ZWT - 1908 - R4114 thru R4300 / R4220 (241) - August 15, 1908
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VOL. XXIX. AUGUST 15 No. 16
A.D. 1908--A.M. 6036
Our Western Convention Tour.......................243
General Convention, Aug. 29-Sept. 7...............244
The Changed Heaven and Earth......................246
A Friend in Need a Friend Indeed..................246
The Basis of Loving Friendship................247
How Love May be Developed.....................247
"Do Good to Them That Hate You"...................249
"Deliver Thee Out of All Tribulation".........250
No Murderer in the Kingdom....................251
Some Who Have Vowed are Blest.....................252
LETTERS FOR THE EDITOR SHOULD BE SENT TO ALLEGHENY, PA., U.S.A.
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ENTERED AS SECOND CLASS MAIL MATTER AT ALLEGHENY, PA., POST OFFICE.
THIS JOURNAL IS PUBLISHED IN THE FRENCH, GERMAN, SWEDISH, DANISH AND ITALIAN LANGUAGES. SAMPLE COPIES FREE.
DATES OF BEREAN LESSONS
The Berean Lessons of our last issue, August 1st, by error were dated August instead of September. Please correct with pencil.
"MARKED" NEW TESTAMENTS
We still have some of the "Marked" New Testaments (passages relating to ransom and salvation marked); in cloth binding, 15c each, including postage.
NEW WATCH TOWER BIBLES
Our new edition will be ready about Oct. 1, but in our next issue we hope to be able to give a full description of the various styles and bindings and prices, so that you may be able to order in advance. Do not send money until you have full particulars.
ANSWERS TO YOUR LETTERS
Brother Russell would gladly answer every letter received, but with so large a mail this is impossible. Please accept the TOWERS and DAWNS as answers, with occasionally a post card or letter if some queries of your letters make this necessary. He is glad to have your letters, to know of the joy you have in taking and keeping the Vow, and that it assists you to "A closer walk with God."
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OUR WESTERN CONVENTION TOUR
SUNDAY, July 5th, was Pittsburg's Convention day. The morning session was devoted to the exposition of the doctrine of Baptism. The afternoon service for the public was held in Alvin Theatre. There were about 1,000 present, of whom about one-half were strangers. Close attention was given to our topic, "Where are the Dead?" The evening service at Bible House Chapel was a Question Meeting, after which we took train on our western journey--accompanied to the depot by about a dozen of the friends.
We stopped over with the Indianapolis friends and had a delightful meeting with about fifty-five of them from 8 to 10 a.m. We remarked the love for the Truth which would bring together nearly the entire class on a Monday morning. They came not from curiosity--to see the speaker--for they had seen and heard him many times. They came not "to hear some new thing," for they are already well acquainted with the Divine Plan of the Ages, and knew that only "the old, old story" would be presented. Evidently the attraction was in the rehearsing of the old message of "love divine, all love excelling."
Little Rock, Arkansas, was reached early on Tuesday, July 7. A little group awaited our arrival at the depot and greeted us most heartily. From 10.30 to 12 we talked to about sixty on the precious things of the divine plan--especially exhorting the interested. The afternoon session was for the public and was well attended for a week-day afternoon. About 200 to 250 very intelligent people listened with manifest interest for nearly two hours. We met with some of the dear friends in a social way until train time, a considerable number accompanying us to the depot.
Houston, Tex., was reached on Wednesday at 5 p.m. All the sessions were held in the Public Park Theatre--two of them for the interested and two for the public. The attendance at the former was about 100 and at the latter between 500 and 600. The interest was good.
San Antonio, Texas, was reached next morning. An enthusiastic group met us at the depot and after refreshments we addressed quite a good congregation for an hour and a half, the essence of our theme being "Love the principal thing," and therefore the final test of saintly character. An afternoon meeting with the elders of the congregation took two hours and then we addressed the friends for an hour on the delusions coming on the world which, "if it were possible, would deceive the very Elect."
The evening meeting for the public was in the Opera House, and surely brought the Truth to a large and very intelligent audience. We have excellent hopes for the results, but they of course are wholly in the Lord's hands. It is ours to do our best to present the Truth, but not ours to give the hearing ear.
Dallas, Texas, was reached in season for a Saturday morning discourse to the interested. The session had already started with a Testimony Meeting and a delegation awaited our train and escorted us to the Maccabees' Temple. On our arrival the congregation of nearly 300 arose and joined in singing, "Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love."
The afternoon session was addressed by Pilgrim Hoskins with excellent acceptance, and the evening meeting was held on Brother Rust's lawn in the suburbs. About 200 attended. The first hour was occupied by six speakers for ten minutes each and then we spoke for about an hour and a quarter on "the evil day" and its peculiar testings and needs for grace from on high.
Pilgrim Parker addressed the Convention at its Sunday morning session and quite evidently pleased and edified those who heard.
The afternoon session was specially for the public, the topic being, "Where are the Dead?" The audience was estimated at 700 and excellent attention was given. Our Sunday evening discourse to the interested has already been published and has reached many of you through the Dispatch, Enquirer and other journals.
The Monday morning session of the Convention opened with a discourse on Baptism, by Brother Coward, and was followed by an immersion service. The afternoon session concluded the Convention, and consisted of brief addresses by a number of brethren, covering various phases of Love. We can give no particulars of Monday's sessions because we left at six a.m. for our next appointment.
Oklahoma City, Okla., was reached about five p.m., Monday, July 13th. Our reception began at once as we alighted from the train; about 106 greeting us with hearty hand-shakes. It was our first visit to the friends of these parts, and we met the majority for the first time and received a hearty welcome.
The evening service was for the public--"To Hell and Back," etc. About 500 heard for the first time and very attentively. The friends believe that a favorable impression
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was made for the truth. The meeting on the 14th was at Brother Young's home. About 125 were present and we had a very enjoyable time for three hours. A portion of the time was devoted to answering questions and the remainder to the discussion of Baptism. In the afternoon eleven were immersed in the White Temple Baptist Church, while others who would have been glad to do so, were prevented by our lack of time, but will be immersed later on the occasion of a Pilgrim's visit to their home towns. About 20 of the friends accompanied us on the north-bound train, getting off at various stations within 60 miles. But some of the dear friends drove as much as 65 miles.
Topeka, Kansas, our next stop, was reached early, but two dear brethren met us, arising about three o'clock to do so. The morning session was a Rally and Testimony Meeting, in which we participated, appropriating the larger share of the time. The afternoon discourse for the interested was along the lines of Preparation for the Kingdom. The evening topic was for the public at The Auditorium. We had an excellent hearing and we trust for fruit to our labors ere long. About 80 visitors were present, some coming over 100 miles. The attendance at the public service was estimated at 550.
St. Joseph, Mo., was reached the next day in season for a Morning Rally in the Y.M.C.A. Chapel. We heard some warm, loving testimonies to the power of the truth and the joys of living in full consecration to the Lord. Then we spoke for one hour on Baptism and its symbol, following which about 13 were baptized in water, confessing their death with Christ and their hope to live with him through the power of the First Resurrection.
The afternoon subject in the same chapel to the interested set forth some of the evidences that we are in that "evil day," and pointed out some of the safeguards which the Lord has been providing during this "harvest" time, and the necessity for our appropriating these before the "overflowing scourge shall come" (`Isa. 28:18`), and before "the enemy shall come in like a flood."--`Isa. 59:18-20`.
The public session was in the evening at the Opera House. It had evidently been well advertised, for we had a splendid audience, estimated at 1100, which gave close attention. Brother Senor (at whose home we were entertained most hospitably) and several others accompanied us the following morning to our next appointment.
Kansas City friends met us at the depot, and soon a Testimony Rally was in progress at the Music Academy engaged for the entire day. We had an excellent season of refreshing with the local Church and friends from surrounding parts--hearing their testimonies to God's grace and giving them ours. The afternoon service was for the interested and the evening session for the public. We believe that some good was accomplished and a blessing carried away by all the truth-hungry.
Joplin, Mo., was our next stop and a very enjoyable one it was. All meetings were held in the fine new Opera House. The morning Testimony Rally was followed by a discourse for the interested, and the afternoon session was for the public, while before and after each session we greeted the friends. Some had come long distances to the meeting, and not by word only but by the earnestness of their hand-clasps and the moisture of their eyes did they tell us of their love, and of the blessings the Lord had graciously poured upon them through the channel of Present Truth. We were informed that seven "Reverends" were present at the public service, which was well attended for a very hot week-day afternoon.
A goodly crowd assembled at the railway station to say a final good-bye and two accompanied us to St. Louis. As our train pulled out the throng was singing--Praise to him by whose kind favor heavenly truth has reached our ears.
St. Louis was duly reached next morning (Sunday, July 19). The Colporteurs had claimed the privilege of being the Reception Committee to meet our train, and there they were for nearly three hours because of a misunderstanding as to which train to meet. We had a most cordial reception also at the general meeting for the interested, which we addressed for nearly two hours.
The public service was held in The Odean, from 2:20 to 4:40. About 1100 were in attendance notwithstanding the oppressive heat. We had a joyful time telling the good tidings to so many whose interest was manifest by their close attention. A brother owning an automobile took us quickly to the five p.m. train. We reached home next morning-- the entire circuit having been covered in one night more than two weeks.
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GENERAL CONVENTION AUGUST 29 TO SEPTEMBER 7, 1908
ON PUT-IN-BAY ISLAND, LAKE ERIE, AND ABOUT THIRTY MILES FROM TOLEDO, TEN MILES FROM SANDUSKY, SIXTY MILES FROM CLEVELAND, FIFTY MILES FROM DETROIT
WHAT we anticipate as the most blessed convention our Society has ever held has been provided for as above. We have arranged for the exclusive use of Hotel Victory, which is located about two miles from the steamboat landing and reached by an electric car line. The seclusion from the world and its affairs will, we trust, be conducive to our highest spiritual profit, and the nine days will give opportunity for reasonable rest and refreshment of body as well as of mind. Jesus said to his disciples, Let us turn aside and rest for a season, and we may do well to follow their example.
The hotel grounds are spacious and beautifully kept and the house itself is an exceptional one. Besides large parlors and dining rooms it has more than 675 large, airy bed rooms. Experience shows that to enjoy spiritual refreshment we need to be physically comfortable and this comfort the Lord seems to have arranged for us on this occasion.
The hotel management agrees to provide a very large tent, with a capacity of three or four thousand, and chairs on the hotel grounds. There is also on the premises a large swimming pool, where baptism may be symbolized. One of the main features of the Convention, we expect, will be the personal fellowship which the friends will surely enjoy.
THE EXPENSE MODERATE
Hotel Victory prices generally range from four to five dollars per day, but by our special contract with the management, and on an assurance that our people, although not wealthy, are genteel and refined, and that probably not a single cigar-stump or tobacco-quid will be dropped, our rates will be as follows: Six persons in a room, 50 cents per day each; two persons in a room, 75 cents per day each; one person in a room, $1.50.
Meals will be provided on the hotel plan at 40 cents each, and on the home plan, a general table and general dishes, at 25 cents each. Besides, there will be a lunch-counter, at which sandwiches, cakes, pies, milk, coffee and tea may be had at five cents for each item. Thus it will be possible to regulate one's eating according to his appetite and pocket-book. We advise, however, that no one calculate on less than $1.25 per day.
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Friends from the west and south of Toledo will surely do best if they purchase "G.A.R. Encampment tickets" to Toledo and return. The Western Railroad Association has already "agreed to a rate of one and one-half cents per mile from all Missouri River points," and the Southern Association, we learn, "will give a one-cent rate." Probably by Convention time the Central Railroad Association will make some extra concession also. Such information, however, must be obtained from your Railway Ticket Agent. As for other points east of Toledo and in Canada each must determine for himself what will be the most economical arrangement. The Canadian friends should inquire for Excursion Tickets to the WATCH TOWER SOCIETY'S CONVENTION on the Certificate Plan--either to Detroit or Buffalo. Buy boat tickets separately. Be sure to get your Certificate. New York and New England friends may find this ticket cheaper than the G.A.R. rate and should inquire.
BOAT EXCURSION RATES
We have a boat rate from Toledo to Put-in-Bay and return for 50 cents. The Cleveland boat rate is $1.00; the Detroit boat charges the same for round-trip. The Buffalo rate to Put-in-Bay for the round-trip will be only $3.50. Ask for boat excursion tickets to the WATCH TOWER SOCIETY'S CONVENTION at Put-in-Bay.
The Buffalo boat leaves at night, and Put-in-Bay is reached about noon of next day. The Cleveland boat leaves in the morning at 8:15 and reaches the Bay at noon. The Toledo boat leaves in the morning at 8:15, reaching the Bay at noon. But as Toledo will be crowded, and as most of the friends will embark there, we have chartered a night boat to leave at ten p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights, August 28 and 29, at same rate; 50 cents for the round-trip.
APPLY FOR ACCOMMODATIONS SOON
The hotel will be able to accommodate 2500 people; it is quite possible that the attendance may exceed that number, and provision has been made for some to be lodged in cottages not far distant from the hotel. However, those who desire rooms to themselves, or where six of one sex prefer to be in a room together, it would be safe to make application in advance. Address Hotel Victory, Put-in-Bay, Ohio.
Although each individual can buy his ticket as cheaply as others, some may desire to go in company with others for the sake of the fellowship. Thus a considerable number will be going from Pittsburgh via Cleveland, rate $7 for the round-trip, or 70 cents less where ten or more ride on a "party
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ticket." Leave via P.R.R. Friday, Aug. 28, midnight. Sleeper $1.50 extra. If going, advise at once "Convention Dept."
Similar companies will be starting from Cincinnati, St. Louis, Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Buffalo, New York, Washington and Boston. Those who desire to join any of these companies we shall be pleased to supply with proper directions, which should reach you at least a week in advance of the Convention date. The Chicago friends advise that they will have a special train via the WABASH RAILROAD on August 28th. Any desirous of joining them may address Dr. L. W. Jones, 2024 Washington Boulevard, Chicago.
PREREQUISITE TO A BLESSING
Let us not forget, dear friends, that no matter how beautiful the surroundings and favored are the conditions and fellowship, our share in the blessing will be proportionate to our readiness of heart to receive it! Let each one purposing to attend prepare his heart in advance for a blessing; the words of the Apostle constitute one of the best prescriptions we know of for such preparation; he says, "Let us put away all filthiness of the flesh and of the spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord." (`2 Cor. 7:1`.) With prayer and supplication let our request for the divine blessing be presented at the throne of grace, that the Lord may open to us the windows of heaven and pour out such a blessing as we shall not be able to contain--such a blessing as will overflow from those who attend the Convention to the other dear ones at home not thus privileged.
The condition upon which the Lord promises this out-pouring of his blessing is that we bring our tithes into the storehouse; that we pay our vows unto the Lord; that we seek to appreciate and live up to our consecration, and to develop in harmony therewith more and more of the spirit of our Master--the spirit of Love. Come desirous of an opportunity for comforting and strengthening and refreshing others as well as with the desire to be comforted yourself. Thus drawing nigh to the Lord according to his arrangements we shall be sure to have his smile and his blessing.
We were obliged to abandon the project of coming to Pittsburgh for the closing Sunday of the Convention, for two reasons: (1) The expense would be considerable. (2) The fatigue incident to such a program would be too great for the majority. Discerning this we considered whether it might be the Lord's will to have the entire Convention at Pittsburg, and we allowed the matter to be decided by our ability or inability to secure a suitable Convention Hall upon satisfactory terms. The result was our decision in favor of the quiet and restful season at Put-in-Bay for this year. Possibly the way may be open for a Pittsburgh Convention some time again, but we concede that Convention facilities here are not very favorable at present.
Brother Russell expects to be at the Put-in-Bay Convention during its first Sunday, August 30, and during some of the week-days following, returning to Pittsburgh for Sunday, September 6th.
COLPORTEURS AT THE CONVENTION
Just in time, we trust, we have heard from the dear friend of the truth who last year assisted to the Convention the Colporteurs needing help. He writes:--
"I dearly love the noble band of Colporteurs although not privileged to be one of them. Their heroism in leaving home and earthly comforts to preach the 'glad tidings' and to assist the Lord's poor, blinded sheep out of Babylon, specially appeals to me. I can well realize what a treat to such are the Conventions--what an uplift! I wanted to do this year as I did last year to assist some of them, but I learn that their number has increased, besides the year being less prosperous proportionately more may request the aid. What shall I do with no more money at my disposal?
"I think of only one way of discriminating, and so (without any reflection on those who have not taken it), I decide to favor those who have taken "the Vow" published in the June 15 TOWER, which I also have taken and which I heartily commend to all in all of its provisions.
"My offer then is this: I will pay through your Colporteur Department ONE-HALF OF THE MINIMUM EXPENSES of any Regular Colporteur on your list who has made reports or ordered books during June and July and whose financial condition makes necessary this aid, in order to his or her attendance at the General Convention at Put-in-Bay. Please publish the offer in the WATCH TOWER, but withhold my name."
These funds will be disbursed at the Convention. Buy excursion tickets. The hotel expenses will amount generally to as much or more than the ticket; if not, write to the Colporteur Department at once.
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THE CHANGED HEAVEN AND EARTH
"Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the works of thine hands: They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they shall all wax old as doth a garment; and as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed; but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail."--`Heb. 1:10-12`.
THESE words are a quotation by the Apostle from `Psalm 102:25,26`. They are used to attest the fact that God had foreordained that our Lord Jesus should be very great--should be superior to all change. We quite agree with the Apostle's argument in our text and its context. However, a question arises in the minds of some as to how this declaration agrees with some Scriptural statements to the effect that the earth abideth forever, etc.
We have already shown in DAWN-STUDIES, Vol. I, and elsewhere, that the words "heaven" and "earth" are used in a figurative and symbolical sense in the Scriptures, as well as literally. We have shown that as symbols they represent the present order of things, which is to pass away and give place to a new order of things. We have shown that this is the sense of the Apostle Peter's argument when he speaks of the world that now is and the present heavens and earth, which are to pass away with a great noise (`2 Pet. 3:10`), and to be supplanted by the new heavens and new earth. As already shown, we understand that our physical earth has been the basis for "the world that was," "the present evil world," and "the world to come," and that the word "world," even in this instance, signifies the order of things that was, the order of things that is, and the order of things to come. The figure is carried out in detail by speaking of it as a heaven and earth, because the word "earth" is used to represent the earthly systems, social and political, while the word "heaven" is used to represent the higher, the ecclesiastical, the spiritual things connected therewith. Thus, the heaven and earth which were before the flood perished, disappeared; not the literal heaven nor the literal earth, but the symbolical or figurative. That social order, or earth, that prevailed before the flood passed away, and at the same time there passed also the spiritual or superior rule of the angels which was connected with that epoch which preceded the flood. After the flood, a new order of things was instituted; society was reorganized under new conditions, but on the same physical earth, and a new spiritual government or rule or order obtained also. It is this symbolic heaven and earth that was organized after the flood which is to pass away with a great noise at the second coming of our Lord--not the physical earth nor the physical heaven. Similarly we understand the Apostle, "We look for a new heaven and a new earth," to refer not to some other planet, but to this same one, and to imply a new social order of things and a new ecclesiastical order or rule.
In view of these things, we feel justified in interpreting the words of our text in harmony with the other Scriptures referring to the changes of dispensation which are foretold to be coming to the world.
Hence, while agreeing with the Apostle's argument that our Lord Jesus was the Father's active agent in the creation of the physical earth and physical heaven, we understand the real thought to be that with him there will be no change, but with his creation, there will be change--not as respects the matter and form of the earth, but in respect to its highest interest, its social and religious order. To elaborate the statement further: The order which our Lord originally established in the world was right and proper--the Divine order. As for the earth, Adam was its king, created in the image and likeness of his Creator and given dominion over the beast of the field, the fowl of the heaven and the fish of the sea. As for the spiritual heavens, they recognized the supremacy of the Almighty and that his will must be law to mankind. This beautiful arrangement originally established by our Lord was changed twice by sin, until today we have what is known as "This Present Evil World," in which neither the heavens nor the earthly ideals, regulations and arrangements, are in harmony with the original, but on the contrary, are quite unfit and ready for dissolution. They are about to be folded up and to be changed. They need a change, not because of any imperfection in the original arrangement, but because it was departed from through sin, disobedience and the penalty death. The new heaven and earth which the Lord will establish by his Millennial Kingdom reign will be the original
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restored. The law of love will then prevail amongst perfect men, and a direct responsibility will be realized to God, the giver of every good and perfect gift, and to the Lord Jesus, who not only was the Father's prime minister and agent in creation, but who during the next age will be the Father's prime minister and agent in bringing all things back to their primeval condition with added splendors.
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A FRIEND IN NEED A FRIEND INDEED
--`I SAMUEL 20:30-42`.--AUGUST 23.--
Golden Text:--"A friend loveth at all times,
and a brother is born for adversity."
HISTORY does not record a more touching story of love than that which existed between Jonathan and David. Both were noble characters, capable of loving deeply, intensely, although in many respects they were men of entirely different stamp. David was the more versatile, His is the broadest character on record; says Charles Reade:--
"In holy writ Moses, Elijah and Paul; in profane history Solon, Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, Napoleon and others excelled David in one quality or another. But David presents a greater number of distinct and striking features than any one of those great men; and that is why I style him the widest character on record--a shepherd, a soldier, a courtier, a famous friend, a fugitive, a captor, a marauder, a general, a king, a statesman, an exile, a priest, a prophet, a saint, a criminal, a penitent, and nothing by halves. His character was a harp of many strings."
Jonathan, the son of King Saul and heir apparent to the throne of Israel, had also noble qualities. He was a faithful son, who alone could comfort his father in his times of disappointment. He showed himself an able warrior and displayed great faith in God; and his religious nature was apparently as fully developed as was that of David. Evidently these elements of honesty and devotion and reverence for God which these two men perceived in each other, constituted
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the basis of the great friendship which so spontaneously knit their hearts together in a wonderful bond of friendship --love. Indeed, according to the entire account, Jonathan would seem to have been the larger of these two great souls and his love the greater. From this standpoint alone, since love is the principal thing in the world, Jonathan may be considered to be one of the grandest characters in the world; for he loved much and against his own interests.
DEEP FRIENDSHIP FOR HIS RIVAL
At times friendships spring up based upon mutual admiration, and often with a measure of selfishness in cooperation. But in the instance under consideration selfishness would have operated against the friendship; it is, therefore, a sample of disinterested love. Every success and honor that came to David raised him as a popular idol to the place which Jonathan to a considerable extent had held. Every advancement of David meant the preparation of the people to receive him instead of Jonathan as Saul's successor. The king saw this, so did Jonathan; but they were reversely affected by it. The king was made jealous, angry; Jonathan, reversely, loved his rival, and that from the time of their first meeting, on which occasion he gave to David his armor and court robes. (`1 Sam. 18:4`.) We read, "The soul of Jonathan was knit unto the soul of David"; their natures interwove, intermixed--a beautiful description of the purest and truest of love. Alexander White says:
"Had I read, 'Jonathan loved David as his own soul,' for once only I should have passed it by as hyperbole,... but as I read again the rest of the story, I found myself saying to the sacred writer, 'Lo, in all this speakest thou plainly, and speakest no hyperbole.'"
THE BASIS OF LOVING FRIENDSHIP
Friendship love is not a miracle, but results from certain combinations. The one we love need not of necessity be just like ourselves, but rather would appeal to us more as a counterpart possessing qualities which we admire, but do not so strongly possess. Darkness, however, never loved the light; the light never loves darkness. Hence for friendship-love on a noble plane both friends must have high ideals, noble aspirations, even though they may have these in different measure. Each should see in the other something to esteem and to look up to; although in the case of the Almighty this cannot be true; his love for us must be chiefly along the lines of sympathy for us and appreciation of our endeavors to attain to his character standards. We may be sure, too, that in Jonathan's case reverence for the Lord had much to do with estopping any feeling of rivalry and with encouraging his admiration for his rival. Who will not admit that such an appreciation of the divine will and providences would be a help to all friendship, a hindrance to all spirit of rivalry and in general a most valuable uplift in every Christian character? How much it means to us in the way of contentment to know that our heavenly Father is at the helm as respects all the affairs of his people! How much rest it permits in our own hearts! How much meekness, gentleness, kindness and love it prompts toward others, both to realize that they as well as ourselves are subjects of divine care, and to have a heart so fully submitted to the Lord as to desire that his will shall be done irrespective of our own temporal interests or those of others.
Undoubtedly this was the good basis of Jonathan's love; and undoubtedly it is the fruitful soil out of which all proper love amongst the Lord's people will be developed. We must love the Lord with all our heart, mind, soul and strength before we shall be prepared to love our neighbor as ourselves, and to wish for him the same riches of grace that we desire for ourselves under the Lord's providences. Still more is it necessary to have this supreme love for God before we could in any measure approximate the degree of love which the Lord set before his followers as a new commandment, saying, "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another as I have loved you." Jonathan's love approximated this Christian love, this self-sacrificing love which so loved his neighbor as to delight to see that neighbor have the Lord's blessing upon him, even while this meant his own loss of honor, prestige and kingly power. Oh, that such love as this might more and more prevail in the hearts of the New Creation! It is to such that the Apostle says, "Let the brother of high degree rejoice in that he is abased, and the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted"--under the Lord's providences.
A DAVID AND JONATHAN BOND
It is not necessary for us to form a society for the propagation of the Jonathan and David bond of love amongst us as the Lord's people. We have this organization which inculcates a love that is even greater. The head, the chief, the center of this organization is our Lord Jesus Christ, who not only exhorted us to the highest conceptions and practices of love, but exemplified this in himself when he laid down his life, not only for his friends, but also for his enemies. "Greater love hath no man than this." This greatest of all lovers, our Lord Jesus Christ, has organized an association of lovers, and has made membership therein dependent upon the willingness of his followers to take up the cross and follow him, to lay down their lives for the brethren.
Only those who have made such a consecration of faithfulness to the Captain, faithfulness to the spirit of love, faithfulness to one another as members of the Body of the Anointed--only these are admitted to membership in this exclusive society, "The Church of the Living God, whose names are written in heaven." And more than this, the founder of our society has told us that he is the Vine and we are the branches; and that every branch in him that beareth not this fruit of love will be taken away, cut off from the Vine, disassociated from membership in this blessed Church. He assures us further, that our faithfulness to our covenant with this true Vine will bring upon us purgings, prunings from the great Husbandman, that he may develop in us more and more the fruits of the Spirit, the fruit of the Vine--meekness, gentleness, brotherly kindness, love; that these graces may be in us and abound; that thereby the Father may be glorified and blessed, and that we may be made ready, "meet for the inheritance of the saints in light."
So then we see that we need no special organization, but are already members of such a company, if so be that we are disciples of Christ and united to him as members of the New Creation.
HOW LOVE MAY BE DEVELOPED
David, the younger man of the two, as we have seen, possessed by nature a deep, generous character, capable of intense love, but apparently time was required for its development. And as we perceive Jonathan's love for him, the brighter and more intense at first, we find that David's love was drawn forth, that he loved in return, just as God's love
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was first toward us and subsequently our love drew out toward him increasingly. Our lesson tells us how Jonathan endeavored to preserve peace between the king and David, but finding his father intent upon killing his friend, he took occasion to forewarn David that he must flee, as matters had come to that pass where his life would be unsafe anywhere near the king. This warning was given by a previous arrangement in a field at a distance from the palace. David was hidden behind a great rock. As an excuse, Jonathan went forth to practice archery, with a lad accompanying him to bring back the arrows. His real mission, however, was to advise David whether or not he must flee that vicinity. His words to the lad, "Make speed, haste, stay not," while appropriate to the arrows, were really intended for David, that he might know the urgency of the situation. Then, sending the boy with the weapons to the palace, Jonathan concluded that he must risk a few moments with his friend. By this time David was realizing the depth of Jonathan's love, which had been proved in so many ways and now finally in his willingness to protect David's life, when it would have been to his own interest to permit his father to wreak vengeance upon David. Such a love is rarely known, except amongst the saints; and alas, we fear not too much experienced even amongst these. When, however, we do find a friend who sticketh closer than a brother, we properly appreciate him all the more because of the rarity of his kind.
At this meeting David bowed himself three times to the earth, an eastern custom expressive of humility and appreciation. The friends kissed each other and wept one with another, David ultimately appearing to be the more heartbroken of the two. Although confident in the Lord, he was leaving his home to be an outcast--an outlaw. He not only was losing the companionship of his dear friend Jonathan, but he would be considered by many of the people of his own nation as a traitor, because of the king's opposition and the necessity it would put upon him for becoming a kind of brigand. Then it was that Jonathan said to him, "Go in peace; forasmuch as we have sworn both of us in the name of the Lord, saying, The Lord shall be between thee and me and between thy seed and my seed forever." They parted, according to the record, and never met again except once, a year or two later, when David was pursued by Saul. Then Jonathan went again to his friend to comfort him and "strengthened his hand in God."--`1 Sam. 23:16`.
A glimpse of David's estimation of Jonathan and his love is given in what is termed "The Song of the Bow," David's touching lament at the death of his friend Jonathan. He exclaims, "I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan. Very pleasant hast thou been unto me; thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women." (`2 Sam. 1:26`.) But we, dear friends, know of a still more wonderful love than this, of which we sometimes sing,
"Love of Jesus, all divine,
Fill this longing heart of mine."
Love begets love; and so the Scriptures tell us that it was not that we first loved God, but that he first loved us and manifested his love for us in the gift of his Son. So it was the love of Jesus that attracted us and drew forth our love in response. And day by day, as we come to appreciate more and more the heights and depths and lengths and breadths of the love of God and of Christ, which passes all human understanding, the more our love toward them will increase and abound. And as it increases we ourselves become more Godlike and correspondingly also from us proceeds a love for others who love us not; and our love for them will excite the love of some in return, and lead them to a greater appreciation of this principle which stands in opposition to the spirit of the world, the love of the world, the selfishness of the world. Let us then seek to cultivate this godlike quality. Let us notice not only that the Scriptures declare love to be the principal thing in the world, but that it is the very essence of the divine character, the very essence of the divine law which is fulfilled in this one word, Love. Let us remember then that in the exercise of this quality we are preparing ourselves for the glorious possibilities to which we have been invited, and which by our Lord's grace we are seeking to obtain by making our calling and election sure.
In the Scriptures sharp contrasts are drawn; and while this love of Jonathan, and the love of the Father and of the Son are set forth as worthy of emulation, another kind of character is also pictured, as when our Lord is represented in the Psalms as saying respecting Judas, "Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me." (`Psa. 41:9`.) Let us see to it that this spirit of love, our spirit of friendship, proceeds, from the fountain of love itself; for God is love. Let us also have in mind the Apostle's declaration that there are only two great sources: a sweet fountain cannot send forth bitter waters, nor a bitter fountain send forth sweet waters. (`James 3:11`.) Let us, therefore, settle it in our hearts that any spirit of treachery toward a friend, toward a brother, is not in any sense of the word connected with the spirit of love, but in opposition to it. Let us remember that a sweet fountain, a pure fountain, a love-fountain, cannot send forth bitter waters of hate, of malice, of envy, of strife. We must recognize such a stream of evil as coming from a different quarter, a different fountain, from the enemy of God and man. These qualities are therefore set forth in the Scriptures as works of the flesh and of the devil. Let us remember, too, that a radical change from an attitude of love and friendship to an attitude of bitterness and enmity is not an instantaneous but a gradual work. In the case of Judas we see a gradual deflection, which at first merely murmured because others had honors bestowed from the Lord; yet that spirit of murmuring increased, until within a week it took delight in betraying the Friend of all friends, who was even then laying down life on his behalf. Let us remember that by nature we have seeds of evil, of selfishness, received from the Adversary through heredity, through the fall; and that we need continually to be on guard to uproot all such roots of evil, and need continually to be cultivating the tender plant of love, that its fragrance may fill our entire lives and prepare us for association with him who is love and with him who is the friend above all others.
OUR GOLDEN TEXT
Well has the wise man said that a friend loveth at all times. He who merely loves at a time when he thinks it will be to his own advantage to love knows not love. He who loves, and is a brother in prosperity merely, and whose love and friendship wither under the heat of persecution and adversity, has never known love in its true sense, but merely a certain brand of selfishness--the love of the world.
As God commended his love toward us and showed us that not through selfishness, but generosity, at a great cost
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to himself, he provided us release from our prison, and gave us privileges of sonship, so true love will be willing to sacrifice. Let us judge then of our love for others, for the Lord, for the brethren, for our families, for our neighbors, for our enemies even, by our willingness to sacrifice in their interest and for their highest welfare. If we find ourselves sacrificing nothing in the interest of the Lord's cause, let us not delude ourselves by saying that we love the Lord. If we find ourselves unwilling to endure, to sacrifice in the interests of the brethren and others dear to us, let us not mistake the matter and call it love. If we find ourselves unwilling to do kindness even to our enemies when they are in need, let us make no mistake; for the Lord hath declared that a course of goodness and mercy and self-denial is the only index of a loving heart. If once we can see that such a love of heart is essential to a place in the Kingdom it will make us doubly earnest in the attainment of such a character. If still farther than this, we see that none will ever gain eternal life in this age or that which is to come, except as he or she shall possess a heart of love, it will help to awaken us to realize that love indeed is the principal thing, the most important thing to be attained and cultivated by ourselves, yea, by all.
Note Canon Farrar's earnest words: "My brethren, the love that sees goodness and beauty in all human nature, helps to make goodness and to make beauty in human nature. To those who love, even a common person is a human soul, who walks in the transfiguring glory of their affection. You think a person dull. Why? That is because you are dull. An angel has been with you and you have known it not; and I imagine that to a spirit full of malice and self-conceit an angel would be very dull. Each human soul is like a cavern full of gems. The casual observer glances into it through some cranny, and all looks dark, sullen and forgotten. But let light enter into it; lift a torch up to the walls; let God's sunlight fall into it and flood its open recesses; and lo, it will flash with crystals and with amethysts, and each separate crystal will quiver under the touch of brightness with a transporting discovery of its own nature. If souls do not shine before you it is because you are bringing them no light to make them shine. Throw away your miserable, smouldering, fuming torch of conceit and hatred; lift up to them the light of love, and lo! they will arise and shine; yea, flame and burn with an undreamt glory."
"Was it friend or foe who spread these lies?
Nay, who but infants question in such wise?
'Twas one of my most intimate enemies."
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"DO GOOD TO THEM THAT HATE YOU"
--`I SAMUEL 26:17-25`.--AUGUST 30.--
Golden Text:--"Love your enemies; do good to them that hate you."--`Luke 6:27`.
FOR seven years David was forced to be an exile from his home and nominally to fill the role of an outlaw. King Saul, troubled with evil spirits, was at times practically insane, and no doubt pursued David from place to place during those seven years as a relaxation, as some men take pleasure in hunting wild game. It is in this light that David himself in the Psalm presents the matter of his escape. A large band of discontented people gathered to David as their leader, mostly victims of Saul's persecution. These numbered 400 at least (`1 Sam. 22:2`) and later on 600. (`1 Sam. 25:13,27`.) David's own parents and brothers were amongst those persecuted, probably on David's account; also the prophet Gad, and the high-priest Abiathar, a son of the high-priest Abimelech (`1 Sam. 22:22,23`), also his nephew Abishai, subsequently a great general. (`1 Sam. 26:6`.) It is also noted that in the company were eleven mighty men of valor of the tribe of Gad (`1 Chron. 12:8-14`), and twenty-three Benjamite warriors who could shoot their arrows with both hands equally well.--`1 Chron. 12:1-7`.
Professor Wright suggests that under the circumstances then prevailing, to be an outlaw was creditable. He says: "To be an outlaw at such a time was not to be on the side of disorder; it was the beginning of a justifiable revolution. The dissatisfied men who gathered around David in the cave of Adullam were the true patriots of the time....This is evident from his message to Nabal, in which he claims that he had performed all the duties of a government in protecting Nabal from the incursions of the bordering tribes; so that the tribute he asked was not more than just taxation of established authority."
There are many caves in that limestone region. The one credited as the Cave of Adullam has several apartments and space for a small army; it is located not far from the place where David encountered Goliath. Associated with its name are three items of considerable interest. One of these, told in `1 Chronicles 11:15-19`, gives us a little picture of the fidelity of David's followers and of David's own unselfishness, which lay no doubt at the foundation of the love which his followers bore him. It was at a time when the Philistines were making an invasion and when David and his followers could not be on Saul's side, yet would not be against him. The Philistine camp lay between the cave and the spring of fine water at Bethlehem, David's home town. Thirsty, David had remarked longingly on the fineness of the Bethlehem spring. With devotion to their leader three of David's chief men ventured through the lines of the Philistine camp and brought him some of the coveted water. On receiving it David's heart was full of gratitude to God for such appreciation and love from his followers; yet considering the price it had cost them and the dangers they had risked, he felt himself unworthy, and tendered the water as a thank-offering to the Lord and as an expression to his followers of his highest appreciation of their kindness. Of this the poet says,--
"And all the host looked and wondered, and those noble three,
The mightiest of the thirty, felt their souls
Knit closer to King David and to God."
The second item of interest referred to was the taking of David's aged parents from Adullam on a long journey over the rocky hills and around the furthest end of the Dead Sea and up the mountains of Moab to a place of safety with the king of Moab.--`1 Sam. 22:3,4`.
The third item of interest referred to was the sparing of the life of King Saul at this cave.--`1 Sam. 24`.
DAVID TESTED--SAUL SPARED
The lesson of today concerns the second sparing of Saul's life by David. The King had come out against David
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and his band with a large army corps. After the manner of that day the camp had been set with the king's tent in the center, as indicated by the king's spear standing at his doorway. Possibly, however, at that time no tents were used in that country, where there would be no danger of rain and where it is customary for travelers even to wrap themselves in their outer garments and lie down to sleep at any convenient place. David with his scouts was familiar with the entire country and everything that happened; and one of the chiefs of his band suggested to him a daring plot for the overthrow of the enemy, for the rescue of the country from the rule of a partially demented sovereign, and for the rectification of his own wrongs and those of the company of faithful men with him. The proposer of the plan, provided David's consent could be obtained, was to steal into King Saul's camp while his soldiers were sleeping after the fatigue of the journey, and kill King Saul in his tent, and thus end all their difficulties which centered in him. The plan was one that would be considered proper by nine hundred and ninety-nine out of a thousand soldiers, yet it did not appeal to David.
Taking the proper view of the situation David considered King Saul the divine appointee for the place and position he occupied although the anointing oil had come upon himself as Saul's successor. He properly reasoned that when the Lord's due time should come for his accession to the throne, the Lord could and would bring it about in his own way; and that it would be sin on his part to connive at the king's death on any ground. Not only would he not kill Saul, but he would not sanction another's doing it, not even by a half-hearted protest. On the contrary he would act as Saul's protector, so that the author of the bold scheme might have no opportunity for its execution. David went with him to carry out a different project; namely to bring away from the camp something that would prove to the king that he had been entirely within David's power, and that at heart David had no desire for Saul's injury, but the contrary.
In execution of this plan David accompanied Abishai quietly, speedily, into Saul's camp. First they took Saul's spear from before his tent; then entering the tent they found near the king's couch a cruse or bottle of drinking water, which they took. The two then went to a hillside opposite Saul's camp and shouted to awaken the soldiers and Saul. David upbraided Saul's captain-general for his carelessness in not properly protecting the king, telling how he had invaded the camp and had taken the king's spear and drinking pitcher, not, however, revealing his identity. Soon the entire camp was awake, and it was the king himself who recognized David's voice and also the facts related--that his spear and cruse were gone. These David offered to return through a messenger, explaining that he had taken them merely to prove that he had no ill will to the king, no wish to do him injury. David did not attribute Saul's enmity to his own evil passions and selfishness, but very politely suggested that if it were of the Lord it might well cease with an offering to the Lord; but if the king were following the counsel of men these must be wicked men, for the effect of their counsel was to alienate a fellow-Israelite not only from his home and land, but also from his God and his religion, by driving him from amongst his people to the heathen. He assured the king that if his blood must be shed he preferred that his death should be in the land of Israel, and that this alone was his reason for not leaving his native land. But he suggested that for the king to be pursuing him as an enemy and thinking of himself and his associates as foes to the empire, was as ridiculous as to think of a hunting expedition against a partridge as being war.
King Saul was honest enough to admit that he was in the wrong, and said, "I have sinned. Return, my son, David; for I will no more do thee harm because my life was precious in thine eyes this day. Behold, I have played the fool and have erred exceedingly."
"DELIVER ME OUT OF ALL TRIBULATION"
David's reply to the king is very noteworthy, and shows us that the center of the man's character and the guidance of his conduct was his reverence for the Lord, his faith. He said, "The Lord shall render to every man [according to] his righteousness and his faithfulness....It was the Lord that delivered thee into mine hand today and I did not put forth mine hand against the Lord's anointed. And behold, as thy life was precious today in mine eyes, so let my life be precious in the eyes of the Lord and let him deliver me out of all tribulation." (`Vs. 23,24`.) How wonderful this expression! In it there is no appeal to Saul for mercy, no expression of dependence upon him, but an appeal to the Lord, an expression of absolute confidence in the willingness and ability of the Lord to deliver him. Moreover, David seems to have learned a lesson which many dear Christian people have not learned, even though possessed of education and advantages in the school of Christ which David never enjoyed. David's course and language show that he understood that portion of the Lord's prayer which says, "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us"-- have mercy upon us as we have mercy upon others. This is the essence of David's statement, As I have shown mercy to you, King Saul, so may the Lord show mercy to me.
"Then Saul said to David, Blessed be thou, my son David. Thou shalt both do great things and shalt surely prevail. So David went on his way and Saul returned to his place." But although invited to return, David realized that the word and the heart of Saul were unreliable. It is a lesson that we all need to note, that a wicked heart is an unreliable thing, though for the moment it may seem contrite, gentle and loving. This would not mean that we never again could have confidence in any one who had done evil to us or injury, or had done us harm; but it does mean that while not rendering evil for evil, bitterness for bitterness, malice for malice, slander for slander, we should nevertheless
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use wisdom and not entrust ourselves too fully to the power of such until we should receive not merely reassuring words but practical evidence of a change of heart; that the leaven of malice had been purged out.
OTHER LESSONS FOR THE NEW CREATION
David won a great victory over Goliath; but this lesson records a still greater victory over himself. As a natural man, not begotten again of the holy Spirit, he certainly exhibited wonderful self-control. We cannot say that it was his love for Saul that spared the king's life; rather it was his love for the Lord, his respect for divine authority. We can see that unless his devotion to the Lord had been very strong indeed the temptation would have swept him before it. To the average man eight reasons would appeal for a contrary course for killing his enemy. (1) It was legitimate warfare, as between the king and his army and David and
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his handful. In any army today such a surprise would be considered entirely justifiable. (2) His own self-preservation seemed to demand the king's death; and such preservation is recognized generally by the world as the first law of nature. (3) His desire to escape from his wandering life and to live quietly and peaceably as one of God's chosen nation, appealed strongly for action. (4) The fact of his anointing to be king and Saul's successor, and the prospect of soon coming to the throne would be a powerful reason with many. (5) Revenge for the things he had suffered from Saul would no doubt suggest itself. (6) His patriotism--his love for his country and his nation, and his appreciation of the fact that Saul was rapidly becoming unfit to be king--was another reason for Saul's death. (7) An opportunity for accomplishing the deed thus coming to his hand might have been construed as of divine providence; and a wicked heart and guilty conscience would have so decided. (8) The interests of all of his followers, amongst them those who had risked their lives for his comfort and defence, demanded that the king should be slain; and furthermore doubtless many of them would be unable to comprehend David's motives in sparing the king's life. To such his course would appear foolish almost to madness in letting escape such an opportunity. Thus he might alienate from himself his associates in tribulation.
Surely a weaker man, or a man with less reverence for the Lord and less faith in him, would have yielded under the pressure of such inducements. The fact that David did not yield testifies loudly as respects his character, his principles.
How is it with us who have had advanced lessons in the school of Christ, and who have the advantage of being begotten of the holy Spirit, and ability therefore to comprehend the deeper things as respects the divine character and will? Would we have been similarly faithful and generous? But surely the Lord would expect still more of us than of David; surely, therefore, we should expect much more of ourselves, who are of the "house of sons" and have much advantage every way over the "house of servants." Has not our Redeemer, our Master, our Teacher, instructed us and given us a new commandment saying, "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another as I have loved you"? Again in the words of our Golden Text we are instructed, "Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you." How are we exhibiting our appreciation of the lessons, of the instructions we have received? How do we daily put in practice this law of love for God--for his instructions, for the brethren, for our enemies?
NO MURDERER IN THE KINGDOM
It may be said that no such test as David had could come to us today as Christians; but that if it did, surely no Christian, no saint, would be a murderer. We reply that it must not be forgotten that we under the new dispensation are under the same law, but with a higher definition or explanation; as for instance the Master's words, when he said, "He that looketh upon a woman to desire her hath committed adultery already in his heart;" and again, "He that is angry with his brother without a cause is in danger of the judgment." "He that hateth his brother is a murderer." (`Matt. 5:22,28`; `1 John 3:15`.) Taking this higher definition of the divine law and its operation in our minds, we can readily see that opportunities may offer to every one of us very similar to this which came to David, opportunities to render evil for evil, railing for railing; opportunities to assassinate our neighbor, our brother--to kill his influence, his reputation, etc.
How are we meeting these tests? Are we gaining victories over self, as did David, or are we being overcome by the wicked one? If the latter course is ours, we are thus proving ourselves not members of the David or Beloved class, but establishing a relationship with the Adversary as being to some extent partakers of his spirit, his disposition, and manifesting this to some extent in wrong doing, murdering our brother. Our Lord indeed seems to imply that in the end of this age there will be special trials coming upon his people along these lines. He declares that brother shall deliver up brother to death, and parents shall deliver up children; and that his faithful ones under such conditions may become hated of all men. To what extent are we conniving with or cooperating with the enemy in such matters? To what extent are we like David of old, so reverent toward the Lord that we dare not touch, harm one of the members of the anointed, nor even an enemy who seeks our life, who does us injury and who says all manner of evil against us falsely, as Saul did against David?
A certain part of the temptation which comes to the Lord's people is well illustrated in this testing of David; viz., the opportunity to favor another's doing an evil work which we ourselves would not wish to do. How easy it would have been for David to say to Abishai, Proceed to do according to your judgment, I will hold aloof; but will say to you privately that I believe you will be doing a noble work for our nation; and it will even be to the king's interest, because he is an enemy even to himself and might the better die. Let us note how different a course David pursued; and let us judge that any other course would have been displeasing to the heavenly Father and would have meant David's failure in the test.
Similarly with us. Not only are we ourselves not to do unrighteousness, not to speak evil, not to think evil, not to do evil toward friend or foe; but we are to be so heartily in sympathy with this procedure that if another proposes to do an evil in our interest, we would be so in sympathy with the divine will and the law of brotherly love that we would oppose the act with all our energy.
During those seven years of trial David was being disciplined for the kingship. It was a school of adversity, of persecution and testing, in which he learned valuable lessons. Many of his most interesting psalms are credited to this epoch; as for instance, the thirty-fourth and fifty-seventh. Similarly the Lord's anointed of this Gospel Church are now in the wilderness of discipline pursued by our opponents; and with us this is the time to learn valuable lessons preparatory to occupying our kingly position; and this is the time in which our hearts may be drawn out toward the Lord in praise, and thanksgiving, in homage, as was David's. The difference in every respect is in our favor. His were typical and earthly things, ours are the antitypical, the heavenly things, the realities of priceless worth. What manner of persons ought we to be! How thoroughly we should learn these lessons! How great is the prize, the Kingdom we hope to attain! "If we know these things, happy are we if we do them."--`John 13:17`.
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SOME WHO HAVE VOWED ARE BLEST
MANY letters are coming to us announcing that the number who have taken the Vow mentioned in a recent issue, June 15, is increasing. We are glad of this and believe that a blessing surely follows with it. Indeed, quite a number of letters are coming in telling us of the deepening of spiritual refreshment and blessing as a result of the Vow, a drawing nearer than ever to the Lord--an assistance in the narrow way. Some of these letters are of a private, confidential character and not suitable for publication, but in general they indicate a deep and spreading work of grace, which causes us to rejoice and to believe that this matter of the Vow is a part of the Lord's providence in connection with this harvest work, by which he would safeguard his people in respect to the various trials of this "evil day" just before us. Here is an illustration of how the matter has already worked advantageously:
A Sister informs us that, caught in a shower, she heard the singing of a hymn and entered what appeared to be a place of worship. The speaker was a man of ability, a spirit medium, who was giving descriptions and demonstrations to those present. The Sister rejoiced in her heart that by the Lord's grace her eyes of understanding had been opened so that she was not deceived as were those about her, who thought they were having communication with their deceased loved ones. She was wishing that she had the power to make some of the deluded ones know that their communications came from the demons, the fallen angels, and not from the dead. While her mind was thus ruminating happily, the Adversary was preparing a snare for her. The
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minister looked straight down to her and, stopping in his discourse, walked to her in the rear of the room looking upon her intently, probably with a view to hypnotizing her. As he came quite close, the sister withdrew her gaze from his face and turned her heart to the Lord in prayer for protection. The medium stopped beside her and asked if he might shake hands with her. Remembering our advice, and in harmony with the Vow she has taken, to have nothing whatever to do with Spiritism or Occultism, she answered, "Excuse me, please, I think it is unnecessary." The man stopped for a moment, and, frustrated, returned to the platform.
The Sister perceives that if it had not been for the warnings received through the Spiritism pamphlet (recently reiterated in connection with the Vow suggestions) she might have consorted to the extent of the simple act of shaking hands with the medium and might have come under a hypnotic influence by that indiscretion. She rightly perceives also that had she met the man under other circumstances where she would not have known him as a medium, the taking of his hand might have been an act of innocence, in which the Lord would have protected her from harm; but that giving her hand knowingly to a medium would have been placing herself to that extent knowingly under his influence, and the responsibility would have been with her for not having obeyed the divine command that we should have nothing whatever to do with the evil spirits or their "mediums." Indeed, we believe that the Sister, when she found herself in such a meeting, should have gone out at once and that, staying at all in such company, she was under responsibility. She at once took the Vow, realizing that even from thinking along its lines she had already received a blessing and a deliverance and that the lesson to her was a still greater care such as the Vow implied.
A Colporteur brother writes us that shortly after taking the Vow, while canvassing a lady in her doorway, she asked him into the room and as soon as he entered she fell into a trance. Her lips spoke, but in a different tone of voice, and the evil spirits, speaking through her, used the plural form "we" and spoke of the woman in the third person, saying, "We brought her here," etc. They evidently desired to get the Colporteur into some dispute with them or to arouse his curiosity so that he would question them. But remembering his Vow he said not a word in reply. Presently the woman came out of the trance; it was for this he had waited, that he might explain to her that she was under the influence of the fallen angels, demons, and warn her to prayer and effort that she might be delivered from their power. While he was still talking to her she again went into a trance and the spirits, speaking through her, told him that he was entirely mistaken, that they were not evil spirits, that they were the spirits of dead humans and that he was the one who was deceived, etc. Again he answered not a word, but waited until the woman came out of her trance, then finished his conversation with her, interesting her in reading the Spiritism pamphlet and subsequently the DAWNS. How he might have been ensnared had it not been for the Lord's providence, not only in bringing to him a knowledge of the truth but also in bringing him to the point of making a vow that he would have nothing whatever to do with Spiritism, demonism.
Others write that they have received great benefit from the Vow along the line of their greater reserve in respect to the opposite sex, and that they feel that the Lord has specially used the Vow for their assistance along the line of a general weakness in the human family, and that their greater isolation from the opposite sex has resulted in their closer fellowship with the Lord. Others write us respecting the feature of the Vow which refers to the keeping of the thoughts: that the Vow has helped them and is helping them "to bring every thought into captivity to the will of God in Christ." --`2 Cor. 10:5`.
Let the good work go on, dear brothers and sisters. The Vow, if you please, is the fastening on of the armor which the Lord has been providing for us and which we have been fitting to ourselves for some time. We might perhaps consider it a girdle by which, as the Apostle says, we should "gird up the loins of our minds," strengthening our wills in respect to all the various features of our covenant with the Lord, and bringing our bodies under subjection. As the Apostle again says, "I keep my body under and bring it into subjection: lest by any means after I have preached to others I myself may become a castaway."--`I Cor. 9:27`.
Are some inclined to be afraid of bondage? Let us remind all such that the bondage of Sin is the one to which we are in greatest danger and that the Vow has proven to many an assistance in getting free from much of the bondage of Sin into the liberty of Christ, the liberty of righteousness. As for our relationship to Christ let us remember, as the Apostle expresses it, that we are his bondservants, literally bondslaves. The Apostle gloried in the fact that he bore about in his body the marks of the Lord Jesus, marks of his slavery, of his full consecration, of his having no liberty to do anything except what would be the Lord's will. The Vow may in some respects mark us amongst the Lord's people, as taking less liberty than others along certain lines, but if it is a mark of our more complete submission to the Lord's will, then indeed we may glory in it.
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We believe that the number of those seeing the wisdom and expediency of the Vow and the blessings which it will bring will greatly increase. Let all remember that the Vow is not to us but to the Lord, but that we will be pleased to know of such as take the Vow that their names may be an encouragement to others and also a protection to themselves. If those who have taken the Vow and have informed us, do not see their names in the lists or if the names appear misspelled or with wrong initials, will kindly advise us that correction may be made, we will appreciate it very much.
An article in our issue of October 1, 1907, presents reasons for concluding that the fallen angels will have special powers for materializing during the next few years. We learned only recently of their greater activities in this direction and that for fifteen months past spirit mediums have claimed that by the fall of 1908 the spirits will have full power of materialization in daylight and go about the streets as human beings. Whether or not they will attempt to palm themselves off as resurrected humans we know not, though we have learned of one such case. It is our duty to put all of the household of faith within reach of our influence on their guard against these wiles of the Adversary. We have reasons for concluding that with the power to materialize regained by the demons the effect will be much as it was before they were restrained, as recorded in `Genesis 6:1-5`, and that a spirit of licentiousness amongst humanity may correspondingly be expected. Our Lord's statement that in this harvest time it would be "as in the days of Noah," and "as it was in the days of Lot," should not be forgotten. Both of the times referred to were times of great licentiousness. It is true that we have claimed and still claim that the likeness of those days to these which our Lord emphasizes is laid upon the words, "and knew not;" but why may not both thoughts be true? We incline to so expect.
It is written, "He shall give his messengers charge concerning thee, and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone." We have seen that this Scripture applies to the feet members of the Body of Christ now living in the end of this age. We have seen how the Lord has provided helping hands for warning and guarding the Feet members for their protection in this "evil day." We believe that the Lord's providence in connection with this Vow matter is part and parcel of his general provision for the bearing up of the "feet" at this time. If such conditions prevail, as we anticipate, those taking the Vow will certainly be forearmed and protected in great measure thereby.
It is not our thought to awaken needless alarm, but rather to call attention to the safeguarding and protecting arrangements which the Lord has provided, in the use of which the Lord's consecrated ones may be kept in perfect peace. Our thought is that in some manner there is a protecting influence surrounding human beings which safeguards them from the Adversary and his assistants except so far as they shall give a measure of their will or consent. This safeguarding influence, we believe, is manifold in the case of the consecrated. "The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them." This view is supported by the statement of Satan respecting Job--"Hast thou not made an hedge about him?" (`Job 1:10`.) Our thought is that as the Lord gave the Adversary permission against Job, so Satan will gain liberty in the impending hour of temptation which shall come upon all the world to try them that dwell upon the earth. (`Rev. 3:10`.) In that contest the only ones safe from all harm will be those who have made the Lord, even the Most High, their refuge and habitation; because no harm can come nigh that dwelling place.
How important, then, that all the Lord's people forewarned by him should draw near to the Lord himself! The prophet represents the matter under the figure of a mother hen, which in the time of danger clucks for her chicks. They run to her and are safe while they look out from under her feathers at the dangers from which they had escaped.
This is the Lord's picture in respect to the faithful ones, "Surely he will deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall
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cover thee with his feathers and under his wings shalt thou trust. His truth shall be thy shield and buckler." --`Psa. 91`.
Someone writes fearful that the Vow would prove an embargo on marriage by hindering courtship. We reply, that if this be true amongst the Lord's people it would doubtless prove a blessing, in full accord with the Apostle's exhortation in `I Cor. 7:7,8,25-35`. However, we see nothing in the Vow to hinder a proper courtship and marriage. Assuredly there would be fewer unhappy marriages under the operation of the Vow. Those younger brethren and sisters who desire unhappy marriages, who desire marriages which could be led up to only under the exhilaration of animal passion, which beclouds their judgment and stifles the spirit of a sound mind--these should not take the Vow. But let us warn these that such an attitude of heart is apt to keep them out of the Kingdom.
A doctor and also a nurse express fear that the Vow would conflict with their professional duties. We fail to see how! One doctor advises us that he finds the Vow a great blessing. Surely it is safe to have a third party present when treating one of the opposite sex "when reasonably possible." And that is exactly what the Vow expresses. What is "reasonably possible" is for each to decide for himself. A doctor or a nurse should do nothing to a patient that he or she would consider wrong or immodest, so that if necessity compelled the services might be rendered in the presence of a congregation of the Lord's people.
LIFTING UP A STANDARD
Some fear that we are lifting up too high a standard which will deter some from accepting other truths now due. But we ask, can we have too high a Scriptural standard in view of the strenuous times the Scriptures forewarn us to expect? May we not unconsciously have lifted up the very standard foretold by the prophet `Isaiah (59:19,20`), "When the enemy shall come in like a flood the spirit of the Lord shall raise up a standard against him, and the Redeemer shall come to Zion."
We admit that too high a standard could be lifted up, an unscriptural one: For instance, "forbidding to marry" or demanding celibacy or requiring fasts or feasts or holy-days, or stipulating clothing or diet. On the contrary, the Vow we suggest merely emphasizes our Covenant of Consecration by specializing some of its features appropriately to "that evil day."
However, let not us who have taken the Vow assume any "holier-than-thou" attitude toward those who have not taken it, nor in any manner make the Vow a test of fellowship. To the Master each is responsible, and each should exercise his own conscience in this and in every matter. While we believe that the spirit of the
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Lord has raised up this standard for the aid and protection of his people in this evil day, we cannot demonstrate the fact, and all of the members of the Body may not be able to "see eye to eye" on the subject. Love is the supreme and final test, we may be sure.
A RE-STATEMENT OF THE "VOW"
WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY.
Dear Brethren:--We, the undersigned, 17 of the members of the Class of St. Joseph, have taken the following "Vow" before the Lord:--
"Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. May thy rule come into my heart more and more, and thy will be done in my mortal body. Relying on the assistance of thy promised grace to help in every time of need, through Jesus Christ our Lord, I register this Vow. Daily will I remember at the throne of heavenly grace the general interests of the harvest work, and particularly the share which I myself am privileged to enjoy in that work, and the dear co-laborers at the Bible House, Allegheny. I vow to still more carefully, if possible, scrutinize my thoughts and words and doings, to the intent that I may be the better enabled to serve Thee and thy dear flock. I vow to thee that I will be on the alert to resist everything akin to Spiritism and Occultism, and that remembering that there are but the two masters I shall resist these snares in all reasonable ways, as being of the Adversary. I further vow that, with the exceptions below, I will at all times and at all places, conduct myself toward those of the opposite sex in private exactly as I would do with them in public--in the presence of a congregation of the Lord's people, and so far as reasonably possible, I will avoid being in the same room with any of the opposite sex alone, unless the door to the room stand wide open--in the case of brethren, wife, children, mother and sisters excepted, and in the case of sisters, husband, children, father and brother excepted."
Yours in the service of the Master, Dr. S. D. Senor and wife, F. R. Gossin and wife, M. E. Reimer and wife, C. W. Orton, Sister L. Freydig, Hugo H. Reimer, Wm. Wild, Nettie M. Wild, John Freydig, Mrs. H. K. Reimer, Dora A. Reimer, Emily V. Reimer, Alice E. Stone, Clara L. Buehler.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--
I have been so situated ever since the publication of "the Vow," suggested in June 15th TOWER, that I could not give the prayerful attention to its consideration, which the sacredness and importance of this matter demanded, but I made the time today, and therefore write to announce the registering of my vow at 1.00 P.M., August 1st, 1908. I give the date thus explicitly, as it may assist in keeping it more clearly before my mind. I will also keep a copy of the Vow in the MANNA, and DAILY refresh my mind when I read the text and comment for each day. Pray for me!
Several objections had been suggested to my mind by others, as well as by my own inner consciousness:
1st. I felt that my consecration had included all these things, as I held very clear convictions, from the first, of the necessity for what you refer to as "antitypical fasting," explained in ZION'S WATCH TOWER, 1899, page 140. But I reasoned that the taking of "the Vow" would mean only a more explicit statement in detail of what I had formerly striven to practice, therefore it could do no harm, even though it might not serve to add anything. First objection overruled.
2d. It had been suggested that "the publication of names in TOWER implied an acknowledgment of past indiscretions, of present weaknesses and of future fears." But I replied to this, what right has any "member of the Body" to judge another in this manner? I said to myself, "What is that to thee? follow thou me." I would not wish anyone to judge me thus, so I would not thus judge another--"to his own master he standeth or falleth." Second objection overruled.
3d. The Vow appeared to me something like the temperance pledge. I had never been a drunkard, never feared that I should become one, but for the sake of some other poor, weak, fallen wreck of humanity, who perhaps had inherited a weakness in this direction, 25 years ago I signed this pledge in the hope that my example might serve to strengthen him in his efforts to take a stand against intemperance. I realize the power of numbers and example, and therefore, if my example might be used of the dear Master to encourage even the least of his brethren, I am glad to take this stand, "with meekness and fear," not knowing how weak my own flesh might become under temptations which others find hard to withstand. Third and last objection overruled.
Pray for me, dear brother, as I do for you and all the dear Israel of God everywhere, that we may daily grow stronger and stronger in him and in the power of his might, that our faith may increase more and more, that we may all be made perfect in Love, "more than conquerors through him who loved us and died for us," our blessed Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, whose we are and whom we serve, in whose likeness we hope to awake after the storms and trials of life are over and we have resisted even unto blood!
With much Christian love to yourself and all the other dear friends at the Bible House, I am,
Yours in his precious service, G. W. SEIBERT.
MY BELOVED UNCLE:--
Just a line to express to you my gratitude for the assistance which you have vouchsafed us in pointing us to an additional means for the strengthening of the cords of love which bind the sacrifice to the horns of the altar--viz., "the Vow" mentioned in June 15 TOWER. I feel that there is a blessing in thus definitely stating my heart's desires and intentions in these matters; for although realizing that the Lord knows this has been my heart's attitude since my consecration seven years ago, yet I think this particular statement of the same will be very beneficial; not only keeping more definitely before my mind my privileges and obligations, but also enabling me to better witness for the Lord and for his glorious cause. Praise the Lord for this additional assistance by the way!
May the rich favor of the Lord continue with you, and may he continue to direct you in your earnest efforts to do and to assist others to do his blessed will.
With much love, and hoping to see you soon, I am as ever,
Your affectionate niece,
ALICE LAND WILLIAMSON.
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OUR DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--
We wish to make mention to you of the means of grace and strength (spiritually) the recent Olean Convention was to us. Concerning "the Vow": On returning home, my dear husband and I reread the article in full, in the June 15th TOWER, and reconsidered it. We feared we had not given it due consideration before.
We have also reread the October 1st, 1907, TOWER, on "The Judgment of the Great Day." We are so thankful to our heavenly Father for this meat in due season, which it truly is.
Since entering the school of Christ we have tried daily to follow in the footsteps of the Master, striving toward the mark of perfect love--the love that thinketh no evil.--`I Cor. 13`.
We have perfect trust that our heavenly Father will help us to carry out this Vow. Whatever our Father wants us to do that is what we truly wish to do. His will is our delight, and we gladly and prayerfully take this Vow.
We do thank the heavenly Father that he has put his children on their guard. We also thank him for the channel he is using to dispense this meat in due season. May his richest blessings be yours. How we will praise
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him when this night-time of sin and weeping is over!
Yours in Christian love and fellowship,
RAY VAN HYNING AND WIFE.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--
Referring to your suggestion in ZION'S WATCH TOWER of June 15th, in regard to the proposed "Vow," we beg to state that we have taken it. It expresses to our understanding our definite and determined relation to the harvest work and its servants; great self-inspection in regard to present strong delusions which would "deceive if it were possible the very elect;" and finally a very guarded relationship to those of the opposite sex, in which we are to avoid, if possible, the very appearance of evil.
Therefore, dear pastor, unitedly we thank you for calling our attention to this as well as to many other matters of importance.
Yours in fellowship and service,
L. JOSEPH LARSEN AND WIFE.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--
We, the undersigned of the Avalon Class who until now had not taken "the Vow" mentioned in the TOWER of June 15th, desire to register our names as having done so. Frank C. Roller, Patience M. McCauley, Mrs. M. L. Herr, Mrs. Margaret Wilson, Mrs. Laura B. Gasquoine, Geo. M. Wilson, W. D. Boder, Mrs. Mary A. Boder, Mrs. Margaret J. Boyd, Martha E. Dunbar, Mrs. Lillie A. Moore, Mrs. E. C. Whitehouse, Geo. A. Wilson, Mrs. G. A. Wilson, Mr. and Mrs. Sam'l McComb.
MANY MORE ADVISE THAT THEY HAVE TAKEN THE VOW
F. W. Williamson and wife, Clara Tomlins, Alfred W. C. Kuehn, Mrs. G. W. Seibert, L. C. Work and wife, Mrs. Lydia Messner, H. Hoskins, Jr., and wife, Emma Blumer, Katherine A. Baeuerlein, Mrs. Alex. Ogston, Bessie Ford, J. B. Alford, E. A. Saddler, Martha Wilson, Gerald Barry, F. P. Moulton, John Segergren, Bro. and Sr. J. A. Lehman, Bro. and Sr. Tallman, Henry Gindroz, H. C. Peck and wife, Mrs. H. Graham, Mrs. H. T. Whiteworth, Mrs. C. J. Williams, Miss Annie Williams, Mrs. Cornelia Winton, Maggie Millar, Alex. Laidlaw, Mrs. J. D. Wright, Miss. M. Persons, Mrs. J. H. Gourley, Aug. Lundborg, Mr. and Mrs. C. A. Russell, E. Detwiler, J. D'Cecca, R. G. Russell, T. W. Hill and wife, Francis Hill, J. Walter Davis, John Stephens, Katharine Ashby, Mabel Jette, E. S. Weekly, Emory Williams, Nellie Severance, L. J. Kihlken, G. A. Phillip, Warren C. Hickman, Walter Taylor, C. H. Booz, Joseph Levens, Mrs. Joseph Levens, John W. Jackson, Helen L. Jewell, John E. Hardie, Mrs. C. R. Zeh, Mrs. D. Antisdel, Mrs. W. Hewish, C. E. Phillips, A. W. Leflar, K. M. Welty, Sidney Morton, O. D. Deifer, Mr. and Mrs. H. C. Minkler, G. J. Redford, Virginia Noble, L. F. Zink, J. R. Brode, L. G. Clymer, E. L. Dockey, J. F. Shehorn, Gracie Doughty, Saml. and Mary Hammond, Cora Carmicheal, Geo. B. McCord, Joseph V. Waters, Mr. and Mrs. Chas. A. Ward, Mrs. Jane M. McCormick, Erma E. Mason, Mrs. Emma P. Mason, C. W. Mason, Mamie Mundy, M. L. McIlvaine, E. P. Taliaferro, Thayle Gardner, Dr. W. W. Murray, E. L. Fletcher, Reginald Ward, Elizabeth Hoskins, Ellen Hoskins, Elizabeth Gillett, T. F. Williams, Mrs. D. H. Rodgers, G. Bolton, Sadie C. Redford, T. E. Banks and wife, J. R. Hill, Hans Finjord, Alex. Evans and wife, Mrs. Annie Hammond, Mrs. Minnie Ensley, James Marshall, Ethelinda Hendrickson, A. N. Pierson, Bro. and Sr. Gus. Smith, Isaac P. Noll, Edith S. Hanson, C. C. Waddle, Mr. and Mrs. G. W. Chamberlain, Thos. P. Yates, K. Yeo, C. A. Hewes and wife, C. W. Vord, Mrs. E. O. De Haven, Mrs. Geo. M. Hunt, Mrs. B. M. Stephenson, Mrs. C. P. Powley, Mrs. C. L. Knowles, Carmel Knowles, John H. Cart, Alice Nelson, F. E. Riley, H. Scott, Mrs. J. W. Burrows, Bro. and Sr. Aker, J. A. Hudspeth, Mr. and Mrs. O. R. Wilkins, Mrs. Nora B. Glass, C. L. and A. F. Crockett, Mrs. S. Stokes, Mabel E. Hewes, James S. Samuda, Wm. A. Baker, G. B. Raymond and wife, Anna H. Brooks, Willetta K. Bolger, Mr. and Mrs. C. S. Brooks, Belle Goodwin, J. W. Morris and wife, Beda Rahm, W. P. Hall, Mrs. L. F. Achor, Mrs. Catharine Rouch, K. W. Jackson, Leota C. Hall, Ruth Gregg, Mrs. G. P. Bronaugh, E. W. Reinbolt, E. W. Weld, Augusta E. French, Elmer G. Berry, Edward Worcester, Mrs. Catharine Roach, G. C. Elton, Mrs. G. C. Elton, W. A. Davis and wife, Frank French, Frank Gwillim, H. A. Remick, J. M. Campbell, J. H. Martin, Mrs. V. Banning, Nellie Bush, Herbert C. Robb, Willard Wells and wife, Mabel Wells, Carrie A. Dorst, Ellen J. Barnet, Dora Bailey, Margaret Hall, Mrs. Richard Schulze, J. W. Broom, J. F. Davault and wife, Emma C. Gill, R. J. Kilpatrick, F. W. Pattison, W. L. Dimock, Mrs. M. M. Harvey, Maggie Adams, W. M. Higbee, Erven Schlatter, F. Samuel Ganoung and wife, Wm. E. Walton, Evan T. Jones, Mattie Herbruck, Calvin Dodge and wife, Eva L. Adams, N. A. Linderberg and wife, W. B. Johnson, T. J. Beatty and wife, Mary A. Eldred, E. Gerber, Mrs. M. Hufford, F. G. Hammes, Clara Phillips, G. H. Wright, Mrs. E. Grimes, Mrs. H. C. Bell, John J. Stacey, Sue Bivens, Frank A. Shook, Mrs. Flora D. Bradley, G. F. Dillenbeck, Lucy J. Fleming, Edith S. Hansen, Lucinda Willey, Louise Fletcher, Carrie Beaty, Jr., Bee Beaty, Frank W. Wall, Josie House, Nannie M. Foster, Corintha K. Pendleton, Olive Pendleton, Ellen Pendleton, Clara Jackley, Adah Schath, Alice Ferguson, Geo. Moffatt, Cordia B. Rhodes, Ella J. Brown, Roxy Tyler, Agnes Wall, S. M. York, Miss Belle Hancher, Helen M. Hancher, Ruberta G. Brunig, Hattie Anna Miller, Horace C. Galloway, Mrs. A. Monro, Emma Bates, Sister Baltzell, H. W. Strasser, Emma Bowman, Mrs. A. Thomas, Lemuel R. Browne, Mrs. Ianthe D. Thurston, Howard B. Hale, Mrs. M. M. Harvey, B. S. Grubb, W. S. Dimock, Dr. John L. Wooding, Inez M. Merritt, H. T. Hixon, Miss Pearl Gilmore, Dr. Lora K. Barnes, Bro. and Sr. J. C. Garrison, Walter McLendon, Alfred Smith, Frank Vogler, Luther Fail and wife, Mrs. O. Margeson, Clarence B. Snow, Nora Peterson, Mrs. A. W. Peterson, F. A. Barnett, Joseph Isaac, S. H. Huston, Mary A. West, Edith E. Mason, W. Homer Lee, wife and son, F. B. Hindman and wife, George M. Haucher, Bro. and Sr. Boyeson, Harry Ehlers, Byrd McDonaugh, Mrs. Grace Marshall, Mary Stapleton, Susan Graham, Mrs. A. E. Morse, F. L. Spencer and wife, Mrs. C. M. Chase, Mrs. Harriett Broughton, Henry McClellan, Ruby L. Hotchkiss, Mrs. D. M. MacKay, Mrs. C. Johnson, I. I. Margeson and wife, Ida M. Finney, Henry H. Brown, Margaret R. Brown, Mrs. Ella F. Wilson, C. P. Bridges, A. Shipman, Sadie E. Davidson, Mercy Davidson, James A. Davidson, Arthur Hawley, Mary Orton, Wm. B. Wright, J. H. Wills, Mae Gage, Wm. Evans and wife, A. Hope Tate, Rilla Strawn, H. Manning, Phoebe Myers, Gertrude Swinney, Bettie Reynolds, Harry G. Davis, Joseph Cooch, T. H. Perkins, Ida M. Stewart, Ross W. Bailey, Mrs. Anna Fisk, W. E. Housman, Rudolf Selin, Lottie Bishop, Mrs. W. S. Lane, Mary Octavia Noe, Anna L. Bell, James Steele, Geo. A. Bail, A. C. Morgan, Helen M. Lemon, Nettie Thompson, E. C. Smith and wife, John Johnson and wife, Thomas Johnson and wife, Wm. Barth, A. Olson, Sietse Koopman, De Verne E. Corbin, M. W. Earl and wife, Sarah E. Rogers, W. H. Clark, L. F. Lartigue, J. F. Harding, G. S. O'Dowd, Mrs. J. E. Culver, R. Robt. Hollister, Wm. J. Hollister, C. E. Schiller, Ralph Snyder, A. J. Chidester, C. F. Bullard, Lillian A. Clingman, O. E. Staples and wife, Emma Beaner, Will J. Madole, Geo. D. Laing, Abner Duffield, E. B. Stinson, H. F. Jordan, H. C. Beebe, Clark L. Sharper, Mrs. Jennie M. Barber, Archie H. Frier, Mrs. H. T. Chase, Mrs. Una Snow, Hugh A. Platt, Adolphine Lass, Mrs. W. A. Baade, Mrs. V. A. Fuller, Mrs. Margaret Foster, A. F. Binkley and wife, F. H. Taylor, Fred and Emmy Guard, August and Amelia Krueger, Ira K. Wilson, Benj. F. and Horace E. Hollister, Elders and Deacons of Bay City Class, Mich.