formed instantly when the canopy collapsed as a deluge.
With the fall of several of Earth's "rings," the atmosphere became translucent, so that the luminaries of the sky could exercise their beneficial influences in respect to animal life about to be created. These luminaries have served mankind as a great clock, marking days, months and years. Thus the work of the Fourth Epoch-Day was accomplished.
On the Fifth Day the waters began to swarm with living, moving creatures. Next came fowl and great sea monsters. Here again a measure of evolution is suggested by the statement that "the waters brought forth abundantly" the various kinds, under Divine supervision. Only in the case of man does the Bible distinctly declare a personal creation.
The creation of land animals marks the Sixth Epoch-Day. Fish and fowl took precedence, as scientists agree. Again we read that "the earth brought forth," but we also read that the Lord directed the matter in the development of the different kinds or varieties.
It was at the very end of the Sixth Day that God created man. The earth did not bring him forth. He was created in his Maker's character-likeness, to be the king of Earth, to have dominion over the creatures of the land, the air and the sea. Another account seems to
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imply that Mother Eve was taken from Father Adam's side, to be a helpmate on his own plane, in the beginning of the Seventh Day, for this was the last feature of creation. We read that God finished His work on the Seventh Day and rested. He has rested or ceased from His creative work during this Seventh Day, leaving the finishing touches to be accomplished by the Redeemer during His Messianic Kingdom, which will complete the Seventh Day--49,000 years from the time God said, "Let there be light."
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"GOD CREATED MAN IN HIS OWN IMAGE"
--JANUARY 12.--`GENESIS 1:26-2:25`; `PSALM 8`.--
HOW DIFFERENT the statement respecting man's creation from that describing the creation of plants and the lower animals which the seas and the earth brought forth! Man's creation was premeditated. In advance, God designed man to be the king over the Earth, having dominion over fish and fowl and beasts, even as his Creator has the supreme dominion of the Universe. He was to be his Creator's image, not in physical form, but in moral and intellectual qualities. He was not to be of the Divine nature, but of human nature-- a fleshly being resembling his Creator, a Spirit Being. This intention of Deity was fully carried out in man's creation. As we read, "God created man in His own image; in the image of God created He him; male and female created he them." Not a word here can be construed as in any sense implying the evolution of man from the lower creatures.
A FALL, NOT AN EVOLUTION
So far from teaching an evolution, the Bible teaches the very reverse, both in the Old and in the New Testament. St. Paul declares, By one man's disobedience sin entered into the world, and death as the result of sin. Thus death passed upon all men, because all are sinners. (`Romans 5:12`.) The Prophet David refers to this fallen condition and queries respecting God's mercy in providing for man a redemption and restoration to Divine favor, saying, "What is man, that Thou art mindful of him?" (`Psalm 8:4`.) He then proceeds briefly to picture man's glorious condition before he fell, saying, "Thou madest him a little lower than the angels. Thou crownest him with glory and honor and didst set him over the works of Thy hands." Later he describes man's dominion as related to beasts of the field, fowl of the air and fish of the sea.
In a word, the Bible represents man as the crowning masterpiece of mundane creation. The seal of God's Word is set to this in the statement that God pronounced him "very good." This is also implied in the statement that God created him in His image, for the Scriptures declare, "All His work is perfect." Nor could we for a moment esteem it just or right that any but a perfect being should be placed on trial for life or death everlasting.
NOT TWO CREATION ACCOUNTS
Higher Critics, anxious to discredit the Bible, claim that the Second Chapter of Genesis is another account of the whole creation written by a different person. They claim that it gives a different order of creation, showing man created first, and then trees, beasts, etc. To us this is all foolishness. Moses, having described creation in its logical order, merely emphasizes and particularizes some of his previous statements.
He declares (`Genesis 2:4`) that he has already described the generation or developments of things heavenly and earthly from the beginning, before there was any plant life. Incidentally he mentions that at that time there was no rain--before the flood. He again assures us that man was God's last creation, to be the king or supervisor of earth. Then, much to our satisfaction, Moses proceeds to give an account of the specialty of man's creation, so different from that of the lower animals and vegetation. He was not evolved, but was God's handiwork. He was not spirit, but flesh, formed of the dust of the ground. But still he had the spirit of life common to all the lower creatures, of whom he was the head or king. The Hebrew reads, literally, "In his nostrils the breath of lives"--the breath or spirit of life common to all breathing creatures.
Then a description of Eden follows, how God particularly supervised its preparation as the home of the king of earth, in which God placed him. Nothing in this implies that Eden was made after Adam's creation. On the contrary, we have already been informed that God's creative work ceased with the production of Mother Eve, and that since then He has rested or desisted from further mundane creation--leaving to His glorious Son, Messiah, the work of human redemption and restitution.-- `Acts 3:19-21`.
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When we read (`V. 19`) that all animals that God had previously created were named by Adam, it would be foolish for us to suppose that the animals were a subsequent creation. This bringing of all creatures to Adam's attention implies his mastery of them all and leads up to the statement that in none of them was he able to find fellowship and companionship. God wished him to realize the need of a companion and wife before providing her.
MAN ORIGINALLY SEXLESS
The details of human creation imply that Adam lived in Eden some time alone and sexless. Some Bible students infer from the chronology that it was about two years from the time of Adam's creation until the expulsion from Eden under the death sentence. The cause for the division of Adam into two persons is stated; the earth was to be filled, populated with a race of his species, and amongst all the creatures none was suitable as a companion for him or fit to be his mate, and the mother of an offspring in his likeness.
Thus again is shown that Adam was distinctly different from apes and monkeys, and all the other creatures placed under his control. He was in the likeness of his Creator. Other Scriptures show us that after the earth shall have been filled with a population, it is the Divine purpose that the sex quality in humanity shall be dropped. Jesus' words are, "They that shall attain unto that Age (of perfection--future) will neither marry nor be given in marriage, but be like the angels of Heaven"--sexless. See `Luke 20:34-36`.
The division of Adam into two parts, male and female, left the headship with the male, but deprived him of some of his sympathetic qualities. His wife, predominating in the sympathetic tendencies, had in her perfection less of the masculine and aggressive traits; but the two were perfectly adapted to each other's needs and fulfilled each other's ideals. The fall from God's favor has affected
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both sexes and has disturbed the original balance and harmony, producing extremes of coarseness and effeminacy, destroying perfection and robbing the marriage relationship of much of its ideal happiness.
The Restitution or resurrection of the willing and obedient, to be brought about by Messiah's Kingdom, will not mean the restoration of sex perfections, but rather the gradual perfecting of each individual in the image and likeness of God in personal completeness, such as Adam possessed before his division.
The sex attractions having passed away, man will not be alone, as Adam was originally; for the earth will be full of human brethren, all in the image of God and in fullest fellowship of spirit, enjoying the world-wide Eden. Such a condition of things can be appreciated only as we take the Divine standpoint and realize the superior perfection of God and the angels in their sexless condition-- though always spoken of as masculine.
"BY ONE MAN'S DISOBEDIENCE"
Note the consistency of the Bible theory which necessitated the division of one man into male and female. God purposed that the entire race must proceed from the one man. He foresaw sin and how He would permit it to flourish, and how He would provide for man's recovery. If two or more separate individuals had sinned and involved the race, it would have required just as many redeemers, according to the Divine Law, "An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth," a man's life for a man's life. (`Deut. 19:21`.) Because God from the beginning intended only one Lamb of God, one glorious Redeemer, therefore the entire race sprang from the one man Adam, that "as by a man came death, by a man" should come "the resurrection of the dead."--`I Cor. 15:21`.
SECOND ADAM AND SECOND EVE
We should not forget that Adam and Eve in some respects foreshadowed Christ and the Church. Jesus personally is the great Savior of mankind, whose death constitutes the Ransom-price for the sins of Adam and the entire race. He is to be the Great Life-Giver, or Father of mankind. During His Millennial Reign He will give back earthly life to Adam and as many of his race as will receive it--raising them gradually, more and more, out of sin and death conditions, up to perfection during that thousand years,--"the times of refreshing that shall come from the presence of the Lord,... the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began." (`Acts 3:19 to 21`.) This will be the glorious work of regenerating the world,--"whosoever will" may then drink the water of life freely.
But before beginning His work of regenerating the world, God has arranged that first from the wound in Christ's side, figuratively, an Elect Church shall be formed to be His companion and joint-heir in His Kingdom-- the second Eve, on the spirit plane, as He, the Heavenly One, is the Second Adam.
The Church will not be the Life-Giver or Father, but she will be the mother, or care-taker of the regenerated hosts of humanity during the Millennium. Under her care the willing and obedient will retain the image of God in the flesh.
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The hammer of Thy discipline, O Lord,
Strikes fast and hard. Life's anvil rings again
To Thy strong strokes. And yet we know 'tis then
That from the heart's hot iron all abroad
The rich glow spreads. Great Fashioner Divine,
Who spareth not, in Thy far-seeing plan,
The blows that shape the character of man,
Or fire that makes him yield to touch of Thine,
Strike on, then, if Thou wilt! For thou alone
Canst rightly test the temper of our will,
Or tell how these base metals may fulfill
Thy purpose--making all our life Thine own.
Only we do beseech Thee, let the pain
Of fiery ordeals through which we go
Shed all around us such a warmth and glow,
Such cheerful showers of sparks in golden rain,
That hard hearts may be melted, cold hearts fired,
And callous hearts be taught to feel and see
That discipline is more to be desired
Than all the ease that keeps us back from Thee.
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WISDOM FOR HARD TIMES
MANY PEOPLE are wasteful without intending to be so. They do not know how to economize. Economy is less important to the rich than to the poor, yet the poor usually know nothing about true economy. Economy does not signify always the purchase of that which is cheapest, nor does it mean to purchase in various small quantities sparingly. In view of the possibilities of the near future we believe that "a word in season" will be helpful. Our advice would be to keep a good supply of fuel ahead, as storms and accidents might interrupt the supply--not to speak of strikes.
But our particular message now is in respect to food. We advise a fair supply of staple goods which do not run into money--rice, beans, peas, oatmeal, potatoes, salt, sugar. What we have enumerated are staples. Bought in reasonable quantities, they are the cheapest, as well as the most wholesome food. The rice and the potatoes are rich in starch, while the beans and peas are richly nitrogenous and largely take the place of meats in support of the human system.
Meat in moderate quantities is wholesome and desirable, but not indispensable where beans and peas are used freely. However, certain portions of beef are sold cheap everywhere, the objection usually being that the cheap portions are tough. We want to give our readers a recipe, by the use of which they can always have tender meat, even though they buy the cheapest and toughest.
The recipe is the use of a small quantity of the best vinegar in the preparation of the meat. Press the tough pieces of meat tightly into a jar, and put just enough water on it to cover it. Note the quantity of water used, and allow two teaspoonfuls of vinegar to a pint of water --a tablespoonful to a quart, and in same proportion for larger quantities. Let this vinegar and water remain upon the meat over night. In the morning cook your meat in whatever way you may please, and it will be tender. The same treatment will make the toughest fowls tender. If the vinegar is not quite good and strong, a larger quantity will be needed. In frying steak, a teaspoonful of vinegar put into a large frying-pan will give the steak a spicy flavor and make it tender. WATCH TOWER readers need never have tough meat hereafter.
YOUR "GOOD HOPES" FOR 1913
[The plan here proposed we designate "GOOD HOPES," because nothing is actually promised--only your generous hopes expressed, based upon your future prospects as they now appear to you. The plan proved not only so beneficial to the cause of Truth, but also so blessed to the hopers, for some years past, that we again commend it to all as Scriptural and good. Those who desire to make use of this plan can fill out both of these memoranda. One should be kept for the refreshment of your memory; the other mail to us.]
"WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY."
Dear Friends:--I have read with interest of the openings for the STUDIES and Tract work in foreign lands and here at home. I need not tell you that I am deeply interested in the spread of the Glad Tidings of the lengths and breadths, the heights and depths of redeeming love expressed for us in God's great Plan of the Ages.
I am anxious to use myself--every power, every talent, voice, time, money, influence, all--to give to others this knowledge, which has so greatly blessed, cheered and comforted my own heart and placed my feet firmly upon the Rock of Ages.
I have been considering carefully, and praying to be instructed, how to use my various talents more to my Redeemer's glory and for the service of His people--those blinded by human tradition who are, nevertheless, hungering for "the good Word of God," and those also who are naked, not having on the wedding garment of Christ's imputed righteousness, the unjustified, who stand at best in the filthy rags of their own righteousness. I have decided that so far as my "money talent" goes, I will follow the rule so clearly laid down for us by the great Apostle Paul (`1 Cor. 16:2`), and will lay aside on the first day of each week, according to my thankful appreciation of the Lord's blessings during the preceding week. Out of this fund I wish to contribute to the several parts of the Lord's work specified on the back of this letter. Of course, I cannot in advance judge or state particularly what the Lord's bounty may enable me to set apart weekly, and hence you will understand the sum indicated to be merely my conjecture or hope, based upon present prospects. I will endeavor to contribute more than I here specify, and should I not succeed in doing as well, the Lord will know my heart, and you, also, will know of my endeavors.
My only object in specifying in advance what I hope to be able to do in this cause is to enable those in charge of the work of publishing and circulating the Tracts, etc., to form estimates, lay plans, make contracts, etc., with some idea of what I will at least try to do in the exercise of this, my highly appreciated privilege.
My present judgment is that during the coming year, by self-denial and cross-bearing, I shall be able to lay aside on the first day of each week for Home and Foreign Mission Work (to assist in circulating SCRIPTURE STUDIES in foreign languages, and in publishing the PEOPLES PULPIT in various languages, and in supplying these gratuitously to brethren who have the heart and opportunity to circulate them widely, and in meeting the expenses of brethren sent out as Lecturers to preach the Divine Plan of Salvation, and in general to be expended as the officers of the Society may deem best), the amount of__________per week.
To comply with United States Postal Laws, all or any portion of my donation may be applied as subscription price for WATCH TOWER or PEOPLES PULPIT sent to the Lord's poor or others, as the Society's officers may deem advisable.
That the work be not hindered, I will endeavor to send you what I shall have laid aside for this cause at the close of each quarter. I will secure a Bank Draft, Express Order or Postal Money Order as I may find most convenient, and will address the letter to
WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY,
BROOKLYN TABERNACLE, 13-17 HICKS ST., BROOKLYN, N.Y. or, London Tabernacle, Lancaster Gate W., England; or,
Flinders Building, Flinders St., Melbourne, Australia.
(Post Office)..................... (State)..................
WATCH TOWER SUBSCRIPTIONS
ON "GOOD HOPES" ACCOUNT.
The friends who contribute to the "Good Hopes" (described on the reverse of this sheet) at times desire to send THE WATCH TOWER to friends who are not yet interested enough to subscribe for themselves, or to deeply interested friends who are too poor to subscribe and backward about accepting our Lord's Poor offer. They are invited to give us such addresses below--the expense to be deducted from their donations. Give full name and address, and write very plainly, please, mentioning the length of the subscriptions.
WATCH TOWER SUBSCRIPTION RENEWALS
Most of our subscriptions end with the year, so we take this opportunity to remark that we shall be glad to hear promptly from such as desire the visits of THE WATCH TOWER continued. The Lord's Poor friends have been requested to send their applications in May. When names are dropped and afterward renewed it makes us unnecessary trouble. When desiring to know date of expiration look on your TOWER wrapper. Date is given in lower left-hand corner.
WATCH TOWER BINDERS
These are substantially made of stiff boards, spring back, and can hold one year's issues of THE WATCH TOWER. They prevent soiling and loss. Price, postpaid, 50c.
CROSS AND CROWN PINS
No. 1. Cross and Crown designs in ten-carat gold, five-eighths inch in diameter. The crown is burnished. The surrounding wreath is brilliant gold. The cross is of dark red enamel, with only the outlines showing gold. The pin has a patent fastening. Price, $1.15.
No. 2. This is exactly the same as No. 1, except that instead of the pin it has a screw-clamp at the back, making it more desirable for men's wear. Price, $1.15.
No. 3. Exactly the same as No. 2, except that it is three-eighths inch in diameter. Price, $1.
No. 4. Exactly the same as No. 1, except that it is three-eighths inch in diameter. Price, $1.
These prices all include postage and are very much less than jewelers would charge, as we have them manufactured in large quantities for your convenience.
CHOICE MOTTO CARDS--1912-1913
We have this season very choice sorts. These cards are made in Europe, hence subject to heavy expenses for freight and duty. Nevertheless, we can supply them in the United States and Canada at less than retail European prices, because we supply them at about cost price--that is to say, about one-half the usual American prices. Besides this, we prepay postage or express charges. Our object is to encourage the embellishment of the homes of the Lord's people with faith-stimulating and courage-inspiring texts tastefully prepared. To facilitate the handling of these motto cards we assort them in packets, carefully packed, at the following prepaid rates:--
No. Mz.--Fifteen small cards, different texts, 50c. pk.
No. Mv.--Eight small and three larger-sized, 50c. pk.
No. Ma.--Fifteen small and six larger, $1.00 pk.
No. Mb.--Six small, six a little larger, and three medium-sized mottoes, $1.00 pk.
No. Mc.--Six small and six medium-sized mottoes, $1.00 pk.
No. Md.--Six small, six a little larger, and three large mottoes, $1.00 pk.
No. Me.--Four large mottoes, $1.00 pk.
Where a Class or several individuals choose to order together to one address we can save a little in the expressage, justifying the offer of five of the One Dollar packets and one of the Fifty-cent packets for Five Dollars, or more, at the same rate, assorted, as you please.
Make your selections carefully, write out your order plainly, stating exactly what is wanted, have money order or check accompany order and be sure to clearly indicate the address to which you desire shipment to be made.
DAILY HEAVENLY MANNA
Those who use this book as we recommend are surely being blessed. It should be on your breakfast table regularly. Its daily text should be read and commented on freely by all. Then the MANNA comment should be read. Introduce it to your friends as a help toward godly living.
The following wholesale rates postpaid are granted to all WATCH TOWER subscribers:
Purple cloth, silver embossed............................$0.35
Dark blue cloth, silver embossed, German................. .35
Leatherette, gold edges.................................. .50
" blue edges, Swedish......................... .35
" gold edges, " ......................... .65
Genuine Morocco, gold edges.............................. 1.10
HYMNS OF DAWN WITH MUSIC
Our readers have for years inquired for this book. We now have it for you in handsome cloth binding and at cost price. It is the best and the cheapest hymn book in the world, at 35 cents per copy, postpaid, and contains 333 of the choicest hymns of all ages. By express, collect, 25 cents each, in any quantity.
POEMS OF DAWN
The best collection of Truth poems. Leather, 50c.; karatol, gold edge, 35c; cloth, 25c. Carriage prepaid.
A PRIVILEGE AND A SERVICE
We are convinced that THE WATCH TOWER lists do not contain the names of one-half of those deeply interested in its teachings. The total is small enough surely, and we are not content that the name of any should be missing. We believe that all such will be stimulated and encouraged on the "narrow way" by its semi-monthly appearance on their table, reminding them afresh of spiritual matters which the world, the flesh and the Devil continually tend to crowd out of mind and heart.
Hitherto we have at times required that all desiring THE WATCH TOWER on credit, or free, as "the Lord's Poor," should make personal application; but now we request every subscriber to inquire among those whom he knows to be interested in Present Truth, and to obtain the consent of all such to send in their subscriptions either on credit or free, as their circumstances may necessitate. Any getting it on credit may at any future time request that the debt be canceled, and we will cheerfully comply. We desire that as nearly as possible THE WATCH TOWER lists shall represent all those deeply interested in its message.
Our object is not the gain of "filthy lucre," but "the perfecting of the saints for the work of ministry"--present and to come. (`Eph. 4:12`.) We offer no premiums, desiring the co-operation of such only as appreciate the privilege of being co-workers with us in this ministry. Our list is now about 35,000; but it should be at least 50,000, and we confidently expect the above program to bring it to that figure. Let as many as appreciate it as a privilege join in this service.
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THE ENDING OF THE GENTILE TIMES
IF IN times past the records of history had been kept as they are at present, there would seem to be no excuse for any discrepancy or misunderstanding on the subject of chronology. But they were not so kept. In olden times it was the custom to date events according to the period of the reigning king, thus: In the third year of the reign of King Cyrus; in the seventh year of the reign of King Solomon, etc. As king followed king, some living a few months, some a few years, some many years, the threads of history were always in danger of becoming entangled. Indeed, no particular necessity was seen for keeping chronological records. Even the Bible merely relates these histories in their order, telling the number of the years of the life or of the reign of each king, without twisting these threads into one common cord of history.
So matters continued, with little effort to arrange an exact chronology of human history, until the Sixth Century A.D. when Dionysius, a Roman abbot, set forth our present method of counting, styled the Christian Calendar. It undertook to mark the beginning of the Christian era with the birth of Christ, reckoned as January 1st. Previous history was reckoned and styled Before Christ (B.C.) and subsequent history was styled Anno Domini (A.D.)--in the year of our Lord.
Whether Dionysius began his A.D. period January 1st, A.D. 1, or whether he began it January 1st, A.D. 0, we may not be sure; neither may we feel too certain whether he began the B.C. dates December 31st, B.C. 0, or December 31st, B.C. 1. For all ordinary purposes this question would be rather immaterial. But it has a very important bearing on our calculation of Gentile Times. Even in this particular the matter seemed less important thirty or forty years ago than it does today; for now as we come down to the close of the Gentile Times we are disposed to give every feature a critical and microscopical examination not thought so necessary some years ago.
Then, we were content to say, "606 B.C. seems a well authenticated date for the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, and B.C. 536 the date when the seventy years' appointed desolation of the land ceased." Our method adopted in the STUDIES IN THE 360 SCRIPTURES was a simple one. We said: 7 The Bible times of Gentile supremacy and --- Israel's rejection equals 7 times 360, or 2,520 2,520 years. From this we deducted the B.C. 606 date before Christ (B.C.) 606. Thus we ----- found the year A.D. 1914. A.D. 1914
AN OPEN QUESTION
Coming now to a very critical examination of the date 536 B.C., there is an open question: Shall we call it 536 full years to A.D., or 434 full years? The difference in time between October 1st and January 1st would be the fourth of a year; hence our query is respecting 536-1/4 or 535-1/4 years B.C. What is the proper method of calculation, is in dispute. If we count the first year B.C. as 0, then the date 536-1/4 B.C. is the proper one for the end of the seventy years of captivity. But if we begin to reckon it by counting the first year before the Christian era as B.C. 1, then evidently the desolation ended 535-1/4 years B.C.
As to the methods of counting, Encyclopaedia Britannica says, "Astronomers denote the year which preceded the first of our era as 0 and the year previous to that as B.C. 1--the previous year B.C. 2, and so on."
Whichever of these ways we undertake to calculate the matter the difference between the results is one year. The seventy years of Jewish captivity ended October, 536 B.C., and if there were 536-1/4 years B.C., then to complete the 2,520 years' cycle of the Times of the Gentiles would require 1913-3/4 years of A.D., or to October, 1914. But if the other way of reckoning were used, then there were but 535-1/4 years of the period B.C., and the remainder of the 2,520 years would reach to A.D., 1914-3/4 years, otherwise October, 1915.
Since this question is agitating the minds of a considerable number of the friends, we have presented it here in some detail. We remind the readers, however, that nothing in the Scriptures says definitely that the
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trouble upon the Gentiles will be accomplished before the close of the Times of the Gentiles, whether that be October, 1914, or October, 1915. The trouble doubtless will be considerable before the final crash, even though that crash come suddenly, like the casting of a great millstone into the sea. (`Rev. 18:21`.) The parallel between the Jewish Harvest and the present Harvest would corroborate the thought that the trouble to the full will be accomplished by October, 1915.
OUR CONSECRATION IS UNTO DEATH
Many of our readers will recall our reference to this subject in a sermon preached at Allegheny, Pa., January 11, 1904, and published in the Pittsburgh Gazette. We make an extract from that sermon as follows:--
"We find, then, that the Seven Times of Israel's punishment and the Seven Times of Gentile dominion are the same; and that they began with the captivity of Zedekiah, and, as will be seen from the Chart, they terminate with the year 1915. According to the best obtainable evidences on the subject, synchronized with the Scriptural testimony, Zedekiah's captivity took place in October, 605-1/4 years before A.D. 1. If we will add to this 1914-3/4 years, we will have the year, October, 1915, as the date for the end of Gentile supremacy in the world--the end of the lease of 2,520 years, which will not be renewed. Instead, He whose right the Kingdom is, shall take possession of it. This, therefore, marks when the Lord Himself shall assume control of the world's affairs, to end its reign of sin and death, and to bring in the True Light."
There surely is room for slight differences of opinion on this subject and it behooves us to grant each other the widest latitude. The lease of power to the Gentiles may end in October, 1914, or in October, 1915. And the period of intense strife and anarchy "such as never was since there was a nation" may be the final ending of the Gentile Times or the beginning of Messiah's reign.
But we remind all of our readers again, that we have not prophesied anything about the Times of the Gentiles closing in a time of trouble nor about the glorious epoch which will shortly follow that catastrophe. We have merely pointed out what the Scriptures say, giving our views respecting their meaning and asking our readers to judge, each for himself, what they signify. These prophecies still read the same to us. Should we ever see reason for changing our belief, be assured we will be prompt to advise you respecting the same and give you the reason for it. However, some may make positive statements of what they know, and of what they do not know, we never indulge in this; but we merely state that we believe thus and so, for such and such reasons.
Many disposed to cavil at every statement of faith respecting the time and ending of this Age and the dawning of the New Age are very positive in their assertions. Some of them declare that surely the end of this Age cannot come for fifty thousand years yet. Others, with
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equal positiveness, declare that it may happen at any moment. Neither one gives any Scriptural proof. Then why should either of them criticize us for merely presenting the Scripture testimonies and our opinions respecting the signification of them, with the request that others investigate and form each his own opinion?
Finally, let us remember that we did not consecrate either to October, 1914, nor to October, 1915, or to any other date, but "unto death." If for any reason the Lord has permitted us to miscalculate the prophecies, the signs of the times assure us that the miscalculations cannot be very great. And if the Lord's grace and peace be with us in the future as in the past, according to His promise, we shall rejoice equally to go or to remain at any time, and to be in His service, either on this side the veil or on the other side, as may please our Master best.
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ADVICE TO PILGRIMS, GOOD FOR ALL
TO THE PILGRIM BRETHREN OF I.B.S.A.
DEAR BRETHREN, BELOVED IN THE LORD:--I know well that as New Creatures your desires are to lay down your life for the Brethren. I know well, also, that the world, the flesh and the adversary (especially the latter) evidently oppose all who seek to walk in the footsteps of Jesus, particularly those in public places and those who are active in the service of the Truth. These attacks come sometimes in one form and sometimes in another--sometimes through too much sympathy and sometimes through too little.
I feel constrained to give you some advice:
Do not do much writing of letters. Experience shows that those Pilgrims who do much of this generally neglect the particular work in which they are supposed to be engaged. If there are questions needing answers, ten words on postcard will refer the friends to THE WATCH TOWER OFFICE, or to STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES. We believe that the results would be far more profitable than if you would attempt to write lengthy discussions. In some instances the friends could be more profited. Is it not wise that we remember St. Paul's exhortation that the eye, the hand, the foot, strive to do its own part as members of the Body of Christ? Your portion, dear Brethren, is a very honorable and important one. We believe that it will need all of your time, if properly attended to.
The forenoons, or times when there are no meetings, we advise that brief visits be made to dear friends of whom you get word that they are sick, or for some other reason have not attended meetings of the Class recently.
Such opportunities not presenting themselves, we suggest that you write a brief synopsis of your principal address (if you give a public one), suitable for the newspapers. This will be a valuable experience to you and may prove acceptable, and thus give the Truth a wider swing. One dear Brother has been very successful in this way. Not being much of a hand at writing nor much of a scholar, he inquired of me if he could use some of my sermons. I gave cheerful consent. Rewriting them, he has been able to get them into numbers of papers, and thus the Truth has been circulated. We wish to give you all this same privilege.
Do not understand by this that we mean for you to go out of the Pilgrim service into the literary work, but merely that you seek for opportunities to write up something that may effect the scattering of the Truth. The time thus employed would be much more useful in the Lord's service than in writing to the friends.
I remember you daily in my petitions at the Throne of Heavenly Grace and hope that I am remembered by you all. Remember me to the dear friends wherever you may go, assuring them that you bear my greetings. As ever,
Yours in the Fellowship of the Anointed,
C. T. RUSSELL.
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SUGGESTIONS FOR BEREAN CLASSES
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--
In sending current report to Tabernacle I feel constrained to express anew my hearty Christian Love for you, as I perceive the activity of our opponents increasing in their efforts to overthrow the work committed to you. You have our prayers, as well as our sympathy, in the trials incidental to the various attacks being made in the public press against you. I feel confident the same Grace which has held you up in the past will prove sufficient to the end.
Most of the classes seem to be leaping forward in the things of the Spirit, as though trying to make amends for past slackness.
I notice a few classes making the serious mistake of thinking a constant change is essential to "keep from getting into a rut." Thus in one class the Lord evidently saw a more competent leader was needed, and He sent a brother to work here who had the necessary qualifications. After serving two six months' terms that spirit of change refused to elect him, or, rather, prompted him to think he ought not to be elected again. The present Elder is a good brother, but the two as Elders together would be able to accomplish manifold more.--`Eccle. 4:9-12`.
That same idea causes this class to shift its meetings around, even including the Sunday services, until some of the irregular attendants are discouraged from going out for fear they will go to one home and find the meeting is not to be held there. That is one reason why they never become regular attendants.
Another thing, some of the classes need advice upon the conduct of Berean classes, as quite a few places where they think they have Berean classes they really have preaching services. The Elder asks the questions, one or two of the friends give a very brief answer, and then the Elder preaches a 10 or 15-minute sermon; this is repeated with next question, and so to the end.
There are some very small and weak classes where I can
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imagine this might be allowable, but in every case where I have found it to be their method there seemed to be no excuse for it.
We have been enjoying very precious fellowship with the Brethren in Illinois, and are greatly rejoicing in the privileges of service in the cause which has as its object the glory of God. With much Christian Love,
Yours in His Precious Name, BENJ. H. BARTON.
THE EDITOR'S REPLY
I embrace this opportunity to endorse the statement of Brother Barton, given above. We need to keep well balanced. While the Classes are to retain the full control of their own affairs, this does not mean that they should ever speak or think slightingly of those whom they have chosen, under what they believe to be Divine Guidance, to be their Elders or leaders. Let us remember the Apostle's words, "Obey those who have the rule over you, and submit yourselves, for they watch for your souls as they that must give account."--`Heb. 13:17`.
A faithful leader, who does not attempt to take the control from the hands of the Class, can be, and should be, trusted greatly. His is a labor of love, and not for filthy lucre; and the love of the whole Class should be freely paid to him as in a measure a reward for his faithfulness in the service. This does not mean that the control should be left in the hands of one Elder, nor that he should feel offended that others should be brought to the front, even if he be the most competent one. As Elder brethren the leaders should be on the lookout to help, encourage and instruct all the younger brethren, and to prepare them for the work of Deacons, and, subsequently, for Eldership.
Some of the Lord's dear people seem a little inclined to run to the extreme. Strong characters are always in danger of going to extremes. The Apostle exhorts, "Let your moderation be known to all." To have our affairs conducted decently and in order is not Babylonish in any evil sense. Can we imagine Heaven as without rules, regulations and order? Do we not recognize that order is Heaven's first law? Does not the Apostle intimate that the Lord is setting the various members in the Body as it pleases Him? Could it be wrong for us to co-operate with God in the recognition of His will and in carrying it out? Surely not! It is just as bad, or even worse, for a small minority to tyrannize over the majority as it would be for a reasonable majority to tyrannize over the minority. The spirit of love bids us remember the Golden Rule, and be as generous to others as we would have them be to us.
I quite agree with Brother Barton's suggestions respecting too great a desire for change. Recently we learned of one Class which rotates its leaders every week. This would not be so bad, of course, for prayer and testimony meeting, though even then it would appear as if a month or a quarter
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would be better for each leader; but in the case of the Berean Studies a weekly change seems very injurious, both for the leader and for the Class. Continuity, connection with previous lessons, is very desirable. We recommend at least three months' incumbency for Berean Study leaders.
RESPECTING BEREAN STUDIES
Brother Barton's suggestion is good, that a successful teacher is one who draws the answers from the Class. It is in this very particular that the Berean Studies are helping the Lord's people more and more. Now, it is true that some persons who have a talent for talking or preaching have insufficient talent for teaching--for drawing answers from the Class. In such a case it might be well to give different Elders an opportunity to show whether they possess aptness to teach, which the Apostle explains to be one of the qualifications of an Elder.
Many Class leaders report that it is impossible for them to get the friends to study the lesson in advance. It is a pity that this is so, but it would not be wise to cause offense to any or to hinder any from attending the meetings by berating them for failure to study the lessons. We advise another course: At the beginning of each study let the pages of Studies in the Scriptures referred to in the lesson be read by some one capable of reading clearly, distinctly, forcefully; and then shut the books and discuss the subject along the lines of the questions. A very helpful way is for the leader to assist by gathering up some of the fragmentary statements of an answer and helping to put them together. The effect is to encourage the answerers for another occasion and to make the answers more valuable for the time. On the whole, the Berean Studies, we are sure, are doing very effective work in grounding and establishing in the Truth.
We urge all the dear brethren that they keep up the regular reading of the STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, ten to twelve pages a day, wholly regardless of the Berean lessons. What will be read will be so much of aid in connection with the lesson studies.
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AN INTERESTING LETTER
PASTOR RUSSELL:--May I write you my joyful experience in which our dear Father so clearly used you and a tract.
In 1879 I joined a church in a small town where the religious atmosphere seemed to be good. After some years I moved to a city and at once I identified myself with the church there. I soon noticed the absence of the simplicity of religion, and the prevalence of form and ceremony, including many kinds of entertainments to raise money. I grew dissatisfied; and though still loyal to the creed, I only attended the services intermittently.
Last August while homeward bound on the car I sat beside a lady who quietly handed me a folded PEOPLES PULPIT asking me that I read it and pass it on to others. Simply because her quiet manner attracted me I said "Yes." I did not think of the paper for several days and then felt too busy to take the time. This occurred several times until finally I remembered my promise to the woman and read the article "Where are the Dead" aloud to my companion.
Finding the STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES advertised therein she purchased them for me as a present.
From the beginning our hearts and minds accepted all from cover to cover, because the Bible was clearly proving them. Oh, the years of heart hunger; and never to have heard of the STUDIES nor the Truth!
Later in the Spring we heard you in Boston and Malden.
I now have all the STUDIES, BEREAN NOTES, WATCH TOWER, etc. Truly much has come to us in one year--the satisfying of the longing of a lifetime. May the dear Father abundantly bless "the faithful steward"; and the dear unknown sister in the Truth who first gave me the PULPIT. In her longing to help one she helped two; and I anxiously give out PULPITS to others, as she asked, "pass it on." This at present seems all I can do.
I gladly and prayerfully take the Vow trusting to the Father's sustaining grace to keep it.
NELLIE J. WENTWORTH.
BEREAN QUESTIONS IN SCRIPTURE STUDIES
Series VI., Study XII.--Marital and Other Privileges and Obligations of the New Creation.
Read P. 501, par. 1 to P. 505, par. 1.
(27) What difficulties may arise in the case of two New Creatures well mated, who should in time become mis-mated? P. 501, par. 1; P. 502, par. 1.
(28) Explain the difficulties arising from a case of husband and wife mis-mated physically and spiritually, and the proper conduct of the husband who is a New Creature. P. 502, par. 2.
(29) Where the wife is a member of the New Creation, but well-mated naturally to a worldly husband, what is the situation? And what course should be taken by the wife? P. 503, par. 1.
(30) Where two are "unequally yoked," and are additionally mis-mated naturally, the wife being the superior, what counsel is offered by the Apostle? P. 504, par. 1.
(31) What is the principal point to be kept clearly in mind by the believer? And under what condition only may the New Creature re-marry in case of divorce? P. 504, par. 2.
(32) Should the text, "If the unbelieving depart, let him depart," be understood to grant liberty to the deserted one to re-marry? And what is signified by "constructive desertion"? P. 505, par. 1.
Read P. 505, par. 2 to P. 512, par. 2.
(33) What course is a husband thus "deserted" permitted to pursue? P. 505, par. 2.
(34) Under what conditions may a wife consider herself "deserted," and what are her liberties in such an event? P. 506, par. 1; P. 507, par. 1.
(35) Why should we not be surprised if such trials come to us? And what is the Scriptural admonition regarding a way of escape? P. 507, par. 2.
CONSCIENCE, THE FINAL TEST.
(36) What is conscience? And how should the New Creation so educate their consciences that they may become proper guides? P. 508.
EUNUCHS, VIRGINS, CELIBACY.
(37) The teaching and example of our Lord, and the judgment of the Apostle Paul concerning celibacy. `Matt. 19:12`; `1 Cor. 7:25-40`? P. 509 to P. 512 may be read aloud and discussion avoided.
(38) Would it be proper, after marriage, for either husband or wife or both to decide upon a celibate life? (`1 Cor. 7:3-9`.) This question might properly be answered merely by the reading of the reference. P. 512, par. 1, 2.
Read P. 513, par. 1 to P. 517, par. 1.
"ONLY IN THE LORD."
(39) Why is so important a matter as matrimony entered into with so little forethought or wisdom? And what is the proper view of human nature? P. 513, par. 1, 2.
(40) What rules and circumstances should be observed by even natural men and women in selecting life-companions? P. 513, par. 3.
(41) What further admonitions would apply to New Creatures who may decide to marry? P. 514, par. 1; P. 515, par. 1.
(42) What does "in the Lord" signify? P. 515, par. 2.
(43) If marriage were more generally considered from this high point of view, what would be the result? P. 516, par. 1.
(44) What special protection have New Creatures in the matter of marriage, whether it result favorably or unfavorably? And what fact should constantly be kept uppermost in their minds? P. 517, par. 1.
Study XIII.--Parental Obligations of the New Creation.
Read P. 519, par. 1 to P. 522, par. 1.
(1) The proper standpoint from which the pro-creative power of man as God's agent should be considered. Read P. 519, par. 1.
(2) This feeling of responsibility be intensified by a realization of pre-natal influences! Read P. 519, par. 2.
(3) Is it proper to attribute all the evil in the world to heredity? P. 520, par. 1.
(4) Would the birth of a perfect child be possible under present conditions? P. 520, par. 2.
(5) What advantage should New Creatures have over the rest of mankind in the propagation and training of children? P. 521, par. 1.
(6) What lessons may be learned from scientific experiments among the lower animals? P. 521, par. 2; P. 522, par. 1.