ZWT - 1895 - R1794 thru R1910 / R1871 (221) - October 1, 1895
(Use your Browser's "Find" or "Search" option to search within this page)
VOL. XVI. OCTOBER 1, 1895. No. 19.
Views from the Tower..............................223
The Typical Red Heifer............................225
Pittsburg Prophetic Conference....................227
Your Safety in the Coming Trouble.................229
Bible Study: The Triumph of Gideon................231
Bible Study: Ruth's Choice........................231
SUBSCRIPTIONS AND BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS --ADDRESS TO-- TOWER PUBLISHING CO., BIBLE HOUSE, 58 & 60 ARCH ST., ALLEGHENY (NORTH PITTSBURG), PA., U.S.A.
SUBSCRIPTION PRICE, $1.00 A YEAR, IN ADVANCE, INCLUDES A SUBSCRIPTION TO "THE OLD THEOLOGY TRACTS"--QUARTERLY. MONEY MAY BE SENT BY EXPRESS, N.Y. DRAFT, MONEY ORDER, OR REGISTERED. FROM FOREIGN COUNTRIES BY FOREIGN MONEY ORDERS, ONLY. SPECIAL TERMS TO THE LORD'S POOR, AS FOLLOWS:
Those of the interested, who by reason of old age or accident, or other adversity are unable to pay for the TOWER will be supplied FREE, if they will send a Postal Card each December, stating their case and requesting the paper.
::R1871 : page 222::
WE RENEW our thanks to the dear friends who send us news clippings from all over the world. We have but little time for general reading, yet feel the necessity of being thoroughly informed. Of course but few of the items are even referred to in the TOWER; but many others, nevertheless, are very useful and highly appreciated. We much prefer clippings to whole papers; but please give name and date of paper from which clipped.
DAWN VOL. II. IN SWEDISH AND IN DANO-NORWEGIAN.
These volumes are now ready. Orders sent in now will be filled in rotation as received.
Although the cost of these foreign translations is much greater than the English, because the demand is less and the editions smaller, yet the price of MILLENNIAL DAWN in the German, Swedish and Dano-Norwegian languages will be uniform with the English. Some warm-hearted friends of the Truth, knowing that the English editions are sold at cost, and realizing that the foreign editions would cost nearly double, because smaller, volunteered to pay the difference through the Tract Fund, so that the foreigners, who often are less able to purchase, might have the benefit of the low prices of the English. Their donation amounts to four hundred and twenty dollars on each foreign volume.
::R1870 : page 223::
VIEWS FROM THE TOWER.
BOTH the United Presbyterian and the Lutheran young people are organizing after the manner of the Epworth Leaguers. The latter are styled the Luther League. About 100,000 are already enrolled. Their motto is--"Non-Synodical, Strictly Conservative, and Thoroughly Lutheran."
It is almost as difficult for sectarians to get free from their denominational bondages as for a leopard to change his spots. The Christian Endeavor movement was the purest and freest, and at least took the name of Christ. But all efforts to make either "worldings" or Christian "babes" into Christian free-men by means of organization and rules must always prove futile. The only Christian freemen are those who are no longer "babes tossed about by every wind of doctrine," but who, feeding first as babes upon the sincere milk of the Word, have grown thereby in grace and knowledge and love, and who by use of the strong meat of God's Word have had their senses exercised and have become strong freemen in Christ--free from the world and its spirit, and free from self; reckonedly dead to all such influences, and alive to God and his will, and in bondage only to God's will through him who bought them with his own precious blood. And we have the Lord's assurance that this class, being selected during this Gospel age, will in all be but a "little flock."
The usual triennial conclave of the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States will open October 2 in Minneapolis.
It was at a similar Convention of this same religious body that the proposition for a Protestant Union or Confederacy was first extended to other Protestant denominations. This proposition is still under consideration, especially by the Presbyterian Assembly.
The coming Convention will attract more than ordinary attention, for it proposes a number of important steps in connection with its organization. (1) It is proposed that the triennial Conventions shall be superseded by General Synods, which shall meet triennially. (2) It proposes to have two divisions or "houses" hereafter--a House of Bishops and a House of Delegates--similar to the two houses of Congress and of Parliament. (3) It is proposed to elect one of the Bishops to be their chief or President, who shall be known as "Primus"--which signifies, one who is first. The Scottish Episcopal Church has long had such an officer, who presides, and is otherwise privileged.
This movement is quite significant in connection with the Protestant confederacy which the Scriptures clearly indicate will take place. (See our issue for Dec. 1881--now out of print.) It will make ready for the "Image" to "speak" promptly as soon as it receives the "life" of Apostolic succession and supposed "authority."-- `Rev. 13:15`.
Sept. 20 was the twenty-fifth anniversary of the fall of Papacy's temporal power. Roman Catholics everywhere are being urged to pray for the restoration of temporal sovereignty. A statement is going the rounds of the press to the effect that, in view of the bankrupt condition of the Italian treasury, the plan of proposing to purchase the freedom of Rome and some surrounding territory for the Papacy for $1,000,000,000 is being seriously considered.
On Scriptural grounds we doubt the success of this project. Our expectation is that the present government of Rome will continue in some form or degree until utter collapse and anarchy shall put an end to all government, political and religious, in the great time of trouble which
::R1870 : page 224::
prepares for the better conditions symbolically called the "new heavens and new earth."
Professor Treitschke, lecturing recently before the Berlin University, said:
"Reverence, called by Goethe the ultimate object of all moral education, is vanishing most alarmingly in the new generation. They respect nothing, neither God, nor the barriers which nature has set up between the sexes, nor patriotism, which by them is made to give way to the mercenary desires of a race bent on enjoyment only. Education, extended to all, becomes more and more shallow. The deep thought of the ancients is despised, and only that which serves the purposes of the near future finds favor. Every one talks about everything, guided by the newspapers and encyclopedias, consequently the creative power of intellect becomes rare. Science, once tempted to be too profound, now loses itself in platitudes; only a few noble giants of original thought continue to stand out among the underwood of mere gatherers of notes. Taste has degenerated, the love of truth has given way to a morbid love of actualities. Hence a wax figure often gains more applause than a work of art. The people lead an empty life, which they seek to fill out by killing time in giving undue attention to sport and betting. When we think of the manner in which the heroes of public games and of the circus are overrated, we are filled with loathing."
Thus we see that the trend is the same in the monarchies of Europe as in this Republic. By inspiration the great Apostle Paul gave a still clearer and truer picture of nominal Christendom, saying:--
"In the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves [selfish], covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God, having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away."--`2 Tim. 3:1-5`.
"A curious mode of worship was introduced by the Salvation Army at Detroit recently. A lecture was delivered by two "captains," on the analysis and dissection of the devil's body, the parts being pride, whiskey, etc., immediately after which the lights were suddenly extinguished, and the form of his Satanic Majesty was brought out, made of paper, and colored to suggest the analytic description. Red lights were thrown upon the stage to represent the fire of hell, and horns, hoofs and tail were terrible in appearance. A red bonnet decorated with roses represented pride, while cards and liquor indicated ruin and destruction. The effigy was then set on fire, amid shrieks and yells which reminded the beholders of Milton's Pandemonium."
Alas! how many of the "babes in Christ" are ignorant of Satan's devices; and do not see that the great Adversary might even help along such a sham battle against himself, if thereby he could fasten the more firmly upon the consciences of the people the errors [doctrines of devils] which are keeping them from real love and worship toward God. The Lord's prescription for holiness--"Sanctify them through thy truth, thy Word is truth"--is far better, more successful, than this and all other unscriptural methods. This is the Chinese method of serving God by using fireworks to scare off the devil. But Satan is too subtle to be thus dealt with.
A New York journal reports that at a meeting of the S.S. Missionary Association of the Presbyterian Church held in Detroit not long since "The Presbyterian Board of Publication was severely scored for the alleged antiquated and attenuated tracts that it sends out. A committee was appointed to draw up resolutions asking the Board for a higher grade of tracts."
A Sister suggests that "possibly the live and good-sized Old Theology Tracts going all over the world from the WATCH TOWER office have something to do with this discontent. Ordinary tracts are so stupid that intelligent
::R1871 : page 224::
people feel offended if handed one. The O.T. Tracts are always crisp and fresh because full of the spirit of the Truth --index fingers pointing and referring constantly and truly to the Word of God."
Many are finding this sort of "Silent Evangelism" a blessing to themselves and to others and orders are coming for "more tracts" from every quarter of the world. For instance, since our last issue we have sent tracts and DAWNS to the following foreign countries: viz., England; Scotland; Denmark; Germany; Sweden; Jamaica, West Indies; Cape Colony, S. Africa; New South Wales, Australia; and Colombia, Central America. The reading matter sent out amounted to five hundred and twenty-five copies of MILLENNIAL DAWN besides over ten hundred thousand pages of Old Theology Tracts.
Our readers who are of German extraction will be pleased to learn that a Sister in the Lord, a representative of the TOWER TRACT SOCIETY in Berlin, Germany, reports favorably respecting a new method adopted lately to gain the attention of consecrated Germans. A Berlin journal has recently given her a most excellent notice of MILLENNIAL DAWN, and she is finding quite a number willing to hear. She now has seventy-five copies of DAWN loaned in Berlin.
Next week a Brother starts for Sweden, and in about a month two others will start for Switzerland, all seeking to carry to their native lands the gospel of "a ransom for all." The tract and colporteur work all over the United States progresses valiantly.
A strong movement is on foot amongst Methodists seeking "lay-representation at the Annual Conferences." A circular has been issued from Baltimore, Md., claiming to voice the sentiments of 2,500,000 Methodists who demand this reform. The ministers do not favor it, desiring to keep the power in their own hands. An additional reform urged is that the laymen should have a voice in the election of Presiding Elders; and that the latter be given equal powers with Bishops.
::R1871 : page 225::
This is part of the general tendency toward equal rights and privileges. As it increases, the M.E. Bishops will wish that they could put forward the claim of "divine authority through Apostolic succession," as is claimed by Episcopalians and Roman and Greek Catholics. This will tend to draw them toward a general Protestant Confederacy possessed of the ability to make the claims and exercise the Apostolic authority coveted.
A Baptist division of the Boy's Brigade went "into camp" at May's Landing near Philadelphia during September. Some boys of the town "raided them for fun," and the young Baptists who had put on carnal armor were "forced to defend themselves" with their bayonets, and murder was narrowly averted. Warfare for the Lord according to unauthorized methods is, and always will be, dangerous. "All they that take to the sword shall perish by the sword."
At the Presbyterian Ministers' Association meeting, in Philadelphia, Sept. 16, it was decided not to permit the discussion of the question: "Is the Presbyterian Church firmly established in the Confession of Faith, and, if not, whither is she drifting?" They all knew that she is not firmly established upon it, and that she is drifting into four factions--(1) The "higher criticism" or infidelity party; (2) the form-of-godliness-social-club-no-doctrine party; (3) the well-intentioned-but-superstitious party, ever learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth, because they are looking backward to the dim lights of human tradition; (4) the children of the light and of the day, who, looking in the direction of the sun of righteousness, are beginning to get rays of the Millennial dawning; and who are compelled to "come out of her" because, with present light, they can no longer stay where their presence means the misrepresentation of God's Word and character as well as their own stultification. The ministers, therefore, very wisely, concluded that they needed no information on the subject; and that the opening of their mouths on the subject would hasten the dissolution already in progress. But the sooner it comes the better for the fourth class mentioned.
::R1871 : page 225::
THE TYPICAL RED HEIFER.
A BROTHER not very long in the truth sends us a little tract bearing the title, "The Red Heifer Type of Sanctification, by J. H. G.," and inquires what we think of it.
We reply: The application is quite incorrect; but the tract itself is not likely either to benefit or injure any one. The danger of injury would chiefly be that as an entering wedge it might lead to more serious errors; and in a general way of course even the most insignificant error may hide some truth and thus prove an open switch for Satan to use in side-tracking us, should our hearts ever get out of harmony with the Lord and his plan.
The writer of the little tract falls into the very common mistake of failing to note that the Jewish code respecting sacrifices divided them (1) into sacrifices for two distinct classes,--the Levites (the High priest's household), and all Israel (the general congregation excepting the Levites); and (2) into sacrifices of two distinct times; viz., those of the Day of Atonement, and those of the year following the Day of Atonement. This is the key to the understanding of the types of Leviticus, and without it no one can obtain clear or consistent views.
The High Priest and under Priests (consecrated to sacrifice) represent Christ and the Church, the royal priesthood. The Levites (consecrated to service, not to sacrifice) represent believers in this Gospel Age--the household of faith.
The Day of Atonement, in which the sacrifices for all sins were made (the bullock and the goat for sin-offerings, together with their accompanying burnt offerings), represented this Gospel Age, beginning with the great and all important sacrifice of Christ, and finished with the "filling up of that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ" by the royal priesthood, the members of his body. (`Col. 1:24`.) At the close of this Great Day of Atonement (the Gospel Age) the Great High Priest (head and body) will come forth and bless the people who desire to be God's people (represented by all Israel except the tribe of Levi), and the effect will be to lift them from the dust and grant them forgiveness and restitution.
The sacrifices and offerings of the people after the Day of Atonement, and based upon its work, represent penances for shortcomings after being cleansed by the great Atonement, and thank offerings, pledges, vows, etc., which the world will offer during the Millennium or "times of restitution."
The Red Heifer was not only not one of the Day of Atonement (or Gospel age) sacrifices, but it should not be counted a "sacrifice" at all; for only those animals were sacrifices of which a portion was placed upon God's altar. The High Priest killed all the sacrifices of the Atonement Day; but Aaron, the High Priest then, had nothing to do with the killing and burning of the Red Heifer. All sacrifices were killed in the "court of the Tabernacle,"
::R1872 : page 225::
but the Red Heifer was killed outside the camp. The priests killed the sacrifices, but they did not kill the Red Heifer. We thus prove most positively that the Red Heifer represented neither Christ nor his Church, the "better sacrifices"
::R1872 : page 226::
of this Gospel age. And as the time for the righteous to suffer "without the camp" will end with the close of the Gospel age, we cannot apply the killing and burning of the Red Heifer as a type of anything that will occur in the Millennium. What then did that heifer represent?
It represented a class of people who died ignominiously; for "outside the camp" is used to represent ignominy, worldly disapproval or detestation. (`Heb. 13:13`.) The ancient worthies, whose faithfulness unto death outside the camp is recorded in `Heb. 11:32-38`, was just such a class as the one we are seeking,--represented in the Red Heifer burned without the camp, whose ashes served to purify those contaminated or unclean through association with death.
It represented a class of people not of the Gospel Church, but who in God's sight were justified, and by faith, as is represented by the fact that the heifer was without blemish and completely red--the color which represents the blood of Christ. All this well represents the worthies of `Heb. 11:32-38`. By faith they looked forward to the atonement for sin which God had promised; they caught a glimpse of Christ's day and were glad; they "endured as seeing him who is invisible," and "pleased God" (`Heb. 11:5,27,39`), and hence must have been justified, even though (the sin-offering not yet having been made) they could not be received into the liberties of sons of God.--`Gal. 4:4-7`; `Heb. 3:5,6`.
In that it never wore a yoke it represented a class of free men, just such as are mentioned in `Heb. 11`; for although some of those were born under the Law, and some before it, yet since all are mentioned together as equally approved in God's sight, and since we know that "by the deeds of the Law no flesh shall be justified in God's sight," therefore we are bound to conclude that all these were reckoned as free from the bondage of the Law, and accepted by faith with Abraham, under the Abrahamic covenant, and not as under the "yoke" of the Law, which condemned all who ever attempted justification under it.-- `Gal. 5:1`; `Acts 15:10`.
The priest did not kill the Red Heifer: one of the under-priests merely sprinkled some of its blood toward the Tabernacle door: thus typically showing that the lives and deaths of the class represented pointed toward the Tabernacle, its door [Christ] and the atoning sacrifices to come. "They drank of the spiritual Rock [Christ] which followed them," and their lives given (their blood) pointed toward Him.
The "worthies" of `Heb. 11`, although equally as faithful as the "overcomers" of the Gospel age, could not be counted as sharers in the sufferings of Christ and joint-heirs of his glory. The great Creator has chosen to prepare some vessels to more honor and some to less honor; and some that resist the moulding and shaping influences of the great Potter will be neither, but will be vessels for destruction, unfit for his service in any capacity. (`2 Tim. 2:20`; `Rom. 9:21,22`.) The vessels for less honor were selected first, "until John" the baptizer, who was one of the chief of the ancient worthies, the house of servants; and yet the least one in the house of sons, the vessels unto greatest honor, is greater than he.--`Matt. 11:11`.
Christ Jesus our Lord was the first, the Head, the Leader of his elect Church, his body, which must follow his footsteps of suffering to glory, before others can be blessed. After the great antitypical Day of Atonement is ended, the sufferings of Christ finished, and the glorious reign begun, then the faithful worthies of the past shall be blessed, "God having foreseen some better things for us, that they without us should not be made perfect."--`Heb. 11:40`.
The sin offering of Christ has laid up a great store of grace, merit, not only for his Church, but for all the families of the earth; and it will be the work of the Royal Priesthood to dispense that grace to those of earth's families who, when they come to a clear knowledge of the truth, obediently apply for forgiveness and help.
The faithfulness of the ancient worthies, even unto death, could not take away sin, and could not be presented before God as a sin offering, nor as a sacrifice at all, the altar [Christ] not having yet been set up. (`Matt. 23:19`.) But the faithfulness of the ancient worthies did yield some results (represented in the ashes of the Red Heifer)--it yielded a store of valuable experiences to them, by means of which those beautiful graces of character were produced which also adorn "the sons of God," who have now received the spirit of adoption. The Lord thus wrought in them the blessed fruits of holiness, though they could not be recognized as "sons," nor made partakers of the divine nature, nor joint-heirs with Christ, because not called to be vessels of the highest honor. They have thus "laid up in store" (`1 Tim. 6:19`), as the result of their fiery experiences (represented in the ashes of the burned heifer), characters precious in God's sight, which he intends by and by to use for the blessing of the world, after the Day of Atonement is ended. This is represented in the ashes of the heifer carefully gathered into a clean place for use in the purifying of the people who become defiled after having been cleansed with the atonement of the "better sacrifices" of the Atonement Day.
When the spiritual Kingdom has been set up, when the First Resurrection has taken place at the end of the Gospel age, then these "worthies" of the past will be blessed (`Heb. 11:40,35`), and enjoy a "better resurrection" than the world in general, in that theirs will be an instantaneous raising up from death to human perfection and life everlasting; while others of the world, even if obedient, must come up slowly to perfection, step by step. Then, too, as perfect men they will be the superiors and natural leaders of the world, and, according to promise, Christ will make them chiefs or "princes in all the earth." (`Psa. 45:16`.) They will be the seen representatives (`Luke 13:28`) of God's Kingdom, while Christ and the Church, the real spiritual rulers, will be unseen.--`1 Tim. 6:16`; `Heb. 1:3`; `1 John 3:2`.
::R1872 : page 227::
Then, like the ashes of the heifer laid up in a clean place, the results of the painful experiences of the "worthies" will be a store of blessing, instruction, and help to these "Princes." And each pardoned one who would be cleansed perfectly must not only cleanse himself with water (truth) but must also have applied to him the instructions of these "Princes;" represented by the ashes of the heifer in water applied with "hyssop," which represented "purging" or cleansing.--`Ex. 12:22`; `Lev. 14:4,49`; `Psa. 51:7`; `Heb. 9:19`.
The cleansing was from all death-defilements--dead bodies, graves or the bones of the dead,--thus indicating that the agency through which men shall be fully cleansed from death and its degradation, lifted up in restitution, will be this work, of these whom the Lord for this purpose, shall "make princes in all the earth."
::R1872 : page 227::
PITTSBURG PROPHETIC CONFERENCE.
THE announcement has been very generally made that there will be a Prophetic Conference at Pittsburg in October; and quite a number of TOWER readers are inquiring what part the Editor will take in the Conference. We answer that we have nothing to do with it; and as an explanation lay before our readers an article on the subject by the Editor published in a Pittsburg paper July 25, last.
Mr. Editor:--With others of your readers I have been interested in the announcement of a prophetic conference, soon to be held in our city. I cogitate upon the projects as follows:
That the Scriptures teach that our Redeemer will "come again" at the close of this Gospel Age cannot be disputed. That he comes to inaugurate a reign of righteousness in which the saints of the present age will be the kings and priests (rulers and instructors) to bless and lift up out of ignorance and sin and death whosoever wills of the at present "groaning creation," (`Rom. 8:19-22`; `Rev. 20:6`) should not be disputed by any who have studied the Bible and who have intelligently united in the Lord's prayer, "Thy Kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven."
This being the case, all Christian people should be interested in "conference" on the subject; in order that nothing that God has declared by the mouth of his holy prophets, bearing upon this subject, should be overlooked. (`Acts 3:19-21`.) And such a "conference" could scarcely fail to have the Lord's blessing and to bring clearer views of the subject to all concerned.
But, sir, all who know the history of these "Prophetic Conferences," held from time to time in the past, know very well that no real conference is proposed. The true idea of conference is discussion, examination, consultation; but if the proposed "conference" shall resemble those in which some of the same gentlemen took part in the past, there will be no opportunity for conference; every utterance will be shaped and trimmed beforehand, by a committee so as to prevent conference. For instance, at the New York Prophetic Conference some years ago, when Mr. Charles MacKay, of Scotland, an invited and announced speaker, was asked to present his MS. to the critical committee, it
::R1873 : page 227::
was feared he would be hindered from speaking because he had no MS. prepared, not being used to "cut and dried" conferences in Scotland. He explained that he usually spoke extemporaneously, but would confine himself strictly to the Bible testimony; and he was then permitted to be the one exception to the rule.
But, mark you, sir, my objection is not to the character of the meeting, as it is proposed, but merely to its misleading name; for "those who pay the piper have the right to choose the music." If, therefore the present program be maintained, I beg to suggest that the promoters would reflect much more credit upon themselves as straightforward, candid men, by calling their meeting a "Pre-millennialist Convention," which would be a truth-telling name, whereas "Prophetic Conference" is misleading. But lest it be said that I am prejudging the coming conference, which may be held upon different lines, we note the fact that it has already been announced that "fools" and "cranks" are not connected with the movement. This clearly implies that they have already fixed their standard and decided who are the wise and who the foolish. Perhaps they forget, however, that much of the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God, and that in their day our Lord and his prophets and apostles were all accounted "fools" and "cranks;" and that the same worldly estimate will continue to the end of this age. (See `1 Cor. 1:18`; `2:14`; `3:18`; `4:10,13,14`; `Acts 17:18`.) I very much fear that if Jesus and Paul and Peter were to attempt to join this "conference," they would be hustled out as "cranks." Yet, to those who have ears, "The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy," and there can be no understanding of the prophets without it.
I object to the word "prophetic," as well as to the word "conference," as inappropriately used. Those who will attend the meeting will not only find that it will be a conference at which there will be no conference, no discussion, no hearing of "the other side," but they will find the very prophecies mentioned by St. Peter (`Acts 3:19-21`) almost ignored. Why? Because, forsooth, some of God's people who denominate themselves "Second Adventists" have made themselves foolish in the sight of the world by defective interpretations of the prophecies. Agreeing with "Second Adventists" respecting the manner of Christ's second coming (the writer differs widely, and he believes Scripturally, from both), they want to mark themselves out as entirely separate from them respecting the interpreting of prophetic times and seasons; and they therefore are obliged to pass by the prophecies which abound with figures, periods, etc.--especially Daniel's. But why then use the word prophetic?
In one of your issues I notice that the views of the conference are already fixed in several respects which I consider erroneous. I therefore criticize them, briefly, and thus afford the coming "conference" an opportunity to examine its faith afresh, in the light of the Scriptures which I shall cite.
They do not pretend to fix the time of the Lord's second coming. They hold that of that event no man knows the date nor will any ever know beforehand. They feel positive of this because of the Lord's statement in St.
::R1873 : page 228::
`Mark 13:32`. But they overlook the fact that if our Lord meant to tell us that no man would ever know he did not so state himself. And since he included himself and the angels, it would equally imply that neither he nor the angels would ever know, which would be an absurdity; for our Lord could not come a second time without knowing it some time previously. The time was unknown then and was to so continue until God's due time for making it known; for "the Lord God doeth nothing but he revealeth it to his servants the prophets." And this is all clearly stated and explained in `Daniel 12:9,10`.
If the times and seasons of prophecy give them no light, why do they surmise that the event is nigh? Is it not with them a guess in the dark? If they have not trimmed their lamps, and gotten more light on the subject than had those who have vaguely looked and hoped for the Lord for eighteen centuries, why do they think the great event near? (`Matt. 25:1-13`.) Do they not see that the repeated injunction, "Watch!" implies that the "wise virgins" did not know, but were to watch in order that in due time they might know? Wherein would be the necessity of watching for an event that would be known to them no sooner nor more surely than to others? Does not the command, "Watch!" imply that at the proper time the watchers will be rewarded by a knowledge which the unwatching will not have?--`1 Thes. 5:1-3,4-6`.
These Christian friends have a fixed belief respecting the manner of Christ's second coming, which we believe it would advantage them to refix more in harmony with reason and Scripture. They believe that he will come literally, but by that they mean that they expect him again in the flesh. Do they forget that when he "was made flesh" at his first advent it meant the laying aside of the superior glory and honor of the spirit nature, a humbling of himself to "the form of a servant;" and that, thus, he who was "rich" as a spirit being, became "poor" when he became "the man" Christ Jesus? How can they think of his body as being marred and yet being of transcendent beauty? How can they expect to see those scars for all eternity and yet expect that things of the present time will no more be remembered? How can they suppose that the Lord has the same wounded body without supposing that the saints also in their resurrection will have deformed and sin-scarred bodies, such as they have at present?
Surely they admit that Christ finished the work for which it was necessary for him to take man's nature; viz., "for the suffering of death," that he might give his flesh "for the life of the world." (`John 6:51`.) How can they think he is still flesh and will come a second time as a flesh-being? Surely they will admit that "him hath God highly exalted" again. (`Phil. 2:8,9`.) Surely they will admit that he was "put to death in the flesh but quickened (made alive) in spirit." Do they not remember, also, that "flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God"? How then can they expect a flesh and blood Christ to be the great King and to set up the great Kingdom promised?
Do they not remember that one apostle explains that "it doth not yet appear what we shall be," but that "when he shall appear we shall be like him, and see him as he is?"--not he like us, that we might see him as he was.-- `1 John 3:2`.
Do they not remember that another apostle declares that the church must be "changed" by resurrection power, from animal bodies to spiritual bodies, in order that she may be united to the Lord in the Kingdom which flesh and blood cannot inherit?--`1 Cor. 15:44,49-53`.
Do they not remember that after his resurrection our Lord not only showed the apostles that he was alive again, but proved to them that he was no longer "the man Christ Jesus who gave himself a ransom," but the King of Glory --a spirit being. He proved this by showing them that he was no longer limited to human conditions. He came into the room where they were met, while the doors were shut. He vanished from their sight when the interview was ended. Indeed, they saw but little of him during the forty days after his resurrection, and the world saw him not at all. And during his interviews with his disciples he showed himself in various forms or bodies, just as he did before he became man, when as a spirit being he appeared to Abraham in human form but without being of human nature.--`Gen. 18:1-8`.
But they tell us that their belief that Christ's coming will be in the flesh is based upon the facts recorded in `Acts 1:9,11`; especially the declaration, "This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven."
We inquire, Is there in this anything difficult? or that would demand that all of the foregoing Scripture teachings respecting our Lord as a spirit being should be cast aside, ignored? I think not. I suggest that this passage when rightly understood, is in full accord with the others. It is the manner of our Lord's coming again that is to resemble the manner of his going away. Was the manner of his going quiet, unaccompanied by outward display, unknown to the world, and known and recognized only by his chosen? Yes. Then surely in "like manner," and not in a different manner, should his chosen look for him to come again. Quietly, unknown to the world, known only to those who "watch," he will come again.
A mistake of these friends has been to infer that "manner" means flesh, and they have failed to notice the real "manner" of his going--quietly, unobserved of the world. Our Lord had a body of flesh when the disciples beheld him taken up into heaven, but the flesh was no longer he, as before his resurrection, but merely a form, like his clothing, that represented (but veiled) his real, glorious, spiritual body, which St. Paul saw afterward, at the cost of his sight.--`1 Cor. 15:5-8`; `9:1`; `Acts 9:3-18`.
The fact that our Lord manifested himself in a body of flesh after his resurrection, before his ascension, by no means proves that he will similarly manifest himself in a fleshly form at his second advent; for "manner" and condition are wholly different things. I believe from other Scriptures that instead of his appearing in the flesh, his saints when "changed" to spirit beings will "see him as he is," as St. Paul saw him "before the time;" but with the
::R1874 : page 228::
powers of their "changed" conditions they will not suffer from the sight of the Lord's glory, but will be with him and behold and share his glory.
We would like, too, that these gentlemen, when they meet, should not fail to notice the peculiar Greek word parousia--rendered "coming" in connection with our Lord's second advent, the signification of which is presence. Notice that `Matt. 24:37` contains the word, declaring: "As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the presence of the son of man." In the time of the Lord's second presence the world will proceed as usual--eating, drinking, planting, building, etc., and know not of his presence and the approaching trouble, as in Noah's day they knew not of the coming flood. Compare also `Luke 17:26`. Our friends err also in their interpretation of `Zech. 14:4`, "His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives." The passage does not refer to the literal feet of Christ at all, but symbolically to the feet of his father, Jehovah, as will
::R1874 : page 229::
be clearly seen by reference to the `preceding verse`, if the English reader will remember wherever the word "Lord" occurs in the Old Testament in small capital letters, the original (Hebrew) is Jehovah--exclusively the Father's name.
A very large proportion of Christian people are post-millennialists (believers that Christ will not come until the church shall have introduced and finished the Millennium). Nevertheless they see that eighteen centuries have done but little even in the most civilized parts, toward bringing about the condition in which God's will shall be done on earth as (perfectly as) it is done in heaven; and they see that even now the nominal conversions in heathen lands are not five per cent of the births, while in the most civilized lands the really sanctified are few. Many of these would be prepared to look for the Lord's coming and kingdom as the only tangible hope for the groaning creation: but they are repelled by such pre-millennialists, as propose this "Prophetic Conference," who claim that Christ will come again in the flesh marred and wounded, but shining, and that with his saints, also in the flesh, with their deformed features shining, he will set up a fleshly kingdom, an earthly court, after the order of kings, emperors and popes of the present time, but more magnificent and beneficent.
If, therefore, the coming meeting could be a real conference, and if the conferees could come to see that Christ at his second advent, and his associated saints, will be no longer flesh and blood, but spirit beings, whose majesty will be completely hidden from mortal view, but whose power and authority will be everywhere in evidence (as Satan, "the prince of this world," a spirit being, is present, and invisible, but nevertheless powerful, working in and through, the "children of disobedience"), it would do much to convert thousands to pre-millennial views; for thousands are too consistent and too spiritually minded to suppose that God, having begun in the spirit, will perfect his plan on such a plane of the flesh.
I would be glad to see these brethren make their proposed meeting a genuine prophetic conference; and, if they will confer thereupon, we will cheerfully and freely supply them the evidences, chapter and verse, that demonstrate that the Lord has come upon them "as a thief," and that, not watching aright, they "knew not" that the day of the Lord's spiritual presence (parousia) began in the autumn of A.D. 1874, as is abundantly attested by the prophets and corroborated by the "clouds" of trouble in which he first reveals himself to the world in judgments; to be followed by his revelation as the "Sun of Righteousness," to heal and bless all who will accept his grace.
To me the Scriptures clearly demonstrate that the great antitypical Jubilee began with our Lord's presence in 1874, and that the little period of forty years between then and 1915 is in Scripture called the "day of vengeance" in which God will overturn all present institutions, financial, social and religious (the smiting time of `Daniel 2:44,45`), preparatory to the inauguration of the Kingdom of Righteousness symbolised by the divided Mount of Olives (the two parts of God's kingdom), upon which symbolically Jehovah's feet shall rest, when he shall make the place of his feet (the earth, his footstool) glorious.--`Isa. 60:13`.
C. T. RUSSELL.
::R1874 : page 229::
YOUR SAFETY IN THE COMING TROUBLE.
"The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?" "He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil: he shall dwell on high; his place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks; bread shall be given him, his waters shall be sure."--`Isa. 33:14-16`.
THE fear here spoken of by the prophet is the fear that is now beginning to be experienced throughout the lengths and breadths of nominal Zion--Christendom (Christ's kingdom), so called. The Prophet, as he frequently did (e.g., `Isa. 55:3-9`), took the standpoint of the future,--of our day,--and thus speaks for the Lord of the work he is now about to do--"Now will I rise, saith the Lord: now will I be exalted; now will I lift up myself. [The appointed time to overthrow the present order of things and to establish the Kingdom of God having come.] Ye [the same class referred to above--the sinners in Zion. See also `verse 1`] shall conceive chaff; ye shall bring forth stubble [Such will be the result of the great efforts to draw numbers into the membership of nominal Zion--the efforts to stamp all the world who will submit to it with the name Christian, as manifested in the recent movements toward so-called Christian Union, which would not only baptize the ignorant infants and count them as born into the Church, and recognize all the adherents of Apostate Christianity, but seeks also to gain by compromises and by flattery the adherents of Judaism, who totally repudiate Christ, as well as the blinded millions of heathenism that bow to idols of wood and stone and know not God nor his dear Son, our Lord and Redeemer]--Ye shall conceive chaff: ye shall bring forth stubble: your breath [your false doctrines of belief and policy] as fire shall devour you [Your unprincipled policy which would thus sell the Lord and the truth for gain--in numbers and prestige and power before the world--shall lead to dire results--to fearful trouble and destruction]. And the people [there assembled and compacted in a false Christian, or as some suggest, religious union.--See also `Isa. 8:9-13`] shall be as the burnings of lime [self-consumed; the very nature of an organization of such heterogeneous elements must of necessity be self-destructive, the process also being a painful one]; as thorns [Yes, it will be a union of thorns; each will be a thorn in the flesh to the other] cut up [made ready] shall they be burned in the fire."
Observe, it is "the sinners in Zion," not the humble sincere people of God, that are afraid; and fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. To the former class, as in the end of the Jewish age also, belong those wilfully blind
::R1874 : page 230::
leaders in Zion and all their wilfully blind followers, who refuse to see the truth when it is testified to them and who love and prefer the error and devote their energies to bolstering up and reinforcing the systems of error with which their temporal interests, social and financial, seem to be identified. And in doing this, ostensibly to promote the interests of the Redeemer's Kingdom, but really in opposition to its establishment, their course is surely hypocritical, as the Prophet declares.
While the great theologians, whose leisure and learning have afforded them special facilities for coming to a knowledge of the truth, have wasted their talents in building up and supporting with their influence great systems of error, and while it has been and still is their great ambition to draw into these systems great numbers, according to the Prophet, they have been only preparing stubble for the fire of this evil day. And already, as the Prophet declares, "fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites." Does it seem surprising to some that the Prophet should so irreverently handle some of the reverend gentlemen of to-day who so wisely (?) descant upon the credibility and authority of the sacred Scriptures, and who, while condemning them, with a great show of learning and eloquence, offer in their stead the miserable substitute of their own false reasonings utterly regardless of the divine revelation? For the beautiful record of man's creation in the image of his Maker they substitute the ape origin, or, going back of that, they find him in the protoplasm. For the account of his fall and redemption they substitute the theory of his evolution by what they call a natural process, from lower to higher conditions. And for the clearly defined destiny of man revealed in the Scriptures they substitute the vain and idle speculation of endless progression.
::R1875 : page 230::
While all of the leading or clerical class in nominal Zion have not yet fallen into this snare, the great ones have, and their ideas are fast taking possession of the theological seminaries, and their public teachings from the pulpit, the religious press and the professor's chair are fast moulding the thought of all "Christendom." And it is from this source, and as a result of the "fears" of this very class, whose learning and positions of influence enable them to see, as people in the humbler walks of life have been less able to see, the trend of events toward disaster and ruin--the great time of trouble foretold. And instead of using their powerful influence for truth and righteousness, which would of course necessitate the repudiation of their own past erroneous teachings, and humbly endeavoring to lead the people back to the old paths pointed out by the Lord and the apostles, in their pride of heart and consequent blindness they are leading them further into the labyrinths of error; and, according to the Word of the Lord (`Luke 6:39`), both leaders and people shall fall into the ditch.
But while the most intelligent and influential, who are thus misusing their talents and betraying their trusts as stewards of the Lord's goods, as did their prototypes in the Jewish age (`Matt. 15:7-9,14`), are the greatest sinners in Zion, those also who blindly follow their leading become partakers of their sin (`Rev. 18:4`) and share the same penalty --both together "fall into the ditch" and, as "stubble," are prepared for the fire.
While in their fear of the fiery trouble which they now see coming upon the earth, they anxiously soliloquize (for they hesitate to express their fears openly)--"Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with the everlasting burnings [the consuming burnings, the trouble threatening to last until the whole present order of things is consumed]?"
If these inquiries were made of the Lord, and with a disposition of heart to obey his voice, the fearful calamities now, alas! soon to be experienced, would be averted; but such is not the case. These are mere soliloquies, the underbreath expressions of their fears, the only result of which is the leaning still more to their own understandings, the compromise of truth and righteousness and a determination to band together for mutual protection and the resistance of the righteous judgments of God. As to the results of such a union, see `Isa. 8:9,10`; `28:17,18`.
But hear the word of the Lord, ye who have no part nor lot with the workers of iniquity, and who would inquire of him upon what conditions any may stand in this evil day; for thus saith the Lord, "He that walketh righteously and speaketh uprightly, he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from the holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from the hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil: he shall dwell on high; his place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks; bread shall be given him, his waters shall be sure." And if ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.
In these days when iniquity abounds and the love of the many who profess the name of Christ waxes cold, only those who have the stamina of character can fulfil these conditions. Those who reverence God more than men, however great may be their pretensions to wisdom, piety and learning; who rest their faith implicitly upon the inspired testimony of the Apostles and Prophets; and who exercise their own God-given right of private judgment and so prove all things by an appeal, not to human philosophies and idle speculations, but "to the law and the testimony" (`Isa. 8:20`), and hold fast to that which is good--those only can fulfil these conditions.
To walk righteously means to walk contrary to the course of this present evil world. It means to take the unpopular side of the questions of the day in nearly every case, and thus to be misunderstood and misrepresented and have our names cast out as evil; in a word, it means to suffer for righteousness' sake.
To speak uprightly is to go a step further than to walk righteously: it implies not only personal effort to withstand evil and error in their effects upon one's own character, but
::R1875 : page 231::
also the fortitude to withstand error with bold and fearless presentations of the truth, regardless of the cost of such faithfulness, which we are assured not only by the Word of God, but by observation and experience as well, will be persecution in some or possibly in many forms. Such a course of righteousness in "this present evil world," when the powers of darkness are in the ascendency, inevitably leads to social ostracism and hatred, in proportion to the zeal for God that is manifested, and persecution in some form is sure to follow. But those of the class here described cannot be bribed by any of these considerations. If one has been a clergyman and his eyes have been opened to the truth, he cannot be bribed by any considerations of salary or prestige or fame to stifle his convictions--"he shaketh his hands from the holding of bribes."
If he be a merchant or mechanic, and the multitudes say, Come, join our fraternity and band together with us to conserve our interests or to fight for our rights, he replies, No, "They that are of a froward heart are abomination to the Lord, but such as are upright in their way are his delight. Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished." (`Prov. 11:20,21`) Let the rich consider the interests of the poor and needy, lest they fall under the fearful condemnation of the oppressor (`James 5:1-5`); and let the poor commit their cause unto the Lord, who has pledged himself on behalf of all those that trust in him.
To all thus minded, who unflinchingly stand for truth and righteousness in this evil day, is the blessed promise of God--"He shall dwell on high [above the fears, the unrest and the distress which will overwhelm the world]; his place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks [the Lord, the Rock of ages, the Most High shall be his hiding place]; bread shall be given him, his waters shall be sure [he will be sustained with the bread of life and refreshed with the water of life both spiritually and physically]. Blessed are all they that put their trust in the Lord, for they shall never be confounded.
::R1875 : page 231::
THE TRIUMPH OF GIDEON.
--OCT. 13.--`JUDGES 7:13-23`.--
Golden Text--"Though a host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear."--`Psa. 27:3`.
THE selection of Gideon's army was an illustration of the Lord's method in the selection of a "peculiar people" who shall share with him the honors of victory in the conquest of sin and all its defiling host.
::R1876 : page 231::
At the sound of the trumpet thirty-two thousand were gathered together unto Gideon to fight against the hosts of Midian. (`Verse 3`.) But the Lord said to Gideon that there were too many, and that all were not of the kind desired. Then the Lord commanded Gideon to prove them. From the human standpoint the thirty-two thousand of Israel had no show of conquering the hundred and thirty-five thousand of their enemies (`Judges 8:10`); but from the standpoint of faith in God, who called them to this service, victory was certain, though none could foresee in what way it should be brought about.
The Lord had in mind a glorious victory, but it was to be achieved by his might and power alone. The honor due to the human instruments who were privileged to share in it was not to be in their skill and strength in battle, but in their faith in God and their zeal in obeying his orders, as an evidence of the strength of their confidence in God.
Accordingly, the first test of faith applied was permission for all the fearful to return home. This reduced the army to ten thousand. The next test was a test of zeal. When led down to the brook to drink, all but three hundred halted very leisurely and knelt down to drink, which required the loosening of their armor and unfastening of their swords. But three hundred did not stop to do this, but hastily scooped up a little water and lapped it from their hands. This zeal, inspired by a living faith in God, was just the element of character for which the Lord was looking; and these three hundred "peculiar people," full of faith and active zeal, were the only ones acceptable to God and privileged to share the honors of delivering Israel from a mighty host of oppressors.
Just so the Lord Jehovah contemplates the conquest of the world for Christ (`Zech. 14:3`); and Christ, like Gideon, is called of God to lead a "little flock" of "called and faithful and chosen" ones (`Rev. 17:14`) forth to the conquest of the hosts of sin.
All that have been called during the entire Gospel age have been but a few in comparison with the opposing forces of the world. The call was first to a justifying faith in Christ. Then the privilege was offered to these to present themselves as living sacrifices to God (`Rom. 12:1`), and thus to go forward to the battle. But that was more than the weak faith of the multitudes could endure; and thousands therefore returned, shunning the hardships of the way, and faithless as to the Lord's ability to grant them the victory.
But still quite a multitude made the full consecration; and, buckling on the armor of God, they pressed forward. Of these the hardships of the way are continually thinning the ranks. Many grow weary in well-doing, and zeal abates, and love grows cold, and faith declines, and they fail to push on to the end. Beloved, let us not be of those who draw back, or of those who faint by the way; for glorious will be the victory of faith and zeal. Blessed is he that shall endure unto the end. Such shall indeed be "a peculiar people, zealous of good works."
::R1875 : page 231::
--OCT. 20.--`RUTH 1:14-22`.--
Golden Text--"Thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God."--`Ruth 1:16`.
MANIFESTLY the chief object in the brief narrative of Ruth and Naomi was to preserve an authentic record of a link in the chain of our Lord's human ancestry. Though a Gentile by birth, Ruth was a sincere Jewish proselyte, incorporated into the commonwealth of Israel, and as such she was recognized of God as one of his chosen people. And not only so, but she was also honored with a place in the line of our Lord's human ancestry, being the great-grandmother of David. The same was true of Rahab, also a Jewish proselyte, who became the mother of Boaz, the great-grandfather of David.
The story of Ruth and Naomi is an interesting one
::R1875 : page 232::
as an item of Jewish history. It has its lights and also its shadows; for the characters were but samples of our fallen humanity coming gradually under the influence of divine grace. All that was noble in them therefore calls forth our admiration and esteem, while the blemishes are to be deplored.
Naomi and her husband, Elimelech, pressed by hard times and a threatening famine, decided to leave the land of Israel and the people of God, and try their fortunes among the Gentiles in the land of Moab. In doing so they were leaving the special privileges of association with God's people, and failing also to contribute their part toward their comfort and encouragement and godly counsel in the time of general distress. They were also exposing themselves and their children to the unhallowed influences of an idolatrous people. This was the part they chose merely for temporal advantage, rather than to share the hardships at home and trust in the Lord to supply their needs.
The result of this wrong course was only trouble. Elimelech died there, and Naomi was left alone with her two sons to raise. By and by the two sons married heathen wives who knew not the God of Israel. Then they also died; and Naomi, bereft of all but her two daughters-in-law, feeling that the hand of the Lord was against her in that she was thus sorely chastened, decided to retrace her steps to the land of her nativity, and again to cast in her lot with the Lord's people.
When she had thus, by sad experience, learned the needed lesson and determined again to submit herself to the Lord's leading, the favor of God began to return to her. She found a great comfort and blessing in the manifested love and devotion of Ruth, her daughter-in-law, and in her conversion to the Jewish faith. "And Ruth said, 'Entreat me not to leave thee, or return from following after thee: for whither thou goest I will go; and where thou lodgest I will lodge; thy people shall be my people and thy God my God. Where thou diest I will die, and there will I be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more also, if aught but death part thee and me.'"
That this was not a mere impulse on the part of Ruth is also manifest from her subsequent course of faithfulness to her mother-in-law; and Naomi's appreciation and devotion to her interests were just as manifest. Evidently though Naomi and her husband had erred in judgment and had been faint-hearted they were still loyal to God and let their light shine in the land of Moab, and both the daughters-in-law had been influenced by it, while Ruth was fully converted to God.
Their kindly reception by the people of Bethlehem and the sympathy and kindness shown them were other great blessings. And finally the marriage of Ruth to Boaz, a man of character, wealth and influence, furnished a happy home to the desolate women and Ruth was honored of God in the line of our Lord's ancestry.
The advice of Naomi to Ruth concerning Boaz was not, however, of unalloyed wisdom. Such a course today would brand any woman as a loose, if not a disreputable, character. And that Boaz feared such reproach is also clear from his request of `Chap. 3:14`. In advising such a course Naomi again betrayed the weakness of her trust in God. But God in kindness had mercy on her weakness; and, their hearts being free from evil, God overruled all for good.
ENCOURAGING WORDS FROM FAITHFUL WORKERS.
DEAR BROTHER:--Enclosed you will find check to be placed to the credit of the Church of Boston. We are all out of "Do You Know" tracts. There is a great interest among the brethren here to spread the glad tidings, and we find use for lots of printed matter. We generally meet the people coming out of meetings.
Enclosed find clipping. How true it is that these "powers" shall be rolled together as a scroll. (`Isa. 34:4`.) Our hearts should be continually at the throne of grace, knowing just where we stand; and God grant it may be our privilege to help with our dear Head to bring all things to a condition of peace.
Yours in Christ, A. SIMPSON.
::R1875 : page 232::
MY DEAR BROTHER AND SISTER RUSSELL:--Though never have we met (and perhaps never shall we) in this life, yet for the last eight or nine years my spirit has been oft refreshed from yours. At the first reading of The Plan of the Ages I was interested, impressed, converted. Before that my soul had been wandering and searching and longing for the pure waters, in a wilderness of theologies, theories, philosophies and fictions--groping after the "unknown God."
You have known something of the development of my thought in the later years by kindly exchanging your publications for mine--The Grand Army Advocate; and though it is a secular paper, yet never has a number left me without bearing a word for the King. Meekly and humbly, I trust, have these gone forth from my hand, and the purpose has been to stir up thought and direct the seeing eye toward the "old paths;" how far successfully I do not know--God knoweth.
And now I am full of thankfulness and praise to our Father for the new light which in these last times hath been shed abroad eminently through your ministry. The truth which makes and keeps you free has graciously gone forth in freedom to many a searching soul, and its work, mayhap, is only yet commencing.
I have just read your last Old Theology Quarterly. Its compact scope and perfect impartiality are marvelous. I can wish that every thoughtful mind might read it. Of course, however, conviction of truth comes only through the ministration of the spirit of truth; and ears must be opened or they cannot hear.
We have here, under the faithful teachings of Brother Page, a little band. The dear Lord is in our midst when only two or three meet together; but generally there are more, and I am sure that enlargement of thought and research in Scriptural matters are rapidly opening up the gates that the King of glory may come in.
And now, dear Brother and Sister, that the cry goes loudly up to you, "Watchman, what of the night?" may the Lord God of Hosts sustain you and keep you faithful unto the end.
Sincerely yours in Christ, J. F. BISHOP.