ZWT - 1906 - R3693 thru R3912 / R3881 (337) - November 1, 1906
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VOL. XXVII NOVEMBER 1 No. 21
A.D., 1906--A.M., 6035
Views from the Watch Tower........................339
Roman Catholicism in Trouble..................339
Hatred of the Jews............................340
Insanity on the Increase......................341
The Rose (Poem)...................................341
Report of Recent Conventions......................341
Gathering or Scattering, Which?...................342
Harvest Helpers and Hinderers.................343
The Spirit of Division........................344
Berean Studies in "Tabernacle Shadows"............345
"With Strong Cryings and Tears"...................346
He Was Heard in the Thing Feared..............347
"Despised and Rejected of Men"....................349
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SWEDISH AND FRENCH TRUTH LITERATURE
We have just published Vol. V. of MILLENNIAL DAWN in the Swedish language--style, binding and price uniform with English volume; see next column. We do not purpose publishing Vol. IV. in this language, the demand not being great enough. We have on hand cloth-bound copies of the Swedish TOWER for 1903 and 1904. They will be sent postpaid to any address for $1.00 each. The Swedish Hymnal, cloth-bound, containing a choice selection of 50 hymns, without music, is 10c, postpaid. "About Hell," in Swedish, is supplied in paper binding, at 10c each, 50c per doz.; in cardboard covers at 20c per copy, $1.00 per doz. In French we have "Bible versus Evolution" and "Our Lord's Return: His Parousia," etc., at 5c each.
"VOLUNTEER" TOWERS IN SWEDISH
We have good quantities of Swedish literature for general circulation as Volunteer matter. We cannot send these by mail except in small lots, but where 2000 or more are ordered in one lot we can send by freight, charges prepaid. Order all you can use judiciously amongst the Swedish people of your neighborhood.
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VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER.
ROMAN CATHOLICISM IN TROUBLE
WE have already noted the fact that the French government has cancelled its agreement or "Concordat" with the Church of Rome, and that religion in France is now on much the same plane as in these United States--that is, that religion shall no longer be supported by the government. There is this difference--the French have gone a step farther than America, and have decided that the great church edifices, etc., built with the money of the French public, are not the property of the Pope and Roman hierarchy, but to be supervised by the French government, which, being a Republic, is the people's government. French laws on the subject are even-handed toward all religions--Catholic, Protestant, Hebrew, et al. They will not recognize the power of the Pope and others in Italy to close the church buildings, nor to otherwise control them; but insists that the Catholic people of the diocese shall have the control. To understand this we must remember, as pointed out in MILLENNIAL DAWN, VOL. II., that the Roman Catholic Church is not composed of the Roman Catholics of the congregation, but is a hierarchy composed of the Pope and higher clergy. The Catholic congregations are merely "the children of the Church, who call the Church" (the hierarchy) their fathers. This is the Episcopal idea even amongst Protestants: but the majority of Protestants recognize, in theory at least, that "All ye are brethren." However, even amongst these the division into "clergy" and "laity" is a too common fact--descended from "the dark ages" and fostered by Roman and Episcopal usages. The Pope (Pius X.) has issued (Aug 14) an Encyclical letter to the Roman Catholic Bishops of France in which he denounced the French government's action, and while apparently forbidding compliance with it, really instructs them how best to comply with it;-- by organizing Societies amongst the laity who can and will co-operate with their Ecclesiastics. Note the point: Rome will not concede that her "children" are in or of the Church, but she will outwardly comply with French law to hold possession and control of Church property. The poor French "children" may never know that they have the control of the situation. Similar regulations in Great Britain and in these United States might be favorable to the greater liberty of the people of all denominations. For instance, then Presbyterians and Methodists and Catholics, et al., would control their own properties as the Disciples and some Baptists now do.
ROMISH INFLUENCE IN SPAIN
Ever since the Spanish-American war Spain has been awakening to a realization of her bondage to religious superstitions of the "dark ages." The action of France has been a lesson to Spain, which she is gradually learning, and it need not surprise us if it lead to separation between the State-and-Church union which has prevailed there for centuries. The entering wedge was the recent decision of the Minister of Justice, that a civil marriage is lawful and binding whether sanctioned by the Roman Catholic Church or not. The test case was on the refusal of burial privileges to the corpse of one married without the approval of the Roman clergy. The decision will thus be seen to be a breaking of the power of the Roman clergy over the people. A dispatch from Madrid states that the Church and State relationship is exciting heated discussions and that public disturbances have occurred. It is said that at the next session of the Spanish Parliament the King's representative will introduce a bill making the "religious orders" amenable to the law controlling industrial corporations, and another bill providing that the members of orders recently expelled from France shall either become naturalized citizens or leave Spain. We rejoice that "the dark places of the earth, the habitations of cruelty," are getting a glimmer of the light of the Millennial morning. We lift up our heads with rejoicing that the deliverance of the true and only Church ("whose names are written in heaven") is nigh at hand; and that then speedily the great Sun of Righteousness will shine forth to bless all the families of the earth, to give to all the knowledge of the glory of God as it shines in the face of Jesus Christ our Lord. Meantime the Lord has stirred the hearts of some familiar with the Spanish tongue, and they are preparing
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a translation of Vol. I., ("The Divine Plan of the Ages,") in that language, which we hope to have ready soon after the beginning of 1907. It will be in demand in Mexico first, but we learn will also be appreciated by considerable numbers in Spain.
STRONG PROTESTS AGAINST THE POPE
A cablegram says:--"Poor Pope Pius X's honeymoon is over, and the simple-minded child-like occupant of the chair of St. Peter is surrounded on all sides by dangers and intrigues. That his good intentions have at least partly failed and that the Augean stable of the Vatican is still waiting for a Hercules to clean it is no secret, and it is also a well-known fact that the Pope has fallen a victim to the forces of the reactionary parties surrounding him, and that this has caused great dissatisfaction amongst the Roman clergy. "This is plainly shown by the numerous libelous pamphlets which have appeared during the last few months. The latest of these, which has created widespread sensation, is entitled, 'Ildebrand monaco,' criticizes the Pope in a manner which in regard to forceful language surpasses anything ever printed in the Eternal City. "'It is no longer you, Holy Father, who rule, but reckless and unscrupulous prelates who have taken advantage of your kindness and modesty. A small clique of younger prelates, led by Cardinal Merry del Val, are bringing disgrace upon the Church, and while they are satisfying their every desire, the priests are struggling with poverty, many of them living on a lire and a half (30 cents) a day. "'We know that you, Holy Father, were inspired with the best intentions when you ascended to the throne of St. Peter, but though you do not realize it, you have become a weak, tyrannous Pope. You desired to reinstate the rule of love and charity, but you have been conquered by Satan, whose servants are surrounding you, disguised as young cardinals. "'Oh, Holy Father, remember that it is your holy duty to seek truth, and more so as many of us are beginning to doubt its existence. Remember that some day you will be called to account for your stewardship!'"
HATRED OF THE JEWS
Benjamin Disraeli, better known as Lord Beaconsfield, wrote a political biography which is attracting considerable attention. Goldwin Smith thus refers to it:-- "It is natural that in the course of this political biography Disraeli, who had witnessed the exclusion of Jews from the House of Commons and who had found and was still finding his own Israelite descent an almost insuperable bar to advancement, should diverge for a moment from the main current of his narration to consider the grounds of the disabilities to which the Hebrew race had been so long subjected in Christian Europe. He begins by reminding us that the Saxon, the Slav and the Celt have adopted most of the laws and many of the customs of the Jews, together with all the latter's literature and all their religion. The former are, therefore, indebted to the Israelites for much that regulates, much that charms and much that solaces existence. The toiling multitude rest every seventh day by virtue of a Jewish law; they are perpetually reading, that they may be taught by example, the records of Jewish history; they are continually singing the odes and elegies of Jewish poets; and they daily acknowledge on their knees with reverent gratitude that the only medium of communication between the Creator and themselves is the Jewish religion. Yet, at the hour when Disraeli wrote, the Saxon, the Slav and the Celt were accustomed to treat that race as the vilest of generations; and, instead of looking upon them logically as the channel of human happiness, they were accustomed to inflict upon them every term of obloquy and every form of persecution. Had it not been for the Jews of Palestine the good tidings of our Lord would have been unknown forever to the northern and western races. The first preachers of the Gospel were Jews, no others; the historians of the Gospel were
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Jews, no others. No human being has ever been permitted to write under the inspiration of the holy Spirit except a Jew. 'They nursed the sacred flame of which they were the consecrated and hereditary depositories. When the time was ripe to diffuse the truth among the Gentiles it was not a senator of Rome nor a philosopher of Athens who was personally appointed by our Lord for that office, but a Jew of Tarsus, who founded the seven churches of Asia. That greater Church, great even amid its terrible corruptions, that has avenged the victory of Titus by subjugating the capital of the Caesars and has changed every one of the Olympian temples into altars of the God of Sinai and of Calvary, was founded by another Jew, a Jew of Galilee.' From all which Disraeli concludes that the dispersion of the Jewish race, preceding as it did for ages the advent of our Lord, could not be for conduct which occurred subsequent to his nativity, and that they are also guiltless of that subsequent conduct which has been imputed to them as a crime, since for him and his blessed name they preached and wrote and shed their blood, 'as witnesses.' "Disraeli says: 'The creative genius of Israel, on the contrary, never shone so bright; and when the Russian, the Frenchman and the Anglo-Saxon, amid applauding theaters or the choral voices of solemn temples, yield themselves to the full spell of a Mozart or a Mendelssohn, it seems difficult to comprehend how these races can reconcile it to their hearts to persecute a Jew.' In the course of the same remarkable chapter Disraeli refers to the futility of persecution in the case of the Jew. 'Egyptian Pharaohs, Assyrian kings, Roman emperors, Scandinavian crusaders, Gothic princes and holy inquisitors have alike devoted their energies to the fulfilment of this common purpose. Expatriation, exile, captivity, confiscation, torture on the most ingenious and massacre on the most extensive scale, and a curious system of degrading customs and debasing laws which would have broken the heart of any other people have been tried, and in vain! The Jews, after all this havoc, are probably more numerous at this date than they were during the reign of Solomon the Wise, are found in all lands, and prospering in most. All which proves that it is in vain for man to attempt to baffle the inexorable law of nature, which has decreed that a superior race shall never be destroyed or absorbed by an inferior.' Disraeli adds that all the tendencies of the Jewish race are conservative. The bias of the Jews is toward religion, property and natural aristocracy. For which reason Disraeli pronounces it for the interest of statesmen that this bias of a great race should be encouraged, and their energies and creative powers enlisted in the cause of the existing social order."--Watchword.
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INSANITY ON THE INCREASE
Washington, D.C.,--At the end of the year 1904, the last for which figures have been returned, 199,773 persons were under restraint in the 328 mad-houses of the country. No account was taken of the hopelessly insane people returned to the insane wards of the county poor-houses throughout the country by the hospitals for the insane maintained by the various States. During the thirteen years' period from 1890 to the end of 1903, the number of hospitals for the insane and the insane confined therein both doubled. In that same period 16,946 persons were confined in forty-two institutions for the feeble minded. These statistics were completed by the Census Bureau, and made public in a special bulletin to-day. The bureau does not regard them as conclusive answer to the question whether insanity is increasing. They do regard them as persuasive. They regard them as revealing a remarkable increase in the class to which they belong, namely, to the number of insane placed under restrictions. The number of insane in hospitals for each 100,000 of population increased from 81.6 in 1880 to 118.2 in 1890, and 186.2 in 1903. A remarkable fact is that among native whites there is more insanity among the males, while among foreign-born whites the females are more likely to lose their reason than the males. Although not made a part of the official record of speculations on the subject, there is an impression among those who assisted in the compilation of the figures that American males go insane as the reason of their strenuous efforts to get the money wherewith to support the female members of their families in comparative ease, while among the foreign-born insanity among the females results from the work their lords and masters compel them to perform.--Rochester Democrat.
* * *
Science has been boasting of late that the average of human life has been increasing: that the average is now 35 years, whereas only twenty years ago it was as low as 32 years. This raise of the average has been accomplished chiefly through increased skill in dealing with children's ailments. Weakly children are now "pulled through" by the use of incubators, etc., etc. On these achievements of science some were disposed to predicate wonderful things--possibly eventually "eternal life." But those whose eyes of understanding are opening under the eyesalve of God's Word see matters differently: they see that man's hopes of everlasting life center in Christ and not in medical science. To us there is quite a connection between the above and other reports of the rapid increase of insanity and the preservation of the weaklings of our race. The lesson is that, if science held the race out of the grave a little longer the survival of the weak would mean in a few generations a weaker race and a still more rapid deterioration and shortening of longevity. Even now insanity experts are telling us that at the present rate the whole world would be insane in less than two centuries. Evidently the world as well as the Church has cause to pray earnestly, "Thy Kingdom Come."
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Within my hand I gently hold "the Garden's Queen," a rose,-- The softly sighing summer wind about it faintly blows And wafts its wondrous fragrance out upon the evening air. And as I gaze upon the rose, so perfect and so fair, In memory's halls there wakes, the while, a legend, quaint and old, How once upon a time, one day, a sage picked up, we're told, A lump of common clay, so redolent with perfume rare, He marvelled, and the question wondering asked, "Whence dost thou bear Such fragrance, oh, thou lump of clay?" In tones of deep repose There came the sweet reply, "I have been dwelling with the rose."
The while the legend stirs my soul, within my hand still lie The petals of the rose, and from my heart of hearts I cry, "Thou lovely "Rose of Sharon," may I ever dwell with Thee, So closely that the fragrance of Thy love shall cling to me! Oh, fill me with the spirit of Thy sweet humility, Then all shall see and know, dear Lord, that I have learned of Thee; And let my earthly pilgrimage, until its blessed close, Each day and hour bear witness, "I've been dwelling with the Rose." G. W. S.
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REPORT OF RECENT CONVENTIONS
ALTOONA, PA., SEPT. 23
WE had three splendid meetings at Altoona. The morning Testimony Rally showed warmth and zeal and love for the Lord, the Truth and the brethren. The afternoon meeting for the public was in the Opera House, which was well filled with an audience of about 1000. The evening session for the interested was attended by about 275. God's blessing was with our united efforts, we believe, and we already know of some good results.
COLUMBUS, O. SEPT. 30
Arriving at an early hour we had the privilege of visiting the Penitentiary, where a number of "brethren" are confined for misdeeds committed while they were still under the blinding instructions of "orthodoxy." We could not see all, on account of prison rules, but those whom we did meet gave good evidence of the truth of the Apostle's words, "He that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure." The Testimony Rally was at 10 a.m. and was a great success. A goodly number attended from nearby points and the general witness was to the mercy of God and special thankfulness for the Truth. The service for the public was in the new "Memorial Hall," the largest auditorium of the city, said to seat 3500. It was packed full, 200 on chairs on the platform, 300 standing, and several hundred were unable to obtain admittance when the public safety authorities closed and locked the doors. It was a grand audience which gave close attention for nearly two hours to our theme, "To Hell and Back." The evening address to the interested many of you already read in the Dispatch. The attendance was about 700, the majority of them being people who had heard in the afternoon for the first time. The friends had prayed much and labored hard for this meeting and had spent much money in wise advertising, that their fellow-citizens might have the privilege of coming in contact with the Truth, and they
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felt greatly blessed and encouraged by the results seen and hoped for.
CONVENTIONS IN TEXAS
Only one Texas Convention was announced--at Dallas, Oct. 13,14--but at a date too late for announcement in the WATCH TOWER the appeals from San Antonio and Houston prevailed. The determining arguments were that the Editor when at Dallas would be within 300 miles of the other points, that to visit them would consume little more time, and that the majority of the friends could not afford to visit Dallas. At Dallas we had a splendid gathering of the "brethren," representing every section of Texas, Indian Territory, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. The only drawback was the rainy weather, which interfered with the attendance of the public, but in no sense dampened the spiritual ardor of our own people. The Convention opened Saturday morning, Oct. 13, and closed the following Monday at noon. The largest attendance was about 400; 20 symbolized their consecration by immersion. The Editor left Dallas for San Antonio on Sunday night. At the latter place two public meetings were held--Monday afternoon and evening. The latter, in the Grand Opera House, was attended by about 1000 who gave excellent attention. Leaving on the night train, Houston was reached Tuesday morning and there two public services were held--afternoon and evening--about 350 being present at the closing session. Thence by train two days and three nights brought us in safety to the Bible House, Allegheny, on Friday morning, Oct. 20.
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GATHERING OR SCATTERING, WHICH?
"He that is not for me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad." --`Matt. 12:30`--
OF THE JEWS in general at the first advent our Lord declared, "They knew not the time of their visitation." (`Luke 19:44`.) When we remember that the people addressed were the prototype of nominal Christendom today, it should not surprise us that the same words are applicable now. As Israel recognized not Jesus as the Messiah and that his work was a harvest work, a separating work, so likewise Christian people in general today are unaware that we are living in the second presence of the Messiah and that a similar harvesting work is now in progress-- separating wheat from tares and gathering the wheat into the garner. Although there has always been a right and a wrong side to every question--the side of right and truth and the side of wrong and error, the side of God and the side of Mammon--yet the harvest in the end of the Jewish age brought a new issue and a fresh division along new lines. So it is in this harvest time: throughout the Gospel age there has been the side of right and justice and its opposing side of wrong and error, the side of God and the truth and the side of Mammon and confusion. But now in the harvest time the fresh separation takes place along new lines--a separation amongst those who are on the side of God, on the side of right, on the side of truth. Evidently these harvest testings, siftings, separations, represent more crucial tests to the Lord's people than have come to them at other times, and correspond with the harvest time at the first advent, and now have come increased blessings, privileges, favors, enlightenments. Where much advantage is given the more will reasonably be expected in return--where the trials are more severe, the more assistance and enlightenment are necessary and have been provided.
THE PERIOD OF TRANSITION
Surveying Christendom we find many in the nominal churches doing all in their power to oppose the harvest work; nevertheless it goes on prosperously, in harmony with our Lord's declaration, "So shall my word be that goeth out of my mouth; it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." (`Isa. 55:11`.) It was just so at the first advent: practically all of the leading theologians, Doctors of the Law, as well as the priests and the leading prominent Pharisees, took the side of opposition to the great Reaper and that harvest work. Similarly today in this harvest the most vigorous opponents of the Lord's work are the Doctors of Divinity and those prominent in religious matters. They can agree amongst themselves, and bury all their own serious oppositions of doctrine and usage in union meetings, etc., Episcopalians, Methodists, Presbyterians, Roman Catholics and Jews, as we sometimes see mentioned in the public press. But they all with one accord are violently opposed to Present Truth as represented in the WATCH TOWER publications, opposed to the harvest work. Just so the Sadducees, the Pharisees and Herodians made common cause in opposition to the Master and the harvest work in the end of the Jewish age. Nevertheless the Lord's work was really helped forward by their opposition, for he intended the gathering only of the elect class, the fully consecrated, and the opposition helped to separate from these all others; and just so we find it at the present time. We are not, therefore, complaining respecting these oppositions, knowing full well that the Chief Reaper has the entire situation in charge, and that by divine ability he is able to make all things work together for good to the right class, and for the accomplishment of his purpose in the separations intended at the present time. We feel justified according to the Scriptures in supposing that Satan, the great Adversary of the divine plan, has more or less to do with the oppositions of
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this present time, as the Scriptures assure us he had to do with the opposition to the harvest work of the Jewish age. He of course works through natural channels, uses human instrumentalities. As an angel of light he urges those who have been identified with religious institutions of human organization that their systems having been used by the Lord to some extent in helping faithful souls nearer the truth, it would be an error now to think of these institutions or systems as being rejected of the Lord and his people called out of them. He blinds them to the fact that in the past God has repeatedly used the wrath of men to praise him, and various institutions not approved by him have served as his instrumentalities in accomplishing his needed work, just as the Lord had undoubtedly blessed and used the priests and Levites, the Doctors of the Law and the Pharisees, in olden times, and continued to use them more or less up to the time of their final testing, when the Master declared publicly, "Your house is left unto you desolate."--`Matt. 23:38`. All true Israelites should have recognized the change of dispensations; or, as the Scriptures declare, they should have known "the time of their visitation." The difficulty evidently was that many of them were overcharged with the cares of this life, the deceitfulness of riches, the honors of men and their sectarian prosperity. And so it is here in this harvest time: the test comes along similar lines. Fidelity to the voice of him that speaketh from heaven through the Bible means, in the clearer light now granted us, an opposition to the errors and false doctrines long cherished as truths by ourselves and forbears and friends. Now as then this increase of light, this hearing of the voice of the Lord, brings a test--the separation of those who are the true sheep from others who do not belong to this flock. "My sheep hear my voice and they follow me."
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The true sheep have long recognized that the voice of their creeds from the "dark ages" was not purely and simply the voice of the Shepherd: they heard instead confused voices, some of them from the Lord and some of them from the Adversary; and this confusion is represented in the creeds. The word Babylon signifies confusion; hence nominal Christendom as a whole is today, according to the Scriptures, to be recognized as Babylon, confusion. Her voice is not wholly bad nor wholly good--it is the message of the Lord contradicted and confused by the message of the Adversary. But now in the harvest time the Chief Reaper is here, and all the wheat class should know it and should heed his message and be gathered into the garner. Under another figure the Chief Shepherd has come, and all the true sheep should now discern clearly between his voice and the voice of strangers, heard through their creeds and generally from their pulpits-- voices which speak Evolution, Higher Critical Infidelity, and the rejection of the Word of God, which the Apostle declares is alone able to make us wise unto salvation --that is alone able to qualify the man of God that he may be thoroughly furnished unto every good work.-- `2 Tim. 3:17`.
HARVEST HELPERS AND HINDERERS
One of the chief delusions practised by the Adversary at this time is to persuade the Lord's true people that any downfall of Babylon in any of its departments or denominations would be sacrilegious, would be an injury to the cause of Christ, whereas they should see clearly that the prosperity of the cause of Christ at the present time means the deliverance of his true saints from Babylon, and that this shall signify eventually the complete fall of Babylon as expressed in the Scriptures, the rejection of Babylon, which chronologically we located in the Scriptures by the words, "Babylon the Great is fallen, is fallen....Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins and receive not of her plagues." (`Rev. 18:2,4`.) This fallen condition of Babylon signifies, not her destruction, but her complete rejection from God's favor, so that God will use her no more as a channel for the bestowment of his best blessings --"The voice of the Bridegroom and the Bride shall be heard no more at all in thee."--`Rev. 18:23`. We are now in the little season in which the Lord is waiting for the response of those whom he is calling out of Babylon. Those in her who have the highest stations of honor find it most difficult to forsake these and to become followers in the footsteps of Jesus to the extent of being disowned by the religious teachers and made of "no reputation." The Lord's call out of Babylon is not an audible one--he merely calls us by the principles of righteousness. He lifts the curtain before the eyes of understanding of his consecrated ones and thus lets them see some of the errors, some of the falsities in which they and others of Babylon are involved--dishonoring the holy name--blaspheming the holy name by misrepresentation of the divine character and plan. This is and should be call enough for those who are of the Lord's Spirit, for those who love the Lord and the honor of his name more than they love houses or lands or parents or children or any other creature or thing--yea, more than they love their own lives. Such are sure to respond and to come out of Babylon; others who remain, in spite of seeing the light, fail to be overcomers of the highest class--fail therefore to be in the elect Bride class, and must be counted in with the great company, which will come through great tribulation, and will get out of Babylon only when she has been cast as a great millstone into the midst of the sea--in the time of anarchous trouble with which this age will close.
"WHO IS ON THE LORD'S SIDE?"
What we all need to see clearly is that if we are on the side of the Lord we are helpers in this harvest work--helpers in the separation which is now due to be accomplished--an assisting of the Lord's true people out of Babylon and its confusion and darkness into the light of truth and more fully into the grace of God. We will all then see that to be in Babylon, upholding her systems, upholding her errors, whether by the influence of our names upon her rolls, counted in with her numbers, or by rendering any financial aid in any
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measure or degree, we are to that extent opposing the work which he is now doing in the world. If all could get this correct Scriptural thought in mind it would help them amazingly to know the step of duty and to take it. All who are the Lord's at heart must be loyal to him; and if they could but see the force of our Lord's words, that he who is not gathering with him in this harvest work, gathering out of Babylon, is in opposition to him and hinders his work, it would help many such, we believe, to come forward courageously and take their stand on the side of the Lord in opposition to Babylon and every false doctrine and false system. True, the Lord with great forbearance permitted the wheat and tares to grow together, permitted the truth and the falsehood to be mixed together. But now we have come to the turning point, now we are in the separating time: he no longer says, "Let both grow together," but he says positively to those who are his, "Come out of her, my people," and all who are his people of the "more than conqueror" class will heed the voice and come out before the fall of Babylon--come out in time to help rescue others by their word and example, and to bring others of the truth-hungry sheep out of the Babylon creed-pens into the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, that we may be taught of God. This message, "Come out of her, my people," is not to those who are still blind in Babylon; hence it is not the first message to be given out at the present time. The light, the truth, the divine plan of the ages, is to be let shine; the errors of Babylon on various points are to be shown, and how these are dishonoring to God: then it is that the voice of the truth, the voice of these facts, will cry aloud to all who are truly the Lord's sheep, to separate themselves from such misrepresentation of the divine character and plan, in heart, in person, in purse. There are some of the Lord's people today who much remind us of Nicodemus of old--they are inclined to visit the Lord by night, to hold the truth in secret while giving their time, their influence, principally in opposition to the divine plan. So long as any one is in this condition he cannot hope to make much progress in growth in grace, in knowledge and in the peace and joy and love and other fruits of the Spirit, now due to be developed and ripened in our hearts and lives. It is an element of the divine law that for every ray of light that we receive a certain amount of obedience and response must be expected: if therefore any would go on and grow in grace and grow in knowledge, he must practice the things which he has already learned, he must take the steps one by one as he comes to them.
THE SPIRIT OF DIVISION
Even if we have come out of Babylon and taken our stand on the Lord's side the great Adversary pursues us, seeking to entrap and ensnare and to hinder the work in general. Strange as it may seem, unreasonable as it may appear, there are some who have recognized Present Truth who have realized that we are in the harvest time, that the separation of wheat from tares is in progress, that the great Reaper is present conducting this work, that under his conduct of the work they themselves were gathered out and have received many blessings, yet now they begin to scatter abroad, they hinder the harvest work, they attempt to sow discord amongst the under-reapers by saying all manner of evil falsely against some of them, by traducing their characters, impugning their motives and by implication persuading those who have only gotten free from Babylon that the great Reaper himself has nothing to do in the matter, and that the proper thing is discord, dissension, slashing right and left to scatter abroad the wheat already separated from the tares. "We are not ignorant of his devices," writes the Apostle concerning our great Adversary. (`2 Cor. 2:11`.) We know who is to blame particularly for the present attitude of some in opposition to the harvest work. We remember how he practiced similarly in the early Church; how he got up dissensions amongst the Lord's chosen twelve, disputing as to which should be greatest--as to which had accomplished the greatest service and would have greatest honor. We remember how his spirit actuated Peter, so that he tried to interfere with the Lord's consecration to sacrifice, and how the Lord himself rebuked Peter, saying, "Get thee behind me, Adversary; thou savorest not the things that be of God but the things which be of man." We remember Jesus' own words to that same disciple, saying, "Satan hath desired to have thee that he might sift thee as wheat, but I have prayed for thee." Shall not these incidents from the typical harvest of the Jewish age have their weight with us in respect to the harvest of this Gospel age? Here, too, Satan is desirous to sift out some, and the great Chief Reaper is ready to aid all who desire his aid and succor. Here, too, we may expect to find some like Judas, of whom it is written, "Satan entered into him."--`John 13:27`. Satan's work in the heart of Judas was a gradual one: evidently the love of money was the beginning of his fall into the Adversary's hands. With some today the love of money and business prosperity may be the power, the influence, which will lead them to become Satan's accomplices. But so far as our observation goes temptation today is more likely to be along other lines of selfishness--honor of men and desire to be thought great and wise, to be leaders. As the spirit of selfishness undermined the loyalty of Judas to his Master, so a similar spirit of selfishness may today undermine loyalty to the Lord, his truth, his work, and thus lead on and on until Satan enters in, and the work of Satan is manifested more and more in the anger, malice, envy, hatred, strife and other works of the flesh and the devil, against members of the body of Christ, against under-reapers, and therefore against the great Chief Reaper, who declares that "he that rejecteth me and receiveth not my words hath one that judgeth him"; and, "Whoso offendeth one of these little ones that
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believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea;" and again, "It must needs be that offences come; but woe unto that man by whom the offence cometh."--`Matt. 18:6,7`. The matter is an individual one, as stated in our text: therefore let each of us apply the matter to himself, and with the greatest of earnestness and solicitude inquire whether he is united fully at heart with the Lord, and whether his hands and heart and purse and every talent and possession are associated with the great Chief Reaper in the present harvest work-- whether he is gathering into this barn, this garner, or whether he is doing a scattering work. The Lord indicates that his work is one, and that it is all under his supervision. Whoever, therefore, thinks otherwise-- that he may do a separate harvest work, and that each of the Lord's people should do a separate harvest work, each according to the bent of his own mind, has evidently misunderstood the divine program. All of the propositions of Present Truth harmoniously agree that the Lord is here supervising and conducting the harvest work, calling his own servants and reckoning with them. If therefore we have been separated from the world and from Babylon, in part or in whole, let us look well to it that our stand is either for or against the Lord from the moment that we recognize the work he is doing. Hence every word and every act means to us responsibilities that it shall be for the Lord, for the truth, for the gathering of the saints, not in opposition to him and his, not to the scattering of his work. "He that is not for me is against me; he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad." Very soon, we trust, we shall render our accounts to the one who gave us this message, and our joy or our shame shall be in proportion as we have heeded his words, allowing nothing of selfishness or personal ambition to have any place in our hearts or conduct. Let us more and more seek exclusively to glorify God in our bodies and spirits, which are his.--`I Cor. 6:20`.
BEREAN STUDIES IN "TABERNACLE SHADOWS"
In the references below, Z. represents this journal and T. stands for Tabernacle Shadows. The references should be given to brethren and sisters for reading in the classes. Free comment should be permitted after each reading.
1. What was the divine purpose in establishing the Tabernacle in the wilderness with its services and ceremonies? `Heb. 10:1`; `Heb. 8:5`; `Col. 2:16,17`; T.11, par. 1; Z.'02-235 (1st col. par. 1; 2nd col. par. 1). 2. What is a "type"? and how should types be used? Z.'92-100; see also WATCH TOWER BIBLE under "Types." 3. What should be our object in studying the Tabernacle "shadows"? T.11, par. 2 to 12, par. 2. 4. Briefly stated, what was the Tabernacle, and where do we find the directions for its construction? T.12, par. 3; `Ex. 25 to 27`; `35 to 40`.
5. What were the dimensions of the Tabernacle, the names and sizes of its two apartments? T.13, par. 1. 6. How may we avoid the confusion arising from improper translations of the "Holy" and "Most Holy"? T.13, footnote. 7. Describe the Court, with its dimensions. T.14, par. 1. 8. What were the names of the three entrance passages into the "Court," the "Holy" and the "Most Holy," respectively? T.14, par. 2. 9. What and where was the "Camp"? T.14, par. 2. 10. What were the furnishments of the "Court" and how situated? T.15, par. 1 to 3. 11. What were the furnishments of the "Holy" and where were they placed? T.15, par. 4 to 17, par. 1. 12. What furniture did the "Most Holy" contain? T.17, par. 2. 13. What difference in the material of which the furniture in the Tabernacle and the "Court" was made, and what did this signify? T.17, par. 3. 14. What did the "Camp" typify? T.18, par. 1.
15. What did the "Court" represent, and who alone might enter into it? T.19, par. 1; Z.'02-235 (2nd col. par. 2). 16. Briefly, what did the two apartments of "the Tabernacle" proper represent? T.19, par. 2; Z.'02-236 (1st col., top of page). 17. Who only of the Israelites might enter the Tabernacle, and what is the antitype? T.20, par. 1. 18. In the antitype, do all who enter the "Court" experience a change of nature? T.20, par. 2. 19. What does entering the antitypical "Holy" imply, and how is Christ the "Gate" and the "Door"? T.20, par. 2.
20. What parts of the Tabernacle represented the two stages of our new life? T.20, par. 3. 21. Who are those begotten of God through the Word of Truth (`Jas. 1:18`), and how represented in the "Holy"? T.20, par. 4; Z.'00-227 (1st col., par. 2). 22. Did the "Most Holy" represent the present or future condition of the "overcomers"? T.21, par. 1. 23. What is the hope, which "as an anchor entereth into that within the [second] vail"? `Heb. 6:19`; `10:20`; T.21, par. 2. 24. How do consecrated believers follow in the footsteps of their Leader and High Priest, Jesus?" T.21, par. 3, to 22 par. 1; Z.'02-236 (1st col., par. 1).
25. How do we pass the "vail of sin and unbelief," and why was it not necessary for Jesus to take this step? T.22, par. 1. 26. How do we pass the first vail, and into what does it lead us? T.22, par. 2, 3. 27. What does the passing of the second vail typify? T.22, par. 3. 28. Why must we leave our human bodies behind when we pass the second vail? `I Cor. 15:50`; `John 3:5,8,13`; T.23 (top of page). 29. By way of recapitulation, what did the "Camp," "Court" and "Tabernacle" typify? T.23, par. 1.
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"WITH STRONG CRYINGS AND TEARS"
--`MATTHEW 26:36-50`.--NOVEMBER 11.--
Golden Text:--"Not my will, but thine, be done."--`Luke 22:42`.
THE Garden of Gethsemane was not a wild woods nor a public garden, but an olive orchard. The name seems to indicate that upon the premises was located an oil-press for the extraction of the oil from the olives. It is supposed to have been the home of the mother of Mark, reputed to have been a wealthy widow, a friend of Jesus' cause. The house and outbuildings were probably in one part of the orchard or "garden." At all events it seems evident that the property was under the control of Jesus' friends, and that he and his disciples were well acquainted with the spot to which, after eating the Memorial Supper, our Lord and his disciples adjourned. The site now pointed out as this Gethsemane Garden is about half a mile from the wall of Jerusalem, and contains some remarkably old olive trees, the Garden itself being under the care of some monks who reside near by. When our Lord and his eleven disciples had arrived at the entrance to the Garden or orchard, Jesus left eight of them there as a kind of outer guard, taking with him the favorite three, Peter, James and John, the three who on various occasions had been similarly favored--for instance, in connection with the visit to Jairus' daughter--and it was the same three who were privileged to see the "vision" on the Mount of Transfiguration. While Jesus loved all of his disciples, these three were especially dear to him, probably because of their special zeal and love for him. But on this occasion not even these, his specially dear disciples, could enter into or sympathize with the weight which was upon our Lord's heart; hence he stationed them and went still further along to engage in prayer to the Father. The language of all of the accounts of this incident taken together, especially in the light of the original Greek, shows that a sorrowful loneliness and anguish came upon our Lord with great force at this time. While with the disciples, doubtless in their interest, he had sought to be cheerful and to give them the needful lessons in preparing them for their trials; but now, having done all in his power for them, and having gone to the Father alone, his thoughts turned inward upon himself and his relationship to the Father, and outward upon the public shame of his trial and conviction as a blasphemer, a seditionist, and further on to the contemptuous mockery of the trial, and still further on to his public execution between two thieves. All this, now clearly before his mind, was enough for anguish, for pain, for deep, poignant sorrow.
"THE MAN OF SORROWS--ACQUAINTED WITH GRIEF"
In viewing the matter of our Lord's sufferings on this occasion it is well to remember that his perfect organization --untainted, unblemished by sin, undegraded, undulled by dying processes--was much more susceptible to the pains and sorrows of the hour upon him than the feelings of others of the fallen race could be. Under adverse conditions the finer the sentiments and characteristics the greater the pain. A hoodlum ringleader might even glory in a ride in the patrol wagon, while to a refined person the experience would be terrible. Take another illustration: A finely educated musician, with an ear for harmonies well developed, would know a disturbance and a pain from a discordant note that might not at all be appreciated by one of less acute musical talent. We could even imagine that one of the seditious robbers crucified at our Lord's side might have gloried in his death as a triumph had there been over his head those words which were over our Lord's head, "This is the King of the Jews." It is, of course, difficult for us to appreciate perfection, since neither ourselves nor any with whom we have relationship are perfect; but we repeat that it must be true that the perfect organization of our Lord would suffer far more than any of his followers could suffer under the same conditions. But there was another reason, and indeed it was the chief reason, we may be sure, why our Lord sorrowed on this occasion so that his agony, becoming very intense, produced a bloody sweat. That other reason was his realization of his own situation in relationship to God and the covenant under which he made his sacrifice. To fulfil the Father's will he had left the heavenly glories, stooped even below angels to take the human form and nature, so that he by God's favor might redeem Adam and, in redeeming him, redeem the race condemned in him. He had pleasure, yea, "delight," in this self-abasement, as it is written, "I delight to do thy will, O my God: thy law is written in my heart." (`Psa. 40:8`.) It was this spirit that led our Lord to a full consecration of himself to death as soon as he was thirty years of age, and could properly thus present himself as our sin offering. The same love and zeal kept him faithful during all the years of his ministry, and enabled him to count as light afflictions all the experiences of life and the various contradictions of sinners against himself--because he realized that he was doing the Father's will. Why was it, then, that at the very conclusion of his ministry, after he had told his disciples of his coming death, and having explained that he would be "set at naught by the chief priests and elders" and crucified--in the face of all this knowledge, confidence, loving obedience, faithfulness to his consecration vow unto death--why did our Lord experience so terrible an ordeal in the Gethsemane orchard? The words of the Apostle explain the situation: he says of Jesus, "He offered up strong cryings and tears unto him that was able to save him from [out of] death." (`Heb. 5:7`.) But others have died, others have faced death in as terrible or even more terrible form, and done it with calmness. Why did our Lord break down in such deep sorrow and such strong cryings as to bring on a bloody sweat? We answer that death to him was a very different proposition from what it is to us. We are already nine-tenths dead, or worse, through our imperfections, our share in the fall, which has benumbed all of our sensibilities, mental, moral and physical, and which renders us incapable of appreciating life in its highest, best and supremely fullest sense. Not so our Lord. "In him was Life"--perfection of life. True he had for three and a half years been laying down his life, using it in the preaching of the truth, and especially in the healing of multitudes of the sick, when virtue or vitality went out of him and healed them all. This indeed weakened his physical frame and strength, but undoubtedly he
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continued mentally very full of vigor, life, perfection. Besides, our experiences with death and our expectancy of death lead us to estimate it as a certainty sooner or later. On the contrary, our Lord's experiences were with life: for centuries to us untold he had been with the Father and the holy angels, enjoying the perfection of endless life; his experiences with dying men were but for a few short years, and hence to him death had a very different signification from what it has to the dying race. But there was more than this, much more: The heathen have a hope of future life built upon the traditions of their ancients, and God's people have hope of a resurrection built upon the divine promise and guaranteed to them through the merit of Christ's sacrifice--but what hope had Jesus? He could not share the heathen's hope that the dead were not dead, for he knew to the contrary; he could not share hope in a redemption and a raising up through the merit of another. His only hope, therefore, was that his entire career, from the moment of his consecration to the close, had been absolutely perfect, without flaw in the sight of justice, in the sight of the heavenly Father. It was here when alone that this awful fear overwhelmed him: Had he been perfect in every thought and word and deed? Had he pleased the Father absolutely? and would he be able on the morrow, with such a shrinking from the shame and ignominy as he would experience on account of his perfection--would he be able unflinchingly to perform his part? and would he, as a result, be accounted worthy by the Father to be raised from the dead on the third day? Or had he failed, or should he fail, even in some slightest particular, and thus be accounted unworthy of resurrection and thus become extinct? No wonder these weighty matters bore in upon our dear Redeemer's heart with unsurmountable sorrows, so that he offered up strong cryings and tears unto him who was able to save him from death [by a resurrection]. Matthew says he prayed, "If it be possible let this cup pass from me;" Mark says he prayed, "All things are possible;" Luke records it, "If thou be willing," and the substance of all is that our Lord was exceeding fearful of himself --fearful lest he should make a misstep and thus spoil the entire plan of God, which he had so obediently undertaken and thus far so loyally performed. Apparently death in any form would have been sufficient as a ransom for the first Adam's disobedience, meeting his death penalty; but it had pleased the Father to put his Son, the Redeemer, to the extremest of all tests, laying upon him the ignominy, the shame, of the cross. Our Lord's query was, Could he stand this? or would it be possible for the Father to deviate to that extent without interfering with the divine plan or the great work being accomplished? The necessary submission is indicated--"Not my will but thine be done."
HE WAS HEARD RESPECTING THE THING FEARED
The Apostle declares that our Lord was heard, that is, answered, in respect to the thing he feared--in respect to the cross and the recovery out of death. Prayers for help or deliverance from these troubles may be answered in two ways: The Father may remove the disturbing cause, or he may so strengthen us that we will be able to quite overcome the disturbance. And with us, as with the Master, the Father usually takes the latter course, and gives us the peace and strength through his assurance in his Word. Thus we read of our Master that an angel appeared unto him strengthening him. We know not what message that angel brought to our dear Redeemer in his hour of loneliness and violent grief, nor is it necessary that we should: it is sufficient for us to know that the Father answered the prayer, that it was heard respecting the thing feared, that the fear was all removed, that calm reigned in our dear Redeemer's bosom thereafter, so that in all the affairs and incidents of that night and the following day he was of all men the coolest and calmest. We can surmise that the Father's assurance through the angel was that he had the divine favor, that up to that moment he had been faithful, that he had the Father's smile, and that he would be fully able to meet, when the time would come, all the exigencies of the hour of trial before him. With the assurance of the Father's approval no wonder sorrow took its flight, no wonder hope, joy, love and peace streamed into the dear Redeemer's heart, and he returned to the disciples ready for the events that he knew were about to transpire.
"LET US ALSO FEAR"
It is well that the Lord's people strive to live a rejoicing life, giving thanks always to the Father in all things, and rejoicing to be counted worthy to suffer shame, etc., for the cause of Christ. But as the Apostle elsewhere declares, Let us rejoice with fear: let not our rejoicing be of that reckless, self-satisfying kind which might ensnare us and entrap us; let our rejoicing be in him who loved us and who bought us and who is ever present with us, our best Friend and truest Guide. Let us rejoice, not in feelings of our own strength and courage and wisdom, but in the fact that we have a Savior and a great one, who is able to deliver to the uttermost all that come unto the Father through him. Thus may the Lord be our strength, our confidence, our shield, our buckler. In our Lord's case we read that "He trod the winepress alone, of the people there was none with him." In his very saddest hour, when he most needed comfort and consolation, it was not possible for even the closest and dearest of his earthly friends to enter into his feelings or sympathize with him. How different with us! We are not so different from others that they cannot enter into our joys and sorrows, our hopes and fears, if they have been begotten of the same Spirit and instructed in the same school of Christ. With us human counsel and sympathy are both possible and proper. Indeed, this is the divine provision as set forth in the Scriptures, which assure us that the Lord desires that we should comfort one another and build one another up as members of the body of Christ. Nevertheless we should never neglect the throne of heavenly grace in personal interview with our Father and glorified Lord. Whatever of earthly companionship we may have, the Lord's companionship must never be underestimated or forgotten. The Lord sometimes sends his angels to us to comfort us, to give us the assurance of his love and to point out to us the sureness of our confidence, our hope. But it is not necessary any longer to send a heavenly messenger, for already the Lord has on the earth angels--messengers, members of the body of Christ
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--imbued with the Master's Spirit and love, and ready always and anxious to speak the kind word, to bind up the broken heart, to pour in the oil and wine of consolation and joy, and in every way to represent to us the Master himself. What joy often comes through such ministries, what blessing we have received in this manner, and what a privilege we have when occasion offers to be thus used of the Lord as his ministers of joy and peace and blessing to the fellow-members! Let us be on the alert that no such opportunity pass us by. The Apostle intimates that we have need of fearing the same thing that Jesus feared when he says, "Let us also fear lest a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of us should seem to come short of it." As New Creatures we have tasted of the new life, the heavenly life: our eyes of understanding have to some extent been opened to see the grandeurs and beauties of the heavenly things which God hath in reservation for them that love him. And we, too, realize that our attainment to the glory, honor, immortality and joint-heirship with the Lord depends upon our faithfulness to our covenant of sacrifice. If faithful, we know that he is faithful who has promised; if unfaithful, we know that we shall fail of that prize. What manner of persons ought we then to be under these conditions? Let us fear the loss of such a wonderful prospect of glory, honor and immortality, in the sense that we will seek constantly to fulfil our covenant and to abide in our Father's love and in our Redeemer's favor and smile. All who are thus walking carefully may have their moments in which they will experience something of the shadows of Gethsemane loneliness, for their testing, for their proving, and to develop in them the proper fear necessary to their full knowledge, to their appreciation of the situation and to faithfulness.
"SLEEP ON NOW"
During that hour of intense mental agony our Lord prayed and prayed again, and in the interim came to his disciples, doubtless craving such sympathy as they would be able to give; but he found them asleep, their eyes being heavy from sorrow, says the Evangelist. The hour was midnight; they were sharing his sorrows, but unable to appreciate them rightly. The Master chided, probably especially Peter, when he said, "What, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, lest ye enter into temptation." The noble Peter had but a short time before declared, "Lord, though all men forsake thee, yet will not I," and even now he had the sword which he subsequently used in seeking to defend the Lord, and yet he did not realize the importance of the hour; he knew not, as the Master did, how serious were the testings and how close; he knew not that it was a very short time until the Master's words would be fulfilled. "Before the cock crow twice thou shalt deny me thrice." Ah, had he realized as the Master did the trials that were near, how vigilant he doubtless would have been! And is it not so with us to-day? Are we not as the Lord's people in this harvest-time drawing close to the Gethsemane hour of the Church? Are we not already in the hour of temptation to a considerable extent? Will not the last members
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of the body soon follow the Head unto complete sacrifice? How ready are we for the ordeal? Are we asleep, or are we heeding the words of the Apostle, They that sleep sleep in the night, but we who are of the day should be awake, sober, putting on the whole armor of God that we may be able to stand in this evil day, in the time of trial already upon us, and in the still severer trials which no doubt will be ours in the near future? Are we prepared for the time when there will possibly be a general scattering, as these "all forsook him and fled"? How courageous we will be in our hour of trial will probably depend much upon our following the Master's example and securing first of all that positive conviction that we have the divine approval. Let us not then avoid the Gethsemane moment if it come to us in the Lord's providence, but let us also with strong cryings and tears look up to him who is able to save us out of death by the glorious First Resurrection, and let us remember that we have an Advocate, we have a helper. The Lord is our angel who speaks to us the Father's message, telling us that if we abide in his love all will be right in the end, and that he is able and willing to bring us off conquerors, yea, more than conquerors through his own merit.
"THE SPIRIT IS WILLING, BUT THE FLESH IS WEAK"
This was our dear Redeemer's comment upon his disciples. He appreciated the fact that at heart they were loyal to him--he was not unmindful of their forsaking all to be his followers, he is not a hard Master, but on the contrary ever willing to accept our heart intentions, even where the flesh fails to come up to the perfect standard; and doubtless, therefore, his words, "Sleep on now, and take your rest," were not meant as sarcasm, but in very truth he wished that they might get a little rest, refreshment, in view of the ordeals of the day approaching. But not long did they rest until the trial was upon them. Judas guided a multitude seeking for Jesus--not Roman soldiers, but a multitude, a rabble of the curious, with certain servants of the High Priest, who was also a Judge. These, then, were court officers, an impromptu sheriff's posse, that came upon Jesus in the garden and arrested him by night, fearing that an arrest in daylight would create a disturbance at a time when the city was full of visitors to the Passover, and when disturbances were rather to be expected, and by the officers of the law sought to be carefully avoided. Judas either knew the garden as a spot frequented by Jesus and the disciples, or had learned at the Supper where the company intended to go subsequently. When Satan entered into him and he resolved to earn the thirty pieces of silver by betraying the Lord, he left the gathered company at the Passover Feast and went to the chief priests and bargained with them, and now, as the result of that engagement, he came forward in advance of the multitude mentioned to meet Jesus and to indicate to the soldiers the one they wished to apprehend. As he approached he saluted, saying, "Hail, Rabbi," and kissed him. The Greek indicates that he kissed him repeatedly. Jesus received these expressions that belong to love, and knew that they were traitorous, yet made no evil retort. Instead he most kindly and respectfully said, "Friend, do that for which thou art come." The word "friend" does not signify loving friend--it is not
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from the Greek word philos, beloved, but from hetaire, which signifies comrade or partner.
AVOID THE JUDAS SPIRIT
Truly every disciple of Christ, realizing that the issue is with himself, will desire to follow such a course as will insure against his ever becoming a Judas to the Lord and his cause. God's foreknowledge that one of the twelve would prove a traitor, not only receiving the grace of God in vain, but using it in a most villainous manner, was not the cause of Judas' fall. The Apostle says, "The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity." (`2 Tim. 2:19`.) It is for us to determine how the favors of God shall be received and used, and God's foreknowledge in no sense of the word influences us. We have every reason to suppose that Judas at the beginning of his career as a disciple was sincere. We may safely conclude that the gross deflection of his heart and character manifested at last came upon him gradually--that it began with the merest suggestion and ended with the most awful tragedy. The suggestion was probably along the line of selfishness; that he was not sufficiently honored amongst the twelve; that our Lord seemed to have a preference for Peter, James and John, and thus showed his lack of superior knowledge and ability--discernment. Doubtless Judas encouraged his own spirit of criticism. Self-complacent, he no doubt thought he saw places where Jesus and the others erred in judgment, failed to take advantage of opportunities, probably said the wrong word at the right time, etc., etc. Such a heady spirit, such a critical spirit, such a self-satisfied spirit, such a selfish spirit always go before a fall. The history of the Church as well as our individual experiences attest this. When Judas perceived that the cause of Christ was not prospering--that Jesus not only did not respond to the suggestions of the multitudes here and there that he become a king, but that on the contrary his mind turned in another direction, anticipating violence from the rulers of the Jews, the suggestion probably came to Judas that it was time to begin to "feather his own nest," so that when the disruption would come he would be one of the party who would gain and not lose by his experiences as a disciple. Thus selfishness was in control of his mind and led him to pilfering, as it is written, "He was a thief, and carried the bag." That is to say, he was the treasurer of the little company, and appropriated some of the funds to his own personal account. We can even suppose that in his perfidy he exonerated his theft with the thought that he had been giving his valuable time to the cause, and that what he took would not more than reimburse him the value thereof. Such is the spirit of selfishness, the very reverse of the Spirit of the Lord--the spirit of self-sacrifice and whole-souled service to the Truth. Whoever has this spirit in any measure has the Judas spirit to that extent, and the result will surely be evil whether it amounts to such an awful result as that of Judas or not. Our Lord declares that his faithful members in the world represent him, and that anything done against them is done against him. We may be sure, therefore, that the Judas spirit of selfishness even today might lead to betrayal of the Lord by the betrayal and injury of one of the least of his followers. Nor should it surprise us that these representatives of the Judas spirit follow his course even to the extent of betraying with a kiss, and ofttimes profess great love and respect for the members of the body of Christ, whom they secretly smite for their personal gain, or in an endeavor to gain place or influence or other selfish aggrandizement. Let each follower of the Lord apply to himself exactly Judas' words, saying, "Lord, is it I?" And let us each examine our own hearts to see to what extent anything of this Judas spirit might be lurking there, seeking a favorable moment to entrap us and destroy us as New Creatures.
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"DESPISED AND REJECTED OF MEN"
"HE is despised and rejected of men," wrote the Prophet `Isaiah (53:3`), as in the Golden Text of this lesson. How strange it all appears to those who have come to know the Lord and to appreciate man from the standpoint of the divine Word. Nevertheless, as we take up the narrative and follow the circumstances as though we were there present we perceive that it was difficult for the chief actors surrounding our Lord to realize the true situation. And turning from these to ourselves in the present time we may apply a lesson and realize that we, too, are in touch with great and important subjects in the present harvest-time; that we, too, probably are so close to great events as to be unable to appreciate their true import; that we, too, should go very carefully and should continually watch and pray lest we also fall into temptation. The thought of our own precarious condition will doubtless give us sympathy with those whose reprehensible conduct is noted in this lesson. Our last lesson left Jesus and the disciples at the garden gate. There Peter, who had one of the two swords previously mentioned, started to use it in defence of his Master, at the first blow smiting off the ear of Malchus, one of the servants of the High Priest's court. As Jesus said when instructing them to bring their swords, and being informed there were two swords already in the company, "It is enough," so this mere demonstration of the willingness of the disciples to defend him was quite sufficient, and the order at once came to "Put up thy sword." The opportunity was thus furnished for Jesus to heal the ear and so display his gracious magnanimity toward his enemies. The disciples apparently learned most thoroughly the lesson that he that taketh to the sword shall perish by the sword, and hence never afterward do we hear of their using force or violence in the service of the Lord. How well it would have been had all the followers of the Lord learned and applied to themselves this same lesson. The neglect of it has stained the pages of history to the dishonor of the Lord's teaching and been injurious to his real cause, while favorable to nominal
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Christianity--Churchianity, Christendom and its large crop of tares. All of the Lord's people should take to heart this message and remember the Lord's word, "Blessed are the peacemakers; they shall be called the children of God." (`Matt. 5:9`.) We are never to use the sword, earthly power, in seeking to promote the cause of the Master. He has power enough, and when the time comes for its exercise he will take to himself this great power, and the sword of justice will be unsheathed and cause a terrible time of trouble. But that will be the due time, and the Lord will then so take charge of the affairs of earth that the lessons from that experience will prove profitable and not injurious. The only sword which the Lord's people now may use is the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, and it is to cleave its way by its own sharpness and penetrating power rather than force of language and invective, or any manifestation of anger on the part of those who use it. On the contrary, they are directed to speak the truth in love, that thus the truth may do its own work in its own way.
"ALL FORSOOK HIM AND FLED"
At first glance it would appear that the disciples were very cowardly when they all forsook the Master at the time of his arrest. But then we must remember that this was our Lord's own suggestion. He said to the officers, "If I am the one you seek, let these go their way." They discerned that they could be of no use to the Lord after he was in the hands of the high priests, who represented the civil court, the law of the land, and whom they knew to be prejudiced against Jesus. They may have even taken Jesus' words to imply a command that they should go their way. Furthermore they were perplexed: they had been expecting such different results from their adherence to Jesus. When they looked for his exaltation he talked about his crucifixion, was sad and distressed, and now was arrested. Everything was perplexing, disheartening, and they probably went to their homes thoroughly discouraged, except Peter and John, who followed him afar off. Arriving at the High Priest's palace and court-room, Jesus was first led before the aged priest Annas and cross-questioned a little, and then sent to the court of his son-in-law, the official priest, Caiaphas. His presentation before Annas was probably merely a matter of courtesy, as apparently it was Caiaphas who had caused his arrest and was waiting with certain elders of the Jews to examine him preparatory to his trial, with a view to ascertaining just what charges they would bring against him. (But in the morning it was evidently not thought worth while to have a formal trial according to the Law. Hence the unlawful night hearing was really the trial. The determination to get Pilate to try and execute Jesus was the thought, though to Pilate they subsequently implied that they had condemned Jesus lawfully.)
SEEKING FALSE WITNESSES
We have little reason to doubt that the High Priest and elders had considerable knowledge of Jesus, his teachings and his mighty works. We are informed that one of his last miracles in the vicinity of Jerusalem, the awakening of Lazarus from death, had so stirred the Scribes and Pharisees that they determined that Jesus must be put to death, because they feared that a few more such miracles would thoroughly arouse the people on his behalf and thus break their control over them. They now had their victim in their grasp, arrested without the knowledge of the people and without arousing any disturbance. And they still had the murderous intention respecting him. It was merely a question how they might execute it--not how they might serve the ends of justice, but how they might appear to conform to the requirements of justice and the Law, of which they were representatives, and yet accomplish the villainy, the murder, that was in their hearts. Hence we read that they sought false witnesses: they did not wish true witnesses, who would tell what they knew about the Master, but false witnesses, who would misrepresent him, his teachings, etc., either ignorantly through misunderstanding him or designedly with a view to gaining favor with the officers of the court. But they found none. It is certainly to the credit of those connected with the court, aside from its chief officers, that they neither seriously misunderstood our Lord's teachings nor were willing to misrepresent them. Finally, the best they could do was to find two witnesses who declared that they had heard Jesus say that if the Temple were destroyed he would be able to raise it up in three days. Nothing about this was false evidence--it was what the majority of those who heard probably understood our Lord to mean. It was subsequently, under the enlightenment of the holy Spirit, that the apostles understood that he "spoke of the temple of his body"; hence these two witnesses are not to be blamed as false witnesses, though doubtless in their ignorance they supposed that the testimony they bore was against Jesus and discreditable to him, as showing a spirit of boastfulness and a disregard for the greatness and grandeur of the Temple. The High Priest, however, realized that he had utterly failed of getting any testimony against the Lord. But he did not wish this to so appear to all the people present, and hence he affected to regard this testimony as very damaging, and indignantly questioned Jesus whether or not he heard that testimony, and if he had nothing whatever to say in rebuttal --was he unable to refute the witness, the testimony? Jesus answered nothing. Had the witnesses repeated his words exactly there was nothing in them upon which any law would condemn him.
"ART THOU THE CHRIST?"
Finally, unable to get Jesus to discuss the Temple question, and thus possibly say something that could be considered incriminating, the High Priest bethought him that a leading question put in a most solemn form might succeed in getting Jesus to make some admission that would be incriminating. The question was, "Tell us whether thou be the Christ [Messiah], the Son of God?" Caiaphas probably knew that Jesus had not boasted of his Messiahship, that rather he had gone quietly about his work, doing good and instructing the people, and allowing his works to testify that "never man spake like this man," and that he was working the works of him that sent him and was therefore the Messiah. It was a question, therefore, whether or not Jesus would incriminate himself by admitting his Messiahship. Had he denied it what recourse for a charge against him would have remained? But Jesus did not deny this question. To have remained silent even would have been to deny himself, denying the truth, denying the High Priest
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of the nation the knowledge and the corresponding responsibility of the hour. It was every way due to the head of the nation he should know that Jesus claimed to be the Messiah. Our Lord therefore answered, "Thou hast said," that is, I assent to what you have said, or, I am the Messiah, the Son of God, and I will volunteer further to assure you that by and by, hereafter, ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power and coming in the glories of heaven. In this statement, as in nearly all of our Lord's utterances, much was said in few words. It was not his intention nor would it have been proper to have explained the future of the divine plan at that time under those circumstances to those people. "The secret of the Lord is with them that reverence him, and he will show them his covenant." Hence our Lord did not say, as he might have said, "You are about to condemn me; I will be crucified this day between two thieves; I will rise again on the third day; I will ascend to the Father in forty days thereafter; I will then send my holy Spirit at Pentecost, and the work will be begun of a spiritual kingdom which will find the very elect throughout the whole earth. When these are found I will come again at my second advent in power and great glory, not to be tried by you, but to be your judge and to be the King and Ruler of the whole world, and to grant the blessings of the Millennial Kingdom to every creature, with full opportunity of coming to full knowledge and full blessing." We see that what our Lord stated implied that he knew all this, but it was not the proper time for its declaration. What lessons are there for us in connection with these facts? One is that when we seek information on any subject we should be thoroughly honest, thoroughly just, and not seek opportunity to misrepresent another, no matter what useful ends we might suppose would be served by such a course. To all who are the Lord's people in any sense of the word justice must stand out prominently. It is the very foundation of God's throne, we read, and surely must be the foundation of all character amongst those who are the Lord's and who hope ever to come off conquerors in this present time. Only the honest, only the just, seem to be influenced by the message of the Lord's Word at the present time, and those who lose their candor, their honesty, their sincerity, seem very certain to lose the Truth also. Let us all beware, therefore, of any slackness along this line of justice--toward God, toward ourselves, toward our friends, toward our enemies. We can not, we must not, be less than just to any, though we may be and should be more than just to all--yea, loving, generous.
FEIGNING RIGHTEOUS INDIGNATION
Hearing Jesus' admission that he was Messiah, the High Priest realized that this was the strongest, indeed the only complaint he could make against the Lord of anything that
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had the appearance of evil. Nor was there evil in this, for it was the truth; but feigning great piety, great respect for God, great reverence for the promise of God respecting Messiah --feigning to be thunderstruck with such a claim by Jesus, Caiaphas arose, his face full of pretended indignation and wrath against such a claim, which he affected to think so dishonored God as to be blasphemy, he rent or tore his robe as an expression of his pretended righteous indignation. He cried out to the people, "This is blasphemy--what further need have we of witnesses? Behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy. What think ye? What would be the proper punishment for such an awful crime as this? How shall we deter others from similarly coming forward and claiming to be Messiah, the Son of God, healing the sick, giving examples of his power in awakening the dead and casting out the devils from the people?" The elders, there assembled for the very purpose of murdering Jesus, answered, voted, "He is worthy of death." Jesus must wait, and they meanwhile reviled him--if not the elders and officers, yet with their knowledge and without their hindrance--and smote the Lord and spat upon him and derided him, and, calling him a Prophet, asked him to prove his ability as a Messiah and prophet by naming his tormentors. "But as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth" to defend himself, nor did he use the power invested in him, nor call for the twelve legions of angels who he previously declared would have been ready to respond for his release. On the contrary, he realized that he was but carrying out his covenant of sacrifice and submitted himself accordingly, desiring that this or whatever was the Father's will might be done in him. What is the lesson in this for us? We have covenanted to learn of him, to follow his example. How do we receive the buffetings, the trials, the "contradictions of sinners"? Are we similarly patient, long suffering? Do we endure these, realizing that nothing could happen to us except by our Father's knowledge--nothing that he is not both able and willing to overrule for our good? It will not do for us to say that if we deserved the evil treatment we could take it patiently, for we are to remember the truth of what one of the thieves confessed, "This man hath done nothing amiss." We cannot say that we have been perfect in all of our dealings with those who may despitefully use us and persecute us, even though our intentions have been the best, and even though we have in some degree rendered good for the evil we receive. Let us remember the Apostle's words on this line, "For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? But if when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example that ye might follow in his steps; who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth; who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him who judgeth righteously."--`1 Pet. 2:20,23`. Let us not only see to it that we are as nearly as possible faultless and undeserving of reproaches and buffetings, but when these experiences come to us let us remember to take them patiently, uncomplainingly, and thus to more and more develop and exhibit the character-likeness of our Lord. Those who thus do, have the Lord's guarantee that every such experience shall prove a blessing in the end. Those who, on the contrary, undertake to "battle for their rights," show that they either do not understand the nature of the covenant they have made to take up the cross, or else that they are unwilling to comply with the terms of that covenant.