ZWT - 1914 - R5373 thru R5599 / R5471 (161) - June 1, 1914
(Use your Browser's "Find" or "Search" option to search within this page)
VOL. XXXV JUNE 1 No. 11
A. D. 1914--A. M. 6042
Views From The Watch Tower........................163
Dr. Abbott's Outlook..........................163
Comments on Dr. Abbott's Outlook..............163
Germany Deserting the Church..................165
Loosing the "Four Winds"..........................165
Symptoms of the Coming Trouble................165
Justified or Condemned by Words...................166
World Full of Evil Speaking...................167
Well-Meaning, But Hinderers.......................168
"Called of God, as Was Aaron".....................169
Saving Him From Death.........................170
Laborers in the Vineyard..........................171
The Glorious Character of Our God.............172
Freedom of the Will...............................173
Almost Home (Poem)................................174
Some Interesting Letters..........................174
Episcopal Minister and the Truth..............174
A Baptist Minister's Appreciation.............175
Great Grandfather's Motto.....................175
WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY
CHARLES T. RUSSELL, PRESIDENT
"BROOKLYN TABERNACLE," 13-17 HICKS ST.,
BROOKLYN, N. Y., U. S. A.
Foreign Agencies:-British Branch: LONDON TABERNACLE, Lancaster Gate, London, W. German Branch: Unterdorner Str., 76, Barmen. Australasian Branch: Flinders Building, Flinders St., Melbourne. Please address the SOCIETY in every case.
ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION PRICE, $1.00 (4s.) IN ADVANCE. SEND MONEY BY EXPRESS, BANK DRAFT, POSTAL ORDER, OR REGISTERED. FROM FOREIGN COUNTRIES BY FOREIGN MONEY ORDERS, ONLY.
Terms to the Lord's Poor as Follows:-All Bible Students who, by reason of old age, or other infirmity or adversity, are unable to pay for this Journal, will be supplied Free if they send a Postal Card each May stating their case and requesting its continuance. We are not only willing, but anxious, that all such be on our list continually and in touch with the STUDIES, etc.
ALSO FRENCH, GERMAN, SWEDISH AND DANISH EDITIONS. SAMPLE COPIES FREE.
ENTERED AS SECOND-CLASS MAIL MATTER AT BROOKLYN, N. Y., POSTOFFICE. ENTERED AS SECOND-CLASS MATTER AT THE POSTOFFICE DEPT., OTTAWA, CANADA.
::R5471 : page 162::
DOES THIS APPLY TO YOU?
We fear that some of the dear Colporteurs are being attracted away from the colporteur division of the Harvest work. We urge all who have any measure of success as colporteurs that they should consider it one of the very best parts of the Harvest field, yielding more fruitage to individual effort than does any other.
The DRAMA, so far from hindering the colporteur work, should greatly increase it wherever the DRAMA is produced. Wherever it is heard of, the attention of the people is drawn to the STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES.
This is the favorable time of the year for colporteuring. Therefore, we would like to say something to re-encourage the noble band of faithful reapers who are laying down their time, their strength and their lives in this service. "He that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life everlasting."
There never has been a time when so many people have been manifesting an ear to hear the Truth. Superstition is dying. Ignorance is giving way before the better knowledge of God and of His Word. The DRAMA is helping all this. Nevertheless, those who merely see and hear the DRAMA have only gotten a start in the right direction. They need to read the STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES with their Bibles, that they may be thoroughly furnished and may put on the whole armor of God, and thus be prepared for the impending trials of the near future.
::R5472 : page 162::
The field is large. If you have time to invest in this precious service, write to us for hints, or methods, and for prospectus, and for assignment of territory--indicating what territory you prefer, giving first, second and third choice of locality. This proposition applies to all the unincumbered possessed of any talent and address. The greater your talent, and the better your education, etc., the greater your ability for serving the Lord in this part of the Harvest field. Many housewives can spare one or two hours daily for this grand work. When the privilege reaches us it becomes an opportunity for demonstrating to the Lord our zeal for Him, for His Truth and for the Household of Faith. Many teachers will have vacations shortly. What better way could be found for spending it than in the service of the King of kings? Moreover, it is healthful employment. Those who cannot colporteur should remember that the opportunity still remains for volunteering, and that our new Volunteer matter is ready and going out rapidly.
POEMS OF DAWN
This book of 286 pages contains nearly three hundred beautiful poems of consecration and encouragement for Christians. It makes an excellent gift for any friend or relative not in the Truth, although most appreciated by the saintly. It is topically arranged, but you could not open at random and read without being refreshed, comforted, drawn nearer to God. The Karatol-bound edition is exhausted, but we still have a good supply on hand of the cloth-bound edition, 25c., and the India paper, leather bound, 50c.
CREDIT AND FREE SUBSCRIPTIONS
With the May 15th issue of THE WATCH TOWER the free subscriptions to the "Lord's Poor" ended, with the exception of those entered within the last six months. If your TOWER stops coming, this will explain the reason. You are as welcome to it as ever, upon your own request. If you desire its visits continued, please advise us AT ONCE. A post-card request will be sufficient.
BETHEL HYMNS FOR JULY
After the close of the hymn the Bethel family listens to the reading of "My Vow Unto the Lord," then joins in prayer. At the breakfast table the MANNA text is considered. Hymns for July follow: (1) 94; (2) 259; (3) 14; (4) 47; (5) 12; (6) 46; (7) 305; (8) 220; (9) 18; (10) 108; (11) 262; (12) 216; (13) 299; (14) 224; (15) 221; (16) 326; (17) 155; (18) 23; (19) 144; (20) 254; (21) 212; (22) 307; (23) 324; (24) 192; (25) 313; (26) 113; (27) 204; (28) 87; (29) 263; (30) 219; (31) 82.
::R5467 : page 163::
VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER
DR. ABBOTT'S OUTLOOK
"A minister asks a question which I may summarize thus: How can one who has accepted the newer thinking in theology so present it as to satisfy the desires of those who are longing for the old religion? It is a question which a great many ministers and some laymen are asking. The answer involves a consideration of the use and value of sermons and church services.
* * *
"One reason why many naturally devout persons have discontinued church attendance is because the church service for them no longer promotes the religious life. It seems to them unreal. They still wish to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk reverently, but the church service does not help them to do so. They have abandoned the Church, but they have not abandoned religion. To bring them back to the Church the Church must somehow put new life into its services. It must make its expression of the religious feeling more effective in promoting the religious life.
* * *
"When astronomy compelled a new theory of the Universe, and modern biology and anthropology a new theory of the origin of man and of sin, and modern criticism a new theory of the Bible, and modern sociology a new theory of redemption, the Puritan churches began of necessity to construct a new theology. The ministers who were familiar with modern discovery and the modern mind began to teach a new philosophy of religion.
* * *
"We no longer express penitence, thanksgiving, and consecration by offering sacrifices. But penitence and thanksgiving and consecration are essentially the same experiences that they were in the days of Ezra. Theology has changed. We no longer believe that man was created perfect six thousand years ago, and that sin came into the world as the result of the fact that a woman was persuaded by a serpent to eat a forbidden fruit. But doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with God are essentially what they were in the days of Abraham.
"In our time there are a number of self-sacrificing and devoted philanthropists and teachers who have discarded both worship and theology and are endeavoring to promote the higher life by ethical instruction, illustrated and enforced by moral example. But while they endeavor to promote doing justly and loving mercy, they make no effort to promote reverent comradeship with God. They substitute the religion of humanity for the humanity of religion. Some of them are preaching ethical sermons in Christian pulpits. Some of them have come out from the Church altogether and are devoting themselves to various forms of social service. They are doing unselfish work for their fellow-men, and in the lives of many of them Christian ministers might well find both example and inspiration.
"But I do not believe that ethical culture can take the place of spiritual life. If all that humanity wants is well-regulated conduct, ethical culture might possibly furnish it--though that is doubtful. But that is not all that humanity wants. It wants character. What men think is important; what they feel is more important; but what they are is most important of all. For out of what they
::R5468 : page 163::
are will come naturally and spontaneously their thinking, their feeling, and their conduct.
* * *
"The minister who would satisfy the need of his people must realize that their need is not a form of worship nor a philosophy of religion, but a life. If he uses a prayer-book, it must serve him as an expression of his own penitence, thanksgiving, consecration. If he does not use a prayer-book, his prayers must be real communion with God, not an address to his congregation. Whether he believes that man has been six or sixty thousand years upon the earth, that sin is the consequence of a fall from perfection six thousand years ago or the consequence of the animalism in us from which we have not yet fully emerged, that Jesus Christ saves us by having paid once for all the penalty of our sins in a sacrifice suffered long ago or by living with us and giving life to us in a perpetual sacrifice, is not unimportant. BUT IT IS INSIGNIFICANT BESIDE THE QUESTION WHETHER PENITENCE FOR HIS OWN SINS AND JOY IN HIS LIVING SAVIOR ARE REAL EXPERIENCES OR ONLY BOOK-LEARNED THEORIES. If they are real experiences and he can communicate them to his hearers, he will satisfy their real needs. If he communicates them through the old theology, some of his hearers will think him old-fashioned in his thinking; if he communicates them through the new theology, some of his hearers will fear he is not quite sound. But if he succeeds in giving to them that life the fruit of which is doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with God, they will accept the gift with thankfulness, whatever may be the philosophy which he employs in imparting the gift."--Lyman Abbott.
COMMENTS ON DR. ABBOTT'S OUTLOOK
We have wondered how such noble men of good thinking capacity as Doctor Abbott regard the future and their own change of religious sentiment. We have above, Doctor Abbott's own words on the subject. His expression probably represents fairly, generously, the sentiments of the large class of scholarly men among whom he is a leader. They have abandoned the old landmarks altogether. The personal God who takes personal interest in the affairs of man is unknown to this class. Some of them recognize a force operating in nature, and give this blind force the name of god--Nature god. Others, admitting that they have no real ground for their contention, hold that there is a personal God who is so great that He
::R5468 : page 164::
takes no more account of man and his interests than men take account of ants, insects, microbes.
Yet still there is in the human heart a yearning for the sympathy of a Divine Friend, which causes some of these bewildered leaders of human thought to ignore their own theories and to crave and worship a personal God of Love whom they know not, and who has made, they think, no revelation of Himself or of His plans, respecting which they make liberal guesses, frequently altered, mended, amended, contradicted. St. Paul seemed to have some such philosophers in mind when he wrote, "without God, and having no hope in the world." Jesus seems to have had some such persons in mind when He spoke of "blind leaders of the blind" falling into the ditch.
A DEPLORABLE CONDITION OF UNBELIEF
With many of these good people the trouble begins with their loss of confidence in the Bible as the inspired Revelation of God for the instruction and guidance of His people. As soon as any assume this attitude toward the Bible, they are like the mariner on the high seas who has lost his charts and compass and has become befogged. Occasionally a little rift in the fog gives him a view of some bright star; and for a moment he rejoices in the thought that he at least knows by the stars which way to steer his craft. But as the fogs shift, he is pitiably bewildered. He dare not even confess to the trusting passengers under his care the real status of affairs. He must be brave; he must secrete his fears and doubts and ignorance.
This appears to be the deplorable condition of the Higher Critics and Evolutionists. If we misjudge them, we shall be glad to have them set us straight. We shall be glad to be informed by what process of reasoning they have any knowledge whatever respecting a future life of any kind in any place. We shall be glad to be informed respecting any process of reasoning along the lines of their presentation that would go to demonstrate that they have, or could have, any expectation of a future life, except representatively through their children, who in some future time, thousands of years ahead, might be evolved to such perfection of mind and body and to such a mastery of conditions of nature as would permit them successfully to combat germs, microbes and hereditary weaknesses, and to live forever.
But how poor a prospect is this in comparison with the hope set before us in the Gospel--the hope of a personal future life by resurrection from the dead, a hope which Evolutionists and Higher Critics deride as chimerical! We can only return the compliment by declaring that the Christian's hope, founded upon the Bible, "the hope of the resurrection of the dead," seems to us far less chimerical, far less unreasonable, and much more advantageous to us in every way, than the hope of the Higher Critic and Evolutionist that though they perish, some of their great, great grandchildren may achieve everlasting life.
While we have no sympathy with Higher Criticism and Evolution, we have every sympathy for the many noble minds that have accepted these theories, to the destruction of their own joy, peace, and faith. Our experience gives us this sympathy. Once we had very much their position. We thank God for our deliverance from it into the brighter light from Heaven which shines in the face of Jesus Christ our Lord, shines through His words, shines through the writings and prophecies of the past, as explained by the appointed and especially inspired Apostles of Jesus. Quite probably the majority of those whose views we are criticising came to their present views as did the writer.
A GREAT LESSON TO BE LEARNED
For three centuries the darkness of superstition has been gradually breaking; and although the Bible has come back to the people, it has been interpreted through creedal spectacles of various hues, but all of them dark. We have been unwittingly trusting the creeds and not the Bible. But more and more the absurdities of those creeds have become manifest in the advancing light of the Millennial Morning. We have now come to the place where practically no intelligent people any longer believe the creeds of the past. But in repudiating those creeds, all have been in danger through the error of the supposition that those creeds represent the Bible teachings. Hence, to nearly all of us, the repudiation of the creeds has meant the repudiation of the Bible, however much we have desired to hold to the Bible as the Divine Light in a dark place.
The great lesson for us all now to learn is that while we have been right in repudiating the creeds, and while every one of them should be publicly as well as privately repudiated, we should return to the Bible and give it a fresh examination, totally untrammeled by the theories of the darker past. We should go to the Bible, expecting to find it in opposition to these creeds--expecting to find that the pure Message of Divine Truth, as given out by Jesus and His authorized Apostles, was corrupted during the Dark Ages--during the time when the Bible was ignored in favor of creeds formulated by bishops who mistakenly thought themselves Apostolic bishops, and who under Satan's misguidance led Christendom into atrocious errors and "doctrines of devils."--`1 Timothy 4:1`.
Only by such radical change of attitude toward the Bible--only by such confidence in God, confidence in the Bible as the Revelation to man of a God of all Grace, the Father of Mercies, are we prepared to view the Old Book from the proper angle, to see its real meaning, and to be convinced that it is the Message of Hope for the world, and of glory, honor and immortality for the Church, and indeed true and worthy of all acceptation.
A NEW STIMULUS TO BIBLE STUDY
One of the chief aims of the PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION is to re-establish faith in the Bible as the inspired Word of God. It is our conviction that many of God's consecrated people are trembling on the brink of infidelity. The teachings of Higher Criticism and Evolution, which have gone forth from the colleges and intellectual leaders of Christendom for the past forty years, have permeated, leavened, the thought, the sentiment of the whole world.
God's consecrated people need the helping hand which He through this DRAMA is, we believe, extending to them. It is wonderful to note how some of these are being reached by it, and how quickly some of them respond. A young man who witnessed the DRAMA in the New York Temple (W. 63d St., near Broadway), inquired whether or not there was something more that he could read along the lines pursued in the DRAMA. He was told of the six volumes of THE STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES. He purchased them at once and read them. Returning, he said, "I had $700 saved up to put me through a theological course. I have concluded that in these volumes I have the theological course that I need."
The fairness of the DRAMA, its faithfulness to the Bible, and the gentleness with which it treats opposition, commend it to sober-thinking, honest-hearted people; and while all classes are welcomed, this special class is particularly desired and appreciated by the promoters of the DRAMA. Only those who have been rescued from the darkness, obscurity and "mentally lost" condition of Higher Criticism and Evolution, can fully appreciate what it means to be saved from all that darkness, doubt, fog-- what it means to have a firm foundation for faith in a
::R5469 : page 165::
God of Justice, Wisdom, Love and Power--what it means to know God and to have an intelligent appreciation of His great and wonderful Plan of the Ages, in which the Church has first place, but in which the whole world of mankind is yet to receive a blessing and a glorious opportunity for everlasting life.
GERMANY DESERTING THE CHURCH
Church attendance in Protestant Germany is shrinking in what The Christian World's Berlin correspondent, quoted in The Christian Work (New York), calls an alarming way. According to a census made on a recent Sunday only 11,252 persons were attending the 68 State Protestant places of worship in Berlin. In the town of Chemnitz, in Saxony, with 300,000 Protestants, "the church attendance on this particular Sunday was 2,248." Or, taking the communion statistics as a test, "in Berlin, last year, only 14.81 per cent. of the Protestant population partook of the communion."
Of course, says our informant, the numbers are more satisfactory in country districts, but "in the towns, and in numerous country districts as well, not only is the number of communicants sinking, but it is rapidly sinking, and has been rapidly sinking for several years past." And we read on:
"In Berlin it is an established fact that the number of those who make a practise of going to church is rapidly decreasing. A serious journal here has been investigating the causes for this, and as a result of its inquiries among the working classes, it has obtained the following six reasons for the falling off:
"(1) The influence of the anti-religious press.
"(2) Social Democratic agitation against Church.
"(3) The influence of evil-disposed neighbors and fellow-workmen on those who would otherwise attend.
"(4) The notorious unbelief of the educated classes.
"(5) The widely spread suspicion and dislike expended on the clergy, especially the belief that they do not themselves believe what they teach, and that their piety and truth are merely hypocrisy.
"(6) Finally, the fact that all public places of amusement are open on Sunday, and that it is exactly on Sunday that the proprietors of these places use the greatest efforts to fill them. Another reason given for the increasing absence of young people from Divine service is the recent institution of associations such as scouts, wanderers, and boys' and girls' brigades, all of which have their gatherings on Sundays. The great horse-races are held on Sunday, also the chief athletic events. It is stated that all these things help to deplete the churches.
"Another journal in examining the causes at work in emptying the churches does not hesitate to remark that the antiquated methods employed by the clergy in addressing their flocks and in conducting their services are becoming 'repulsive' to churchgoers. Modern men in modern life will not tolerate a man in a pulpit calling them 'beloved hearers.' They hate the sanctimony and unctuousness inseparable from so many pastors. It irritates them to hear, 'firstly, my beloved,' and 'secondly, my dear brethren,' and 'thirdly and lastly.'
"Then there is a strong impression that much might be done to modernize the service of song. The Germans are the most musical people in the world and possess some of the most magnificent church music ever written. But they are beginning to lose all patience with those slowly droned-forth chorales in which there is neither force nor fire. With a sigh they think of the bright services of song in English and American churches."--Literary Digest.
::R5469 : page 165::
LOOSING THE "FOUR WINDS"
"And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation."--`Daniel 12:1`.
THERE is something peculiarly forceful about this statement. We have known some to lay stress upon the word such in this verse of Daniel's prophecy and to suggest that this might mean, not that the trouble will be greater, but that it will be of a different character than any previous trouble. We do not share that view. Our thought is that it will be the most intense, as well as the most widely diffused trouble, the most general trouble ever known. We see a great many things which corroborate this thought. We can readily see that anarchy at this time would affect mankind more than at any previous time of the world's history.
In the past the cities were supported by a large farming element; and each farmer was accustomed to keeping his stock on hand, selling more directly to the consumer. Today the cities are large, more massed together than ever before. Food is shipped to these cities in large quantities. Additionally, the people have become extravagant; we probably eat much more food as a people, and of a daintier kind, than ever before. We would feel ourselves starved by what people ate in former times.
Our Lord fed the five thousand with bread and small fishes. Now the people would not be satisfied, as they were then, to sit down on the grass, with a piece of bread in one hand and a piece of fish in the other. Now they would want five dishes, at least--and knives and forks, etc. They would think that they were starved if they had only a piece of fish and a piece of dry bread. And now, instead of gathering up the fragments, they would feel like throwing the fragments away.
SYMPTOMS OF THE COMING TROUBLE
We are reminded of the strike of last year in some of the large cities of England. In Liverpool, it was only by having Government troops on guard that food could be distributed to keep the people from starving. So we can see how soon whole cities could be put into confusion and everybody go hungry to bed; and they would soon starve, if supplies were cut off.
We have reason to believe that this trouble in some respects will be accompanied by a ferocity never seen in the past. True, there have been atrocities committed in every age of the world's history. And it is true that we now have a veneer that goes by the name of Christianity; but there is no Christianity about it. We see more and more clearly how easy it would be to scratch off this veneer and get to the savage nature below it. This being so, we can see how the rendering of assistance of one part of the world to another part would be at an end. We also see how the evil spirits will be stirred up. We have every reason for believing our Lord's words to be literally true--that the severity of the coming trouble will be such as never before has been known.
Then again, we understand that the trouble at the end of the Jewish Dispensation was a type, or foreshadowing, a parallel, of the great trouble coming at the end of this Dispensation. The trouble that then came upon the Jewish nation was reckoned as having been the most severe in the world's history. The trouble at the close
::R5469 : page 166::
of this Age will be on a vastly larger scale--world-wide.
CHRIST'S KINGDOM THE ONLY HOPE
As to the Socialistic movement, it is our thought that the Socialists will fail entirely in their attempt to carry out their ideas. Some of the ideas are good; some of them are medium; and some of them are bad. But they can never carry out the best of their ideas, because those who are controlling capital and managing the world's affairs will never give them the opportunity. Whether it will be the socialistic, the anarchistic or the capitalistic element that will bring about the anarchy, will depend upon which obstacle will be the most difficult to move.
All parties are very earnest, very intense, very obstinate. The capitalists fear that the whole country and every other country would "go to the dogs" if Socialism were in power. Therefore they would be ready to put it into the ditch rather than give it a trial. And so we do not expect that the Socialists will get sufficient power to take the reins of government. We think the attempt would result in anarchy, until Divine Power shall set up the Kingdom which has been promised.
And by this we are not accusing any party in particular. We believe that under stress of failure either side would be ready to see the streets run with blood rather than see the other side win--they would be ready to go to any length to maintain their purpose and ideas. Each party is sure that it knows what it is doing. There can be no possible settlement. All parties are sure that they are right and are sure that they will succeed. When the crisis is reached, which seems nearing, the great whirlwind will come, which will sweep all civilization before it. Thank God, that the Kingdom of God's dear Son will end it when men shall have learned their own impotency!
THE FOUR GREAT WINDS
In `Rev. 7:1`, St. John mentions this whirlwind: "And after these things I saw four angels, standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the winds should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree." The winds of the earth referred to here are, of course, symbolic. The thought is
::R5470 : page 166::
that the winds from the four quarters--North, East, South and West--are being held back, and that when the restraint is withdrawn they will rush together, and the result will be a whirlwind. Certain Scriptures tell of a whirlwind that will be raised up from the coasts of the earth. See `Jer. 23:19`; `25:32,33`; `30:23,24`. We do not understand that this will be a physical whirlwind, but this symbolic expression is used to convey the thought of a severe strife of the powers of the air.
These "powers of the air," or "winds," are not powers of natural air, but are the powers referred to by St. Paul when he speaks of Satan as "the Prince of the power of the air." (`Eph. 2:2`.) Those spirits who have been under the control of Satan--the fallen angels--were to be restrained in chains of darkness until the Judgment of the Great Day. (`2 Peter 2:4`.) The letting loose of these winds, or air powers, would seem to show that God has let go His hand of restraint; that He will have to do with the permission of the terrible trouble that will come upon the world as a great cataclysm, which will result in the complete overthrow of the social order in anarchy.
We find that in spite of the many advantages of our day and the blessings showered upon the world, people are unthankful and ungrateful. Discontent is growing; and the result will be a great strife, and the complete fall of present institutions. Our text seems to imply that this outside influence will exercise a baneful effect upon men, when finally granted the liberty. These fallen spirits have been under restraint for these many centuries, but they have exercised their influence to whatever extent they have had permission. If they had had unlimited power they would have wrecked the world long ago; but they have been restrained in chains of darkness.
FALLEN ANGELS SOON TO BE LOOSED
Apparently God will soon cease to restrain the fallen angels, and they will then proceed to vent their fury upon humanity, so that the whole earth will be full of violence, the same as in the days of Noah. "As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of Man."--`Luke 17:26`.
It is true that the Savior gave the thought that at His Second Advent He would be present, unknown to the world, doing a work of gathering the Church--of making up His "jewels"--and that the world would not know of His presence until the Time of Trouble was upon them. He said that they would be eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. (`Luke 17:27-30`.) And this is true. The world is going into large contracts, etc., quite unaware of how near we are to the new arrangement, the incoming Kingdom. But we believe that the very near future will be a time of great crime and angry passions.
We read of the time that God beheld the thoughts of men, that man's heart was evil and only evil continually-- a very desperate condition. Our thought is that the loosing of these "four winds" is still future. The power manifested by the demons when loosed, will, we believe, be with a view to the injury of mankind. We do not know but that many of our readers will have a share in that injury. We have every reason to suppose that, if these fallen angels shall get loose, they will vent their first anger upon the Lord's people. We are not to fear this, however, but to take whatever the Lord's providence permits to come, knowing that everything shall work for our good. "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof," the difficulty thereof. Let us leave the whole matter in the Lord's hands and trust in Him.
::R5470 : page 166::
JUSTIFIED OR CONDEMNED BY WORDS
"By thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned."--`MATTHEW 12:37`.
THE word justified here used by our Lord is not the justification referred to generally in the New Testament. The "justification by faith" of which St. Paul writes is the clearing before God of those who have from the heart accepted Jesus as their Savior. "Being justified by faith, we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ." Our justification is on the basis of our faith in God; we cannot come into His family without faith. The Apostle James declares that a living faith shows itself by works. And in God's arrangement He has made it necessary that we manifest our faith by such good works as we are able to perform. So faith and works together are bringing us into the character-likeness of Christ, thus to be sharers in His resurrection. If we have only faith and not works, we shall never reach the goal; if we have all works and no faith, we shall likewise fail.
But "by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words condemned": here our Lord is not addressing the Church at all. None were accepted to full justification
::R5470 : page 167::
and begetting of the Holy Spirit until Pentecost, which was some time after this statement was uttered. These words were spoken to the Pharisees, who were being reproved. The word justified is used here in a limited sense. For instance, we might speak of some transaction we have made, and say, I felt justified in taking that course. Jesus was here using this word in a similar manner. He was addressing those who professed to have a special relationship with God under the Law Covenant, and to be especially holy. The Jews were not justified to life, but merely to fellowship with God. And now they were in their trial time: would they prove worthy?
DAY OF THEIR VISITATION UNRECOGNIZED
We read that they did not realize that they were in a testing time--that they had come under a certain judgment of God as to whether or not they as a people might continue as His servants. "They knew not the time of their visitation." Our Lord said, when riding into Jerusalem, "Behold, your House is left unto you desolate!" They as the House of Servants were not worthy of a continuance of special favor at that time. For three and a half years there had been a certain kind of favor shown to them; the Gospel was preached in their midst. But the Gospel did not appeal to the nation; only to the "Israelites indeed" from among them, the faithful remnant. After the three and a half years which ended the "seventieth week," the Lord's favor to the Jews terminated, and from that time the door was thrown open to the Gentiles. And ever since then the Jews have had no preeminence over others.
The Pharisees professed entire consecration to God and great holiness. Jesus told them that they made broad their phylacteries, and enlarged the borders of their garments; that they took the chief seats in the synagogues, and for a pretense made long prayers; and that they paid tithes even of the smallest seeds, mint and anise and cummin, but omitted the weightier matters of the Law, and that theirs was merely an outward, perfunctory observance of that Law. (`Matthew 23:5,6,14,23-25`.) He declared that the Law commanded that they should love their neighbor as themselves. And He charged that they "devoured widows' houses"; they were ready to take advantage of the fact that these had no natural protectors. He told them that it would be foolish to think that by offering prayers on the street corners, etc., they were keeping the Law.
WORDS AN INDEX OF THE HEART
"By thy words thou shalt be condemned"; that is to say, they should lose God's special favor. By their words they proved themselves dishonest. They perceived the good works of Jesus, but through jealousy and spite they said all manner of evil against Him and crucified Him. Everything they said against Him showed their real heart-condition. They were demonstrating themselves as unworthy of God's favor. We are not to think, however, that the Jews came under God's everlasting disfavor. During this Gospel Age they have been under special chastisements: they have had much persecution; but their faith in God has brought them this persecution.
God's wrath came upon them "to the uttermost" during those forty years ending the Jewish Age. At the close of the year A.D. 70 the nation went to pieces. But the people have remained very much alive! And they are now soon to return fully to God's favor: "they are still beloved for the fathers' sakes." They have still a share in the arrangement made from the beginning, so their condemnation was not an everlasting condemnation. But they have lost the chief blessing.
Had they said, We are not yet able to see that this is the Messiah, but we are convinced that there is some wonderful power operating in Him--had they used such words, they would have demonstrated themselves as desirous of knowing the right way, which God would have shown them just as some others were shown--especially after Pentecost. In such a case by their words and their conduct they might have been justified. They did not speak those words, however, because they did not have the right condition of heart. "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." Their heart-attitude was shown in their words; favor to their nation terminated.
WHAT CONSTITUTES EVIL-SPEAKING
The Apostle Paul says, "Speak evil of no man"; he does not say, Speak evil of no creed. Some of the creeds should be very evilly spoken of! It would do the people good who are bound by them. He does not say that we
::R5471 : page 167::
are not to speak evil of an evil principle, but brings the matter down to personality. The Bible speaks of mankind as evil-thinking, evil-speaking, evil-doing; they are all under the ban in this sense. And to say that the whole world are sinners, is not speaking evil; for all recognize the fact. It is true, and every person ought to know that all men are sinners: sin prevails.
But when we come down to personalities, we are getting on dangerous ground. Jesus said that the Pharisees were hypocrites and whited sepulchres. He did not thus address an individual, but He spoke evil of the system, and of a class. So if we call attention to pickpockets, we are not necessarily casting reproach on any one in our neighborhood. But when we single out an individual and speak evil of him, we are on wrong ground, according to the Scriptures, except as a matter of necessity. If you know of a pickpocket, the proper course is to have him arrested. If you know that at one time a certain person was a pickpocket, it does not necessarily follow that he is one now; he might have reformed.
Therefore, when giving advice respecting pickpockets, it would not be right to single out this person or that one, unless we have positive knowledge. There are some behind prison bars who are today serving Truth and righteousness. And so it is with some who have come out from behind prison bars. To keep up a reproach and brand one because of certain misconduct earlier in life is not right. It is not right to hold a reproach against any one, and hinder him from an honest course in the future. We would better say, Now you are a free man, and I believe you are determined to do right. The effect of this would be good--to let him see that some one who knew about the past was willing to help him. But if he gave no assurance of doing right, then we would feel free to put others on guard against him. If he were willing to do right, we should co-operate with him in any way possible.
THE WORLD FULL OF EVIL-SPEAKING
There is no doubt that there is much evil-speaking: the world is full of it. A man in business will often say of another, I would trust that man about as far as you could throw an elephant by the tail--a graphic way of saying how much confidence he has in him. Another expression is, I would not trust him with even a cellar full of cold water! The world has not come into the School of Christ; it is the Church, therefore, that is especially instructed to speak evil of no man. Of course, it is natural for our fallen flesh to "dodge" nearly everything, and to try to think out some way by which we could justify ourselves in saying something unfavorable of another; and it seems that even the Lord's people have often "edged
::R5471 : page 168::
around" to see what excuse they could find for speaking evil and yet not feel condemned.
THE HUMAN HEART VERY DECEITFUL
It is to be assumed and presumed that every child of God has a heart that is desirous of doing the Lord's will, and that, therefore, none of them would desire to do that which is contrary to the Lord's will. But there is something in the fallen human heart which is very deceitful-- determined to do the thing it used to do in the world. We have known people of the world who think nothing whatever of telling anything and everything about people. They will often say it in a whisper, knowing that the person to whom they tell it will whisper it to somebody else in five minutes. Even if they are not sure that it is true, it is too "good" to keep! They want others to share such a fine thing! They roll it as a sweet morsel under their tongue for awhile, and then hasten to spit it out to others, that they may help to carry it on! Evil burns to get out.
Well, it would not be wrong to tell the truth about a person, says one. Yes, it would be wrong! But, if I do not tell John Smith that Mary Jones owes me a bill, he may trust her. I must tell it to others because she may get in debt to them. I will not say very much: I will just shrug my shoulder and nod my head and say, You would better look out, or you will get bitten! And so if it were only a dime the person owes, she would be done a thousand dollars worth of injury.
Do we know something that we could tell, and is it "aching" to get out? If so, let us go before the Lord in prayer, and earnestly strive to follow out the injunction of the Apostle Paul: "Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil-speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."--`Ephesians 4:31,32`.
IMPORTANT TO THE LORD'S PEOPLE
We believe that this matter of evil-speaking, dear brethren, is one of the difficulties of Christians--to know how and when and where to hold our peace in respect to the reputation of others. We know of a brother who had been in prison, and was released. He told us that he was glad to get out. We asked, Have you been telling any one about your having been in prison? Yes, he answered. Well, do not tell it again. Very few of the Lord's people would trust you if they knew. We will go to these that you have told, and tell them not to mention it, at all. It is a trait of our fallen nature to speak of these things.
Of course there are people who are foolish; they would tell unfavorable things about themselves as well as about others. But most people would not be willing to tell anything disparaging about themselves, and we should stop and think, Shall I say anything detrimental about anybody? If the circumstances were changed, if I were in his place and he were in my place, would I like him to tell this about me?
But how would it be if we saw a man picking another man's pocket? Then we would feel fully justified in taking all the steps necessary for his arrest, because we would think that it would be the very best thing for that man as well as for others. We would think it right to shout, Pick-pocket! Pick-pocket! and have him arrested.
So far as we can determine, evil-speaking means the saying of anything that would be injurious to another, in a way or under circumstances that, if it applied to ourself, we would think unkind and injurious. In certain instances we have known of one who had been doing wrong, and we have sent him word that if he pursued such a course, we would believe it our duty to take some action in the matter; but that if he assured us he would abandon his course, we would do nothing. In this way, in several cases, the person has been kept from doing harm to others; and we were saved from openly making reference to the matter about which we knew, and which, perhaps, no other person in the world knew.
We need the wisdom from on High. And we believe that this attitude represents a necessary development of Christian character. If we really desire the good of our neighbor, and our own good, if we desire to honor him as we would wish him to honor us, then we must follow the Golden Rule, "Do unto others as you would that they should do unto you."
Much evil-speaking would be avoided by remembering the following bright little jingle clipped from a secular Journal. The sentiment is wholesome and Scriptural:
"Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can."
St. Paul gives the same thought briefly, in the words, "As we have opportunity, let us do good unto all men."-- `Galatians 6:10`.
::R5474 : page 168::
WELL-MEANING, BUT HINDERERS
WE FEEL sure that all of the Lord's people have only the best of motives. How could they have other than good motives and yet be recognized by the Lord? Selfishness may creep in and assert itself to some extent without being detected by the New Creature; but being detected, it is to be restrained, demeaned, put to death. The entire course of the Lord's followers is one of experience in respect to personal imperfections of mind and body, and in respect to properly understanding the words and conduct of others.
We have two items which we desire to bring to the attention of such brethren as have to do with public speaking, introductions, funeral services, etc. Our suggestions and criticisms should be understood as intended to be helpful to the brethren themselves and to the Cause we all love to serve.
(1) We are informed that, when serving at funerals, some of the brethren, anxious to tell the Good Tidings respecting death and the wages of sin upon our race, and the redemption and the resurrection as the release from the penalty, are in danger of going to extremes. Sometimes they preach too long--attempting to tell more than is proper on such an occasion. At other times they are so intent upon presenting the Gospel Message and Bible explanation respecting death, that they forget to speak a word of comfort to the bereaved members of the family of the deceased, or to make some reference to the deceased, his character, his zeal for God, his devotion to the Bible--or some other truthful eulogy comforting to the bereaved family.
We are not wishing to intimate in any sense that ordinary funeral sermons, which are wholly eulogistic and give no attention to the Bible teaching respecting death, are right. We merely wish to suggest that a
::R5475 : page 169::
course of moderation is a wise one, bringing in an explanation of some of the Divine Plan, and making some reference to the deceased and his family, etc.
(2) Great care should be exercised in the selection of a brother to do the introducing of a public speaker. Far better is it that there be no introduction at all, than that a wrong one be made. The person who thinks the occasion a suitable one for showing off himself, his eloquence, his knowledge of the Bible, etc., should not be entrusted with any work of introduction. The person who thinks it an opportunity to tell all he knows of the Divine Plan and to inform the audience in advance what the speaker intends to tell them, is just as much out of place as is the person who, being invited to offer an opening prayer, stretches it out into a discourse, wastes valuable time and disgusts everybody with his lack of propriety. More harm can be done in two minutes by the person who introduces the speaker than the latter could undo in two hours.
Humility, modesty and brevity are grand qualities everywhere, but are especially appropriate in those who would introduce a speaker, whether at a Class Extension Meeting, Pilgrim Meeting or any other.
On such an occasion the one leading in prayer should make it merely an invocation. The audience has not come together to hear him pray, but to hear the address. His invocation should thank God for the privileges of the hour, for the liberty granted in our day, for the desire of heart to know the Truth and for an open Bible. Requests should be made of the Lord for a Divine blessing upon the meeting--upon the audience and upon the speaker, that the Lord's name may be glorified, that the Truth be advanced and all who love righteousness be blessed.
The introduction should be brief also. It should not say, "The speaker will tell you what we believe," as though making a distinction between the audience and the small group in the audience who profess to be teachers. With greater humility, it should be something like this: "It is my privilege and honor to introduce the speaker of the afternoon. He comes to us under the auspices of the International Bible Students Association, bringing, we believe, a Message from God's Word. We trust that it will be convincing, encouraging, helpful. Let us hear candidly, remembering the Master's words that we are to be sanctified through the Truth, and that His Word is the Truth. Let us therefore rejoice in proportion as the Word of the Lord is heard with the ears of our hearts. I now introduce to you __________, whose topic for the occasion is __________."
::R5472 : page 169::
"CALLED OF GOD, AS WAS AARON"
--JUNE 28.--`HEBREWS 4:14-5:10`.--
"The Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost."--`LUKE 19:10`.
TODAY'S LESSON deals with the Priesthood of Jesus and, incidentally, with the priesthood of His Church. He is the High Priest, or Chief Priest, of our profession, or order, writes the Apostle. The Jews found it difficult to understand how Jesus could in any sense of the word be associated with the priesthood. The Lord God had confined the priestly office to the family of Aaron, of the tribe of Levi. Jesus did not belong to that tribe, nor did His disciples. How could He fill or have to do with the priestly office?
The necessity for discussing the question arose from the fact that, as St. Peter had pointed out, the Church is a Royal Priesthood. So St. Paul shows that as the antitypical Priest, Jesus had offered up Himself as the antitypical Bullock for sin atonement; and that after so doing He had ascended up on High and thus entered the antitypical Holy of Holies, appearing there on our behalf --on behalf of His Church, the antitypical Levites, the antitypical under-priests.
St. Paul argues that because we can by faith recognize Jesus as our great High Priest in Heaven and know that He has sympathy for our imperfections, therefore we may come to Him with great courage, when overtaken by a fault, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in every time of need. But all these blessed assurances will be without force unless we can realize that Jesus is our High Priest in Heaven. Hence the Apostle's argument in this lesson is a demonstration of this fact.
AARONIC PRIESTS WERE TYPICAL
The Apostle reasons (`5:1`) that all the Jewish priests were taken from amongst their fellows and especially ordained, or set apart, for their work, to represent their people before God, offering for them both their gifts and their sacrifices for sins. In this arrangement the priests were able to sympathize with the people, because they were subject to the same weaknesses, and also had need of the forgiveness of their own sins. But even amongst these imperfect, blemished, sinful priests, who needed to make offerings for their own sins, none was allowed to take this office of himself. God must call him to the office. Thus it was with Aaron. God called him to be the head priest.
So, the Apostle points out, it must be with the antitypical priests on a higher plane. Christ, the High Priest spiritual, and His elect Church, the Royal Priesthood on the spirit plan, must also be called of God. They could not assume the office otherwise. "Christ did not glorify Himself to make Himself a High Priest." God honored Him in this way, however, saying to Him in the prophecy of the Psalms, "Thou art My Son; this day have I begotten Thee"; and again, "Thou art a Priest forever after the Order of Melchizedek."--`Psalms 2:7`; `110:4`.
MELCHIZEDEK A ROYAL PRIEST
On this broad foundation of the Divine call the Apostle declares that Christ is not a priest after the order of Aaron--a Jewish priest, an earthly priest; but, although typified by Aaron in respect to an earthly sacrifice, He is really a glorified Priest, not after the Order of Aaron, who was never glorified, never a king, but after the Order of Melchizedek, who was a king and a priest at the same time--not a sacrificing priest, but a reigning priest.
So Christ in glory is not a man, not an earthly being, not the sacrificing One, as before. He is the glorified Kingly Priest, in power and great glory now as the King of saints, able and willing to succor them in all their trials and difficulties. And by and by, after He shall have accepted all of His under-priests--after He shall have changed them to His own glorious likeness in the First Resurrection, beyond the veil--then He will become the King and Priest in glory to the world, and for a thousand years will reign to bless and to uplift all the willing and obedient who, under the enlightenment then afforded, will draw nigh unto God.
"IN THE DAYS OF HIS FLESH"
Coming back to his argument, the Apostle shows us the connection between the glorified Kingly Priest beyond
::R5472 : page 170::
the veil and the suffering Jesus in the flesh. (`5:7`.) When the Apostle writes, "Who in the days of His flesh," we are to understand that the days of His flesh are past, ended. As the Apostle Peter elsewhere explains, "He was put to death in flesh, but quickened in spirit"-- in His resurrection. But in the days of His flesh Jesus offered up strong cryings and tears. The Apostle seeks to give us, as the followers of Jesus, confidence in His ability to sympathize with us in all of our troubles. Therefore he reminds us that Jesus "in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto Him that was able to save Him out of death, was heard in respect to that thing which He feared."
Our minds instinctively go back to the Master's experiences in Gethsemane--his prayers to God, His tears, His agony, and according to one account, His bloody sweat. The Apostle's thought, his suggestion, is that the Master who had Himself passed through such trying and bitter experiences, and who is now in Heavenly glory and power, will surely sympathize with and succor all of His true followers, even though He may allow them to have Gethsemane experiences and buffetings of the Adversary.
AS A SON--NOT AS A SINNER
The sufferings of Jesus, the Apostle points out, came not to Him because He was a sinner, but because He was a Son and because as a Son the Heavenly Father would prove, test, His loyalty unto death, even the death of the cross. Only by such a test of loyalty could He be deemed worthy of the high exaltation designed for Him and promised--glory, honor and immortality, Divine nature. The things which He suffered, the things which He endured, not only were to constitute a sacrifice for human sin and to make possible human restitution through the Messianic Kingdom, but those same trials, difficulties and experiences were necessary to the Master Himself. As the Apostle proceeds to say, He was made perfect through sufferings.
Jesus was not imperfect at any time in the sense of being sinful. He was perfect, undefiled, in His glorious condition as the Logos, before He left the glory which He had with the Father and was made flesh. When born of Mary, the assurance given us is that He was still "holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners." His sufferings, therefore, did not make Him perfect in the sense of making Him sinless. The perfecting was of another kind.
Our Lord had entered into a Covenant of Sacrifice-- to prove Himself loyal to the Father's will, even unto death. He had the promise of perfection on the highest plane--the promise of the Divine nature--as a reward, if He would fulfil His Covenant of Sacrifice faithfully, loyally. The beginning of that new nature was granted to Him at the time of His baptism, when He was begotten of the Holy Spirit. But the new nature begotten there needed development, or perfecting; and it was for this purpose that the trials, difficulties and buffetings were permitted to come to Him. He was made perfect as a New Creature of the Divine order, or nature, by the things which He suffered.
SAVING HIM FROM DEATH
In the Master's case, after He had entered into a Covenant of Sacrifice, it was a matter of either life or death. His obedience to the Covenant of Sacrifice would bring Him the life immortal, Divine. But any failure would cost Him His all; for His all was staked in that Covenant of Sacrifice. Hence in the Garden of Gethsemane His strong crying and tears were not caused by timidity in respect to the impending crucifixion, or by anything that man might do unto Him. They were not caused by doubt respecting the Divine power or the Divine faithfulness. The Master's fear was of death--lest He should have failed to comply fully with all of the Divine requirements, and should thus lose all in death, and not be accounted worthy of a resurrection.
The Apostle says, "He was heard in respect to the thing which He feared." He was delivered from the fear of death. From that moment onward the Master was the calmest of the calm, in all the trials and stress of that night and the following day. We cannot doubt that the
::R5473 : page 170::
Father assured Him that all was well--that thus far He had proven Himself faithful.
LEADER AND HIGH PRIEST
On the basis of His own victory and exaltation Jesus is now "the Author of eternal salvation unto all that obey Him," says the Apostle.--`5:9`.
The first salvation which this antitypical Priest after the Order of Melchizedek effects is the salvation of His Church, a Little Flock, a Royal Priesthood, a Holy Nation. These are to be saved to the same glorious station which He Himself has attained. Nor can they reach that station by any other road than that which He traveled. Hence His invitation to them is that they take up their cross and follow Him; that they walk in His footsteps through evil report, through good report, faithful unto death, as He was.
Not that it is possible for any of His followers to overcome in the same absolute sense that He did; for He was perfect in the flesh, and His followers are all imperfect through the fall. What is required of His followers is that they demonstrate the same heart loyalty that He manifested--the same willingness to do the Father's will and to sacrifice every other interest. For these the great High Priest appropriates the merit of His sacrifice, imputing it to His followers as a covering for all their unintentional blemishes and shortcomings. Thus they are assured that they may stand complete in Him in the Father's sight, and by and by in the glorious First Resurrection be made actually perfect by that glorious consummation --"changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye"; for "flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom."
But in order to attain this position, all of the followers of Jesus must obey Him, must follow His directions. Then He will succor them and guide them to the Heavenly Kingdom. "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life."
Additionally, He will be the Author of salvation to as many of mankind as will obey Him when He takes over the Kingdom, the dominion of the world, during the thousand years of His Messianic Reign. All who then refuse to obey Him will be destroyed in the Second Death; but all the willing and obedient will ultimately be perfected as human beings, earthly beings--restored to the perfection in which God created Father Adam, plus valuable experience in connection with sin and recovery from it.
"Tell the whole world these blessed tidings;
Speak of the time of rest that nears;
Tell the oppressed of every nation,
Jubilee lasts a thousand years.
"What if the clouds do for a moment
Hide the blue sky where morn appears?
Soon the glad sun of promise given
Rises to shine a thousand years.
"Haste ye along, ages of glory;
Haste the glad time when Christ appears.
O! that I may be one found worthy
To reign with him a thousand years!"
::R5473 : page 171::
LABORERS IN THE VINEYARD
--JULY 5.--`MATTHEW 20:1-16`.--
"He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust."--`MATTHEW 5:45`.
THIS parable is difficult of interpretation so as to make all of its facts find fulfilment. The Great Teacher gave it as a parable of the Kingdom; hence we know that it applies to the experiences of the Church during this Gospel Age. If we were to apply the different intervals mentioned to different epochs in this Age, we would have difficulty; for the Apostles and others, called early in the Age, did not live and labor throughout the entire period. Again, in so applying it, we would face the proposition that only those at the beginning of the Age had definite promise as respects a reward-- that all others got merely the assurance that they would receive what would be right.
Another difficulty which we would encounter in interpreting the parable is how to apply the murmuring of those who were first called and last rewarded. Other Scriptures show us that the Apostles and others first called in the Gospel Age will experience their resurrection change before those who will be living at the Second Coming of Christ. St. Paul declares that the dead in Christ shall rise first, and that then those of us who are alive shall be changed. Furthermore, it would be unthinkable that the Apostles and others of the early Church would murmur at the reward to be given them.
All of these difficulties must be borne in mind when we attempt to find a solution of this parable that would fit the experiences of the Church as a whole during the Gospel Age.
If we attempt to apply the parable to the individual experiences of God's people, we have trouble also. Applying it thus, we might say that those who begin a Christian life early, and are found faithful in the Lord's service at the evening-time of life, would be the ones first called and promised a reward. Others coming in later, and serving the Lord's cause with only a portion of their time, strength and talent, would correspond to those who heard the later call--some even at the eleventh hour. If we interpret the parable as meaning that all these will get a similar reward regardless of the time spent in the Master's service, we would still have difficulty with the fact that those called earliest murmured, complained, were dissatisfied.
On the contrary, we are surely convinced that any who would murmur against the Lord's will and His just and loving arrangements for His people, will never obtain the Kingdom reward beyond the veil. We may feel assured that any who receive the Master's "Well done" and the resurrection change will be far from murmuring. They will rejoice and be glad, and feel more than rewarded for every little service and sacrifice. How then can we apply this parable consistently, in harmony with the teachings of other Scriptures respecting the reward of the Kingdom class? We can think of only one way, and that is to apply the parable entirely to present-life experiences of the Kingdom class, especially of those who will be living at the close of this Gospel Age.
PARTLY APPLICABLE TO THE JEWS
For sixteen hundred years and more the Jews waited for the First Coming of Messiah and the blessed opportunities which then would come. When Jesus began His ministry, He preached, "The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand," and gave the Jews the privilege of entering into it. That privilege was a "penny," or a reward for their faithful endeavor to keep the Law all their lives. But when the offer of the Kingdom was promulgated, some publicans and sinners were attracted--some who had previously neglected God's service and labors in the vineyard. These new laborers were received by the Lord Jesus and given an opportunity to become His disciples.
The privilege of discipleship was the penny, or reward. The Scribes and the Pharisees, who had been faithful to the Lord God all their lives, considered that they should have had some pre-eminence or preference over the publicans and sinners; and they murmured at any arrangement as unfair which would not give them the first opportunities of the Kingdom. If publicans and sinners were to obtain the blessed privilege of discipleship with Messiah, then surely, they thought, some still higher favor should come to them. They murmured that Jesus received publicans and sinners and ate with them.
One of the Master's parables was intended as a special reproof to the Pharisees along this line. The prodigal son represented a class of Jews not living up to their privileges, while the elder brother represented those who had continuously sought to be earnestly and actively engaged in the Father's business. When some of this prodigal class received the Message of God's Love from the lips of Jesus and His disciples, and returned to the Father's House and were treated graciously and given the same privilege of sonship as those who had not gone astray, but who had labored faithfully, the elder-brother class was offended. They murmured, and refused to participate in the feast. Thus there were some who were first in opportunity, but who were last so far as the blessing was concerned, and others who were last and least found opportunity for receiving the Divine blessing sooner and more effectively.
APPLICABLE ALSO TO CHRISTIANS
The general lesson of the parable would seem to be that we should appreciate the fact that whatever God has to offer is a gift. We should enter His service with loving loyalty to principle, to righteousness. If we have served many years, that privilege of service should be esteemed; and our interest in the Lord's cause should make us happy. From such a standpoint of appreciation of the privilege of service, we should be glad to see the Lord's work carried on, glad to see others enter the service and glad to see them get the same reward that we hope for ourselves. Only those who have such a broad spirit, such an appreciation of the privileges of the vineyard,
::R5474 : page 171::
such a sympathy for "as many as the Lord our God shall call"--only these will be fit for the Kingdom proper and in readiness to receive the special privileges of knowledge and opportunity when the Kingdom is ready to be announced.
As the typical kingdom was offered to the Jews in Jesus' day, and as those who were newest in Divine service received the same opportunities for a share in the Kingdom with those who had been long engaged, so apparently it is to be in the end, or Harvest time, of this Gospel Age. Those who have all their lives been seeking to be faithful to the Lord and to serve His cause should remember that they have had that much more of privilege and blessing. If some shall enter the Divine service later, they should be rejoiced with as fellow-servants.
Indeed, all who are servants, according to the Word of the Lord, should be praying the Master to send other laborers into the vineyard, instead of feeling jealous of any others who might come. And as greater knowledge of Present Truth is now coming as a reward to all who labor at all in the vineyard of the Lord, let us not be surprised
::R5474 : page 172::
if this shall be equally distributed to those who have come in recently and to those who have been a long time in the Master's service.
Let us rather rejoice in the Lord's ways. Let not our hearts be angry because of His graciousness to those who have come into the service even during the eleventh hour. Are they not brethren? Under the terms of the Golden Rule should we not wish them to have the same blessings that we enjoy? Any aloofness on the part of those who have been longer in the Lord's service--any feeling on the part of such that they must have more manifestation of the Lord's favor now--is evidently wrong. The Lord would have us more like unto Himself. And this is the suggestion of those who have selected the Golden Text for this lesson. Be ye like unto your Father; for He is kind to the unthankful. "He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust."--`Matthew 5:45`.
LESSONS OF THE GOLDEN TEXT
More and more we are learning that in a very large and important sense our forefathers during the Dark Ages lost the proper conception of God's character and of His Plan for human salvation. Instead of picturing Him in the creeds as loving and gracious, they portrayed Him in very different colors. The creeds of the Dark Ages, which have been handed down to us, have given us colored and distorted views of the teachings of the Bible. Only in recent years are Bible students beginning to discern this fact. Nearly all people of intelligence have now cast away the creeds as irrational in the general trend of their teaching--in their representation that God from the beginning purposed a Hell of fire and everlasting torture for nearly all His human creatures, numbering thousands of millions, and a Paradise of bliss for only a saintly handful, an elect few.
But alas, while we have been realizing the errancy of our creeds, and have been discarding them, many of us have failed to notice how different their teachings are from the teachings of the Bible! But the Bible is being sought after again. The colored creed-spectacles which distorted our view are being broken to pieces. We are learning to read the Bible in its own clear light, and a blessing proportionately is coming to us.
Notice, for instance, this text: "That ye may be the children of your Father which is in Heaven." Brother Calvin, Bloody Mary, and thousands of others during the Dark Ages, committed horrible atrocities in the name of religion, in the name of Jesus, in the name of the Father, thinking that they were copying God, being like their Father in Heaven. But alas, they knew Him not aright! They had been following demon-drawn pictures which represented the almighty, gracious God, the Father of Mercies, as most devilish in His plans and arrangements for His human creatures. Now we are seeing what Jesus really meant when He said, "That ye may be the children of your Father which is in Heaven." Now we are including the remainder of His statement: "for He is kind to the unthankful"; and "He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust."
Two of the very noblest of Jesus' disciples caught the wrong thought, even though they were for awhile personally present with the Master. How much more should we excuse those who, during a long period of energetic creed-making and of neglect of Bible study, lost all proper conception of the Divine character!
The two disciples referred to were James and John, the sons of Zebedee. When the Lord and His disciples had run short of food, James and John went to a city of Samaria to purchase bread. The Samaritans inquired why Jesus did not come to their city to heal the Samaritan sick, as well as the Jews. When they learned that His mission for the time was exclusively for the Jews, they were offended and said: Buy your bread from Jews, then; we will sell you nothing. Then it was that James and John, indignant that their Master, the Heir of all things, should be thus dishonored, asked permission of Jesus to call down fire upon the Samaritans, to consume their city. These disciples thought that they had the spirit of God. But Jesus said, "Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of; for the Son of Man came not to destroy men's lives, but to save them."
And if these two dear disciples needed to be corrected --needed to be shown that they had a wrong spirit in wishing to destroy the Samaritans--how much more would Jesus' reproof be appropriate to those who in the name of God would consign all opponents to an eternity of torture!
But such were some of us, in our ignorance, in our superstition, in our creed-intoxication--as a result of drinking the wine of false doctrine. (`Revelation 17:1-5`; `18:3`.) Thank God for the deliverance! Praise His name for the saner views coming to His people! The dawning of the Morning of a New Dispensation is giving enlightenment. The Sun of Righteousness is rising; the hobgoblins of the past are fleeing before its illuminating rays. "Tell the whole world these blessed tidings."
THE GLORIOUS CHARACTER OF OUR GOD
Now when we read our Golden Text we see that it tells us that as our God is gracious, loving, merciful, kind, even to the unthankful, even to the unjust, even to sinners, so we should be kind, generous, loving, should do good unto all men as we have opportunity, and especially to the Household of Faith. This view of God appeals to our hearts; and the more we study this God of Love, the more we realize that He is the only loving and true God, and that all of our previous misconceptions were unreal, unloving, untrue--gods of our own manufacture --and the more do we see that civilized lands have made creed idols with pen, type, ink and paper, more horrible than any which the heathen ever made of iron, stone, brass or clay.
"As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." If the ideal of his heart, the God that he worships, is cruel, vengeful, hateful, devilish, it would be a miracle if that man or woman worshiping such a false deity would not become more or less contaminated and be led into more or less of wrong thinking and wrong doing. But when we get before the mind's eye the loving and true God as our ideal, we are more and more changed and transformed day by day as we discern our Maker's gracious character. Unconsciously we copy this high ideal, and more and more become transformed through the renewing of our minds, and more and more prove the good and acceptable and perfect will of God in our daily lives.
Let us hold fast that which is good--the sure Word of God. Let us discard the human theories of the Dark Ages, which greatly misrepresented to us the Divine Message. Thus we shall be giving heed to the Master's words: "Ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free."
"Who trusts in that Word has the sweet hope of life,
An end of confusion and error and strife.
Its grace it imparts to the truth-seeking soul,
Who humbly submits to its righteous control."
::R5475 : page 173::
THE FREEDOM OF THE WILL
THE Freedom of the Will is an expression evidently brought forward in contradiction of the thought that humanity are mere machines, acted upon by certain influences; for instance, that God would act upon a person so as to oblige him to do or to will or to think in a certain way, or that Satan could control the will of any one for evil, against his desire.
The Bible gives us to understand that when God created man, He made him in His own mental image; that is to say, with freedom of will to choose his own course of action--ability and liberty to reach a mental decision for himself. The Bible indicates that God similarly created all the intelligences of the spirit world --angels, cherubim, seraphim, etc., all of whom are said to be in God's image, possessing full liberty of will.
As God can choose that course or this one, so can we. We can be obedient to God or disobedient to Him, just as we will. But by reason of the fall and its curse, or penalty of death, and the blighting of human powers by the dying processes, the human will often finds itself in difficulty. The Apostle Paul says, "To will is present with me, but to perform" is not always possible. (`Rom. 7:18`.) We should will to do perfectly, although none is able to do perfectly. On the other hand, one might will to do wrong, but might be more or less hindered in executing his will. In either case, the will is free.
There is such a thing as a dominated will. By yielding their wills to occult influences, some persons are mastered by evil spirits. Such practically lose their wills, and we call them deranged, insane. It is said that more than half of all the inmates of insane asylums are there, not because of any functional derangement of the brain, but because of being possessed by evil spirits.
INDIVIDUALITY TO BE PRESERVED
God's people are given to understand that the only way in which they come into relationship to God is by full submission of the will to Him. Such a submission of the will would be unwise except to the Lord; or, in the case of minor children, to their parents, or teachers.
A child might properly reason, I have a will of my own, but I will ignore it and do the will of my parents. This is the proper attitude for a child in the hands of good and intelligent parents. The child should be taught to realize that its will is uneducated, and that it should, therefore, submit itself fully to its parents and look to them for guidance and direction. But every parent, while recognizing his responsibility as the supervisor of the child, should treat the child from the standpoint of its free will, and seek to show it the reason why a matter should be thus and so, controlling it as far as possible by the intelligent exercise of its own will.
And so with those who are in the family of God. It is a primary requisite that they first submit themselves to God--give up their own wills. They are first to recognize that they are unholy, born in sin; that they have imperfect, fallen tendencies, which if pursued, would be injurious. Therefore they should seek to make the will of the Lord their will. They should give themselves fully up to His guidance; His will concerning them is only for their good. The Lord teaches His followers that they are to reason for themselves; they should read between the lines in their study of the Bible, to gain the instruction which He there furnishes. They will thus be better enabled to know His will, and will come more and more to see how much better God's will is than their own, and thus will come more fully into heart-harmony with Him, and with the Lord Jesus.
The freedom of the will is contrasted with the bondage of the flesh. We may will to go to the uttermost parts of the earth; but we may be sick, or lame, or may lack the money or the means of conveyance. While the will may be there, there is not always the power to put it into operation. So also in respect to sin and righteousness, and the will to do one or the other. Each one is hampered more or less by his own imperfections and by the imperfections of others who are under the dominion of Satan, the prince of this world. But when the will is fully yielded to God, He gives us more and more of the spirit of a sound mind--we become more conformed, from day to day, to His likeness.
::R5475 : page 173::
"Because Thy loving kindness [favor] is better than life, my lips shall praise Thee."--`Psalm 63:3`.
THERE are two ways in which this text may be viewed, both of which are very proper. One way is to consider it merely from the viewpoint of the Psalmist and what he meant. The other is to consider it from the standpoint of prophecy. We understand the Prophet David to mean that to have God's favor is more desirable than life; that is to say, he would rather die than to live without Divine favor. The other way, of viewing it prophetically, is to suppose that here, as in many other places, the Psalmist represented The Christ, Jesus the Head and the Church His members.
Our consecration is unto death. God has invited us to present our bodies living sacrifices, holy and acceptable unto Him, and He has given us exceeding great and precious promises for the life to come. Therefore, because of our love for Him and for the principles of righteousness for which He stands, we are not merely willing to lay down our lives, but glad to lay them down. We are glad to lay down our human lives in doing the things that are pleasing to God.
Another of David's Psalms gives us the thought that in God's favor is everlasting life. (`Psalm 30:5`.) These paradoxical statements are in harmony with the other
::R5476 : page 173::
Divine paradox, that "he that loseth his life shall find it." He that surrenders his earthly life shall gain glory, honor, immortality, the Divine nature. We are glad that we can appreciate these glorious things represented in the Divine favor extended to the Church; and we gladly lay down our lives. We have chosen the better part.
"Therefore my lips shall praise Thee." The Scriptures declare "that with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, but with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." (`Romans 10:10`.) We may say that to live righteously is one of the best ways of proving our obedience to the Lord. Yet there are some who try hard to live pleasing to the Lord, who might be restrained from making a confession of Him. There are reasons for the blessing which we receive by confession. One reason is that it is a witness to the world--showing forth the praises of Him who called us out of darkness; and a second reason is that this witnessing has a good effect on ourselves. We enlist our natural forces to support this witness, and thus bring into unison all the powers of our nature.
The preaching of the Gospel brings opposition. If our Lord had gone about casting out demons, healing the sick, etc., and had not told anything about the Divine Plan, He would probably have been looked upon as a fine
::R5476 : page 174::
character--as a man going about doing good. But because He preached differently from the Scribes and Pharisees, and His preaching of the Truth infringed upon the teachings of those about Him, it roused their ire.
So it is today. All the persecution comes about from the making known of the Truth. In no time that we know has this not been true. In the Dark Ages and throughout the Gospel Age, the preaching of the Truth has brought upon those telling the Good Tidings persecutions from those whose minds have been benighted by the Prince of Darkness. In proportion as we open our lips and tell of the Gospel of the Lord, we are opposed by Satan and those who are blinded by him. With the lips one might praise God, and with the lips he might injure men. The lips of this class consecrated to God--those who are laying down their present life in His service-- should be devoted to His praise, to showing forth the glorious character and lovingkindness of our God, to telling forth the wonders of the Divine Plan, which is marvelous in our eyes.
::R5477 : page 174::
My frail barque rudely tosses on the sea,
In terror, Lord, I feebly cry to Thee,
"My faith increase, as darker grows the night,
Oh, make me strong in Thee and in Thy might!"
He hears my prayer, He answers, with a smile,
"We're almost home, have faith a little while!"
Nor sun, nor moon, nor any star is seen,
Not e'en the faintest rift of blue between;
The chilling waters deeper, darker flow,
The storm-clouds lower, the winds more wildly blow--
Yet hark! Above the strife His voice, so mild,
"Be brave, be strong, we're almost home, My child!"
* * *
Do eager hands lie folded on thy breast,
And hath the Lord of Harvest bid thee rest?
Dost see the happy laborers go by,
Nor canst refrain a tear or longing sigh?
Be calm, poor heart, and sink into His will--
"We're almost home, dear child, lean harder still!"
April 19, 1914. GERTRUDE W. SEIBERT.
::R5476 : page 174::
COLUMBUS, OHIO, JUNE 26-JULY 7
All sessions of the Columbus Convention will be held in Memorial Hall, on E. Broad St. The Photo-Drama will be presented each evening: Part 1, June 26th; Part 2, June 27th; Part 3, the next evening, then Part 4, etc., thus allowing for three full presentations of the four parts.
Twenty-four public speakers will be on the program. Brother Russell expects to speak on July 3d, 4th and 5th. Opportunity for symbolic immersion will be given on June 30th and July 3d.
Lodging can be secured through the local Committee at from fifty cents per day (two in a room) upward. No one should calculate on a less expense than $1.25 per day. All expecting to attend should give prompt notice by addressing the I.B.S.A. Convention Committee, care of F. D. White, 147 Winner Ave., Columbus, Ohio. Give full name of each person and indicate which prefer to room together and at what rate.
DO NOT send this information to Brooklyn. Send NO money for rooms.
CLINTON, IOWA, JUNE 28-JULY 5
The Coliseum, located in the heart of the city on a quiet corner, facing Riverfront Park, will be used for all the sessions of the CLINTON CONVENTION. The Photo-Drama will be presented each evening: Part 1, June 28th; Part 2, June 29th; Part 3, June 30th; Part 4, the next evening; beginning again with Part 1 on July 2d, etc., to the end of the Convention.
A full program of speakers has been provided. Brother Russell expects to speak June 28th, 29th and 30th. Opportunity for symbolic immersion will be provided on Monday, June 29th.
The Committee on Arrangements requests that all expecting to attend notify them at once, stating price expected to pay, color, sex, number in party and how many days. Prices for lodging will range from 50 cents per day upward.
Address all communications to I.B.S.A. Convention Committee, care of Frank T. Horth, 418 Second Ave., Clinton, Iowa. DO NOT address Brooklyn. DO NOT send money for rooms.
Railroads advise that the two-cent per mile rate applies practically everywhere and that, therefore, no Convention rates will be granted this year.
Parties traveling in companies of ten or more and desiring to arrange for special coaches, or in some cases special trains to accommodate the friends who enjoy traveling together in numbers, should apply to their local ticket agents for special rates.
The Kansas City friends advise that arrangements have been made for a Special Convention Train to the Clinton Convention. The train will leave Kansas City via the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway June 27th, at 7 p.m. Fare for the round trip--Kansas City to Clinton and return--$14.12. For reservation in sleeper and other information address I.B.S.A. Convention Committee, c/o Minnie E. Donaldson, 2621 Agnes Ave., Kansas City, Missouri.
::R5476 : page 174::
SOME INTERESTING LETTERS
EPISCOPAL MINISTER AND THE TRUTH
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--
Ever since, about two years ago, I was led back to the Word of God and found the Glorious Truth, through the reading of the volumes of SCRIPTURE STUDIES, I have been wanting to write and let you know how I love you, and how grateful I am to the Heavenly Father that I am one of those permitted to see the Plan as revealed to the Household of Faith through "that faithful servant." I have been deterred from writing only by the knowledge that you are very busy in the Master's service, so that I have felt it almost an imposition to write you even of these things.
For about six years I was an Episcopal minister, and was reasonably "successful." I was supposed to have the gift of speech, and having been favored with a good education, I was able to put this gift to work so as to bring some glory to myself as a pulpit orator. But that was all empty honor, as I felt even then. In the course of time, and as my study advanced and I began to think for myself (a crime for a minister of a denomination), some of the doctrines of the church (for instance, those of the Trinity and the Incarnation as held by that denomination), became to me unreasonable and impossible of belief. "He descended into Hell," of the Apostle's Creed, so-called, also became a very serious stumbling block.
After much fighting against my conscience and strenuous endeavor to keep down reason and avoid thoughts antagonistic to the creed and to those doctrines I was supposed to believe; and after trying vainly to take the advice of my Bishop that I should confine my preaching to those things I could talk about conscientiously, with the suggestion that I might still repeat the Creed with mental reservations, etc. (you know the arguments), I found that my natural contempt of hypocrisy and an innate honesty of thought compelled rebellion. And so, in the course of time, I gave notice of withdrawal from that ministry.
::R5476 : page 175::
Eventually I withdrew altogether from that denomination, and, being blinded by the very thing I had taught to others, namely, that the Bible set forth those absurdities, I forsook the Bible also. Then, these foundations being removed, I became intensely worldly and came very near wrecking not only my own life and prospects, but also the life of my dear wife. Perhaps my experience in this regard was not very different from that of others in like case.
From early childhood I had been a dreamer and somewhat of a thinker. My earnest, compelling desire grew into a necessity to learn the Truth, the meaning of human life and death, the solution of the probability of, and the nature of a future life. And so I searched in every field--the philosophies, the oriental religions--in fact everywhere in what seemed to offer help. None came. It was all unreasonable, it was all "vanity." Finally came a settling down to the conclusion that while there must be ultimate Truth, it was impossible for man to know it. That is a despairing, hopeless condition to arrive at, and I knew it. For ten years, almost, I had not prayed. I knew not what to pray for nor to whom to offer prayers. Simply, I concluded, that one must only await the end, and then one would find the solution if there
::R5477 : page 175::
were one. And so I waited and bothered no more to find the Truth that I decided could not be found.
Then, about two years ago a friend sent me the first two volumes of STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES. Years before that I had received the first volume, entitled then MILLENNIAL DAWN. But I disliked the title--thought it was in line with the other fulminations of sectarian writers, and had not read. Indeed, the book was lost or destroyed. But somehow I was led to read the last two sent. At first I was not impressed-- the first volume did not make any impression on me. But when I had read the second, and saw the wonderful correspondencies between the chronology and the Time features, and saw how all of those laws and prophecies harmonized, the conviction was forced upon me that only the Spirit of the One God could have done this, and that the Bible that I had rejected, was indeed the revelation of Jehovah. And I rejoiced! O, how I rejoiced! Since then I have read and reread them all. I have studied the Scriptures, and the Book has become my dearest possession; the Truth has become so real to me! Later, my wife, who at first opposed the Truth, was "acknowledged by God." Recently she symbolized her consecration. And so, dear Brother, I thank God first, and then I thank you. God bless you!
Now I want to ask your advice in regard to a matter that is puzzling my wife and me. It is in regard to my twelve-year-old boy. He has recently taken a decided interest in the study of the Scriptures, and he loves the Lord very dearly. He unhesitatingly accepts every word of the Bible. He understands the significance of the Ransom and knows about Restitution. We believe that he takes in a little of the thought of the High Calling of the Church. Should we urge him to make his consecration? He is a restless boy, loving play and entering into it with all his mind, as he does into everything in which he is interested. How much knowledge ought we to see in him before it were well for him to make the "covenant by sacrifice"? Is it your thought that his consecration would not be apt to place him in any more dangerous position than it would one of maturer years and judgment?
Brother, we pray for you every day, and several times a day, that the Lord's strength will be with you in all your great trials, to sustain and keep you; and that His Spirit will always dwell in you richly and His love uphold you.
Your brother in the Lord, FREDERICK ROEHL.
DEAR BROTHER IN CHRIST:--
Your welcome letter reached me while enjourney at Chicago homeward bound. I am now answering it.
I greatly rejoice with you and your wife and your little son that the Lord's grace has been extended toward you. It constitutes a further confirmation of the conviction which has been for some time growing upon me; viz., that the only thing in us commendable in the Lord's sight is honesty--sincerity. Because of this sincerity the Lord has led you and is willing to continue to lead all of us who are of this character to the end of the journey. His grace is sufficient for us.
I trust, dear brother, that the Lord is granting you opportunities for service. "He that reapeth receiveth wages and gathereth fruit." "Pray ye, therefore, the Lord of the Harvest that He will send forth laborers into His Harvest."
In respect to your little son: If I were you, I would not press consecration upon him, but I would hold it up before his mind as the only proper course for all intelligent people who have come to a knowledge of God and His gracious purposes --"your reasonable service"--everybody's reasonable service. Nothing else is reasonable when once we see the Truth. The whole world will be given the opportunity of consecration eventually. Without consecration none will ever gain everlasting life on any plane.
Your son cannot be injured by consecration, but may be greatly helped. If the Lord sees him incompetent in any sense or manner for the High Calling He will not accept him to that, but to the earthly favor in due time. But who shall say that a child of ten may not very fully and completely come to an appreciation of full consecration in thought and word and act? Looking back I can see that my whole consecration was first made at a little advance--beyond twelve years of age. With Christian love,
Your brother in the Lord.
A BAPTIST MINISTER'S APPRECIATION
I beg to state that I purchased one volume of "Bible Keys" recently, entitled, THE DAY OF VENGEANCE (now entitled, BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON), of Mr. O. Magnuson, Middletown, Conn. I have read and reread carefully, and cannot express in words the deep interest I feel in the spread of these great and vital truths. I must have the other volumes at an early date.
Never before has such a flood of light been thrown upon the sacred pages for me. I am a Baptist minister, in my fortieth year. In earlier life, I served quite awhile in the Colporteur work of my church. I write to ask for information regarding this work by your Society.
An early reply, with advices in full, will oblige.
Yours for the Truth, J. H. ROBERTS, D.D.--Va.
DEAR BROTHER IN CHRIST:--
We have yours of the 25th inst., and are glad to learn from it that the Lord has found you with the Truth, and that you are rejoicing in as much of it as you have read. Since you have appreciated the first volume, we feel sure that you will appreciate the other five in an increased measure. Being a clergyman, we think you will specially enjoy Volume V., which discusses THE ATONEMENT in detail with all its incidental questions.
We shall be pleased to hear from you from time to time and to know of your progress in the Narrow Way; and will be glad to render any assistance or suggestions which may be in our power. Praying for your Divine guidance and wisdom, we remain,
Your Brethren in the Master's Service.
GREAT GRANDFATHER'S MOTTO
OUR DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--
Greetings in His name! The attached was my Great Grandfather's motto. Truly the Lord has blessed the fourth generation of his descendants, whereof we are glad.
We pray the Lord's continued blessing on your labors of love, and ever remember you at the Throne of Grace.
With much love from all the members of our family (mother and three sons).
Your brother by His Grace, JAMES GREENLEES.
THE HAPPY MAN.
THE HAPPY MAN was born in the city of Regeneration, in the Parish of Repentance unto Life: he was educated at the school of Obedience, and now lives in Perseverance: he works at the Trade of Diligence, notwithstanding he has a large estate in the country of Christian Contentment, and many a time does jobs of Self-Denial: he wears the plain garment of Humility, and has a better suit to put on when he goes to court, called the Robe of Christ's Righteousness: he often walks in the valley of Self-Abasement, and sometimes climbs to the mountains of Heavenly-Mindedness: he breakfasts every morning on Spiritual Prayer, and sups every evening on the same: he has Meat to eat which the world knows not of, and his Drink is the Milk of the Word of God. Thus happy he lives and happy he dies.
Happy is he who has Gospel Submission in his Will, Due Order in his Affections, Sound Peace in his Conscience, Sanctifying Grace in his Soul, Real Divinity in his Breast, the Redeemer's Yoke on his Neck, a Vain World under his Feet, and a Crown of Glory over his Head. Happy is the life of such a man; to obtain which, believe firmly, pray fervently, wait patiently, work abundantly, live holily, die daily, watch your hearts, guide your senses, redeem your time, love CHRIST, and long for GLORY!