ZWT - 1909 - R4301 thru R4536 / R4481 (289) - October 1, 1909
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VOL. XXX OCTOBER 1 No. 19
A.D. 1909--A.M. 6038
The Saratoga Convention...........................291
"That Servant" and "His Fellow-Servants"..........292
"Ruler of All His Goods"......................293
Our Position on the Subject...................293
Our Comprehensive Consecration Vow................294
Christ's Ambassador a Prisoner....................295
The Fear of Man--a Snare......................295
Rest in God's Will (a Poem).......................296
The Wrath of Man Overruled........................296
"Thou Shalt Not Speak Evil"...................297
Itinerary for Tour Through Maritime
"Offended Because of Me"..........................298
"The Sheep Shall Be Scattered.................299
A Reply to Bro. McPhail's Tract...................300
The Truth in Asia Minor...........................302
Some Interesting Letters..........................302
WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY
CHARLES T. RUSSELL, PRESIDENT
"BROOKLYN TABERNACLE," 13-17 HICKS ST.,
BROOKLYN, N.Y., U.S.A.
Foreign Agencies:--British Branch: 24 Eversholt St., London, N.W. German Branch: Unterdorner Str., 76, Barmen. Australasian Branch: Equitable Building, Collins St., Melbourne.
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, DANISH AND ITALIAN 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
"SCRIPTURE STUDIES" IN THE KARATOL
For the convenience of friends desiring a pocket edition of the DAWN-STUDIES for use on street cars, etc., and not caring to invest so much as would be required for the India paper edition, we have prepared a limited number (Karatol edition) of each of the six volumes. The size of the volumes is four and one-eighth inches by six and three-eighth inches and the combined thickness of the six volumes is three and five-eighth inches. The prices to WATCH TOWER subscribers is uniform with the prices of the cloth edition, shown in opposite column.
GERMAN VOLUNTEER LITERATURE
This is excellent literature for Volunteer purposes; both tracts and TOWERS. Order all you can use judiciously amongst your German neighbors and friends.
SWEDISH AND NORWEGIAN VOLUNTEER
We still have an ample supply in both languages for Volunteer purposes.
VOLUNTEER MATTER IN DUTCH
We have a large supply of the "Do You Know?" tract in the Hollandish language for use among your Dutch neighbors and friends.
WATCH TOWER BIBLE
No. 1918 is temporarily out of stock.
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THE SARATOGA CONVENTION
AS WE had expected, quite a number of the dear friends pronounced this last Convention "the best yet!" For our own part they are all so enjoyable that we find it difficult to express a preference. About 1,500 to 1,800 attended; and about 500 more came to Brooklyn only. We cannot recall any previous Convention at which such absolute harmony prevailed. Saratoga is in many respects an ideal city for such a gathering; it is quiet, healthful, has hotel capacity for thousands and a splendid Auditorium. The friends were made comfortable at $1.25 to $1.50 per day by special arrangement. Each Convention teaches us something along these lines.
But our special feasting was on the heavenly food and fellowship divine. Thirty dear brethren participated and their topics were timely and well chosen. We trust and believe that no hungry soul went away unfed. Several ministers of various denominations attended continuously and some of them expressed themselves as deeply interested and reading the "SCRIPTURE STUDIES" and determined to prove as true Bereans what they had heard.
Saturday's ride down the Hudson River on the steamboat Hendrick Hudson was a unique experience. Nearly four thousand people were on board; about one-half of them were our Convention people. It seemed the Lord's providence that we should thus use the regular steamer rather than charter a smaller and less palatial craft for our exclusive use. Besides, as we had surmised, the opportunities for presenting the Truth to others were considerable, and the dear friends improved them wisely, we believe.
The river views are grand; but the dear friends were so full of faith-views of the heavenly shore that earthly scenes were quite secondary to the majority. The time was spent in fellowship-talks along Truth lines, and in singing with hearts and lips melodies to our Redeemer and our Father.
The Sunday services at Brooklyn were all held in the Academy of Music, and opened with a Praise and Testimony Meeting at 10 o'clock. It was good to be there, but difficult to describe. The feelings of the friends ran deep as they told of their thankfulness to God for the Truth, and how much it had changed the current of their entire lives. The Vow also was lauded as a blessing from God which had brought more of blessing than words could tell. It had brought them nearer to the Lord than ever before, and had given them a realization of the Lord's nearness and special watch care.
At 11 o'clock Brother Russell spoke on "The Value of Toil," as reported in the newspapers. Additionally he made some special reference to the value of service--the value of toil to the Church. He noted that the Lord could get along entirely without our aid, but permitted us to serve and sacrifice for our spiritual development. He noted also the rest of spirit which all laborers in the vineyard should enjoy continually. Luncheon followed, some going to restaurants and some partaking of a free luncheon in side rooms of the Academy of Music.
At the afternoon session a discourse was delivered by Brother Rutherford. His topic was, "Preaching the Kingdom of Heaven." It was ably handled and well received. Following it came another interval for supper--served as at noon.
In the evening after a praise service Brother Russell addressed the assembly on "Baptism and Its Import." On Monday opportunity was granted for symbolic immersion in water, and one hundred and twenty-two availed themselves of the privilege. The baptistry of the Central Baptist Church was used.
Monday (Labor Day) witnessed a Love Feast from 7:30 a.m. until 11 p.m. at the "Bethel" (the home). Coffee, sandwiches, fruit and cake were served by the sisters to hundreds who inspected the home. The large parlor, in which President Abraham Lincoln in the dark hours of the Civil War interviewed Rev. Henry Ward Beecher and enlisted his co-operation in presenting to the British public the true issues of the war as being for or against slavery, etc., was an object of much interest. Our study also was a place of great interest to all. We sat at our desk by request and there greeted the Brethren and Sisters as they passed. We took fresh occasion to apologize for our fine quarters; so much better than the Lord and the Apostles enjoyed and so much better than we deserve. We explained afresh what had already been particularized in THE WATCH TOWER (March 1, page 68) concerning the peculiar providences which put us in possession of this fine property at a less cost than very inferior ones were obtainable--at about one-fourth what our large family's car-fare alone would have cost.
At the Brooklyn Tabernacle there were busy scenes all day. Imagine two thousand people passing between the Tabernacle and the Bethel and seeing both from top to bottom. No wonder the residents of the intervening four blocks were amazed! What could so greatly interest those happy-looking people! Ah! "None but his loved ones know." We trust that a favorable impression for the Truth was made upon the people of a large section of Brooklyn, for about 1,700 of our friends were quartered amongst them. Do we always remember, dear friends, that we are living epistles of the Truth, known and read of many who will not read our printed messages? If this thought could be always with us, how careful it would make us be of our words and deeds.
While we were giving the right hand of fellowship to the candidates for immersion at the Baptist Church, Brother Cole was addressing the Colporteurs in Brooklyn Tabernacle. Later, at 11 a.m. and at 3 p.m. and at 8 p.m., we addressed changing audiences in the Tabernacle. Of course, the Sunday services were the best attended (about 2,500, nearly all friends), although no special advertising was done. Some assured us that Monday was the very best day of all and that undoubtedly this Convention far surpassed all others. We believe we also must assent to this latter expression.
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"THAT SERVANT" AND "HIS FELLOW-SERVANTS"
THE application to us of `Matthew 24:45` some fourteen years ago, styling us "that servant," came not from us, but from one who is now our bitter enemy and who claims that while we did occupy such position we have forfeited it, lost it, to a successor. We have taken no part in the discussion which followed. The bruiting of the matter amongst our readers came from our opponents. We have refrained from any allusion to that particular Scripture, except upon two occasions when it seemed necessary: (1) In our general treatise of the entire `twenty-fourth chapter of Matthew` in "Dawn-Studies," Vol. IV., Chapter XII.; and (2) when this passage occurred in one of the International Sunday School Lessons. Of late, however, the violent opposition of our enemies has aroused many of our friends to an examination of the subject. As a result, the question has become an important one in the Church. Our friends insist that this Scripture indicates that in the end of this Gospel Age the Lord would use not many channels for the dissemination of the Truth, but one channel, and that it would be the privilege of others of the Lord's faithful ones to be "fellow-servants" (co-laborers). They insist that the facts connected with this harvest time abundantly substantiate this interpretation. They hold that all of them received their knowledge of Present Truth directly from the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society's publications, or indirectly through those who have received their enlightenment through this channel. They are glad correspondingly to co-operate as "fellow-servants" with the Society's work, believing that thereby they are following the leadings of the Divine Providence, as well as the instructions of the Divine Word. They believe that such as do otherwise, oppose the Divine Word, antagonize the harvest work, and will bring injury upon themselves.
Our opponents are often bitter and sarcastic after taking the antagonistic position. They retort that the expression "that servant" should be understood to mean all the members of the Church of Christ, and that the expression, "his fellow-servants," is meaningless, because it refers to the same class. They declare that although it is true that they got their first enlightenment respecting the value of Christ's death as a "Ransom for all," and their first knowledge of the "Times of Restitution of all things," and their first appreciation of the "high calling," and their first knowledge of the Parousia and the harvest time of this age, and their first knowledge of the fulfilment of prophecies in connection with this harvest time, and their first understanding of the nature of man and the work of redemption, atonement and regeneration from this Society's publications, nevertheless they are of the opinion that all of these things were previously published by others, and they are seeking to find the books. They claim further that to apply this Scripture to us would signify that we are infallible.
Our friends reply that the Society has never made any claim to infallibility; that its publications are not written in that style; that they merely lay before their readers the Scriptures and show their meaning from the Scriptures, and leave the lesson or conclusion with each reader's own judgment. Further, they declare that if any book or set of books presents the Divine Plan of the Ages and the Scriptural interpretations set forth in the "Dawn-Studies" and other publications of the Society, they have never seen them, never heard of them, and do not believe that they exist, but would pay a handsome price for the loan of a copy. They point out that "The Watch Tower" never claimed to have originated the doctrines of Election and Free Grace, Justification and Sanctification, Restitution, Baptism, etc. They point out, indeed, that it is well known to everybody that thousands of books have been published on these subjects, some of them centuries ago; but they also point out that none of these subjects was ever presented as now in the Society's publications; that these presentations of the past, instead of being enlightening, darken the understanding and confuse the head and heart and contradict each other, and that, on the contrary, all of these subjects in the Society's publications, are harmonized and unified as none would ever have supposed to be possible.
They point out that to attribute this harmony to human wisdom or to accident would be absurd; that it would be giving too much honor to any human being to suppose that after eighteen centuries of Christian conflict, passion and persecution because of inharmonies of understanding, any human being without special Divine aid should now arise who could at one moving of the wand, as it were, bring harmony and reason, beauty and light out of and into every part of God's Word. They declare that such a view would be much more difficult to take than that which they have adopted, based upon their understanding of `Matthew 24:45` and co-related events of this harvest time. They declare that, to their judgments, there is no other interpretation of the facts before us than that presented in our Lord's promise; that at the appropriate time in the end of the age, in the time of his presence, he would bring forth from the storehouse of Grace, Wisdom and Truth things "new and old," and that he would select at that time one special channel through which those blessings would be called to the attention of the household of faith--indicating also that a privilege would be granted to others who might join the service as "fellow-servants." They point out that such as have thus become "fellow-servants" have been blest and used in the harvest work, whilst others opposing have gone into the "outer-darkness" of nominalism as respects "harvest" truth and its service.
They point to the fact that many ministers and Bible students repudiate and condemn the Society's publications on the very score that it is absurd to expect at this day a complete harmony of the teachings of the Bible, which have been fought over by the learned of the Church for centuries, and refuse, therefore, to examine the Divine Plan of the Ages, preferring to turn to the Evolution theory and Higher Criticism views of the Bible, saying that it consists of a parcel of "old wives' fables," which cannot be harmonized with themselves nor with reason.
Our opponents, unable to answer, are made correspondingly angry. Some of them fight the Society's publications publicly, while they study them privately for Scriptural interpretations which they can parade as their own and as proof that the Lord is not using one channel only, "that servant," for the bringing forth of the meat in due season to the household of faith. Others, more crafty, indirectly discourage the use of the Society's publications while, in a sense, praising them, and, if questioned, are obliged to acknowledge that the Society's literature was the channel through which the Lord sent them practically all that they know about the Bible and the Divine purposes. They seek to turn the minds of the enlightened ones in another direction by telling them that "each should dig" the jewels of Divine Truth for himself; that the Society's publications merely gave them the start on which now they should improve, so that eventually its teachings would be far in the background. These disloyal "fellow-servants" suggest further that there is danger of worshipping the Society and that to avoid so doing it is practically necessary to give it a kick or to turn their backs upon it. They say, Let us have a Bible study, but let us exclude the Society's publications! Let us give the impression that we are great Bible students and teachers who dug these Truths for ourselves. But let us put the matter more plausibly and more humbly by claiming that our only desire is to exalt God's Word and to study it alone!
Our friends reply that they are in no danger of worshiping the Society or anybody else; that their experience in man-worship and sect-worship are things of the past. They declare that they were led out of those
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forms of idolatry and into the proper reverence and worship of God and his Word by the Society's publications and no others, and that they have never heard of any teachings which, in so clear and unmistakable language, guard the Lord's people against every form of man-worship, sect-worship, etc., and that no others so fully and thoroughly set forth the rights and liberties of the Lord's people as against the enslaving tendencies of the great Adversary and bishops, ministers and elders. They hold that Vol. VI. of "Dawn-Studies" is disliked on this very account by some who are desirous of "lording it over God's heritage." They point out that they themselves and their forefathers for generations had Bible classes and Bible studies all to no purpose until the Lord, in due time, sent them the "Bible Keys," through the Society. They point out that to ignore this leading of the Lord and to exclude from their study of the Bible the teacher sent of the Lord would be to dishonor the Lord who sent the same and to reject His helping hand; and that the only result that could be expected of such a course would be a gradual loss of light--a proportionate loss of the holy Spirit, the Spirit of the Truth, and eventually to reach the "outer darkness" of the world and the nominal-church, from which they were rescued by the Truth. They declare that this would correspond to a sow returning to her wallowing in the mire and the dog to his vomit, as the Apostle declares. They declare that to take such a course, to them would mean a lack of appreciation of having been called out of darkness into this marvelous light, a lack of appreciation of the light of "the day star" promised by the Lord as a precursory of the glorious sunrise of the new dispensation.
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--`2 Pet. 1:19`.
They point out further that the "Dawn-Scripture Study" Volumes are practically the Bible itself in an arranged, systematic form; and that it is this very systematization of the Bible which brought them to their present enlightenment and joy in the holy Spirit. They declare that wranglings and speculations and guesses respecting things not revealed in God's Book are what is often styled "Bible study," and that they are afraid of these and desire to keep close to the Lord and to the message which they believe that he has sent to them, and that, therefore, they prefer to study the Bible in the light and under the leading of the "Berean Studies" and the "Studies in the Scriptures," and to look for further light in the same direction and without expecting special revelations to their own brains or from a variety of directions. They declare that there are no other writings or teachings which can compare with the Society's in loyalty to the Bible, and that it is their decision, therefore, to hold fast to that which they have already attained and to beware of "divers and strange doctrines," fanciful interpretations, manufactured types, symbols and private interpretations.
"RULER OF ALL HIS GOODS"
Our opponents are ready to admit that the Lord has used the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society as his channel or servant in forwarding the harvest message in a most remarkable degree--in a manner and to an extent hardly to be believed and never equaled--in many tongues and at the hands of many "fellow-servants," Colporteurs, Pilgrims, Volunteers, etc. They admit that there is no question that a remarkable service has been rendered, and hence that it is indisputable by any who believe that there is a harvest work in progress and that the Society has been a servant of the harvest message in a most profound and peculiar sense, even if they dispute that it has fulfilled `Matthew 24:45`, as being "that servant." Our friends, on the other hand, point out that very rarely, indeed, is there any quarrel or dispute over the privilege of being a servant, and that never in the world's history before has this passage been applied, and that very few would be either desirous of being "that servant" or capable of fulfilling that service. They point out that a servant is known by his service, and that if the service be shown to have been performed, the title of servant is an appropriate one, although one not generally coveted. Those who have laid claims to being "some great one" have styled themselves in some fantastic manner Messiahs, Elijahs, prophets, etc., but amongst these none has ever been found to claim the title of "servant," nor to rejoice specially in service--particularly not without money and without price, but merely from love for the Lord, love for the Truth and love for the brethren.
But, retort the opponents, while we do not deny the service rendered, yet if we grant the application of `Matthew 24:45` to be correct, then we are forced to apply the other part, the context, which says, "Verily I say unto you, he shall make him ruler over all his goods." That would mean that the "fellow-servants" and the "household of faith" in general might not expect to receive their spiritual meat from any other quarter than "that servant." We are opposed to this thought and hence opposed to the entire matter.
Our friends reply that it is with the Lord and with no one else to determine who and when and what shall be provided for the "household of faith"; and for him equally to decide whether he will send that spiritual food through one channel or through many channels. They urge that all who are hungering and thirsting after Truth, all who are looking to the Lord for their supply, all who are in a proper attitude of mind, meek and teachable, will be ready to say, "Lord, thy will be done in thy way! To thee we are indebted for every blessing, every mercy, every ray of light, and we prefer to receive it as thou dost prefer to dispense it! We have no wish or will to express! Our prayer is, Thy will be done!" They further urge that the opponents consider that the harvest message has been going forth for thirty-five years, and that if the Lord should change his program and his channel of sending the Truth at this late day, it would be very remarkable--less reasonable to suppose than that he would continue to use "that servant." They urge, furthermore, that all who cut loose from the Society and its work, instead of prospering themselves or upbuilding others in the faith and in the graces of the spirit, seemingly do the reverse--attempt injury to the Cause they once served, and, with more or less noise, gradually sink into oblivion, harming only themselves and others possessed of a similarly contentious spirit.
OUR POSITION ON THE SUBJECT
From the first we have urged that this subject be not allowed to produce contention or bitterness of spirit. Let each reach his own conclusions and act accordingly. If some think that they can get as good or better provender at other tables, or that they can produce as good or better themselves--let these take their course. All who feel dissatisfied with the spiritual food which our great Master has privileged us to send broadcast to every nation should certainly be looking anywhere and everywhere for something better. Our wish for them is that they might find something better. If we were dissatisfied ourselves, or if we knew where something better could be obtained, we certainly at any cost would seek it. And how could we find fault with others for doing what we ourselves would do? Rather let us bid them God-speed in their search for something more satisfactory. With many of us the case is the reverse of this, for, with the poet, we say
"I had sought the world around
Peace and comfort no more found."
In the Divine Plan of the Ages we found something so far above our own conception and the conceptions of all others that we at once realized it to be God's Plan, of which he declares truly, "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my plans higher than your plans." (`Isa. 55:9`.) We realize instinctively what a pearl of great price we have
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found--a matchless pearl--and that it would be the height of folly to look for any other that would compare with it. With the poet we declare,
"It satisfies our longings
As nothing else could do."
We confess, therefore, that we are not searching for other plans of the ages. At very most we look for additional scintillations of light which will make more harmonious and more beautiful than ever the great Divine Plan, which first stood clearly revealed to us in 1880.
We urge upon all those who do see eye to eye with us that, instead of quarreling with those who want something new or something better or something different, we merely let them go their way while we give special heed to the development of the fruits and graces of the holy Spirit in our own hearts and lives, and to the further dissemination of the glorious message to those who have the hearing ear. If from time to time the Lord shall permit Satan to sift his Church "like wheat," let us remember that our great Advocate's assistance in proper measure and power will bring to all who are loyal at heart the needed grace and strength for every temptation. He will not suffer such to be tempted above what they are able to bear, but with the temptation permitted will provide a way of escape. We must expect, however, that these siftings of the wheat are not only permitted but intended to separate some, and it is not for us to murmur or complain against Divine Providence in this matter. "The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord!" Even though those who are being "sifted" have been very dear to us, as St. Peter and the other apostles were to the Lord, it is for us to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God.--`1 Pet. 5:6`.
On the other hand, while remembering the Scriptural injunction to "mark them which cause divisions... and avoid them" (`Romans 16:17`), we should not allow any bitterness respecting them to enter our hearts or to escape our lips or our pens, no matter what they may say or do against us. "See that no man render evil for evil nor railing for railing, but contrariwise." Let us be like our Lord who, when reviled, reviled not again. As we see some going blind respecting precious truths which they once saw clearly, it will properly grieve our hearts for them. But we are to remember that the Lord's Cause will lose nothing; that it is in the hands of the Omnipotent One, who is able to make all things work together for the fulfilment of the counsel of his own will--his glorious purposes. Would we smite the blind? Surely not! Then neither should we by act nor word be unkind to those who are "going out from us, because they are not all of us"--those who in this hour of temptation are being smitten down by the arrows of the Adversary because, from the Lord's standpoint, not deemed worthy of the necessary succor.--`1 John 2:19`.
The three important lessons for the Lord's faithful to be sure that they have learned are these: (1) That meekness, humility, is of primary importance, not only to gain an entrance into the Lord's family, but also to maintain a place therein. (2) That obedient faith, abiding trust, is an indispensable quality, not only for the eternal future, but also for the maintenance of our proper relationship to the Lord in the present life. Without it we would wander and be uncertain in all our course. With it we may abide in meekness under our Lord's protecting care. (3) Love, the essence and sum of all the graces, must rule in our hearts richly, abundantly. A proper love for God will not only keep us very meek, very humble, very teachable, but will also give us great faith, great confidence in him and an attitude of heart which he will be pleased to guide aright. A love for the brethren will make us meek and gentle and willing to lay down our lives in their interest. If we know these
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things, happy are we if we do them.
But while we are willing that others should go anywhere and everywhere to find food and light to their satisfaction, strange to say, those who become our opponents take a very different course. Instead of saying in the manly fashion of the world, "I have found something which I prefer; goodbye!" these manifest anger, malice, hatred, strife, "works of the flesh and of the devil" such as we have never known worldly people to exhibit. They seem inoculated with madness, Satanic hydrophobia. Some of them smite us and then claim that we did the smiting. They are ready to say and write contemptible falsities and to stoop to do meanness.
We say to ourself, O my soul, come not thou into their counsels and schemes. Abstain from them. Make the Lord, even the Most High, thy refuge and habitation, and fellowship thou with the saints of the Most High, who are meek and lowly of heart and whom he shall lead in his ways. "Blessed is the man who walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, and standeth not in the way of sinners, and sitteth not in the seat of scorners, but whose delight is in the Law of the Lord."
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OUR COMPREHENSIVE CONSECRATION VOW
MANY are writing us that they took the Vow months ago, when first it was suggested. We are glad to have all names at any time. Our opponents are boasting that as less than seven thousand names have as yet been reported as Vowers, it follows that the majority of our many thousand readers are opposed to it. We do not believe this true, yet cannot dispute the logic of the argument. All not for the Vow are apparently against it. Our belief, nevertheless, is that those who have taken the Vow are experiencing a great spiritual uplift therefrom, a greater nearness to the Lord, and consequently a greater safety in this evil day. It is our confidence, too, that the Lord will make the Vow plain to all of his faithful in due time and that many more, if not all the true-hearted, will ultimately take it and share the blessing. Notice that nearly all who are going blind on the Covenants and the Sin-Offerings are such as are opposing the Vow. Of course, we believe it to be of the Lord's providence and "meat in due season" at this time, else we would not present it in these columns.
Some have gotten the erroneous idea that this Vow is more stringent than our original Consecration Vow of Baptism into the Death of Christ. On the contrary, nothing could be more comprehensive or tight than our Vow to be dead with Christ to all sin and alive with him to all righteousness. This includes every act, word and thought fully in accord with the will of our Lord to the extent of our ability. The Vow suggested for a year past is less comprehensive; but it specifies certain outward forms recognized as safe and such specification is found to be helpful.
It is the new Creature that is bound both by the Consecration Vow and also by the supplemental Vow of specifications. If the New Creature fail in the latter Vow, he surely has failed in the original comprehensive Consecration Vow. What should he do upon realizing a shortcoming? He should follow the Apostle's admonition and come courageously to the throne of heavenly grace, to obtain mercy and find grace to help in future times of need. "The blood of Christ cleanseth us (new creatures) from all sin"--cleanses our robes. It was efficacious for us as men, justifying us and bringing us the privilege of joining with our Lord in his sacrifice, and it avails for all the weaknesses and imperfections of our flesh after we become "new creatures." This supplemental Vow demands so much less of us than our original Consecration Vow that all should be able to keep it, both in letter and in spirit, we believe. But if, perchance, a moment of severe temptation temporarily overwhelmed us and we failed to observe the Vow as fully as we desired, we should promptly go to the throne of grace for forgiveness, for the cleansing of every spot and wrinkle.
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CHRIST'S AMBASSADOR A PRISONER
--`ACTS 21:27-39`.--OCTOBER 3.--
Golden Text:--"Thou, therefore, endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ."--`2 Tim. 2:3`.
ST. PAUL, accompanied by Luke and Trophimus of Ephesus, Aristarchus of Thessalonica, Sopater of Berea, Secundus of Thessalonica, Gaius of Derbe, Timotheus of Lystra and Tychicus of Ephesus, arrived at Jerusalem Friday, May 27, A.D. 57. He was returning from his third missionary tour amongst the Gentiles. He had been absent seven years. As we have seen, the Lord had permitted forewarnings to reach him that he might expect trouble-- bonds and imprisonment--in the Holy City. However, this noble ambassador for Christ, undeterred, had now arrived. He and his associates, it will be remembered, brought with them money collections from the Churches in Asia Minor for the Church at Jerusalem, which, apparently, was in a measure of financial distress.
Their reception on their first day was apparently of a private and personal character, but on the next day, which was probably the Day of Pentecost (`Acts 20:16`), the Apostles and leading brethren came together to receive St. Paul and his company in a more formal manner. St. James, brother (or cousin) to our Lord, was apparently the recognized leader in the Jerusalem Church. No mention is made of the other Apostles. Probably some of them were absent, engaged in the work at other points. St. Paul recounted his missionary tour amongst the Gentiles and the Lord's blessing upon his ministries of the Truth, notwithstanding the tribulations permitted. We may presume also that at the same time the collections were turned over.
THE FEAR OF MAN--A SNARE
The brief record indicates that the brethren at Jerusalem were considerably perturbed by St. Paul's presence with them. Not merely did they fear for his personal safety, but also lest his coming might stir up persecution against them all. His activity and persistency made him well known to the Jews in the influential part of the world in which he had been laboring. The Jewish custom that the zealously religious come frequently to Jerusalem to celebrate religious festivals kept the Jerusalem Jews in touch with the religious interests of the whole world. St. James and his associates realized that in all probability Jews from Ephesus, Athens, Thessalonica, Berea, etc., might be present celebrating the Pentecostal feast. They knew that St. Paul's activities had already been reported, and that some, even of the Christian believers, were troubled at his reported teaching--that the Law was dead and that no one needed to pay any further attention to it. They urged St. Paul to contradict these partial misconceptions by going into the Temple and associating with some brethren who had taken the Nazarite Vow. They did not suggest that St. Paul take this Vow, but that he be present with these brethren, as a recognition of the propriety of what they did, and that he bear their expenses, which included not only the shaving of their heads and burning of the hair, but also the cost of sacrificing for them four animals each.
St. James and the leaders of the Church evidently understood St. Paul's position properly enough. He taught the Gentiles that it was not necessary for them to become Jews nor to obey the Jewish ritual, but that, instead of looking for God's favor through the types and shadows, they should look to Christ and his antitypical fulfilments of the requirements of the Law. He taught that the Law could not save either Jew or Gentile, but that only faith in Christ could bring the soul into relationship to God. He taught that while certain blessings of God yet remained for the Jew (`Rom. 11:37`), God during this Gospel Age is selecting a Spiritual Seed of Abraham from both Jews and Gentiles. He taught also that if any one, Jew or Gentile, attempted to keep the Law, with a view to thus meriting eternal life, such would surely lose it; because "by the deeds of the Law shall no flesh be justified in God's sight." Nothing in all this, however, really interfered with St. Paul's doing just what St. James and the others urged him to do for the four men under the Nazarite Vow. The shaving of their heads and the offering of sacrifices in demand of the Law governing their Vow, in no sense of the word interfered with or attempted to add to the merit of Christ's sacrifice. Nevertheless in our judgment a more courageous course might have been pursued. Apparently the very method taken to ward off public opposition merely served to arouse it. Let us not forget, however, that the Lord could have ordered the matter otherwise; could have overruled the matter differently had he chosen. Let us remember that the Lord foreknew that tribulations would assail the Apostle Paul, and had foretold them. Those who are in close relationship to the Lord have his assurance that all their steps are ordered of him and that all things shall work together for good to those who love God and who have been called according to his purpose. What a comfort! What a consolation this is to all of the Lord's people! No wonder such may have quiet, rest, peace, even in times of storm and trouble!
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CONCESSION TO PREJUDICE UNSUCCESSFUL
The scheme to have St. Paul appear as partially endorsing the Law seemed successful for several days, but when the seven days were nearly expired he was recognized by Jews who had come from Asia. They had seen the Apostle with the Greek, Trophimus, and jumped to the conclusion that the latter was one of the four men whose heads were shaved. This would have been a grievous offence from the Jewish standpoint. Only Jews were allowed within the sacred precincts of the Temple, outside of which was a Woman's Court and also a Court of the Gentiles. A stone fence separated these two apartments and constituted what the Apostle elsewhere alluded to as the "middle wall of partition." (`Eph. 2:14`.) This wall was four and one-half feet high, and on it was a tablet which has recently been found by the Palestine Exploration Society which reads, "No man of alien race is to enter within the balustrade and fence that goes around the Temple. If any one is taken in the act, let him know that he has himself to blame for the penalty of death that follows." St. Paul was charged with this offence and not the Greek who was supposed to have been misled by the Apostle. It was on this score that St. Paul's life was in danger from the mob which speedily gathered at the cry of the Asiatic Jew that the Temple was being profaned.
While the mob was beating the Apostle, seeking to kill him, a chief Captain or Colonel of the Roman soldiers in the Castle Antonio close by the Temple became aware of the tumult and hurried to the scene with a troop of soldiers. The beating ceased. The people, who had not learned to respect the majesty of the Roman Law, had become amenable to its military forces.
The Apostle was chained by each arm to a soldier. The commandant, endeavoring to ascertain the cause of the tumult and unable to understand the conflicting testimonies, remanded the prisoner to the castle. But the mob, disappointed that they had lost the opportunity of taking his life, made a mad rush to get him from the soldiers or to kill him while under their charge. What a spirit of murder can be aroused, and suddenly, too, in the hearts of not only Jews, but Gentiles! And how often we find in the pages of history that such violence and unreason have been manifested in the name of and in defense of various religions! How utterly foreign to all of this is what St. Paul designates "the spirit of a sound mind"--the spirit of reason, justice--not to mention the spirit of generosity, loving kindness and tender mercy! As the seeing of the foolishness and the brutishness of a drunken person should act as a great temperance lesson in every right-minded man and woman, so such a scene as this, whether recognized by our natural eyes or mentally seen through the printed page, should be a lasting lesson against anything so brutish and unreasonable. Let every instance of religious bigotry and fanatical violence speak to our hearts a lesson in the opposite direction, and fix in us resolutions that,
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by the grace of God, we will never be thus foolish, thus wicked; but contrariwise will become the more gentle and kind and Christ-like, as the days go by.
The oncoming of the mob led the soldiers to press one against the other so as not to lose their prisoner, and thus the Apostle was lifted off his feet and carried by the soldiers up the stairway.
The courage of this ambassador of Christ and his readiness to take advantage of every opportunity to tell the message of his Master was here wonderfully exemplified. We might have supposed that from the beating received from the mob and the more or less rough treatment in getting to the castle door any ordinary man would have been cowed with fear and excitement. But it was here that St. Paul, cool and collected, requested of the commander the privilege of speaking to the people, intimating, no doubt, that they had misunderstood what he was doing and that in a few words he might be able to pacify them. The officer was astonished, for the Apostle spoke Greek fluently. He thought likely that he was "that Egyptian" mentioned by Josephus, who, a short time before this, had gathered a large body of discontented Jews, to whom he represented himself as Messiah, and who, as his followers, gave the Roman authorities considerable trouble. St. Paul answered that he was a Jew of an honorable city and requested again the privilege of speaking to the people, which was granted. Promptly the Apostle preached Christ. No doubt he considered his thrilling experiences well repaid by the privileges of that moment--the privilege of telling a considerable concourse of people about Jesus; that he was the Messiah promised in the Law and the prophecies; that his sacrificial death constituted the redemption sacrifice for father Adam's forfeited life, and, incidentally, the redemption price for all of his children, who died under his sentence. Surely also he noted that now Messiah is calling a spiritual class of "first fruits" to be his associates in the Millennial Kingdom and that shortly Israel and all the nations will experience the privileges and blessings of that Kingdom. Surely he pointed out, also, that now is the acceptable time; that now is the time to make our calling and election sure to the chiefest, the spiritual part of the Abrahamic Covenant.
Paul proceeded to tell them of his missionary tours and how many of the Gentiles were receiving the message gladly and giving their hearts to the Lord in full consecration. But so strong was the Jewish prejudice that the mere mention of the going of this great blessing upon equal terms to the Gentiles re-enkindled the flame of hatred and violence, and their shouts and jeers rent the air. The Roman Colonel, perplexed at the situation, concluded that where there was so much opposition there must be some grounds for it. "Where there is much smoke, there must be some fire." And so he commanded that the Apostle must be whipped until he confessed what he had done wrong that created such a tumult and promised reformation. At once the command began to be fulfilled. They began to bind St. Paul to a bent whipping post. But the latter brought the proceedings to a quick termination by inquiring, "Do you think it lawful to punish a Roman citizen before he has had a trial?" The Colonel ordered him released at once, for already he had exceeded the law in the matter. He took the Apostle's word for it that he was a Roman citizen; for to claim this and to have it found to be an untruthful claim would have meant sure death. The Apostle was held a prisoner for trial.
There are several further lessons for us here. While not condemning the Jews harshly for their selfish, bitter feeling of opposition to the Gentiles, let us notice how much injury this bitterness and selfishness worked to the Jews themselves. Had it not been for this wrong spirit doubtless many others of that time might have been quite ready to hear the Gospel. The lesson to us, therefore, should be to put away meanness, selfishness, enmities, bitterness, out of our hearts, out of our minds, out of our conduct and words; and instead to put on the spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ--a spirit of meekness, gentleness, patience, long-suffering, brotherly kindness, love.
Another lesson for us is that when undergoing trials and difficulties, however unjustly and however much we realize that they could not come to us without the Lord's permission, nevertheless we are at liberty to use any legitimate means for our own assistance and deliverance--even as St. Paul took advantage of his Roman citizenship. God had provided him in advance with that measure of protection and it would have been culpable negligence on his part not to have used it and to have expected the Lord to deliver him in some miraculous manner.
REST IN GOD'S WILL
How sweet to feel God's will is best,
And in this precious thought to rest;
To know, whatever may betide,
'Tis best, for He is by our side!
Oh, how it helps us bear the pain,
Oh, how it makes us strong again!
The cold and gloom of darkest night
It fills with warmth and heavenly light!
To those who take His will as best
He grants His perfect peace and rest,
And ever gives them day by day
His grace sufficient on the way.
Then why should hearts grow weak or faint?
Why should we ever make complaint?
Let us press on with upturned face,
And follow where we cannot trace!
--G. W. SEIBERT.
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THE WRATH OF MAN OVERRULED
--`ACTS 22:30`; `23:25`.--OCTOBER 10.--
Golden Text:--"I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge, and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust."--`Psa. 91:2`.
THE day after the riot and St. Paul's rescue by the soldiers the Roman Commandant, Lysias, perplexed, called together the Jewish Sanhedrin, that they might pass upon Paul's case; for by this time he had recognized that the point of dispute was a religious one, and that his only duty was to preserve peace. Thus Paul was afforded another opportunity to witness the Gospel to the Jews--to their most learned body, to their most influential Court of Seventy. Perhaps the Apostle began to realize by this time
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that his trying experiences were furnishing him with superior opportunities as a herald of the Gospel. Looking back with the eye of faith we can realize that this is always so; that the Lord is, as from the first, supervising his own work. But only in proportion as we know what the Lord's work is, can we have and use the eye of faith. We must see that the Divine program is not to attempt the conversion of the world at the present time, but to leave that for the future, to be accomplished by Christ's Millennial Kingdom. We must see that his work during the present age is merely that of selecting or electing the Church, to be his Bride-Consort in his Kingdom--his associate in the great work which will then be accomplished for the world in general.
As St. Paul realized the opportunity granted him of addressing the leaders of his nation, he sought to make wise use of it. Hence the earnestness of his countenance. "Looking steadfastly" at his audience, he began by reminding them
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of his faithfulness as a Jew. He had been ever a model citizen, never lawless. He addressed the council as "Brethren," thus putting himself on an equality with them, both in respect to religious zeal and general learning. Indeed, it is quite generally supposed that at the time of the stoning of Stephen, Paul, then Saul of Tarsus, was a member of the Sanhedrin.
"THOU SHALT NOT SPEAK EVIL"
The address which St. Paul had planned to deliver was interrupted by the High Priest's saying, "Smite him on the mouth!" This was a special mark of indignity and a protest against the words uttered. Our Lord declares, "The darkness hateth the light." It is not unfair to assume that the High Priest felt his own course in life specially condemned by St. Paul's words. Josephus charges Ananias with having been a hypocritical grafter of the baser sort, but so crafty that the public in general esteemed him. Suddenly checked in his speech the Apostle shouted, "God shall smite thee, thou whited wall!" The prophecy came true. Within two years Ananias was deposed, within six years he met a horrible death, his own son being associated with his assassins, who drew him from his hiding place in a sewer and slew him.
The term "whited wall" was applied to ordinary graves which were covered with a stone slab bearing the inscription. These were whitewashed frequently, so as to be easily discernible, lest any traveler should tread upon them, and, according to Jewish ritual, be defiled. The pure, glistening white of the stone was beautiful, but beneath was corruption. The strength of the symbol as representing hypocrisy is manifest. Some who heard the Apostle replied, "Answerest thou God's High Priest so?" St. Paul rejoined, "I wist not, brethren, that he was the High Priest; for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people." It will be remembered that the Apostle never fully recovered his eyesight after being struck blind on the way to Damascus. Imperfect vision as a "thorn in the flesh" the Lord refused to relieve him of, but assured him that in compensation he should have the more of Divine grace, which answer to his prayer the Apostle gladly accepted. It is possible, therefore, that he did not discern the High Priest, or that he did not know that the indignity was suggested by him. It is claimed by some that Ananias had usurped his office and hence the Apostle's words may have meant that he did not recognize that the true High Priest was present. The latter view is implied by the fact that St. Paul did not apologize for his words, but merely showed that he fully recognized the Divine Law that rulers should not be slandered.
This is a good rule for every one today. The tendency to speak evil of dignitaries, to belittle them, to caricature them, is a prevalent sin, which is doing much more to undermine good government than the funmakers seem aware. Undoubtedly there are times and ways for protesting against things and methods with which we do not fully agree. But the people of God should pre-eminently stand for law and order, with as much justice as may be obtainable, waiting for absolute justice until the King of kings shall take his Millennial Throne. His command to us meantime is that we "be subject to the powers that be" and "follow peace with all men, so far as lies in us"--so far as is possible.
Incidentally we remark that some are even disposed to speak jestingly of the Lord and the Scriptures. This is a dangerous practice. "The reverence of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;" and it must continue in us and increase as the years go by, if we would make our calling and election sure to the glorious things which God has in reservation for them that love him and reverence him.
ST. PAUL AS A GENERAL
The smiting of the prisoner, and his retort, interrupted at its beginning the hoped-for presentation of the Gospel. The Apostle perceived that the prejudice against him was such that no speech of his could affect his hearers. They were dominated by the high priest, whose lack of justice had found so early a manifestation. Like a general, finding his front attack useless, he wheeled his forces and, by a flank movement, captured the sympathies of fully one-half of his auditors; and at the same time he secured an opportunity for showing that the doctrine he preached was the logical outcome of the faith of all of the large sect called Pharisees. He did this by shouting out, "I am a Pharisee; the son of a Pharisee; and I am being persecuted because of my belief in the doctrine of the resurrection." This was all strictly true. The word Pharisee signifies a person professing entire sanctification to God. And St. Paul had never ceased from this attitude. His experiences on the way to Damascus had changed his course of conduct, but had not changed his attitude of heart, which, from the first, was loyal to God "in all good conscience."
The Apostle well knew that the Sanhedrin was about equally divided between the ultra-orthodox, holiness-professing Pharisees and the agnostic and higher-critical Sadducees, who numbered amongst them many of the most prominent Jews, including priests. The effect of his shout was instantaneous. The Pharisees took his part as one who believed in some respects as they did, although they could not endorse all of his teachings. As between the infidel Sadducees and an out-of-the-way Pharisee they promptly espoused the cause of the latter. A tumult ensued, some seeking to take his life and others to protect it. Again Caesar's soldiers needed to intervene between warring factions of the people of God. How sad a scene! How pitiable that those who possess much advantage every way as Jews under Divine instruction should so sadly neglect the lessons of the Divine Law in respect to justice and each other's rights, not to mention the instruction, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself!" How pitiable it is that the same is sometimes true amongst Christians possessed of still higher appreciation of the Divine standards and under covenant vows to lay down their lives for the brethren, and indeed exhorted that they cannot win the prize they seek unless they reach the point of loving their enemies!
True, fisticuffs are not popular in our day amongst civilized people, but cannot even greater cruelty be accomplished by the tongue than by the hand? And is it not true that many, even amongst those who have named the name of Christ and taken upon them consecration vows to do his will, bite and devour one another under the influence of the Adversary's spirit--"anger, malice, hatred, envy, strife." As we see these things shall we not learn a valuable lesson, which will enable us the better to glorify our Father in heaven?
Back at the castle in safety the Apostle was doubtless wondering in what manner the Lord had been glorified by his latest experience. Often it is thus with ourselves. But where we cannot trace the Lord's providences and see the outcome we have all the better opportunity for experiencing the faith which can firmly trust him, come what may. The castle Commandant was evidently learning that his prisoner was no common character, one who was calm and alert, dignified and humble and self-possessed, while his opponents were the reverse of all these, thus evidencing to the unprejudiced mind that the Apostle was probably in the right of the controversy. This change in his attitude towards St. Paul was manifested by his kindly treatment of the latter's nephew, who had heard that forty professed religionists, forgetful of the Divine Law, "Love thy neighbor as thyself," had bound themselves to each other by an oath that they would neither eat nor drink until they had killed St. Paul, a man who had done them no harm, but who, on the contrary, had merely endeavored as wisely as possible to do them good. At the instance of his mother, St. Paul's sister, the lad had gained access to the castle and explained the plot to his uncle, who sent him to Lysias, the Commandant. The latter took the boy by the hand to a private place, heard his story and dismissed him, telling him to keep the matter quiet. He perceived that he was in conflict with at least one-half of the influential of Jewry, and that his wisest course would be to put his prisoner under the protection of the governor, Felix, at Caesarea. Accordingly that very night at 9 o'clock two hundred infantry, two hundred spearmen and seventy cavalry took the Apostle
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to new quarters, where as an ambassador in bonds he would have fresh opportunity for representing his great Master.
Lessons for us are God's providential care, and how this operates towards his faithful ones, such as the Apostle and all who have "made a covenant with him by sacrifice." The incident shows how God prefers to use natural means rather than supernatural agencies, and how all should be on the alert to serve the Lord's cause at any moment and every moment. God's purposes will be accomplished, but happy is the man or woman or boy or girl accounted worthy of the privilege of any service to the Lord or to the least of his disciples. Let us, then, be continually on the lookout, in an inquiring attitude of mind, desirous of knowing the mind of
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the Lord in every matter. As for the Apostle, he doubtless learned a lesson which we all may profitably consider; namely, that while having full confidence in the Divine will, it is ours to reasonably and properly protect our own lives and interests, as well as those of others.
The Golden Text is very impressive in connection with this lesson. Whether they and others recognize the fact or not, those who have the Lord for their refuge and fortress have a superhuman care and protection.
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ITINERARY FOR TOUR THROUGH MARITIME PROVINCES
Lv. New York, N.Y., Wednesday, October 6.......... (N.Y.,N.H.&H.)................................. 12:00 night Arr. Boston, Mass., Thursday, " 7.......... (N.Y.,N.H.&H.)................................. 6:57 a.m. Lv. Boston, Mass., Thursday, " 7.......... (Dom.At.S.S.Line).............................. 2:00 p.m. Arr. Yarmouth, N.S., Friday, " 8.......... (Dom.At.S.S.Line).............................. 7:00 a.m. Lv. Yarmouth, N.S., Saturday, " 9.......... (Dom.At.R.R.).................................. 9:40 a.m. Arr. Berwick, N.S., Saturday, " 9.......... (Dom.At.R.R.).................................. 1:50 p.m. Lv. Berwick, N.S., Sunday, " 10.......... (Drive)......................................about 8:00 a.m. Arr. Kentville, N.S., Sunday, " 10.......... (Drive)......................................about 10:00 a.m. Lv. Kentville, N.S., Monday, " 11.......... (D.A.R.&S.L.).................................. 6:00 a.m. Arr. Halifax, N.S., Monday, " 11.......... (D.A.R.&S.L.).................................. 9:06 a.m. Lv. Halifax, N.S., Monday, " 11.......... (Intercol.R.R.)................................ 5:00 p.m. Arr. Sydney, C.B.I., Tuesday, " 12.......... (Intercol.R.R.)................................ 5:30 a.m. Lv. Sydney, C.B.I., Tuesday, " 12.......... (Intercol.R.R.)................................ 11:30 p.m. Arr. Truro, N.S., Wednesday, " 13.......... (Intercol.R.R.)................................ 9:10 a.m. Lv. Truro, N.S., Wednesday, " 13.......... (Intercol.R.R.)................................ 5:35 p.m. Arr. Charlottetown, P.E.I., Thursday, " 14.......... (Via Point du Chene)........................... 11:40 a.m. Lv. Charlottetown, P.E.I., Friday, " 15.......... (P.E.I.R.R.)................................... 7:45 a.m. Arr. Somerside, P.E.I., Friday, " 15.......... (P.E.I.R.R.)................................... 9:50 a.m. Lv. Somerside, P.E.I., Friday, " 15.......... (Ferry)........................................ Arr. Point du Chene, N.B., Friday, " 15.......... (Ferry)........................................ Lv. Point du Chene, N.B., Friday, " 15.......... (Intercol.R.R.)................................ 1:10 p.m. Arr. Moncton, N.B., Friday, " 15.......... (Intercol.R.R.)................................ 2:00 p.m. Lv. Moncton, N.B., Friday, " 15.......... (Intercol.R.R.)................................ 2:10 p.m. Arr. St. John, N.B., Friday, " 15.......... (Intercol.R.R.)................................ 5:20 p.m. Lv. St. John, N.B., Saturday, " 16.......... (Maine Cent.R.R.).............................. 6:25 a.m. Arr. Boston, Mass., Saturday, " 16.......... (Maine Cent.R.R.).............................. 9:00 p.m.
SPECIAL RATES from Boston to Yarmouth, Berwick, Kentville, Halifax and Truro and return to Boston, $14.00; to Sydney $5.00 additional. Friends intending this Convention tour will please advise at once I. I. Margeson, Westwood, Mass., that accommodations, state rooms, etc., may be secured.
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"OFFENDED BECAUSE OF ME"
"Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night; for it is written, I will smite the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad."--`Matt. 26:31`.
WE ARE NOT to understand this Scripture to teach that God directly smote the Shepherd, but rather that he permitted the Adversary to smite him. As our Lord said, "The Son of Man indeed goeth, as it is written of him, but woe unto that man by whom he is betrayed." Judas was a free moral agent, and only by entertaining evil thoughts respecting the Master did his heart get more and more out of the way until the last barrier of his will surrendered, and then "Satan entered into him" in the sense of having full control of a willing tool.
Little is told us of Judas, except that at heart he was selfish and mercenary. Doubtless he became a follower of Christ with more or less of sincere motives. He saw the miracles; he knew of their genuineness. He was one of the twelve whom Jesus sent forth endued with power to heal diseases, to cast out devils, etc. He knew there was no fake connected with it, but that the power of God through Jesus had for a time exercised itself through himself and the other Apostles miraculously. But apparently his heart was less attracted by our Lord's purity of life and holiness of teaching and self denials, and more attracted by the glorious prospects which Jesus held forth in the promises that those who followed him in his time of trial and rejection of men should ultimately sit with him on his throne, ruling and judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
Judas allowed the natural selfishness of his nature to specially covet the honors and glories promised, rather than to appreciate the principles of righteousness and truth illustrated in our Lord's life and teachings. Note the difference in the sentiment expressed by James and John. While not forgetting the honors promised, their especial thought was love for the Lord and a desire to be near him and to be associated in the glorious work of the Kingdom, in the uplifting of Israel and all the nations. The loving disciple who leaned on Jesus' breast at the Memorial Supper evidently thought less of the glories of the Kingdom than of the nearness to the Master when making the request that he and his brother might sit on the throne of the Lord, the one on his right hand and the other on his left.
The selfish propensities are generally larger in proportion than the nobler ones in all mankind, and consequently under present conditions they are likely to be the more active ones in all of us. Hence our need continually of setting our affections on the higher things, the nobler things, and to this end the necessity of having before our minds continually the glorious character of our Lord and our heavenly Father--their justice, their love and mercy-- that we may be copies of God's dear Son, and like unto our Father which is in heaven. Judas failed to develop such noble qualities, and, instead, cultivated the baser qualities in connection with his calling to discipleship.
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He thought of the throne and the honors attached thereto until everything else seemed of little advantage.
This being so, he was critical of the Master, and fault-finding. From his standpoint, Jesus was carrying on the campaign for the throne in an improper manner; he should have been more worldly-wise; he should have done this, and should not have done that. Instead of reproving the Pharisees he should have cajoled them, or at least have said nothing against them. Instead of criticising the multitude that desired to make him a king, and withdrawing himself from them, to meet Judas' conception of wisdom he should have spoken sympathetically to them and made capital out of the occasion. Instead of speaking to the multitudes in parables and dark sayings, he should have come down to their comprehension and explained to them about his Kingdom, and how he intended to establish it.
Judas could see no sense, we may be sure, in our Lord's dark saying, "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, ye have no life in you." After that saying many of his followers remarked, "This is a hard saying, who can believe it?" and walked no more with him. Surely Judas must have been offended on that occasion. From his standpoint Jesus was balking all of his prospects, and the hopes of the Kingdom were going glimmering more and more every day. The Lord was becoming more pessimistic, and instead of talking about the Kingdom and the throne was telling how the Jews would shortly take him and crucify him.
Judas began to feel that if he had been deceived in this matter, and was not to sit upon the throne as at first expected, he had best be "feathering his nest" financially in advance, so that however matters might go with the Master and the others, he would not have made such a failure as they. With this in view, doubtless he had sought to be the treasurer of the little band, and had appropriated to his own profitable uses whatever surplus was from time to time contributed. The basis for this assumption is found connected with the story of the anointing of Jesus at Bethany, when Mary produced a very costly perfume and therewith anointed our Lord. It was Judas who murmured at this waste, and remarked how much good might have been done with this money in providing for the poor. Not that he cared especially for the poor, but that he was a thief and carried the treasurer's bag for the disciples, and appropriated to himself from what was put therein.--`John 12:6`.
GAIN INSTEAD OF GODLINESS
This selfish spirit not only led him to rob the Lord and his fellow-disciples, but eventually led him to think of how he could obtain money from the priests for the betrayal of the Master. And of course there must have been some reasonable philosophy in his mind in connection
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with the matter, and not merely a cold-blooded deal to put Jesus to death--not merely cold-blooded murder. When selfishness has control of the heart it works all manner of deceitfulness to the mind as respects motives, intentions, etc. And this is true whether the ambition be for money or for name and fame. Doubtless Judas reasoned that he could make the money out of the transaction without working any injury to the Lord. Jesus could again, as on previous occasions, "pass through their midst" without any daring to touch him. Perhaps Judas reasoned further that his course would awaken the Master and bring matters respecting the Kingdom to a head, one way or the other; that Jesus, finding himself in the hands of his enemies, would either assert his great power and assume his kingly authority, or else his weakness and fraudulent claims by which he had deceived his disciples and others would be exposed.
By such subtle reasonings and deceptions the Adversary was able to lead the disloyal mind, the selfishly ambitious heart, into wrong paths. As we realize this, and how the same Adversary still operates along similar lines, we may well fear to come in any degree under his power or misguiding influence. Not many of us would dare to find fault with the Lord and his methods directly, but we could still do so indirectly. He who then supervised the affairs of himself and his disciples on earth, now supervises the same from his glorious heavenly station. While fault cannot be found with the words of Jesus directly, fault can still be found with his message through those whom he uses as his mouthpieces. And while the Master himself cannot be betrayed to his enemies, for pieces of silver or other earthly advantages, or in satisfaction of other earthly ambitions, "his brethren" can thus be dealt with.
We have the Master's word, that whatsoever injury shall be done in word or in deed to one of the least of his little ones, it is the same in his estimation as though it were done to himself; and it were better for that man that a millstone were hanged about his neck and that he had been cast into the depths of the sea; better because in that event there would have been a future prospect for him during the Millennial Kingdom, whereas, having been once enlightened, having once tasted the heavenly gift, having once been under the influence of the holy Spirit, and then to completely fall away, there would remain no more for him an interest or share in the heavenly gift-- in the redemption which is in Christ Jesus. Having received his share of it, he misused it, and can have no further interest in it.
Judas was thus made acquainted with the heavenly gift and the powers of the age to come, not by direct reception of the same as experienced at Pentecost, but by the indirect blessing which came upon the twelve through our Lord's special impartation to them of the power of the holy Spirit, by which they were enabled to work miracles in his name.
"THE SHEEP SHALL BE SCATTERED"
We must never lose sight of the fact that the harvest of the Jewish Age was completely under Divine supervision and control. The Lord willed that severe testings should come to the sheep through the Master whom they loved and revered. Those testings were necessary. "Through much tribulation shall ye enter the Kingdom." The way to glory must be the way of the cross--a narrow way--and there must be something permitted which would serve to make the way narrow; hence the permission of evil, the permission of a measure of liberty to Satan, and the permission of a measure of liberty to ambitious men.
It is not for us to become bitter toward Satan or any of those who develop an ambitious and injurious spirit similar to his. In so doing we would be cultivating in ourselves that which would be injurious to us. On the contrary, all the opposition of Satan and those who have his characteristics should exercise upon us an opposite spirit. We should pity them, while detesting their methods. We should be ready to do good to them, while loathing their course. We are not to render evil speaking for evil speaking, nor insinuation for insinuation, nor anger for anger, nor malice for malice, nor hatred for hatred.
On the contrary, as the Apostle suggests, even Michael, though higher in power, durst not bring against Satan a railing accusation, but merely said, The Lord rebuke thee! So it should be with us: Instead of attempting to take vengeance upon our adversaries, we should commit our way and theirs to the Lord's keeping, and trust that in due time he will rebuke the Adversary and all who have his spirit and follow his course. He will know how to make proper allowances for head and heart. He it is who has said, "Vengeance is mine, I will recompense, saith the Lord."
"OFFENDED BECAUSE OF ME"
So far as our Lord's personality was concerned, we may be sure there was no cause of offense in him; he did nobody harm, but did everybody good. It was his doctrines that offended the people, and not his personality; nevertheless, their resentment was against his personality rather than against his doctrines, which were too strong for them to attack.
On one occasion we remember when they took up stones to stone him, Jesus expostulated with them, saying, I have
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done a good work and ye all marvel. Why, then, are you about to stone me? They answered that it was not for anything personal, but because of his doctrine. The Adversary deluded them, and made the words of him who spake as never man spake to appear false and God-dishonoring, whereas they were very true.
Our Lord said, "Marvel not if the world hate you; ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love its own. But now ye are not of the world, because I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you." This implies that in proportion as we follow closely in the Master's footsteps our experiences will be proportionately similar to his. We shall be hated, not because of evil deeds to others, but because whoever is out of harmony with the truth of God's Word will be out of harmony with those who speak the truth, and verily think that they do God a service in opposing them.
Notice also that the world that will hate you is not the heathen world, not the Gentile world, but the worldly who pose as God's people. This was so with Jesus. He preached, not to the Gentiles, but to the holy nation of the Jews, God's consecrated people. And those who hated him and delivered him unto death were of his own nation, and even Judas of his own disciples. So we also should expect, in harmony with our Lord's words, that the worldly who will hate us will be the worldly-spirited ones, adversaries prominent in the Church, and some of them, perhaps, close to us as fellow-disciples.
Seeing these things in advance, being thus fore-warned, shall we not be fore-armed, so that none of these experiences may move us from our constancy and faithfulness? Let us remember the Apostles of old, and how the smiting of the Shepherd affected them, and scattered them, and confused them, so that of the two who followed him at all one in terror denied him with cursing, while the other, the loving disciple, viewed the Master sympathetically, but afar off.
Our Lord had forewarned them, and had instructed them how they might have been better prepared for this trial, but they had not heeded his words, "Watch and pray, lest ye enter into temptation." Hence in the moment of temptation they were overwhelmed, scattered. The lesson to us is that we should watch and pray, and by faith draw very near to the Master, and be full of confidence in the Divine plan, and remember the assurance that all things are working together for good to them that love the Lord, to them that are called according to his purpose.
Watching and praying will cultivate confidence and faith in God, and preserve us from the trepidation and fear and stumbling which will surely upset many others; because from this standpoint of faith we shall know how to apply in our own time and under our own circumstances our Lord's words to Pilate, "Thou couldst have no power at all over me except it were permitted of my Father." God is still at the helm, and is still working all things according to the counsel of his own will. It is for us to come close to the Lord and to wait for the development of his plan with absolute confidence and fearlessness--except in the sense that we should fear to leave undone anything directed in his Word.
Thus our Lord feared in Gethsemane, and in due time received Divine assurance and the strengthening of his heart, and the calm rest and peace which properly accompanied that assurance. So it will be with us "after that we have suffered awhile" and our faith has been properly tested, the Lord will give us succor and "grace to help in every time of need."
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A REPLY TO BROTHER McPHAIL'S TRACT
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--Grace and peace be multiplied unto you in these trying times, is my prayer. Thinking that a few words from one who has been long in the way and a close student of your presentation of the Gospel Truths, and from one who has been with you in spirit through all your severe and fiery trials and labor of love for these many years since before the first volume of DAWN was published, might be cheering and have a tendency to strengthen the prophet's hands, I will send you a few lines.
Little did I realize or know in what way or through what instrumentality the Adversary was going to make his attack, and when I had shaken hands with you the second time at Put-in-Bay, and had looked into your smiling but care-worn face, in an instant I felt the extent of the trials through which you had passed; how you had taken joyfully
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the spoiling of your goods; how you had suffered the loss of all things that the world counts gain, and yet I could see that you were among those of the Lord's rich ones, rich in faith, having Godliness with contentment, which the Apostle says is great gain. As I realized all this, I also felt that the battle for Truth was not all over, but that there was more to follow. I said to you: "God bless you, Brother Russell; God bless you; the Enemy is coming in like a flood." Do you call to mind how soon after that convention the Enemy began to show his colors in the ranks of the Lord's consecrated? But, praise his name, the Lord has fulfilled his Word. He has lifted up a standard against the assaults of the Adversary and the Lord has still a remnant of his faithful color-bearers, who have been tried in the fire, veterans and victors in many a hard-fought battle, who are well equipped and prepared for the conflict against all the opposers of truth and righteousness that the prince of darkness can muster. Loyal Soldiers of the Cross, having on the whole armor of God, well clothed and well fed, strong in the Lord and in the power of his might, following in the footsteps of the Captain of our Salvation! We can do all things, endure all things, through Christ who strengthens us, even to running through a troop or leaping over a wall. They have learned the music and know the Gospel's joyful sound, and keep step to the notes.
I am sending you herewith a copy of the letter I wrote to Brother McPhail. It explains my attitude toward this new departure and snare of the Adversary. No doubt the Lord of the Harvest has permitted this delusion for wise purposes; but as I remarked in a testimony meeting lately at the Saginaw Convention, when the testimonies seemed to be drifting too much on the line of Brother Russell's trials and burdens, they need not borrow so much trouble about Brother R., for he is in the Lord's hands; and as long as he is faithful to his stewardship, the Lord will take care of him and he will have a good time fighting the good fight of faith for the joy that is set before him, in spite of all the opposing forces of Satan. We esteem Brother Russell very highly for his work's sake and labor of love for the members of Christ's Body and should bear him continually to the throne of grace in the arms of faith, that the Lord may continue to guide him by the spirit of wisdom and a sound mind in the dispensing of the meat, from the storehouse of Divine truth, to the household through the various instrumentalities that the Lord is using. Hold up the prophet's hands in any way you can. Having done this, cast all your care upon the Lord, knowing that he doeth all things well. Leave it there and stop worrying about Brother R. "Let not your heart be troubled," saith the Master. "Martha, Martha, thou are careful (i.e., worried) and troubled about many things."
Now, dear Brother, just one or two things more to which I wish to call your attention. Is there not a parallelism between the stumbling of some of the Lord's disciples mentioned in `John 6:52-68` and the stumbling now taking place? In the `53d verse` our Lord says, "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood ye have no life in you." Does not this apply to the consecrated spirit-begotten Church, drinking of the sufferings of Christ even unto death, the sacrificial Cup, members of Christ's Body? Are
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they not the only ones that have any life in them? Is not this strong meat? Those disciples who fell away said, "This is a hard saying, who can hear it?" Is it not so in the closing time of this harvest? Are not some who have been following along and who were co-laborers, now stumbling at the Word, being disobedient and declaring by word of mouth and printed page that the suffering of the Church as a sin-offering by the High Priest of our profession is a hard saying and will have none of it?
Now, lest I weary you or take too much of your time, I will close. I am getting old and nervous and have to write with pencil and have my letter copied. And now, Dear Brother, if you never receive another line from me while I tarry this side of the vail, rest assured that I shall remember you continually at the throne of Grace that the keeping power may be with you to the end of your pilgrim journey; and at last, when your last battle shall have been fought and the last victory won and your crowning day shall be ushered in, may you hear the welcome voice saying, "Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." Pray for me that I may, by God's grace, meet you there.
Faithfully yours in the One Hope and service,
DEAR BROTHER McPHAIL:--
I received your booklet on the Covenants and Mediator. I have read and re-read it prayerfully and carefully, and must say I disagree with you entirely on the points of the doctrines as set forth by you and the other brethren who hold the same (I believe) unscriptural views.
I shall only point out to you briefly and to the point a few of the unscriptural statements and try, with the Lord's help, to call your attention to some strange and inconsistent things that you and Brother Henninges have done, in the hope that you may see the error and make your escape from the snare of the Adversary; for I still recognize you as a brother, and love you dearly and continue to pray for you.
You are the first "Pilgrim" brother I ever met; I think about eighteen years ago. At that time you were the only traveling Pilgrim. I have met you many times since and have been greatly blessed through your ministry of the Truth. Now, dear Brother, at the time I first met you the TABERNACLE SHADOWS had been published, explaining the types, etc. You and Brother Henninges were familiar with and well posted on the TABERNACLE SHADOWS as explained by Brother Russell; and as far as I can judge, you continued to preach in harmony with those views as set forth in that booklet for eighteen years. Then, suddenly, just in the closing time of the harvest, you get your eyes opened to see the whole teachings in regard to the Lord's goat, the scape-goat, the red heifer, and almost everything in the TABERNACLE SHADOWS as set forth by Brother Russell, as a myth, an error. Is it not strange that the Lord did not reveal this to you brethren sooner? And now you claim that Brother Russell is the one that has changed his teachings. He is, and has always been teaching in perfect harmony with the views as set forth in the TABERNACLE SHADOWS. I shall not now go into details in reference to some of your citations and misapplications of WATCH TOWER and DAWNS. It seems sufficient to see that you repudiate almost all the Gospel truths you had held and publicly taught for eighteen years. This of itself is sufficient to cast suspicion on your whole presentation.
On page 38 of your booklet you ask, if these sinners, enemies, etc., could become saints and members of the Church, joint-heirs with Jesus Christ without a mediator, why cannot the world in the Millennial Age attain to human perfection without a mediator. A seemingly foolish question for a Bible student to ask, and very easily answered from the Scriptural standpoint, because it is not in harmony with God's eternal plan and purpose. Again, you ask, if any member of this sinful race can be accepted by God without a mediator, why is a mediator needed at all? Let me ask you, dear Brother, if Abel had a mediator. How about the cloud of Old Testament worthies mentioned in `Hebrews 11`? Were they under the New Covenant? Were they justified by virtue of a Covenant then in operation? Did they have a mediator? No! Will they come forth in the resurrection of the just to perfect human life? Certainly. They were justified by faith and fought it out on the faith line and came off victors. Their faith, from God's standpoint, pointed forward to the Ransom. They were justified by faith; and by obedience to that faith they will come forth perfect human beings to be used of God in bringing the blessings of the New Covenant when in operation to the world, under the rule of the Mediator--the Church, Head and Body.
Now, how about the household of faith at the present time? How are we justified and to what kind of life are we justified? Therefore, being justified by virtue of the New Covenant and the mediator of the New Covenant. Oh, no, Paul! That is not what you say. We are getting the thing all mixed up. Someone else says that! "Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace, etc." Oh! I see; we are justified the same today as Abraham was--by faith; no mediator there; no covenant there! To what life are we justified? Human life, perfect human life, purchased by the Ransom. Have we this when we are justified? No; it is only reckoned to us. Are we going to be perfect human beings like those old-time worthies in the resurrection? No; that is not God's purpose with us. He has "provided some better thing for us." We are justified for a purpose; to be used on a higher plane of being in the age to come. We do with our humanity what our Forerunner, the High Priest of our profession, did with his--give it up as a sacrifice, through his merit, acceptable to God. Now, from that time, the time of consecration, we are under a covenant, and not before.
What covenant are we under? I answer, the same as our Forerunner. What covenant was he under? A covenant of sacrifice. For three and one-half years he was under that covenant, until he cried on the cross, "It is finished." He was begotten in the Abrahamic Covenant at his baptism. In his Resurrection, he was born from the same covenant, and became the Head of the Seed typified by Isaac. So, the Church, which is his Body, are under a covenant, a covenant to sacrifice, reckoned in with the Head as members of his Body, through his merit and offering acceptable to God. All justification is based upon the Ransom given at Calvary. Now, we can see why or in what sense, the Church are members of his sacrificial Body, and are being "baptized for the dead," joint-sacrifices, sharing his sufferings, joint-heirs; "Gather my saints together unto me, them that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice." (`Psalm 50:5`.)
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"A covenant with ME," with HIM--a fellowship covenant.
Now we can see the force and harmony of these Scriptures. "Planted together in the likeness of his death," "drinking of his cup," "counted as sheep for the slaughter"; "baptized for the dead." The man Christ Jesus was the first sheep slaughtered, the Lamb of God, who bore our sins--the sins of the sheep for the slaughter, and also, the sins of the whole world. But God's great plan purposed other sheep for sacrifice, through the merit of the one who ransomed all. This Lamb of God was in God's eternal purpose slain from the foundation of the world; so his followers, who are crucified with him, were sheep for the slaughter, chosen in him before the foundation of the world. (`Eph. 1:4`.) All this is clearly taught in the TABERNACLE SHADOWS. But from your viewpoint these Scripture teachings are meaningless. There is no place for them in the teachings of yourself and Brother Henninges.
Your explanation on Page 10, "What is meant by being under a covenant?" I believe, is correct. Now, is the Church under more than one covenant? I think that your answer would be negative. If so, the Church is not under the New Covenant, for it is clearly stated in the Scriptures, that the Lord's saints are under a covenant of sacrifice, as I have already cited. You failed to explain anything in regard to
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the Church's Advocate. Does the Church have a mediator and an advocate both? If so, for what reason?
Again, on page 15, your thoughts are set forth in regard to Abraham, and, of course, you would be obliged to include other Old Testament Worthies who had no mediator, and because they had none, if we hold the view that the Church has none, etc., then because Abraham and others, Abel, Enoch, etc., had no High Priest, then, of course, the Church has none; and the Church has no Head because they had none; and so on. This is very unsound reasoning. Were those old worthies offering their justified humanity as a sacrifice to God, acceptable to God through the merit and ransom finished at Calvary? If not, your reasoning and conclusions fall flat with no foundation to stand on.
Again, on page 25, you refer to `Hebrews 12:22,25`. You say that instead of taking the Apostle at his word and believing what he says that "Ye are come," we are asked to believe that it means, "Ye are coming." Now let us see how your reasoning and conclusions look in viewing some other passage of Scripture given by the same Apostle: "If ye then be risen with Christ, etc." (`Col. 3:1`.) According to your view, Paul made a mistake, for we are not risen with Christ as yet, except by faith, and shall not be until we pass beyond the vail into the anti-typical Sarah's tent. So, in regard to the Scriptures you refer to and the conditions and things spoken of, we have come by faith to that glorious epoch or condition referred to, but it is still in the future. We behold it in faith and by faith we bring it nigh. You remember Abraham saw the same; he saw it and was glad. Now, dear Brother, there is much more I might say, but will not at this time.
Hoping and praying that you may see light in God's light on these important doctrines, I exhort you in the words of Paul to Timothy, "Take heed to thyself (keep the big Scotchman under), and to the doctrine, continue in them, and by so doing thou shalt save both thyself and them that hear thee." I shall be pleased to hear from you at any time.
Faithfully your Brother in the One Hope as long as I can see you are on the ransom. BYRON WILCOX.
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THE TRUTH IN ASIA MINOR
BELOVED BROTHER IN OUR BLESSED KING:--I consider it my Christian duty to make known to you and to all who elsewhere love our Savior in truth, that I heard about you and your love for the Lord and for his work, through your books, which we have had in our language, the Greek, now for two and a half years. I am sending you this letter because I believe that you will rejoice with me.
In the month of March, last year, I received from one of the Lord's children, who lives in Crete, some books and tracts of the MILLENNIAL DAWN. By reading I found in them the truth, for which I was hungry and thirsty. So I accept it because it is the true Gospel of Jesus.
When the preacher of the Protestant Church, of which I was a member, heard that I had accepted these truths and that I had written to have more books forwarded for the purpose of distribution, he explained before the Church that these books are not Christian, and that I must neither read them nor give them to others. I replied that the Word of God says, "Prove all things and hold fast that which is good." (`I. Thess. 5:21`.) Whereupon they persecuted me, for I had become an "heretic"; and about two weeks after that time they put me into prison on the charge that I was writing objectionable letters and passing them into the American College for Girls. Then the court of Smyrna sent me as an exile to my native country, which is in Epiros, Turkey. I was in prison ten days; and after this they sent me as an exile through Macedonia. In all these tribulations I was very glad, because it was my blessed King's will. I saw that there in Macedonia he had something to do through me; and about three months were spent ministering according to his will.
I want to let you know that about ten persons, who are Armenian Christians, speaking the Turkish language, are ready to buy some MILLENNIAL DAWN literature. So this year I shall try by the Lord's help to print something of the Truth in the Turkish language for them. All those who accept the DAWN truths here in Smyrna are about thirty persons, but every day I meet those who are hungering for the Truth as it is in Christ.
I am a Greek, my age is 25, my native country is the "Conitza," Epiros, Turkey. I have been living here in Smyrna for seven years, and I speak about six languages-- Greek, English, Turkish, Albanian, and a little Hebrew and French.
My love to all the friends, G. M.--Smyrna.
DEAR BROTHER M.:--
I am glad to have your letter of the 7th of June and to note therefrom that you are not only at liberty, but back in your own land and actively engaged again in the proclaiming of the glad tidings. It rejoices me to learn that so many as thirty of the Asiatic Turks have received the good tidings. Give them my greetings, please. We have a pamphlet on the subject of Hell in the Syrian language; order if you can use any of these. Although we have none too much money for the demands, we feel led of the Lord to render you some assistance for the work you are engaged in. Please use it as wisely and carefully and as much to the Lord's glory as possible, and please also let us have a report respecting its expenditure. Enclosed find draft.
Yours in the love and service of our dear Redeemer,
C. T. RUSSELL.
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SOME INTERESTING LETTERS
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--
Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Now, dear Brother, I come to you through letter with a heart full of repentance, after having been before the Lord, for having in the past spoken evil and listened to evil concerning you, my Brother. Now, dear Brother, I want first to ask your forgiveness for opposing the Truth you have so faithfully given out, which as I now see, was the true "Meat in due season."
The first thing that started me was listening to evil speaking. Now I see it was disobeying God's holy will, and going against his Word. Secondly, I opposed the Vow most bitterly, which I now see is one of the most essential things of this Gospel Age; that is, at this time--"the time of the end." Now, dear Brother, as soon as I opposed the Vow openly, it was, as I now see, as though a dark glass or film came over the eyes of my understanding, and I could not see the light. I began to disagree on the Covenants, the Sin-offering, and also on the subject of the Mediator, and, in fact, I was going farther and farther away, all because I did not listen to the Apostle's injunction, "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be shamed." I got lazy and did not study hard enough. Oh, Brother, if I could only help the others, who are in the condition that I was in, to see how essential it is to keep on studying, and to keep in full harmony with the channel that the dear Lord is using! With God's help I am now doing my best to show others what I have now got, and that it is the Truth which I unconsciously gave up for error. But thanks be to our Heavenly Father, he has brought me to see the error of my ways, by using a dear Brother to
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show me and prove to me from the Scriptures that I was on the wrong course.
Now, dear Brother, I had been praying that I might see the Truth, and get to know if I was right or wrong. I prayed for days, and the dear Lord has now given me back the Truth.
I took the Vow and made it truly mine on the 29th of July, and went straight to bed. I cannot tell how joyful and peaceful I was when I got up in full harmony with my
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Lord and Master, and with all the sons of God.
I ask again, will you please forgive me for all I have done against you? My Brother, I feel ashamed to ask you such a favor, but I know the dear Lord has forgiven me, so with this comfort I also ask you.
May the dear Lord bless you more and more abundantly and keep you faithful unto death, and also those dear fellow-laborers in the office with you.
I am now your loving Brother in Jesus Christ,
BELOVED BROTHER RUSSELL:--
A few words of testimony as to the many benefits the Vow has brought me. We thank God for it and for the disposition that enabled us to voluntarily appropriate this newer and fuller definition of our original consecration Vow; and oh, the sweetness and preciousness of the consequent closer fellowship and walk with God is beyond power of expression! Only the new mind revelling in the joys of the spirit can appreciate it.
True, the result of striving to the best of our ability to fulfil its various provisions, and one to be reasonably expected, was an increase of temptations and tests along lines of greatest weaknesses, but rather than yield to discouragement or a repudiation of this sacred obligation, we determined by the Lord's assisting grace to brave the struggle, knowing the effect would be a greater fortification on many weak points, which heretofore had not been resisted as they might have been.
Never before have we had such an exalted conception of our privileges as New Creatures.
Never before have we appreciated what an active, living, energetic principle the Lord's Word is, "bringing every thought captive to the obedience of Christ." Never before (we say it humbly) have we felt so efficient in appropriating the strength and grace of the precious Word to the overcoming of the fleshly mind with its deceptive, seductive reasonings and restraints upon the noble, pure and good in thought and motive, and thus allowing the holy impulses and promptings of Divine Love to spring forth and more abundantly bud and blossom into the beautiful "graces of the Spirit."
How we yearn and pray that the dear friends may all eventually see the privilege of voluntarily making the Vow their own, in an entire dependence upon the Lord and his assisting grace promised for every time of need! Accept heartiest greetings and Christian Love from your Brother in the Master's service, CARL F. HAMMERLE.
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DEAR PASTOR RUSSELL:--
To you it was graciously given on behalf of Christ, not only to believe into him, but also to suffer on his account. (`Phil. 1:29`--Diag.) I take the liberty, dear Brother, to write you a few lines to express my gratitude and praise to the dear Father for the blessings that have been and still are coming to me through the light of "Present Truth." Surely the Lord has caused us to sit down to a glorious feast!
I was very much impressed with the article, "Wresting the Scriptures," which appeared in the July 15th TOWER; and especially with the position the party referred to took regarding `Hebrews 10:29`. I do not see how he could take the position he does regarding this word rendered "unholy." I have consulted a Greek and English Lexicon, by Donnegan, concerning this word "Koinos," and he defines it thus, "common," "unclean," "prohibited food," "defilement from eating" such food"; all the definitions, as can be readily seen, contain the thought of "unholy"; not any thought of "partnership," as the party would have us believe.
Concerning our participation in the suffering of Christ, as members of his Body, I think the Apostle Paul shows us a most conclusive argument in `Ephesians 5:31,32`, where he states, "For this cause shall a man leave his father, and his mother, and shall be joined unto his wife and they too shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery; but I speak concerning Christ and the Church."
When we take this verse, together with what Jesus said in `John 6:51`, "My flesh I give for the life of the world," we can see the great privilege the Church has, to be counted in as a part of that "flesh"; as Paul States, "They two shall be one flesh....I speak concerning Christ and the Church."
It is our Lord who is sacrificing his "flesh." All the merit belongs to him.
Surely it is a marvelous favor to be associated with our dear Lord as members of his Body; as Paul again states, "joint-heirs with Christ, if so be that we suffer with him, that we may also be glorified together."--`Rom. 8:17`.
May the Father's richest blessings rest upon you in abundance, comforting and strengthening you in this "evil hour," is the prayer of your Brother.
In the bonds of Love, E. G. BERRY.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--
I have been looking back over the twelve months that have elapsed since my formal registration of the Vow; and feel constrained to write and acknowledge the great blessing it has proved in this time. This last year has been by far more fruitful in its harvest of spiritual blessings and privileges than the previous seven of my association with the glorious Harvest work. I confess, however, that the first perusal of the Vow did not impress me favorably, for the flesh at once put forward the objection that it was a very low moral standard for a Christian. How subtle the old mind; how crafty its sophistries, and what cunning objections it will raise when it discerns some definite action being taken
to bring it the more completely into subjection to the Divine Will!
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Several months ago I was led to still further "mortify" the flesh by adding another feature to my Vow, suggested by yourself at the Nashville Convention, "to never murmur nor complain at any of the Lord's providential leadings." The year has not been without its trials and testing, but the resultant peace, and the confident assurance that every incident was working out the Father's blessed will, has been like oil on troubled waters. "When he giveth peace, who then can make trouble?"
You have my deepest sympathy, dear Brother, in every trial and heartache. How true it is that they who are teachers, even in a small way, must receive heavier trial! But how thankful am I that the Lord has promised to keep all those that trust in him! So I am confident that he will permit you to glorify him by finishing the work which he has given you to do. How glorious to know that the prayers, on one another's behalf, of the consecrated thousands, are now ascending in one grand, uninterrupted chorus to the Giver of every good and perfect gift, for the needed grace to lovingly submit to all the provings of the Lord as he seals our hearts and minds against the day of our deliverance.
Yours in the bonds of Christian love,
WM. A. BAKER.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--
Have considered and prayed over the Vow for many months, and at the beginning of the year took it with slight modifications, as a Resolution, continuing to ask Divine guidance. The result has been a further opening of the eyes of my understanding, and I feel I can now take the Vow with a full and proper appreciation. We continue to be thankful for your recent fellowship and help. May the Lord's richest blessings be yours. Pray for me.
Your Sister by his favor, CORRINE C. SHERMAN.
PUBLIC MINISTRIES OF THE TRUTH
UNDER THE AUSPICES OF PEOPLES PULPIT
ASSOCIATION OF BROOKLYN, N.Y.
ONE-DAY LOCAL CONVENTIONS ADDRESSED BY THE
EDITOR OF THIS JOURNAL AS FOLLOWS:
BROOKLYN, N.Y., SEPT. 19.
Morning Rally and Testimony Meeting at 10:30 o'clock.
Discourse by Brother Russell at 3:00 p.m. Evening meeting for the interested at 7:30 o'clock; this will be a Question Meeting. Visiting friends cordially invited.
All meetings will be held in the Brooklyn Tabernacle, Nos. 13-17 Hicks street. Convenient to all cars and ferries--close to the old bridge terminus.
Baptismal services will be arranged for, if requested, on first Sunday of any quarter.
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J., SEPT. 26.
BROOKLYN TABERNACLE EVERY SUNDAY
Preaching at 3:00 p.m. Praise service at 7:00 p.m.; Berean Bible Study at 7:30 p.m. Convenient to New York via Subway, and Jersey City via P.R.R. Annex Ferry.
STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES
THESE STUDIES ARE RECOMMENDED TO STUDENTS AS VERITABLE "BIBLE KEYS." PRICES ARE NET AND BARELY COVER COST OF PRODUCTION, WHEN DELIVERED BY COLPORTEURS THE COST AND PRICE ARE INCREASED.
SERIES I., The Plan of the Ages, gives an outline of the divine plan revealed in the Bible, relating to man's redemption and restitution: 386 pages, in embossed cloth, 25c. (1s. 1/2d.) India paper edition, 75c. (3s. 1-1/2d.).
This volume has been published as a special issue of our journal-- at the extremely low price of 5c. a copy, in any quantity, postage included. (To foreign countries, 9c.) This enables people of slender purse to herald far and wide the good tidings in a most helpful form.
SERIES II., The Time is at Hand, treats of the manner and time of the Lord's second coming, considering the Bible Testimony on this subject: 370 pages, in embossed cloth, 25c. (1s. 1/2d.) India paper edition, 75c. (3s. 1-1/2d.)
SERIES III., Thy Kingdom Come, considers prophecies which mark events connected with the "Time of the End," the glorification of the Church and the establishment of the Millennial Kingdom; it also contains a chapter of the Great Pyramid, showing its corroboration of the dates and other teachings of the Bible: 384 pages, in embossed cloth, 25c. (1s. 1/2d.) India paper edition, 75c. (3s. 1-1/2d.)
SERIES IV., The Day of Vengeance, shows that the dissolution of the present order of things is in progress, and that all the panaceas offered are valueless to avert the predicted end. It marks in these events the fulfilment of prophecy, noting specially our Lord's great prophecy of `Matt. 24` and `Zech. 14:1-9`: 660 pages, in embossed cloth, 30c. (1s. 3d.). India paper edition, 85c. (3s. 6-1/2d.)
SERIES V., The At-one-ment Between God and Man, treats an all-important subject--the hub, the center around which all the features of divine grace revolve. Its topic deserves the most careful and prayerful consideration on the part of all true Christians: 507 pages, in embossed cloth, 30c. (1s. 3d.) India paper edition, 85c. (3s. 6-1/2d.)
SERIES VI., The New Creation, deals with the Creative Week (`Genesis 1` and `2`), and with the Church, God's "New Creation." It examines the personnel, organization, rites, ceremonies, obligations and hopes appertaining to those called and accepted as members of the Body under the Head: 740 pages, in embossed cloth, 30c. (1s. 3d.) India paper edition, 85c. (3s. 6-1/2d.)
The above prices include postage.
IN FULL LEATHER BINDING, gilt edges, the set (6 vols.) $3.00, (12s. 6d.), plus postage, 60c. (1s.).
Is also published in foreign languages as follows: German, five vols., in Swedish Vols. 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6; in Dano-Norwegian, three vols.; in Greek, three vols.; in French, two vols.; Hollandish, Spanish, and Italian, one vol. each; bound in cloth, uniform with English edition, prices the same; in Polish, condensed edition, one vol., 10 cents.